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Links: Thursday Seems A Year Ago edition   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 17, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


Where have all my friends gone...JAYHAWKS OLSON AND LOURIS REUNITE IN AMES, IOWA: Why did I have to read this from Reuters!? Next time I come through town, heads will roll!

KINGS OF LEON: PC people (i.e., non-Mac people) can listen to a stream of their new disc at VH1.

SHINE ON, YOU CRAZY DIAMONDS: The Guardian asks: "Why do depressed, drug-addled loners make such irresistible rock stars?"

JEFF TWEEDY talks to Fort Luaderdale's Sun-Sentinel about the lack of progress of humankind, technology as an artisitc impulse and surrealist influences o­n his work.

BRAD PITT: I previously noted that Brad had been seen with a model; she claims she turned him down, o­nce after she accepted a plane ticket to New York. She also added that Pitt spoke about Angelina Jolie "like she was a goddess."

CBS MEMO SCANDAL: The independent report commissioned by CBS to investigate how 60 Minutes Wednesday relied o­n unauthenticated memos in a story about President Bush's Air National Guard service appears to be leading to a confrontation. Executive producer Josh Howard and two other CBS staffers—his top deputy, Mary Murphy, and CBS News senior vice president Betsy West— were asked to resign, but have refused to do so. According to the New york Observer, Howard, Murphy and West have all hired lawyers; all three remain CBS employees and collect weekly salaries. There are also questions remaining about the investigation, which excluded recording devices or transcripts of interviews with the 66 people who were involved in the segment.

EDUCATION BLOGGING: The second Carnival of Education is already o­nline.

The Money HoneyCULT OF THE iPod: Gawker notes that CNBC "Money Honey" Maria Bartiromo has been taken by the Pods. She's one of 22 million pod people -- though that figure includes competing MP3 players.

STEREOGUM points to a list of legal downloads from "newish and upcoming albums."

SLEATER-KINNEY begs its fans not to download promo copies of their forthcoming disc.

WHEN GOOD NEWS FEELS BAD: Former Spy magazine editor Kurt Anderson writes in New York Magazine that he "disagree[s] with the Bush administration politically, temperamentally, and o­ntologically most of the time," but thinks that liberals should root for success in Iraq.

ARE 50 PERCENT OF BANKRUPTCIES HEALTH RELATED? Todd Zywicki looks at the study that prompted such headlines and concludes that the estimate cannot be supported based o­n what that study actually examined.

Black velvet, if you please..."DOGS" FETCH BIG MONEY: Two rare paintings from Cassius Marcellus Coolidge's 1903 series of "Dogs Playing Poker" paintings were auctioned for 590,400 dollars. Although Coolidge's name is not commonly remembered, the auction house believes his images are "permanently seared" into the American conscience. The sale was part of Doyle New York's annual Dogs in Art Auction, which coincides each year with the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

THE KYOTO ACCORD, which aims to curb the air pollution blamed for global warming, came into force Wednesday. Rob Lyons writes that as long as the climate change debate is fuelled by politics, the science will remain up in the air. Lyons notes that several scientists associated with the Intergovernmental Panel o­n Climate Change or otherwise sympathetic to the global warming thesis are alarmed at the politicization of the issue.

...AND YOU MAY ASK YOURSELF, "HOW DID I GET HERE?" The Association for Computing Machinery plans to announce Wednesday that Vinton G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn will receive the 2004 A. M. Turing Award -- widely considered to be the computing field's equivalent of the Nobel Prize -- for creating the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol, or TCP/IP, a set of standards that define how data moves over the internet.

HAD ENOUGH OF JAMIE FOXX YET? That question was posed in a New York Post article arguing that while Foxx "has been universally acclaimed for his performance as Ray Charles in last year's biopic 'Ray,' his shameless campaigning for an Oscar has become draining to watch." Let me me hear you say, "Yeah!"

It's actual sizeAND WHERE ARE THEY NOW, THE LITTLE PEOPLE OF... STONEHENGE? Perhaps they are in New Zealand, where the Phoenix Astronomical Society has constructed a Kiwi Stonehenge, built to work for the Antipodes.

STOP THE PRESSES: People are suing companies making pills that supposedly enlarge a part of the male anatomy for false advertising.

LIONS AND TIGERS AND BEARS, OH MY! What do you get when you cross a tiger with a lion? A liger -- Hercules stands 10 feet tall o­n his back legs.

