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Pate, George Clinton, Dave Grohl, Dogs, Frogs, Cows and Catgarookey   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 08, 2005 - 09:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


PATE NEWS: So I work o­n the site daily, but I have to find out that the boys put out a hip-hop record from Craig O'Neill?

ON THE PITCHFORK: Details o­n the forthcoming Posies album. Plus, Rhino hearts the '90's -- seven CDs worth, in fact. Perfect if you want to hear Duran Duran right before Sugar.

STEVE EARLE and Allison Moorer played the Wychwood Festival in England last week; it's blogged at Crooked Timber.

LIVE 8: Sir Bob Geldof is proving that no idea is too bizzare to promote the event, proposing that boat owners to sail en masse across the English Channel to bring back more marchers for an anti-poverty walk to Edinburgh.

BRITAIN’S SUPER-RICH ROCK VETS are about to get even richer, as their government proposes extending copyrights to ensure pop songs are protected for almost twice as long as the current 50 years. Of course, the U.S. has already been doing this, so no real surprise.

GEORGE CLINTON MAY BE GETTING RICHER: Last week, a federal judge entered an order to return ownership to Clinton of the masters of four albums he made in the 1970's with Funkadelic: One Nation Under a Groove, Hardcore Jollies, Uncle Jam Wants You and The Electric Spanking of War Babies. At stake are licensing and distribution of the music and millions of dollars in past licensing fees.

CHUCK KLOSTERMAN, whose Spin magazine stuff I've linked before, has a book out now about a seemingly gonzo cross-country road trip that sounds interesting.

FOO FIGHTERS' DAVE GROHL is scathing of couples who have a gaping age gap between them, insisting the difference between generations is not conducive to romance.

WHERE HAVE YOU GONE? Anne Bancroft died of uterine cancer o­n Monday at 73. Bancroft complained to a 2003 interviewer: "I am quite surprised that with all my work, and some of it is very, very good, that nobody talks about `The Miracle Worker.' We're talking about Mrs. Robinson. I understand the world. ... I'm just a little dismayed that people aren't beyond it yet."

BATMAN BEGINS: Moriarty of Ain't It Cool News would "like to congratulate Warner Bros. and DC for not o­nly making a great BATMAN film, but also for raising the stakes o­n how adult and affecting a comic book movie can be." However, he later warns: "This movie pushes the outer edge of the PG-13, and I think it’s just a matter of luck that they got the rating at all..."

ANGELINA JOLIE inadvertently performed a high-flying stunt for Mr. & Mrs. Smith sans underwear. I'm sure the crew thought it was a cunning stunt, which is much easier to write than say.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: At the MTV Movie Awards, the pair hunkered down in a private dressing room in the basement, along with Holmes' p.r. guy, a stylist, a hairdresser, a makeup person and six Scientologists. The next morning, junketing for Batman Begins, the two made out for the press between interviews. (btw, that link also details a near-catfight between Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Simpson) A blogger mocks Maverick at Tom Cruise's Medical Forum. A 'netrepreneur offers a line of Free Katie fashion.

LI-LO: TVGasm is using a lot of "allegedlys" in a story in which a source allegedly close to La Lohan dishes about her "shrinking frail frame" and state of mind.

BRITNEY SPEARS: The Bride of Federline is probably expecting a girl.

MADONNA signs her new kiddie book in Prada and Dolce & Gabbana, demanding not to be touched.

ANOTHER YEARBOOK RECALL: The Central High School yearbook is riddled with sexually suggestive statements, photos in which students flash gang signs and other material that St. Louis Schools Superintendent Creg E. Williams described as racist, sexist and offensive.

SEN. JOHN KERRY finally released more of his military records to the Boston Globe, which claims there are no bombshells in them, though Slate's Mickey Kaus thinks some questions may linger. The Globe notes that Kerry was the candidate more often portrayed in the 2004 presidential campaign as intellectual and complex, but Bush and Kerry had a virtually identical grade average at Yale University. Bush is often inarticulate, so his strategery is often misunderestimated.

THE UNITED NATIONS Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, was interviewed by the perky Katie Couric o­n the Today show, but everyone missed the lede. Check out the very end of the transcript.

Couric: You literally have the weight of the world o­n your shoulders.

Annan: I do. But not everybody understands that.

By now, Mr. Annan is undoubtedly dead, crushed under the literal weight of the world. Or perhaps Katie needs to take a referesher course in communications.

A NATION OF SNACKERS has become a nation of stainers. Detergent companies could not be happier.

COLD FUSION just larger than a breadbox? The o­nly thing better would be if it was discovered by Elizabeth Shue, a scientist inexplicably dressed like a Catholic schoolgirl. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

LOST IN THE SUPERMARKET? Virginia Postrel writes o­n (and argues against) the developing notion of consumer vertigo.

BORDER INSECURITY: Gregory Despres arrived at the U.S.-Canadian border crossing at Calais, Maine, carrying a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained with what appeared to be blood. U.S. customs agents confiscated the weapons and fingerprinted Despres, then let him in. Two murders followed. But I'm suspicious of this picture. This looks about as real as that action figure taken hostage in Iraq a few months ago.

HOWARD DEAN said in San Francisco this week that Republicans are "a pretty monolithic party. They all behave the same. They all look the same. It's pretty much a white Christian party." Last Thursday, he advised party activists to reach out to evangelicals. This ain't it.

OLD AND NEW MEDIA: When I read that Google has a bigger market valuation than Time Warner, I start suspecting a bubble of some sort. And as big a fan of new media as I am, I raise an eyebrow when newspapers, radio and magazines spend millions to combat the perception they're obsolete. But when I read that Google and Yahoo!, now account for more advertising revenues than do the prime time schedules of the three traditional television networks - ABC, CBS, and NBC - combined, I have to start rethinking my skepticism.

VIACOM BREAKUP? Les Moonves, the co-president of Viacom, thinks the media giant will split into the "CBS Co." and the "MTV Co."

SCHOOL LUNCHES may be a terror target.

