Film characters are smoking more on the big screen, and studios that have pledged to clamp down on such portrayals remain among the worst offenders, according to a new study.
There were nearly 1,900 portrayals of smoking and other tobacco usage among the 134 highest-grossing films at the box office in 2011, according to researchers at UC San Francisco.
The total number of "tobacco incidents" per movie was up 7% from 2010. Among films rated G, PG or PG-13, and thus more easily accessible to younger audiences, that figure increased 36%, the researchers added.
UCSF professor of medicine Stanton A. Glantz said the consequence of more on-screen smoking portrayals will be "more kids starting to smoke and developing tobacco-induced disease."
The study was funded by the American Legacy Foundation, a public health group dedicated to reducing tobacco use among young people.
Older sister of 'Mona Lisa'?
A group in Switzerland is claiming that Leonardo Da Vinci created an earlier version of his masterpiece "Mona Lisa."
The Mona Lisa Foundation, based in Zurich, announced its findings Thursday. The group contends that the painting known as the "Isleworth Mona Lisa," which resembles the original but whose provenance has been contested for many years, is actually a Da Vinci work.
The foundation said it is basing its claim on mathematical analysis, historical research and other methods. It said the painting predates the "Mona Lisa" by about 11 years.
Grammy tribute to Whitney Houston
Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson and Usher will pay tribute to the late Whitney Houston in a one-hour TV special.
"We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston" will tape Oct. 11 at the Nokia Theatre in downtown L.A. It will air Nov. 16 on CBS.
Lil Wayne is big on Billboard
Despite diversions such as skateboarding and deposition hearings, Lil Wayne is still breaking ground in music.
With his guest appearance on the Game's single "Celebration," he officially became the male artist with the most entries in the Billboard Top 100, besting Elvis Presley in the process.
It's Weezy's 109th notch on that chart, which counts his appearances as both main artist (42) and guest artist (67).
There's one caveat: The Billboard chart launched in 1958, and by that time, Elvis already had several hits, such as "Heartbreak Hotel," that surely would have added to his total.
Lil Wayne has a way to go to catch the all-time leader in the category. The cast of "Glee" has 204 single credits on the chart.
Museums host free Saturday
More than 1,500 museums and historical sites are participating Saturday in Museum Day Live, an annual nationwide day of free admissions, including 49 venues in Southern California.
To take advantage, you have to visit a special website (www.smithsonian
mag.com/museumday/), pick a museum and print your tickets. The offer is limited to two freebies per household.
Local participants include the Grammy Museum, the Autry National Center of the American West and the Laguna Art Museum.
AFI Fest: "Hitchcock," the Fox Searchlight drama starring Anthony Hopkins as the iconic director, will open AFI Fest 2012 on Nov. 1 with a gala at Hollywood's historic Chinese Theatre.
Closures: Due to the shutdown of a stretch of the 405 Freeway, both the Getty Center and the Skirball Cultural Center will be closed on Saturday and Sunday. A performance by the Calder Quartet at the Getty Center that had been scheduled for Saturday has been rescheduled for Oct. 5.