A COFFEE A DAY KEEPS THE CANCER AWAY: Liver cancer, that is, according to a report in this week’s issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. A separate study reported in the same issue of the journal reported no relationship between drinking caffeinated coffee or tea and the rates of colon or rectal cancer. However, that analysis did find a 52 percent decline in rectal cancer among people who regularly drank two or more cups of decaffeinated coffee. Decaf? Decaf!?

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Links: Wednesday In Your Garden edition   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 16, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


I may prefer their last disc, for now...KINGS OF LEON get a rave review for their new disc from Rolling Stone.

ROBERT POLLARD is auctioning stuff from his personal collection o­n eBay.

CAT STEVENS: The singer turned Muslim activist Yusuf Islam, released a statement that he had obtained "substantial" damages against two British newspapers which alleged he had been involved in terrorism following the decision by U.S. authorities in September 2004 to refuse him entry to the U.S. o­n "security grounds." Note that it's much easier to win a libel case in the U.K. than in the States.

GRAMMY DREGS: Star Jones Reynolds tried to RSVP Grammy afterparties to which she was not invited.

THE BIGGEST CONSUMER FRAUD IN HISTORY: Six Gambino mobsters have pleaded guilty to running a 650 million dollar scam involving porn websites and phone sex services.

HOWARD DEAN gets respect from a new blog at National Review o­nline called Beltway Buzz.

The man who saw targets everywhere became oneBLOGGERS AND JOURNALISM: There is continuing fallout from the forced resignations of Jeff Gannon (noted here Friday) and Eason Jordan (noted here Monday). L'affaire Gannon is forcing a discussion of how people are credentialed for the White House press room. Meanwhile, Jordan's resignation from CNN has caused some in the traditional press to become as hysterical as some in the "blogosphere." Former TV Guide critic and Entertainment Weekly founder Jeff Jarvis, puts the issue into perspective at his blog, BuzzMachine.

The Media Mix column in Tuesday's USA Today addressed the growing clout of blogs by speaking to Jonathan Klein, a former CBS News exec tapped to run CNN in December, who claims that his six years at an internet venture prepared him for the kind of intense scrutiny that led to Jordan's undoing. The column fails to mention that when blogs broke the story of 60 Minutes Wednesday having used unauthenticated and probably forged memos in a story about President Bush's Air National Guard service, Mr. Klein's response was: "You couldn't have a starker contrast between the multiple layers of check and balances [at '60 Minutes'] and a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing."

USA Today also quoted former CNN chairman Tom Johnson as calling the attacks o­n Jordan "unjustified ... almost irrational" and University of Missouri journalism professor Thomas McPhail as saying Jordan "contributed to upgrading the craft of journalism. Now he is roadkill for the bloggers." I don't know how Johnson comes to his position, given that Jordan and CNN declined to ask the World Economic Forum to have the videotape of Jordan's remarks made public. Indeed, most of the bloggers were interested in seeing the videotape before discussing whether Jordan should be disciplined or fired.

So I cropped it. I'm not completely tasteless.Prof. McPhail seems to have forgotten that Jordan first came to the public's attention by admitting that he suppressed stories about the brutality of Saddam Hussein's regime, ostensibly to protect CNN employees -- but said protection would not have been an issue had CNN chosen to withdraw from Iraq instead, citing the incidents as the reason for doing so. Prof. Mc Phail also may not be aware that Jordan previously accused U.S. soldiers of arresting and torturing journalists and accused the Israeli Defense Forces of targeting CNN journalists. Jordan was in a position to have CNN report these stories, but the stories were not reported, suggesting that they are unproven at best. Suppressing news and spreading unproven smears does not, imho, upgrade the craft of journalism. But it just might have gotten Jordan a date with Sharon Stone. So he's got that going for him.

BLOGGERS AND THE REPORTER'S PRIVILEGE: I noted this issue a while back, opining that the rules should be the same for bloggers and reporters, lest government become involved in defining who has the right to freedom of the press. Tuesday, the Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that New York Times reporter Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper of Time Magazine must comply with a subpoena from a grand jury investigating whether the Bush administration illegally leaked CIA operative Valerie Plame's name to the news media. In the opinion, the court addresses issues raised by bloggers, with Judge Sentelle even alluding to the Jonathan Klein quote linked in the previous item by referring to "the stereotypical 'blogger' sitting in his pajamas at his personal computer posting o­n the World Wide Web..."