CULT OF THE iPod: The iTunes o­nline music store is as popular as most music-swapping networks, according to a study released Tuesday. Not that the record biz will chill out.

DOGS can get a sex-change operation in Russia.

VINNIE THE MINI-HORSE rides shotgun.

IT'S RAINING FROGS in Siberia, but I'm wondering if that song was ever translated into French.

UNGENTLE BEN: The legal protection of the grizzly bear back in 1975 worked, almost too well in some places, as giant brown predators turn up in the backyards of the west, looking for a pic-a-nic basket. Seems like it might be happening in Canada, too.

AND THE COWS STARE UNAMAZED: A small town in Russia overrun with cows roaming its streets is towing them to secure compounds. Mugshots of the impounded cattle are then shown o­n local television.

FEMALE BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS are taught by their mothers to use marine sponges for protection... while looking for food.

CATGAROOKEY is the name given to the animal, said to be a cross between a cat, kangaroo and monkey, being hunted by cops in Salisbury.

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U2, Live 8, The Poseidon Adventure, Pigs, Toads, Iowan Bats, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 08:10 AM
Posted by: kbade


UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY, twenty years later. A look back at a historic gig.

THE WHITE STRIPES' new album gets a 7.3 o­n the Pitchfork.

INXS is searching for a new singer o­n a reality show to be hosted by Dave Navarro and Brooke Burke. (what, no Carmen Electra?)

INDIE BANDS are getting buzz from word of blog.

LIVE 8: Monday, Bob Geldof took a conference call with former Howard Dean guru Joe Trippi and a number of bloggers. Ed Morrisey liveblogged the call. Scott Koenig adds a few details. Ann Althouse rounds up the others. A number of the more conservative bloggers were impressed with and surprised by Geldof, though readers here would not have been surprised. Today's Telegraph has an article noting that a concert is not going to solve Africa's problems and cataloging the ways in which foreign aid has hurt the continent as much as helped it. But the conference call suggests that Geldof largely agrees and supports tying future aid to political reform. And imagine what the righty bloggers would have thought had they known that Geldof is under fire for inviting the Pope to support Live 8.

BAY CITY ROLLERS have been getting in trouble with the law.

PODCASTING: Listening to 100 podcasts a day may be a bit much.

SITUATION: Ten days after MSNBC announces The Situation With Tucker Carlson, CNN announces the debut of The Situation Room. Just another example of Pate arriving before its time.

THE BREAKFAST CLUB had a reunion of sorts at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards. But Molly Ringwald wants to do a sequel to Sixteen Candles. And at the risk of being mean to Molly, John Bender's comment about being able to see the thin person inside comes to mind. But she's got an 18 month old child, so maybe that's just baby weight.

YOUR MOMENT OF SITH: National Geographic asks, how realistic are the alien worlds in that galaxy far, far away? Shockingly, the answer is, "not very," though there is the interesting note that a galactic Republic is likely to not be very multicultural.

THE S. S. POSEIDON SAILS AGAIN, under the direction of Wolfgang Petersen -- a natural choice from the man who gave you Das Boot. The cast will include Richard Dreyfuss, for whom this should be cake after Jaws. I guess a bigger boat isn't always the answer. Also appearing will be Emmy Rossum who, having just done The Day After Tomorrow and The Phantom of the Opera, is an old hand at disaster movies. When I hear of this movie, I always think of the character in Free Enterprise who claims that Irwin Allen is a better director than Jim Cameron because anyone can tip a boat over two hours into a movie...

MOVIE ADVERTISING MADNESS: Edward Jay Epstein of Slate writes that studios o­nce justified their expensive ad campaigns by reasoning that big opening-weekend numbers may pay off later in video, pay-TV, and foreign release. But this is less true every day. Moreover, big DVD retailers do not base their orders o­nly o­n box-office results, but o­n how they help sell big TVs -- a group quite different from the teenagers to whom the studios market new movies.

RUSSELL CROWE is arrested for throwing a telephone at a hotel employee. Sounds like the Cinderella Man still has some Bud White issues.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are making journos who interview them sign a contract to not ask personal questions. Nevertheless, it looks like the pair are negotiating easier terms with major media. Jolie squirmed through personal questions o­n the Today show Monday. Tonight, o­n ABC PrimeTime, when Diane Sawyer asks about Jolie's reputation as a "homewrecker," Pitt says: "It's a good story." Woodward and Berstein would call that a non-denial denial.

LI-LO: The Lohan also shows up to a press junket with a laundry list of questions that shouldn't be asked. She will say, however, that she is "not some crazy, Tara Reid-esque party girl." Me-OW!

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise rambles for 60 Minutes Australia. He seems to go off the rails after being asked, "Why, then, was it a condition of me talking to you today that I had to spend quite an intense four-and-a-half hours in the Church of Scientology here in Los Angeles?" Meanwhile, Holmes now has her own Scientologist entourage... or are they monitors?

IRAQ: Baghdad is where most of the military and media action is, but it's worth remembering that Iraq is much bigger than that. Author Michael Yon reports from Dohuk in the north, where the mostly-Kurd population is quite friendly to the U.S. Author Steven Vincent reports from Basra in the south, where conditions aren't as rosy, but still optimistic. Chester analyzes insurgent infiltration routes in the west that run into the Iraqi heartland down the Euphrates River corridor, arguing that the normally excellent John Burns of The New York Times may be overstating things in comparing this route to the Ho Chi Minh trail. James Dunnigan writes that military bureaucrats are slowing down upgrades for electronic jammers used to interfere with the radio signals that control many roadside bombs.

AFGHANISTAN: Arthur Chrenkoff rounds up news not involving detainee abuse. For example, did you know that 1,000 Afghan clerics stripped fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar of his claim to religious authority?

JACKO JUSTICE: No verdict as of presstime, but it's not a good sign when o­ne of MJ's lawyers claims it's all about the oil. Not in Iraq, mind you, but at the Neverland Ranch.

BLAIR VS. CHIRAC: It's a Anglo-Franco smackdown after Britain suspended the referendum o­n the EU constitution.

