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Links: Yesterday Don't Matter If It's Gone edition   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

He does his best work o­n a throne - just a little (very little) drum humor thereDAVE GROHL is going to be everywhere, releasing a Foo Fighters double-disc (half acoustic, half electric) and playing o­n forthcoming discs from Garbage and Nine Inch Nails.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS, who guests o­n o­ne of the new Bright Eyes discs, will release a live double-disc set o­n May 10th.

ARCADE FIRE UPDATE: The hype around their NYC visit sent their guest list out of control. Martin Hall, the band's publicist: “If the president of MTV calls, I may have to cut somebody’s plus-one. I’ll get a writer in, but it’s not my responsibility to manage their social life.”

New Pornographers, Wilco, Brian Wilson, Radiohead and moreON THE PITCHFORK: The Top 100 Albums 2000-04, plus the indidual writers' lists. ALSO: Details o­n the forthcoming disc from The Mountain Goats.

POST-ELECTION IRAQ: The New York Times (via the International Herald Tribune) reports that the election may have improved Iraqi opinion of the U.S. Daniel Drezner blogs coverage of the election's impact in Iraq and Europe. The Washington Post reports that the public mood appears to be moving more clearly against the insurgency in Iraq (though I take WaPo coverage from Iraq with a grain of salt. An op-ed piece in the WaPo notes that the reaction o­n the "Arab Street" is more diverse than some believe.

SAUDI ARABIA, OTOH, is fomenting hatred of the infidel here in the U.S.

PETA is thrilled with the new, leather-free cars from Mercedes-Benz.

SOCIAL SECURITY: Much like actual war, the political battle over Social Security is beginning with an air war.

Always fun to hear about this ever changing world in which we live inTHE CUTE ONE IS THE SAFE ONE: The Washington Post review of McCartney's Super Bowl gig is positive, but didn't the Beatles used to be symbols of rebellion?

MISS ANY SUPER BOWL ADS? You can watch them here. You can see the uncensored version of the GoDaddy "wardrobe malfunction" ad at its site.

CULT OF THE iPod: James Lileks explains why his his iPod Shuffle is his favorite iPod. Slate looks at audiophile options for the iPod. At the other end of the spectrum, Wal-Mart is dipping its toe into the iPod pool.

Not available in stores; banner sold separatelySPECIAL OPS CODY UPDATE: The action figure taken hostage by terrorists has become a star, fetching many times his regular price o­n eBay.

THE JOY OF PHOTOSHOP: Fishbowl NY imagines the Harper's edition of US Weekly. I would like to see the US Weekly version of Harper's.

BLOGGER ED DRISCOLL has an article up at Tech Central Station o­n the "long tail" of media.

DEEP THROAT of Watergate fame is not well. Plus, Washington Post media reporter Howie Kurtz chats o­nline about how Watergate would play out in the internet age.

FOLLOW THE MONEY: The Financial Times reports that "Fatah, the leading faction of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, has begun a hunt for millions of dollars in assets hidden by Yassir Arafat, its late leader."

DON CHEADLE will be the guest correspondent when Nightline covers the Sudan o­n Wednesday or Thursday night.

KITES ON ICE: Some 80,000 people went to Madison, Wisconsin for North America’s largest kite festival on Lake Mendota. The fest included synchronized flying shows, kite boarding and an extreme form of skiing known as “power kiting.” I love this country.

If you stand under it and look up, it's like a funhouse mirror tunnelFRENCHNESS IN CHICAGO: Having complained that the new lighting of the Eiffel Tower has been copyrighted, I must note -- in the interest of fairness -- that Cloud Gate (a/k/a The Bean), the centerpiece sculpture in Chicago's new Millenium Park, is copyrighted. But that hasn't stopped folks from photographing it.

A FOUR YEAR OLD BOY drove his mother's car to a video store in the middle of the night, Sand Lake (Michigan) police said. It was o­nly a quarter mile, but took a while because the boy could not reach the gas pedal.

DEMOCRATIC DIAGNOSIS: In The New Republic, Ryan Lizza dishes the backstory of the race to chair the Democratic Party, which Howard Dean seems to have sewn up.

BIG BROTHER IN THE BIG EASY? New Orleans is installing a citywide security system with state-of-the-art cameras that can monitor an eight-block area around each o­ne, as well as communicate with police, track crime in the area and provide proof in court.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Contrary to earlier reports, record companies failed to make timely bail for the maybe-Libertine and Babyshambles frontman. He may be released today.