Sweaty, nauseated from the smaell of coffee waking him upJACKO JUSTICE: Michael Jackson was taken to the hospital with the flu Tuesday, putting jury selection o­n hold for another week. Translation: Jackson is out of the denial stage.

CORRECTION: I previously linked to a story about a woman who turned down a job at a brothel in Berlin facing possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under a new German law. That story is a hoax; although a German newspaper claimed there had been "isolated cases" of requiring work in brothels, it did not provide any source or documentation to back up that statement.

DON'T KNOW MUCH GEOMETRY at the New York Times which issued a correction more embarrassing than the o­ne I just made: "The Keeping Score column in SportsSunday o­n Jan. 23, about a mathematical formula for projecting the winner of the Super Bowl, misstated the application of the Pythagorean theorem, which the formula resembles. The theorem determines the length of the third side of a right triangle when the length of the two other sides is known; it is not used to determine the sum of the angles in a right triangle." Presumably, the NYT also has similar problems covering Shaquille O'Neal.

CULT OF THE iPod: Wired takes in the celebrity sightings at L.A. area Apple stores. At o­ne store, Robin Williams took his picture o­n every computer with a camera attached and left the portraits open o­n the desktops. "That was truly great," said o­ne of the anonymous associates.

Pitt and Damon also, allegedly.GEORGE CLOONEY continues to feast o­n the corpse of Frank Sinatra.

NAPSTER'S COPY PROTECTION scheme has already been defeated.

BELARUS: As in Ukraine and Georgia, White Russians are struggling for democracy. Incidentally, though folks like Craig O'Neill already know this, Belarus translates as White Russia. So I'm not talking about the cocktail.

EDUCATION BLOGGING is rounded up at the first Carnival of Education for our readers like Prof. Ken King, who is o­n the site as I type this.

BIOPOLITCS: Having mentioned this emerging concept the other day, I note that National Journal has an article up o­n the potential impact of longevity science o­n Social Security. Author William Powers ought to be more concerned about its potential impact o­n Medicare.

MEN ARE FROM MARS, ETC.: Psychologist and author Michael Gurian believes there are about a hundred structural differences that have been identified between the male and female brain.

CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT: In an effort to save $250,000 this year, inmates in Michigan state prisons and people in boot camps and correctional centers won't be able to get free coffee after March 1st. I smell a franchising opportunity for Starbucks...

WHERE IS JESSE JACKSON when Black History Month is under attack?

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Links: Sweet Tuesday Morning edition   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


NEIL YOUNG: The Thrasher's Wheat blog has started an online petition to have Young's 1973 album Time Fades Away released o­n CD. Young can be a stubborn guy, but On the Beach was released following a similar effort by fans.

CULT OF THE iPod: The Washington Post describes the arrival of iPod and similar devices as the end of the CD. "The new format is no format," predicted George Petersen, editorial director of Mix magazine -- a 24-year industry veteran who also owns a record label, a recording studio and a music-publishing company.

DID YOU AVOID THE GRAMMYS? If so, you were not alone, as ratings sunk to their lowest level since 1995. Of course, this year, the Grammys had to compete with Desperate Housewives. If you're curious, you can read the Grammy play-by-play at Coolfer. DID YOU KNOW? Jazz composer Maria Schneider took home a Grammy o­n Sunday for her album Concert in the Garden, without selling a single copy in a record store. ALSO: Some of our tax dollars went to the Grammy Foundation.

DID YOU MISS THE OSCARS? They were not televised, but the Academy handed out the scientific and technical awards over the weekend in a ceremony hosted by Scarlett Johansson. The press accounts are worth reading for their description of the hapless Johansson's attempts to describe the technical achievements off of a teleprompter, often giving way to ad libs: "We're here to discuss the world of digital compositing, and Table 23, I'm o­nly going through this o­nce!" At another point, the audience of mostly engineers and mathematicians seemed to startle Johansson by applauding her lengthy description of motion-capture technology used in films like Polar Express, I, Robot and the Lord of the Rings trilogy to mimic human movements. Give the geeks this: they may be geeks, but have been around Hollywood long enough to know how to get hot actresses, as Johansson follows in the footsteps of former hostesses Jennifer Garner, Kate Hudson and Charlize Theron.

VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR: You can download a Ben Folds cover version at off city limits.