LOUISIANA AND TEXAS are sinking into the Gulf of Mexico. But probably not fast enough for Democrats to write them off politically.

DEMOCRACY IN ETHIOPIA: Protesters are being beaten and arrested.

DEMOCRACY IN DISNEYLAND: Roy Disney's lawsuit to void the 2005 election of Disney's Board of Directors moves forward.

WASHINGTON STATE ELECTION UPDATE: As expected, while the trial judge found 1,678 illegal votes cast, the GOP loses its suit seeking a new election for Governor. GOP candidate Dino Rossi will not appeal the decision.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES led the nominations for the 21st annual Television Critics Association Awards.

BRITNEY SPEARS attended a Federline family gathering. It takes the picture to do it justice.

STEM CELLS: Two recent stories hold forth the promise of basically creating embryo-free embryonic stem cells. Such cells may shut down o­ne large part of the current debate, but would probably not avoid all the moral and ethical concerns in play.


ASK METAFILTER: Are you attracted to people of races different from your own?

CHOCOLATE SAUSAGE wins a top German chef first prize at the annual Sausage Championships in Berlin. Though it's supposedly the world's first such treat, the punchlines write themselves.

NORAH O'DONNELL, White House correspondent for MSNBC, is quite attractive. I would not call her a ho, which would come as news to her husband, Jim Carney of Time magazine.

CULT OF THE iPod: Last Wednesday in L.A., someone fraudulently took delivery of 12,000 iPods, valued at over 2.6 million bucks.

THE PLAYBOY MANSION: Not looking or smelling too sexy these days.

EIGHTY YEAR-OLD GRANDMOTHER busted as the alleged madam of a New Jersey prostitution ring.

DEEP THROAT: Mystery Pollster Mark Blumenthal argues that Felt could be the o­nly informer, but that he may have had his own informer, perhaps Nixon secretary Rose Mary Woods.

QURAN DESECRATION: The Quran is being thrown into bonfires in Iran.

GITMO GUARDS get attacked by hardcore detainees. But I suspect groups like the ACLU will be more interested in the fact that all "cell-extraction procedures" at Gitmo are videotaped. I smell a Freedom of Information Act request...

ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS face trial under an anti-terrorism law in New Jersey. The list of potential defense witnesses includes actress Kim Basinger.

PIG-BALL: The first ever pig-ball championships were held in Moscow o­n Sunday.

GIANT TOADS were married in a traditional Hindu ceremony in eastern India over the weekend by villagers hoping to propitiate the rain gods and end a dry spell.

FORTY DEAD ANIMALS FOUND IN U.K. STABLE, including at least 19 horses, 11 chickens, three dogs and a rabbit.

IS THAT A FISH UNDER YOUR SKIRT, OR.. oh, it is a fish.

BATS: The majority of rural Iowa homes -- and a large share of those in urban areas -- have bats inside chimneys, attics or crawl spaces without the homeowners ever knowing, according to o­ne Iowa Department of Natural Resources expert. "When people call us and say they've got a bat or a few bats, I explain, 'You've got more than that,' " Kay Bat Control owner Dwayne Kay said, estimating that the typical home they work o­n has 100 to 150 bats; some have colonies closer to 1,000.

Not too many typos today, were there? Things ran quite late early this morning...

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Omaha, Batman, Cinderella Man, Cats, Dogs, Squirrels, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 06, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


SWEET EMOTION: Aerosmith's Steven Tyler received an honorary degree from U Mass o­n Friday.

IF CLAUDE PATE could cover the Bee Gees' "Nights o­n Broadway," I suppose I can't fault Billy Corgan too much for covering the oft-covered "To Love Somebody," which Stereogum has for download.

ELVIS COSTELLO: As I linked to a story of EC refusing to refund fans for a concert delayed so that he could watch soccer o­n TV, it's o­nly fair that I also link to an account that puts the King of America in a better light.

PATTI SMITH talks about the artists who influenced her, wh will also be a focus of the Meltdown festival she is curating this year.

COLDPLAY is "the most insufferable band of the decade," according to Jon Pareles in The New York Times. Frontman Chris Martin is confused about how iPods work and by childbirth. Not very promising from a guy who likes to lecture his audience and just about anyone else who will listen.

THE OMAHA SOUND: Listen, my friends -- the Arizona Republic provides a family tree.

SUMMER MUSIC: Salon is giving away a free iPod for the best summer soundtrack of freely available MP3s.

YO LA TENGO got a nice feature in the Japan Times.

LIVE 8: More headaches for Bob Geldof -- according to The Independent, "anarchist groups that have rioted at previous G8 gatherings are planning similar disruptions in Scotland and plan to hijack Geldof's 'long march to freedom' o­n 6 July and the Make Poverty History rally o­n 2 July."

ROD STEWART, having impregnated his fiancee, files for a divorce from Rachel Hunter. No word o­n who gets custody of Stacy.

TRENT REZNOR won a jury verdict of almost three million bucks against his former manager. Now he will probably discover that it's easier to win a judgment than it is to collect it.

78 RPM MP3s from 1911-26 aplenty at Turtle Services, Ltd.

THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G. murder nvestigation has been driven in no small part by an informer who describes himself as a paranoid schizophrenic and has said under oath that that his identification of the alleged gunman was fraudulent. The statements cast grave doubt o­n the theory that has been featured in Rolling Stone magazine, o­n MTV and PBS' Frontline, and in books and movies -- that corrupt police officers played a role in the killing and that top LAPD officials covered up their actions.

PODCASTING: Live stuff from Steve Earle and Rilo Kiley is up at Some Depresssion.

TOMMY LEE may be looking for Adriana Lima, but in the meantime, he was spotted kissing seven different women in o­ne night.

BATMAN BEGINS, and so do the advance reviews at Ain't-It-Cool-News. Two raves, in fact. I admit that Christopher Nolan in the director's chair has my hopes up.

YOUR MOMENT OF SITH: Courtesy of MetaFilter, but don't click o­n the links there if you want to avoid a spoiler.

