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Links 'o' the (TGIFri) Day (Year-end Closeout)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 31, 2004 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


IT'S NEW YEAR'S ROCKIN' EVE: Thanks to everyone for stopping by! In particular, thanks to Sylvia Hauser, for sharing her engagement with us and boosting the site's traffic considerably. No thanks to the Sanity Worm, which apparently tried to attack the site last week. Thanks to our site admin Lance, for keeping us secure (and for adding the new weather module to the right). However, the attacks probably inflated our traffic stats for this month. If the traffic drops next month, I may have to bug Sylvia to move up her wedding.

CHAMPAGNE: a guide to the real stuff and other sparkling wines.

BLOGGER RODNEY BALKO rounds up the good news of 2004.

HANK "SUGARFOOT" GARLAND, who played guitar on the Everly Borthers' "Bye Bye Love," Patsy Cline's "Crazy" and "I Fall To Pieces," Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman" and "Only The Lonely," and Elvis Presley's "Little Sister" and "It's Now or Never," and many, many more, dies at 74.

FILMOCULOUS lists his Blogs of the Year. If you've ever wondered where I find this endless stream of trivia, the sites he lists this year are a pretty good answer.

TSUNAMI: The internet and cellphones aid the seach for the missing.

STINGY AMERICANS: Daniel Drezner -- an expert on the subject --returns from a sabbatical to provide a balanced look, with a little for each side of the argument.

RIDE THE SNAKE: Or at least follow it to safety in a tsunami.

THE DOORS take on a slumlord at a familiar locale.

DONALD TRUMP launches a line of hair care products. No, really. Anyone who can sell that should be his next Apprentice.

CLONED CATS: finding a market in Hollywood.

SPACE STATION ASTRONAUTS lose weight on a diet of candy, after the prior crew ate too much.

SHARON OSBOURNE wants to manage Liza Minelli. I thought it was Liza who was just hospitalized for the head injury.

JANE GALT asks: "Who knows what the word for a group of ferrets is?"

YOU CALL IT VIDEOGAMING, I call it pre-med.

EINSTEIN: We all know he was important; The Economist explains why, in language people other than Jon Pratt can understand.

JOHNNY DEPP tops the Internet Movie Database's STARMeter celebrity ranking for 2004. Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and Angelina Jolie round out the top five.

NYDN DAILY DISH: Vanessa Williams delusional; Patti Hansen speaks ill of the late Linda McCartney; Debbie Gibson upset with Lohan, Spears, Simpson, etc.

MOVE ON: About a half dozen supporters of John Kerry are holding vigil in front of his house, still hoping for a Kerry presidency.

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Links 'o' the (Thurs) Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



DER SPIEGEL: Bloggers at Front Line of Relief Efforts.

A CANDLE GOES OUT: Jerry Orbach, dead at 69. Prostate cancer is generally treatble if caught early; if only this technology had been around sooner...

THE ECONOMIST has a survey of nanotechnology that helps explain what Jon Pratt does for a living without a lot of jargon.

OSCAR HANDICAPPING: You can get the odds for some catagories at Intrade, which was a pretty good indicator for the 2004 election.

A USED BRITNEY SPEARS on eBay. Still cheap, just like the "real" one.

PARIS HILTON vows to be more annoying in 2005, in hopes of topping the aforementioned Britney.

TWIN CITIES, TWO SITES: Given the contingent of Blockheads clustered in Minnesota, I thought it worth linking to Slanderous Minneapolis, a local gossip blog, and Crap From the Past, the site for a St. Paul radio show featuring...

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY'S Best of 2004, fwiw.

TERRY HEATON sees "A Year of Trouble for Broadcasters," especially local broadcasters.

QATAR bans child jockeys in camel races, a big step forward for human rights in the oil-rich Gulf state. The children are to be replaced by robots. No, really.

NIKKI FINKE has her favorite showbiz quotes of 2004, including one from director Cameron Crowe.

ONE MAN LORD OF THE RINGS: 40 characters. 3 masterworks. 3600 seconds.

BUSINESS WEEK looks at video blogs.

SIZE MATTERS IN REPRODUCTION, according to this excerpt from Carl Zimmer's article for The New York Times.

FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL RAMSEY CLARK will help defend Saddam Hussein. I guess the bang-up job he did for Slobodan Milosevic sealed the deal.

PORN is no longer the top spam category, though the way a particular type of junk e-mail was classified may be debatable.

2967 Reads

Links 'o' the (Hump) Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


TSUNAMI: Okay, I'm giving in to my better nature. If you're feeling like Lennon at the end of Sgt. Pepper's, there are many groups to which you might donate a few bucks. USAID lists a bunch of them. The Command Post has even more. You can even give to the Red Cross at Amazon. If you want more info -- including amateur video -- on the story, you can look here, here, and here. BuzzMachine has a quick hit on the blogging of the tsunami. For my part, I intend to console injured supermodel Petra Nemcova over the loss of her boyfriend. After all, if Indian sex workers can pitch in, it's the least I can do.

