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Counting Hos, Maximo Park, Robot Swarms and Giant Armadillos   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


COUNTING CROWS FRONTMAN and Sideshow Bob look-alike Adam Duritz denies claims by jailed escort agency boss Jason Itzler that Duritz was o­ne of his best clients. Itzler told Page Six, "He used to hire four or five girls at a time and spend $10,000 or $20,000 a throw. I'm o­nly revealing his name because I don't think it's going to hurt his career."

U2 is thinking about POP: The Special Edition. That's all we need: Bono channeling George Lucas.

MAXIMO PARK: Brooklyn Vegan has a nice round-up of reax to the band's new album. Sterogum likes it.

GUNS 'N' ROSES: Someone found the time to brew up fractal versions of their big hits.

KRIS KRISTOFFERSON: There's a nice -- and if true, very funny -- account of how he got into the music biz up at Metafilter.

DAVID BOWIE AND CHRIS ROCK were checking out Nine Inch Nails together in NYC. Even I would have paid to see Rock rocking to "Head Like A Hole!"

ON THE PITCHFORK: A music-oriented summer reading list.

REVENGE OF THE SITH fails to halt the overall box office slump. Receipts for the weekend were down 3.5 percent from the same weekend last year. And if you want to go beyond spoliers, Gary Farber has excerpts of the script cut from the movie.

SIN CITY: At Cannes, Robert Rodriguez reveals he's already working o­n a sequel based o­n Frank Miller's A Dame to Kill For.

PETER SARSGAARD, who was great in Garden State, is claimed to be more than a bit playa. He's now dating Maggie Gyllenhaal -- couldn't happen to a nicer gal.

BILLY ZANE has told people he wants to run for President in about eight years. He's citing Ronald Reagan as an example that lack of experience dosn't matter, apparently unaware that Reagan had been president of the Screen Actor's Guild and Governor of California before running for the White House.

DENIS LEARY gives the graduation speech at Emerson College, beginning with, "I didn't prepare a bunch of stuff to say to you guys because I know you want to get out of here and get drunk..."

CELEBRITIES face the piŮata syndrome -- an instaiable hunger for celebrity gossip so instaiable that everyone form 60 Minutes to internet bloggers are getting in o­n the act. My heart weeps for all of those who spend their lives becoming stars and then decide they don't want any publicity they can't control.

TOM AND KATIE UPDATE: Cruise's appearance o­n Oprah gets this treatment from the ever-objective Associated Press: "First, Tom Cruise was head over heels about his new girlfriend, Katie Holmes. Then he was giddy. Now, he's just plain batty... A starry-eyed Cruise got down o­n his knees and repeatedly jumped up o­n the couch like a Robin Williams comedy act." The AP was too kind to note that when Cruise dragged Holmes from backstage, it was clearly staged, given how made up Holmes was to cover up those sores around her mouth. Defamer photoblogged the show -- proving that a few screenshots are worth a thousand words. New York Daily News gossip Ben Widdicombe suggests that Bosworth was the second Kate Cruise phoned, which TC's reps deny. Maybe this is all meant to distract us from Tom's Scientology-based opinion that Brooke Shields should not have taken Paxil for her postpartum depression. Finally, New York Post columnist Liz Smith does a blurb o­n Cruise's plan to invite a bunch of fans to the premiere of War of the Worlds. The NYP headline is: "Cruise Offers Fans Hot Seats." Not that there's anything wrong with that.

ONE HUNDRED ALL-TIME BEST MOVIES, as chosen by Time magazine's critics. They cheat, lumping sequels and trilogies together when it suits them.

THE SIMPSONS for the blind. Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa, that is -- there could be no point to having Jessica Simpson for the blind.

IRAQ I: The commander of Iraq's new counter-insurgency headquarters was gunned down as he drove to work o­n Monday in Baghdad. Meanwhile, rebel Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, who led bloody revolts against American forces last year, suggested that he would forgo military efforts and work to ease rising sectarian tensions throughout Iraq. Shockingly, this was reported by The New York Times.

IRAQ II: Arthur Chrenkoff has his usual round-up of underreported good news. Of the approximately 160 links in the round-up, a whopping two are from The New York Times, which reprinted last month's round-up. But if the NYT can report nice things about Moktada al-Sadr, they may get around to reporting o­n the troops providing clean drinking water to rural towns, often for the first time ever, upgrading badly neglected infrastructure,collecting shoes and pens for Iraqi children in their off-time, not to mention crayons, pencils and coloring books, some day.

CULT OF THE iPod: The next version of iTunes will support integrated support for downloading podcasts.

ROBOT SWARMS: Engineers at the University of Pennsylvania have received a grant from the Defense Department to develop robot swarms for conducting large-scale search operations, such as for a bomb in a city.

DAILY KOS founder Markos Moulitsas Zķniga is unhappy: "One of the key problems with the Democratic Party is that single issue groups have hijacked it for their pet causes. So suddenly, Democrats are the party of abortion, of gun control, of spottend owls, of labor, of trial lawyers, etc, etc., et-frickin'-cetera. We don't stand for any ideals, we stand for specific causes." However, he also talks about this in the context of developing the "brand" of the party, so time will tell whether he's mostly concerned about marketing.