SHORT TAKES: Filmcritic.com lists its Top 40 "Short Take" Movie Moments -- memorable scenes that are no more than five seconds long. Number 40 is o­ne of my Dad's favorites.

CINDERELLA MAN is getting overwhelmingly good reviews, but placed fourth at the weekend box office. I saw it and enjoyed it. It will suffer by comparison to Seabiscut, but the final fight is gripping and Paul Giamatti is as good as always, albeit in a supporting role here.

IRAQ: The New York Times has a truly interesting chart of statistics for May 2003 (the first full month after the fall of Baghdad), June 2004 (the last month before the Coalition Authority gave way to the interim Iraqi government) and May 2005. Some of the numbers are debatable, but kudos to the NYT for taking a look at the big picture, which can be lost in today's 24/7 news cycle.

IRAQ II: United Nations satellite imagery experts have determined that material that could be used to make biological or chemical weapons and banned long-range missiles has been removed from 109 sites in Iraq. This is doubly disturbing. First, because we may not know where these materials are. Second, because the Iraq Survey Groups found that Saddam's regime had o­ngoing chemical and biological programs and trained terrorists, which seems kinda threatening, even in the absence of WMD stockpiles.

CATS AND DOGS: Gidget the cat tries to provoke guide dogs for a living.

DOGS: Maya, a 74-pound black Lab, took o­n India, a 120-pound pit bull who was mauling a sixth-grader. She probably saved the boy's life, as the cops had to fire so many shots to stop the lunging pit bull that the gunpowder set off an overhead smoke detector.

IS AMERICA THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD? Matthew Yglesias, blogging the progressive Take Back America conference, starts a discussion of polling data showing that when you ask if America is "the greatest country in the world" most voters say that it is, but when you ask if Democrats believe that America is the greatest country, most voters say that they do not. Be sure to read the comments also.

SCANDAL ROUND-UP: In Nashville, two-year FBI sting operation examining how state contracts were awarded during former state Gov. Don Sundquist's administration, nicknamed the "Tennessee Waltz" has led to the arrest of several lawmakers. In Ohio's "Coingate," between $10 million and $12 million in rare coins have disappeared a collection in which the state Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) began investing in 1998 as a peculiar form of stock hedge.

WASHINGTON ELECTION UPDATE: Chelan County Superior Court Judge John Bridges is expected to announce his decision o­n the contest of the Governor's race today.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Katie Holmes joined Tom Cruise o­nstage when he picked up a lifetime achievement award at the MTV Movie Awards, which airs June 9th. I'm sure it was a memorable as Lisa-Marie Presley kissing Michael Jackson o­n some other MTV award show. The War of the Worlds world premiere has been canceled in part because of concerns about providing security for Cruise. Cruise's recent behaviour has been so spectacularly off-the-wall that it has prompted senior executives at Paramount Studios to call crisis meetings and consider cancelling the third instalment of the Mission Impossible series, due to shoot next month. Meanwhile, Brooke Shields, whose use of Paxil to treat her postpartum depression was recently attacked by Cruise, left a pair of tickets to her show Chicago for Cruise and Holmes, "one adult, o­ne child." Meahwhile, Holmes tells Entertainment Tonight that Cruise "cast a spell o­n me. Katie, you may be new to Scientology, but spell-casting is for Wiccans and Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Holmes is a top candidate to paly Wonder Woman, which would be a mistake, imho. And in the UK, folks worry that Cruise is enticing the Beckhams into Scientology.

PORN DRIVES TECHNOLOGY: Adult movies in the Sony PlayStaion Portable-friendly Universal Media Disc format will be released in Japan this summer. One of the reasons for the failure of Sony's Betamax format was the explosion of VHS adult movies, since this genre was not given production clearance in Sony's Betamax format.

GIRLS GONE WILD creator gone wild enough to be blackmailed. You would think the guy would know the power of embarassing videotape.

NORTH KOREA: The government is sending millions of city dwellers to work o­n farms each weekend, largely to transplant rice to combat growing food shortages.

SPAIN: Nearly a million people protesting the Socialist government's moves to negotiate with Basque terrorists. Pictures here. Funny how the folks who pulled out of Iraq after the Madrid train bombing are becoming more serious about terror in their own backyard.

AZERBAIJAN: Yet another country has thousands demonstrating for elections, election law reforms and access to state-controlled television.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie and Pitt were spotted in canoodle delicto o­n a NYC hotel rooftop Thursday. Meanwhile, Jennifer Aniston has turned to Buddhism to get over her split with Pitt. Sounds to me like she's been spending time with a copy of Seven Years In Tibet.

JESSICA SIMPSON'S ears probably were burning when Philadelphia’s Q102 radio station aired accusations that she's been busy outside her marriage. The Superficial also has this story, but adds pictures from Simpson's latest video shoot because... well, it is The Superficial...

JESSICA ALBA attended the MTV Movie Awards; Golden Fiddle admires her dress. Well, it would be more accurate to say that he admires its translucency. Photo possibly NSFW.

IN THE FUTURE, everyone will be Hitler for 15 minutes.

IRAQ III: At Friday prayers, a cleric representing o­ne of the ruling Shiite Arab parties, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, called for the Iraqi government to execute Saddam Hussein and his aides as soon as possible, which he said would help deflate the insurgency. I don't know whether that will deflate the ethnic tensions the insurgents are trying to create and exploit.

YOU'RE TOO KIND: Amber Taylor blogs kindness in past love affairs. If you click through to the comments, you can read mine, which was inevitable.

LI-LO: Lindsay Lohan and new pal Nicole Richie are featred at the Gallery of the Absurd. And she's publicly complaining about injuries suffered after a papparazzi got into a car accident with the Lohan while playing cat-and-mouse. Lawsuit to follow, or will LL simply be glad she didn't snap like a toothpick?

DIE(T) LAUGHING: American researchers have found that 10-15 minutes of genuine giggling can burn off the number of calories found in a medium square of chocolate. Lindsay Lohan must never stop laughing.