BTW, if you check out those lists of groups providing aid, it may occur to you that Americans provide a lot of help to people around the world through non-governmental organizations. So when some U.N. stooge implies that we're stingy (and has to backpedal), it should be noted that the number he's using for foreign aid represents cash payments to other governments, which is a fraction of what Americans give. It also excludes aid given in the form of food; for example, the U.S. gives 57 percent to the budget of the World Food Program to help feed 104 million people in 81 countries. So the next time someone making a tax-free, six-figure salary from an organization that let Saddam Hussein skim some 21 Billion dollars in food aid into arms and bribes wants to deliver a lecture on foreign aid, he might want to remember the old saying about attracting more flies with honey than vinegar.


CATS AND DOGS: get armor.

HAD I RECEIVED MONEY for Christmas, I might have gotten this before the tsunami hit.

THE NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY recognizes an eclectic group of movies, from Schindler's List (full disclosure: a family friend adapted the screenplay) to Jailhouse Rock, from Unforgiven to Eraserhead. Ann Althouse covers the inclusion of the classic 1951 civil defense film, Duck and Cover.

SUSAN SONTAG, dead at 71.

STEAM-POWERED CAR: It looks cool and goes pretty fast, but is impractical for regular travel, sadly.

OSCAR HANDICAPPING: The Hot Blog notes that the likely Best picture nominees have not had such low box office since 1989. I don't know whether that's a bad thing, however.

THE INVENTOR OF CDs AND DVDs made very little money. Neither did Tim Berners-Lee, who created the world-wide web, but some group just wrote him a big check to say thanks, iirc, so this other guy can hope his story gets wide circulation.

LOW CULTURE notices an odd pattern at The New York Times.

KATE BOSWORTH: Gawker excerpts some of her wit and wisdom from a GQ interview.

THE NEW YORKER notes the impact of the murders of Theo Van Gogh and Pim Fortuyn on the Netherlands. Which is more than can be said for most of the big media outlets in the U.S.

I'M A COKE ADDICT. Okay, a Diet Coke addict. Imagine my glee in seeing an op-ed defending soft drinks in the Boston Globe.

ELVIS PRESLEY, wherever he is, would enjoy this approach to computers.

PSYCHIC PREDICTIONS FOR 2004: Not so psychic. Who'da thunk it?

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Links 'o' the (Tues) Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


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Links 'o' the (Mon) Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 27, 2004 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


IF YOU SKIPPED the site over the holidays, be sure to check the surprise stocking stuffer below for more links...

WHALE-BLOGGING: Yale Law Student and New Republic intern Will Baude's writing about a lone whale singing at 52 Hz spurred discussion along the blogosphere. The links are collected here. And when Will notes that "in the comments to Amber [Taylor]'s post folks muse about whether one is always lonelier than two," I think you can guess who those folks are. But where was our Richard Ness to keep the Nilsson flame alight?

THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU: It's definitely a Wes Anderson movie, so if you've seen Bottle Rocket, Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums, you know what you're getting into. Some who have panned the movie think Anderson is verging on (or has crossed into) self-parody, but it didn't strike me that way so much as a continuation of his distinctive style of cinematography and art direction. If anything, the performance of The Life Aquatic is less mannered than Tenenbaums, and perhaps slightly less stylized in appearance (at least when it is above sea level).

That being said, I prefer Tenenbaums, as I think Gene Hackman was more sympathetic as a flawed patriarch than Bill Murray is in The Life Aquatic. The movie is more often tart to sour -- more like Rushmore in tone. Moreover, The Life Aquatic is more uneven than Tenenbaums, perhaps because it is Anderson's first script written with Noah Baumbach, rather than longtime collaborator Owen Wilson (who only acts here).

Nevertheless, I enjoyed The Life Aquatic, particularly the performances of Cate Blanchett -- who is almost as good here as journo Jane Winslett-Richardson as she is playing Kate Hepburn in The Aviator -- and Willem Dafoe, who practically steals every scene in which he appears. It was also nice to see Bud Cort, as I have always imagined that Wes Anderson was deeply influenced by Harold and Maude. And given the nature of this site, I should mention that the soundtrack is intriguing: primarily Bowie classics, often reinterpreted as Portuguese cafe music.

JOHN MAYER was stopped from running through the halls of his high school, even when he was to be inducted into its Hall of Fame. I can't believe the Associated Press missed the obvious joke.

CATS AND DOGS: getting their own coffins. DOGS: getting their own ice cream.

TEEN JESUS: The computer-generated portrait was created by Italian policemen from the Shroud of Turin.

ENGINEERS probably can explain these pictures. I expect it has something to do with leverage.

DENVER SAMARITAN hands out 35 thousand dollars to the homeless on Christmas Eve.

PHARMA COS warn employees about Michael Moore, whose next film is rumored to be about the U.S. healthcare system.

MY KIND OF TOWN: YMCA director fired after the parents of young children arriving for a morning swim meet clashed with participants in an overnight transgender fashion show and ball.

FARK: What if bin Laden made albums, not videotapes?

UKRANIAN ELECTION RE-RUN: Looks like a big win for Yushchenko. Probably good news for the West.

WASHINGTON GOVERNOR'S RACE: More ballots turned up in Alaska.

WEIRD NEWS: Sky News names its top stories for 2004.

THE SCREAM: Norwegian police have identified a suspect in the theft of a version of the iconic painting.

EARBAGS: Going on my list.

STONEHENGE: A fresh theory on how it was built was tested earlier this month. And where are they now, the little people of... Stonehenge?

3029 Reads

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