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The Magic Numbers, The Wrens, Soul legends, Baby Snakes and 200 Rats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE MAGIC NUMBERS "may not yet reek of rock'n'roll excess but their journey along pop's perfumed highway grows more intoxicating daily." They have sold 100,000 albums in six weeks in the UK and count everyone from Brian Wilson to Jimmy Page as fans. You can give them a listen at their official website.

THE dB's: In the Jersey Journal preview of the band's Hoboken show, Chris Stamey explains how a planned second Holsapple-Stamey album turned into a dB's reunion: "We were going to end up trying to get guys to play just like Gene and Will, so we thought we should just call them."

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH o­n the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart last month without a label. Although the band just signed a U.S. distribution deal for the album with Warner Music Group's Alternative Distribution Alliance, Billboard looks at the band's prior unorthodox distribution deal.

JOHN PEEL DAY: No Rock and Roll Fun casts a critical eye o­n the upcoming double-disc and leadoff concert paying tribute to the late legendary DJ next month.

NEKO CASE: Her album due in February will be titled Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, with contributions from members of Calexico, the Sadies, and Giant Sand, plus keyboardist Garth Hudson from the Band.

THE DECEMBERISTS' Colin Meloy may do a solo tour and EP before plowing back into the studio with the band.

THE STROKES: Stereogum is killing music with links to a leaked track from the band's next disc. Judging from the comments, it's a departure from their standard sound.

BOB DYLAN: Entertainment Weekly read his book then rounded up links and multimedia of ten artists he likes. Some obvious stuff, like Woody Guthrie and Johnny Cash, but also Roy Orbison, Ice-T and more.

THE WRENS were darn impressive at the Intonation festival. *Sixeyes interviews lead singer Charles Bissell and Kathryn Yu, who is making a documentary about the band (which has had label troubles rivaling those of the dB's in their day).

SWEET SOUL MUSIC: Singer-songwriter Joe Henry, who has produced albums for Bettye LaVette and Solomon Burke (winning a Grammy for the latter), launches the Work Song label with I Believe to My Soul, featuring newly recorded performances by Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Mavis Staples, Ann Peebles and Billy Preston. The album will be released in partnership with Rhino Records and Starbuck's, with a portion of proceeds going to hurricane relief.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Fashion giant Hennes and Mauritz has canceled an advertising campaign using Moss. The company had previously said it would still use Moss after meeting her to discuss the publication of photos in the Daily Mirror which the British tabloid said showed her snorting cocaine (as she now admits).

HALLE BERRY has sworn off men.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA reacts to the birth of the Son of Federline: "Wow, she had a baby! That's crazy!" Aguilera says she has already sent Ma Spears a baby gift and a card (which, if she was honest, would read, "That is crazy").

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jennifer Aniston tells Oprah she is ready to date again. I'm not sure why Aniston thinks Oprah would be interested in dating her; maybe she's reading too much into Oprah's steadfast refusal to marry Stedman Graham.

LADIES! Failed Reagan assassin John Hinckley, Jr. is looking for a girlfriend!

ASHTON KUTCHER VOICEMAIL HACKED? That's the claim at AshtonHacked.com, but with the numbers of the alleged passcode spelling "punk," this seems more like viral marketing.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: Page Six claims that Teri Hatcher was sore about not getting an Emmy, refusing to pose with winner Felicity Huffman and her co-stars backstage. But Fox's Roger Friedman reports that "Sadly, for a gossip columnist, she was not vicious or backbiting. She was, however, extremely and noticeably thin."

JAMIE LYNN DiSCALA was spotted without her wedding ring last week; now Page Six has two witnesses linking Meadow Soprano to New York club promoter Keith Collins. Indeed, o­ne witness claims to have caught them canoodling in a public bathroom.

CAMPBELL BROWN has vaulted to the top of the list of possible replacements for Katie Couric o­n the Today Show, based o­n her reports o­n Hurricane Katrina. Network suits had long urged her to "girlie up" her image, as her competitors have; the storm allowed her to report in T-shirts and wrinkled shorts. It is, as Dan Rather recently suggested, o­ne of television news' finest moments.

MADONNA and hubby Guy Ritchie were booed at the London premiere of his new movie, Revolver, after the couple walked past most of the crowd without signing autographs. Imagine the reaction after the movie lands o­n cinema-goers' collective head like a sack of wet sand.

JANE FONDA bails o­n introducing British Member of Parliament George Galloway o­n his alleged antiwar speaking tour. "There's nothing anti-American about me. And I'm not against the troops," Galloway said at Northwestern University's Law School. Galloway has glorified the insurgents and compared Fallujah to Guernica, claiming that the people who invaded Iraq are war criminals who murdered more than a million people, but apparently the folks at Northwestern were ignorant of what he says to Middle Eastern audiences. Fonda -- who also cancelled her antiwar bus tour in favor of Cindy Sheehan -- may have decided that she better advances her cause by keeping a low profile.

TOP TEN WORTHLESS CELEBRITIES, listed by the Pittsburgh Tribune.

REBECCA ROMIJN got engaged to actor Jerry O'Connell. I saw this reported o­n E! by O'Connell's ex-fiancee, Giuliana DiPandi, who was wearing a t-shirt which read, "I never was your girlfriend."

CLINTON AND LEWINSKY condoms launch in China, which is an odd choice given the former President's position that he did not have "sex" with that woman.

DON'T ASK, don't put it o­n a coffee cup. Especially at Baylor University.

MANY WOMEN AT ELITE COLLEGES plan to get o­n the mommy track. And some academics are wringing their hands. Apparently, feminism was about giving women choices... as long as they don't choose to be stay-at-home moms. It's a little sad, but not surprising, that blogger Amber Taylor has a better feminist critique than the professors quoted by The New York Times. Maybe these women should work for NBC News, which likes it when women "girlie it up."

RADIO, RADIO: The National Guard needs more high-tech radios and satellite communications gear. A bipartisan group of legislators thinks other first responders do, too.

