Posted by Kate Torgovnick

Music break: Swedish electro-poppers, Kate Boy

By Kate Torgovnick

I would very much like to thank Pitchfork for introducing me to my new favorite band, Kate Boy. This Swedish quartet creates ethereal electronic pop that, as the music mega-site explains, is equal parts Peter Gabriel and (Kate-book.com muse) Kate Bush. Their track “Northern Lights” is the perfect ’80s update while “In Your Eyes” builds into a beautiful synth opera. The video for the later, above, is simply incredible — turning a bunch of ordinary fluorescent lightbulbs into something magical.

So … what’s up with their band name? Made up of four members—Hampus Nordgren Hemlin, Kate Akhurst, Markus Dextegen, and Oskar Sikow Engström—Kate Boy is their androgynous fictional fifth member.

But we of course are also interested in vocalist Kate Akhurst, who originally hails from Australia and arrived in Stockholm in 2011. She says that, the minute she met the rest of the band, their connection was obvious.

“Someone from [another recording session] was like, ‘You should meet these boys, I think you’re really going to like them,’” remembers Akhurst. “So we met up for a drink, and then decided to go straight down into the studio and start working that very first night. We had this instantaneous connection; we couldn’t even wait until the next day. I felt like I found my people, like, ‘I’ve been waiting all my life for you! I can’t wait another minute.’”

Can’t wait for more from this band.

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Kate Middleton has a shoe malfunction, gets competitive over Scrabble

By Kate Torgovnick

Kate Middleton sure could have used the luck of a shamrock yesterday. The Duchess of Cambridge managed to get her heel stuck in a grate while attending the rainy St. Patrick’s Day parade at Aldershot Barracks. In this amazing photo, Prince William lends his wife a hand as she bends down to free her shoe. Meanwhile, the guy across from them doesn’t break his salute.

In other adorable royal couple news, rumor has it that this pair does fight about one thing—Scrabble. The pair’s pal, boxer Anthony Ogogo, has squealed in a documentary, “When William and Kate play Scrabble they don’t usually finish it – because one of them slams it shut.”

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Guess who The Bachelor picked?

Sean LoweBy Kate Torgovnick

(SPOILER ALERT, FOLKS. IF YOU HAVE NOT YET WATCHED THE SEASON FINALE OF THE BACHELOR, STOP READING NOW.)

Let’s say, hypothetically, you’re given a choice between two women—one named Lindsay and one named Catherine. Who do you choose? Yeah, that was a trick question. Catherine it is! And that is one Bachelor Sean Lowe chose too. Just minutes ago, he proposed to Catherine Giudici and then rode off into the sunset with her on an elephant’s back.

So who is Catherine Giudici?

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Obsessed with: Kate Moss on the cover of W Magazine

March-cover-1-Kate-MDX-1000wBy Kate Torgovnick

Just last Wednesday, Kaitlin Williams bemoaned what’s felt like a never-ending winter. But it seems like spring might finally be ready to be sprung. I say this because, last night, we set the clocks forward, anticipating the time of year when the sun doesn’t drop at 5pm sharp. And there was another surefire sign today—as I walked past the newsstand, I couldn’t help but notice this gorgeous image of Kate Moss, hair bedecked in flowers, peering at me from the cover of W Magazine. Wow, Kate just  knows how to shoot a magazine cover, doesn’t she?

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Kate Upton doesn’t drive the Mercedes, she washes it

Earlier this year, a big fuss was made over the fact that Mercedes had hired Kate Upton for a 60 second Super Bowl commercial—despite the fact that she didn’t have a drivers license. Upton took to Twitter to correct the record, as she is in fact a legal driver. Apparently, she didn’t need to be. Today, we got a sneak peak of the ad. And Upton isn’t driving the car: she’s washing it. In slow motion. In kind of a dumpy outfit. Or is that just me? [Washington Post]

What do you think of this one?

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Amazing Kate documents every single thing she purchased … for 6 years

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By Kate Torgovnick

An orange. A cup of coffee. A cab ride from Canal Street to 23rd Street. A pack of gum. A slice of pizza. A bunch of kale. Five cans of cat food. These are the things I bought today.

