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Surprise Stocking Stuffer!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 24, 2004 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


HERE'S A FEW shiny new links to tide you through the Yuletime...

PULP CHRISTMAS: Video by Rankin-Bass, audio by Quentin Tarantino, colliding in this Quicktime clip. Not for the kiddies!

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS: "More is More" seems to be the slogan in Brooklyn, if this photo gallery is any indication.

CANDY CANES help U.S. troops find insurgents in Iraq.

SANTA SUIT gets boy barred from junior high school dance.

A CHRISTMAS STORY: Teenager accused of sniping at Santa with a pellet gun.

NORAD TRACKS SANTA here on Christmas Eve.

VISIONS OF SUGARPLUMS? Here's the recipe.

HONG KONG CHRISTMAS, sporting a "Hello Kitty!" Christmas tree.

CAN SANTA GET ME an 18-foot mecha exoskeleton?


WEIRD NEWS of 2004.

CNN: The Year in Entertainment.

PARIS HILTON: barred from Lloyd Grove's gossip column. It's the gift that keeps on giving!

DECEMBER 26th IS BOXING DAY, whatever that is...

2885 Reads

Links 'o' the (Thurs) Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


I DOUBT that I'll be posting links over the Xmas weekend, so there will be a little bit of "Everything Must Go!" today...

PATE ON THE RADIO FOR THE HOLIDAYS: For the past 16 years, Jon Solomon has DJ'ed a 24-hour marathon of Christmas tunes at WPRB (103.3 FM), now located in Princeton, NJ. Either Craig O'Neill or Ken King found him on the 'net. After discovering he was a fan of "My Turn," I sent him "Rope Around the Moon" and "New Year," both of which were aired last year. I should have examined that playlist more closely, as this article Ken found reveals that Pate is not the only Ames band to make the list. ISU Daily employees of a certain vintage will find this twice as funny.

ON THE PITCHFORK: The Top 50 Albums of 2004, with lists for singles and reissues as well.

SCARED OF SANTA: If you haven't seen the link before, here's a lovely photo gallery of frightened children for your amusement. These French kids, however, were not afraid of Santa, beating him after he refused to give them extra sweets.

FESTIVUS: The New York Times has in-depth coverage (registration or bugmenot required). Whoda thunk Chicago and Austin to be big Festivus cities? OK, lots of people.

SPEAKING OF AUSTIN: MTV's "The Real World" is headed there next. Stardom beckons for Jon Hahn!

CATS AND DOGS: There are now more dogs and cats in Italian homes than children.

HOGS AND DOGS: The L.A. Times reports that law enforcement authorities arrested seven people in three states on charges stemming from "hog dogging" events, in which pit bulls or bulldogs are placed in a pen with pigs or wild boars and are timed as they pin the squealing animals with their powerful jaws.

NATASHA LYONNE bites dog. Sadly, not a shocker.

MONKEYS IN JAIL: This story is from September, but just as funny now.

UPDATES ON PAST LINKS: Ex-Expos beat porn merchant for baseball park in Washington D.C., leaving only the taxpayers and the local community as the losers. Washington state Governor's race recount swings to the Democrat, as previously predicted, though more legal action is almost sure to follow.

EXERCISE IN A PILL may be on the horizon.

LEARN TO FIT BRAS in Britain. It would be nice to make money from a hobby.

WOMEN MAKE BETTER ASTRONAUTS: New medical research has revealed that the mental and physical characteristics of women mean they are far better suited to long-term space travel than men. Insert your own out-of-this-world sexist punchline here.

POP-TART EXPERT allowed to testify in flaming pastry trial. And you thought that was going to be about Britney Spears, didn't you?

AMERICA ONLINE will roll out its own free web-based e-mail service, but only to subscribers at first. Genius.

HARVARD GAZETTE: This is old, but who doesn't want to see how Bogota, Columbia deployed mimes for law enforcement?

BARNES AND NOBLE has the best singles scene in NYC. I always get a little funny look when I tell people I avoid the bar scene; this poll is giving away one of my secrets.

TWINS SWAP IDENTITIES FOR JAIL BREAK: This had to be a sitcom plot once.

2305 Reads

Links 'o' the (Hump) Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


SON SEALS dies at 62 due to complications of diabetes.

PARENTAL ADVISORY: Someone who may wish to remain anonymous tipped me to Ask Snoop, a site that shizzolates web pages into hip-hop lingo n' s**t. It's like having Barbara Billingsley on da airplane wit yo' a** at izzall times.

SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, Spam, Spam, Spam, rejected guilty plea and Spam.