CRONYISM: Julie Myers, nominated to head the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (part of the Department of Homeland Security) is a lawyer with little immigration or customs experience to head the troubled law enforcement agency that handles those issues. Her uncle is Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, the departing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She married DHS Secretary Chertoff's current chief of staff, John F. Wood, o­n Saturday. She may return from her honeymoon to find the honeymoon is over.

LT. GEN. RUSSEL HONORE, head of the active duty forces responding to Hurricane Katrina, let reporters have it when they persisted in dwelling o­n past mistakes, rather than informing people about New Orleans' evacuation plans for Hurricane Rita: "Let's not get stuck o­n stupid." The whole thing is worth a listen.

IRAQ: The DoD's monthly casualty figures suggest that this month is o­n track to have the lowest average daily casualties since February 2004. Bill Roggio notes that Zarqawi's declaration of war o­n the Shiites was rejected not o­nly by the Shiite and Sunni communities, but also by other insurgent groups. Reports suggest that suggesting that the jihadists are trying to conserve strained personnel resources. Saudi Arabia has begun a campaign to dissuade other young men from joining the Iraqi insurgency. The Arab News runs a story about a Saudi-born jihadi arrested in Iraq and returned to SA, (also mentioned in the prior link) in which he claims that he was duped by Al Qaeda (an account of dubious reliability).

DEAN ESMAY compares the "hate America Left" with the "hate America Right."

THE WAR o­n PORN: A new FBI squad will employ eight agents, a supervisor and assorted support staff to gather evidence against "manufacturers and purveyors" of pornography -- not the kind exploiting children, but the kind that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults. "I guess this means we've won the war o­n terror," said o­ne exasperated FBI agent, speaking o­n the condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."

CULT OF THE iPod: Cult leader Steve Jobs calls some labels "greedy" for wanting to raise prices o­n iTunes downloads. OTOH, Apple is cracking down o­n websites with "iPod" in the domain name -- everone wants to protect their investment in intellectual property, don't they?

THE FUTURE OF ROBOTS, including biorobotics, human-robot interaction and robot ethics, as envisioned by Ronald C. Arkin, Regents' Professor in the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Director of the school's Mobile Robot Laboratory.

GLOBAL FROG PLAN UPDATE: The summit in Washington DC where scientists are trying to produce an action plan to conserve frogs, toads and salamanders is debating the theory that a disease threatening amphibians worldwide may have spread because of the use of frogs in pregnancy tests.

BABY SNAKES: Unlike most egg-laying snakes, female African Pythons spend time with their young after they hatch. The discovery underscores how little we know about the world of snakes and suggests their ways may be far more elaborate than scientists previously thought.

BEN, THE TWO OF US NEED LOOK NO MORE: A mentally-disabled man in the small Iron Range town of Gilbert, Minn., was being eaten alive in his home by more than 200 rats.

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New Pornogrpahers, Westerberg Tribute, Bon Jovi and 95 Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE dB's: If you missed yesterday's feature, remember to keep scrolling past today's entry!

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS' frontman A.C. Newman talks to Pitchfork about the new album -- which made number 44 o­n the Billboard chart -- and tour: "We're way more popular than I ever thought we would be. It's o­nly in the last few years that it would seem even conceivable that a band like us would become really popular."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Moss reportedly has told her brother: "I don't need to go into rehab but I'll have to or it won't look good."

COURTNEY LOVE reads Bob Dylan.

SWITCHFOOT tells everyone Sony's copy-protection scheme o­n Sony's own website. The Man can't bust their music!

WHEN MUSICIANS TRY TO BE TOO VERSATILE: Worth 1000 has a Photoshop contest running to depict any musician performing in a genre that is totally foreign to their usual style.

SUFJAN STEVENS' Friday gig in Chicago was reviewed in the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. I wish I could have seen the band make a human pyramid, but it was not to be.

THE CUTE ONE is not a Madonna fan.

JAY-Z and BEYONCE: Having fun poolside.

PAUL WESTERBERG/REPLACEMENTS TRIBUTE: Men Without Ties have produced a downloadable tribute album that looks to be at least as lo-fi as the early "Mats records.

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE frontman Josh Homme and Distillers lead singer Brody Dalle are expecting their first child.

SHERYL CROW does not listen to Lance Armstrong's musical opinions, but shre credits him with making her realize that she needs to find out if I have something to give besides my work. And there may be a musical opinion in there somewhere.

RENEE ZELLWEGER may have sought an annulment after learning that Kenny Chesney did not want children, according to London's oh-so-reliable Sun.

CHRISTIAN SLATER: E! o­nline reports that a New York judge has dismissed charges that Slater groped a woman's tuchus at an Upper East Side bodega in May following an argument with his girlfriend.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: You like pain? Try wearing a corset.

IRAQ: Saddam's nephew is found guilty of financing terrorists and bomb possession. Hundreds of thousands of Shiites made the pilgimage to Karbala, in defiance of militant threats. A suicide bomber captured before he could blow himself up in a Shiite mosque late last week claimed he was kidnapped, beaten and drugged by insurgents who forced him to take o­n the mission.

IRAQ II: The Washington Post runs an article noting that "After generally rejecting body counts as standards of success in the Iraq war, the U.S. military last week embraced them -- just as it did during the Vietnam War. As the carnage grew in Baghdad, U.S. officials produced charts showing the number of suspects killed or detained in offensives in the west." Bill Roggio wrote last week that this is exactly the storyline Zarqawi's latest terror campaign in Baghdad was designed to promote. Read the whole WaPo story. Compare the lack of skepticism given to statements by terrorists with the treatment of the U.S. military: "From Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, down to his underlings, American officials have insisted this summer that, at the least, the insurgency is not growing. Pressed to explain the claim, U.S. military officials said recently that they meant o­nly that they believe the insurgency remains concentrated in no more than four of Iraq's 18 provinces." This is apparently deemed insignificant, as is the body count now offered, as is the progress in Tal Afar, Mosul, Ubaydi and Samarra, which is completely ignored. I agree that a body count is not always the best measurement of progress in a war, but so long as media relies o­n the daily body count of those killed by the enemy as the primary yardstick for the war, the implicit complaint in the WaPo story seems ironic at best.

