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Cosmetic surgery: Courteney Cox: ‘I didn’t realize that I’m actually looking really strange with injections’ | Culture

On September 22, 1994, six barely known young actors appeared on screen together for the first time in what marked the beginning of what would be the greatest professional experience of their lives: Friends, one of the most successful television comedies of all time. Almost instantly, the six leads became some of the most recognizable people on the planet, changing their lives forever. Nearly three decades after the show’s final episode aired, on May 6, 2004, all of them have continued their careers with varying degrees of success under a fierce media spotlight. Courteney Cox, who played Monica Geller, recently gave an interview with The Times in which she discussed the show, her life now and why Friends remains important to her.

Cox, 57, says she sees “nothing wrong” with being 60, but the number still surprises her. “It’s so hard to even hear or say. I can’t believe it,” she told The Times. “I just can’t believe it. Time goes so fast. There’s no question that I am more grounded, I’ve learned so much in my life – what to enjoy, what to try to do more of and what to let go of.”

Cox says she has also stopped trying to look the same as she did on Friends, as a twenty to thirty-something, which was something she found hard to accept for a time. “There was a time when you go, ‘Oh, I’m changing. I’m looking older.’ And I tried to chase that [youthfulness] for years,” she said. “And I didn’t realize that, oh shit, I’m actually looking really strange with injections and doing stuff to my face that I would never do now.”

She also revealed that she considered posting two photos on Instagram – one before and after the implants – to compare her face then and now. “I would post the following message: ‘The day that you realize what your friends are talking about.’ Because people would talk about me, I think. But there was a period where I went, ‘I’ve got to stop. That’s just crazy.”’

The actor also acknowledges the media constant attention – and on occasions, the pressure and criticism – faced by women who are logically aging, but takes it all with a pinch of salt: “The scrutiny is intense, but I don’t know if it could be more intense than what I put on myself,” she said. “I’m a product whore. I will try anything.”

(l-r) Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’
(l-r) Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ABC ENTERTAINMENT (AP)

Cox is promoting her new show, a comedy-horror called Shining Vale, in which her character, a writer of erotic novels who is going through an existential crisis and fighting depression, moves from New York to the country with her teenage daughter. It’s a parallel to her own life, with Cox mother to a 17-year-old, Coco, who is finishing high school. In the show her relationship with her daughter is complicated, which is not the case in real life – Cox says she is “grateful to be able to understand” her own child. What she doesn’t understand quite as readily is how Coco, whose father is the actor David Arquette, Cox’s ex-husband, can have over 300,000 Instagram followers. “I don’t like that she has them. It just feels weird to me. What are people attaching to?” she wonders.

Although Cox has had many post-Friends roles in movies, television, videos and musicals, as well as trying her hand as a director and producer, the role of the competitive, controlling but fun-loving chef Monica Geller, continues to define her life almost 30 years after she landed the part, at the age of 30. Whenever she watches an episode today, she says, it still seems “funny and relevant.”

“I’m happy it’s survived all this time and people still love it. If people stop loving it, that would be worse.” As a curiosity, Cox says she is also a perfectionist and enjoys cooking and entertaining guests, as does Monica. She says she will never disown Friends, and that she will never tire of it. “That was such a huge part of my life. It was such a lucky situation that I fell into the show, and I went through so many things in those 10 years.” The cast recently reunited for a one-off special, and Cox says it was “fantastic” to see everyone again. She also spoke about the pressure suffered by her co-star and, later in the show, on-screen partner Matthew Perry, who played Chandler, because of his role as joker-in-chief. “That was a lot of pressure he put on himself.”

Cox also revealed that she and her co-leads Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow are as close in real life as they were on set: “We’re just really comfortable. We’ve shared so much history together and we laugh. Lisa’s laugh alone is the most infectious laugh I’ve ever heard. It’s adorable. We have deep conversations; we also have silly times.”