Normally, it would never occur to me to document each and every purchase made in a 24 hour period. But I just read about Kate Bingaman-Burt, a professor of graphic design at Portland State University. She has not only kept note of every single purchase that she has made for the past SIX YEARS. She has also ILLUSTRATED THEM. She has even compiled the images into the book, Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?

The Huffington Post posted a slideshow of Bingaman-Burt’s illustrations today, which led me to an interview she did with Time Magazine a while back, in which she reveals how this project started.

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Happy 39th birthday, Kate Moss!

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By Kate Torgovnick

I would like to wish Kate Moss a very, very happy birthday. The supermodel—and one of patron saints of this website—turned 39 yesterday. How did she celebrate her birthday? With a trip to the pub with hubby Jamie Hince.

To Moss, the only woman who can work sequins and glitter at the same time. Love Kate, too? Check out Kate-book.com’s favorite of her 32 Vogue covers >>

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The reviews are in on Kate Middleton’s portrait. Harsh or fair?

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The first official portrait of Kate Middleton was unveiled on Friday at the National Portrait Gallery. And, well the reactions haven’t been so good so far. Here are some samplings:

“How [has Kate Middleton] been transformed into something unpleasant from the Twilight franchise? The first thing that strikes you about Middleton’s visage as it looms from the sepulchral gloom of her first official portrait is the dead eyes: a vampiric, malevolent glare beneath heavy lids. Then there’s the mouth: a tightly pursed, mean little lip-clench (she is, presumably, sucking in her fangs). And god knows what is going on with the washed-out cheeks: she appears to be nurturing a gobbet of gum in her lower right cheek.” [The Guardian]

“WILLIAM and Kate expressed themselves ‘delighted’ with the Duchess’s first official portrait.Really? I thought it made her look decades older, painting non-existent wrinkles and shadows under the eyes. Our future queen was portrayed in a severe blue blouse with a pussycat bow. It may have been the height of chic for Margaret Thatcher back in 1984 but it made Kate appear to be somebody’s maiden aunt.” [The Sun]

“They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This one is only worth two, and neither of them is fit for polite conversation. At least he got her hair right. As one of my friends joked on Twitter, ‘So this whole Kate Middleton thing is a Picture of Dorian Gray scenario, right?’” [Washington Post]

”She’s the most vibrant, photogenic woman in Britain, winning over even the most cynical observers with her sense of style, her broad, open smile and common touch. So artist Paul Emsley has managed quite a feat making the future Queen look like a dowdy 45-year-old. This horrible, soft-lens style painting – which the Duchess emerges from in an almost ghostly way – robs her of any of the sparkle and life she is loved for.” [The Daily Mirror]

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Kate Middleton’s face … in jelly beans

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By Kate Torgovnick

Any day now, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton‘s portrait is set to be unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery. And the Daily Mail is already poised to hate it. To stave off inevitable disappointment, the newspaper instead commissioned their own portraits of Kate, asking a variety of artists (and, well, a 4-year-old) to create their own Middleton likenesses.

The image above, created by Malcolm West is by far our favorite. Why? Because it is made of 5,000 jelly —in 20 different flavors. Pink grapefruit was apparently the artist’s favorite for capturing Middleton’s rosy visage. “It’s a fiddly, messy process,” West says of creating the portrait. “But I’m very pleased with the results.”

Us, too.

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ExpliKate: Feels like you’ve read this somewhere before…

By Kate Hakala

You head to a bar one night in an area that’s completely foreign to you, in a state you’ve never visited. As you walk in, you decide to get a martini and order from the barkeep. Then you turn around and notice, standing in the corner, a drag queen in a pink leotard holding a fiddle. Suddenly, you get a shiver done your spine, as this all seems overwhelmingly familiar. Too familiar. Unless this is one of those rare jet-setting drag queen troubadours, there’s no way this could have happened before. But you swear it has. You, my friend, have a major case of déjà vu.

What is déjà vu? Hint: It’s not just your favorite Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young album. Déjà vu is essentially an experience where there is an unexplainable sense of recognition, but with no real pretext or awareness for this genuine yet indescribable feeling. The term was first coined by French psychic Émile Boirac and literally means “already seen.”  Since it was first talked about in the 1800s, neurobiologists have worked hard to contend with this ephemeral topic; there seems to be over fifty theories floating around about the cause of déjà vu.  It’s not just a phenomenon for Frenchies. What makes déjà vu such a spooky, unsettling occurrence is that it can’t be verified or observed objectively, but it still remains a common and almost universally reported experience.

