THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:
FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Miniputt.
FRIDAY TIMEWASTER II: Peekaboom. Devised by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, it harnesses the brain power of online players to train a set of powerful vision recognition algorithms.
SOUTHERN B*TCH is band of the week at Paste magazine. The name is appropos, too. But don't take my word for it; stream a few tunes from the band's MySpace page. In a Drive-By Truckers, Kings of Leon, Big Star, Rolling Stones sorta space. Nice.
MICK JAGGER UPDATE: Yesterday, I predicted that his mushy explanation of the new Rolling Stones track, "Sweet Neo Con," would annoy critics of President Bush. Sure enough, No Rock and Roll Fun calls him on it.
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE will include a 7 track EP, entitled ep to be you and me, with their self-titled album in October. Pitchfork has a review and legal download link for a track from the forthcoming album.
WRECKLESS ERIC is not a fan of Coldplay. Or of Live Aid and Live 8. To put it mildly.
THE CUTE ONE will not buy back the rights to his Beatles tunes if Michael Jackson is forced to give them up, as they apparently will revert to Sir Paul in the not-too-distant future.
PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer is looked after in times of trouble by a 48 year-old fan.
KING WILKE: Want a taste of some bluegrass? My Old Kentucky Blog will hook you up with a guilt-free download from the band's site. Reminds me a little of Del McCoury, which is a good thing, Martha.
CBGB: The venerable nightclub wins a round in court on the issue of back rent, but trouble still looms ahead.
GREENHORNES: Coolfer Glenn reminds me that this nifty garage band's new EP, produced by the cool-in-his-own-right Brendan Benson, came out last week. One of the commenters notes that an older Greenhornes tune is featured in the new Jim Jarmusch movie, Broken Flowers, starring Bill Murray. That's absolutely right; the song is "There Is An End," a duet with Holly Golightly that sounds kinda like Dusty Springfield dueting with Eric Burdon and the Animals. There are samples from the EP streaming at the band's site.
IRAQ: Britain intercepted weapons being smuggled from Iran. A senior British official said he did not know the identity of the smugglers behind it but said it had the "fingerprints" of either Iran's Revolutionary Guard or the Lebanese based Hezbollah, both of which Tehran backs. An American accused in court papers of having ties to OBL is now working for the Iraqi government's Foreign Ministry, U.S. officials and a former CIA counterterrorism chief say.
A TOPLESS PROTEST against sexual harassment seems counter-productive, imho.
BRADGELINA UPDATE: King Norodom Sihamoni has signed a special decree giving Jolie Cambodian citizenship in recognition of her environmental work in the country. Does Aniston secretly hope to reconcile with Pitt? Or are those persistent Vince Vaughn rumors true? US magazine reports that Pitt went blonde at Jolie's request... to make him look more like her brother? Eewww.
JAMIE LEE CURTIS speaks out against cosmetic surgery among actresses: "The way they are injecting things and freezing things. People are looking like aliens."
MATT LeBLANC is hoping everyone (especially his wife) thinks he's just as stupid as the character he plays on Joey, but we all know what a lap dance is, don't we?
EDDIE MURPHY: His divorce may be due to his wife's belief that he's not as fun with her as he is with a tranny hooker.
COLIN FARRELL: Still keeping the sex video under wraps.
JENNIFER CONNELLY likes reading books, chatting on the phone and shopping online during sex with her husband, actor Paul Bettany. If he wasn't having sex with Jennifer Connelly, I would almost feel sorry for the guy.
JESSICA SIMPSON sold cheap by her creepy Dad.
WHAT'S YOUR POP CULTURE LEXICON? Recent Harvard Law grad Amber Taylor lists her pop culture touchstones, but wants everyone to think about it. As Craig O'Neill once called me a "gushing firehose of pop culture references," I'll just list a few that I use at this site:
Diner: "Every one of my records means something! ...When I listen to my records they take me back to certain points in my life, OK?"
High Fidelity: "Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do's and don'ts. First of all you're using someone else's poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing."
Almost Famous: "Do you have to be depressed to write a sad song? Do you have to be in love to write a love song? Is a song better when it really happened to you?" (of course, I use many others offline)
This Is Spinal Tap: Many, but especially, "Well, it's one louder, isn't it?" and "Where are they now, the little people of... Stonehenge?"
It's A Wonderful Life: "Do you want the moon? If you want it, I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down for you..." After all, Pate has a song called "Rope Around The Moon." How could I not use it?