AUTHOR KEITH THOMPSON, who supported Robert Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern and Howard Metzenbaum, explains why he has left the Left, or vice versa.

FOUAD AJAMI writes o­n the movement toward more democracy in the Middle East: "The weight of American power, historically o­n the side of the dominant order, now drives this new quest among the Arabs. For decades, the intellectual classes in the Arab world bemoaned the indifference of American power to the cause of their liberty. Now a conservative American president had come bearing the gift of Wilsonian redemption." Of course, Ajami's findings are anecdotal; Arab Muslims still tend to think the U.S. is the problem, rather than part of the solution.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS: Sunday's Washington Post carried a nice editorial asking President Bush to stand up for democratic reformers jailed in Saudi Arabia. I presume that the White House response is o­ne it really can't give publicly, i.e., the primary current alternative to the House of Saud is actually worse.

TERI HATCHER, with a nod to George Bernard Shaw, says she would pose for Playboy magazine for ten million bucks.

MORE YEARBOOK FOLLIES: A North Texas school district has apologized to a student identified o­nly as "Black Girl" in a high school yearbook photo of the school's National Honor Society.

DID YOU KNOW THAT ISU -- the birthplace of Pate-- is also home to the NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center?

PUBLIC TELEVISION IS SO BIASED in France that a group of journalists from French state TV and radio set up an o­nline petition (signed by more than 15,000 people) and presented it to President Jacques Chirac, the heads of French TV and radio and to the director of the CSA French broadcasting standards authority.

WASHINGTON STATE ELECTION UPDATE: The GOP challenge of the results for the Governor's race is going to trial, though it's unlikely the GOP will win it. The poll results in the story are of more interest. o­nly 39 percent want a new vote for governor; 56 percent oppose it. OTOH, the numbers virtually flip when registered voters were asked who they thought actually won -- 56 percent called Rossi the winner; o­nly 36 percent believed Gov. Gregoire won.

JUDICIAL FILIBUSTERS: Hardly anyone cares, but Senate centrists agreed o­n a compromise that clears the way for confirmation of many of President Bush's stalled judicial nominees, leaves others in limbo and preserves venerable filibuster rules. So judicial confirmation or filibuster dpends not o­n a majority vote, or a filibuster by 40 Senators, but a backroom deal cut by 12 Senators. Now there's an exercise of minority rights. Meanwhile, the New York Times buries in a correction that its May 6th article about a demonstration at Princeton University against the "nuclear option" to bar filibusters o­n judicial nominees was written by a Princeton student who participated in the demonstration.

WHEN GIANT ARMADILLOS ROAMED THE EARTH: Builders have found the fossil of a giant armadillo -- which lived up to 2 million years ago and would have been the size of a Volkswagen Beetle -- in southern Peru.

SARCASM: Scientists say they have located the parts of the brain that comprehend sarcasm. That's just peachy.

AFGHANISTAN: Here, the New York Times lede was, "President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan spoke Monday with President Bush about the treatment of Afghan prisoners held by the United States. But Mr. Bush made no commitment o­n when he might be willing to give the Kabul government control over prisoners taken by the military." Compare that lede to this: "Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday rejected US criticisms of his antidrug efforts, called international help in the fight 'half-hearted,' and demanded justice for prisoners abused by US troops. However, he said o­n the eve of a meeting with US President George W. Bush that the prisoner abuse detailed in a leaked US Army report should not reflect o­n the United States as a whole." What does it say when the more balanced lede comes from Al-Jazeerah? Just kidding, as that site is not affiliated with the Qatar-based TV channel.

THE UNITED NATIONS: The New York Times runs a piece that seems favorable to more aggressive U.N. peacekeeping in the Congo. The article contains a single sentence in paragraph 23: "And critics also denounce the sexual abuse of girls by some peacekeepers." The U.S. is wants the U.N. Security Council to condemn the rape and pedophilia, while noting that "The distinguished and honorable record of accomplishment in U.N. peacekeeping is being tarnished by the acts of a few individuals." Somehow, if the story was about U.S. soldiers raping and abusing girls as young as 13 in Afghanistan, I doubt that the NYT would be as charitable as our government is to the U.N.

LEBANON: A Lebanese student blogs a dozen problems with an article o­n the upcoming election that ran in the Sunday Outlook section of the Washington Post.

WE BOUGHT VIAGRA FOR SEX OFFENDERS: New York's comptroller urged the nation's top health official Sunday to ban high-risk sex offenders and convicted rapists from receiving Viagra paid for by Medicaid. A federal Medicaid spokesman responded that states can block paroled rapists and other high-risk sex offenders from receiving taxpayer-financed drugs for impotence.

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Feel-Good Hits of the Summer, The Stooges, Jessica Alba and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 23, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


SUMMER MUSIC: The Guardian asked a wide swath of music folk (with links at the end of the piece) for their feel-good hits of the summer. Those who know me well will laugh when Sparks' Ron Mael says, "This summer I'll be listening to music from a car radio. Summertime is driving time and o­nly music from a car radio is permissible (preferably AM music). You should be barely able to hear the radio due to the wind noise from your convertible top being down." But there's plenty more summery goodness in the article, so read the whole thing (and if you're wondering about spring music, not to worry).

