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Links 'o' the (Thurs) Day (Holiday Blowout!)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - 06:00 PM
Posted by: kbade


IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION that some of you will not be as near your screens through year's end. Accordingly, I am accelerating the holiday linkage. Time's a-wasting, so let's waste it together:

SOCIALIST CHRISTMAS LIGHTING DISPLAY: Distancing themselves from them Godless commies. PLUS: FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, have released their Christmas album. The anti-government rebel group has been mixed up in revolution, cocaine and leftist politics since the 1960's... now they offer up jolly Yuletide classics! Okay, not really: it's a collection songs praising FARC folk heroes and criticizing the corruption of neoliberalism. They're missing an opportunity, but I suppose that FARC can't be caught commercializing the season.

BEATLES XMAS: (Most of) those fab four fan club records, ripped from vinyl to MP3s. If you haven't heard them -- and at least one of you has not -- it's well worth it (the first three or four in particular). The Fabs clearly were fans of The Goon Show -- the BBC's radio forerunner to Monty Python -- where guys like Peter Sellers got their start. Alternatively, BoingBoing has links to BitTorrent versions of this stuff.

DING! A politically incorrect Christmas carol. Speakers required.

HEAR DAVID SEDARIS read The Santaland Diaries.

"A STORY SO QUEER:" You can see Flash-based video of Hardrock, Coco and Joe (and Suzy Snowflake) courtesy of WGN-TV. Most every kid who grew up in Chicago will dig it the most.

HOLIDAY GREETINGS: A real one from one of Hollywood's biggest producers, and a generic one suitable for for all lawyers.

SCREENWRITER ROGER L. SIMON says farewell to the Festival of Lights.

NOTHING SAYS HANUKKAH like garden beds featuring swastika designs.


RED AND BLUE CHRISTMAS: Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State: ''Unfortunately, some of the Christian pressure groups seem to have it backwards. I think it's fair to say it's a mistaken notion that they have a mandate to put more nativity scenes up because George Bush was elected." I wonder what the Rev. Lynn would make of the rash of thefts of baby Jesuses from nativity scenes in Woodstock, Illinois (a town more asscoiated with Groundhog Day, as the movie was filmed there). ALSO: A Christian rock show is cancelled at a Toledo-area public high school... surprisingly not for reasons of taste. ALSO: BuyBlue has retailers sorted by their political donations. So has ChooseTheBlue

IS SANTA THE ANTICHRIST? An Instapundit reader thinks so.

What would the holiday season be without some end-of-year lists? Let's not find out:

POPMATTERS posts its Top 100 Albums of 2004. Some familiar names near the top, but it will be fun to pick through the lower rungs. One that didn't make the list that I enjoyed is Favorite Colors by The Sadies -- very mid-period Byrds and mid-period Meat Puppets, plus a collaboration with Robyn Hitchcock. And from late last year, I'd add Universal Blues by the Redwalls (a local treasure) -- very CCR and late-period Beatles.

STAR MAGAZINE lists the Top Ten Most Annoying People of 2004, getting it almost exactly right, down to the tie for number one.

RELATED END OF THE WORLD UPDATE: A convergence of Lohan, Hilton, Ashlee Simpson and Fred Durst! Oh, the humanity! Had Simpson's uber-creepy father been there, none of us might be here today.


Doesn't someone on your list want to smell like a Hummer? Or perhaps like Orange County Choppers? If you're still shopping offline, you can always amuse your self this way.

Other possible gifts:

PIERCED EYEGLASSES: not just freakish, but also impractical.

HOUSES OF THE FUTURE made of cardboard? I'm skeptical.

JET-POWERED OUTHOUSE probably makes 45 m.p.h. seem pretty fast.

FOR THE GEEK IN YOUR LIFE (or your own inner geek): How about a USB Christmas tree or a USB glowing snowman?

BELARUSSIAN ARMY CHRISTMAS SALE: Parachutes, all kinds of military fatigues, ice hockey boots, portable power generators, tents, shoe-making machines, electric guitars, cameras and slide projectors! Anything from heavy trucks to accordions at rock bottom prices! All Soviet junk must GO!

And a few non-holiday links...

QUEEN REUNION probable in early 2005. Well, Brian May and Roger Taylor with former Free and Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers filling in for the late Freddie Mercury. No word on bassist John Deacon, so there's a slot open for Mike Kelly. Like Mike, there's a part of me that would consider going. But there's another part trying to finish the joke: "A Queen without Freddie Mercury is like..."

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: Study shows the TV comedy may be popular because a fair number of housewives are desperate. That doesn't explain the show's popularity with men, but a study is probably not needed to suss out that one.

LILEKS: tire-blogging, plus a bit about weddings and Chicago.

MAN BITES DOG is a journalist's cliche, but it will get coverage.

NANOTECH: Some ponder applications to medicine.

GARY WEBB: As I suggested a day or two ago, his apparent suicide fuels the conspiracy theorists, as the coroner reports two gunshots to the head. Webb's ex-wife says that Webb had been distraught for some time over his inability to get a job at another major newspaper. "The way he was acting it would be hard for me to believe it was anything but suicide," she said. But that's exactly what she would say, isn't it?

