I'M BAAAACK from Dallas, where I was visiting with Shahin and Terrie Khoshbin -- two of my best friends from law school, or anywhere. I was helping set up and fill Shahin's shiny new iPod (U2 special edition, natch). I want to thank our own Sylvia Hauser for answering a few of my iPod questions in advance, as I don't own an iPod myself... yet. It's with that background that we start the week with:
CULT OF THE iPod: The Des Moines Register profiles pod people and notes that a local bar has launched PodJay Mondays, where pod patrons program a playlist with 15 minutes or so of songs from their music catalog, then hand their players over to bartender Clint Curtis who treats the entire room to their musical tastes. Wikipod has launched an open source iPod encylcopedia. Podcast Bunker offers 30 second previews of popular podcasts.
BACK OFF THE SADDLE: Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler and his wife of 17 years, Teresa, are separating.
LISTEN TO A TRUCKLOAD OF BANDS through downloads and streams linked through the SXSW site. ALSO, Largehearted Boy has some scoop on the Guided by Voices Hoot Night lineup at Emo's on March 17th during SXSW. Rumor has it Robert Pollard will atend this year.
JACKO JUSTICE: Seventy-eight percent of the jury pool in the Michael Jackson trial are parents, a fact that could influence how they view charges that the pop star molested a teenage boy, as well as the accuser's credibility. Legal experts said the large number of parents could cut either way for the singer: Parents with young children might be especially upset by the allegations, but they may also believe, based on their own experiences, that children can be dishonest.
PAUL WESTERBERG is interviewed on recent events and the likelihood of a Replacements reunion by the L.A. Weekly.
TUESDAY TIME-WASTER: The Baby Name Wizard is nifty, even if you're not expecting. Type in a name to chart its popularity over the years.
TECH NEWS YOU CAN USE: Cellphone jammers — illegal gizmos that interfere with signals and cut off reception — are selling like hotcakes on the streets of New York.
KYRGYZSTAN may be another spot where a democracy movement could arise.
NEW YORK TIMES EXECUTIVE EDITOR Bill Keller sees “blogging,” or online writing that blurs news and commentary, as a mixed blessing. No doubt many bloggers have the same view of The New York Times.
BLOGS AND JOURNALISM: David Corn of The Nation takes a second look at the exposure of conservative reporter Jeff Gannon/Guckert by liberal blogs and is troubled by what he sees.
JERRY BROWN, former Governor and presidential candidate and current Mayor of Oakland, has started a blog.
LIFE on MARS: NASA is denying that its scientists have found strong evidence that life may exist on Mars, a story reported by space.com and noted here last week.
HUNTER S. THOMPSON, the dean of "gonzo journalism," died Sunday in his Colorado home of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at 67. The death of the man responsible for books including Hell's Angels and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was marked by former employers such as Rolling Stone and the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as by friends in Colorado. Mike Cleverly, a neighbor and longtime friend who spent Friday night watching a basketball game on TV with Thompson, said "He's the last person in the world I would have expected to kill himself. I would have been less surprised if he had shot me."
OTHER OBITS: John Raitt, who livened musicals such as Carousel and The Pajama Game died Sunday of complications from pneumonia at 88. And yes, he was Bonnie Raitt's dad. Sandra Dee, of Gidget and A Summer Place died Sunday at 62.
NOT SANDRA DEE: Lindsay Lohan may be digitally altered to make her more family-friendly for Herbie: Fully Loaded. Of course, behind most of the current crop of pop tarts you will find a creepy dad. SEMI-RELATED: The socialite named after a French hotel has had the contents of her T-Mobile Sidekick posted all over the internet.
SEXUALLY HARRASSED BY A GORILLA: Two women fired from their jobs caring for Koko, the gorilla who "talks" with sign language, have sued their ex-employer for allegedly ordering them to show the animal their breasts. Their lawsuit alleges: "Through sign language, as interpreted by [Gorilla Foundation head Francine] Patterson, Koko 'demanded' plaintiffs remove their clothing and show Koko their breasts... on one such occasion, Patterson said, 'Koko, you see my nipples all the time. You are probably bored with my nipples. You need to see new nipples. I will turn my back so Kendra can show you her nipples'."
THE UNITED NATIONS High Commissioner for Refugees was forced to resign after an investigation found him guilty of a “pattern of sexual harassment.”
THEO VAN GOGH TERROR MURDER: I've previously noted the case of the murdered Norwegian filmmaker and the impact it has had on the Netherlands. The Norwegian military now appears to believe that the murder of Van Gogh was a terrorist attack implemented by an al-Qaida inspired radical Islamist group within the framework of global jihad, and not an act of religious violence by a lone fanatic. The climate in the Netherlands now appears to be so bad that Members of Parliament threatened by Islamic extremists have been living in prison cells as a security precaution.
PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: A judge gave the troubled singer permission to stay out late for a concert, probably not unlike the parents of some of the kids who will attend the show. ALSO: The New York Times finds Doherty's story fit to print.
THEY WANT THEIR FUSE TV: The two-year old rival to MTV has the highest concentration of 12- to 34-year-old viewers of any channel.
"PARTY HARDY" OR "PARTY HEARTY:" Professor Ann Althouse tackles the question after reading an article about sororites at Harvard.