ROXY MUSIC: Friday's Guardian also had a nice (albeit over-the-top) profile of the influential band as it prepares to hit the reunion trail.

U2 BACKED LEONARD COHEN at a tiny club gig last week. The performance is expected to appear in an upcoming documentary o­n Cohen.

THE BOREDOMS: The Japanese art-rock/noise-punk band whose drummer is name-checked for the Flaming Lips' "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots," is profiled by Jim DeRogatis.

ELVIS WAS AN ALIEN, according to new book being published by VH1/Pocket Books instead of the Weekly World News.

REVENGE OF THE SITH shatters prior three and four-day box office records, grossing $158.5 million throught the weekend. Indeed, the flick raked in a record 50 million bucks o­n Thursday, with 16.5 million just from the midnight screenings.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE SITH: It turns out that those folks in costume at the premiere I attended were the Midwest Garrison, a chapter of the 501st Legion Star Wars Imperial Costuming Club. The group won't accept payment for appearances, requesting that event organizers make a donation to a charity. The Garrison o­nly does the villains; I stumbled across these two Leias, who are rather attractive for hardcore geeks and thus must be suspected of being seriously disturbed. Not that there's anything wrong with that; after all, Angelina Jolie has built an entire career o­n that combo.

...AND NOW, YOUR MOMENT OF SITH: The o­nly thing better than a Star Wars PEZ dispenser would be a giant Star Wars PEZ dispenser... that holds a dozen whole packs of PEZ!

DOCTOR JONES is finally going after the Lost Ark of the Covenant. I guess it's not in that big warehouse.

I SEE LONDON, I SEE FRANCE, I see Saddam Hussein filing some lawsuits.

IRAQ: Iraqi security officials say al-Zarqawi, was injured and almost captured during Operation Matador; U.S. intelligence officials say they have heard reports about al-Zarqawi being injured, but they have been unable to confirm them. FWIW, an Iraqi blogger reports that a source from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense told the Al-Watan Saudi newspaper yesterday that members from the Syrian army have joined the insurgents in Al-Qaiem against the US and Iraqi forces. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 Sunni Arab clerics, political leaders and tribal heads ended their two-year boycott of politics in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq o­n Saturday, uniting in a Sunni bloc that they said would help draft the country's new constitution and compete in elections.

IRAQ II: Seven Iraqi battalions, backed by U.S. forces, launched an offensive in Baghdad o­n Sunday, targeting those who have attacked the dangerous road to Baghdad's airport and Abu Ghraib prison. Separately, Iraqi security forces captured Ismail Budair Ibrahim al-Obeidi, allegedly close to the network of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi o­n Tuesday.

DAVID CROSS lists "Albums to Listen to While Reading Overwrought Pitchfork Reviews" for the Pitchfork.


THE THREE SURVIVING BEACH BOYS joined hundreds of fans Friday to unveil a state historical landmark at the site of the home of the legendary band's founding brothers.

THE STOOGES will be performing their 1970 classic, Fun House, at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in the UK. No word o­n ay U.S. dates.

THE CLASH topped Time Out London's poll of most legendary performances for their 1977 gig at the Rainbow Theatre. The band were supported by the other notorious punk bands of the time - The Jam, Buzzcocks, Subway Sect and The Prefects.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: People at advance screenings of Mr. & Mrs. Smith say Jennifer Aniston never had a chance.

WHICH IS MORE SAD? The international space station falling apart, or the international space station falling apart?

BLOGS may be overhyped, but cannot be ignored, according to Business 2.0

THE HUFF-PO: As The Huffington Post does not allow readers to comment o­n the celebloggers' entries, it's nice that Arianna has Greg Gutfeld acting as the fifth columnist.

IRAN: Iran's hard-line Guardian Council o­n Sunday rejected all reformists who registered to run in the presidential elections, approving o­nly six out of the 1,010 hopefuls. I suppose that's news.

AFGHANISTAN: A female VJ forced off the air two months ago under pressure from mullahs has been murdered.

MONGOLIA: The current election seems cleaner than the last o­ne. A runoff may be forced by a candidate who has seemingly come out of nowhere.

TOM AND KATIE UPDATE: Rush & Molloy of the New York Daily News sketches the backstory of how Tom Cruise obtained a ten million dollar judgment against the "erotic wrestler" who claimed in 2001 he'd been Cruise's lover. Of course, today Tom is all about the Katie-love, telling MTV that Holmes is "exceptional, special and extraordinary." He told Access Hollywood that what first drew her to him was her acting talent. No doubt.

CATS: Jenn Shreve compares her cat to exotic pets including the svannah cats (linked here previously), a robot cat and a cloned cat. And cute kitties are forced into brutal competetion at Kitten War.

DOGS: A St. Louis dog owner claims that a city ordinance that requires any stray dog to be spayed or neutered before being returned to an owner violates his religious freedom because he believes the practice will deny his nine month old rottweiler entry into heaven.

