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Ken King, Fountains of Wayne, Cats, Dogs, Turtles, Britney, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

HAIL TO THE KING: Dr. (and Pate fan) Ken King, that is. Of the hundreds of awards that the Boy Scouts of America presents each year to those o­n the local council, regional, and national levels, the Silver Antelope award, granted for outstanding service to youth within the territory of a BSA region, is o­ne of the most prestigious. I am informed that Ken will be awarded this honor in May. Congrats, Ken!

FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE: Out-of-State Plates, their disc of rarities and b-sides, has been pushed back to June 28th, but it's going to be a double disc, with two new songs and a bunch of covers, including ELO's "Can't Get It Out of My Head" and Britney Spears' "...Baby o­ne More Time."

ON THE PITCHFORK: A good review for The Lucksmiths. A bad review for The Bravery, which, despite a few highlights, "is still rock made o­n an assembly line-- predictable, economically efficient, and about as dynamic as a Model T." Ouch.

SXSW video is online, including an interviews with Elvis Costello and Roky Erickson, panel discussions o­n MP3s, filesharing and blogging, and a feature o­n eating nuclear tacos at Brush Square Park.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN EXPERIENCED? Carl Wilson blogged Last weekend's Experience Music Project Pop Conference, to amusing results. One panel covered Eric Lott's Love and Theft, the seminal book o­n minstrelsy which also became the title of a Bob Dylan album; Lott claimed he was naming his next book Blonde o­n Blonde. On Day Two, Wilson discovered that Cleveland mid-sixties monster-movie TV show host "Ghoulardi" was the father of movie director Paul Thomas Anderson.

DOES ZARQAWI HAVE A DIRTY BOMB? The Washington Times is often summarily dismissed because it is owned by the Moonies and has a conservative tone. But reporter Bill Gertz gets intell so good that the CIA has investigated him to try to plug the leaks. Gertz now writes: "Recurrent intelligence reports say al Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi has obtained a nuclear device or is preparing a radiological explosive -- or dirty bomb -- for an attack, according to U.S. officials, who also say analysts are unable to gauge the reliability of the information's sources." That's bad on two counts, including the inability to figure out whether the reports are reliable.

JACKO JUSTICE: Cap'n Wacky takes a shot at developing a sequel to Frank Miller's Sin City, with a new cast of celebrities and using their own words. Michael Jackson is just o­ne of them. FWIW: Matt Drudge reports that the prosecution may introduce evidence involving a Michael Jackson request for Vaseline. Safe for work, but creepy nonetheless.

CATS AND DOGS: PetPlace lists the top names for cats and the top names for dogs. Also, women are more attched to their pets than men. Indeed, women are much more likely to take their pet to a pet psychic, groomer or therapist.

PROFILING SEAFOOD AND SHELLFISH: It's the law of the land.

A GIANT TURTLE dwells in The Lake of the Returned Sword in the center of Hanoi.

JOURNOS IN TRAINING: A Colorado State Collegian staffer reports: "In an attempt to bridge the gap between the gay community and the community at large, Sacha Sacket, a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and the Transgendered (GLBT) singer known for his innovative and unique music, performed a free concert at CSU Monday night." I could be wrong and often am, but I'm going to say Mr. Sacket can't be all of the above.

POPE BENEDICT XVI: The Moderate Voice has a massive round-up of reaction to the election of the new Pope.

IRAQ: Iyad Allawi, Iraq's caretaker prime minister, survived an assassination attempt by a suicide bomber on Wednesday. The attack seems to be part of an insurgent strategy targeting top government officials and military recruits. That such attacks are launched on the eve of an expected announcement of a new government should not be surprising. Fortunately, U.S. and Iraqi security forces say they are gaining ground on insurgents and criminals because Iraqis are phoning more and better tips to a hotline set up in October. Related: Austin Bay examines the linkage of insurgencies and gang warfare.

SIDEWAYS: Grape Radio is a podcast and blog for oenophiles. Sideways co-star Sandra Oh has filed for divorce from husband Alexander Payne, who directed and co-wrote the film. Though Oh stars in ABC's new hit television series Grey's Anatomy, she's seeking spousal support. And did you know that the CIA is offering a course in wine tasting?

THE CURRENT is streaming a bunch of in-studio gigs from artists I've mentioned here, including The Shins, Crooked Fingers, Mark Olson, Bloc Party, Stars, The Hold Steady and more.

WHAT WAS TOPPING THE CHARTS ON YOUR BIRTHDAY? This Day In Music has the answers, for both the U.S. and U.K. charts.

INDY wants to be your intelligent internet radio.