JUDGE MICHAEL McCONNELL may be President Bush's first nominee to the Supreme Court, if o­ne or more Justices retires at the end of the Court's term (which is usuall the end of June). You can read a profile from the Legal Times in which veteran Supremes scribe Tony Mauro writes,"it's hard for many to decide exactly what McConnell is: conservative, liberal, or a perplexing blend of both."

IRAQ IV: Iraq's new government appealed to the Bush administration to be more assertive o­n four key political and military issues, including help with drafting the new constitution and bringing Sunnis into the political process. Fortunately, it appears that Sunnis have begun talks with members of the panel writing the country's new constitution.

IRAQ V: Roughly half of the 15,000 items looted from the National Museum of Iraq in 2003 have been recovered, said its director, who thanked American officials for assistance in restoring the building.

LEBANON: As expected, Hizbollah is doing well in the second round of elections, especially as it has allied with its historical arch-foe, the Amal Movement (though both have backed Syria).

BASEBALL BOOKS are featured in the Pittsburg Post-Review and at the blog of Laregehearted Boy, from whom I steal almost daily.

THE NATIONAL SPELLING BEE was dominated by kids of Indian ancestry. What's their secret? In part, it's a craze the Indian-American community; in another part, it's a devotion to rote learning largely abandoned in public schools.

SEN. ROBERT BYRD looks shockingly vulnerable in the latest polling -- he's lucky he has another year to campaign.

SEN. TOM HARKIN calls Christian broadcasters "sort of our home-grown Taliban." Pat Robertson often says stupid and outrageous things, so apparently Tom feels he must sink to that level.

IRAQ VI: In Operation Lightning, Iraqi and U.S. forces are rounding up hundreds of suspected insurgents and have uncovered 50 weapons and ammunition caches and a huge underground insurgent bunker complex west of the capital, containing "numerous types of machine guns, ordnance, including mortars, rockets and artillery rounds, black uniforms, ski masks, compasses, log books, night vision goggles, and fully charged cell phones." Also, an Iraqi believed to be a top terror leader in northern Iraq also was captured by U.S. and Iraqi forces in Mosul.

ZARQAWI DIED o­n FRIDAY, according to Iraqi Sunni sheikh Ammar Abdel Rahim Nasir. But Zarqawi is o­ne cat with nine lives, so count me extremely skeptical.

DEEP THROAT: W. Mark Felt is almost certainly the Watergate informer, but there's a reason why you won't see him doing TV interviews. John Dean -- yes, the former counsel to President Nixon -- argues at length that the story begins with Felt, but does not end there.

THE DAWN PATROL: The Mudville Gazette rounds up posts from Milbloggers in Iraq and Iraqi bloggers about the small steps forward in Iraq that generally go unreported. Often, the soldiers' version of events differs from the version we see o­n television.

VIOLATING THE GENEVA CONVENTION: The ACLU is so devoted to exposing any violation of the Geneva Convention by U.S. troops that it has successfully sued for the release of four videos from Abu Ghraib prison and dozens of photographs, arguably in violation of Article 3.1(c) of the Geneva Convention. At least, the International Committee for the Red Cross thought when pictures were published of Saddam Hussein in his underwear.

ACLU II: When not busy forcing the release of photos sure to inflame the Muslim world, the group has been shredding some documents over the repeated objections of its records manager and in conflict with its longstanding policies o­n the preservation and disposal of records. The debate over the use of shredders is reminiscent of o­ne late last year over the organization's efforts to collect a wide variety of data o­n its donors, even as it criticizes corporations and government agencies for accumulating personal data as a violation of privacy rights.

GITMO A GULAG? William Schulz, the head of the Amnesty International USA said o­n Sunday the group doesn't "know for sure" that the military is running a "gulag." Schulz later said, "Clearly this is not an exact or a literal analogy." Natan Sharansky, a former Soviet dissident and political prisoner, argued that Amnesty compromises its work by refusing to differentiate "between democracies where there are sometimes serious violations of human rights and dictatorships where no human rights exist at all." Washington Post columnist (and frequent Bush critic) E.J. Dionne asks, "Why do President Bush's critics make life so easy for him?" The column could be summed up by its conclusion: "Human rights are too important to be lost in bad metaphors." Speaking of bad metaphors, The New York Times now calls for Gitmo to be shut down, asserting that "What Guantánamo exemplifies - harsh, indefinite detention without formal charges or legal recourse - may or may not bring to mind the Soviet Union's sprawling network of Stalinist penal colonies. It certainly has nothing in common with any American notions of justice or the rule of law." The NYT editorial board is usuing the same metaphor used in body of the Amnesty report -- the metaphor of law enforcement. The U.S. tried the law enforcement model of dealing with terrorists for a while. The NYT editors might stroll down to Ground Zero to remind themselves of how well that worked out.

QURAN DESECRATION: A military inquiry found five cases Quran mishandling, of which only three were intentional. Of the major media, it appears that only CNN headlines the fact that the inquiry foun 15 cases where detainees mishandled the Quran, including the attempt to flush it down a toilet. Meanwhile, three GIs face murder charges for the suffocation of an Iraqi general during an interrogation last year. Call me crazy (who doesn't?), but I think that merits more attention from the media than a guard stepping o­n a Quran.

AMERICANS TRUST THE MILITARY much more than they do the media. The latest Gallup Poll shows 74 percent of Americans have a lot of confidence in the military, but o­nly 28 percent have that much confidence in TV news and newspapers. Oddly enough, a Google News search shows almost no major media coverage of these results.

WARNING: THE BIBLE may be hazardous to your health, according to some British hospital officials. Shouldn't Amnesty International demand an investigation of this treatment of a holy book?

SQUIRRELS INVADE the city of Novosibirsk ("New Siberia") in Russia.

THE SAN FRANCISCO SNAKE had to be imported from the Netherlands.

THE SWARM: Two women were hospitalized Thursday after they were attacked by a swarm of bees in East Bexar County, TX.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: The o­nly U.N. staffer fired for wrongdoing in the affair claims that he acted o­n orders of higher-ups and is being scapegoated to take the heat off Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other bigwigs. And it appears he has documents to back his claim.

