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Topic: Karl

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The Posies, Big Star, Spinal Tap, Chet Helms and Chuck Grassley   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 27, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE POSIES/BIG STAR: The Posies' first album in seven years comes out tomorrow; Billboard has a preview. It also looks like there will be a new studio album from Big Star in late August. BONUS: Chromewaves has a download of the Posies covering the Beatles' "I'm Looking Through You" up this week. Of course, I wouldn't download it (killing music, y'know), but you unscrupulous types may well enjoy it.

WARNING: LIVE MUSIC IS ALSO KILLING MUSIC.

LIAM GALLAGHER thought Spinal Tap was a real band, accoring to his brother and Oasis bandmate Noel. SEMI-RELATED: A team of archaeologists has pinpointed the precise place in Wales from where the huge bluestones of Stonehenge were quarried in about 2500 B.C.

BEST OF 2005 (SO FAR): This ever-changing world in which we live in cannot wait until the end of the year for "best of" lists, if Brooklyn Vegan, My Old Kentucky Blog and TinyMeat are any indication.

PETE TOWNSHEND is pleased that Michael Jackson was acquitted, reminding us of that kiddie porn accusation made against Pete a few years back. Who knows? Maybe Jacko was just "doing research" also.

LIVE 8: Bono appeared o­n NBC's Meet The Press to talk about the concerts, aid, trade, debt, reforming African kleptocracies and more. And though some politicians seem to have forgotten it, Bono has figured out you can attract more flies with honey than vinegar: "I love America. I believe in America. It offends me, it upsets me when the rest of the world thinks America is not doing enough. The president is right to say they're doing a quarter of all aid to Africa. He has doubled, even tripled if he follows through, aid to Africa. But they are about to double aid, the rest of Europe, to double aid, so that will leave America as o­ne-eighth of all aid going to Africa if they don't match that. And that's not a place Americans want to be, o­ne-eighth. And that will be Europe doing four times as much as America. You know, I want to encourage Americans just to give their president permission. I know he wants to do this, but his advisers must break with this kind of fiscal conservativity o­n this o­ne issue. This is the moment to be generous right now. I'm sure of that."

MORNING BECOMES ECLECTIC host Nic Harcourt is dubbed "The Star Maker of the Semipopular" in The New York Times.

THIS IS A PANTOMIME HORSE, spotted at the Glastonbury music festival.

JAMIE LIDELL has an old skool funkiness reminiscent of Stevie Wonder or (more recently) Van Hunt that you can preview at his site.

CHET HELMS, a towering figure in the 1960s Bay Area music scene who brought Janis Joplin to San Francisco and ran the Avalon Ballroom during the Summer of Love, died early Saturday after suffering a stroke last week. He was 62.

TIGGER is dead, man. Miss him, miss him.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise and Holmes threaten to breed, though Cruise added, "We would have to talk to our families about it." (Huh?) Dave Letterman had a judge handy to marry the couple o­n The Late Show Thursday, but Homes was a no-show. Cruise has a tense interview with Today's Matt Lauer, again lashing out at Brooke Shields, despite the fact that she agrees with him about the over-prescription of Ritalin to kids. MSNBC posts the transcript as Cruise again goes off the rails at the mere mention of Scientology. MSNBC also posts a backgrounder o­n Scientology and Hollywood; taken together, it appears that Cruise claims that you can be a Christian and also believe that 75 million years ago, an alien ruler sent billions of subjects to Earth and it's necessary to purge yourself of possession by the aliens' souls. The Smoking Gun has Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's FBI file. Even Rosie O'Donnell is beaking bad o­n Cruise.

AND THERE'S A NASTY RUMOR about Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas and someone else. It's disappeared from at least one source, for unstated reasons, but these things tend to get copied and pasted other places.

LI-LO UPDATE: Herbie the Love Bug hit Lindsay Lohan with his door and rolled over her foot during the shooting of Li-Lo's video. And here I thought the VW wasn't really alive.

MADONNA has given her eight year-old daughter Lourdes a credit card with a ten grand limit. Friends say Madge hopes it will teach Lourdes to appreciate the value of money. Because nothing teaches an eight year-old the value of money like allowing them to get ten grand worth of stuff by handing a plastic card to someone.

BRITNEY SPEARS is reportedly in talks to pose nude and pregnant for the cover of Vanity Fair in an imitation of Demi Moore's famous 1991 cover shot. Brit's middle name is "Originality."

BRADGELINA UPDATE: The new Pitt-Jolie family landed o­n the pages of Britain's News of the World. Brad and Jen's production company, "Plan B," also seems to be splitting up.

THE DUKES OF HAZARD movie was temporarily blocked from release by a federal district court, though o­n reasons other than its effect o­n public health and welfare. Although the case has been settled, you may still want to read a federal judge refer to Jessica Simpson's "hotness." Meanwhile, Simpson is following the Bragelina model of requiring the press to sign agreements not to ask personal questions, which must delight Warner Bros. as it tries to promote a movie it won't show the press.

CATS AND DOGS (and other pets) now have legal inheritance rights in Hawaii.

A BABY MONKEY is kidnapped by a trio of supervillains in Miami.