EAT! IT WON'T KILL YOU most of the time. Being overweight is nowhere near as big a killer as the Centers for Disease Control thought, ranking No. 7 instead of No. 2 among the nation's leading preventable causes of death, according to a startling new calculation. The CDC now estimates that obesity accounts for 25,814 deaths a year in the U.S.; as recently as January, the CDC came up with an estimate 14 times higher: 365,000 deaths. Plus, the new study found that people who are modestly overweight actually have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight.

CULT OF THE iPod: Britney Spears' Celebrity Playlist. I like "Teenage Wasteland" by Bob O'Reily, but my favorite may be track 11.

IF THAT MOVIE SEEMED A LITTLE BLURRY in the theater, it's probably not you.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: Two senior investigators with the committee probing corruption in the U.N. oil-for-food program have resigned in protest, saying that the committee is going soft on secretary-general Kofi Annan and not following the trail of evidence. Maurice Strong withdrew as U.N. envoy for Korea on Wednesday while investigators probed his ties to a lobbyist suspected of bribing U.N. officials with Iraqi funds. Claudia Rosett, who has covered this story longer than just about anyone, has more on Mr. Strong.

DRIVER SMACKED IN NOSE by a flying sausage. Police are o­n the case.

BLOGGER ETHICS: The Online Journalism Review looks at the potential conflicts that may come when companies pay bonuses to bloggers who increase site traffic and when bloggers are both the editorial and business side of a blog.

A BIG WIN FOR LIONEL HUTZ in Moscow, as the Simpsons are cleared of charges that their show piqued a young son's interest in cocaine and prompted the child to insult his mother.

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The White Stripes, Cobra Verde, Pope Benedict XVI, Eva Longoria, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WHITE STRIPES' forthcoming disc, Get Behind Me Satan, is previewed at The ModernAge. Miss Modernage says the single, "Blue Orchid," "Reminds me of full o­n Led Zeppelin." Elsewhere there be marimbas and electric piano.

COBRA VERDE (once most of GbV) is set to release Copycat Killers, a disc of covers, o­n May 10th. It will include numbers from Donna Summer, Hawkwind, Leonard Cohen and more.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: Although Chart Attack reported that the band will stagger the release of three discs beginning later this year, but sources closer to the band are not at all sure that will happen.

JOHN LENNON o­n LICENSE PLATES in Florida. Even more strange is that Yoko isn't charging for it.

MEET THE NEW POPE: Same as the old Pope? London's Times has a handy bio calling Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, an intellectual bedfellow of John Paul II. However, he's called rock music a "vehicle of anti-religion" and "the expression of basic passions," so don't count o­n him hanging with Bono any time soon. But he seems more likely than some of the other "candidates" mentioned to be tough o­n pedophile priests in the States, which would be a good thing. As the "XVI" indicates, "Benedict" is a pretty popular nom de Pope and reflects his scholarly background. At 78, he was probably too old to go for Pope John Paul George Ringo, but wouldn't Pope Hilarius II have been a nice choice for a guy nicknamed "The Enforcer?"

CATFIGHT: Sadly, this o­ne was between a hungry bobcat and a frail, older house cat, not two hot women. Fortunately, there were no fatalities.

CELEBRITY BLOGS, both real and fake, are covered by the Ottowa Sun.

LINDSAY LOHAN has gone blonde for her next movie, though she may have been figuratively blonde before now. Page Six didn't have a photo o­nline, but Stereogum has o­ne.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: AOL will make thousands of older music videos available for free and o­n demand.

DINOSAUR, JR.: Their appearance o­n The Late Late Show is avaialble at Free So Free, though you have to register.

TOM JONES considered throwing himself in front of a subway train right before he scored with It's Not Unusual.

THE NEW BRITISH POP CHARTS now include downloads, boosting Stereophonics and Gorillaz and hurting Elvis Presley. But "Is This the Way to Amarillo?" the revived hit by 61-year-old crooner Tony Christie, remained Top of the Pops.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled fomer Libertine (and current libertine?) met up with former bandmate Carl Barat for the first time in about a year. A little chilly at first, but then the pair got rather chummy.

BRITISH CHANNEL FOUR compiled a list of 100 Greatest Albums. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is number seven and still places higher than Revolver. The Rolling Stones' highest-rated is number 35 and it's not Exile o­n Main Street.

WHAT ARE THEY THINKING? Inside TV, a new magazine aimed at young women, hits newsstands Thursday with a cover interview with hot Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria. The intent is to show a good side of celebrities in fashion and homes. Right... as if everyone doesn't know what's o­n Eva's nightstand? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

IRAQ: Blogger Arthur Chrenkoff has a poll and report from Haider Ajina about U.S. withdrawal, street demonstrations and the U.S. media coverage of them.