STARVING MENTALLY COMPETENT PATIENTS is o­ne way Britain's National Health Service proposes to save money.

ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND: The Vienna Beef Co. and Alpha Baking Co., which manufactures S. Rosen's hotdog buns, will sign a formal "piece" treaty, vowing to package hot dogs and buns in quantities of eight.

ROBOT RACERS: DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which brought you the internet) are mounting Grand Challenges, with a two million dollar prize offered to any robot car that can drive 175 miles across the desert in 10 hours. The purpose of the event is to further research into what the Department of Defense calls "autonomous ground vehicles that will help save American lives o­n the battlefield.''

NEWSWEEK puts things o­n the covers of overseas editions that it is apparently too cowardly to put o­n the cover in the U.S. BTW, I have an extended rant o­n media coverage of the military that you can read if you want by clicking o­n the "read more" link at the bottom of today's links. Lest I be accused of hypocrisy, let me note that this is the Pate site, not mine; the opinions I express are my own. Consequently, I believe it is o­nly polite to refrain from putting a full-on rant o­n the front page.

JESSICA ALBA persuaded mogul Bob Weinstein to bid 100 grand for tennis lessons with Monica Seles and Boris Becker at an AmFar benefit by promising to appear in o­ne of his movies for free.

LINDA BLAIR used to channel Satan. These days, she's rhyming like the Johnny Cochran. Not sayin', just sayin.

THE AXE EFFECT: Attracting hot women is just fine; the bursting into flames, not so much.

THE PENNSYLVANIA SUPREME COURT will decide whether a sperm donor is obligated to pay child support.

OUT: SINGLES BARS; In: Home Depot.

ANOTHER DAY, another cheerleading coach arrested in Orlando for allegedly trying to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.

SOMETHING AWFUL had this tale of maternal insanity turn up in o­ne of their forums, but the version I've linked (thanks to my co-clerk Debbie) saves you the trouble of downloading each photo manually.

Read full article: 'Feel-Good Hits of the Summer, The Stooges, Jessica Alba and more...'
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Jim, Jimi, Janis, a Rhino, a Goat, Monkeys and a Lesser Panda   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, May 20, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Today, we're kickin' it old skool adventure style in the Crimson Room.

DYLAN DAYS kick off today in Hibbing, proving that Bob Z is the exception to the rule that you cannot be a prophet in your home town.

NEIL YOUNG is thinking about rapping, but asks people to shoot him if he starts.

MR. MOJO RISEN? Rodeo photographer Gerald Pitts insists Doors singer-songwriter Jim Morrison didnít die in July 1971 and that he has current photographs and film footage to prove it. Pitts says Morrison staged his death because of a French conspiracy to kill him, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix with narcotics because they were all Vietnam war protestors. Hey, the story is scheduled to run o­n A Current Affair today, so it must be true.

NO ROCK AND ROLL FUN: The Toronto Eye tips its cap to the British blog from which I steal more often than I credit it. So let me note a recent xrrf post which links you to scads and scads of free, legal downloads of cool music.

THE PERNICE BROTHERS will release their new album, Discover a Lovelier You, o­n June 14th. And Joe Pernice has posted a QuickTime movie of his version of MTV's Cribs.

"YOU MIGHT BE AN INDIE-YUPPIE IF...:" Stereogum announces the winner of his contest.

...AND NOW, your moment of Sith.

JACK KEROUAC: An unpublished and long-forgotten play by the Beat legend, recently discovered in a New Jersey warehouse, will be excerpted in the July issue of Best Life magazine.

YEARBOOK UPDATE: Boynton Beach High School officials will use stickers to cover the yearbook photo of a high school senior wearing a collar and leash after the guy's mother complained.

QURAN DESECRATION AND NEWSWEEK: In The New York Times, columnist David Brooks notes (as I already have) that "The rioters are the real enemy, not Newsweek and not the American soldiers serving as prison guards." Brooks also dismisses the notion that the Newsweek fiasco was not influenced by bias, because he o­nce worked at the magazine: " The people who run Newsweek are not a bunch of Noam Chomskys with laptops. Not even close. Whatever might have been the cause of their mistakes, liberalism had nothing to do with it." However, ABC News White House correspondent Terry Moran sees "a deep anti-military bias in the media. o­ne that begins from the premise that the military must be lying, and that American projection of power around the world must be wrong. I think that that is a hangover from Vietnam, and I think it's very dangerous. That's different from the media doing it's job of challenging the exercise of power without fear or favor." BTW, Linda Foley, the International President of the Newspaper Guild and president of Communications Workers of America recently repeated the charge that our troops target journalists for murder, albeit with no evidence to support it. PLUS: Instapundit excerpts Marty Peretz from The New Republic, so you don't have to subscribe.

QURAN DESECRATION II: Now, Amazon.com has to deal with it.

THE U.S. IS 85 PERCENT JEWISH, according to 14 focus groups conducted last December and January among college-educated Muslim men and women in Egypt, Morocco and Indonesia for the Council o­n Foreign Relations. They were o­nly 83 percent off.

TARA REID races a sausage and loses; that's hard to believe.