Don’t fret. There are some things about déjà vu that we do know for certain. About 70% of the population has reported experiencing it at least once, but in many cases multiple times in their life.

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Trivia: Revolutionary War heroine, Mammy Kate

Mammy KateBy Kate E. Stephenson

The longer I write this column, the more powerful I feel. For me, the name Kate has become synonymous with courageous—and this installment takes it to a Revolutionary level.

The year was 1779 when a woman affectionately called Mammy Kate rescued Stephen Heard, the governor of colonial Georgia, from a headless future. On February 14th, Gov. Heard—along with 22 other patriots—were captured by the Loyalist Tories during the Battle of Kettle Creek. Transferred to Fort Cornwallis in Augusta, Georgia (some 50 miles away) he was imprisoned, pending public hanging for his treason against the British Crown.

Enter Mammy Kate, an unlikely heroine in this crusade.

Towering over 6 feet tall and reported to be as strong as she was fearless, Mammy Kate was legally considered Heard’s property, Mammy Kate was an enslaved servant in his household. We know little of her background; the records seem to indicate that she was of pure African blood and by her own testimony the daughter of a king. Her actions during the aftermath of the Battle of Kettle Creek show her to have been a shrewd and valiant warrior worthy of such noble status.

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The Week in Kate: Katie Couric’s holiday sweater, Kate Moss’ newest pic

Katie Couric holiday sweater

By Kate Torgovnick

As per usual, it looks like the Kates, Katies, Catherines, and Katys of the world have been mighty busy this week. Here, your weekly roundup of name-specific news.

  • Katie Couric wins the Kate-book.com award for Best Holiday Sweater. [Daily Mail]
  • Kate Middleton and Prince William bucked royal tradition and attended Christmas services at St. Marks Church in Englefield with Middleton’s family. [ABC News]
  • Middleton, naturally, makes her Christmas cards by hand. Or at least, used to? [Huffington Post]
  • Middleton’s nose has apparently become the most-requested celebrity body part at plastic surgery clinics in the UK. [The Sun]
  • A detailed explanation of why Katherine Heigl does not appear in “This is 40,” the sort-of sequel to “Knocked Up.” [Hollywood Reporter]
  • In this interview, Heigl calls adopting second daughter Adalaide “serendipitous.” Apparently, she thought the process would take years, but got a surprise call from her lawyer just four weeks after filing paperwork. [Yahoo Movies]
  • Maybe being a bikini model is actually harder than it sounds. Kate Upton stripped down for a photo shoot in Antarctica, with the thermometer creeping to minus 35 degrees Celcius. [Mirror]
  • Looks like Katie Holmes had to work the day after Christmas, too. Here she is on her way into the Music Box Theater for a post-Christmas performance of “Dead Accounts.” [Celebrity Gossip]
  • Holmes told David Letterman all about blanking on her lines during a performance of the show. [Us Weekly]
  • Tom Cruise appears to be moving on after his divorce from Holmes. He was reportedly seen dirty dancing with Cynthia Jorge, a Queens native who slipped the actor her number while he was dining at the Lower East Side restaurant where she works. [NY Daily News]
  • Meanwhile, spies say that Holmes was flirting with a mystery man at a party who then walked her home. Her rep, however, says that this was her gay best friend. [NY Daily News]
  • A great Q&A with super-producer Kathleen Kennedy, who is hoping for an Oscar for “Lincoln.” [Deadline.com]
  • John Mayer reportedly spent the holidays with Katy Perry and her family. He even let Perry snap a photo of him in a Santa suit. [Huffington Post]
  • Sadly, sources say that Mayer may still be keeping things going with a friend with benefits. [Perez Hilton]
  • Perry says it would be beyond her wildest dreams to be nominated for an Oscar for her song “Wide Awake.” She tells USA Today, “When I was growing up and working on music, it was always a dream to win a Grammy, but Oscar was so far out of my dream sphere.”
  • Meanwhile, Kate Hudson shares that her family’s holiday traditions include making snowmen and hot chocolate in Aspen, Colorado. [Us Weekly]
  • She was seen exiting an Aspen grocery store doing an impressive bag-balancing job. [Perez Hilton]

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