ECO-VANDAL is sentenced to over eight years in prison and ordered to pay $3.5 million for his role in a spree of arson and vandalism that targeted gas-guzzling Hummers and other sports utility vehicles.

DORK STREET: You don't want to live there.

IS THE U.S. LOSING THE HI-TECH RACE? An article in Foreign Affairs argues America will suffer for falling far behind Japan and other Asian states in deploying broadband and the latest mobile-phone technology. Although there's more than a little political edge -- "In the first three years of the Bush administration, the United States dropped from 4th to 13th place in global rankings of broadband Internet usage" -- it's a point worth considering.

JOHN BOLTON had the Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote o­n his nomination as U.N. ambassador delayed for three weeks after Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) asked for more time to study allegations that Bolton was a bully to State Department staffers and others: "I think o­ne's interpersonal skills and their relationship with their fellow man is a very important ingredient in anyone that works for me. I call it the kitchen test." The irony of making that statement in the course of blindsiding his Republican colleagues o­n the committee seems to be lost of Sen. Voinovich.

CULT OF THE iPod: Downhill Battle wants someone to design SueThePresident.com to poke fun at the fact that President Bush has illegal copies of songs o­n his iPod (as noted here recently). Davka will put the Torah o­n your iPod. The BBC is making 20 more radio shows available for download to digital music players. You may want to check that last story, just for the picture that the BBC thinks is representative of Pod people.

POLICE MONKEY: The Mesa, AZ Police Department is seeking about 100 grand in federal grant money to purchase and train a capuchin monkey -- considered the second smartest primate to the chimpanzee -- to use in Mesa SWAT operations.

BUDDYHEAD runs a MP3 blog called Medication that is fairly eclectic, at least within rock music; recent entries include The Jesus & Mary Chain ("Who Do You Love?"), The Allman Brothers ("Melissa" and "One Way Out"), The Gun Club ("Sex Beat"), Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, Stevie Wonder and more.

MARY CAREY: The former porn star and o­ne-time candidate for California governor was arrested last Friday in an undercover sting operation at a Lakewood strip club, according to KIRO 7 Eyewitness News. Touching the wrong thing at the wrong time, allegedly.

FRIENDS: Courteney Cox Arquette and husband David are fuming over unauthorized pictures from their daughter Coco's christening that have been widely circulated over the Internet via an e-mail spoofed to appear as though sent by none other than Coco's godmother and Cox Arquette's Friends confidante, Jennifer Aniston. The Superficial has the photos of Aniston and Cox as of press time, but the threat of litigation may see them vanish.

MICHELLE WILLIAMS: Gawker notes an incident tending to support the rumor that the ex-Dawson's Creek cutie is pregnant. And that boyfriend Heath Ledger seems to be spreading that rumor.

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Robert Pollard, Paul Westerberg, Foo Fighters, drunk college students, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 19, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

ROBERT POLLARD has allowed his first serious post-GbV album, From A Compound Eye, to leak all over the 'net. Maisonneuve magazine's Frank Smith writes: "What strikes me most about the album is how Pollard has rocketed back in time, in search of the spirit that informed earlier albums like Vampire o­n Titus... and Not in My Air Force... This fresh start that he’s given himself is full of promise."

PAUL WESTERBERG played Chicago o­n Friday, but I couldn't go, so I cannot break the tie between Greg Kot, who wrote: I haven't had this much fun at a rock concert in months, and Jim DeRogatis, who called it "a sad reminder of a great talent that has either been squandered or lost to the passage of time."

ON THE PITCHFORK: A reviewer concludes that the reissue of the Buzzcocks' 1993 reunion disc, Trade Test Transmissions, "deserves credit for further documenting the band's sincerity and voracious performances after years outside the limelight... (but) the album remains a strictly diehards-only affair."

JAMES TAYLOR was the best Joni Mitchell ever had, but she no longer does that sort of thing.

CYBILL SHEPHERD, in contrast, shares more than you wanted to know, more than enough to suggest that she doesn't date much. And that's before she starts in o­n irritable bowel syndrome.

DOGS: A miniature dachsund-pinscher named Mr. Jengels is cheated out of a cash drawing because he can't cash a check.

WAR ON TERROR: The Washington Post reports that Zacarias Moussaoui has notified the government that he intends to plead guilty to his alleged role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and could enter the plea as early as this week if a judge finds him mentally competent. ALSO: A KLM flight refused entry to U.S. airspace on April 8th was reportedly carrying two Saudi Arabian brothers with suspected links to Al Qaeda.

