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Links 'o' the (Tues) Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 14, 2004 - 11:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


AND THE CROWS STARE UNAMAZED: Turns out that crows (and other members of the corvid family -- jays, ravens, etc.) may be as smart as chimpanzees and gorillas.

GOLDEN GLOBES: Given that I haven't seen all of the nominated pictures and shows (The Aviator isn't in general release yet), I will say in the spirit of Bill Murray that, looking over the list of noms, I'd say that the Foreign Press did a half-decent job.

Sure, it's bizzare that The Incredibles has to compete with Sideways, Ray, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Phantom of the Opera, but The Incredibles was really good (and probably better than another retelling of Phantom), so this may be a case where it really is an honor to be nominated. Natalie Portman probably will not (and probably should not) win for her supporting role in Closer, but if it encourages her to take more roles as a stripper, all the better. [Note: Do I have a link or two for that Portman comment? You betcha, but that wouldn't be family-friendly, now would it?]

For screenplay, I'd be torn between Eternal Sunshine and Sideways, and would guess it will go to the writer(s) least honored in past Globes.

For TV Drama, 24 didn't hold me this year and Lost may be too new (though the FP may pull a Jenny Garner here). Nip/Tuck was good, but maybe not as good as the first season. The Sopranos marked a return to form. If Nip/Tuck didn't win last year, it could this year; otherwise, I'd pick the mob.

In Best TV Actress, the nomination of three of the Desperate Housewives will probably split their vote, making the number of nominations that show received a little deceptive. I guess they left out Eva Longoria either because she's the youngest, or because she's the hottest and thus can deal better with disappointment. I'd bet on Sarah Jessica Parker's swan song. But ironically, since everyone will anticipate the vote split, Nicolette Sheridan may take Best TV Supporting Actress over Drea deMateo, who was great on The Sopranos, but now has the Joey stink on her. And it may help the housewives overtake last year's critical fave, Arrested Development. And while discussing the latter, I would gratuitously note that the story about Portia de Rossi hooking up with Ellen DeGeneres is sad on more than one level.

Finally, in Best TV Supporting Actor, I must note that William Shatner was nominated for Boston Legal. He might just win; as Ann Althouse discovered, you don't cross the Shat.

L.A. TIMES: People blamed incoming DCI Porter Goss and his staff for the resignations of some top CIA officials, but the same thing is happening at the FBI.

MY KIND OF TOWN: Chicago police evict a man from the home he built in the underside of the Lake Shore Drive drawbridge -- a lair that boasted a space heater, television, PlayStation video game and microwave. Meanwhile, the Sun-Times continues to report on Mayor Daley's towing program, under which the city of Chicago sells about 70,000 cars each year to an allegedly politically-connected company for no more than the going scrap-metal price, regardless of the car's age or condition.

MADAME TUSSAUD'S CELEBRITY WAX CRECHE, mentioned here a few days ago, has been attacked -- literally.

HOWARD WOLFSON, one of Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign managers, delivers his Top Ten Albums of 2004!

MARC RICH, the fugitive Swiss-based billionaire commodities trader who received a controversial pardon from President Bill Clinton in January 2001, has emerged as a central figure in the U.N. oil-for-food scandal and is under investigation for brokering deals in which scores of international politicians and businessmen cashed in on sweetheart oil deals with Saddam Hussein, according to the New York Post.

SWARMSTREAMING: Hollywood is already freaking about BitTorrent's ability to ease movie file-sharing; swarmstreaming may turn out to be more powerful and robust.

FILE-SHARERS have already begun to hijack the second-generation version of the internet.

WHAT IS LIFE? "Astrobiologists will tell you honestly that this question has no simple or generally accepted answer." But at least George Harrison wasn't sued over that one.

GARY WEBB, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter whose controversial series of stories linking the CIA to crack cocaine trafficking in Los Angeles were largely discredited, has died at age 49. Conspiracy theorists are undoubtedly on red alert.

KOBE BRYANT accuses Karl Malone of hitting on his wife. Too. Many. Glass. House. Jokes.

