REVENGE OF THE SITH -- I.S.U. EDITION: Pate site member doc loch (and if you know how to play Match Game with "Loch ----," you may know who that is), noticed a familiar name in the Reuters story, "Star Wars 'Stand-A-Thon' Kicks Off in New York:" "We all know what it's like to go through this insanity even though its temporary," said Steve Lorenzo, 39, a technical writer for a software company. "It's like a class or family reunion even though it's not." Heh heh heh...
THE RAVEONETTES get a lukewarm review for Pretty In Black. FWIW, I like what I've heard so far, though perhaps not as much as Chain Gang of Love, at least on first listen. I suspect the reviewer may be too young to remember that the Velvet Underground and the Jesus and Mary Chain mellowed over time also.
NEW ORDER played "Love Will Tear Us Apart" on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Streams here.
OVERRATED ALBUMS are getting blogged by Michele at A Small Victory. And she's defending The Clash's London Calling. against the charge.
HASIL ADKINS, a unique rockabilly artist, dead at 67. Tiny Mix Tapes explains just how unique he was. And there's more at Hit and Run.
WILLIE NELSON: Texas state Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, an Austin Democrat, proposed naming a 49-mile stretch of Texas Highway 130 being built around Austin in honor of the Texas country music singer. But two Republican senators said they didn't want Nelson's name on the road that crosses their districts, citing Nelson's drinking, smoking and active campaigning for Democrats -- so there will be no Nelson Highway.
TOM AND KATIE UPDATE: Katie Holmes once told Seventeen magazine: "I think every little girl dreams about (her wedding). I used to think I was going to marry Tom Cruise." But she's also said she's saving herself for Mr. Right and there'll be no sex before marriage. I knew that the New York Post would want to land on this like a ton of bricks and the paper bypassed Page Six to do an entire article on media skepticism of the pairing. The lede: "LESS than 48 hours after Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' publicists sought to convince the world that the unlikely pair have embarked on a hot romance, CNN's Bill Hemmer said on American Morning: 'What kind of sham is this, by the way?'"
CRUISE EXTRA: Out promoting War of the Worlds with Spielberg, Tom gets hit with some tough questioning about his involvement with Scientology by Der Spiegel (which isn't surprising, given that Scientology has had a rough go of it in Germany).
THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY topped the weekend box office, but I was mildly disappointed. The filmmakers were in a bit of a box -- people who know the material won't have much to complain about, but they won't be surprised much, either. Nevertheless, glad I saw it, if only for Sam Rockwell, who turned a typically wonderful performance as Zaphod. I also saw Kung Fu Hustle and liked it but didn't love it -- which may be a recommendation since I don't care much for the martial arts genre.
DAVID HASSELHOFF was named international star of the year at Bollywood's version of the Oscars. It just goes to show that running on the beach in slo-mo is the universal language.
TERI HATCHER: Less desperate these days.
SOME PROMINENT BLOGGERS are starting a news service. The response to their offer to join an advertising network has been big.
A BLOG REBELLION among scientists and engineers at Los Alamos, the federal government's premier nuclear weapons laboratory, is threatening to end the tenure of its director, G. Peter Nanos.
CATS AND DOGS: Firefighters in Fairfield, CT have 15 new oxygen masks for dogs and cats that can be used to treat animals overcome by smoke inhalation during a fire. It turns out that this has also happened in places like Ohio. And in Florida, Seminole County has oxygen masks for hamsters.
DOGS: Curmudgeonly & Skeptical lists the Top 10 Dog Peeves About Humans.
LIGERS AND WHOLFINS AND ZONKEYS, oh, my!
MAN BITTEN BY POISONOUS SPIDER SAVED by his picturephone.
PETA PROTESTED J-LO at the premiere of her new movie, Monster-in-Law.
ELVIS COSTELLO, BOB DYLAN, THE WHO, THE BOOMTOWN RATS, IGGY POP, KISS, THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA AND THE KINKS are just a few of the bands and artists featured in a French photog's flickr gallery in all of their 1970s glory.
MC5 DVD of archival material drops in July.
THE DAVE MATTHEWS BAND settled a lawsuit stemming from human waste dumped from a tour bus onto people touring the Chicago River, agreeing to pay $200,000 to an environmental fund and take measures to avoid a repeat of the incident. Not sure what that last bit means... maybe they won't be using the john on their tour bus anymore.
NELLIE McKAY is working on her next album for a September release, which will feature a duet with Cyndi Lauper on a track titled "Bee Charmer." If you haven't herad her debut double-disc, you can stream clips from her site.