VALENTINE'S DAY REAX: Prof. Ann Althouse notes that the holiday is officially condemned in countries like India and Saudi Arabia; it's even being criticized in Canada.

DOG CATFIGHT: Britney is trying to start o­ne with the woman named after a French hotel. A case of teeny dog envy.

PUNDIT CATFIGHT: Liberal talk show host Janeane Garofalo and conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham got into a shouting match -- during a panel discussion of whether cable debate shows like CNN's recently canceled Crossfire have screamed themselves out of business.

ROBERT DE NIRO: Newsweek is talkin' to you. About bad career choices. And you should listen.

SIN CITY: The Entertainment Weekly shots of the upcoming movie adaptation of the graphic novels have been scanned by SuperheroHype. Bruce Willis stars, but if you're a fan of Jessica Alba (and I think we all know what I mean by that), you will want to take a peek.

THE SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT ISSUE goes o­n sale today. It's a 50 million dollar business. Apparently, sports fans are also very interested in swimming.

HOME-MADE PORN VIDEO shot by a United Nations logistics expert in the Democratic Republic of Congo have sparked a sex scandal that threatens to become the UN’s Abu Ghraib. I have to note stories like this every so often so that people Googling for porn find this site. And if you don't believe me, go to the web links section of this site, look under the Claude Pate category to read our traffic report.

9/11 CONSPIRACY THEORIES are being debunked by Popular Mechanics. It appears their reporters got access to NIST researchers who will be issuing a report o­n the attacks later this Spring.

A GUANTANAMO BAY DETAINEE urged al-Qaida operatives to acquire nuclear weapons for use against U.S. troops and said he knew where to get them, according to American investigators.

SPONGEBOB UPDATE: o­ne of the show's artists told an audience at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen o­n Thursday that the artists "drew every character o­n that show as gay and in every sexual position possible. Then we’d hang those pictures o­n the backs of our office doors." I think he was joking.

CHRIS ROCK is still set to host the Oscars, despite rumors to the contrary after an Entertainment Weekly interview in which he called the Oscars a "fashion show" and asked, "What straight black man sits there and watches the Oscars?"

THE AVIATOR won at the British Academy Film Awards, but Scorsese lost out to Mike Leigh, who directed Vera Drake Warner Bros. did not send screener copies of Million Dollar Baby to BAFTA voters, so it's an unlikely predictor for the Oscars.

wopwopwop...GOLDEN YEARS: A David Bowie fan has produced a nice-looking bio site.

AGING: A new study suggests that older people can lose focus, but may be better at seeing "the big picture" than the young.

HIV KILLS CANCER? A genetically-modified version just might, according to researchers at UCLA.

CHINA CRACKS DOWN o­n INTERNET CAFES, closing 12,575 at the end of last year.

WHAT KIND OF BURGLARS take not o­nly jewelry and cash, but also a hamster and a turtle?

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Links: My Favorite Work of Art edition   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 14, 2005 - 09:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



That's Jerry Lee Lewis on the left with Pinetop

One of the areas where the Grammys did well this year was in its awarding of Lifetime Achievement Awards. Among the honorees were Janis Joplin (who received a televised tribute sung by Melissa Etheridge and Joss Stone), Jerry Lee Lewis, the Carter Family, Art Blakey, Morton Gould, Jelly Roll Morton, the Staple Singers, and 91-year-old Delta blues pianist Pinetop Perkins. o­ne of Claude Pate's drummers, Jon Hahn, has played with the legendary Perkins.

AND THEN THERE WAS LED ZEPPELIN: The British quartet that opened the door to heavy metal (and whose name was originally one Keith Moon proposed during a period when it appeared the Who would break up) was also belatedly recognized by the academy, though they did not have to wait as long as Perkins, I guess. I caught of glimpse of Jimmy Page looking surprisingly good, by which I mean not looking like o­ne of Keith Richards' legions of the undead. The Crowley thing must be working for him. It's a shame John Bonham didn't live to see the day they won a Grammy, but my tribute will be to point you to a site which purports to have some John Bonham outtakes available to download for the next few days.

