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  1. #1
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    Celebrities studying qigong

    I'm hoping this thread will grow like our Celebrities-studying-martial-arts thread. I admit it's off to a weak start, but you must plant the seed first. This subforum - it needs luv...

    Alison Bechdel on Her Genius Grant and Family Secrets
    The graphic novelist talks about getting the MacArthur grant, the Bechdel test and the 'lighter' memoir she's working on now


    Greg Ruffing/Redux
    Alison Bechdel photographed in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.

    By Mark Yarm | December 5, 2014

    The most buzzed-about winner of this year's MacArthur Fellowships — those $625,000, no-strings-attached "genius grants" — was Alison Bechdel, a 54-year-old lesbian artist from Bolton, Vermont. Bechdel isn't just the second cartoonist to receive the prestigious fellowship in the organization's 33-year history (the first was Ben Katchor, in 2000); she's the only one of this year's winners with a pop-culture metric named after her.



    That would be the Bechdel Test, an idea inspired by a friend of hers and immortalized nearly 30 years ago in the writer's late, long running alt-weekly comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For. To pass, a movie TV show or book has to have at least two female characters in it talking to each other about something other than a man. (Hollywood tends to perform rather poorly by this benchmark.) Bechdel says she's happy that the gender-bias test has gained cultural currency in recent years, citing in particular a FiveThirtyEight statistical analysis debunking the prevailing wisdom that films featuring "meaningful interactions between women" tend to fare worse at the box office. However, "I don't feel particularly evangelical about [the test]," the illustrator — and avowed Sex and the City fan — says.



    Photo: Alison Bechdel

    Bechdel first came to mainstream acclaim in 2006, with the publication of her bestselling graphic novel Fun Home. A dual memoir of sorts, the book focuses on her fraught relationship with her father, a closeted gay man who died when he was hit by a truck — Bechdel deems it a suicide —at age 44. "In a way, it was my relationship with my father and my father's history that lay behind my comic strip," she says. "Because of him, I was determined to be very out and open about my queerness. My whole career has kind of spun out of that dynamic." (The Fun Home musical adaptation that played at New York's Public Theater in 2013, and which Bechdel had minimal involvement in, will open on Broadway this spring.)

    The cartoonist then turned her attention to her other parent for 2012's psychoanalytic Are You My Mother?, but given the emotional drain those books caused the author and her family — which includes brother John Bechdel, keyboardist for Ministry — she's now working on a lighter graphic memoir called The Secret to Superhuman Strength. "It's about my own exercise history, because I've always followed all the trends," says Bechdel, who's currently learning the ancient Chinese healing practice of qigong. "So in that sense it's also a cultural history of all the weird phases [America has] gone through as over the past 50 years." Eventually, she'll return to the subject of her family: "I still have more secrets to air."



    As for the MacArthur grant, Bechdel says she'll use it for "really boring" purposes, like getting out of debt and saving for retirement. On a more profound level, the honor is forcing her to reevaluate her self-perception. "Since I got the call, I've had to think about myself differently, which is kind of a challenge," she says. "I'm always whining about something — I'm an insecure sort of person in general. But now I can't sit around whining. It's, ‘Okay, you have achieved something, you are successful, so shut up and get on with your work.' I have to man up and act like an adult."
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
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    Hahaha! Love the closing line on that one... Whoops.

  3. #3
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    This thread might be slow to grow...

    ...but we do what we can with what we got. Billionaires totally count as celebs

    TECH 1/19/2015 @ 4:44PM 7,866 views
    Palantir CEO Alex Karp To Become A Billionaire As Data-Mining Company Raises Millions


    Palantir CEO Alex Karp is set to become a billionaire as his company looks to close a round of funding at a $15 billion valuation. (Photo: Eric Millette for Forbes)

    In the past, Alexander Karp, the CEO of data analytics firm Palantir, has called wealth “culturally corrosive.” A former money manager for high-net-worth individuals, the cofounder of the CIA-backed data analytics firm has maintained that personal riches were of little importance to him, despite associating with some of the world’s wealthiest to raise funds for his company.

    Now, Karp will be one of them.

    Palantir is currently raising a round that could total $400 million at a valuation of around $15 billion. At that valuation, which was first reported by Barron’s, Karp, who owns at least 8% of the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company will be worth more than $1.2 billion when the round closes. According to sources close to the company, Palantir began raising money in November and is currently in the fundraising process. One person familiar with the company’s plans said that the company already had plenty of cash, but was raising more to protect itself from any future economic downturn.

    Palantir’s activity comes at a time where private technology company’s are raising at record valuations and turning their cofounders into billionaires. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, which raised at a $45 billion valuation in December, turned creator Lei Jun, into one of the world’s richest people, while Uber Technologies CEO Travis Kalanick also joined the ten-figure club when his car-hailing service received an $18.2 billion valuation from investors last June. Uber is now worth about $40 billion based on a financing round that was announced in early December.