GOIN' MOBILE: Mozilla is readying the next version of Minimo, its browser for PDAs and set-top boxes.

iTUNES now accepts PayPal.

JERRY SCOGGINS, who sang The Ballad of Jed Clampett, has died at 93.

PAGE SIX harshes on the Pixies reunion.

MICHAEL CRICHTON: His new book, State of Fear, questions global warming, which is an unexpected stance from the author of The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park.

3043 Reads

Links 'o' the (Mon) Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 13, 2004 - 12:00 PM
Posted by: kbade


RADICAL MOROCCAN PIZZA COURIER arrested after the police were tipped that Islamic extremists were allegedly planning an attack on the Red Light District in Amsterdam. This story, following the murders of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn and, more recently, filmmaker Theo van Gogh (who made movies about Islamic treatment of women and about Fortuyn), are prompting the Dutch middle classes to leave the Netherlands. And perhaps worst of all, it looks like Amsterdam is going to have a a Charlie Brown Christmas.

TOP 11 WAYS GEEKS CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS: It's like a "Top 10" list, except this one goes to... eleven.

WHAT'S THAT SONG? A streaming version of the old game show, in which you can play by band or decade. Sadly, Claude Pate is not in the database, which causes the server to put up some decidedly un-Claude choices.

MY ALMA MATER (Barrington High School) is pioneering "while you wait" college admissions.

IOWA CAUCUSES: Their first-in-the-nation status is threatened by a Democratic Party commission.

LEMONY SNICKET FANS (and their parents): Count Olaf has a blog.

I used to have shoes sorta like these, but they don't make them in my size anymore.

THE REV. BERNICE KING, MLK's daughter, joins a march that in part opposes same-sex marriage, causing tension in the traditional civil rights leadership.

SAME-SEX DIVORCE comes to Massachussetts, months after legalizing same-sex marriage. For one such couple, most difficult part of the settlement appeared to be custody of their three cats; one man ended up with sole custody.

COOKING WITH GOOGLE and other fun Google hacks.

FILE-SHARING: The Supreme court will review a lower court ruling in favor of Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc. over their liability for copyright infringement. Meanwhile, BitTorrent, a more robust file-sharing method, threatens Hollywood, as some of the software-based methods record companies have used against Grokster, KaZaa, etc. do not work with BitTorrent. That fact will push the entertainment more toward lawsuits, I think. At issue before the Supreme Court will be the scope of their prior decision that VCR makers were not assisting violations of the copyright laws.

PHILADELPHIA CITY COUNCIL may bar adults from bringing children under 6 to a movie after 7 p.m. unless it is G-rated.

THICKBURGER: The Hardee's sandwich is a as big a hit as its 1,420-calories delivers to your waistline. The usual suspects have attacked the contrarian burger as "food porn" and suggested that Hardee's list the calories on their menu board. That might be nice, but it shouldn't be required. In the UK, governmental diet advice was followed by incresed sales for cake, chocolate, biscuits, fats, yoghurts, lager and wine.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Surprisingly popular with kids in Damascus.

"BIG IN '04 AWARDS:" VH1 handed them out, but its own site makes them sound like you wouldn't want one.

UKRAINE UPDATE: Doctors confirm that presidential candidate Yushchenko was poisoned with Dioxin. However, Airbag Industries thinks it may have been cosmic rays.

BLOGCRITICS: It's a little old, but I enjoyed the treorizing over the meaning of Bono's Spanish "1, 2, 3... 14" count-off on U2's "Vertigo." The Lilywhite theory seems most likely, but the one involving the late John Ritter is my favorite.

MOM BROKE LAW BY EAVESDROPPING ON DAUGHTER'S PHONE CONVERSATION, as decided by the Washington Supreme Court. That may be a correct reading of Washington state law, but that won't stop people from finding it wacky.

3004 Reads

Links 'o' the (TGIFri) Day (Noon update)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 10, 2004 - 12:00 PM
Posted by: kbade


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Links 'o' the (Thurs) Day (P.M. Update)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 09, 2004 - 12:00 PM
Posted by: kbade


THERESA HEINZ-KERRY: "The job of a political spouse is to say, 'Hey, idiot . . .'" Ouch.

