Thursday, August 14, 2014

Raps pay up after Drake tries to lure KD

Toronto hip-hop megastar Drake has come under fire for an invitation he seemingly extended to reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant.

During his fifth-annual OVO fest – which took place on Caribana weekend and attracted more than 40,000 fans out to the Molson Amphitheatre Aug. 3 and 4 – Drake, who is the Toronto Raptors' "global ambassador," invoked a rowdy response from attendees when he asked the crowd to show the Oklahoma City Thunder star "what would happen if he came to play in Toronto."

According to reports, the NBA deemed Drake's comments to Durant, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in two years time, to be in violation of the league's anti-tampering rules and slapped the Raptors with a $25,000 (US) fine.

A Globe and Mail report said the league offered to drop the fine if the team removed the rap star's title of global ambassador, but the team reportedly refused and elected to pay the fine instead. The NBA is vehemently denying ever having made the offer.

Only meaning to do right by what he calls "the greatest city in the mother-f***ng world," Drake has nothing but love for his hometown and the Raptors, and only wants to see them succeed and rise to become NBA champions.

Do you feel he did wrong? Tweet us @heebonics with your thoughts.

Big Bang star co-hosts revival of Candid Camera

Mayim Bialik, former child star on the NBC hit series Blossom and now an Emmy-nominated actress for her work on the CBS hit comedy The Big Bang Theory, has made the news quite a bit in recent months.

Last fall, Bialik lent her voice to an animated character in Stan Lee's Mighty 7, and last month, she grabbed headlines advocating for religious tolerance in the wake of Israel's Operation Protective Edge.

Earlier this week, Bialik debuted as the co-host for the 10-episode relaunch of the original televised prank show Candid Camera, airing on TV Land in the U.S.

Candid Camera was originally created and hosted by the late Allen Funt in 1948, and Funt's son, Peter, is Bialik's co-host on this latest incarnation. They're joined by celebrity guest stars who help pull off practical jokes on unsuspecting people.

Candid Camera has spawned many imitators over the years, from Montreal's Just for Laugh's Gags shorts to Ashton Kutcher's popular series Punk'd to SyFy's Scare Tactics.

"It is kind of a giant social experiment to see how people behave when there's no logical explanation for why things are happening," Bialik, who has a a PhD in neuroscience, said of Candid Camera. "It's fascinating to see how people try to make sense of these gags."

We at Heebonics wish her much naches in making their marks smile.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Toronto Raptors to tip off against Maccabi Haifa

Basketball season is once again just around the corner, and the Toronto Raptors released their NBA exhibition schedule this week.

Among the eight games is one Oct. 22 against Maccabi Haifa, who will be the Raps only international opponent this year.

Not since 2005 has Toronto's basketball franchise taken to the court against a visiting team from Israel. Maccabi Tel Aviv came to the Air Canada Centre that year and beat the Raps 105-103, marking the first time in 27 years that the perennial Israeli and Euroleague powerhouse had beaten an NBA team.

Fans of Israeli basketball will undoubtedly be out in force looking to see Maccaba Haifa, who lost the Israeli championship this year to Maccabi TA by a mere two points, to repeat their rival's 2005 win down in what Torontonians have dubbed Jurassic Park.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Friends of the IDF honour the fallen

The ceasefire appears to holding on both sides of the Gaza border between Hamas militants and the IDF.

The de-escalation of rocket attacks and retaliation shelling is allowing Gazans and Israelis to each attend to their fallen.

The Friends of the IDF have released this composite graphic to salute the 64 soldiers who died while serving on the front lines, weeding out threats from Gaza to Israel and defending the Jewish state's right to exist.

Baruch Dayan Ha’emet. May their memories be for blessing.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Celebrities sound off on Gaza

The list of celebrities taking to the airwaves for radio or television interviews and appearing in print or online to talk about the conflict in the Middle East is growing by the day.

Some are vocally supportive of Israel's efforts to destroy Hamas' cache of missiles, which the terror group is firing from Gaza into the Jewish state from private homes, schools and various other buildings occupied by innocent civilians. For an example, see comedian Joan Rivers' rant below.

Conversely, there are others in Hollywood, such as former Disney star Selena Gomez, who have condemned the violence against the residents of Gaza, who have been caught in the crossfire of Israel's military response.

Elsewhere, among the members of the popular British boy band One Direction, front-man Harry Styles and mate Zayne Malik are on opposite sides of the conflict. Styles is pro-Israel, while Malik recently took to Twitter to tweet “#freepalestine” to his 13 million followers and fans.

Israel of course abhors the loss of life on both sides, but it must be remembered that the current hostilities started with the abduction of three Israeli teens, escalated after a retaliation attack on a Palestinian youth, and has spiralled into bombardments from both sides.

May peace return to the lives of all in the days – and not weeks or months – to come.

Too funny - Jon Stewart tries to talk about Israel

The next time you watch the nightly or morning newscasts and find yourself complaining about how one-sided the news media are in their coverage of the war in Gaza, remember this recent segment from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

It's probably a near-accurate account of what Mideast reporters encounter each day from colleagues, fans and detractors alike.

Take a look.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Showtime's Homeland shifts focus

After three wildly successful seasons, the Showtime U.S. cable hit series Homeland, centred around a CIA counter-terrorism agent, is moving on to a brand new chapter.

Based on an Israeli program with a similar premise, what started as a race against time to find an American who had been turned against his own country and posed a threat to national security will change direction and location for season 4 to Pakistan.

CIA field agent and chief analyst Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), who is now station chief in Pakistan, will focus her attention on threats overseas, but she'll still seek the aid of her mentor, Saul Berenson, played by Mandy Patinkin. He'll provide assistance from his new position in the private sector and will undoubtedly continue to play a major role in Mathison's operations.

From pre-season press, we can tell you that while Damien Lewis' character Nicholas Brody may have a cameo in one of Carrie's flashbacks or dream sequences, that key Homeland storyline seems to have entirely run its course.

Sound off on your expectations, hopes or trepidations for season 4, which begins Oct. 5 on Showtime.