Matt Lauer had a button under his desk to lock his office door, according to this detailed report

Variety is reporting that the desk recently-fired TODAY anchor Matt Lauer's desk was rigged with a special button:

His office was in a secluded space, and he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up. This afforded him the assurance of privacy. It allowed him to welcome female employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him, according to two women who were sexually harassed by Lauer.

The detailed article also reports that Lauer was "fixated on women, especially their bodies and looks," according to 10 current and former employees:

He was known for making lewd comments verbally or over text messages. He once made a suggestive reference to a colleague’s performance in bed and compared it to how she was able to complete her job, according to witnesses to the exchange. For Lauer, work and sex were intertwined.

“There were a lot of consensual relationships, but that’s still a problem because of the power he held,” says a former producer who knew first-hand of these encounters. “He couldn’t sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people, because he’s Matt Lauer and he’s married. So he’d have to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn’t ever complain.”

Matt Lauer Accused of Sexual Harassment by Multiple Women (EXCLUSIVE) (Consequence of Sound)

screenshot via TODAY Previously: NBC fires Matt Lauer over "inappropriate sexual behavior" Read the rest

Los Angeles: 'Women in Vaudeville' this Saturday night!

This Saturday night presents a chance to see some of the very best performing artists in the world having a ball. Join Lindsay Benner and her hand picked cast for Women in Vaudeville at the Bob Baker Marionette theater.

We've written about Lindsay a number of times over the last few years. She is a hilarious comedian, fantastic actor, and can juggle anything you throw at her! In addition to performing Lindsay has produced shows around the world, helped Boing Boing throw a Weekend of Wonder, and now she's organized an all-women's variety arts show in Los Angeles.

You'll be able to see Marawa the Amazing, and likely dozens if not hundreds of her hula-hoops.

Also joining Lindsay is one of my absolute favorite people on the planet, contortionist, actor and comedian Bonnie Morgan. Bonnie is just back from promoting her new movie Rings, where she portrayed Samara in the third installment of the crazy horror series.

Lindsay will also be presenting Katrina and puppeteer Pam Severns. There will be a reception before the show, and one after! The post show party will include tours of the historic Bob Baker Marionette theater.

Don't miss it!

Saturday, May 13th -- Women in Vaudeville

The Bob Baker Marionette Theater

8pm -- Reception

9pm -- SHOW

10pm -- After Party

Tickets: $20 Read the rest

How many towns in the world have the same name as yours?

A weirdly fascinating single-serve site: How many places are named Pittsburgh? (Spoiler: three!)

There are 15 New Yorks, 29 Londons, 53 Parises, 248 San Franciscos and 320 San Antonios. But there is only one Truth or Consequences. Read the rest

Jack Kalvan and Company: the family that blends science and stunts

The Kalvan family brings juggling, acrobatics, science, and engineering together in an astonishing variety show.

Jack, Jeri, Max and Oz are all talented faces you've likely seen on TV and in the movies. In addition to their insane book of skills, they're accomplished jugglers, acrobats, circus and stunt people, this is also a family of makers. Jack is an engineer who can't resist blending science and stunts.

The Kalvan's have devised an astonishing show that employs all their skills, and some really fun contraptions! This family made the toys you wish you always had, and then they dare show you how much fun playing with them can be! Trick-shooting with a tennis ball gun? A synchronized flowerpot drill team? The world's largest whoopee cushion?

Jack Kalvan and Company certainly raises the bar on family activity time. Read the rest

Disney’s "Doc McStuffins" renewed after Twitter campaign: female African-American is its rare protagonist

Disney just announced that Doc McStuffins, an animated show starring an African-American girl who fixes broken toys and wants to be a doctor, is renewed for its fifth season. Described as “Cheers for preschoolers,” its fans took to Twitter this summer wanting to know the show’s fate. The social media campaign was led by W. Kamau Bell, a self-described socio-political comedian and dad who hosts CNN’s United Shades of America. Bell tweeted today, "Doc McStuffins is one of the most important shows in the history of television.” Reports Variety:

Since the series debuted in 2012, it has won much admiration, particularly because it is difficult to find a female African-American protagonist who aspires to be a doctor in many mainstream cartoons.  A group of African-American female physicians, inspired by the program, formed the Artemis Medical Society, an organization which has a membership of over 4700 women physicians of color from around the world. First Lady Michelle Obama guest-starred as herself in an episode.

“Doc McStuffins” won a Peabody Award in 2015 and NAACP Image Awards in 2015 and 2016 in the  “Outstanding Children’s Program” category. Disney says the series averages 16 million views on the Disney Junior app, VOD and Hulu, and reaches 150 million viewers worldwide each quarter, and in the past year was ordered over 20 million times via set-top-box VOD.
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