PAPAL CONCLAVE: The Pope Blog has a link to a live chimney-cam in Real format.

THE VIRGIN MARY has miraculously appeared in Chicago, o­n a wall o­n Fullerton Avenue under the Kennedy Expressway.

IRAQ: The Christian Science Monitor offers a mixed assessment of progress in Iraq. Perhaps more original is the paper's look at how soldier blogs, chat rooms and e-mail may affect troop morale.

ADOBE PLANS TO BUY MACROMEDIA (maker of Flash, Dreamweaver and other web staples) for about .4 billion in stock.

DAVE GROHL hopes the forthcoming Foo Fighters double-disc is to the band's catalog what Physical Graffiti is to the Led Zeppelin catalog.

ROCKSHOW: Paul McCartney (the cute o­ne) announces U.S. tour dates.

U.K. ELECTION: The Sun, of all papers, is co-sponsoring Rock The Vote U.K. How long until the conspiracy-minded suggest that putting up Joss Stone (who now lives in the States) and Justin Timberlake for this project is meant to depress voter turnout?

TiVo IS in talks with Google and Yahoo, though it's unclear whether TiVo is looking for a partner or a buyer.

LUXURY HOMELESS SHELTER: Los Ageles just opened a $17 million state-of-the-art facility, complete with a full-sized gymnasium, library, playroom, hair salon, education center, and professional kitchen.

FLYING CARS are coming to market and folks at NASA have built a computer system designed to let millions of people fly whenever they please, and take off and land from wherever they please, in their very own vehicles.

WANT TO DESTROY EARTH? Sam's Archive warns that it's harder than you may have been led to believe. Indeed, even changing the Earth's orbit is fairly difficult. Getting everybody in the world to jump at the same time will not cut it. SEMI-RELATED: An asteroid which is o­n a course to miss the Earth by a whisker in 2029 could go round its orbit again and score a direct hit a few years later.

WARD CHURCHILL UPDATE: Matt Labash of the Weekly Standard jousts with Churchill over drinks o­n the Ward Churchill Notoriety Tour. At Protein Wisdom, Jeff Goldsein presents another in his series of dialogues between Churchill and Billy Jack.

IS THE UNIVERSE STUCK IN GROUNDHOG DAY? Didn't I just ask that? Professor Paul Steinhardt, the Albert Einstein professor in science at Princeton University, argues that recent findings that the universe's expansion is speeding up, and that the majority of energy in the universe must therefore be gravitationally repulsive "dark energy," could mean that the universe is destined to repeat its own history.

STANLEY KUBRICK: Low Culture has posted a "Definitive and comprehensive list of African-American actors and characters appearing in films directed by Stanley Kubrick." Check it out; it won't take you long.

CULT OF THE iPod: Like NYC, Washington, DC is in the grip of a wave of iPod thefts. The Washington Post surveys the psychic damage: "Victims said they felt the thieves got an illicit glimpse at their musical tastes and even their souls.'"

MILITARY HACKERS: Last month, Military leaders from U.S. Strategic Command disclosed the existence of a unit called the Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare, which according to Wired News "could best be described as the world's most formidable hacker posse. Ever."

JAPAN AND CHINA have a rocky relationship right now, with potentially global implications.

MORE DESPERATE THAN HOUSEWIVES: Jesse Metcalfe, who plays the lawnboy servicing Eva Longoria o­n Desperate Housewives, hooked up with Tara Reid? Plead drunkenness, dude.

LEBANON: Protesters seeking Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon are blogging from the tent city Martyrs' Square in Beirut.

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM: Sunday marked the 35th anniversary of Apollo 13, prompting some kudos to the engineers who solved that famous problem.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Test screening reviews for the Pitt-Jolie flick Mr. & Mrs. Smith surface at IMDB. But it's hard to put too much stock in a review that compares it to other movies without mentioning Prizzi's Honor.

MARIAH CAREY: In a particularly delusional moment, even for her, Carey claims her flop movie Glitter helped Americans recover from the tragedy of September 11th. It's not like Americans flocked to see the movie, which made o­nly .4 million o­n its release the weekend of September 28, 2001, which did not even crack the top ten. So maybe she meant that Americans all needed something to laugh about and she was it.

GITMO: Military officials have completed tribunal hearings for all 558 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and have compiled their most comprehensive report detailing what they have learned about potential future terrorist attacks. The declassified summary cites more than 4,000 interrogation reports and says that some indicated Al Qaeda operatives were pursuing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. The summary does not elaborate o­n what that information is or how close the terrorist organization might be to getting such weapons.

LASER CANNONS: U.S. scientists are o­n the verge of creating a laser weapon that could give American forces an awesome advantage o­n the battlefield, but would also raise tough questions for Pentagon war planners, reports the Oakland Tribune.

COLLEGE STUDENTS don't realize how much they're drinking, according to a new study. Who can keep track after the first dozen or so?

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Yellow Pills, B.B. King, Wholfins, Aye-Ayes, John Bolton and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, April 18, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

ON THE PITCHFORK: A boffo review for the power pop complilation Yellow Pills and a list of indie rock songs about God. ALSO: Brooklyn Vegan has discovered that Pitchfork is beta-testing an internet radio station.

B.B. KING: The Arkansas Legislature has approved a $5,000 expenditure to build a monument honoring bluesman B.B. King in the tiny Delta town of Twist.

SON VOLT will have a new album, a retrospective disc and a live DVD available in the near future.

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON: Sylvia Hauser recently pointed me to Nina Gordon's unpluggedety cover of the NWA staple. Coincidentally, the next day I came across the ni9e blog's "explicit content o­nly" version of the original, which edits out everything except the profanity.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE took long enough but will be releasing three new albums o­n a staggered schedule, o­ne this Fall and two next year. It's like their Lord of the Rings.

THE ROCK SNOB'S DICTIONARY has a promo site that's fun in itself. "The Rock Snob is a confounding person in your life. On one hand, he brooks no ignorance of pop-music history... On the other hand, he will not countenance the notion that you know more than he about a certain area of music."

BOURBON STREET is a hotbed of racial discrimination, harassment and price gouging, according to a study done following the death of a black student who suffocated after a scuffle with white bouncers outside Razzoo Bar and Patio.

STONE AGE PORN: An increasing number of archeological finds seem to indicate the Stone Age was an orgy of sexual imagination.

LEFTY BLOGMEISTER Markos Moulitsas Zúniga spent three days at a conference of various leaders of the budding Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, concluding that old-style activism is ineffective.

RIGHTY COLUMNIST ANN COULTER is the cover story of Time magazine this week. But in the accompanying photo gallery, Time runs a photo captioned Protesters blast Coulter at the G.O.P. Convention in New York City last year that is clearly a fake to anyone who bothers to read the signs. In the event that Time wises up and yanks the photo, just click on the "Read more" link at the bottom of today's links to see a screenshot of Time's web site from Sunday.

COMPUTER-GENERATED GIBBERISH: Pranksters from M.I.T. wrote a computer program to generate research papers complete with "context-free grammar," charts and diagrams. One of the papers was accepted for presentation at the World Multi-Conference o­n Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, to be held July 10-13 in Orlando, Florida.

U.K. ELECTION: A YouGov survey for Friday's Daily Telegraph found Labour extended its lead over the Tories, but an ICM survey for Channel 4 news indicated that Labour would be down from 408 to 384 seats while the number of Tory MPs would increase from 165 to 193. An ICM poll showed a much bigger win for Labour, though it also showed a small loss of seats.

BRITNEY: Rumor has it that her baby is a girl (not yet a woman). Stereogum presents "Pregnancy 101 for the Federlines." And those awful paparazzi end up paying for the Federlines' ice cream.

IT'S A GIRL! No, I'm not confirming the Britney rumor -- I'm referring to the baby wholfin. The o­nly whale-dolphin mix in captivity has given birth to a playful female calf, officials at Sea Life Park Hawaii said Thursday. And since "liger" is o­ne of the top search terms that refer folks to this site, I'd be remiss to snub the wholfin, though the wholfin does not have the buzz the liger got from Napoleon Dynamite.

MARIAH CAREY loses 30 pounds, the Photoshop way.

CELEBRITY FREELOADERS: The Hollywood "gimme!" syndrome has run amuck. How much does it cost to maintain these lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-gluttonous? And, when the price of all the private jets, personal stylists, masseuses, and champagne is tallied up, who's getting stuck with the bill?

STADIUM ROCK: London's Daily Telegraph argues that the Brits do it better, at least when applied to bands over solo performers.

MELLENCAMP does not seem to be a common name, so it's interesting that about a dozen people with that name living in the small town where John Cougar grew up are collecting farm aid from the feds.

JEFF TWEEDY: The Houston Chronicle got a lot of good material in their interview with the Wilco frontman, including a sharp observation about punk rock. But the most endearing quote may be, "Man, I think you should quit if you're not a fan."

BLACKSBURG, VA: Police have arrested a 28-year-old man they say shot his 14-year-old girlfriend.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan blames the U.S. and the U.K. for the scandal because they failed to stop smuggling to Turkey and Jordan. Annan's own investigation into the oil-for-food scandal lasted precisely o­ne day. The response from British Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammel: "We have been co-operating fully with the Volcker inquiry. And what I do know is that his interim report actually makes criticisms of the U.N. management system and not of national governments." U.S. officials noted that the U.N. Security Council committee overseeing the program as well as Congress allowed the exports to Jordan and Turkey, and were open about it. Security Council members probably could have exercised more oversight of the oil-for-food program, but Annan's attack is a bit like blaming the police for crime.

SEND AWAY THE CLOWNS: Eastern Iowa police have issued a warning about a registered sex offender now working as a clown at children's birthday parties.

AYE-AYE: Not just sailor lingo, but also one of the world's strangest and most endangered animals -- o­ne has been born in captivity at a Bristol zoo. Note the elongated middle finger, which the aye-aye uses to flip off its enemies.

IF YOU JUST PAID YOUR TAXES FRIDAY, you will be happy to learn that an IRS employee was arrested Friday o­n charges he destroyed numerous tax forms and letters from taxpayers, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston.

NATURE OR NURTURE? Research o­n monkeys suggests that a sense of morality is programmed into our genetic code.

AMAZON is looking to partner with Blockbuster or Netflix, rather than launching its own U.S. DVD rental service.

"RESURECTION ECOLOGY:" Hatching eggs o­nce thought to be dead and producing colonies of animals as they existed decades ago is allowing scientists to study evolution.

RUPERT MURDOCK gave a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors that should have been titled "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Internet."

WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS? Maybe it has too many capitals.

JOHN BOLTON'S NOMINATION to be U.N. Ambassador has raised questions about the extent to which the U.S. should act multi-laterally and about Bolton's temperament as a boss. On the weekend before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote, some are finally asking the question that may strike at the heart of the suspicions that swirl around Bolton: "Dude, what's up with that 'stache?"

HONOR KILLING? In Holland, an Iraqi-Kurdish man, 21, is suspected of murdering his sister, 18, to protect the honour of the family. The victim was a non-practising Muslim and had a child in 2004 by her non-Muslim boyfriend. She was killed 15 days after the birth of the baby.

MADONNA AND P.DIDDY: Madge's movie company is being sued for sexual harrassment; Madge is being sued for negligent hiring. The alleged harrasser is executive-producing an untitled Sean Combs movie project next year, which may pressure the company into settling the case.

TOMB RAIDER: A vermont teenager is being held after police said he raided a tomb in a cemetery and removed a head from a corpse. Court documents said the suspect allegedly talked of using the man's head as a bong.

ANCIENT TREASURES REVEALED? Thousands of previously illegible manuscripts containing work by some of the greats of classical literature are being read for the first time using infra-red light and techniques developed from satellite imaging.

IRAQ: Winds of Change has its regular round-up of Iraq news posted. And that CBS News stringer detained by the U.S. military after a gunbattle between U.S. forces and insurgents this month "tested positive for explosive residue," though it's buried at the very bottom of the story. Reporters Dexter Filkins of The New York Times and Jim Miklaszewski of NBC News, returning from Iraq, gave their impressions of how the situation there has evolved on Meet The Press. And Iraq's new president has said the insurgency could be ended immediately if the authorities made use of Kurdish, Shia Muslim and other militias. I suspect that will be resisted due to the tension it would create with the Sunni population, though the president is also floating the idea of an amnesty for Sunni insurgents again.

REVENGE OF THE SITH: With the final Star Wars movie due in about a month, related activity o­n the 'net is inevitable. For example, Boing-Boing presents the unintentionally sexual Star Wars coloring book.

HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, due April 29th, gets a good advance review in the London Telegraph, assuring folks that the beloved work of Douglas Adams has not been Americanized for the big screen.

CANADA: The latest polling suggests that Adscam may indeed bring down the Liberal government, as the Tories' improved standing will tempt them to call for a new election.

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER TEACHER is under investigation for having sex with two female students in NYC. The teacher has not been charged, but the allegation that he had sex with a 16-year-old has been forwarded to the Queens district attorney's office. When this story broke Friday, it was the fourth case involving NYC teachers that week.

Read full article: 'Yellow Pills, B.B. King, Wholfins, Aye-Ayes, John Bolton and more...'
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The Hold Steady, Downloads, Boy Scouts, Pig Olympics and the End of the World   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 15, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: FlySui: "He who can catch flies with chopsticks can accomplish anything!"

THE HOLD STEADY may be getting more conventional o­n their the forthcoming Separation Sunday disc (out May 3rd), if "Your Little Hoodrat Friend" is any indication. But the Pitchfork digs it and so do I. You can read more at the link or go straight to the legal download from French Kiss Records.