TOM AND KATIE UPDATE: Cruise has taken Holmes to the Chocolate Factory. No word o­n whether she had the fizzy lifting drink.

THE ODD COUPLE: No, this is not about Cruise and Holmes. Prof. Glenn Reynolds (the Instapundit) agrees with Markos Moulitsas Zķniga (of the Daily Kos): they will stop linking to The New York Times op-ed pages o­nce they go subscription. The New York Post, which recently instituted a free registration system, scaled back the amount of personal info it sought after people like Matt Drudge threatened to stop linking to NYP material. As I suggested from the outset, the NYT may find it is making a grave error.

SUPER-SUE ME: A company that gave office space to Super-Size Me director Morgan Spurlock in return for a share in the company that made the hit film about eating fast food is suing him for 40 million dollars. Spurlock's attorney believes the suit is meritless.

HOWARD DEAN: Arizona's top Democrat -- Gov. Janet Napolitano-- steered clear of the DNC chair during his visit to the state. He was rebuked by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) for comments about House majority leader Tom DeLay. Democratic congressional leaders Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi have urged Dean to restrain his rhetoric, to organize rather than inflame. Dean could probably get away with annoying DC Democrats (and burnish his outsider image), except that DNC fundraising -- which was going to be his strong suit --has lagged. I don't think Dean has a serious problem, as this is a non-election year. But if he is seen as non-serious next year, it probably will be serious.

THERE IS POWER IN A UNION: Hundreds of thousands of prostitutes working in Spain urgently need labor rights to prevent them from being exploited, o­ne of Spain's most prominent union leaders said o­n Wednesday.

PORN STAR MAREY CAREY (who ran for Governor in the CA recall election) coughed up five grand for two tickets to a National Republican Congressional Committee event. Carey is keen to meet presidential policy advisor Karl Rove: "I know that heís against gay marriage, but I think I can convince him that a little girl-on-girl action now and then isnít so bad!" AFAIK, Rove is not o­n record as being against girl-on-girl action, so long as the women are not married to each other and are hot.

SOCIAL SECURITY: The Democratic plan for shoring up the program's long-term solvency is to not have a plan -- and some seem upset that Congressman Jerry Wexler (D-FL) has offered a plan. Of course, it's also fair to note that President Bush actually has not offered a plan as such either, though he has proposed individual savings accounts and supported the notion of progressive indexing of benefits.

UZBEKISTAN: Gateway Pundit is all over the story, including a link to video of a rebel leader o­n horseback.

DEMOCRACY IN SYRIA? Michael J. Totten, recently returned from Lebanon, writes that Lebanonís Cedar Revolution is reverberating powerfully inside Syria. He also provided a link to an interesting post by a student at the American University in Beirut about the role of the U.S. in the region.

SMART DRUGS: Ronald Bailey reports that we are already well advanced in the enhancement era of neuropharmacology. According to University of Pennsylvania neurologist Anjan Chatterjee, "This is coming regardless of your view of whether or not this is a good world, a bad world or somewhere in between."

SMART SHOES: Sports shoes that decide whether their owner has done enough exercise to warrant time in front of the TV have been prototyped in the United Kingdom.

CLOVER AND BOK-BOK: Two orphans have formed an unlikely bond o­n a South African game park although horns and a love for horse pellets are about the o­nly things they have in common.

MORE FUN THAN A BARREL OF MONKEYS: Researchers have found a new species of monkey in Tanzania. The highland mangabey is a medium-sized monkey, with a long tail, long brown fur, a black face, hands and feet; adults make a distinctive, loud, low-pitched "honk-bark" call. Although Reuters reports that this is the first new species of monkey identified in 20 years, a moment with Google reveals that the Arunachal macaque was discovered in India in December 2004 and that Callicebus bernhardi and Callicebus stephennashi were discovered in Brazil in 2002. At that time the BBC reported that 13 new species had been found in Brazil in the prior decade. And don't even get me started o­n the minkey.

A BABY GORILLA at Boston's Franklin Park Zoo is back in her mother's arms following an emergency medical procedure to treat a rare bone disease, zoo officials said Thursday.

A LESSER PANDA is proving a hit at a zoo near Tokyo as it can stand o­n two legs like a human being for about 10 seconds, an unusual feat for the species, zoo officials said.

PLEISTOCENE PARK: A Russian scientist wants to recreate the ecosystem of the Mammoth to help fight global warming.

GOOGLE IS DESTINED TO DIE IN FIVE YEARS, according to the wishful thinking of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

TV OVER THE INTERNET will bring you the wonder of hog-cooking class for under two bucks.

A BOAT WITH NO NAME: Based o­n The New York Times story, might I suggest the "Sloop John B?" The "Edmund Fitzgerald?" And like any good tale of the sea, someone ended up with an eye patch.

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Petra Haden, Devo, Gang of Four, Clive Davis, and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 19, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


REVENGE OF THE SITH opens wide today, as you have undoubtedly heard many times over. But did you know that Darth Vader is o­ne of the grotesques o­n Washington's National Cathedral? No, really! And if you want the supersized version of the picture above, you can get it from Giant magazine's site. o­n the other hand, if you want to see video of Ewan MacGregor and Hayden Christensen kissing each other o­n the lips, you have to go to Page SixSixSix.

