December 30th, 2009
05:06 PM ET

'MythBusters' regular Erik Gates dead

Erik Gates, who contributed to the popular Discovery Channel show "MythBusters" as its "Amateur Rocket Expert," has died. He was 47.

According to media reports, Gates died in a freak accident. He was at a building in Newbury Park, California, doing electrical work on a roof, when he fell 30 feet from a skylight. He died December 20.

Gates was an owner of Gateco Electric, which was employed at the site.

On its Twitter page, "MythBusters" tweeted, "Team MB wishes to express our deepest sympathies on the passing of our beloved rocket expert, Erik," followed by "You were an honorary MythBuster and will be sorely missed."

Gates and his brother also ran Gates Brothers Rocketry.

December 30th, 2009
02:59 PM ET

Megan Fox voted worst - but sexiest - actress of 2009

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Movie fans have mixed feelings about this year’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”

On one hand, the action-packed sequel, which grossed more than $830 million in ticket sales worldwide, was voted the worst movie of the year by readers of the Web site Moviefone.com.

But in a bout of what can only be described as voter schizophrenia, “Transformers” won out in the poll's category for best action movie, beating “Star Trek,” “Avatar” and “District 9.” FULL POST

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Filed under: Megan Fox
December 30th, 2009
02:37 PM ET

Books of the year, books of the decade

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At my current rate of about a book a week, I’ll never read more books than I acquire - but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying. Here are some of the best books (from an admittedly limited stack) I read that came out this year –- I’m stretching the definition to include 2008 books released in paperback, too - as well as some picks for books of the decade:

2009

“Netherland,” Joseph O’Neill (Vintage paperback): A Dutch immigrant finds his way through pre- and post-9/11 New York, guided by his love for cricket and his friendship with a shifty Trinidadian, told through O’Neill’s gorgeous, pitch-perfect prose. (The author’s description of a road-safety class and its “destroyed-looking” lecturer is a world in a handful of sentences.)

FULL POST

December 30th, 2009
12:49 PM ET

Mariah Carey picks up her first award for 'Precious'

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After the disaster that was 2001’s “Glitter,” most critics thought Mariah Carey would go quietly into that good night and focus on her proven talent for song.

And she did, for quite awhile.

But now Mimi has proven she does have some acting chops. She has brought home her first solo award for her role as the dowdy social worker in Lee Daniels’ “Precious." FULL POST

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Filed under: Mariah Carey • movies
December 30th, 2009
10:55 AM ET

Let Diddy take the wheel tomorrow night

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Make Diddy your designated driver this New Year's Eve.

As part of a marketing scheme, Sean Combs and Ciroc vodka have partnered with local taxi and limousine authorities to offer $15 taxi debit cards and one-way subway metrocards in New York City and Las Vegas to ensure folks who drink a little too much of that vodka get home safely.

"New York stands as the world's icon for a New Year's Eve celebration and Las Vegas is the biggest party destination in the country," Combs said in a statement. "By bringing this program to both of these great cities we will continue to show the rest of the country that a sophisticated holiday celebration doesn’t end when the ball drops, but when everyone gets home safely.” FULL POST

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Filed under: Celebrities
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