TYRA BANKS is taking off her bra o­n her TV talk show today to prove they're real and spectacular. The real story is probably o­ne of sagging ratings.

ELIZABETHTOWN: The locals dug the director's cut of Cameron Crowe's upcoming movie. o­ne Kentuckian writes Ain't-It-Cool-News that he wouldn't put it o­n the same pedestal as Almost Famous, "but it is a funny, unique, emotionally strong movie that is definitely worth seeing." And his wife looooooooooved it.

WALLACE AND GROMIT: The feature Curse of the Were-Rabbit is already released down under and there's a good advance review o­n Ain't-It-Cool-News. You can see the trailer for the movie due here o­n October 7th.

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE: The final trailer is up at Moviefone.

MORGAN FREEMAN was sporting a thong. At least, that's what the 15-year-old-girl says.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise and Holmes are slammed by... Jon Bon Jovi. Ouch!

FELICITY HUFFMAN really didn't expect to win an Emmy. So her speech was rambling, but she thanked husband William H. Macy, which puts her ahead of Hilary Swank o­n more than o­ne level.

KORTH KOREA is already trying to undermined a deal reached just a day earlier, which would have required that NK give up its nuclear weapons. No wonder Kim Jong Il is so ronery.

IRAN: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday she is certain the issue of Iran's nuclear program will be referred to the U.N. Security Council, though "the timing of any such referral of course, is a matter for diplomacy," which is a large caviat indeed.

TORTURE: The accounts are disturbing: beatings, forced sex and imprisonment with shackles and leg irons. But these are charges made against Islamic schools in Pakistan, not against U.S. troops, so expect little media coverage.

CINDY SHEEHAN is demanding that Sen. Hillary Clinton declare the war in Iraq is a "lie," or face losing her job.

HURRICANE OF BLAME: Jazz at Lincoln Center's "Higher Ground" hurricane relief benefit concert Saturday night gave celebrities to blame the federal government, especially President Bush, for the seemingly slow response to the storm. Meanwhile, NBC News reports that Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish, gave an incorrect version of events to Meet The Press two Sundays ago. NBC News focused o­n "details that conflict with the timeline of the tragedy," but also should have noted that the awful story Broussard told had nothing to do with FEMA's response, but with the nursing home that refused to evacuate its patients.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: I can't believe I neglected to mention the Cyclones' victory over Fred Flinstone. But since I had my share of fun in Iowa City as well as Ames, I suggest you crank your speakers for this lovely tribute to the Hawkeyes.

ABC NEWS launches blogs devoted to Politics and pop culture, gadgets and technology, science and society, and the legal system. But they're all stuck in the technology section of the ABC News website.

FILESHARING: Grokster may go legit in a deal with Mashboxx -- if the lawsuits against it can be settled (and going legit may be a part of any settlement).

WORMHOLES may be usable for time travel, but with wormholes weighing 100 times as much as the sun, a DeLorean seems more practical.

DOGS: The American Dog Owners Association wants you to celebrate National Dog Week from Sept. 18-24, 2005. And here's a gallery of almost 100 Chicagoland dogs. Awwww...

WHO'S AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD WOLF? Germans. And they aren't crying wolf, either.

THAI ELEPHANTS are looking for a rescue. Prices start at 48,700 bucks apiece. I'd get y'all some for the holidays, but you have to be a Thai national to buy them.

IT'S RAINING SPIDERS in Johannesburg: "It's that time of year: the gentle sounds of summer approaching; lawnmowers, crickets, birdsong, the fizz of beer cans opening -- and the shrieks of suburbanites confronted by rain spiders."

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The dB's! Doherty & Moss, Goats, Dogs and Ferrets   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, September 19, 2005 - 08:15 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE ORIGINAL dB's REUNITE FOR THEIR FIRST SHOW IN 17 YEARS:

(Assisted by keyboardist Andy Burton, L-R: Chris Stamey, Will Rigby, Peter Holsapple and Gene Holder.)

From the clanging chimes of "Ask For Jill" to the encore of "Neverland," the triumphant return of the influential quartet from Winston-Salem was every bit as invigorating and inspiring as any student of indie rock had a right to expect -- and slightly less ragged than o­ne might expect of a recently reunited band starting with an outdoor charity gig. Indeed, the band's second gig that evening at Chicago's House of Blues had a few technical problems (despite the best efforts of a crew including the ubiquitous Gary-Elvis Schepers) that often left Holsapple hoping he was singing o­n-key.

The band drew heavily from its two Stamey-era albums, Stands For Decibels and Repercussion, but also previewed material from an album due in early 2006 -- two at the Hideout and an additional two at the House of Blues after band exhausted its rehearsed material during a second encore. Both sets also featured the first song the band recorded -- "I Thought You Wanted To Know," iirc. The longer HoB added a few nuggest from the band's post-Stamey catalog -- "Love Is For Lovers," "Lonely Is As Lonely Does" and "Molly Says."

Oddly, some of the material was (as Holsapple put it) "medlified," including "Living A Lie" and "Dyna-mite." Even more odd was the number of songs the band avoided -- "We Were Happy There," "From A Window To A Screen," "In Spain" and "I Feel Good (Today)," to name a few just from Repercussion. Yet they did play "Purple Hose," an instrumental left off Repercussion (it's o­n Ride the Wild Tom-Tom). And I thought they might do "White Train," just to give some to the drummer. Even so, it's a mild complaint, given the majestic version of "Happenstance" delivered at the Hideout (complete with sampled crickets) and the rave-out encore of "Amplifier" at the HoB.

And if there was any doubt that the dB's are as big a group of music fans as their own fans, there was a priceless exchange between songs at the HoB. Holsapple decided to depart from the setlist, announcing, "We were going to play something else, but now we're going to play... something else." Stamey interjected, "The entire Kinks album, back to back." Holsapple replied, "That would be face to face, wouldn't it?" Stamey deadpanned, "Our repartee remains as sharp as ever."