THE CAESARS seem to have a good attitude about the fame the iPod Shuffle ad using "Jerk It Out" has brought: "And if they only come out to hear the iPod song, that's fine too. We'll never complain about that. We'd rather be a one-hit wonder than a no-hit wonder, you know?"
IRAQ: Forensic experts are investigating a mass grave thought to contain the remains of as many as 1,500 Kurds killed in the 1980s.
IRAQ II: The U.S. and Italy disagree on the conclusions of a joint investigation into the killing of an Italian agent by U.S. troops in Iraq. An Army official said Italy was disputing two factual issues in the report: the car's speed as it approached the checkpoint and the nature of communications between the Italians and U.S. forces before the incident. CBS news has reported that a U.S. satellite had filmed the shooting and that it had been established the car carrying Calipari was traveling at more than 60 mph as it approached the U.S. checkpoint in Baghdad. For some reason, the Los Angeles Times edited that fact out of the Reuters story I just linked. Twice, actually.
CULT OF THE iPod: The Dutch are considering taxing MP3 players by the gigabyte.
CHINA: The government is now decrying demonstrations against Japan, having figured out that the marchers were not simply motivated by opposition to Japan.
ADVERTISING IDOL: Jeff Jarvis figures out a new way to get people to watch advertising.
GANGADHAM: A Hindu Disneyland on the Ganges? It's the Moksha Kingdom!
BACTERIA can now be programmed like a computer.
A CALIFORNIA PROFESSOR IS SUSPENDED after students in the Deaf Studies program complained that he tried to get them to take part in a Nigerian investment scam.
PENELOPE CRUZ denies she's a lesbian. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
LEBANON: The government formally announced the election will be held on time - on May 29th 2005. Michael J. Totten, blogging from Beirut, is ecstatic.
DIGITAL CINEMA: Steven Soderbergh has signed a deal with the billionaire entrepreneurs Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner to create six pictures shot by Soderbergh on high-definition video that will be released simultaneously in theatres, on DVD and television.
ROBOTS can elect their leaders and operate in packs. I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.
BURIED TREAURE UPDATE: Maybe it wasn't buried: The men who made national headlines by claiming they found a buried treasure in a Massachussetts back yard were charged Friday with stealing the collection of old currency from a house where they were doing roofing work.
EXPLODING TOADS UPDATE: As the exploding toads spread from northern Germany to Denmark, a scientist studying the amphibian remains theorizes that the phenomenon may be caused by crows pecking out their livers.
KEIKO IHARA, a former Japanese "race queen," is competing in the British Formula Three championship which produced Formula one great Ayrton Senna.
THE UNITED NATIONS Commission on Human Rights will have Zimbabwe sitting as a member for the next three years. No wonder even U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has proposed disbanding the UNCHR.
QATAR is paying protection money to al-Qaeda. A Qatari says they "are not the only ones doing so."
KYRGYZSTAN may be moving toward democracy; let's hope that helps put a stop to the growing practice of abducting women for marriage.
MALE AND FEMALE BRAINS are different. Who'da thunkit? Research into these variations could lead to sex-specific treatments for disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.
JACKO JUSTICE: Prosecutors in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial on Friday showed jurors two books seized from his bedroom in 1993 that include pictures of nude boys. Would you be surprised to learn that Googling the titles of those books turns up A History of Homoerotica? Of course not.
DON'T CROSS THE GIRL SCOUTS: A scout group has filed small-claims lawsuits against people who failed to pay for their Girl Scout Cookies.
DO YOU BELIVE IN MIRACLES? That's what Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said it would take for Democrats to win a majority in 2006.
TRADING PLACES: At the Washington Monthly, Kevin Drum blogs an essay by Michael Walzer in the current issue of Dissent arguing that over the past few decades the basic temperaments of left and right in the United States have swapped places with each other. I think that there will be those on both sides that will disagree with that assessment, but it's an interesting argument.
SPIDERMAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA and... Donald Rumsfeld.
HIGH GAS PRICES: The New York Times has run an article arguing that one thing President Bush could do immediately to fix our energy woes is to bring back the 55 miles-per-hour speed limit. Aside from the fact that Congress would have to do this, rather than the President, the graph accompanying the story undermines the argument, as it shows that demand for gasoline did not drop until five or six years after the 55 m.p.h. limit was imposed in 1973. EconoPundit notes better strategy. Plus, the article ignores the Hagar factor.
EATING ICE CREAM MAKES YOU HAPPY, as confirmed by scientists. And thousands of women dumped by their boyfriends.
DROP THE CHALUPA! No, really, drop it.