A 12 YEAR-OLD LEOPARD escaped from Nairobi National Park and was terrorizing nearby farms in Kenya, but it had lost most of its teeth and could not hunt effectively. So a Kenyan dentist performed a root canal and other dental work o­n the leopard.

GAY MARRIAGE: The infallible National Enquirer says talk show queen Ellen DeGeneres and actress Portia de Rossi are ready to say "I do." In repeating that story, I would have thought th Seattle Post-Intelligencer would have avoided calling Ellen a queen, but whatever.

IRAQ: Michael Yon travels to Kuwait and the economically critical Al Basra Oil Terminal with Jeffrey Mellinger, the Command Sergeant Major responsible for the Multi-National Force in Iraq. European Marxists, Maoists, and aging, old-school fascists are funding the insurgency. An attack by insurgents o­n an Iraqi police station gets o­ne treatment in The Guardian and another from Bill Roggio. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld confirmed a report in London's Sunday Times that U.S. officials met with representatives of Sunni insurgent groups, though it seems like the U.S. was primarily interested in gaining intell o­n the structure of these groups in an attempt to determine whether future negotiations would be meaningful.

GITMO got a visit from 16 members of the House Armed Services Committee who were o­n a o­ne-day fact-finding trip. A Senate delegation also was to visit the prison Saturday. A few reporters and photographers accompanied the lawmakers, but military escorts controlled what the journalists could see and hear. The House Republicans and Democrats, including o­ne who has advocated closing the facility, said the U.S. has made progress in improving conditions and protecting detainees' rights.

U.S. TARGETING JOURNOS: Newspaper Guild president Linda Foley, who accused the U.S. of targeting and killing journalists, is now backpedaling. She admits that most journalists killed in Iraq were killed by insurgents, "many of them brutally," but then claims that 14 deaths involving U.S. forces have been inadequately explained or investigated. She cites the case of journalist Jose Couso, who was killed when U.S. troops shelled the Palestine Hotel in April 2003. Reporters from the Boston Herald and the Los Angeles Times who were o­n the scene show that the hotel was not shelled to kill journalists. Indeed, the Boston Herald reporter states that Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists -- the groups Foley relies o­n -- selectively and inaccurately quoted him in reporting the incident. Note that a milblogger who served at Camp Fallujah has done more journalism o­n this story than Foley. While Foley dismisses her critics as a vast right-wing conspiracy, former CNN honcho Eason Jordan's similar claim was criticized by Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd.

THE MEDIA AND THE MILITARY: The latest poll from The Pew Cnter o­n People and the Press now shows more people believe that the media is weakening the nation's defenses than keeping the nation prepared. The critical view has risen ten percent in the last four years. And while the Pew Center attributes the trend since 1991 to Republicans, in the last four years the critical view went up seven points among Democrats and nine percent among Independents.

BATMAN BEGINS remains atop the box office with 28 million, though I think it's probably at the low end of studio projections, which is a shame. George Romero's Land of the Dead comes in fourth place with 10 million, but its budget was o­nly 15 million, so it's well o­n its way. Horror is not o­ne of my fave genres, but this o­ne was well-done, though I would have preferred that the entire move be shot in black-and-white, as the prologue is. Movies like 28 Days Later and the remake of Dawn of the Dead were effective with new school fast zombies, but no o­ne does old skool slow zombies like Romero -- their lack of speed gives him time to personalize them, which furthers the broader themes of the movie. Billy Bragg will love the movie's politics.

IRAN: NBC News reports that between 20 and 25 of al-Qaeda’s former leaders, along with two of Osama bin Laden’s sons, are under house arrest north of Tehran because an anti-U.S. deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia blew up. Major media like the Associated Press and the BBC report elections statistics showing heavy turnout provided by the Interior Ministry, with no mention of anecdotal evidence of another boycott, especially by Kurdish parties, and the Interior Ministry official who was arrested after accusing the Guardian Council of election fraud. Note the difference between the AP's coverage here and its coverage of Gitmo poining out the restrictions placed o­n the journalists.

USAID FUNDS TERROR PROMOTION? That's the claim made by Palestinian Media Watch, which alleges that the agency has ignored legal restrictions to fund television programming that encourages hatred of Jews. Congress will investigate.

9/11 FAMILIES GET A RESPONSE from NY Gov. Pataki, who declares that the International Freedom Center and the Drawing Center must show "total respect for the sanctity" of Ground Zero. The IFC sparked fears it will focus o­n acts of U.S. wrongdoing, like slavery and treatment of American Indians. The Drawing Center already has mounted works linking President Bush to Osama Bin Laden and showing a hooded victim of U.S. abuse at Abu Ghraib, and intended to continue its work at Ground Zero. "It's truly the most vulgar thing I have ever seen in my entire life," said Jennie Farrell, whose brother James died o­n the 105th floor of the south tower of the WTC. However, the statements issued by the two groups at the end of the first linked story suggest that they are going to ignore Pataki.

WE CAN REBUILD HIM: We have the technology.

THE INTERNET is changing your reading habits. In the future, artificial intelligence may beyond highlighting your search words in a text to highlight whole sections it determines you should pay special attention to, as well as other words or phrases it predicts you'll be interested in.

HOVERCRAFTING: A Connecticut high school teacher offers a curriculum related to building hovercrafts, with students getting to the nationals in hovercraft racing this year. I (with help from my Dad) built a hovercraft for the science fair when I was in junior high, but it was tethered by an electrical cord.

FILESHARING: The recording industry is taking a different approach to o­nline file-swapping: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. About time.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A computer screen made of fog.

GLOBAL WARMING: Alpine glaciers are shrinking, but new research suggests that in the time of the Roman Empire, they were smaller than today and probably didn't exist 7,000 years ago. But Ulrich Joerin, a wiry Swiss scientist in his late twenties, hastens to add that his research may or may not support theories of global warming.

NANOTECH: The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology responds to the Foresight Institute's announcement regarding the proposed development of a "Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems." The Center for Irresponsible Nanotechnology was not available for comment.

CEOs USING THE OCCULT: Aussie businesspeople, from the self-employed to those running public corporations, are joining an expanding network of "covens" organised by businesswoman and self-described witch, Stacey Demarco.

EVEN HOWARD STERN has his limits: The outre radio host was miffed upon learning that porn stars Ron Jeremy and Tabitha Stevens made a sex video in Stern's studio after hours.

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA) has rebuked the board of the J. Paul Getty Trust, saying it has failed to curb Chief Executive Barry Munitz's lavish pay, perks and travel: "I'm concerned that the Getty board has been spending more time watching old episodes of 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' than doing its job of protecting Getty's assets for charitable purposes," Grassley said. The comments came in response to a June 10 Los Angeles Times story reporting how Munitz, who makes more than 1.2 million bucks and is among the nation's highest-paid leaders of nonprofits, had traveled the world first class at Getty expense, often with his wife. This is part of Sen. Grassley's ongoing effort for reform in the non-profit sector following the United Way scandal. Nonprofit hospitals have also been a focus of Sen. Grassley's efforts, to the delight of trial lawyers and chagrin of some conservatives. Plus, Chuck is great with the constituent service; the photo to the right is autographed by the Senator for our site admin Lance's Dad, who was chaperoning a youth group in DC.

SHELDON, IOWA could stand to lose some of that fat. At least 200 gallons' worth.

TEEN LESBIANS were beaten with a sledgehammer in an attack by two men at Illinois State Beach Park. I usually leave the sledgehammer at home when I go to the beach. Also, if you were attracted enough to the girls to make a pass at them, and they said they were lesbians, wouldn't you rather call their bluff?

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New Pornographers, The Crooked Road, Fomalhaut's Ring and a Pangolin   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 24, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

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.

Read full article: 'New Pornographers, The Crooked Road, Fomalhaut's Ring and a Pangolin'
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Frank Black, Blur, Norman Mailer, Tom-Kat and a 2-headed Kitten   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 23, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH: The band's forthcoming self-titled album knocks down a 9.1 o­n the Pitchfork scale. I agree with the reviewer that there's some Talking Heads-by-way-of-a-more-fun-Arcade Fire vibe there; I would say there's a dash of the Cure mixed in, too. You can download three tracks from the band's site. I thought the first o­ne bland, but the second two were better.

FRANK BLACK: His next album, Honeycomb, comes out in July, but the Pixie is already considering an early 2006 release for a second album recorded, like Honeycomb, late last year in Nashville. Among the artists who participated in the sessions are the Band's Levon Helm, Free/Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke, the Small Faces' Ian McLagan, the Funk Brothers' Bob Babbitt, Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson and Mark T. Jordan. Black also predicts the Pixies will record an album next year.

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS' frontman A.C. Newman talks to Rolling Stone about the band's upcoming album and tour.

SUFJAN STEVENS, STARFLYER 59 and more are discussed in a City Pages piece by Daphne Car titled, "Why o­n Earth (Or Elsewhere) Am I Enjoying Christian Rock?"

LIVE 8: Bob Geldof is urging Princes William and Harry to attend in Diana's memory. He is also securing nearly 20 million bucks in loans and sponsorships to help to cover the rising costs of next month’s global network of Live 8 concerts.

BLUR: Bassist Alex James syas the members of the band are suing each other. James expressed his disappointment at the band's uninvolvement in Live 8, following frontman Damon Albarn's blasting of the 'Anglo-Saxon' event. He claims it's not the end of the band, but he's planning to travel the world with a space scientist, collecting samples of meteorites from famous landings.

DOES BONO want to be a Vegas lounge singer?

THE RAMONES are getting the box set treatment from Rhino.

WILCO: Jeff Tweedy wants to make "a really vibrant guitar record" or a "dance" record. Possibly both.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: In Madrid, Cruise took Holmes to meet Penelope Cruz's parents. Katie is at the far right of the picture; Tom is hugging someone else. Journos speculate that Spielberg dropped out of a War of the Worlds press junket at the last minute because he's fed up with the Tom-Kat saga. In Slate, Jack Shafer argues that "The blitzkrieg relationship of the A-list star and his C-list TV-star fiancée, which peaked last Friday with a proposal of marriage atop the Eiffel Tower and a press conference afterward, has caused the celebrity magazine formula to warp and buckle." Nicole Kidman may be bound by the terms of her divorce to say nothing about Cruise, but off the record, "She thinks he’s acting like a jackass half the time and a Scientology zealot the other half," according to Radar. Finally, the Extreme Radio site allows you to interactively Ask Tom Anything!

LI-LO UPDATE: The teen diva stomped out of the world premiere of Disney's Herbie: Fully Loaded because her "song" plays over the closing credits, not during the race scene, where she thought it would be. She volunteers that a doctor she saw recently asked her point-blank whether she is anorexic. Gawker helpfully provides your guide to Lohan's talking points.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Perez Hilton has some pics of Jennifer Aniston looking chummy o­n-set with Vince Vaughn, who played a supporting role in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. And Star magazine is sticking wiith its story about "Jen's Battle Plan," though Vanity Fair denied part of it.

MEASURING THE BUZZ: Scientists have constructed a mathematical equation that approximates box-office receipts in the weeks after release. An interesting aside in the article is that about 70 percent of film revenue now comes from outside the box office.

BRITNEY SPEARS: How sad is it when your parenting skills are questioned by the French Hotel?

MENA SUVARI and her alien forehead have been spotted in Sydney with the Aussie man for whom she recently left her husband. I hope he's better looking than the woman with whom she was spotted in Venice Beach recently.

DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HISTORY: The Washington Post's Anne Applebaum complains that the Museum of American History -- with its exhibits o­n pop culture -- does not teach anyone American history. But maybe that's a job for schools or, failing that, parents.

IRAQ: Karl Zinsmeister of The American Enterprise returned to Iraq in April and May of 2005 and notes that the "terrorist struggle has hardly ended," but saw improvements compared to his earlier extended tours during 2003 and 2004, including the state of Iraqi security forces. Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, the No. 2 U.S. officer in Iraq, obviously does not believe that we are seeing the last throes of the insurgency, but believes there could be a significant drawdown in 2006, adding that many of the actual attackers are primarily motivated by money instead of ideology. Al's Girl blogs about the frustration of being a fiancee of someone stationed in Iraq. Yes, that's narrowcasting.

IRAQ II: Al Qaeda in Iraq slammed al-Jazeera television o­n Sunday, saying the channel's coverage was biased in favor of the U.S. "Kev in Iraq" reports that his interpreters say al-Jazeera is giving positve news stories o­n the coalition forces.

THE WAR o­n TERROR "has a popular label and a political label, but it’s not accurate," according to Lt. General Wallace Gregson, commander of Marine forces in the Pacific. The folks at the linked site seem to believe that Gregson does not think there is a war at all, which, imho, misreads his comment. Instead, he's saying that you really cannot declare war o­n a tactic and that there should be focus o­n the nature and ideology of the enemy. Meanwhile, arms experts predict that the chance of an attack with a WMD somewhere in the world in the next 10 years runs as high as 70 percent, with the most likely scenario for a nuclear attack being terrorists using a weapon they made with material acquired o­n the black market. And Mexican prosecutors say that a Lebanese-born man detained this week on Mexico's Baja California peninsula is believed linked to extremists with ties to the 9/11 terror attacks.

PORN STAR and former CA gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey says she got a few interesting proposals at a GOP fundraiser.

BASEBALL SCANDAL: It's not steroids -- it's cabbage.

EDU-BLOGGING: The latest Carnival of Education is o­nline.

SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT: The Boston Globe is disturbed to discover that 33 percent of 3,247 NIH grant recipients responding to a study said they had engaged in at least o­ne of the behaviors the authors and compliance officers at six research institutions had deemed the most egregious forms of misconduct, with 15.5 percent of the scientists admitting to ''changing the design, methodology, or results of a study in response to pressure from a funding source."

TOY-FREE KINDERGARTEN: In Austria, children in playschool are having their toys taken away in the belief it will help them fight drug addiction and alcoholism later in life.

9/11 FAMILIES are rallying against building the "International Freedom Center" at Ground Zero in NYC. Debra Burlingame, a director of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, charged that the IFC plans to host exhibits at Ground Zero devoted to worthy, but wholly off-topic issues as the alleged genocide of Americans Indians, the fight against slavery, the Holocaust and the Soviet Gulag. IFC president Richard Tofel doesn't deny it.

BATMAN BEGINS, but he can't save the industry.

NORMAN MAILER is not missing, but I'll bet he's not happy.

UNITED NATIONS procurement official Alexander Yakovlev resigned amid an investigation into a possible conflict of interest involving his son.

GRANDPA KILLS A LEOPARD with his bare hands. A 73-year-old Kenyan grandfather reached into the mouth of an attacking leopard and tore out its tongue to kill it.

THE ISLAMIC THINKERS SOCIETY in NYC describes itself as an "intellectual and political nonviolent organization," but it bears a strong resemblance to Islamist movements in England that try to unite Muslims by inciting anger. The New York Times quotes the groups spokesman as saying, "We have always stressed nonviolent means." That would explain their signs bearing messages like "Your Terrorists Are Our Heroes."

MATCHSTICK MEN: o­n the internet, no o­ne knows that you're not Nicholas Cage.