Promoting the gigs, Chris Stamey discussed the band's unique brand of "Southern" rock in the Chicago Sun-Times and about recording and producing pop records with Greg Kot in the Chicago Tribune. There's a pro-quality pic of the band up o­n Flickr. Ken King and I picked up cool posters from Cricket Press, which doesn't have it posted yet, but there are plenty of other cool posters in the gallery now. There are more dB's pics.. and a couple of reunited Eleventh Dream Day from the Hideout gig if you click the "Read More..." link at the bottom of today's entry.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: I've been following the saga of the troubled singer and his supermodel galpal for some time and it's really paying off. Is the video of Moss snorting coke payback for the superwaif's threat to sue the Mirror over a prior claim that she o­nce fell into a cocaine-induced coma? It hardly matters as the story is now snowballing. Moss has fessed up. Her' millions in fashion endorsements were thought to be in danger. Then stores and fashion brands seemed to back her, fueling some public outrage. Now she is accused of trying to seduce a female personal assistant while under the influence of cocaine. The oh-so-reliable News of the World followed with tales of lesbian threesomes and a menage a trois with Jude Law and his then-wife Sadie Frost, which appears to be causing at least o­ne of Moss' corporate supporters to revisit the issue. The Mirror confronted Moss, Doherty and Moss' family with the pictures and video. Dohery spat at a photographer and later threatened a reporter with a broken bottle. Doherty's ex managers says that Moss was naive to think Doherty's friends could be trusted, even as he tells the press Moss can roll a joint from a tampon cover. Meanwhile, Doherty's former Libertines bandmate Carl Barat is forming a new band, as yet unnamed.

THE HOLD STEADY frontman Chris Finn talks to PopMatters about his lyrical subversion of the classic rock mythos o­n Separation Sunday: "I do think there is romanticism in it. I just think maybe it's a little more honest, a little less cheery. It's very much a youthful record. I think rock 'n' roll is always kind of connected to the teen years. You're at the age where, I don't want to say you hate your parents, but you want to spend as little time as possible alone with them at home. A car allows you to drive around and smoke pot and kinda have your own little world. So [Separation Sunday] is about that."

THE RAMONES now have their own museum in Berlin.

ERIC CLAPTON is quietly sounding out publishers for interest in an autobiography.

HURRICANE RELIEF: It seems like just about everyone, including Yo La Tengo, Tom Waits, Simon & Garfunkel, Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, and Ted Leo & Pharmacists, are playing benefit shows. And it looks like Elvis Costello will be at almost all of them, but especially at a Madison Square Garden gig including Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint. PLUS: Tipitina's Foundation New Orleans' musicians in exile.

HURRICANE KATRINA: Five Days with Katrina is an excellent photogallery documenting the storm and its aftermath. Among the rations being given to evacuees and relief workers is New Orleans-based Tabasco sauce. Houston police are investigating the use of FEMA or Red Cross debit cards at strip clubs. This follows a report of profiteering ghouls using the debit cards to buy luxury goods, including signature monogrammed Louis Vuitton handbags. Former President Bill Clinton broke with tradition to criticize FEMA's performance. OTOH, Former President Bill Clinton just criticized BBC coverage of the storm, saying it had been "stacked up" to criticise the federal government's slow response. That's our Bill!

BOB DYLAN: An exhibition of early photos opened Thursday in London.

NME'S TOP 100 ROCK MOMENTS: I would certainly disagree with the order.

ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME SHORTLIST has no candidates for 1980, giving hope that moronic voters may be forced to admit the Stooges, the Sex Pistols, Joe Tex, etc.

UK INDIE COVERS: Take Your Medicine is killing music with Coldplay covering "You o­nly Live Twice," Oasis covering "Help," Death Cab For Cutie covering the Stone Roses' "I Want to Be Adored" and many more.

STEPHEN STILLS has nice words for former bandmate Neil Young, but will largely leave the political spotlight to Bono: "I don't have the glasses, and I can actually play the guitar."

NEIL YOUNG: You can stream an extended interview and his upcoming album at NPR.

RINGO STARR'S BOYHOOD HOME is getting the London Bridge treatment.

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH frontman Alec Ounsworth briefly chats with the Bostonist. There's a funny moment involving Stereogum, a blog often linked here.

ON THE PITCHFORK: An anonymous article on Pitchfork at Coolfer decries its influence, particularly of the bad reviews. Speaking of which, reviewers give the the new Dandy Warhols a 1.2 and the sophomore album from CocoRosie a 3.4.

"INDIE" BANDS The new generation of rock bands, recently written up in Newsweek, get more attention from the AP as well as Greg Kot in the Chicago Tribune.

FRANZ FERDINAND frontman Alex Kapranos is writing a weekly food column for the Guardian as he travels the globe o­n the band's world tour.

ART-METAL gets noticed by The New York Times. This is the second such article I've read recently; o­ne more and it's officially a trend.

MOTLEY CRUE SINGER Vince Neil needs less whiskey and more milk.

MRS. RON WOOD says she has to work at her now 20-year marriage. Who'da thunkit?

RENEE ZELLWEGER'S MARITAL WOES may be creating some turmoil for newlywed ex-beau Jack White.

CHARLIE SHEEN told Dave Letterman that he's trying to work things out with Denise Richards.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt and Jolie are reportedly cosidering a wedding at George Clooney's Italian villa, though I saw Clooney deny this o­n TV. And Pitt will be quite naked in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

GWYNETH PALTROW: Now that she's returned from Canada, she says she's not moving out of the US (third item). Did somebody just discover that the Internet lets people read what you say in other countries?

THE FONZ played a key role in the creation of the "backend deal" in Hollywood. Who knew?

THE SIMPSONS: Celeb photog David LaChapelle is still o­n the muscle against Jessica and Ashlee (last item), offerin an aplogy "because I never meant any offense - to either Marge or Bart or Homer or the rest of them. Matt Groening is a genius, and I never meant to offend him by association. Those Simpsons rule."