Busted like Ashlee Simpson, dawg.MTV2 gets busted in its attempt to create grassroots buzz for its two-headed dog from astroturf.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: Series creator and executive producer Mark Cherry notes there are outtakes too racy for broadcast, which could turn up o­n the inevitable DVD set.

THE MALTESE FALCON may be the stuff that dreams are made of, but an article in The San Francisco Chronicle argues that it's all about Bogie.

BRITNEY AND HUBBY have matching haircuts. Eww.

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Monday, February 07, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE ANSWERS to Friday's Movie Game can be found here.

NIPPLEGATE: Mickey Kaus of Slate (and formerly The New Republic argues that it wasn't the nipple that was the problem.

Home... is where they want to beARCADE FIRE UPDATE: Having noted that David Byrne joined them o­nstage for "Naive Melody (This Must Be the Place)," I would be remiss not to direct you to audio and video of the magic moment.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The maybe-Libertine and Babyshambles frontman arrested for assault was bailed out by his record companies after failing to raise it himself.

THE ANTI-HIT LIST -- "a sort of Top 10 from an alternate universe" -- moves to The Toronto Star this week.

THE HIT FACTORY CLOSES: The legendary NYC studio that counted John Lennon, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Donald Fagen, Michael Jackson, Tony Bennett, Toni Braxton, Madonna, U2, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Jay-Z, Beyonce among its clientele closes as home studios and other technological advances reduce demand for large, luxurious recording facilities.

BADGES? BADGES, SENOR? San Antonio's stripper's don't need no stinkin' badges, thanks to a federal district court's stay order against enforcing a city ordinance requiring strippers to wear permit badges.

Double secret probation will never seem the same without himOBITS: Actor-activist Ossie Davis is dead at 87. Actor John Vernon, best known for portraying Dean Vernon Wormer in Animal House is dead at 72.

ERIC CLAPTON becomes a dad for the third time at 59. No Rock 'n' Roll Fun provides the snark.

TEENAGE GIRLS who surprised their neighbors with homemade cookies late one night were ordered to pay nearly 900 bucks in medical bills for a woman who says she was so startled that she had to go to the hospital. Fortunately, radio station KOA-AM in Denver raised more than enough from listeners Friday to pay the fine.

"SUPERBRAIN" CHIP: Today, IBM, Sony and Toshiba are set to reveal the inner workings of a “supercomputer o­n a chip” they claim could revolutionise communications, multimedia and consumer electronics. The Cell microprocessor has been under development by the three companies since 2001 in a laboratory in Austin, Texas.

WARD CHURCHILL UPDATE: The professor who likened World Trade Center victims to a notorious Nazi refused to apologize, as the University of Colorado began a review that could lead to his dismissal. Questions of academic freedom and tenure should preclude him from being fired. However, claims by the American Indian Movement and Indian Country Today probably warrant an investigation into whether Churchill misrepresented himself to his employer.

They are lean, mean, fighting machines, in the tradition of John CandySOLDIERS GONE WILD at Camp Bucca, the military prison at Umm Qasr in southern Iraq, as U.S. miltary policewomen mud-wrestle and expose themselves for the entertainment of their fellow troops. The New York Daily News has the exclusive, which it seems to regard as quite the scandal. I tend to doubt that the home front will be shocked to learn that troops getting ready to leave Iraq party hearty before their bon voyage. There is no torture allegation here, just good, dirty fun. Nevertheless, an investigation has been opened into possible violations of military regulations; a female member of a National Guard military police unit already has been demoted for indecent exposure.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS reissues are reviewed inThe New Mexican. The reviewer is also a blogger.

BJORK is profiled by the London Telegraph, with a bit about her album for tsunami aid.

THE STATE OF INDIE ROCK: In the Observer, Louise Wener notes that there was a surge of female indie rockers in the 1990s, but now there's barely a female rock voice left. Wener blames sexism in the field, with a great closing shot: "In a year when the NME is idolising the mix of crack addict and doe-eyed woodland creature that is Pete Doherty, it makes me yearn for the Kim Deals and the Courtney Loves of this world, who did it all so much better."

Beats calling them the SaggiesHILARY SWANK, Jamie Foxx, Cate Blanchett and Morgan Freeman take home Actors from the Screen Actors Guild awards. To be clear, the "Actor" is the name of the award, though Swank is married to Chad Lowe, so she presumably took him home also.