BRIAN WILSON, MusiCares Person of the Year, was honored with an all-star tribute concert over the weekend as part of the Grammy festivities. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Earth, Wind and Fire, Barenaked Ladies (no, not palying "Brian Wilson"), Jeff Beck, Darlene Love Neil Young and more took part before Wilson finished the evening, which, imho, would make a nice CD release. Although Smile did not win Best Pop Vocal Album (being wiped out by the Ray Charles disc), "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" won Best Rock Instrumental Performance . Given that Wilson's original effort to record this track are a legendary disaster and emblematic of Brian's second breakdown, the award takes o­n additional meaning. Finally, o­ne of the odd moments of the Grammy telecast was during the all-star version of "Across The Universe" (the proceeds from which go to tsunami aid), when Brian looked more comfortable o­n stage than Norah Jones. The number also showed how much taller Brian is than most pop musicians.

Tweedy may feel differently now that he wonWILCO took Best Alternative Music Album for A Ghost Is Born, not that Jeff Tweedy cares. Tweedy recently told The Birmingham News: "I can't say that having Grammy nominations means an enormous amount to us. I don't see it as being a validation of anything. To be really blunt, I don't have a lot of respect for the artists that have won Grammys. "On the other hand, it's very exciting to be nominated for a Grammy because it makes your parents happy."

THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS is up at the Grammys site. In general, it was a big night for the late Ray Charles and Alicia Keys.

AND TO DIGRESS for a moment, mentioning Jon Hahn reminds me that another good reason to hit Austin for SXSW would be for the BBQ.

REMEMBER, IT'S VALENTINES DAY! Looking for a last-minute valentine? How about downloading a EPS file of the cards Lisa and ralph exchanged so many moons ago o­n The Simpsons? Or maybe go straight to the designer sex toys.

IRAQ ELECTION UPDATE: The Shiite parties' 48 percent of the vote is far short of the two-thirds majority needed to control the National Assembly. Thus, the situation will require formation of a coalition government, which should allay the fears some had that a resounding victory by the Shia would move Iraq toward theocracy. As an aside, I would like to complain about something the press almost always gets wrong. News accounts, including the o­ne I just linked, tend to break down the population of Iraq into Shia, Sunni and Kurds. The Kurds are an ethnic minority, not a religious o­ne. Many Kurds are Sunni muslims, so this breakdown is technically inaccurate. The press is using the term Sunni to refer to the non-Kurd Sunni population in central Iraq that gained the most under Saddam and is the most supportive (though certainly not completely so) of the insurgency. It's shorthand, but sloppy. And that doesn't even consider the degree to which Iraqis align with their tribe above and beyond their religion.

IT'S OFFICIAL: Former Vermont Gov. and presidential candidateHoward Dean took the helm of the Democratic National Committee o­n Saturday. "This is a revolutionary redefinition of the party chairmanship," said Brian Lunde, a former national party official who, during the 1980s, helped several Democrats win the chairmanship. "We are moving into totally uncharted waters." FWIW, I think Dean hits it o­n the head in saying that the path to success for Democrats in national and congressional elections is to win races from school board o­n up.

Marilyn is the one on the leftDEATH OF A PLAYWRIGHT: Arthur Miller, a giant of 20th-century American literature and o­ne-time husband of Marilyn Monroe, died of heart failure at his beloved Connecticut farm o­n Friday, aged 89.

NOT LOVIN' IT: McDonald's has agreed to pay 8.5 million dollars to settle a alifornia lawsuit over artery-clogging trans fats in its cooking oils, the company said Friday. No doubt Ronald is happier with the 14 states that have passed so-called "common sense consumption" acts, dubbed by some as "cheeseburger bills," that bar people from seeking damages in court from food companies for weight gain and associated medical problems.

XTINA: Engaged to her longtime boyfriend. He's a music executive instead of a backup dancer.

WHAT'S NEW, PUSSYCAT? Tom Jones is fed up with ladies chucking their knickers at him. "If I'm doing a ballad and trying to create a mood, then undies appear from nowhere and then it's a problem," he said.

INDIE ICON ANI DIFRANCO is unhappy with the state of our society and her industry: "The corporate overthrow of our whole society does not help any of us independent or small-business owners," she says, likening media consolidation to mom-and-pop stores driven out of business by megachains. "On every level of the music industry, indie record stores are closed, indie promoters locked out of venues because Clear Channel has bought up every last live performance venue and has exclusive deals with their corporate promoters, indie radio completely gobbled by corporate conglomerates with very restrictive play lists." But when the music world gets like this is when things get interesting, imho. Punk and the original DIY movement came out of a similar environment. This time, I think it will happen (or is happening) through the internet.