LIV TYLER is carrying a few extra pounds. The reaction to this by some is part of the reason other starlets go o­n the Skeletor diet.

SCOOBY-DOO attacked at Universal Studios. Insert "meddlesome kids" joke here.

STEVEN TOBOLOWSKY, character actor (e.g., ned from Groundhog Day) and director, is blogging the production of the independent film Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party and has some choice words regarding the way publicists handled his divorce from actress Mena Suvari (scroll down to "Yin and Yang").

IRAQ: Zarqawi seems to be is drawing growing numbers of Iraqi nationals to his organization. Newsweek has a web-exclusive commentary from reporter Michael Hastings listing good news and trying to explain why he doesn't report it. Cols. H.R. McMaster and Robert Brown talk more about ops in nowrthwest Iraq and the capabilities of Iraqi forces o­n both sides. Col McMaster, who led the battle for Tal Afar, had blunt talk: "The enemy here did just the most horrible things you can imagine, in o­ne case murdering a child, placing a booby trap within the child's body and waiting for the parent to come recover the body of their child and exploding it to kill the parents... They are some of the worst human beings o­n the face of the Earth. There is no really greater pleasure for us than to kill or capture these particular individuals."

CINDY SHEEHAN wants President Bush to "pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq."

CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN: Was Mahmoud Maawad a University of Memphis student and pilot-wannabe with a passion for flying small planes or an Arab terrorist looking to duplicate the suicide missions of 9/11? o­n Thursday, Maaward -- arrested for fraudulent use of a Social Security number -- became the second Memphis resident of Arab descent to be held without bond because of investigations by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. In April, Rafat Mawlawi was jailed in a separate investigation in which prosecutors have linked him to Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

SUPREME COURT Chief Justice Nominee John Roberts and his wife go Al and Tipper for the cameras. UW Madison Law Prof. Ann Althouse compares editorials from The New York Times and the Washington Post o­n the Roberts nomination.

AFGHANISTAN: Publius Pundit rounds up the pariamentary election. The Guardian reports that the brave new face of Afghan politics is young and female. In remote areas, democracy was delivered by donkey. I think Dems here could do something with that.

DEMOCRACY IN SAUDI ARABIA? Saudi women will be able to fully participate in an election for the first time in the ultraconservative Islamic kingdom, after the government ordered a local chamber of commerce to allow female voters and candidates. A small step, but in the right direction.

JIHAD o­n BURGER KING? The fast-food chain, Burger King, is withdrawing its ice-cream cones after the lid of the dessert offended a Muslim. The man claimed the design resembled the Arabic inscription for Allah, and branded it sacrilegious, threatening a "jihad." London's Sun has pictures the ice cream of the infidels.

DEMOCRACY IN GERMANY: Angela Merkel's conservatives have won Germany's election by just three seats, falling far short of a majority and leaving the country in political limbo. The Geman blog Davids Medienkritik has lots of info and analysis.

THE DANISH GOVERNMENT PROVIDES PROSTITUTES for the disabled. The policy has its critics.

GLOBAL WARMING: The largely unreported story of British Prime Minister Tony Blair apparently stepping back from the Kyoto Protocol.

THE H2N-GEN may cut automobile fuel consumption by 10-40 per cent - and pollutants by up to 100 per cent. I'll believe it when I see it... (earlier versions had reliability problems) but I'd like to see it.

CASHMERE GOATS AND DOG face off during Fashion Week in NYC.

DOG performs Buddhist Temple rituals in South Korea.

BRIDGE FOR SQUIRRELS costing 12K in the Czech Republic is built without consulting the squirrels.

SEA LION UPDATE: The sea lions that sunk a restored 1910 sailboat and have broken windows in Newport Beach, CA are a protected species under federal law and cannot be harassed.

DOG shoots hunter.

PARROT switches his political affiliation.

HARRIET THE TORTOISE, collected by Charles Darwin o­n his famous Voyage of the Beagle, will turn 175 in November.

SHEEP are starring in an Internet reality show.

BIOLOGISTS ENCOURAGED BY FERRETS' PROGRESS: Prairie dogs not so encouraged.

Read full article: 'The dB's! Doherty & Moss, Goats, Dogs and Ferrets'
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The dBs, Rock's New Generation, Kurt Vonnegut and Cat News   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, September 16, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

GORT, KLAATU BARADA NIKTO! Robert Wise, a four-time Academy Award winner whose epic 65-year career ranged from editing Orson Welles' Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons to directing classic musicals such as The Sound of Music and West Side Story, as well as the science-fiction of The Day The Earth Stood Still and the first Star Trek film, is dead of heart failure at 91.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTERS: Try our site admin Lance's gallery of Puzzle Games.

THE dB's DOWNLOADS: The reunited band is offering a freebie at their web site, as well as a nice cover of "What Becomes of the Broken-hearted" in return for a donation to the New Orleans Musicians' Relief Fund. Ken King and I will be seeing them Saturday, so maybe there will be pictures and comment Monday...

ROCK'S NEW G-G-GENERATION, including Death Cab for Cutie, Broken Social Scene, the Flaming Lips, the Shins and Wilco, is examined by Newsweek. The growing success of new bands and the role of the internet in that success are also discussed.

FIERY FURNACES' Matt Friedberger describes the upcoming Rehearsing My Choir: "It's a regular rock album with an old woman o­n it."

KRISTIN HERSH of Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave, has started a tour blog: "So, bright and pretty g*****mn early the next morning, Bernie picked us up and crammed us into his Dalmation hair car (I always want to knit a Cruella de Ville sweater after riding in that car) and drove us to The Bus. Our tacky, beloved, and perpetually busted Bus. It smelled great: eau de bus."

R.L. BURNSIDE: The recently deceased bluesmaster's collaboration with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, A Ass Pocket of Whiskey, originally released by Matador in '95 has been reissued o­n Fat Possum. Pitchfork gives it a 7.7; the review is worth a moment.

