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• Starbucks created a birthday-cake-flavored Frappuccino to celebrate the drink’s 20th anniversary.

• On the heels (slippers?) of Cinderella’s success, Disney will reportedly make a live-action version of Mulan.

• Serena Williams filmed a tennis-themed version of Beyoncé’s “7/11” video.

• McDonald’s announced plans to start testing an all-day breakfast menu in San Diego …



Price of the “world’s most extravagant Easter bunny,” which features gold-leaf accents and solitaire-diamond eyes; it’s available via British luxury retailer VeryFirstTo.com


For the first time, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art will devote its entire space to one show: “The Divine Comedy,” featuring contemporary art inspired by the work of Dante (like this Aida Muluneh photograph in the vein of Inferno). It runs through Aug. 2.



The 37-year-old actor and rapper is celebrating two career milestones: his eighth album, Ludaversal, and his fourth Fast & Furious movie, Furious 7.


You address a lot on this album–everything from family struggles to media criticism.

Hell, yeah. That’s why it’s called Ludaversal–welcome to my world.

You’re also pretty candid about your issues with the music industry. What’s the biggest one?

Having to clear [music] samples. It can take months and months. Sometimes [song publishers] ask for way more than they really should get. The whole politics of it is bullsh-t.

So, what did you make of Marvin Gaye’s family suing Pharrell and Robin Thicke over “Blurred Lines”?

Man, I’m going to tell you … if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s don’t speak on sh-t you don’t really know anything about.

You’ve destroyed a lot of cars in the Fast & Furious movies. Are you nervous about letting your teenage daughter drive?

Not at all, because, humbly speaking, I am lucky enough to have 22 acres of land. We have a little pavement around a lake, and we have actually practiced driving, golf carts and stuff like that, so she’ll be well prepared.

What’s on your Fast & Furious bucket list? Is there a car you’re dying to drive?

My favorite car has already been in one of the movies: the Ford GT. I’m telling you, I’ve driven a lot of cars in my life–Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches–and that’s my favorite. It’s very ironic, because it’s an American muscle car. Nothing against my country, but I never felt like we made the best cars.

Are you as much of an adrenaline junkie as your character in the movie?

I’ve jumped out of planes before–not with a car, but damn it, I’ve skydived!


• Jazz and blues music

“I’ve been listening to a lot of different genres, something nobody would think Ludacris does.”


‘The game changed forever, and it happened today.’

JAY Z, promoting the relaunch of Tidal, a streaming-music service he says is owned largely by artists (including himself, Kanye West and Madonna); it offers only paid-subscription models


With springtime emerge cherry blossoms, which reached full bloom in Tokyo earlier than usual this year because of unusually high temperatures (as seen in this March 30 image from Chidorigafuchi moat). Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., the National Cherry Blossom Festival began March 20, but the peak of floral beauty is expected to come later than usual, given recent chilly weather.


Titles That Almost Were

In J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography 1997–2013, Philip W. Errington reports that the author’s Harry Potter books almost went by different names–think Three Champions instead of Goblet of Fire and School of Magic instead of Sorcerer’s Stone–making Rowling one of the many best-selling authors who have jettisoned working titles.

OF MICE AND MEN was almost titled …

Something That Happened

But John Steinbeck changed it after reading Robert Burns’ poem To a Mouse, which contains the same phrase

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was almost titled …


But Harper Lee decided before publication that she didn’t want the title to focus on only one character

JAWS was almost titled …

What’s That Noshin’ on My Laig?

But Peter Benchley nixed the idea, suggested by his father, after he stopped thinking of his book as a comedy

THE GREAT GATSBY was almost titled …

Trimalchio in West Egg

But F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife Zelda and his editor both advised him against an obscure reference to 1st century Roman fiction

CATCH-22 was almost titled …


But Joseph Heller wanted to avoid confusion with the 1960 film Ocean’s 11, released one year before the book’s publication


• … and also launched a Big Mac–themed home-goods-and-apparel line in Sweden.

• An alleged thief in Maine was arrested after revealing his hiding place on Snapchat.

• Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson said she would not be helming the sequel.

• Many viewers accused Jamie Foxx of telling “transphobic” Bruce Jenner jokes at the iHeartRadio Music Awards.


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