The Saturday miscellany: Missy Elliot vs MIA; Johnny Depp; Open East; Thomas Scheibitz
Culture clash: Female rappers
Missy Elliot vs MIA
By Gillian Orr
Missy Elliott overcame a youth blighted by poverty and abuse – and music world concerns that she wasn't bootylicious enough – to contribute a plethora of hits to hip-hop's canon ("Work It", "Get Ur Freak On"), while never relinquishing her beloved tracksuits, despite being in an industry that worships bare flesh.
MIA gained prominence by appearing at the 2009 Grammys, heavily pregnant, in a sheer dress with just three circles to preserve her modesty. She's created controversial videos (but you'll be hard pushed to name any of her songs besides "Paper Planes"; what was that ginger kids video again?). Also published an overpriced "art" book resembling the scrawlings of a child ODing on ADHD meds. Aside from a cringey Gap ad, Missy has spared us such embarrassments.
Winner: Missy Elliot
The deleted emails of... Johnny Depp (as read by John Walsh)
Sent: 10 July 2013
Subject: prickings of conscience
Jerry, Listen, I know it's kinda late to be bringing this up but – my character Tonto. I been thinking. I'm playing an American Indian, sorry Native American, as a comic turn, with raggedy trousers, stony face and a stuffed crow on my head? You got one of your assistants to watch Pirates of the Caribbean for you – you know how this trick goes.
But it just occurred to me: you don't think it might be seen as a tad... racist? Not to mention that I'm made up with white facepaint and black streaks.
Did you even SEE the TV show? Jay Silverheels, in fringed jacket, brilliantine and cool headband, looked like P fucking Diddy! And he was a Real Mohawk not a Kentucky White Guy!
Is it too late to have a word with Wardrobe? And Make-up? And Hair?
By Ellen E Jones
Q. A friend once told me the name she'd like to call her first-born. I'm now pregnant, can I steal it?
A. I can see your point of view; Judas is a lovely name, after all. Faux-innocently suggest the name and see if she protests. If you're lucky, she'll have forgotten it was her idea first.
By Charlie Cooper
Queen Elizabeth Olympic park will play host to Open East, a food and arts festival, on the anniversary of the Games. 27–28 July, Queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk
The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead hosts an exhibition by German artist Thomas Scheibitz. 26 July–3 November, Balticmill.com
Travel in comfort with this handmade cashmere pillow and silk-trimmed eye mask by Armand Diradourian. £185, mrporter.com
By Liam O'Brien
Nasa’s rover on Mars, Curiosity, is finally making its way to Mount Sharp to see if there was water on the red planet. It’s travelling at 40 metres per day.
Mount Sharp is 8km away, meaning it’s going to take 200 days – probably more – for Curiosity to reach it.
The rover, which is around the size of a car, cost $2.5bn to build, including development costs.
Nasa’s yearly budget is $17.7bn. In real terms, that’s around half of what it was in 1965 during the space race.
The UK space industry recorded a turnover of £9.1bn in 2010/11 and supports 30,000 jobs.
Major Tim Peake, 41, from Chichester, will become Britain’s first astronaut for two decades when he visits the International Space Station in 2015. He was picked as one of six astronauts from a possible 8,000.
Major Tim’s selection is thought to have been aided by a timely £16m donation by Britain to the European Space Agency in Paris.
Helen Sharman, a chemist for the Mars chocolate company, became the UK’s first astronaut in 1991.
North Korea launched a 200lb surveillance satellite into space last year. Within a week it was tumbling out of control and “most likely dead”.
Richard Branson is set to begin commercial spaceflights late this year. Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher have already paid their $250,000 deposits to Virgin Galactic.
In 2001, Dennis Tito from California became the first space tourist, paying £14m for an eight-day stay at the International Space Station.
- Curiosity Mars rover hits the road, BBC
- Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity, NASA
- Nasa budgets: US spending on space travel since 1958 UPDATED, The Guardian
- 'Don't forget to look out of the window': Britain's first astronaut Helen Sharman's advice to Major Tim Peake, The Independent
- 2001: First space tourist blasts off, BBC
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
Game of Thrones season 4 blooper reel unveiled at Comic-Con 2014
Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 teaser trailer sees Katniss lead rebellion against the Capitol
The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman unveiled
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace