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


WONKAVISION: Yahoo! has the trailer for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, presumably so named because it looks like Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are going to hew even closer to the book, which was a few shades darker than the Gene Wilder classic.

BRITNEY SPEARS AND HER TINY DOG: On the one hand, I want to say, "We already knew she was a skank without the Paris Hilton imitation." On the other hand, if dog ownership delays her own expression in the gene pool, I wouldn't want to discourage it. UPDATE: Page Six has the Britney story right before a story referring to Paris Hilton's "revolving man-door," which is a lovely little euphemism...

THE CHURCH OF SAINT SULPICE is a little weary over Da Vinci Code tourism.

THE GUARDIAN surveys the curse of the Christmas single.

ROMANIAN ROCKER TEO PETER was killed iwhen the taxi in which he was riding collided with an SUV driven by a U.S. Marine serving as an embassy guard. Romania has demanded the Marine return for questioning. A police breathalyser test showed the marine had a 0.09mg alcohol level in his blood, but under Romanian law, people are not allowed to drive after consuming any amount of alcohol. The Romanian foreign ministry also has asked that he be brought back to Romania and his diplomatic immunity be lifted to face trial. At this juncture, it seems that he may face a court martial instead.

SMOKES FOR SOLDIERS: Chicago sports-radio talker Mike North (about whom I have mixed feelings) is denounced by the American Lung Association for conducting a cigarette collection drive for soldiers in Iraq. I dunno. Obviously, smoking is unhealthy. But soldiers in country have bigger risks to deal with, so if they want cigs, perhaps they ought to be able to get them. The linked story also discusses more healthy items that are popular with the troops.

BLUES LEGEND ROBERT JOHNSON: A lawsuit over his estate drags on through the Mississippi court system.

NEXT-GEN DVD FORMAT BATTLE: Disney joins Sony in backing the Blu-ray format, which is said to be technically superior to the competing HD DVD format (championed by Paramount, Universal, New Line, and Warner Bros. because of HD's similarity to existing DVD technology). One question: Which type of disc will play on my Betamax?

CAT AND DOG take long journeys. And here's a disc of Dog Tunes

CALL IT "TOYS FROM T-TS": The Housing Authority in Statesville, NC rejects hundreds of donated gifts for needy kids offered by a strip club. The director of the authority said he rejected the toys because he was criticized last year for accepting the donation. But the complaints centered around a news photo showing two dancers from the club next to a Statesville police officer, inside a limousine loaded with presents for children. The director admitted elsewhere that “[t]he community was outraged about the publicity.” So the needy kids could have gotten those gifts, so long as no one required an exploitative photo op. Indeed, a local pastor supported accepting the gift.

ROB GLASER, CEO of RealNetworks, now will chair liberal talk show network Air America Radio.

MEL GIBSON is putting that Passion money to very good use.

MAN SMART, WOMEN SMARTER: That's right, the women are smarter, according to a British MP.

TERRORISTS MAY TRY TO DOWN PLANES WITH LASERS, according to a federal warning bulletin. But it's not clear whether the lasers would be based on the Moon, or mounted on their heads.

FORTY DOGS, 16 cats, 14 chickens, seven ducks, two monkeys, four goats, two burros, a rabbit and a potbellied pig were rescued from a house near Akron, IA. Did the police check the pear tree?

MOVE ON says of the Democratic Party: "We bought it, we own it, we're going to take it back." It had better be in its original packaging or they are out of luck.

GIBBON WEDDING: A couple of days after gorillas conduct a human-style wake at the zoo, animal conservationists get hitched like they do on the Discovery channel.

THIS JUST IN: Most smokers don't know the facts about what's in their cigarettes and how these ingredients may be harming them.

EX-OFFICIALS of an historically black college have been indicted for defrauding and stealing millions from student financial aid programs. The feds also claim identity theft was involved.

END OF THE WORLD UPDATE: Aussie snakes evolve to survive the cane toad invasion.


BURLINGTON, IA: A man who police say smeared excrement on dollars bills used to pay a parking ticket has been fined 250 dollars. The best part? The guy is a psychiatrist.

2384 Reads

Links 'o' the (Thurs) Day (P.M. Update)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 09, 2004 - 12:00 PM
Posted by: kbade


THERESA HEINZ-KERRY: "The job of a political spouse is to say, 'Hey, idiot . . .'" Ouch.

