First Look At A Dreadlocked Nonso Anozie As Samson + First Trailer For 10-Part Series ‘The Bible’


It was in May 2011 when the History Channel greenlit a 5-part, 10-hour docudrama series based on the bible, from Mark Burnett, the executive producer of Survivor. Titled simply, The Bible, the series was to focus on some of the most universally familiar tales from the bible. The 10-hour project, which Burnett is said to have been working on for about 4 years now, was reportedly shot on location, and includes a combo of live action and CGI (well, naturally).”This series will bring the historical stories of The Bible to life for a new generation,” said History Channel president Nancy Dubuc. The epic cast for this epic series is long; but look for Nonso Anozie as Samson (as in the story of Samson and Delilah) – the Israelite who was granted supernatural strength by God (his strength is in his hair) in order to combat his enemies and perform heroic feats like wrestling a lion, and slaying an entire army (photo above); and also Keith David provides voice-overs throughout.  And there are others.  The series now has a premiere date – 3/3/13 on History Channel. It’ll be on Blu-ray and DVD soon after. This is just one of a few Bible film projects on the horizon, as there seems to be some renewed interest in biblical tales.

A trailer for the series has arrived, and it’s embedded below:

Singer José James Tours With Smooth New Music


American vocalist José James kicks off a multicity U.S. tour on Jan. 23 in support of the release of his Blue Note Records debut album, No Beginning No End, which hits stores the day before. A Minneapolis-born singer with Panamanian roots, James mixes genres to make up his sound, pulling from jazz, neo-soul, funk and even a little hip-hop. He showed off his silky tone — which immediately recalls the smooth emotion of “The Bottle”-era Gil Scott-Heron — during his national TV debut on TBS’ Conan back in December, when he performed “Trouble.” The international leg of the tour, when he will sing in Australia and Asia, runs from Feb. 10 to March 6.

The tour dates are as follows:

Jan. 23: Highline Ballroom; New York, N.Y.
Jan. 24: Howard Theatre; Washington, D.C.
Jan. 26: Scullers, Boston
Jan. 29: Cedar Cultural Center; Minneapolis
Jan. 30: Lincoln Hall; Chicago
Feb. 10-March 6: Asia and Australia Tour
March 9:  The New Parish; Oakland, Calif.
March 10: Brick & Mortar Music Hall; San Francisco
March 12: The Del Monte Speakeasy; Los Angeles

You can keep up with James and his music by checking out his website. For now, watch his January Late Show With David Letterman performance below.

Segregation Linked in Study With Lung Cancer Deaths

NYT2008112512091880CAfrican-Americans who live in highly segregated counties are considerably more likely to die from lung cancer than those in counties that are less segregated, a new study has found. The study was the first to look at segregation as a factor in lung cancer mortality. Its authors said they could not fully explain why it worsens the odds of survival for African-Americans, but hypothesized that blacks in more segregated areas may be less likely to have health insurance or access to health care and specialty doctors. It is also possible that lower levels of education mean they are less likely to seek care early, when medical treatment could make a big difference. Racial bias in the health care system might also be a factor. “If you want to learn about someone’s health, follow him home,” said Dr. Awori J. Hayanga, a heart and lung surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who was the lead author of the study. The study, published in JAMA Surgery on Wednesday, divided all counties in the country into three levels of segregation: high, medium and low. It found that lung cancer mortality rates, a ratio of deaths to a population, were about 20 percent higher for blacks who lived in the most segregated counties, than for blacks living in the least segregated counties. Lung cancer is the top cause of preventable death in the United States. Blacks have the highest incidence of it and are also more likely to die from it. For every million black males, 860 will die from lung cancer, compared with 620 among every million white males. The rates were calculated over the period of the study, from 2003 to 2007.

The study drew on federal mortality data from that period, and segregation data from about a third of United States counties that had African-American populations large enough to measure. About 28 percent of Americans live in counties with low segregation, 40 percent in counties with moderate segregation and 32 percent in counties with high segregation. The gap in outcomes persisted even after accounting for differences in smoking rates and socio-economic status, Dr. Hayanga said. For whites, high levels of segregation had the opposite effect, a finding that surprised the authors. Whites who lived in highly segregated counties had about 6 percent lower mortality rates from lung cancer than those who lived in the least segregated counties, though researchers pointed out that the difference was slight enough that it was not clear whether it was meaningful. Dr. David Chang, director of outcomes research at the University of California San Diego Department of Surgery, who wrote an accompanying editorial, said he hoped that the study would focus attention on the environmental factors involved in the stark disparities in health outcomes in the United States because they lend themselves to change through policy. Medical researchers tend to focus on factors that are harder to change, like thegenetics and the behaviors of individuals.

“We don’t need drugs or genetic explanations to fix a lot of the health care problems we have,” he said.

New Music: Bassnectar remixes Underworld’s “Rez”


EDM overlords Underworld are never a group to shy away from assimilating new styles. This ravenous osmotic attitude has kept the duo at the top of festival marquees for a couple of decades now. Bassnectar, no wilting flower himself even if he is sometimes “hanging on for dear life,” gives their rave classic “Rez” a boom-tastic makeover that required rebuilding some gear in the process. The new mix splatters the undulating stomper with Bassnectar’s signature bottomless bass, riotous drum fills, whiplash breaks, and lightning-rod synth stabs. Steam it below to hear why he chose to drop it at midnight on New Year’s Eve in Nashville. Break out the lazers…