ATTACK OF THE CLONES? Across a range of sports, wearing red is consistently associated with a higher probability of winning, according to a study in the new issue of Nature. The British anthropologists obviously didn't study the Iowa State Cyclones.

THE DECEMBERISTS are keeping a tour journal.

PETRA HADEN, who has been a touring member of the Decemberists, talked about that and her a cappella version of The Who Sell Out (previously noted here) with Under The Radar.

ARE WE NOT MEN? Devo announces a Summer tour, including a Colorado date with English Beat, Dramarama, and Flock of Seagulls.

PET SOUNDS is getting the remix treatment o­n Hippocamp Ruins Pet Sounds.

COLDPLAY lead singer Chris Martin has launched an attack o­n his record label EMI and the company's shareholders. Chris, you married Gwynneth Paltrow, so why not work for free? Of course, that idea might be nixed by GP, who doesn't want your daughter to be a freak, despite having named her after a fruit.. or is it a computer?

BRITNEY AND K-FED attempt to up their image by doing a self-deprecating Top Ten list for the Letterman show. Hey, I'd tune in if I thought there was going to be gator-wrasslin'! ALSO: Defamer offers a critique of the Chaotic debut. Entertainment Weekly calls the couple's reality show "career suicide by videocam."

RICHARD GERE will meet in Jordan with the world's other great minds to solve the problems of the world. I think we're all going to sleep a bit easier, so long as the solution to the world's problems does not involve gerbils.

UZBEKISTAN: There are some good summaries of the backstory of the current crackdown and U.S. policy toward the current regime at The Belgravia Dispatch and Registan.

MY KIND OF TOWN: A man who claims his idea for a documentary film was stolen by Oprah Winfrey and Eddie Murphy climbed atop a crane in downtown Chicago and threatened to throw himself off Wednesday morning to get attention for his case. Even worse, the man seems to be referring to The PJ's.

X-MEN: In an inspired bit of casting, the next installment of the movie franchise will have Kelsey Grammer as Hank McCoy (a/k/a The Beast).

THE RIDDLER Is dead from lung cancer, emphysema and pneumonia at 72. TV Batman Adam West issued a statement o­n the death of Frank Gorshin: "Frank will be missed. Frank was a friend and a fascinating character." He performed o­n the Ed Sullivan Show the night the Beatles invaded America; his final TV appearance will be o­n tonight's season finale of CSI, which is directed by Gorshin fan Quentin Tarantino.

GILLIGAN is recuperating from quadruple heart bypass surgery. Get well soon, little buddy!

BATS AND WHALES: A little bit about animal sonar.

ANIMAL WRONGS: Animal rights extremists followed the wife of a pharmaceutical company executive to her job, rifled through her car and stole a credit card. They used it buy $20,000 in travelers checks, which they then donated to four charities.

MADONNA denies having had plastic surgery, but the plastic surgeons have been making house calls.

IDOL BLOGGING: I'm linking Ann Althouse's Tuesday post simply because the show had Clive Davis as a guest judge. You may recall that Davis fears being known as "The Man Who Passed o­n Claude Pate."

GANG OF FOUR: Brooklyn Vegan has pictures from the band's after-after-party in NYC.

ONE IMPORTANT, BUT OFT-OVERLOOKED ASPECT OF PARENTING is teaching your 12 year-old the proper appreciation of Led Zeppelin.

DO YOU SPEAK JIVE? Then maybe you're ready to learn how to speak gangsta.

THE GREATEST MOVIES EVER are catalogued at the Wikipedia.

THE 50 WORST HAIRSTYLES OF ALL TIME are catalogued at the Phat Phree.


THE SOPRANOS: In the sixth and allegedlly final season of the gangster dramedy now shooting, anyone could get whacked. But Edie Falco, who plays Tony Sopranoís wife, Carmela, does not expect to be killed off. "That would be unlikely," says Falco. "Who would cook?"

MOST LIKELY TO GET IN TROUBLE: A Florida mother wants Boynton Beach High's 2005 yearbook recalled because her son was voted "Most Whipped;" the accompanying photo shows her son, who is black, o­n a leash held by his girlfriend, who is white.

ANDREW BREITBART, who has worked as an web assistant to both Matt Drudge and Arianna Huffington, is interviewed by Cathy Seipp.

A STAFF ATTORNEY TO SEN. MICHAEL DeWINE claims his privacy was invaded by the racy tales o­n the now-infamous Washingtonienne blog. The filing of the suit coincides with the publication of Jessica Cutler's book.

BLOGGERS AND JOURNOS: That UConn poll o­n the public and the press yielded some interesting results: Journalists apparently believe that blogs have changed journalism, made it better and should have the same First Amendment rights as the press; they just don't like bloggers being called journalists.

THE SIMPSONS: When the couple went to Iraq to shoot their upcoming ABC special, "there were jokes among the crew about not letting Jessica near Nick with an M-16."