NEWS IS DEPRESSING, so leave now.

JANE GALT has penned a poem: "My Tivo has died, and I am sad."

SECRET SPY PROGRAM DANGER TO NATIONAL SECURITY, according to some Senators. But they can't tell you what it is: it's a secret, y'know?

NYDN cites the National Enquirer for a story that police found Michael Jackson's fingerprint and a fingerprint from the boy accusing him of sex abuse on the "same page" of a porno mag seized from the pop star's home. If true, Jacko's lawyers will probably argue: (1) so Jacko and the kid both read Barely Legal magazine -- it doesn't prove they read it together; and (2) Barely Legal may be a little creepy, but it's not gay porn, yer honor!

ALEXANDER THE TERRIBLE UPDATE: Maybe more people would go see it if this scene had been included. Maybe Ollie Stone is saving it for the DVD.

DAZED AND CONFUSED: Wooderson, Slater and Pink are suing filmmaker Richard Linklater because they're sick of people thinking they're stoners.

STARBUCKS: selling hundreds of thousands of Ray Charles CDs.

TARA REID - LINDSAY LOHAN CATFIGHT, with a faked orgasm. But only in print. Lohan's mother, however, is a different story.

MARY-KATE AND ASHLEY have a Kathie Lee Gifford problem?

PICTURES OF ELVIS hold up anthrax cleanup in Florida.

INDIE LABELS OF THE WORLD UNITE: TVT, Artemis, Spinart, Lookout and more form trade group to try to boost payments from online services like Apple's iTunes.

GORILLAS hold a wake for their alpha female.

ADULT SUPERSTORES: Proof that size matters?

IF IT'S THURSDAY, IT MUST BE THE O.C.: The show which brings out the best at Low Culture -- here and here and here, for example.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Its online video-on-demand premiere netted 89 viewers. Ouch.

WHAT IS HIP? Rock critic and author John Leland thought he knew where the word came from; Slate debunks the story.

HOT LAPTOPS may reduce male fertility.

END OF THE WORLD UPDATE: The locusts reach Mexico.

PIXAR'S CARS TROUBLE? The release of the movie teased before The Incredibles is pushed from November 2005 to June 2006, prompting rumors of problems with the script. "Audiences were somewhat underwhelmed by the Cars trailer, which was released in theaters and online last month, further fueling fears of a Pixar bomb." Sadly, I was underwhelmed myself. But if anyone can work it out it's Pixar, which had similar rumors floated around Finding Nemo.

INTELL REFORM: There was much sound and fury leading to the passage of the intelligence reform law. "But some experts say it is not at all evident how, or even if, the changes will help America's spies obtain secrets and help analysts determine the intentions of terrorists or worrisome nations developing weapons of mass destruction." How about the creation of a National Intelligence Director? Will that help stop terrorists and WMD proliferation? "On that question, even some supporters of the overhaul acknowledge their own skepticism. Apparently, Congress wanted to pass (and the President wanted to sign) something, if only to avoid the political fallout from another terror attack had they done nothing.

HOLIDAY STRESS? Have you considered trepanation?

3164 Reads

Links 'o' the (Hump) Day (P.M. update 2)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - 12:00 PM
Posted by: kbade


DICK CLARK hospitalized for a mild stroke. The real shocker: He's only 75 years old! At least that's what he'd have you believe...

ANGELINA JOLIE would marry a woman. A story which undoubtedly sets back the cause of gay marriage by years. Hetero guys don't want her off the market. Gay guys will resent the fact that lesbians (or, more accurately hotl lesbians) are much more palatable to the public. Lesbians may be excited at first, but then wonder whether the generally unhinged Jolie should be their poster child.

DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND (also: "I love this man): Donald trump is getting a 1.5 carat wedding ring for free. Guess the bankruptcy got him some sympathy. Someone acted on the story i previously linked about diamond-laced martinis. But no woman has more best friends than this Russian woman.