SPAMALOT -- the musical version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail -- premieres in Chicago this month before heading to Broadway (much as The Producers did a few years ago). The New Yorker almost has me getting tickets.

SOCIAL SECURITY: Arnold Kling has two articles on Social Security reform and private accounts: his arguments may surprise you.

3672 Reads

Links 'o' the (Hump) Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - 11:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


ROPE AROUND THE MOON: An unusual version of the holiday classic: It's a Wonderful Life in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies.


LAW STUDENTS IN LOVE: Go here, read the comments. So good that I shut up.

REMARRIAGE: Remarried men eat better, exercise less and gain weight. And they drink less.

ROB REINER FOR GOVERNOR? The Daily Kos says probably not until 2010.

RICHARD LACELYN GREEN was way too into Sherlock Holmes.

GIRLS GONE WILD: The CEO plans a pay-per-view special during this year's Super Bowl halftime show with "guaranteed wardrobe malfunctions."

IRAQ: Its main Sunni Muslim party apparently will join in the January election.

HOLLYWOOD TO SUE BIT TORRENT SERVERS, which is sorta what I predicted a day or two ago.

I ACCIDENTALLY COIN THE TERM "TIRE-BLOGGING" at Althouse; it then spreads to Instapundit, where it will be read by hundreds of thousands of people.

BBC RADIO FOUR polled for the novel that "has spoken to you on a personal level; it may have changed the way you look at yourself, or simply made you happy to be a woman". The Guardian is clearly unhappy with the results.

SOAP OPERA DIGEST tackles the abortion issue: "In six decades of daytime television, ...there have been exactly six abortions (one illegal, five legal). To put that into perspective, there were more characters who came back from the dead in this year alone."

TOM WOLFE wins a prize for bad sex. Ouch.

GOOGLE TO DIGITIZE LIBRARIES, though Harvard seems less forthcoming in this project than the others.

CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS is being turned from a potential loser into a modest hit by using endorsements drawn almost entirely from the "700 Club," religious-based broadcasters Good News TV and Family Net, and the Film Advisory Board, whose aim is to promote family-oriented and children's entertainment. The link requires (free) registration or BugMeNot, but worth it for the surprise ending.

MORE RELIGIOUS MARKETING: God endorses Moe's. I'll bet He loves the Flaming Homers.

3021 Reads

Links 'o' the (Tues) Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 14, 2004 - 11:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


AND THE CROWS STARE UNAMAZED: Turns out that crows (and other members of the corvid family -- jays, ravens, etc.) may be as smart as chimpanzees and gorillas.

GOLDEN GLOBES: Given that I haven't seen all of the nominated pictures and shows (The Aviator isn't in general release yet), I will say in the spirit of Bill Murray that, looking over the list of noms, I'd say that the Foreign Press did a half-decent job.

Sure, it's bizzare that The Incredibles has to compete with Sideways, Ray, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Phantom of the Opera, but The Incredibles was really good (and probably better than another retelling of Phantom), so this may be a case where it really is an honor to be nominated. Natalie Portman probably will not (and probably should not) win for her supporting role in Closer, but if it encourages her to take more roles as a stripper, all the better. [Note: Do I have a link or two for that Portman comment? You betcha, but that wouldn't be family-friendly, now would it?]

For screenplay, I'd be torn between Eternal Sunshine and Sideways, and would guess it will go to the writer(s) least honored in past Globes.

For TV Drama, 24 didn't hold me this year and Lost may be too new (though the FP may pull a Jenny Garner here). Nip/Tuck was good, but maybe not as good as the first season. The Sopranos marked a return to form. If Nip/Tuck didn't win last year, it could this year; otherwise, I'd pick the mob.

In Best TV Actress, the nomination of three of the Desperate Housewives will probably split their vote, making the number of nominations that show received a little deceptive. I guess they left out Eva Longoria either because she's the youngest, or because she's the hottest and thus can deal better with disappointment. I'd bet on Sarah Jessica Parker's swan song. But ironically, since everyone will anticipate the vote split, Nicolette Sheridan may take Best TV Supporting Actress over Drea deMateo, who was great on The Sopranos, but now has the Joey stink on her. And it may help the housewives overtake last year's critical fave, Arrested Development. And while discussing the latter, I would gratuitously note that the story about Portia de Rossi hooking up with Ellen DeGeneres is sad on more than one level.

Finally, in Best TV Supporting Actor, I must note that William Shatner was nominated for Boston Legal. He might just win; as Ann Althouse discovered, you don't cross the Shat.

L.A. TIMES: People blamed incoming DCI Porter Goss and his staff for the resignations of some top CIA officials, but the same thing is happening at the FBI.

MY KIND OF TOWN: Chicago police evict a man from the home he built in the underside of the Lake Shore Drive drawbridge -- a lair that boasted a space heater, television, PlayStation video game and microwave. Meanwhile, the Sun-Times continues to report on Mayor Daley's towing program, under which the city of Chicago sells about 70,000 cars each year to an allegedly politically-connected company for no more than the going scrap-metal price, regardless of the car's age or condition.