Despite having played cult roles including Monica and Gale Weathers in the Scream franchise, or perhaps because of that, Cox admits she still suffers from the insecurity of a complex profession. “I don’t want to expose myself again without the security of knowing it’s going to work,” she says. In the interview, she recalls filming a pilot five years ago that never made it to production: “It shook me for a little while. I mean for years in some weird way, I was scared to go back out.” As such, Cox also revealed she tries not to read reviews, but when she does, she often skips straight to the first mention of her name. “Let me skip all the ‘What do you think about the film?’ Just, what did you say about me?”

Today, Cox is in a relationship with Snow Patrol guitarist Johnny McDaid. The pair split their time between both sides of the Atlantic and, Cox says, have no plans to marry. She is also close friends with singer Ed Sheeran, who stays at her Malibu house when he is in the area. Asked by The Times if she habitually hangs out with younger people, she replied she doesn’t think about and has lots of friends in their 30s. “I feel like I’m young. To me, they’re the same age… until I stop to think about it.”



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Assessing Property Size: What Square Footage Can You Get With The Average UK House Price In Your Area?

Assessing Property Size In The UK

In the United Kingdom, there is a prevailing tendency to gauge the size of residences based on the number of bedrooms rather than square footage. In fact, research indicates that three out of five individuals are unaware of the square footage of their property.

However, a comprehensive analysis conducted by Savills reveals significant variations in property sizes throughout the country. For instance, with the average property price standing at £340,837, this amount would typically afford a studio flat spanning 551 square feet in London, according to the prominent estate agency.

Conversely, in the North East region, the same sum would secure a spacious five-bedroom house measuring 1,955 square feet, nearly four times the size of a comparable property in London.

Best value: Heading to the North East of England is where buyers will get the most from their money

In Scotland, the median house price equates to a sizable investment capable of procuring a generous four-bedroom residence spanning 1,743 square feet. Conversely, in Wales, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the North West, this sum affords a slightly smaller four-bedroom dwelling of approximately 1,500 square feet, while in the East and West Midlands, it accommodates a 1,300 square foot home. In stark contrast, within the South West, £340,837 secures a modest 1,000 square foot property, and in the East, an even more confined 928 square feet.

London presents the most challenging market, where this budget offers the least purchasing power. Following closely, the South East allows for 825 square feet of space or a medium-sized two-bedroom dwelling. Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, emphasizes the profound disparity in purchasing potential across Britain, ranging from compact studio flats in London to spacious four or five-bedroom residences in parts of North East England.

While square footage serves as a critical metric, with a significant portion of Britons unfamiliar with their property’s dimensions, the number of bedrooms remains a traditional indicator of size. Personal preferences, such as a preference for larger kitchens, may influence property selection. For those prioritizing ample space, Easington, County Durham, offers a substantial 2,858 square foot, five-bedroom home, while Rhondda, Wales, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, provide 2,625 and 2,551 square feet, respectively. Conversely, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, £340,837 secures a mere 547 square feet, equivalent to a one-bedroom flat.

The disparity continues in central London, where purchasing power diminishes considerably. In Kensington, the budget accommodates a mere 220 square feet, contrasting with the slightly more spacious 236 square feet in Westminster. Conversely, in Dagenham, the same investment translates to 770 square feet. Three properties currently listed on Rightmove exemplify the diversity within this price range across the UK market.

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

2. Lewisham: One-bed house, £345,000

This one-bedroom property in Lewisham, South London, is on the market for £345,000.

The semi-detached house is set over two floors, and has a private patio.

The property is located near to bus links and amenities, as well as Catford train station.

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

3. Edinburgh: Three-bed house, £350,000

This three-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh could be yours for £350,000.

The house, which has a two-car driveway, boasts a large kitchen diner, and is within easy reach of Newcriaghall train station.


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Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.


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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.


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— By Darren Wilson, Team VoiceOfEU.com

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