JACK-FM: The supposed iPod-random format has, without notice, replaced the oldies stations in NYC and Chicago.

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The Fame, a White wedding, Live 8, Smoosh and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 03, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



YOUR FRIDAY TIME-WASTER: The addictive bounce of Poom.

FREE DOUGHNUTS AT KRISPY KREME TODAY to celebrate National Doughnut Day.

THIS WEEKEND, I'm fulfilling requests. If you don't know what I mean, don't sweat it.

THE FAME: The New York Press think piece o­n this unsigned band manages to namecheck The Raspberries, Cheap Trick, Off Broadway, Artful Dodger, Dwight Twilley and Shoes in the space of two paragraphs. Read, then listen. And maybe change your pants.

JACK WHITE apparently got married in Brazil, though the announcement is suspicious... or maybe just as odd as Jack White. His new bride is model Karen Elson, who appeared in the White Stripes' video for "Blue Orchid."

"I WANNA BE YOUR DOG:" 27 versions, from Iggy & The Stooges to Radio Birdman to Sonic Youth and Wilco.

"DON'T FEAR THE REAPER:" Copy, Right? has eight versions, including takes by The Beautiful South, Apollo 440 and Goo Goo Dolls. Of course, all of them could... well, you know...

ELVIS COSTELLO refused to refund an audience after arriving o­n stage late because he was watching the Liverpool vs AC Milan Champions League Final. Stereogum leaves a better taste in your mouth with a download of a live version of "Chemistry Class" from 1978.

THE HOLD STEADY talk about the Replacements, Kiss, BTO and The Boss. Metromix notes a great Springsteen-inspired lyric o­n the band's new album: "Tramps like us, and we like tramps..."

LIVE 8 can't seem to make it's mind up whether it is a concert or an insurrection. Organizer Bob Geldof has called o­n children to quit school and people to abandon their jobs in order to descend o­n Edinburgh for the G8 summit, causing local officials to panic and sending co-organizer Midge Ure (Ultravox) into damage control mode. UK press reaction has been mixed, though not predictably so. Geldof has also faced anger from African bands over the predominantly white lineup of artists he has chosen. The Telegraph and the Scotsman have different takes o­n the agenda of the G8 summit and Live 8. The coverage seems to assume that the concerts will have anti-Bush overtones, though in the past, Geldof has praised the Bush administration as o­ne of Africa's best friends in its fight against hunger and AIDS. Moreover, after a recent meeting, South African President Thabo Mbeki is "absolutely certain that President Bush is committed" to helping Africa o­n market access and ending agricultural subsidies, a major issue for the G8 and Live 8. The main disagreement will probably be over foreign aid, which President Bush is unlikely to get from Congress absent conditions requiring further democratic reforms in Africa. ALSO: No Rock and Roll Fun blogs the terrifying possibility of a Sting-Madonna duet.

ANASTASIA BARONE remembered the thick padlocked chain around her neck, her husband's steel-toed boot striking her over and over in the face, and then the dizziness that overcame her as she slowly slipped into unconsciousness o­n the tile floor of her Dix Hills basement. Not to mention the leopards...

S&M SLAVE freed from car trunk in Berlin. After discovering that this was not a kidnapping and deciding the trunk was not safe for the man, officers told him to sit inside the car and sent him and his mistress o­n their way.

JOURNALIST TARGETED FOR ASSASSINATION with a car bomb in Beirut, Lebanon. Opposition figures were quick to point the finger at Syria's allies, not the United States, so journalists here won't care.

OUR FRIENDS THE SAUDIS: Consultative Council member Mohammad al-Zulfa proposed conducting a study into the feasibility of reversing the ban o­n women drivers. He now faces phone text messages calling o­n Allah to freeze his blood and calls to remove him from the council and strip him of his Saudi nationality.

DOGS: Tragedy struck the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track when a fire early Wednesday killed at least 10 dogs and injured dozens more. Even so, firefighters pulled dogs from their metal crates, carried them out of the concrete building and administered oxygen with masks meant for people. ALSO: Flashback, Sylvia Hauser's rescued Greyhound, is out of the hospital and remains o­n the mend.

HOW TO BECOME AN EARLY RISER: A window into my world and some of yours.

XXX WEBSITES soon to be masters of their domain.

GET RHYTHM as an infant. They don't call it rocking the cradle for nothing.

GENERATIONAL MOVIES are discussed at Daniel W. Drezner's blog. I think he's confusing the idea of a generational movie with "the Tron effect." There may be overlap, but I do not think they are identical concepts.

SMOOSH, the indie rock duo of sisters Asya, 13, and Chloe, 11, have played SXSW and Sasquatch and get some local pub from the Tacoma News-Tribune.

GANG OF FOUR tore the roof off... somewhere.

THE KILLERS, in a rare moment of modesty, decline the top slot at the Glastonbury festival that became vacant when Kylie Minogue was forced to pull out after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

MUSIC DOWNLOADING GROWS, legally and otherwise.

JEFF TWEEDY, Larry Lessig and others recently did a panel o­n "Who Owns Culture?" at the New York Public Library. I've mentioned it before, but it's finally available o­nline.

CULT OF THE iPod: The Superior Court of California for San Mateo County has conditionally approved a settlement in a class action suit brought against Apple Computer by consumers who purchased a first-, second-, or third-generation iPod model o­n or before May 31, 2004, and experienced "battery failure."

EDDIE MONEY o­n a bad cellphone is pretty amusing.

TOMMY LEE is already done with Tara Reid and has set his sights o­n model Adriana Lima. I wouldn't bet against him.

HILLARY'S HOLLYWOOD HOEDOWN was infiltrated by Defamer.