    Now 11 years old, Palantir has gone from a secretive data-mining startup that received early funding from CIA investment arm In-Q-Tel to a Silicon Valley giant that does contract work for the world’s largest government agencies, banks and corporations. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, Palantir has received more than $215 million in U.S. government contract work since 2009, while FORBES estimates that the company took in about $450 million in revenue in 2013.

    Much of Palantir’s transformation and business succsess has come down to the work of Karp, a social theory Ph.D. who cofounded the company with Stephen Cohen, Joe Lonsdale, Nathan Gettings and his former Stanford Law School classmate Peter Thiel. Though he lacks a technical background, Karp is known within Palantir as the company’s “conscience” who is responsible for hard decisions like which organizations it should work with.

    “The only time I’m not thinking about Palantir,” Karp said for a 2013 FORBES cover story on Palantir, “is when I’m swimming, practicing Qigong or during sexual activity.”

    While Karp will likely not be a fan of the new status surrounding his net worth, it’s just the latest indicator of the investor confidence in Palantir. It raised more than $450 million at a $9 billion valuation last year, and total investment in the company has exceeded $1 billion. That money has been raised from a host of well-connected investors including billionaires Kenneth Langone and Stanley Druckenmiller; CIA venture arm In-Q-Tel; Tiger Global Management; and Thiel’s venture firm, Founders Fund. Thiel, Palantir’s chairman, is also its largest shareholder.

    Karp is the company’s second largest individual shareholder and will join his former classmate in the 10-figure fortune club when Palantir closes its latest investment. Previously, Karp has said that it would make sense for most businesses of Palantir’s size to go public, though he was not personally fond of the idea.

    “[An initial public offering] would make running a company like ours very difficult,” he said in Aug. 2013.

    Follow me on Twitter at @RMac18 or email me at rmac@forbes.com.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #4
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    Kate Beckinsale

    Finally! A good ttt for this thread (that is if you don't note the subject of this article).

    Stars with a filthy secret: They make money promoting healthy living. But just look at the pictures they DON'T put on social media!
    By CLAUDIA CONNELL FOR THE DAILY MAIL
    PUBLISHED: 21:01 EST, 15 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:59 EST, 16 March 2016

    Ask any glamorous, slim celebrity how she keeps so trim and her answers will be predictable: a healthy diet, lots of water and plenty of sleep.
    When it comes to exercise, they are demons. Addicted to hot yoga and spinning, they sport six packs that give any man a run for his money. What few admit to is the other slimming aid they depend on: the cigarette.
    A vast number of celebrities who’ve built up images and empires on being fit, healthy and wholesome have secretly indulged in the unhealthiest habit of them all.
    Smoking to kill the appetite is not new — Hollywood starlets in years gone by were told to smoke so they wouldn’t gain weight.
    Worryingly, it’s not just famous women doing it — figures from the Office For National Statistics last month showed the number of young women smoking has risen for the first time in a decade, with 22 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds and 21 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds taking up the habit.
    Little wonder, when they see svelte-figured idols sparking up.

    ...

    KATE BECKINSALE
    The Hollywood actress, 42, practises qigong — a discipline involving breathing and moving that’s similar to tai chi. Kate — daughter of Porridge star Richard, who died of a heart attack aged 31 — is also such a devotee of yoga that she gave a class live on U.S. television. Oddly enough, there was no mention of the effect that smoking can have on your breathing.


    Kate Beckinsale, 42, practises qigong — a discipline involving breathing and moving that’s similar to tai chi. The Hollywood actress is also such a devotee of yoga that she gave a class live on U.S. television


    Oddly enough, there was no mention in the TV class of the effect that smoking can have on your breathing
    I only posted Kate because of her qigong. The other celeb hotties listed in the article are amusing too.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #5
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    Well ~G

    maybe you could give some sweet qigong lessons to celebs in your off time for the $$$.

    A little Yi Jin Jing, some healing breaths, jade egg for the ladies, weight stretch for the lads, boom, you get a Bugatti and props down hollywood way. Special classes in golden bell for high rollers only! A list!

    Kung Fu is good for you.

  6. #6
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    Kate Beckinsdale's doing both qigong and smoking is nothing unusual. In fact, it's probably 'traditional'. I'm pretty sure a lot of qigong practitioners, including 'masters', smoke like chimneys. I saw it myself in Taiwan; teachers and senior students of qigong, as well as Taiji and other Kung Fu systems, who smoked, often even during practice or while teaching. Yet they would espouse the health and fitness benefits of KF/qigong practice.

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