DUDE: A word for all purposes. Plus, it inspired Ann Althouse to wax on The Big Lebowski soundtrack and sage lyrics from Bob Dylan. UPDATE: Sylvia Hauser tells me she has been called "Dude" at work, as in the linked article.

JIM TREACHER: What's on your tombstone?

POWER LINE: Very conservative, but remembering John Lennon on the anniversary of his untimely death. And there was even a Richard and Linda Thompson reference yesterday.

LILEKS covers several subjects today, but his take on the new movie Closer is pretty close to what I would say in a review, and Lileks hasn't even seen it:

"It's amusing to read reviews of "Closer", a film that sounds like 100 minutes of attenuated gum surgery: four shallow bitter people trading lacerating quips with their transient sex partners. If you believe that puddle-deep self-obsessed people engaged in two-backed beast construction is somehow the most illustrative example of the human condition, I suppose the movie will strike you as high art, but the notion that trivial people screw a lot and argue afterwards is as illuminating as the fact that dogs don't get married after they knock paws."

THE GRAMMYS: Sure, Ann Althouse has it dead on in noting that they are historically clueless -- and she's thinking of the 1960s. They were just as bad in the 1970s; for example when the 1978 award for Best New Artist went to Taste of Honey (of "Boogie Oogie Oogie" fame) instead of Elvis Costello, or even the Cars. During his lifetime, Elvis Presley won two Grammies, both for Gospel music. Or how about the 1989 for Best Hard Rock Performance going to Jethro Tull instead of Metallica? The list is so lengthy that one goes into a Grammy award show hoping the awards will be merely innocuous. Nevertheless, there were some interesting nominations to note:

Scanning a decent-sized list of the noms, I note that Brian Wilson's Smile got two nods -- Best Pop Vocal Album and Mark Linett for Engineered Album, Non-Classical. The odds don't look good: it's up against things like the posthumous Ray Charles duets disc, Norah Jones and Sarah McLachlan. Moreover, the Beach Boys were never awarded a Grammy during their heyday (they may have gotten some ersatz lifetime thing since). However, Brian is being honored as Person of the Year by MusiCares, a charity set up by the Recording Academy, so maybe Brian will go home with a statue.

Bill Clinton got nominated for the spoken word version of his autobiography, but he's up against a tribute to Mr. Rogers. You may recall that Bill won this award last year for a reading of Peter and the Wolf, so I think there may be a speedy delivery to the Neighborhood.

Also notable: Dan Zanes, former leader of the Del Fuegos, is nominated for Musical Album for Children. I can't say I think much of the Bluegrass noms. But the noms for Historical Album are quite good; it would be tough for me to choose between The Complete Columbia Recordings of Woody Herman and His Orchestra and Woodchoppers (1945-1947) and Goodbye, Babylon; and no, I'm not kidding. Finally, for Best Country Song, Loretta Lynn is nominated twice, which may split her vote, opening the door for "It's Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long," by Rodney Crowell and Vince Gill -- which would be great to see on television.

YOUR TAX DOLLARS NOT AT WORK: The latest OECD international study of the math skills of 15 year olds shows that the United States has the poorest outcomes per dollar spent on education. Actually, there's probably plenty of blame to be spread on this one. Even good teachers in good schools are hard-pressed to overcome bad parenting or lack of parenting. However, you won't find many teachers saying so publicly, as it's politically unwise to alienate parents.

E-COMMERCE AND THE REPEAL OF PROHIBITION clash as the Supreme Court heard oral argument over New York and Michigan laws that require out-of-state wineries to sell through state-licensed wholesalers, while permitting in-state wineries to deal directly with individuals.

PROTEIN WISDOM: Scenes from a Voir Dire, which, for you non-lawyers, means jury selection.

MOST MUSICIANS do not consider peer-to-peer file sharing a major threat, according to a new poll.

REPORTERS TRAIL BADLY IN GALLUP POLL ON HONESTY AND ETHICS, but they beat out lawyers. I'm so proud to be a lawyer.

THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO? Mozilla will follow up its launch of the Firefox web browser with the Thunderbird e-mail client.


ALSO NICE: Tipster turns down 40 thousand dollar reward for murder arrest.


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