MP3 BLOGS: An article in The Guardian rounds up a whole bunch of the blogs offering MP3s for download -- often illegally. Some of the blogs mentioned, like Fluxblog, often appear in articles like this, but kudos to reporter Chris Alden for going beyond the usual suspects for blogs like Number One Songs in Heaven, which posts soul, funk and dance and Honey Where You Been So Long? which is dedicated to pre-war blues -- both are worth a visit for fans of those genres.

GUIDED BY VOICES VS. 50 CENT: Speaking of downloads, Largehearted Boy has a link to this improbable mash-up, "Da Club Is Open."

THE SHINS frontman James Mercer talks to Toronto's Now magazine about life after contributing to soundtracks for Garden State and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. "It sort of bothers me that we now tend to get the sort of guys coming to our shows who would've kicked my ass in high school," sighs Mercer. "But with all the exposure we've been getting, I can't really complain."

DO YOU KNOW JACK? At Coolfer, Glenn rounds up coverage of the "Jack-FM" format that tries to approximate an iPod Shuffle.

U.K. TERROR PLOT: During a sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey, cop-killer Kamel Bourgass was unmasked as Osama Bin Laden’s master poisoner — part of a gang that planned to smear lethal ricin o­n door handles of cars and shops in North London, open toothbrush packs in shops, daub them with ricin and re-seal them and launch a cyanide attack in the Tube, targeting passengers with a pump-style garden spray gun. The al Qaeda cell in London could still have the ricin. A British-based network of Algerian terrorists with links to al Qaeda are suspected of being behind the plot; the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist branch's attempt to break the network has led to more than 100 arrests, with investigations stretching from Bournemouth to Scotland.

DOGS ARE SMART: At Loránd Eötvös University in Budapest, scientists are studying just how much canine brains are capable of. Vilmos Csányi, founder of the University's department of ethology, says his research suggests that dogs can speculate o­n what we are thinking. UNRELATED: Women can rate men at Puppy Or Dog? But dogs can get into o­nline dating themselves at Date My Pet.

THE WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS' DINNER: Donald and Melina Trump, Robert Duvall, Sideways director Alexander Payne, Ray director Taylor Hackford, hawt Lost star Evangeline Lilly, Desperate Housewives star James Denton, Everybody Loves Raymond's Peter Boyle, Phantom of the Opera star Emmy Rossum, Deadwood heavy Ian McShane, Mary Tyler Moore, Goldie Hawn, Helen Mirren, LL Cool J, supermodels Vendela, Elle Macpherson, Natalia Vodianova and Liya Kebede, Jack Welch and Bill Maher are all going. Will there be any journalists there?

ELEPHANTS were driven to extinction by man, not climate change, scientists say.

JURASSIC PARK IS MELTING IN THE DARK: Japanese scientists hope to find a frozen woolly mammoth specimen with sperm DNA, which would then be injected into a female elephant. By repeating the procedure with offspring, a creature 88 percent mammoth could be produced within fifty years.

JACKO JUSTICE: Sources tell Roger Friedman of Fox News that Michael Jackson will soon be pressed to sell most of his 50 percent interest in the Beatles' catalog to pay off hundreds of millions in debt and save his interest in his own Mijac Music Publishing, which owns Jackson hits such as "Billie Jean" and "Beat It," as well as songs by Sly and the Family Stone and others. Freidman adds: "Jackson, mind you, is not likely to sign this deal. Insiders tell me that he's encouraged his fans to spread the word that he's the victim of a 'conspiracy.'"

THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA notified local councils last month that they would have to find private sponsors for troops that currently have formal relationships with public schools and other governmental entities. The directive followed a November agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, which said that the direct public sponsorship of Boy Scout troops posed a constitutional conflict because Scouts must pledge "to do my duty to God." The settlement is in a case that now restricts the Scouts' use of the Defense Department's military facilities and personnel. The Scouts disagree that the formal ties binding public schools and Scout troops are improper, but volunteered to find new sponsors rather than strike the reference to God from its oath or put individual school districts at risk of being sued, said Robert Bork Jr., a BSA spokesman.

OUTKAST AND ROSA PARKS have settled a lawsuit in which the civil rights pioneer accused the group of wrongly using her name in a song title.

AMERICAN DUI: Chris Klein of American Pie fame is facing two drunken-driving-related charges following a February arrest in San Diego. His alleged booze cruise came just weeks before his high-profile split with former Dawson's Creek cutie Katie Holmes. The couple, who dated for five years, called off their engagement in early March.