BURT BACHARACH blasts Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina, because he funded the war instead of boosting flood control funding a few months ago. Burt may not know that Category 5 levees take decades to build or that the New Orleans Levee Board spent millions o­n the Mardi Gras Fountain and overpasses for the Bally's casino instead of flood control projects. However, with President Bush promising last night that the Crescent City will rise again, Burt can expect that the levees will get their due.

SUFJAN STEVENS o­n his band dressing -- and occasionally behaving -- as cheerleaders for the Illinois tour: "Superficially it probably looks like a lot of gimmicks, but it's been really good for us."

THE CMJ MUSIC MARATHON lineup is previewed by the critics of the Village Voice.

JAMES BROWN'S fifth wife got o­n the good foot... and into hiding from the hardest working man in show business, claiming she's "had enough of the drugs, the beatings and the verbal abuse."

THE SEX PISTOLS and TOM JONES are among those added to a list of stars to be honored at London's new Walk Of Fame.

BONO is the subject of a lengthy piece in Sunday's New York Times Magazine focusing o­n his political activism. Thanks to the magic of the Internets, you can read it today.

RENEE ZELLEWEGER and KENNY CHESNEY are trying to annul their marriage, which lasted just over four months.

BRITNEY SPEARS: American Idle has a photo(shop) of the Son of Federline, as does Dude.Man.Phat. No wonder he wants back in the womb. But the kid may luck out if Access Hollywood is correct in reporting that his name is Sean Preston, which certainly beats PMS Federline.

HURRICANE KATRINA: Early tests o­n the floodwater that covered most of New Orleans do not suggest it will leave a permanent toxic residue or render residential areas uninhabitable for more than a short time, officials of both state and federal environmental agencies said yesterday. This WaPo story notes: "Despite descriptions of the floodwater as a 'toxic soup' and a 'witch's brew' of contaminants, the preliminary tests reveal it contains little that is different from what has been seen after past floods in other cities and here." Want to guess the title of last Saturday's WaPo editorial?

KATRINA II: The area affected by the hurricane was about the size of Great Britain, but how big is the flooded area of New Orleans? CondoBuzz overlays the flooded area over maps of other major American cities for comparison.

KATRINA III: President Bush gave a speech last night vowing to fix everyone's problems -- including his -- by spending ginormous sums of cash. Moments later, Sen. John Kerry criticized Bush, saying "Leadership isn't a speech or a toll-free number." Since the latest Zogby poll suggests G.W. Bush would lose an election to every President since Carter, but would still beat Kerry, the Dems were probably better served by their other reps.

PAT ROBERTSON SAYS HURRICANE KATRINA was God’s way of expressing His anger at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for its selection of Ellen De Generes to host this year’s Emmy Awards. Yeah, that's fake... but you had to think about it for a second, didn't you? PLUS: Emmy noms.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Galpal Kate Moss caught using cocaine "during a debauched drugs and drink session with junkie lover Pete Doherty." See for yourself. Yet the troubled singer is still beaten by Keef Richards in a VH1 viewer poll of the top 10 living hell-raisers.

MONICA LEWINSKY is leaving NYC for London and got some spotted dick as a parting gift.

MRS. McCARTNEY LOSES LEG in scuffle with J-Lo's security guards.

IRAQ: Faces From The Front looks at the new Iraqi courts. The Tampa Tribune has started a series called "Voices From The Front" with interviews of Maj. Bill Cowling, who coordinates reconstruction projects in Mosul, and Sgt. 1st Class Elbert "JR'' Jetton of Hinesville, GA, who is serving his second tour in Iraq as a field artillery meteorologist in Baghdad and works with tribal leaders to improve living conditions.

IRAQ II: Bill Roggio has been o­n a roll this week. Thursday brought more analysis of ops in Northern Iraq, noting the capture of three more senior al Qaeda commanders in the Mosul region, based o­n intell from locals, and sums up some stats from the north: "Eighty percent of the network has been killed or captured. Sixty to seventy percent of the terrorist killed were foreigners. Most terrorists are now in their mid-teens, and inexperienced. Mortar attacks are down from three hundred a month to six." Next, comments from Major General Rick Lynch about pursuing Zarqawi by conducting Tal Afar-type ops in cities like Qaim and Haditha. And a post noting that the Iraqi Defense Minister is already threatening similar ops in Samarrah to try to force the locals to get o­n board with the new national government.

JESSICA ALBA: Ordinarily, I would not gratuitously link to pictures of the Alba. But someone made me do it. Well, he didn't make me do it, so much as he asked me to do it. By which I mean he asked me to put something about him o­n the site, which is all well and good, except that Alba is much hotter than he is. So it's really Shain Khoshbin's fault for not being a beautiful woman.

MORE HOT GIRL-ON-GIRL ACTION, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Or women are more comfortable talking about it. Either way works for me.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is tired of spending nights in lonely hotel rooms. It really bugs me when she uses the press to rag like this. Sorry, but I can't just drop everything at a moment's notice.

SEXISM MAY SHORTEN MENS' LIVES, according to a new study. I totally set you up for that.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie is going to bank a cool 12 million bucks to be the new face of Californian fashion label St John -- similar deals for Gwyneth Paltrow, Liz Hurley and Nicole Kidman were less than half that amount. Someone o­n the Perez Hilton bulletin board looks at photos of Pitt suggesting he morphs into his lovers.

EXPLOITED WORKERS SPOTTED AT WAL-MART: They're making six bucks an hour, with no benefits, in 104 degree F weather, with o­nly two 15-minute bathroom breaks per shift. But they don't work for Wal-Mart. These people are temp workers for the United Food and Commercial Workers union, picketing against the poor working conditions at Wal-Mart.

ORLANDO BLOOM gladly stoked rumors of a romance with Elizabethtown co-star Kirsten Dunst during the movie's Sept. 10th premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

KURT VONNEGUT lists "Liberal Crap I Never Want to Hear Again" for the Daily Show.

RUSSELL CROWE warns he may turn his back o­n the U.S. for good if he is found guilty of assault. Given that a conviction would make getting a visa problematic, this is like yelling "I quit" when you realize you're about to get fired.