DEEP THROAT: Kudos to Edward Jay Epstein for picking W. Mark Felt as DT in July 1974. He also explained how little Woodward and Bernstein had to do with exposing the Watergate conspiracy.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM hurt the ability of the historic system of African-American community groups to register and mobilize black voters, according to the president of the National Urban League and mambers of the Congressional Black Caucus.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise has reportedly told Katie Holmes to nix her plans to star as Andy Warhol protege Edie Sedgwick in Factory Girl because Edie was o­n psychotropic drugs and in mental institutions -- both of which are taboo to Scientologists. Katie, that's what happens when you let Tom help you prep for the role.

BRITNEY SPEARS says that she loves being pregnant, because sex is "better than it was before." That's so sweet.

MAJOR RECORD LABELS wise up momentarily and open their vaults to DJs for remixes and mash-ups.

THE FUTURE OF THE CAR: Radar, lasers, wireless radio networks and other embedded tech will enable our cars to sense faraway traffic and stop accidents before they happen. But who will be in the driver’s seat? I know Craig O'Neill's answer. Imho, an electric car that is as fast as a Ferrari would be a good place to start.

THE FRENCH REJECTION of the EU Constitution was due in part to bloggers.

GUN TABLE LAMP: I doubt there's a big market for them, which would explain the hefty price tag.

GITMO A GULAG? Amnesty International, not knowing when to stop digging, defended its description of Guantanamo prison as a "gulag" Thursday, even though William F. Schulz, AI USA's director, said earlier that he would expend "no energy" in defending AI Secretary General Irene Khan's use of the word "gulag." Given that Schultz previously served o­n the board of directors of People for the American Way and Planned Parenthood, as well as contributed the maximum 2,000 bucks to Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign (as did Joe W. "Chip" Pitts III, AI USA's board chairman), his refusal ought to tell AI how this story is playing. Even NPR commentator Peter Klein, who has been researching some family history about Soviet gulags, says that AI is off-base. As I've noted before there are people having serious discussions of the issues raised by Gitmo, but AI's hype is going to drown them out.

GITMO II: As Amnesty's report re-raises the issue of classifying Gitmo detainees as unlawful combatants, I would note that Bill Whittle's latest essay, "Sanctuary," explains why the difference between unlawful combatant and P.O.W. is important, though he does so in language not for the faint of heart. The Pentagon has posted posted quite a bit about the general treatment of detainees and the information gained from them. And it's worth remembering that not every detainee released from Gitmo claims abuse.

NANOTECH: A team from the University of Alberta has created a molecular transistor, which could could revolutionize the field of electronics, providing a leap ahead for everything from computers to batteries to medical equipment.

IT'S NOT HORSE-TRADING: Sweden's state-owned forestry firm has launched a moose stock exchange for would-be hunters.

THINGS THAT DON'T EXIST: A free lunch, a general solution to the quintic polynomial using o­nly a finite formula involving the four arithmetic operations and the extraction of roots, the ability to go back in time to reverse the decision of going back in time, a book called A Connecticut Yankee in Osama bin Laden's Pants... It's a long list.

PORTABLE TOILET EXPLODES: lawsuit to follow.

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Dungen, Kings of Convenience, List-O-Mania, Deep Throat, Man-hugs, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


EVEN BETTER THAN THE REAL THING: Improv Everywhere stages its own rooftop U2 concert.

A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS emerge tonight from the "Where Are They Now?" file to perform "I Ran" (of course) o­n NBC's premiere episode of Hit Me Baby, o­ne More Time.

YOUR MENTAL SOUNDTRACK starts in childhood and is easily triggered. When you listen to your records they take you back to certain points in your life, OK?

WOXY-FM is adopting that trendy IPod Shuffle-like format called "Jack," but WOXY o­nline will retain its critically acclaimed alternative rock format. Whew!

DUNGEN is touring the U.S. in July, albeit limited to a few cities. The Pitchfork review gave a whopping 9.3 to the band's current release, Ta Det Lugnt. Did I mention that Dungen plays Swedish psych-metal? It's better than that description; you can sample it free and legal through Subliminal Sounds and Memphis Industries.

SASHA FRERE-JONES of The New Yorker swears off so-called listening parties: "I will not write about any piece of music unless I have unlimited access to a portable version of it, renderered in either the CD, MP3 or vinyl format."

KINGS OF CONVENIENCE are offering live downloads, along with a few studio rarities. Doc Loch will note a cover of Harry Nilsson's "Me and My Arrow." And a version of Simon & Garfunkel's "A Most Peculiar Man" should be a no-brainer also.

FEAR OF GLOBAL WARMING has been giving Radiohead's Thom Yorke writer's block.

CHRISTIAN SLATER UPDATE: The details of Slater's arrest for groping a woman o­n the street are better than most of what Hollywood could write. First, the woman allegedly groped is 52 years old. Second, Slater "was arguing with a female companion early yesterday when he allegedly pinched the victim's rump." Third, as he was arrested he was threatening to sue everyone involved. But the strippers at Scores will vouch for Slater's manners.

THE SEQUEL TO THE ITALIAN JOB will be The Brazilian Job. I predict another hit, if it features Charlize Theron getting waxed.

KNOXVILLE, KY used tax dollars to pay a private investigator nearly 100 dollars an hour to go to adult businesses for lap dances. It was part of an effort to force adult businesses to adhere to stricter regulations and the city says, in essence, it was money well spent.

YAHOO! seems to be making big bucks o­n chat rooms where men prey o­n young girls.

DOES A VIDEO MOCKING CHINESE-AMERICANS AND GAY MARRIAGE, including lesbian soft-porn and topless women, prepare someone to deal with the media in San Francisco? The San Francisco 49'ers thought so, but have now learned otherwise.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt and Jolie, while promoting their new movie, are resisting any personal questions. Asked whether the pair are a couple, Pitt's flack said, "I don't have a comment today, yesterday or tomorrow." ALSO: Ellen DeGeneres and girlfriend Portia de Rossi have bought "The Brad Pitt-Jennifer Aniston House" in Beverly Hills for a cool 20 million.

THE DUKES OF HAZZARD INSTITUTE, funded by Country Music Television (CMT), will pay Christopher Nelson 100 grand to watch and blog about reruns of the TV show. The contract does not include vacation time. "For $100,000 he'd better watch that show every night," said James Hitchcock, CMT's vice president for marketing.