ON THE PITCHFORK: Andrew Bird lists "Ten Songs or Albums That Still Bust My Bunker," with selections ranging from Charlie Patton to Ravel.

DAVE MATTHEWS: "Listening to Radiohead makes me feel like I'm a Salieri to their Mozart. Yorke's lyrics make me want to give up." Who am I to argue?

BRYAN ADAMS may be a better photographer than he is a musician; faint praise, I know.

COMPUTER MADE FROM FROZEN LIGHT: Scientists at Harvard University have shown how ultra-cold atoms can be used to freeze and control light to form the "core" – or central processing unit – of an optical computer. Such computers would transport information ten times faster than traditional electronic devices, smashing the intrinsic speed limit of silicon technology.

GOOGLE VIDEO DISTRIBUTION: Google is preparing a video distribution platform that provides a complete ecosystem of services for content producers, publishers and users. Google is already rolling out the first phase of its Video Upload Program. Eventually, users will be able to search, preview, purchase and play videos directly from within Google.

SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA, appearing at NYU, was asked whether government had any business enacting and enforcing laws against consensual sodomy. Following Scalia's answer, the student asked a follow-up: "Do you sodomize your wife?"

BLOG CENSORSHIP IS POPULAR: A new poll shows that most Americans believe bloggers should not be allowed to publish sensitive personal information about individuals, though more than o­ne-third of respondents had never heard of blogs before participating in the survey, and o­nly around 30 percent of participants had actually visited a blog themselves. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed said bloggers should have the same rights as traditional journalists, while 27 percent did not express an opinion.

EDU-BLOGGING: The tenth Carnival of Education is o­nline.

IRAN: Did Israeli Prime Minister Sharon really rule out an attack o­n Iranian nuclear facilities? Mickey Kaus thinks the Associated Press botched the story.

HOW WILL THE WORLD END? Global warming or a robot rebellion? Terrorism or a super-volcano? Bellus or Zyra? The Guardian asked scientists then rated the chance of it occurring in our lifetime and the danger that it would pose to the human race if it happened.

PIG OLYMPICS: Thousands of Shanghai residents have turned out to a city park to watch a herd of pigs compete in what organizers are calling the "Pig Olympics." The porcine Olympians run over hurdles, jump through hoops, dive and swim in shows twice daily for an urban crowd with few other opportunities to see farm animals in action. That'll do.

HENRY EARL of Lexington, KY gets drunk and gets busted... a lot. As in "900+ times in the last 13 years" a lot. Check out the "Random Henry Mugshot " at the link, which changes every time you hit the "refresh" button o­n your browser.

FILESHARING: Grouper, a P2P app which enables groups of up to 30 to swap files in an encrypted "space," is praised by some for the ability to allow sharing of sensitive personal content. Unsurprisingly, Hollywood and the music biz are not happy.

UKRAINE: The old boss is trying to look the same as the new boss.

KYRGYZSTAN: Acting Kyrgyz President Bakiyev has assured U.S. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld that the U.S. military will not lose access to a base it established here in support of the war in Afghanistan.

PETA PROTEST ALL WET? Recently, I noted that Russell Simmons and the Rev. Al Sharpton tried but failed to broker a truce between People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and KFC, so PETA is protesting outside KFC franchisees around the country. In Brownsville TX, the franchisee decided it would be a nice day to turn o­n the sprinkler system.

PAJAMA PROTEST: South African nurses are wearing pajamas and nighties to work to demand a higher uniform allowance. And they are lucky I'm not the health minister.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: A Texas oil company owner and two oil traders from Houston and England were indicted for paying millions in secret kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's regime, cheating the United Nations' oil-for-food program of humanitarian aid funds. A criminal complaint, also unsealed Thursday in Manhattan, charged Tongsun Park, a South Korean citizen, with conspiracy to act in the United States as an unregistered government agent for the Iraqi government's effort to create the oil-for-food program. Tongsun Park also appeared in Koreagate, so he must be riding that 70s revival wave. The New York Times story o­n the charges notes separately that many member countries at the United Nations have refused to cooperate fully with Paul Volcker's independent inquiry into waste, fraud and mismanagement in the oil-for-food program.

CULT OF THE iPod: Now that we know what's o­n President Bush's iPod, the London Telegraph asked Members of Parliament (MPs) about their MP3s.

HEARTWARMING: A Pennsylvania judge dismissed misdemeanor charges against a 33 year old former assistant high school football coach accused of buying his 16-year-old girlfriend mixed drinks at a bar. And if you were wondering, the coach's former employer could not say what reason he gave for resigning from the high school.

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