AN ITALIAN JOB? Sunnyvale, CA police are searching for a highly skilled and frustratingly elusive prankster who has been tampering with the city’s traffic lights for more than three months. You'll never stop the real Napster.

MARRIED MEN EARN MORE if the wife stays at home, according to scientists who won't be getting any for the forseeable future.

THE AFI TOP 100 MOVIE QUOTES aired o­n CBS Tuesday night, but it's up o­n the AFI site and reading it takes less than the three hours Pierce Brosnan spent o­n it.

A TWO-HEADED KITTEN named Gemini has died of unknown causes afer less than a month of life. This is not the two-faced kitten noted here yesterday; that kitty is named "Deuce." Strange feline symmetry.

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Richard Hell, Steve Earle, Billy Jack, A 6-legged Pup and a 2-faced Kitty   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

RETURN OF THE SMASHING PUMPKINS? On the same day Billy Corgan puts out his first solo album, he places a a full-page ad (Adobe Acrobat pdf) in today's Chicago Tribune, stating in part: "I found that my heart is in Chicago, and that my heart is in The Smashing Pumpkins... For a year now I have walked around with a secret, a secret I chose to keep. But now I want you to be among the first to know that I have made plans to renew and revive the Smashing Pumpkins. I want my band back, and my songs, and my dreams." Stereogum has two punchlines I won't beat.

RICHARD HELL: Rhino Records will release Spurts: The Richard Hell Story o­n August 2nd, a twenty-one-track overview of Hell's career in pioneering New York bands Television, the Heartbreakers and the Voidoids. You can stream or download a few classics from Hell's website.

LES PAUL is losing his hearing, but in true Les Paul style has collaborated o­n the hearing aid that helps him distinguish musical notes better.

NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL: The band's webs ite claims that Jeff has been working o­n a collection of short stories, joined the circus and wants to make a movie about snails. And NMH is the sort of band where it might just be true.

IAN McCULLOGH really wants to get in front of Coldplay's fans again, imho.

STEVE EARLE is headlining the Southeast Alaska State Fair; some locals are upset. And the seemingly ubiquitous Nazi and Soviet references rear their ugly heads. Some of these people -- and Earle, for that matter -- might want to study what the Soviet Union was about. Nevertheless, I'm amused that Earle wasn't keen o­n the gig himself, until they told him how good the fishing was.

WILCO pops up in USA Today's postcard from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Also, CNN reports that Jeff Tweedy is uneasy about his nine year-old son's ambitions to become a rock star.

ALL YOU NEED IS CASH: John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for "All You Need is Love" and other memorabilia goes up for auction next month in London.

ON THE PITCHFORK: A review of Gold, a new Velvet Underground compilation, rates a 9.3: "while aspiring music fanatics will want and need all of the band's individual full-lengths, this should suit the rest of the world just fine."

THE PERNICE BROTHERS' Discover A Lovelier You didn't get a great write-up o­n the Pitchfork, but other reviewers seem to like it more.

THE BEST OF 2005 (SO FAR) is a topic of discussion at donewaiting.

THE FULL SPIN LIST mentioned yesterday is online. Although I'm away from my collection, I'm pretty sure I'm somewhere in the forties.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The Independent asks, Why do we all hate Tom Cruise?" I don't hate Tom Cruise; I just find his current antics as entertaining as Plan 9 From Outer Space. The article suggests that the publicity, even if manufactured, is beginning to pay off with the box office performance of Batman Begins. Warner Bros. seems to disagree, as Holmes is reportedly dropped from the sequel. Also the couple is sticking DreamWorks and Paramount with a hotel bill upwards of 30 grand.

SCIENTOLOGY: Having concluded a series o­n Kabbalah, Radar magazine lists 20 questions from a Scientology audit.

WAR OF THE WORLDS: The non-Cruise version is appearing a few pages at a time at the Dark Horse Comics site. National Geographic takes a look behind the 1938 panic caused by Orson Welles' radio adaptation.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Two producers of the Oscar-winning Ray Charles biopic are turning their attention to... Otis Redding? No. Aretha Franklin? No, she's still alive. Try Rodney Dangerfield.

JACK NICHOLSON is rewriting sex scenes in Martin Scorsese's The Departed.

LET'S PLAY JEOPARDY: Who is Owen Wilson?

BATMAN BEGINS comes in for serious analysis at PopMatters. In contrast, Forbes totes up the cost of being Batman. Priceless.

APPLIED MINDS: Former Disney Imagineers have created not o­nly the Cone of Babble, but also plenty of other accessories for your Batcave.

NANOTECH: The Foresight Nanotechnology Institute, a futurist organization, and the Battelle Memorial Institute, which manages commercial scientific laboratories, have launched an effort to create a road map for nanotechnology, and it has received early support from some notable scientific organizations and companies. At NanoBot, there's a discussion of irresponsible nanohype.

A COMMON VIRUS that is harmless to people can destroy cancerous cells in the body and might be developed into a new cancer therapy.

ARE POLITICS GENETIC? A new study argues that people's gut-level reaction to issues like the death penalty, taxes and abortion is strongly influenced by genetic inheritance, though environmental influences like upbringing, the study suggests, play a more central role in party affiliation as a Democrat or Republican.

ROBOTS: Repliee Q1 appeared yesterday at the 2005 World Expo in Japan, where she gestured, blinked, spoke, fluttered eyelids and even appeared to breathe, along with the occasional spasm. You can see movies of Repliee Q1 at Osaka University's Intelligent Robotics Lab.

LEBANON: George Hawi, a former Communist Party leader and a recent opponent of Syria, died when his car blew up as he drove through the Wata Musaitbi district. Another senior opponent of Syria, Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, said the people would have to pay a heavy price for taking the country into their own hands. "The life of anybody who wants a democratic Lebanon is in danger," he told BBC World TV.

IRAN: Not o­nly was the election rigged, it appears that few voted at all; Publius has pictures. And there are more links at Power and Control.

IRAQ: Nearly six in 10 Americans oppose the war in Iraq, with a similar number against closing Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and most approving of how the U.S. has treated prisoners there, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday. Bill Roggio reviews friction and outright warfare between the nationalist Iraqi insurgents and the Jihadists. Iraqi bloggers write that the chairman of the constitution drafting committee claims that the branch teams of the committee have succeeded so far in completing 80% of the constitution's draft. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan wants to "reassure the Iraqi people that the international community stands with them in their brave efforts to rebuild their country, and that we recognize how much progress has been made in the face of daunting challenges." Austin Bay looks at progress since he left Baghdad in September 2004. Vietnam vets in-country see Iraq as an entirely different war. Compared to Vietnam, "this is probably more difficult. In the big picture, this is probably more important," o­ne says.

DEMOCRATIC DIAGNOSIS: In Mother Jones, Steven Hill argues that Democrats lose due to structural barriers, such as the Electoral College and "winner-take-all" electoral systems. Which explains why the Democratic Party controlled the House of Representatives for four decades prior to 1994, and the Senate for most of that period. The factors Hill mentions favor the majority party and make it more difficult for an emerging majority party to win a majority of seats, but imho, they do not favor a particular party. The Florida Democratic Party has a more urgent problem: It's flat broke and has been slapped with a lien by the IRS for failing to pay payroll and Social Security taxes in 2003.

BILLY JACK IS BACK: The man who created and personified Billy Jack, Tom Laughlin - the writer, director, producer and actor - is determined to take o­n the establishment again at age 73. Jeff Goldstein solicits suggestions for the movie's title and the Plimsouls get mentioned.

DAVID SPADE is stretching his SNL "Hollywood Minute" to a half-hour for Comedy Central.

THE SUPERFICIAL posts "I have no idea what to call this o­ne." How about calling it Not Safe For Work photo of Tobey Maguire and David Blaine? And though it may or may not be Photoshopped, if it is, Maguire has much less cause for complaint than Blaine.

THE ACLU of New Mexico suspends its Las Cruces chapter after leaders learned that board member Clifford Alford is the leader of the New Mexico Minutemen.

SEN. DICK DURBIN apologized Tuesday for comparing American interrogators at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay to Nazis, Soviets and the Khmer Rouge: "I made reference to Nazis, to Soviets, and other repressive regimes. Mr. President, I've come to understand that's a very poor choice of words." His voice quaking and tears welling in his eyes, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate also apologized to any soldiers who felt insulted by his remarks: "They're the best. I never, ever intended any disrespect for them."

RACHEL HUNTER is back o­n the market and may be looking for someone older than Stacy's friend.

RUNAWAY BRIDE: As the big Jennifer Wilbanks interview by Katie Couric ran last night, it's worth revisiting what an imagination she has. Maybe that's why the guy still wants to marry her.

LEGAL MUSIC DOWNLOADS may surpass pirated copies by next year.

COLLEGE NEWSPAPERS can be censored by college administrators, according to a new ruling from the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in a seven-to-four vote.

CHIMP'S PAINTINGS outsell Renoir and Andy Warhol at auction. Congo the chimp has been hailed as the Cezanne of the simians. Reached in the afterlife, Warhol remarked that in the future, even chimps will be famous for 15 minutes.

A SIX-LEGGED PUPPY is drawing curious stares at a temple in Malaysia. It might be more than the legs, though.

CHILD CAMEL JOCKEYS return home from the United Arab Emirates following a U.N.-sponsored agreement.

WOMBAT launches a truck into a tree.

THE DEVIL MADE HIM DO IT: A cobbler suspected of sorcery was attacked and nearly lynched by outraged villagers in central Kenya o­n Tuesday after being caught having sex with a female sheep.

A BULL AND A COW hook up in a stationer's store in Russia.

A TWO-FACED KITTEN is born in Lake City, FL.

WHITE TIGER CUB SMUGGLING ring busted by U.S. customs agents in Mexico City.

THREE LIONS rescued a 12 year-old girl kidnapped by men who wanted to force her into marriage, chasing off her abductors and guarding her until police and relatives tracked her down in a remote corner of Ethiopia. The girl had previously removed a thorn from the palm of o­ne of the lions. Not really, but it would make for a good story.

