THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:
...IN ELIZABETHTOWN, the upcoming film from Cameron Crowe. The basic premise is vaguely reminiscent of Garden State, but I looks like Crowe will put his distinctive stamp on it, based on the seven minute, 43 MB QuickTime trailer Crowe made specially for Aint-It-Cool-News. As Crowe put Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" to masterful use in Almost Famous, this trailer is largely set to "My Father's Gun" from 1970's Tumbleweed Connection.
NEW PORNOGRAPHERS: The band's upcoming album, Twin Cinema, has leaked onto the 'net. Downloads of two new tracks surface at Stereogum and Said the Gramophone. The title track is available at Matador's website. The Big Ticket has some older NP tracks up also.
COLDPLAY frontman Chris Martin muses, "Would it really be possible to start Nazi Germany if you'd just been listening to Bob Marley's Exodus back-to-back for the past three weeks and getting stoned?" He continues, "It would be interesting to see how the world would be different if Dick Cheney really listened to Radiohead's OK Computer. I think the world would probably improve. That album is f'ing brilliant. It changed my life, so why wouldn't it change his?"
FAT-BOTTOM GIRLS AND THE ROCKIN' WORLD: a normative and scientific examination of a close relationship. This sharing of knowledge is exactly the type of thing the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency had in mind when the internet was created.
LOVE TRACTOR: There's a new model, though still based on the original Mike Richmond engine.
THE CROOKED ROAD is a 250-mile "trail" through the Virginia highlands tying together eight music destinations - from the Ralph Stanley Museum in Clintwood to the Fiddlers' Convention in Galax - and Floyd, VA, which is is arguably the center of the bluegrass universe. So I've probably just charted Sylvia Hauser's next vacation. No charge for that.
THE GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL is a corporate sellout? If the BBC's business reporters are asking, don't bet against it. Of course, having a professional promoter handle security instead of the Hells Angels might be considered a good thing by some.
LIVE 8: Bianca Jagger thinks Bob Geldof and Bono have sold out to cynical politicians.
TOM-KAT UPDATE: Defamer has the dope, from the banning of most press from the War of the Worlds premiere in NYC, to an account of how a reporter's question about aliens and Scientology left Cruise a little edgy. Plus, the Cruise and Holmes parental units had a get-together. Gizmodo hooks you up to the E-Meter. And Golden Fiddle has a must-read I don't want to spoil.
LAND OF THE DEAD: George Romero, who revived the zombie genre with Night of the Living Dead, is interviewed about his latest work by the L.A. Times.
HE'S ON A MISSION: Travis Bell is trying to return to the locations of The Blues Brothers and simulate as many stunts as he can in his Bluesmobile replica, a 1974 Dodge Monaco signed by Dan Aykroyd. Unlike the movie, all of his stunts have been done without permission from any authorities.
CELEBS STRIKE A NERVE: A recent experiment showed that single neurons in people's brains react to the faces of specific people, such as Jennifer Aniston, Bill Clinton, Halle Berry, characters in The Simpsons and members of The Beatles. Images of Aniston with her former husband Brad Pitt did not trigger the Aniston neuron, so perhaps this story should be part of the Bradgelina update.
ROBERT REDFORD: Looking younger every year!
NO OSCARS for stuntpeople. Screen Actors Guild president Melissa Gilbert, Robert De Niro, Steven Spielberg and Dustin Hoffman had backed the stunt coordinators on their quest.
STACY'S MOM: As noted here recently, Rachel Hunter is back in the dating pool. I wasn't going to call her, but if she's letting American Idol host Ryan Seacrest grope her in public, I may have to perform an intervention.
BRADGELINA UPDATE: Despite her split from Pitt, Jennifer Aniston hasn't lost her sense of humor -- she's currently in Chicago for a movie, booked into her hotel under the name "Mrs. Smith." We can only hope the movie is that funny.
HOW RAMPANT ARE RUMORS that the ailing Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist will resign at the end of the Court's term? The Washington Post accidentally ran a package of obituary/retirement stories on its RSS feed on Wednesday. For the non-geek, the links to entertainment news that appear at the top of the center column here are an example of an RSS feed.