THE BODY ELECTRIC: This one's for Craig O'Neill -- "Subway Robot Paints to Rush Tunes"

LISA MONTGOMERY, suspected of strangling a mother-to-be and cutting the baby from her womb, was nabbed --and the baby rescued -- through the internet.

HARDCORE PRIVACY: Yahoo! e-mail accounts are so protected that the family of a Marine killed in Iraq is being denied access to it.

GALLUP POLL: Online news gains on traditional media.

AP MEMBERS POLL: Top Ten Stories of 2004

FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE: "'All Kinds of Time" used for NFL promo; Two CDs planned for 2005.

IRAQ: Generally, you don't expect to find good news in a story headlined "Blasts Kill At Least 64 In Iraq's Holy Cities." But the quotes from Iraqis in the article are rather encouraging.

PAUL GIAMATTI, the star of Sideways (which may be the best movie of the year), is really cool.

SELF-ESTEEM: Boosting it actually may do more harm than good.

ANCIENT ROMAN REST STOP under a German bus terminal. Imagine how stinky that restroom is.

JIBJAB'S "THIS LAND" takes the honors at Atom Films for 2004. If you haven't seen it, it's still worth seeing.

ECOTOXICOLOGY: The "new science" that will cause someone to advocate banning toothpaste and shampoo -- most likely someone who doesn't use them enough now.

2474 Reads

Links 'o' the (Tues) Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


LIVE AID: With the concert's arrival on DVD, a BBC TV producer follows the Ethiopian aid money. It's a road paved by good intentions.

CHELY WRIGHT fires the head of her fan club after after The Tennessean learned that some of them posed as members of the military or their families to promote her latest song.

DAVE BARRY wants a dog:

If we're visiting someone's home, and I suddenly experience a sensation of humid warmth, and I look down and see that my right arm has disappeared up to the elbow inside the mouth of a dog the size of a medium horse, I am not alarmed. I know that this is simply how a large, friendly dog says: ''Greetings! You have a pleasing salty taste!''

Read the whole thing.

CATS AND DOGS: The 12 Leaves of Festivus.

ANN ALTHOUSE considers the potential problem of "blogola."

JOSH BROLIN was arrested on a charge of spousal battery after an argument with his wife, actress Diane Lane.

THE NATION accidentally admits there were victims of Communism.

POP VERSUS SODA: Americans' preferred terms for soft drinks, laid out like an election map.

TANNENBAUM TRIVIA: fun facts about the trees, not the Wes Anderson movie.

LAST MINUTE GIFT SUGGESTION: How about a gingerbread laptop?

GIFTS TO AVOID: PC Magazine lists the Ten Worst Products of the Year.

THE DAILY MAIL: "If you are daunted by the endless Christmas merry-go-round of family visits, remember there is always someone who has it tougher than you. And that someone is probably Sir Mick Jagger. The 62-year-old lothario has to pay for his womanising ways every December by juggling his time to keep his girlfriend, ex-girlfriends, ex-wives and seven children happy."

AUSSIE BLOGGER ARTHUR CHRENKOFF rounds up two weeks of non-war news from Iraq.

FILE-SHARING: Lawsuits filed by the MPAA appear to have shut down at least two popular BitTorrent servers.

DUVET, a bed-filled restaurant, has opened in Chelsea. Life imitates Sex and the City.

JON PRATT has surely heard that the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Technology has released its 2004 Strategic Plan for the Federal R&D program in nanotechnology. Follow the money...

TARGET may be feeling the pain of its decision not to allow Salvation Army kettles in front of its stores this year.

LAWN ART: Photography meets photosynthesis.

2678 Reads

Links 'o' the (Mon) Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 20, 2004 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


PORN MOGUL DEFEATS D.C. BASEBALL STADIUM: Roughly 20 percent of the $50,000 stadium opponents spent stopping The Team Formerly Known As The Expos from getting to home base came from Robert Siegel, whose business would have to move to make way for the stadium. Siegel owns 11 properties, several of which house gay nightclubs; he also owns a gay porn shop and adult theaters.

LOVE SHACK: Really hot as an oven. Left standing is the tin roof...rusted.

THE AVIATOR: I went to the sneak preview Saturday night, so here's some non-spoiler commentary. It's probably one of the better movies of the year, but this Scorsese biopic of Howard Hughes certainly is not in the same league as other Scorsese biopics like Raging Bull or Goodfellas. Indeed, I think this year's Ray may be a better biopic and I think I would say the same even if I were not a music geek. But Marty's campaigning really hard for his Oscar this time out, so I suppose he could get one on a lifetime achievement vote.