NEWS IS DEPRESSING, so leave now.

JANE GALT has penned a poem: "My Tivo has died, and I am sad."

SECRET SPY PROGRAM DANGER TO NATIONAL SECURITY, according to some Senators. But they can't tell you what it is: it's a secret, y'know?

NYDN cites the National Enquirer for a story that police found Michael Jackson's fingerprint and a fingerprint from the boy accusing him of sex abuse on the "same page" of a porno mag seized from the pop star's home. If true, Jacko's lawyers will probably argue: (1) so Jacko and the kid both read Barely Legal magazine -- it doesn't prove they read it together; and (2) Barely Legal may be a little creepy, but it's not gay porn, yer honor!

ALEXANDER THE TERRIBLE UPDATE: Maybe more people would go see it if this scene had been included. Maybe Ollie Stone is saving it for the DVD.

DAZED AND CONFUSED: Wooderson, Slater and Pink are suing filmmaker Richard Linklater because they're sick of people thinking they're stoners.

STARBUCKS: selling hundreds of thousands of Ray Charles CDs.

TARA REID - LINDSAY LOHAN CATFIGHT, with a faked orgasm. But only in print. Lohan's mother, however, is a different story.

MARY-KATE AND ASHLEY have a Kathie Lee Gifford problem?

PICTURES OF ELVIS hold up anthrax cleanup in Florida.

INDIE LABELS OF THE WORLD UNITE: TVT, Artemis, Spinart, Lookout and more form trade group to try to boost payments from online services like Apple's iTunes.

GORILLAS hold a wake for their alpha female.

ADULT SUPERSTORES: Proof that size matters?

IF IT'S THURSDAY, IT MUST BE THE O.C.: The show which brings out the best at Low Culture -- here and here and here, for example.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Its online video-on-demand premiere netted 89 viewers. Ouch.

WHAT IS HIP? Rock critic and author John Leland thought he knew where the word came from; Slate debunks the story.

HOT LAPTOPS may reduce male fertility.

END OF THE WORLD UPDATE: The locusts reach Mexico.

PIXAR'S CARS TROUBLE? The release of the movie teased before The Incredibles is pushed from November 2005 to June 2006, prompting rumors of problems with the script. "Audiences were somewhat underwhelmed by the Cars trailer, which was released in theaters and online last month, further fueling fears of a Pixar bomb." Sadly, I was underwhelmed myself. But if anyone can work it out it's Pixar, which had similar rumors floated around Finding Nemo.

INTELL REFORM: There was much sound and fury leading to the passage of the intelligence reform law. "But some experts say it is not at all evident how, or even if, the changes will help America's spies obtain secrets and help analysts determine the intentions of terrorists or worrisome nations developing weapons of mass destruction." How about the creation of a National Intelligence Director? Will that help stop terrorists and WMD proliferation? "On that question, even some supporters of the overhaul acknowledge their own skepticism. Apparently, Congress wanted to pass (and the President wanted to sign) something, if only to avoid the political fallout from another terror attack had they done nothing.

HOLIDAY STRESS? Have you considered trepanation?

1747 Reads

Links 'o' the (Hump) Day (P.M. update 2)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - 12:00 PM
Posted by: kbade


DICK CLARK hospitalized for a mild stroke. The real shocker: He's only 75 years old! At least that's what he'd have you believe...

ANGELINA JOLIE would marry a woman. A story which undoubtedly sets back the cause of gay marriage by years. Hetero guys don't want her off the market. Gay guys will resent the fact that lesbians (or, more accurately hotl lesbians) are much more palatable to the public. Lesbians may be excited at first, but then wonder whether the generally unhinged Jolie should be their poster child.

DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND (also: "I love this man): Donald trump is getting a 1.5 carat wedding ring for free. Guess the bankruptcy got him some sympathy. Someone acted on the story i previously linked about diamond-laced martinis. But no woman has more best friends than this Russian woman.

DUDE: A word for all purposes. Plus, it inspired Ann Althouse to wax on The Big Lebowski soundtrack and sage lyrics from Bob Dylan. UPDATE: Sylvia Hauser tells me she has been called "Dude" at work, as in the linked article.

JIM TREACHER: What's on your tombstone?

POWER LINE: Very conservative, but remembering John Lennon on the anniversary of his untimely death. And there was even a Richard and Linda Thompson reference yesterday.