REPORTERS USE BLOGS, but don't trust them. I suspect bloggers occasionally feel the same way about journalists.
BROADCAST TELEVISION NETWORKS earned less in preseason ad buying this year than last year. Jeff Jarvis, a cocreator of Entertainment Weekly, explains why that's a big deal.
IRAQ: One of Saudi Arabia's most-wanted militants was killed by a U.S. airstrike in northwestern Iraq. StrategyPage has a column suggesting that the economy is exploding and that the Sunni insurgency is all about the oil. The BBC, confirming links posted here yesterday, reports that coverage of the violence in Iraq by Arab satellite television stations has undergone a perceptible change. on Al Jazeera, "militants are no longer referred to as the 'resistance' but as gunmen or suicide bombers." Eyewitnesses are shown denouncing them as "terrorists" - which is still apparently too strong a word for Al Jazeera... and the BBC.
ISLAMIC TERRORISTS from al Qaeda in Iraq planned a large-scale chemical attack in Jordan, causing death, blindness and sickness, a chemical expert testified in a military court Wednesday.
FOMALHAUT'S RING: The Hubble Space Telescope discovers... my preciousss...
HOMELAND SECURITY: The latest drill was staged at a Kentucky goat show. And Gawker notes an Anthrax scare at a national treasure.
FILESHARING: P2Pnet has an article arguing that the recording biz could solve their piracy problems through applied freakonomics.
NANOTECH: Researchers at UMass Amherst have discovered a novel microorganism that can produce electrical nanowires. Scientists have increased the cancer-killing capacity of a chemotherapy drug while reducing its toxic side effects by attaching a dendrimer, experiments in mice show. Two of the primary advocates for the original U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative warn that lukewarm support for nanoscale science and engineering puts U.S. technological leadership at risk and might prevent the country from realizing the full potential of nanotechnology.
GLOBAL WARMING: Yury Izrael, Director of the Global Climate and Ecology Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences and Vice-Chair of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change writes that "There is no proven link between human activity and global warming" and that expected warming should not be considered a crisis for the next century.
ROBOT GUARDS could soon begin patrolling Japanese offices, shopping malls and banks.
FOOT-IN-MOUTH DISEASE appears to be epidemic in Washington, DC. The most recent casualty seems to be Karl Rove, the senior political adviser to President Bush, who said at a fund-raiser, "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers... I don't know about you, but moderation and restraint is not what I felt when I watched the twin towers crumble to the ground, a side of the Pentagon destroyed, and almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens perish in flames and rubble." Democrats are demanding that Rove immediately retract and apologize for his comments. I have more in the "Read more" link at the bottom of today's links -- it ended up being long enough to break the flow if I stuck it all up here.
AFI TOP 100 MOVIE QUOTES: Prof. Ann Althouse has a few observations and also addresses songs about movies. There's also a bit about the "compassionate lions" story mentioned here earlier this week.
A RADIO CONTEST WINNER who thought she won 100 grand was given a Nestle's 100 Grand candy bar. And a lawsuit followed.
YAHOO! has pulled the plug on perhaps hundreds of chat rooms operating on its site after a media report revealed that some of the chat rooms were used to promote sex with minors.
A PANGOLIN -- a highly endangered scaly anteater -- believed to have escaped from a botanical garden, was recovered by police in Bangladesh.
FORTY-SEVEN GRAND IN A MONEY BELT: A Massachussetts woman carrying almost 47 large in cash through Logan International Airport claimed she was on the way to see a Texas plastic surgeon when DEA agents seized the money she claimed she planned to use for a procedure on her buttocks and breasts. "The agent looked at my buttocks and told me that I do not need an operation," Ileana Valdez told a federal court Wednesday.
CROP CIRCLES: Some think they are messages from aliens, but at least one is a message to aliens.
A SNAPPING TURTLE imitates Lorena Bobbitt.
A DEER GETS STUCK IN A SWIMMING POOL in suburban Detroit: NBC5 has a picture and video.