None of that sounds like a ringing endorsement, so why would I say it's one of the better pictures of the year? The competition, in part. But there's a fair amount to recommend the movie on its own merits when not measured against Scorsese's back catalog. Like Ray, The Aviator sugarcoats some of the Hughes biography, avoiding his morphine addiction entirely. Scorcese also embraces the ways in which Hughes's obsessive compulsive disorder also gave Hughes his relentless drive and ambition; he is clearly fond of Hughes as moviemaker: envious of the outrageous sum of money Hughes threw into making Hell's Angels, delighted with the manner in which Hughes took on the movie censors over The Outlaw (the latter sequence being one of the more amusing in the film). And Scorsese admirably depicts the way in which Hughes's near-truly-crazy style carried over into the then-emerging aviation industry, linking aircraft design to a future where air travel would become common.

Leonardo DeCaprio is also sympathetic to Hughes, knowing something about being in the middle of the most expensive movie ever made (and having it make a lot of money despite its mediocrity). This is one of his better performances, though that may be faint praise. Far superior is Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn -- so far superior that DeCaprio ends up suffering by comparison. Unfortunately, Kate Beckinsale's take on Ava Gardner is no threat to either. John C. Reilly and Ian Holm turn in their usual excellence in smaller roles; Alec Baldwin and Alan Alda serve nicely as the heavies. Fun cameos: Most will focus on Gwen Stefani, but check the bandleaders at the Coconut Grove, played by Loudon and Rufus Wainwright.

Like many biopics, the script for The Aviator occasionally feels like events are being rushed by the viewer too quickly. In this case, however, that's almost a compliment and a tribute to Hughes, given the movie's almost three hour running time. Those unfamiliar with Hughes's story should not be bored. I should also mention that I enjoyed the score and soundtrack also; stay through the credits for a Leadbelly ballad about the man.

STEM CELLS: Embyronic stem cells make paralyzed rats walk. Hans Keirstead and his colleagues are continuing to experiment with rats to ensure the injected brain cells do what they're supposed to without any side effects. "You don't want toenails growing in the brain," he said. Meanwhile, non-embryonic stem cells from a 7-year-old girl's fat help repair severe damage to her skull.

WASHINGTON STATE RECOUNT: Still going; newly-discovered ballots in King County (think Seattle) may swing the election to Democrat Christine Gregoire.

RINGO STARR is helping NORAD track Santa Claus this year. Merry Krimble to him!

(BRITISH) SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES: According to one study, 48 percent of British men and 31 percent of women aged 19 to 24 admit to having been blind drunk at least twice a month during the past year. But the girls are trying harder: teenage girls in Britain are binge drinking more than boys.

YOU LOSE SOME, YOU WIN SOME: National Guard recruitment numbers slip, in part because the active duty Army is growing. OTOH, the number of annual military desertions is down to the lowest level since before 2001, according to the Pentagon.

LADIES! It's pink. It's smooth. It vibrates! It's... a razor. Sorry. The silver lining is that, unlike many other products and services, the Gillette Venus Vibrance costs about the same as the equivalent razor for men. "Our testing indicated that there is an upside potential to penetrate more razors at a slightly reduced price," according to Peter Hoffman, Gillette's president for blades and razors. Hoffman seems to be referring to market penetration.

YOUNG(ER) DEMOCRATS want more of a say over the party's direction.

END OF THE WORLD UPDATE: As Aussies brace for the cane toad invasion, it turns out that their impact and infamy remains a matter of conjecture.

END OF THE WORLD UPDATE 2: Retiring veteran astronaut John Young says:

"The statistical risk of humans getting wiped out in the next 100 years due to a super volcano or asteroid or comet impact is 1 in 455. How does that relate? You're 10 times more likely to get wiped out by a civilization-ending event in the next 100 years than you are getting killed in a commercial airline crash."

THE ACLU VIOLATED ITS OWN PRIVACY POLICY, data-mining with its membership databases, according to the New York Times. but since the Times requires registration, you can read a decent excerpt at Pejmanesque, which also links to the full Times piece.

NO KIDDING: Juveniles may find it harder than adults to foresee the consequences of their actions. One experiment suggests a possible biological factor.

DEAD SHRIMP BLUES: An unusual protest against religious intolerance. At least I think that's what it is...

FASTER...? FASTER...? The Pope honors carnies. What's next? A rickety Tilt-O-Whirl blasting out "Green River" in the Sistine Chapel?

COPY-PROTECTION: In early 2005, Sony plans to try a new form of CD copy-protection that could allow limited copying for personal use.

2424 Reads

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