LILEKS covers several subjects today, but his take on the new movie Closer is pretty close to what I would say in a review, and Lileks hasn't even seen it:

"It's amusing to read reviews of "Closer", a film that sounds like 100 minutes of attenuated gum surgery: four shallow bitter people trading lacerating quips with their transient sex partners. If you believe that puddle-deep self-obsessed people engaged in two-backed beast construction is somehow the most illustrative example of the human condition, I suppose the movie will strike you as high art, but the notion that trivial people screw a lot and argue afterwards is as illuminating as the fact that dogs don't get married after they knock paws."

THE GRAMMYS: Sure, Ann Althouse has it dead on in noting that they are historically clueless -- and she's thinking of the 1960s. They were just as bad in the 1970s; for example when the 1978 award for Best New Artist went to Taste of Honey (of "Boogie Oogie Oogie" fame) instead of Elvis Costello, or even the Cars. During his lifetime, Elvis Presley won two Grammies, both for Gospel music. Or how about the 1989 for Best Hard Rock Performance going to Jethro Tull instead of Metallica? The list is so lengthy that one goes into a Grammy award show hoping the awards will be merely innocuous. Nevertheless, there were some interesting nominations to note:

Scanning a decent-sized list of the noms, I note that Brian Wilson's Smile got two nods -- Best Pop Vocal Album and Mark Linett for Engineered Album, Non-Classical. The odds don't look good: it's up against things like the posthumous Ray Charles duets disc, Norah Jones and Sarah McLachlan. Moreover, the Beach Boys were never awarded a Grammy during their heyday (they may have gotten some ersatz lifetime thing since). However, Brian is being honored as Person of the Year by MusiCares, a charity set up by the Recording Academy, so maybe Brian will go home with a statue.

Bill Clinton got nominated for the spoken word version of his autobiography, but he's up against a tribute to Mr. Rogers. You may recall that Bill won this award last year for a reading of Peter and the Wolf, so I think there may be a speedy delivery to the Neighborhood.

Also notable: Dan Zanes, former leader of the Del Fuegos, is nominated for Musical Album for Children. I can't say I think much of the Bluegrass noms. But the noms for Historical Album are quite good; it would be tough for me to choose between The Complete Columbia Recordings of Woody Herman and His Orchestra and Woodchoppers (1945-1947) and Goodbye, Babylon; and no, I'm not kidding. Finally, for Best Country Song, Loretta Lynn is nominated twice, which may split her vote, opening the door for "It's Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long," by Rodney Crowell and Vince Gill -- which would be great to see on television.

YOUR TAX DOLLARS NOT AT WORK: The latest OECD international study of the math skills of 15 year olds shows that the United States has the poorest outcomes per dollar spent on education. Actually, there's probably plenty of blame to be spread on this one. Even good teachers in good schools are hard-pressed to overcome bad parenting or lack of parenting. However, you won't find many teachers saying so publicly, as it's politically unwise to alienate parents.

E-COMMERCE AND THE REPEAL OF PROHIBITION clash as the Supreme Court heard oral argument over New York and Michigan laws that require out-of-state wineries to sell through state-licensed wholesalers, while permitting in-state wineries to deal directly with individuals.

PROTEIN WISDOM: Scenes from a Voir Dire, which, for you non-lawyers, means jury selection.

MOST MUSICIANS do not consider peer-to-peer file sharing a major threat, according to a new poll.

REPORTERS TRAIL BADLY IN GALLUP POLL ON HONESTY AND ETHICS, but they beat out lawyers. I'm so proud to be a lawyer.

THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO? Mozilla will follow up its launch of the Firefox web browser with the Thunderbird e-mail client.


ALSO NICE: Tipster turns down 40 thousand dollar reward for murder arrest.


1821 Reads

Links 'o' the (Tues) Day (P.M. edition)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - 12:00 PM
Posted by: kbade


BTW, IT'S THE FIRST DAY OF CHANUKAH: Although the president of my law school class offered to make me an honorary mensch, I'm not an expert on the Festival of Lights. But there's all sorts of info here.

ON THE PITCHFORK: a review of GbV's Bee Thousand: The Director's Cut.


RON HAHM: Sent in his picture!

DIGITAL VIDEO RECORDERS: not a big threat to advertisers, upon closer study.

OLIVER STONE: Gawker kicks him when he's down. And that's a pun.

CATS AND DOGS: The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office Monday filed suit against an online university for allegedly selling bogus academic degrees — including an MBA awarded to a cat.