MADAME TUSSAUD'S CELEBRITY WAX CRECHE, mentioned here a few days ago, has been attacked -- literally.

HOWARD WOLFSON, one of Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign managers, delivers his Top Ten Albums of 2004!

MARC RICH, the fugitive Swiss-based billionaire commodities trader who received a controversial pardon from President Bill Clinton in January 2001, has emerged as a central figure in the U.N. oil-for-food scandal and is under investigation for brokering deals in which scores of international politicians and businessmen cashed in on sweetheart oil deals with Saddam Hussein, according to the New York Post.

SWARMSTREAMING: Hollywood is already freaking about BitTorrent's ability to ease movie file-sharing; swarmstreaming may turn out to be more powerful and robust.

FILE-SHARERS have already begun to hijack the second-generation version of the internet.

WHAT IS LIFE? "Astrobiologists will tell you honestly that this question has no simple or generally accepted answer." But at least George Harrison wasn't sued over that one.

GARY WEBB, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter whose controversial series of stories linking the CIA to crack cocaine trafficking in Los Angeles were largely discredited, has died at age 49. Conspiracy theorists are undoubtedly on red alert.

KOBE BRYANT accuses Karl Malone of hitting on his wife. Too. Many. Glass. House. Jokes.

GOIN' MOBILE: Mozilla is readying the next version of Minimo, its browser for PDAs and set-top boxes.

iTUNES now accepts PayPal.

JERRY SCOGGINS, who sang The Ballad of Jed Clampett, has died at 93.

PAGE SIX harshes on the Pixies reunion.

MICHAEL CRICHTON: His new book, State of Fear, questions global warming, which is an unexpected stance from the author of The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park.

2795 Reads

Links 'o' the (Mon) Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 13, 2004 - 12:00 PM
Posted by: kbade


RADICAL MOROCCAN PIZZA COURIER arrested after the police were tipped that Islamic extremists were allegedly planning an attack on the Red Light District in Amsterdam. This story, following the murders of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn and, more recently, filmmaker Theo van Gogh (who made movies about Islamic treatment of women and about Fortuyn), are prompting the Dutch middle classes to leave the Netherlands. And perhaps worst of all, it looks like Amsterdam is going to have a a Charlie Brown Christmas.

TOP 11 WAYS GEEKS CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS: It's like a "Top 10" list, except this one goes to... eleven.

WHAT'S THAT SONG? A streaming version of the old game show, in which you can play by band or decade. Sadly, Claude Pate is not in the database, which causes the server to put up some decidedly un-Claude choices.

MY ALMA MATER (Barrington High School) is pioneering "while you wait" college admissions.

IOWA CAUCUSES: Their first-in-the-nation status is threatened by a Democratic Party commission.

LEMONY SNICKET FANS (and their parents): Count Olaf has a blog.

I used to have shoes sorta like these, but they don't make them in my size anymore.

THE REV. BERNICE KING, MLK's daughter, joins a march that in part opposes same-sex marriage, causing tension in the traditional civil rights leadership.

SAME-SEX DIVORCE comes to Massachussetts, months after legalizing same-sex marriage. For one such couple, most difficult part of the settlement appeared to be custody of their three cats; one man ended up with sole custody.

COOKING WITH GOOGLE and other fun Google hacks.

FILE-SHARING: The Supreme court will review a lower court ruling in favor of Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc. over their liability for copyright infringement. Meanwhile, BitTorrent, a more robust file-sharing method, threatens Hollywood, as some of the software-based methods record companies have used against Grokster, KaZaa, etc. do not work with BitTorrent. That fact will push the entertainment more toward lawsuits, I think. At issue before the Supreme Court will be the scope of their prior decision that VCR makers were not assisting violations of the copyright laws.

PHILADELPHIA CITY COUNCIL may bar adults from bringing children under 6 to a movie after 7 p.m. unless it is G-rated.

THICKBURGER: The Hardee's sandwich is a as big a hit as its 1,420-calories delivers to your waistline. The usual suspects have attacked the contrarian burger as "food porn" and suggested that Hardee's list the calories on their menu board. That might be nice, but it shouldn't be required. In the UK, governmental diet advice was followed by incresed sales for cake, chocolate, biscuits, fats, yoghurts, lager and wine.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Surprisingly popular with kids in Damascus.

"BIG IN '04 AWARDS:" VH1 handed them out, but its own site makes them sound like you wouldn't want one.

UKRAINE UPDATE: Doctors confirm that presidential candidate Yushchenko was poisoned with Dioxin. However, Airbag Industries thinks it may have been cosmic rays.

BLOGCRITICS: It's a little old, but I enjoyed the treorizing over the meaning of Bono's Spanish "1, 2, 3... 14" count-off on U2's "Vertigo." The Lilywhite theory seems most likely, but the one involving the late John Ritter is my favorite.

MOM BROKE LAW BY EAVESDROPPING ON DAUGHTER'S PHONE CONVERSATION, as decided by the Washington Supreme Court. That may be a correct reading of Washington state law, but that won't stop people from finding it wacky.

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Links 'o' the (TGIFri) Day (Noon update)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 10, 2004 - 12:00 PM
Posted by: kbade


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