NAPSTER'S UNLIMITED MONTHLY DOWNLOAD DEAL appears to have a huge hitch in the not-so-fine print: all of your music disappears if you unsubscribe.

CNN EXEC RESIGNS UNDER BLOG PRESSURE; Having noted last week that liberal bloggers forced the resignation of a conservative reporter for a web site run by a conservative activist, balance dictates that I note that CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan quit Friday amidst a furor over remarks he made in Switzerland last month claiming that journalists had been "targeted" by the U.S. military in Iraq. Although most accounts of Jordan's remarks in Davos have him backtracking after being challenged by Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) and David Gergen (who has worked for Presidents of both parties), bloggers found a pattern of Jordan making such claims against U.S. troops and Israeli Defense Forces. The session was "off the record" but videotaped; apparently, Jordan made a judgment about what that tape would show if released. Incidentally, o­ne of the people often quoted in support of such claims tells The Mudville Gazette -- a blog written by a soldier in Fallujah -- that Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Jornalists misquoted him.

XBOX is being used to train U.S. troops in Iraq. "Moreover, the military does not allow booze or prostitution for the troops in combat zones these days. So compelling electronic entertainment solves a potentially serious morale problem."

HIP-HOP CONFIDENTIAL: Karinne Steffans, the legendary hip-hop groupie/video vixen/wannabe actress who goes by the nickname "Superhead," just signed a "lucrative" deal with HarperCollins' imprint Amistad books to "tell all — and we mean all," which amy iclude tales about Usher, Jay-Z, Chris Rock, Ja Rule, Ice-T, Vin Diesel, Xzibit and Sean 'Puffy' Combs."

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Links : Get 'Em Out By Friday edition   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, February 11, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



FRIDAY TIME-WASTER: Band to Band interactively charts the degrees of separation between bands.

Having a laugh at Ryan's expenseRYAN, BRYAN AND ROBBIE: Ryan Adams recently had someone booted from his Nashville gig for requesting "Summer Of '69." Adams personally refunded the guy the $30 that he paid for the ticket and kicked the guy out, refusing to continue the show until the guy had left the theatre (though he really didn't leave). Now, Robbie Fulks has posted an offer o­n his website, encouraging people to inundate Ryan with requests for Bryan songs by offering free merch from the Fulks o­nline store.

WILL IT BE A SUICIDE BLONDE? A reporter for the Chicago Tribune's Metromix auditions for INXS Rock Star, the new Mark Burnett show that's looking to replace the band's late, great lead singer, Michael Hutchence.

MICKEY KAUS has a nice post about the mutli-culturalism of rock up at Slate, which has not learned to do permalinks, forcing you to scroll down to February 9th.

CONSERVATIVE WRITER JEFF GANNON, who attracted attention by asking President Bush a loaded question at a news conference last month has resigned amid questions about his identity and background. The question drew the attention of liberal blogs (including DailyKos, Eschaton and Media Matters) that discovered Gannon was not his true name and that web sites such as hotmilitarystud.com, militaryescorts.com, and militaryescortsm4m.com, allegedly were registered to the same owner as Gannon's personal Web site. Kelly McBride, who teaches media ethics at the Poynter Institute, said the investigation of Gannon's personal life crossed traditional boundaries and was characterized by ''mean-spiritedness and snarkiness."

BLOGS ARE CHANGING THE FACE OF REPORTING, creating situations where the mainstream press feels it has to cover something it wouldn't ordinarily. Baltimore Sun reporters Abigail Tucker and Stephen Kiehl then write:

"Of course, o­nline news sources can be, and often are, wrong. In 2004, Matt Drudge - the blogger best known for breaking the Monica Lewinsky scandal - posited o­nline that Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry was having an affair. But when the mainstream media began chasing that story, it proved groundless."

Putting aside the debate over whether Drudge should be considered a blogger, had Tucker and Kiehl taken a minute o­n the internet, they would have found the story Drudge ran, which reported that the mainstream press was already chasing the story, which ultimately fizzled out. Drudge did not drive the press o­n the story. Rather, the press drove Drudge -- as was the case with the Lewinsky story, where Drudge reported that Newsweek had the story, but had decided not to run it in the next issue. So I guess the Baltimore Sun should be o­n the list of o­nline news sources that "can be, and often are, wrong."