GWYNETH PALTROW may turn her back o­n the U.S., suggesting to a Canadian interviewer that she doesn't want to live here because of President Bush. OTOH, it was just a couple of weeks ago that Gwyneth and hubby Chris Martin were reportedly leaving the UK after being frightened by the recent terror attacks o­n London.

PATAKI FEVER hits the Hawkeye state, according to Des Moines Register guru David Yepsen.

THE SUPREME COURT: At this week's confirmation hearings, Chief Justice nominee John Roberts did not say how he would vote in future cases, but Sen. Chuck Schumer did get Roberts to say his favorite movies are Doctor Zhivago and North by Northwest. This revelation caused Prof. Ann Althouse to note that Mrs. Roberts looks like Eva Marie Saint. So why did no o­ne think to ask the favorite movie question of Clarence Thomas?

REESE WITHERSPOON is getting Oscar buzz for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in Walk The Line. And there's been similar buzz for Joaquin Phoenix playing Johnny. I'm skeptical, but hope the movie is that good -- Johnny and June deserve it.

SIENNA MILLER and JUDE LAW: Together again?

LOHAN LOWDOWN: Looks like Li-Lo is off the Skeletor diet. Now all she needs is someone to dress her in the morning.

GOOGLE'S NEW ENGINE searches blogs. First word of Google's new searching tool was, in fact, disseminated by a blog.

BLOG-FIGHT: Defamer, a blog often linked here is mooned by E! Television gossip columnist Ted Casablanca.

NEPAL: Women's rights activists hail a Supreme Court order to end the tradition in parts of Nepal of keeping women in cow-sheds during their menstrual cycle.

THE UNITED NATIONS: I forgot to do a round-up o­n President Bush's speech to the UN the other day. He asked the Secretary-General whether US Ambassador John Bolton had blown the place up yet. He was caught passing a note to Secretary of State Condi Rice asking for a bathroom break. And he gave a speech about fighting terrorists and making poverty history in Africa. Bob Geldof, who gave world leaders an unflattering four out of 10 for helping Africa beat poverty, listened to Bush's speech with UN anti-poverty chief Jeffrey Sachs and they couldn’t believe what they heard: "I think he’s really throwing down the gauntlet. It’s a very bold move," Geldof said of Bush’s trade tariff proposal, adding that he was impressed with the president’s statement that terrorism "comes from despair and lack of hope." Of couse, if Geldof was as smart as Kanye West, he would realize that Bush is targeting scourges such as AIDS, malaria and the growing threat of avian flu, particularly in Africa, to cover up the fact that he doesn't care about black people.

IRAN: Speaking of the UN, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited and voiced Iran's readiness to transfer peaceful nuclear technology to Islamic states.

9/11 CONSPIRACISTS INVADE GROUND ZERO: Even the Village Voice doesn't seem to think much of the people who tried to convince grieving families that the WTC attack was really a controlled demolition o­n the fourth anniversary of the attack. How bad was it? Consider this: The clamor was all too much for a passing tourist. "God bless America, you *****!" he screamed in a thick accent. "Go back to where you came from, you foreigner," groused a fellow conspiracist. "But I am French," the tourist responded indignantly.

CAT NEWS: The issues of importance, for and by cats, in QuickTime o­n Channel 102.

DEAD CAT UPDATE: The German inventor who claims to have developed a method to produce organic diesel fuel from waste denies a German newspaper story implying he also used dead cats: "I've never used cats and would never think of that. At most the odd toad may have jumped in." But he could theoretically use dead cats.

OLD YELLER DOGFOOD Disney licensed it, but who buys that name? Or the dogfood?

THREE BUBONIC MICE: Three mice infected with the bacteria responsible for bubonic plague apparently disappeared from a laboratory about two weeks ago; and authorities launched a search though health experts said there was scant public risk.

DOLPHINS swept out of their aquarium tanks by Hurricane Katrina and spotted in the Gulf of Mexico are now the focus of rescue efforts. It took this long to get the dolphin rescue going? No wonder Michael Brown resigned!

ELEPHANTS are working out o­n the treadmill in Anchorage.

WHITE GIRAFFE spotted in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park.

BLACK COCKS HARD TO SWALLOW down under in New Zealand.

...and I'm spent.

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Son of Federline, Decemberists, Randy Newman and Squirrelapalooza   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 08:15 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

DING! Bun's out of the oven, Cletus! Us magazine, which broke the story, reports the young'n would be called Preston Michael Spears Federline, ensuring a lifetime of PMS jokes.

THE DECEMBERISTS: You Ain't No Picasso has audio and video of the band covering ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky."

PINK FLOYD: Suddenly, Roger Waters is keen for another reuinion -- even a full performance of Dark Side of the Moon -- if there was a special occasion.

TOP 50 BASSLINES of all time, according to Stylus.

BAND NAME ORIGINS are being compiled at Am I Right.

JIMI HENDRIX'S childhood home again saved from demolition. Its final resting place (for now, anyway) is a three-acre site opposite the cemetery where Hendrix's body has been interred since his death 35 years ago. The City Of Seattle and The James Marshall Hendrix Foundation are in talks to renovate the house into a full-fledged community centre, complete with music lessons, practice rooms and a library of musical instruments.

WEEZER: Reports of their breakup seem semi-exaggereated.

SUFJAN STEVENS: The Mpls. City Pages thinks Illinois is "the best pop record you'll hear this year," though Stevens' banjo playing "is more Kermit o­n a log than Earl Scruggs."

ON THE PITCHFORK: The Iron & Wine/Calexico In the Reins EP scores an 8.5. Also, Wilco sets a track list for their upcoming live album.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer has reportedly recorded a duet with galpal Kate Moss.

BOB DYLAN: The BBC already gave him some love. Now it's the Guardian's turn.

RANDY NEWMAN is posting reports from the road while o­n tour. Some are very Newman: "I Just heard o­n Klassic Radio the worst record I've ever heard. Here's a hint..."

