2020 has been a rare year, indeed. The year has seen a global pandemic, massive protests, unrest, natural disasters, and no shortage of unfortunate events. With the country winding to a close, it would be naïve for anyone to believe that all of this craziness will suddenly grind to a halt when the clock hits midnight on New Year’s Eve and we shift to the 2021 calendar.
And as if to prove that 2020 could be one of the most unsettling years in living memory, it’s just been announced that Creed singer Scott Stapp will be playing Frank Sinatra in a biopic about Ronald Reagan.
Yes, that’s right, Stapp – who’s been described as a “marble-mouthed baritone” – will be portraying the legendary crooner, Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, in a historical drama.
Billboard reports that the upcoming drama Reagan, which will star Dennis Quaid as the 40th President of the United States, has cast the alternative rock singer to play the late lone-time leader of the Rat Pack.
The casting choice is curious, given that Stapp is well known for his exaggerated and over-the-top “yarling” singing style (also known as “Hunger Dunger Dang”), which consists of a exaggerated version of the nasal baritone drone originally introduced by Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder.
Stapp himself seems aware of the irony, telling Billboard, “Sinatra in performance mode was an exercise in restraint. He had this steely, stylish swagger and his sheer presence commanded a room. I was excited to join the cast and blown away by the on-set attention to detail, style, and overall production.”
According to the magazine, it won’t be a major role, but the film does contain a scene where Reagan visits the Cocoanut Grove, a once-famous nightclub in the Boston region that was once popular among Hollywood celebs in the 1930s.
The scene where Stapp will step up on stage and croon takes place when Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild, a position he held between 1947 and 1951, and again in 1959.
Again, it’s a very curious casting choice, as the 47-year-old rock star hardly resembles a young Sinatra. Perhaps the studio plans to digitally alter Stapp’s voice and face so that he more closely resembles the Sultan of Swoon? Your guess is as good as ours.
Stapp has had a bit of a rough time in recent years after his career spiraled out of control due to drug and alcohol abuse, a struggle with bipolar disorder, and an eventual psychotic breakdown in 2014. Since then, he appears to be on a road to recovery and has even opened up about the fact that even his own kids tease him about his singing on songs like “With Arms Wide Open.”
Reagan is set to drop in 2021, and will also star Penelope Ann Miller as Nancy Reagan.
“We are honored to have Scott in Reagan,” director Sean McNamara said. “Scott’s known for big, high energy performances so it was a thrill to see him shift gears to embody Sinatra’s contained charisma.”
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.