AL FRANKEN rules out running for the Senate in Minnesota in 2006. Franken made the announcement due to reports that he might jump into the race after incumbent Sen. Mark Dayton announced that he will not seek re-election. Dayton stated that he did not believe he was the best candidate to keep the seat in the hands of the Democrats, adding, "I cannot stand to do the constant fundraising necessary to wage a successful campaign." Late last month, a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll found Dayton's approval rating had fallen to 43 percent.

A SPECIAL ANTI-TERRORIST COURT in Britain has released a man it found "actively assisted terrorists who have links to al-Qa'eda" because the man is clinically depressed. Prison is dpressing -- who knew?

BRAD AND JEN UPDATE: Brad has moved o­n to model -- who'da thunkit? The NYDN Daily Dish also reports bad behavior by Jessica Simpson's himbo and Lindsay Lohan sharing a toilet stall with a friend for some reason.

GOLDEN FIDDLE relays the following blind item from gossip e-list Popbitch: “Which no-longer-newly-wed blonde had a recent affair with a movie co-star? (According to her friends, the jackass taught her to enjoy rimming.)"

JESSICA SIMPSON is again denying rumors of any impending split with husband Nick Lachey after tabloids ran pictures of Lachey surrounded by cheerleaders at a Super Bowl party in Jacksonville, and reports of a dinner with an ex-girlfriend.

ON THE PITCHFORK: A good review for Triple Your Workforce, by the Four Volts. I checked out their downloadable MP3s at Amazon. Pretty good, pretty good; pretty neat, pretty neat.

BIOPOLITICS is a fledgling political movement that could make mortal enemies out of o­ne-time allies -- such as back-to-nature environmentalists and technophile lefties -- and close friends of traditional foes, such as anti-biotech activists and evangelicals.

NORTH KOREA publicly admits it has nukes; it had been privately admitted for some time already.

MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED are also most likely to choke under pressure, according to a new study.

MICROSOFT is releuctant to disclose more of its source code to other programmers, in part because there are "inappropriate comments" in the code.

WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG and o­n your own, how did it feel to be alone? It turns out that love really can break your heart, though it's not the o­nly thing that can.

He also toured supermarkets in the 1950sELEKTRO, the o­nly survivor of a group of eight robots created by Westinghouse in Mansfield between 1931 to 1940, as well as a star of the New York World's Fair in 1939 and a sexploitation flick called Sex Kittens Go to College, will return to a Cleveland museum in September.

STARSHIP FEDERATION: being formed by America's top rivals in the private-sector space race.

TELEPORTERS: The Air Force isn't buying them to beam the troops in behind enemy lines. At least, not until they get that whole ending-up-with-a-fly's-head thing worked out.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA has been renewed by the Sci-Fi Channel. As noted here before, I grudgingly admit that it's like some leftovers -- better the second time around.

LUIS VUITTON has won a suit in a French court to stop Google from displaying ads for competitors when users searched for the luxury goods maker.

THE FOURTH AMENDMENT IN CYBERSPACE: A columnist argues that a Supreme Court decision o­n canine-assisted roadside searches opens the door to a new regime of Internet surveillance.

I liked him when I saw him.BEN LEE talks to the Telegraph about his latest disc, Awake Is The New Sleep, which drops at the end of the month.

NELS CLINE, who is wielding his axe for Wilco -- having played with Mike Watt, Thurston Moore, the Geraldine Fibbers, MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, the Blue Man Group, and Rickie Lee Jones (to name a few) -- is profiled in Guitar Player.

NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED EDITOR David Shipley has split from his wife, Naomi Wolf, the feminist author of "The Beauty Myth," who famously advised Al Gore to wear earth tones during his 2000 presidential campaign.

CULT OF THE iPod: Howard Stern may end up in iPods, if Sirius exec Mel Karmazin can realize his vision of adding satellite radio to MP3 players. ALSO: iPodlounge has grown from a o­ne-man niche website into a professional publishing operation with big plans, according to Wired News.

"STICK 'EM UP, I HAVE A GUB" is the inspired headline for the story of the Spelling Bee Bandit, who cops believe intentionally misspelled words in his demand notes to convince cops they were chasing an illiterate crook.

LEO AND MARTY, TOGETHER 4EVER? Following Gangs of New York and The Aviator, DiCaprio and Scorsese are remaking Infernal Affairs and Drunken Angel.

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