A KING COBRA bites the hand that fed him, leaving a snake handler in Cyprus fighting for his life Tuesday. Lesson: A snake is a snake.

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I feel just fine when I sit down, but when I stand, things spin around   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

FOO FIGHTERS performed an exclusive album-release concert in Roswell, NM for 500 winners of an o­nline trivia contest. Foo frontman Dave Grohl said he is a huge fan of UFOs, as the band's name suggests.

ON THE PITCHFORK: The Right Spectacle: The Very Best of Elvis Costello - The Videos, coming in September, is filled to bursting with videos culled mostly from Costello's untouchable "early" period. Billy Corgan's first true solo album, The Future Embrace, gets a 6.5 from an obvious fan: "forgive Corgan his infinite lyrical badness, but know that infinity's a lot to forgive." There's also a hunk o­n his cover of the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody."

LO-FI INDIE FOLK: A new fan of the Mountain Goats (as some of you may be) asks MetaFilter for more recommendations and gets them, natch.

IRON & WINE, o­ne of the "bands" mentioned at the prior link, is profiled in The State of Columbia, SC.

SMOG: Bill Callahan, a lo-fi forerunner to many of the aforementioned bands and artists, seems much happier in Austin than in Chicago and more comfortable talking about his music.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Elton John wants to help the troubled singer with his drug addictions and perform a duet with him at Live 8. You don't think EJ has heard about Pete's early days turning tricks with men, do you?

MUSIC BLOGS: Dawn Eden, a blogger who now also writes for the the New York Daily News, suggests a few music blogs and musicians' blogs. Kudos to her for avoiding most of the obvious choices and listing blogs like: "Home of the Groove"(homeofthegroove.blogspot.com) is described by proprietor Dan Philips as "hard-to-find New Orleans-related R&B and funk tracks with some semi-pithy commentary ... for the delectation of hard-core jaded groove junkies, the virginal uninitiated, and everybody in between." Also: Victor Lams (victorlams.com), who sounds like XTC crossed with They Might Be Giants, has earned a cult following among Catholics for his blog featuring his answer to "Schoolhouse Rock": "Catechism Rock!" (catechismrock.com). Its ultra-catchy tunes include "Purgatory" and "Flying House of Loreto." There's more, including a Love reference.

SPIN MAGAZINE lists its "Top 100 Albums, 1985-2005" in its upcoming 20th anniversary issue. You can see the bottom 15 for free at Spin's site. SoulShine has the Top Ten.

THE STROKES tell Rolling Stone a bit about their next album, due in January.

SECRET COPY-PROTECTION: Tiny Mix Tapes reports that Sony BMG has quietly slipped about a million discs by 10 different artists (unnamed, natch) with "sterile burning" technology that supposedly "stops you from making more than a few copies of a disc, and it also stops your friend from making a copy of his copy." EMI is rolling out a similar scheme in the next few weeks. TMT predicts a backlash when people find out this technology also prevents transferring music to the iPod. Indeed, Stereophile reports that incompatible digital rights management schemes are hindering the development of the next generation of media devices.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The pranksters who squirted water at Cruise at the British premiere of War of The Worlds were arrested, but later released o­n police bail. Personally, I like that when these guys did the same thing to Sharon Osbourne, she got a bucket of water and doused them. Oddly, while Cruise seems angry when you read about the incident, the video of his first reaction showed him seemingly unfazed about having some stange liquid squirted in his face. Radar magazine has a Tom-Kat animation inspired by an earlier Bradgelina clip that floated around the 'net. The New York Times claims that "Celebrities who for years watched as their hook-ups, both real and imagined, fueled dozens of magazines and televisions shows are figuring out that the right two hearts beating in unison can sound an awful lot like a cash register," but Tom-Kat is not mentioned.

A BLIND ITEM by Ben Widdicombe in the NYDN describes a five-year, five million dollar contract signed June 7th regarding a relationship with no sex. OTOH, Ben recently ran a quote from disco diva Vicki Sue Robinson, who has been dead for years.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN and Laurence Fishburne sign o­n for Mission Impossible 3.

KATE BOSWORTH may not be engaged to Orlando Bloom, after all.

CELEBRITY KABBALAH: Radar magazine's three-part series concludes with a focus o­n Madonna, the "aging pop icon who has funded the Centre to the tune of $18 million… and counting."

SHARON STONE left her four year-old son in the car being looked after by her chauffeur for more than two hours while she had a late meal at o­ne of London's most fashionable restaurants with a mystery male companion. So says the ever-reliable Daily Mail.

MORNINGSTAR founder and chairman Joe Mansueto is the front-runner in the bidding for Gruner + Jahr's business titles, Inc. and Fast Company, and is in late-stage negotiations to purchase the titles.

THE WAR o­n TERROR: Forbes magazine excerpts analysis by ndependent strategic consulting firm Oxford Analytica suggesting that the Bush Administration is developing strategies for the next phase of the war, which will encompass many fronts, but in which "regime change" is not high o­n the agenda.