SAMUEL L. JACKSON AS WISE MAN in Madame Tussaud's Celebrity Nativity scene.

A DATE WHICH WILL LIVE IN INFAMY: You can look into it here and here.

KING OF THE WORLD is the biggest cheese on this list.

TOWERING INFERNO: A big five alarm high-rise fire broke out last night, a few blocks from where I work. Perhaps I should write that another high-rise fire broke out a few blocks from where I work. Although that last fire killed six people, folks complained that local TV stations interrupted programs like the first half of Monday Night Football to cover this one.

FIVE MISTAKES BAND AND LABEL SITES MAKE: Shockingly, we're only making one of them, though I suspect the author would consider it a big one...

PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL: Pennsylvania's number-one four-legged weather prognosticator will make a Capitol Hill appearance today to "defend" a $100,000 grant for the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center. This is one time where the internet really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel pandering for pork-barrel spending.

ALEXANDER THE TERRIBLE: How bad is the movie? So bad that Greek lawyers are giving up efforts to have it banned and its makers sued for depicting Alexander the Great as a bisexual. According to one of the lawyers, "we decided that any further legal action against it would work in favor of a film that is just not worth it." Ouch.

FORMER JEOPARDY CHAMP KEN JENNINGS inks a deal with Microsoft to promote the Encarta encyclopedia. Did the proposal from H&R Block fall through?

MOTLEY CRUE REUNITING: Vocalist Vince Neil quoted as saying, "we expect to be entertained..." If the tour does well, I'm sure they will be.

BEING BORN IN THE U.S. MORE LIKELY TO MAKE YOU CRAZY, according to a National Institutes of Health study.

NORTH KOREA not a great vaction destination, according to this piece in the Christian Science Monitor.

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Links 'o' the (Mon) Day (P.M. update)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 06, 2004 - 12:00 PM
Posted by: kbade


ANDY GRIFFITH plays Santa for an entire North Carolina town -- Mayberry has high-speed wi-fi?

DEAD OR ALIVE: I wish I had seen this site before I finished my year-in-review project.

TIME AND NEWSWEEK devote their cover stories this week to debunking the story of Jesus' birth.

LIFE IN CHINA must be pretty bad.

GOOD GRIEF: One can only imagine what Charlie Brown would make of a giant chocolate creche.

ON THE PITCHFORK: Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic sold on eBay for seven thousand, three hundred dollars.

THE EXISTENCE OF BLOGGERS shows the difficulties inherent in creating a reporter's privilege. Put another way, free speech is for everyone.

ROWAN ATKINSON: Mr. Bean makes his own stand for freedom of speech.

BOB DYLAN ON 60 MINUTES: An infomercial?

NATIONAL TREASURE remains atop the box office and is not as far-fetched as it sounds.

PLASTIC EXPLOSIVES were loaded on a plane in Paris and then lost, after a test of bomb-sniffing dogs went awry.

SEARCHING NEVERLAND... and Michael Jackson's mouth.

UKRAINE UPDATE: As the former Soviet republic struggles toward a clean election, it is important to note that Yulia Tymoshenko, the top ally of opposition leader Yushchenko -- who favors closer ties with the West -- looks strikingly similar to Princess Leia. Granted, it's The Empire Strikes Back Leia, when The Return of the Jedi Leia would be even better, for the obvious reason.

NICK NOLTE has been sued by the parents of a teenage girl who said she was raped during a party in his absence at his Malibu home after being plied with drugs by Nolte's security guard.

U.N. NUKE CHIEF MOHAMMED EL BARADEI angrily denied charges he had collaborated with Iran. But this story in the London Telegraph on the Iranian nuke program does not look good. The Telegraph also has new allegations against Kojo Annan in the U.N. Oil-For-Food scandal.

SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: In the midst of a rash of thefts of inflatable Spongebobs, a few are returned to their rightful owners.

TAVIS SMILEY has split from National Public Radio and this interview with Time, in which he says the Bush cabinet is more diverse than NPR, suggests he's more Frowny than Smiley these days.

FEMALE FIRST reports that Tommy Lee's marriage to Heather Locklear broke up after spending quality time with a porn star in a bathroom on the set of her movie (that would do it, I think); Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin conceived baby Apple on the back of Coldplay's tour bus, according to roadies seemingly more jealous of the space than the act.

2669 Reads

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