LI-LO: A photographer who hit Lindsay Lohan's car while allegedly following her has been booked o­n suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

NAZI NUKES? The Germans may have been closer to developing a mini-nuke than was previously believed.

GOV. AHNULD SCHWARZENEGGER, attempting to avoid protesters who have been dogging him for weeks, apparently had a road crew dig up a street for a photo op where he came and filled the hole.

IRAN: In a speech celebrating the second anniversary of the Proliferation Security Initiative, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice disclosed that the U.S. and its allies have intercepted prevented Iran from obtaining material for its nuclear weapons program within the past nine months.

IRAQ: Jeff Goldstein's unique coverage at Protein Wisdom -- "Overheard inside an Haditha bunker, Wednesday, June 1." On a more realistic note, PowerLine has e-mail and photos from a tank patrol, sent by Major Eric E., who serves with the Iraq Explosive Device Task Force at Camp Victory in Baghdad.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Extra TV reports that Cruise and Holmes are not officially engaged... yet. But Holmes is studying Scientology. Heidi Oringer of ABCNEWS Radio, noting Cruise's over-the-top promotion of his supposed relationship with Holmes, predicts that "there's going to be some very damaging information about Mr. Cruise that will be exposed in the very near future." I wonder what it could be?

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON was to be feted Wednesday night at a top secret Hollywood fundraiser, hosted by Christina Aguilera, Jake Gyllenhaal, Scarlett Johansson and Lindsay Lohan. I wonder if this event would have been cancelled if the Senator's former national finance director had not been acquitted last Friday of lying to the government about a lavish 2000 Hollywood fund-raising gala.

LIST-O-MANIA: Prof. Ann Althouse blogs our love for lists and posts a classic list so good that I won't spoil it, save to say it explains why we think of the 1970s the way we do.

QURAN DESECRATION: An Al Qaeda-affiliated sucide bomber attacked a mosque in Kandahar, Afghanistan, killing at least 20 people. No word o­n how many Qurans were destroyed, but I'm sure it's the fault of the U.S., somehow.

THE UNITED NATIONS Security Council o­n Tuesday condemned for the first time sexual abuse by its peacekeepers after being told U.N. members ignored such exploitation for decades, fearing exposure of their own soldiers' wrongdoing. For some reason, this story does not seem to get the same press coverage given to more isolated incidents of wrongdoing or alleged wrongdoing by U.S. troops.

THE DUTCH overwhelmingly rejected the European Union constitution Wednesday, by a vote of 63 percent to 37 percent, an even worse defeat than the 55 percent "no" vote in France's referendum Sunday. However, the Dutch vote was not expected to have the same dramatic result for domestic politicians as France's referendum Sunday -- a loss that was a public humiliation for President Jacques Chirac. Not that the EU needs my advice, but next time, maybe try something a little shorter than 500 pages.

iDOG will listen to music with you, dance with rhythm and compose songs. A stuffed animal will listen to music with you. And I would bet that even most dog-lovers really don't want to listen to songs composed by their dog.

ROBOTS: Toyota has set up a division to make household robots, hoping to reach the market by 2010.

MAKE POVERTY HISTORY WRISTBANDS sold by Oxfam and other groups were made by Chinese forced labor. Oops.

WHOLE FOODS is the next Wal-Mart?

VICTOR NAVASKY, publisher and former editor of The Nation, has been working behind the scenes in a key, uncredited role at the Columbia Journalism Review. CJR executive editor Michael Hoyt claims Navasky is just offering business advice. However, as The Nation became profitable for the first time primarily due the magazine's role as a critic of the Bush Administration, I would like the CJR to explain how that strategy works for them.

EDU-BLOGGING: The latest Carnival of Education is o­nline. ALSO: Increases in homework may actually undercut teaching effectiveness and worsen disparities in student learning, according to two Penn State researchers. The authors argue that "in poorer households -- often headed by single parents, parents with comparatively little education or, in some nations, parents held back by language barriers -- homework may not be cordially received, especially by parents of small children." The authors note that Japanese kids do less homework than American kids, yet score higher o­n many international tests. Why? It's not class size per se -- classes are much larger in Japan. It may have more to do with instructional methods and culture. I would suggest that lack of parental involvement is at the root of the problem -- which most educators are not politically suicidal enough to say.

JESSICA SIMPSON AND PUFF DADDY are hawking ProActive acne solutions. Puffy is getting paid three million bucks. I don't know how much Simpson is getting paid, but did you really want to see Puffy's picture here?

AN EXPERIMENTAL SUPERCOMPUTER that can reconfigure itself to tackle different software problems is being built by researchers in Scotland.

DEEP THROAT: After having been embarassingly scooped by Vanity Fair, in part because the Felt family apparently thought it was unfair for Bob Woodward to make all the money from W. Mark Felt's role as Watergate informer, the Washington Post has started a Deep Throat blog. It's no surprise that the paper would like to paint the Felt family as greedy and Bob Woodward as a victim, is it? ALSO: As I thought yesterday, there are some holes in the story. Nixon biographer Jonathan Aitken argues that Felt could not have been the source for the leak about the infamous 18-and-a-half minute gap o­n the White House tape of June 20, 1972 featuring Nixon and his chief of staff, H R Halderman. PLUS: At TalkLeft, a former Clinton Adminstration Justice Department official does not think Felt should be lionized.

EVA LONGORIA is getting a lot of good vibes from fans of Desperate Housewives.

VICTORIA BECKHAM: The ex-Spice Girl is releasing a series of tracks under a secret name -- because she fears her identity will put fans off buying her music. Hey, no o­ne is using "Deep Throat" at the moment...

THE MAN-HUG: A guide for the awkward.

RIVAL GANGS OF BUDDHIST MONKS brawl after years of antagonism between monks from the two temples who had often exchanged curses, insults and rude gestures as they collected alms o­n different sides of a road in Bangkok.

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