CONDOLEEZA RICE: The Secretary of State used the bully pulpit to criticize the governments of Egypt and Saudi Arabia o­n visits to those countries and urged them to move further o­n the path to democracy. For example, in Egypt, she stated: "We are all concerned for the future of Egypt's reforms when peaceful supporters of democracy -- men and women -- are not free from violence. The day must come when the rule of law replaces emergency decrees, and when the independent judiciary replaces arbitrary justice." Egypt's judges have been similarly critical of president Mubarak's reform proposals. Egypt's foreign minister responded at a joint news conference that the world was angry with America due to scandals involving prisoner treatment, without mentioning that Amnesty International -- the group that first compared Camp X-Ray to the Soviet gulag -- reports that torture is common and systematic in Egypt.

LEBANON: Opponents of Syrian domination claimed a stunning majority victory in the final round of Lebanon's parliamentary elections o­n Sunday night, winning at least 21 of 28 contested seats in northern Lebanon, which gives the alliance a majority in the next parliament. The New York Times reports that "It was a startling change in the way politics have usually been carried out here - along strict clan and religious lines and long under the control of Syria - and perhaps an example of a greater yearning for democracy in the Arab world."

BATMAN BEGINS: Feminist icon Gloria Steinem is begging her stepson Christian Bale not to take o­n any more roles where he has to gain or lose large amounts of weight. Bale put o­n 100 lbs. in four months to paly Batman, which has raised some eyebrows around the internet. Meanwhile, the Seattle Times asks, Why do we love Batman?

VICTORIA BECKHAM (a/k/a Posh Spice) lands a role in a movie about a fictional British radio DJ. Doesn't sound like Tom Cruise got her this role (and here he claimed he was going to make her a star)!

CELEBRITY LANDLORDS: The Los Angeles Times reports that in Malibu, some of the most private movie and pop stars turn landlord in July and August, when rates are at their highest. Der stingle may charge 100K monthly, but that looks like a bargain per square foot compared to other celeb landlords.

MR. SPEARS: K-Fed was included in a Child magazine o­nline poll asking, "Which celeb dad-to-be — or celeb who is rumored-to-be a dad-to-be — do you think will make the best father?" He got zero votes. Ouch.

THE da VINCI CODE, PART II: Researchers now believe the cryptic words "Cerca, trova" - seek and you shall find - painted o­n a fresco in the council hall of Florence's Palazzo Vecchio could be a clue to the location of a long-lost Leonardo da Vinci painting and are pressing local authorities to allow them to search for the masterpiece of Renaissance art.

UNDERDOG IS NEAR: Disney and Spyglass Entertainment are putting the final touches o­n a deal to bring the classic TV cartoon to the big screen as a live-action feature. "Anything where you have a dog in that superhero context, that's appealing o­n a global basis," producer Gary Barber said. "We want to keep many elements from the classic cartoon," said co-producer Roger Birnbaum, including mad scientist Simon Bar Sinister and Underdog's love interest, Sweet Polly Purebred. Unlike Scooby-Doo, another toon favorite that was made as a live-action feature, this pic will use a real dog for the title role, though with CGI enhancements. Just promise Freddie Prinze, Jr. won't be in it.

NANOTECH: NanoBot has posted a couple of photos of nano-art.

PHISH TALES: Sadly, not about the jam band, but a look at the world of internet scammers. o­ne bizzare note: "phishers have a reputation-monitoring system much like eBay's."

SALLY MIGHT FOOL HARRY, but not a brain scanner.

GONZO PORN: In NYC, pornographers are breaking the law by making "gonzo" porn videos in public places, under the noses of the authorities.

LIFE IMITATES THE SIMPSONS: Scientists have genetically engineered tomato and tobacco plants to produce a vaccine against the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, the disease that killed nearly 800 people in 2003. Shades of the tomacco!

WHAT WOULD DR. LECHTER SAY? A South African man choked to death minutes after killing his wife and eating a part of her face following a domestic argument. That would not have happened with a nice chianti.

MUSKRAT LOVE: Muskrat Susie and Muskrat Sam would serve about eight people, according to some wacky Danish zookeepers.

COUCH POTATO PROTEST: The British Potato Council is protesting the Oxford English Dictionary's inclusion of "couch potato" because they believe the expression is damaging the vegetable's image.

IRAQ: Saddam Hussein loves Doritos, hates Froot Loops, admires President Reagan, thinks Clinton was "OK" and considers both Presidents Bush "no good." He also likes collecting records and exploring the cave of the unknown.

THE UNITED NATIONS may have another conflict-of-interest scandal o­n its hands.

THE SWARM: Africanized "killer bees" have been spotted in Arkansas and Florida.

DOGS AND GIRLS! A South Carolina teen is accused of raping o­ne neighbor's dog and another neighbor's two little girls. Now the dog has died and charges against the teen have been upgraded.

SMELLING LESS LIKE A PIG: Sure, pigs are filthy animals. But Purdue University scientists are making progress taming hogs' smell by attacking the source of the problem, namely the feed gobbled up by swine.

CHUCK E. CHEESE MELEE: An aspiring cop stepped in to end a bloody melee at a Chuck E. Cheese in Brooklyn after hotheaded parents unleashed punches - and knives - during a weekend party at the crowded restaurant, police and witnesses said yesterday. Anyone who has been to C.E.C. must wonder why this doesn't happen more often.

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