Casablanca: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"
...not to mention heaps of song lyrics and references from Monty Python, The Simpsons and Seinfeld. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
WOODSY THE OWL is denounced as a coward by environmentalists.
IRAQ II: The Washington Post quotes an anonymous "top U.S. military official" as saying that Iraq's leaders and military will be unable to lead the fight against insurgents until next summer at the earliest. However, the WaPo also quotes the official as saying that a significant spring withdrawal was "still possible" and that primary military responsibility for some parts of Iraq could likely be handed over even before the elections. So I'm wondering where the WaPo thought there was news here.
OVER THERE: Steven Bochco's Iraq-based TV drama is seemingly fizzling in the ratings.
DOCUMENTING THE AMERICAN SOUTH is a project of the University Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to Southern history, literature, and culture from the colonial period through the first decades of the 20th century.
GOOD VIBRATIONS: The New York Times runs an article in advance of Saturday's rare performance of Joseph Schillinger's "First Airphonic Suite" that includes a concise history of the theremin (try BugMeNot pidmeoff, pidmeoff1234). The article also mentions the wonderful documentary, Theremin - An Electronic Odyssey.
9/11 COMMISSION staffers knew military intelligence officials had identified lead hijacker Mohammed Atta as a member of Al Qaeda who might be part of U.S.-based terror cell more than a year before the attacks but decided not to include that in its final report, a spokesman acknowledged Thursday. Commission officials said that the information had not been included in the 9/11 report because aspects of the military's account sounded inconsistent with what the commission knew about Atta. Imho, it would have been better to mention it, even if to discount or debunk it.
BEHIND THE CHEDDAR CURTAIN: A tale of repression on the frozen tundra of "Curly" Lambeau Field, as Larry Primeau, known better as the Packalope, will be barred from wearing his trademark headgear into the stadium. Primeau was enshrined as a fan member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER TEACHER charged with criminal sexual conduct with a student. The boy in question is 16, but is described as an eighth-grader, making the case even more odd.
WHO'S YOUR DADDY? About four percent of us might be surprised by the answer.
DEMOCRATIC DIAGNOSIS: According to Democracy Corps (run by ex-Clinton consultant James Carville and ex-Clinton pollster Stan Greenberg), dissatisfaction over the war in Iraq, the economy and health care costs might spell trouble for the GOP, but the Democrats' failure to connect with voters on national security and cultural issues could prevent their candidates from gaining in upcoming national elections.
NEWSPAPER REDESIGN is masterfully mocked in an internal memo by Hank Stuever, Style reporter for the Washington Post.
THE SOPRANOS: The Hollywood Reporter says that series creator/executive producer David Chase is close to finalizing a pact with HBO to produce as many as ten additional episodes for the upcoming sixth season, set to bow in March.
CULT OF THE iPod: Japanese musicians under contract to Sony and other labels that have not joined the iTunes music store are going over execs' heads, trying to get their music on the service, which debuted in Japan last week.
MICROSOFT plans to helping law enforcement agencies address computer-related crimes with a damages settlement obtained from "spam king" Scott Richter.
REMOTE CONTROL HUMANS: Researchers at the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Communication Science Laboratories have constructed a headphone-like apparatus that can steer a human by remote control.
THE HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE LAB is typically an isolated add-on that lacks clear goals, does not engage students in discussion and fails to illustrate how scientific methods lead to knowledge,according to a report by the National Research Council.
HYBRID CARS are now bigger, faster... and often only a little more fuel-efficient than comparable V-6 engines.
APPEARANCE MATTERS, even with websites, with designs appealing differently to men and women.
THE DOGS OF WAR: In Iraq, U.S. troops have dogs to detect explosives; the terrorists use dogs to deliver explosives. Despite a common prejudice in the Muslim world against dogs, which are considered unclean, even the most virulent clerical opponents of the U.S. presence in Iraq have decried the use of canines as proxies in the war.
CATS: Recently, I had a link to photos of jumping cats, but here is the super-sized set.
CANE TOAD THRILLER wins short film award down under: "Forget about global warming and the war on terrorism, cane toads is the big issue facing Territorians today and we've decided to address that issue and confront it face on," said filmmaker Kevin Cook.
JELLYFISH are all on holiday in Spain. The Red Cross said its lifeguards had treated almost 11,000 people for stings on beaches so far this season in the northeastern region of Catalonia alone.
HORSES are being sworn as Sheriff's Deputies in Snohomish County, WA. I was hoping for a Twin Peaks reference here, but most of that was shot in Snoqualmie, not Shonomish (which is not far from Craig O'Neill).