IRAQ: The upsurge in car bombings in Iraq was ordered by al Qaeda's leader in the country, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, at a meeting of insurgents in Syria, a senior U.S. military official said o­n Wednesday. But lest we think that the fols involved fanatical martyrs, note o­ne attack last week where the driver's foot was found taped to the accelerator.

DEMOCRACY IN SYRIA? From the Washington Post: "Beset by U.S. attempts to isolate his country and facing popular expectations of change, Syrian President Bashar Assad will move to begin legalizing political parties, purge the ruling Baath Party, sponsor free municipal elections in 2007 and formally endorse a market economy, according to officials, diplomats and analysts... Emboldened opposition leaders, many of whom openly support pressure by the United States even if they mistrust its intentions, said the measures were the last gasp of a government staggering after its hasty and embarrassing troop withdrawal last month from neighboring Lebanon." Gateway Pundit has more o­n pro-democracy protests and U.S. pressure. But there's certainly room for improvement if Abu Musab al-Zarqawi can meet with insurgents there.

BAHRAIN finds itself in the stutter-start of democratic reform, with local bloggers smack in the middle of controversy.

BUBBLE HOUSE, with an indoor river and cactus garden, for sale in France. o­nly three million bucks. Why don't they just phone Johnny Depp?

PORN-BLOGGING: Porn stars, porn gossip scribes and porn production workers are turning to blogs to expose what it's really like to live and work in the San Fernando Valley-based sex industry.

TAX DOLLARS AT PLAY: Florida spent 17 million in Medicaid funds o­n drugs advertised by Bob Dole and Mike Ditka. There were hundreds of cases where patients were prescribed between 90 and 240 pills of Viagra a month to treat an "off-label" medical condition -- i.e., a condition for which the drug has never been approved. The condition in this case would be called "fun."

DATELINE BRAINERD: Criminal charges were filed Monday in Morrison County District Court against five women and o­ne man for their alleged involvement in prostitution at a bar north of Little Falls. No word o­n whether the little guy was kinda funny-lookin'.

SELF-HEATING COFFEE: I love this country!

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The Flaming Lips, Mixtapes, Wonka, Grackles, Hawkeyes, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE FLAMING LIPS documentary, The Fearless Freaks, gets a boffo write-up at Digitally Obsessed: "Considering the rampant acclaim, I would expect the Flaming Lips to posture at least a bit regarding their importance as rock icons. Instead, they rarely even discuss the trappings of becoming major stars. Coyne seems more at home discussing his 11 years working at the local Long John Silver's, a job that he loved."

ROBBIE FULKS gets a meager 4.1 for his new album o­n the Pitchfork. Ouch!

MIXTAPE magazine launches today. If you're wondering whether that's a concept that can sustain over the long-term, remember that the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do's and don'ts. SEMI-RELATED: The June issue of The Believer magazine will include a compilation CD of indie artists covering other indie artists, which is no surprise from a magazine that runs columns by Nick Hornby.

TRENT REZNOR is in court over his finances, prepping the inevitable VH1's Behind the Music show.

WILCO will start recording a new album in August and releasing a DVD/CD of their four-night stint at Chicago's Vic Theatre later this year.

REVENGE OF THE SITH: Sithstud Hayden Christensen was spotted canoodling with voracious Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria during the party for Episode III at the Cannes Film Festival. Defamer thinks there's more to the story. ALSO: I got better swag at the Chicago premiere than Boing-Boing's Xeni Jardin did in L.A...

WARREN BEATTY is suing Tribune Media Services for $30 million, saying it had violated an agreement to give the actor rights to make another movie featuring comic character Dick Tracy. He would stand a better chance in court if he had not put Madonna in the last o­ne.

CANADA: The scandal-plagued Liberals got a better chance of surviving a crucial confidence motion o­n the federal budget o­n Thursday, and consequently to avoid being forced into a summer election when high-profile o­ntario MP Belinda Stronach crossed the floor Tuesday to join the Liberal party. Stronach, who was considered o­ne of the rising young stars of the Conservative caucus, has joined the Liberal cabinet and was rewarded with the plum portfolio of minister of human resources. She did so without telling her boyfriend, Conservative deputy leader Peter MacKay. Last month, Stronach was spotted all over NYC with former president Bill Clinton. And not for the first time, iirc.

FILMCRITIC.COM lists its All-Time Top 100 Voices in the Movies.

JANE FONDA strongly rejects the notion of running for public office. She probably wouldn't get many votes around Elizabethtown, KY, where the owner of two theaters refuses to show the her new movie Monster-in-Law because of the activist role she took during the Vietnam War; both theaters are just a few miles from Fort Knox. Elizabethtown is also the title of Cameron Crowe's next movie.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: Ain't It Cool has two advance reviews of the Tim Burton - Johnny Depp version of the Roald Dahl classic. Both are pretty positive, but both also have some spoilers, so consider yourself warned. ALSO: The Gene Wilder version as an allegory of life at college.

TOM AND THE SCIENTOLOGY FACTORY: Tom Cruise takes Holly Millea, a writer for Details magazine, o­n a tour of the Church of Scientology's Celebrity Center. Details to follow.

THIS PILL will improve your memory; its called... um... it's mentioned in this story I read, I think.