TROY'S MIXTAPE OF LOVE: "Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do's and don'ts. First of all, you're using someone else's poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing."

KANYE WEST was left red-faced recently when his mother discovered how much money he spends o­n pornography. I blame President Bush!

NATALIE PORTMAN found out the hard way that many lesbians dig bald chicks. Now that was a completely original moment.

HEIDI KLUM names her son Henry -- a name from Seal's family, rather than after a piece of fruit.

GUY RITCHIE make a documentary about Kabbalah, because he is becoming increasingly irritated with the way the faith is sensationalised in the media. Which had nothing to do with his wife Madge's embrace of the Hollywood version of it.

ON THE DL: A baseball gossip blog. For Sylvia Hauser, the literary version of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE defeats Bill Gates for control of Microsoft.

RUSSELL CROWE is looking for reduced charges in that phone-throwing incident.

STEVE BUSCEMI, Stanley Tucci and Bob Balaban are among those lined up for indie American remakes of films by the murdered Dutch film director Theo van Gogh. Mohammed Bouyeri shot van Gogh seven times before stabbing him, slitting his throat and using the knife to pin a note to his chest threatening to kill Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born Dutch politician who collaborated with the film-maker o­n Submissions, a TV project accused by its critics of portraying Islam as a misogynous religion which condoned violence against women. Submissions is not o­ne of the announced remakes. Maybe Hollywood would have been more outraged by the brutal slaying if van Gogh had made films criticizing the Patriot Act.

MICHAEL JACKSON rents out an entire water park in Dubai so that children and their parents could enjoy the facilities for free. Jacko wore a white lycra body suit exposing o­nly his eyes and nose, which was not flattering, according to a lifeguard o­n the scene.

TONY FERRARI: If you haven't heard of him, I wouldn't want to spoil anything, so go there, but don't go there.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio has more analysis of strategy and tactics around Tal Afar, including the significant involvement and cooperation of the Iraqi Army. He also looks at Zarqawi's retaliatory wave of terror bombs in Baghdada, but notes the degradation of Zarqawi's forces in Northern Iraq. And the most recent Iraq Index from the Brookings Institution has casualty figures that are better than I tought they would be, given the o­ngoing operations in the north and the Anbar province.

NOW THAT'S A LANDSLIDE: Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party won so big that it did not have enough candidates to fill all the seats it would have won in Tokyo.

CULT OF THE iPod: The Joy of Tech pictures alternative uses for the Nano. Also, portable music players are turning people deaf. Not me though -- Hüsker Dü in Iowa City gets the credit there.

NANOTECH: A new poll shows people are excited about the benefits of nano tech, but want regulation -- though they are skeptical that government would get it right, either. Meanwhile Dartmouth researchers have created the world's smallest untethered, controllable robot. About 200 of these could march in a line across the top of a plain M&M. Moe techy details and video here.

MEAT PRESERVATIVES may preserve you someday.

BIONIC EYE: Nanananananana....

EDU-BLOGGING: The back-to-school edition of the Carnival of Education is o­nline.

HURRICANE KATRINA: CNN reports that even after Michael Brown's resignation as head of FEMA, "criticism of the government's response to the disaster keeps rising. It threatens to swamp other officials involved in the recovery effort. Blame is being directed at every level of government -- federal, state and local." Yesterday, CNN reported a new Gallup poll showing that about 60 percent thought federal, state and local officials did a bad job after the storm, but when asked about the response "in the last few days," the results were almost reversed. So from where is the rising criticism coming? The same Gallup poll shows that 49 percent think the media are spending too much time trying to figure out who is responsible for the problems in the areas affected by the hurricane. Nevertheless, as I noted recently, a CNN producer was coaching at least o­ne invited guest to "get angry." CNN boss Jonathan Klein is in love with angry anchor Anderson Cooper: "He brings a new dimension to the job, which is a concept of an anchor as a kind of missionary. It’s a new model for thinking about what the anchorperson ought to be." Some might question whether Cooper is up for the missionary position, but I think if CNN viewers wanted to see missionary reporters, they would already be watching CBN. The public is starting to question the unsubstantiated and seemingly overstated death estimates and the equally unsubstantiated stories of rape and murder in the Superdome, so journalists ought to keep in mind that they should be accurate before they get angry.

HURRICANE RELIEF: Delone Catholic High School in McSherrystown, PA, is playing Hanson's 1996 hit "MMMBop" through the loudspeakers before classes begin, between periods and during lunch. The idea? Annoy students into donating; have them pay to stop the music. I'm surprised the ACLU hasn't shown up there -- this sort of thing is called torture down at Gitmo.

OSAMA BIN LADEN: The U.S. military in Afghanistan has denied that o­ne of its officers told reporters OBL was seeking medical attention. Reuters adds: "The United States holds al Qaeda responsible for many attacks, including the suicide hijack assaults o­n New York and Washington o­n September 11, 2001." Apparently, Reuters was in the bathroom when Khalid Sheikh Mohammed admitted al Qaeda was responsible for 9/11.

SQUIRRELAPALOOZA: A baby squirrel is nursed by a boy's pet Terrier. Awwww... A crazy little squirrel greets drivers as they cross the Hulton Bridge to enter Oakmont, PA (click link at the site to see him). Police in Barre Town, VT believe they have identified the "Squirrel Man," believed to be responsible for killing squirrels and leaving them in plastic bags all over the town and Barre City for the past three to four years. And next time you're passing through Spencer, IA, stop for some lovely canned squirrel. (via Fark)

SEA LIONS are the scourge of a California town, recently sinking o­ne man's 50-foot, newly-restored 1910 sailboat.

CATS: In New Orleans, Ray Lambert got past military checkpoints to batter frantically at his house with a sledgehammer in search of his eight cats.

FROG ACTION PLAN: Scientists will meet in DC this weekend to launch an action plan aimed at stemming the global decline in amphibians. Last year, the Global Amphibian Assessment revealed that almost a third of the 5,743 known species are categorized as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable.

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