UZBEKISTAN: Government forces massacred hundreds of peaceful protesters on a scale not seen since Tiananmen Square in 1989. Since some, like CBS News, insist o­n mentioning that Uzbekistan has been a U.S. ally in the war o­n terrorism, it should be noted that the U.S. withdrew most foreign aid last year over president Islam Karimov's anti-democratic tendencies.

A WORKING-CLASS DOG IS SOMETHING TO BE: On Tuesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America may bar members from registering their dogs with other clubs, to preserve the working-dog characteristics of the breed and prevent it from becoming a show dog.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: British Member of Parliament George Galloway gave a bombastic performance yesterday, but failed to convince a U.S. Senate investigative committee that he had not profited from oil dealings with Iraq under the U.N.ís oil-for-food program. And it was a Democratic senator, Carl Levin, rather than the Republican committee chairman, Norm Coleman, who gave him the hardest time. Sen Levin repeatedly requested that Galloway deliver a straight answer to a straight question, but he could, or would not. Columnist Christopher Hitchens notes that the committee looked lackluster, but, imho, the fact that Galloway falsely accused Sen. Levin of supporting the invasion of Iraq will end up damaging his credibility far more than Hitchens imagines. ALSO: Norm Geras corrects The New York Times o­n the reasons why Galloway was expelled from the Labour Party.

JACKO JUSTICE: According to E! News: "During their alleged captivity at Neverland Ranch, the family of Michael Jackson's accuser made several demands. o­nly the demands weren't about being set free--they were about body waxes, braces and 'f--king Cheetos.'"

THE NEW YORK TIMES' decision to start charging for its op-eds and some columnists o­nline is getting a bad reaction from left and right in the blogosphere.

JEFF GANNON/GUCKERT: The Boston Globe runs a piece suggesting that the blogs that outed the conservative hack reporter associated with websites for gay escorts damaged themselves and the traditional press. SEMI-RELATED: Blogs are a powerful new force in U.S. politics but they have not displaced traditional media in terms of information and influence, according to a study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. As if a study was needed.

THE AMAZING RISE OF THE D.I.Y. ECONOMY is covered by Fortune magazine and what better example to lead with than Owen Misterovich's creation of the Pez MP3 player!

QURAN DESECRATION: The Washington Post: "More than two years ago, the Pentagon issued detailed rules for handling the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, requiring U.S. personnel to ensure that the holy book is not placed in 'offensive areas such as the floor, near the toilet or sink, near the feet, or dirty/wet areas.'"

BRITNEY SPEARS intends to let her appearance go, undoubtedly causing a flotilla of accountants to go into cardiac arrest. Her surreality show, Chaotic, debuted last night, but I have no doubt that No Rock and Roll Fun's imagining of the Spears proposal is more entertaining. Indeed, the Spears-Federline interview with Ellen Degeneres is probably better -- Ellen stumped the couple by asking, "What's the best part about being married?"

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer who is sorta marrying Kate Moss has been evicted from his flat after hosting a string of all-night parties.

A SMALL VICTORY sets its Listomatic to New Wave.

CULT OF THE iPod: Jason Kottke lists 50 Fun Things You Can Do With Your iPod without using the earbuds. Detatch from your Mac, Jack.

THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION continues to fall apart, losing its oxygen generator. Fortunately the astronauts have about 140 days' of backup supply.

LARGE BLACK GRACKLES are swooping down o­n downtown Houston and attacking people's heads, hair and backs. And Houston is a long way from Bodega Bay.

HARVARD PREZ LARRY SUMMERS committed the university to spend million over the next decade o­n a range of programs aimed at improving the climate for women scientists, many of whom were angered by his remarks that questioned female aptitude for top-level math and science. That's an expensive apology for comments about a possibility that is a matter of current scientific debate, but hey, it's not his money.

OIL-FOR-FOOD II: A Senate Democratic staff report focuses o­n the role of Texas oil company Bayoil and its owner, David Chalmers, who has been charged over the company's activities. Those staffers may make certain assumptions about Texas oilmen, but it turns out that Chalmers gave a grand to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2000 before he gave 300 bucks to the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee in 2002. The Democratic staff report also makes much of shipments to Jordan, though it has already been pointed out that both Congress and the U.N. were aware of and allowed the exports to Turkey. As the head of the U.S. mission to the U.N. said in response to this charge when Kofi Annan made it, these shipments were not comparable to "the bribery, the corruption, the kickbacks, the things that were done for self-interest secretively in a nontransparent manner that are really just acts of fraud and crime."

NANOTECH: The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology has published a study purporting to show how existing technologies can be coordinated toward a reachable goal of general-purpose molecular manufacturing.

DO YOU THINK EUROPEANS DON'T LIKE THE U.S.? Just ask them about France!

CAN THE HAWKEYES GET ANYTHING RIGHT? This Fall, the University of Iowa is offering a class examining pornography in popular culture, which isn't sitting well with Iowa House Speaker Chris Rants during state budgeting. Moreover, "It's not a class about enjoying or viewing pornography," according to Jay Clarkson, who is teaching the class. So who exactly is going to like this class, anyway?

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