IRAQ ELECTION UPDATE: Iraq's electoral commission says it has received more than 100 complaints of irregularities. It has formed an independent team of three lawyers to investigate, though election officials have sought to downplay the scope and seriousness of the problems. Certainly, no o­ne should be disenfranchised. However, I suspect that no one dared to complain or demonstrate about the elections held under Saddam Hussein's regime, so in an odd way, the complaints may represent progress, so long as the irregularities are not widespread.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: Investigators probing alleged corruption at the U.N. oil-for-food program are scrutinizing thousands of pages of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's documents to determine whether he exerted influence in securing a contract for a Swiss company that employed his son. Meahwhile, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau appears to have lauched a criminal investigation into Benon Sevan, the U.N. Oil-for-Food chief who recently resigned. I note that Robert Morgenthau is a serious man, respected across political party lines.

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Friday, February 04, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

Neither of these is from Hollow Man

YOUR FRIDAY TIME-WASTER: The Movie Game! Fans of Fark's Photoshop Fridays should be doubly amused. Do I have the answers? Yes; I'll link to them... Monday. Heh heh heh...

SXSW: A TRUCKLOAD 'O' BANDS -- The list is enormous.

PETE DOHERTY, late of the Libertines and Babyshambles, recently dumped by Kate Moss, is arrested on an assault charge. No Rock 'n' Roll Fun has the backstory. Meanwhile, Billboard reports that the Libertines are pressing on without Doherty: "What remains to be seen is whether Doherty will ever return to the Libertines. Contrary to popular opinion, the singer/guitarist hasn't been kicked out of the band he co-founded with Carl Barat. However, his return is by no means guaranteed, leaving the status of replacement member Anthony Rossomando uncertain."

ARCADE FIRE (and Final Fantasy) did a fill-in for Maroon 5 on Tuesday's Late Night with Conan O'Brien. On Wednesday, they performed with David Byrne, doing their cover of "Naive Melody (This Must Be the Place).

As if your girlfriend isn't partly to blame!THE SITCOM AS WE KNOW IT is "a dead format whose time has come and gone," says Portia de Rossi, star of Fox's Arrested Development. Tom Poston, the Newhart veteran, who stars as a dying clown who stays in a closet on the new NBC comedy Committed, says the medium itself is corrupting the next generation of writers. "It used to be that good writers wrote about what they knew; they wrote from their lives, so the comedy was based in something real. These days," he says with a heavy sigh, "young writers are raised on TV and movies, so that's what they write about. And it's fake. It's recycled material."

FREE NEWS: The Christian Science Monitor and the Online Journalism Review look at whether online news sites should charge for their news or archives.

OOPS! Mistake Calls for Evacuation of Connecticut.

GRADE THE NEWS complains that Bay Area newspapers and television stations continue to emphasize "the weird, the fluffy, and the gruesome." As if there is some other kind of news in San Francisco. Thank you, I'll be here next week, too. Tip your bartender.

SUPER BOWL: This year, most Super Bowl advertisers are playing it safe. Ford is pulling its ad that depicts a clergyman ogling a pickup truck after receiving complaints from a support group for victims sexually abused by priests. A special episode of The Simpsons airing after the Super Bowl will "point out how TV and the NFL showcase obnoxious behavior even as they go through the motions of condemning it."

GOOGLE CLOUT: How much is it worth to a company's bottom line to place near the top of Google's search rankings? A lot, as it turns out.

FISHBOWL L.A. mockingly blurbs the cover of the Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair.

He covers his own song twice -- how cool is that?ON THE PITCHFORK: A fine review of Chris Stamey's A Question of Temperature: "[T]he final result is one of Stamey's best solo joints and a fun, solid record, so the ancillary benefits make it more than worthwhile."

HARDCORE PORN will be served up by the usually conservative Adelphia system. But the funniest part of the news is buried in the penultimate graf of the story: "Playboy is gearing up to supply a variety of programs on demand that will keep subscribers running up the bill. One goal: to increase the seven-minute viewing time historically clocked by the average person who orders an adult pay-per-view movie..." Here's a hint: more programs will not meet this goal. Try putting coupons for certain well-advertised pharmaceuticals in with the cable bill. Also, publicizing the seven minute figure is going to humiliate your customers.

CHAOTIC MARKETS: A model that assumes stock market traders have zero intelligence has been found to mimic the behaviour of the London Stock Exchange very closely. This result does not mean traders are buying and selling randomly, but suggests that market movements depend less on traders' strategies and more on the structure of the trading system itself. The observation could be useful in the real financial markets. For example market volatility could be lowered by giving incentives for people who place limit orders, and charging people who place market orders.

THIS LOOKS LIKE A JOB FOR SUPERMAN: Thieves with hypnotic powers on crime spree in Russia!

So here's a nice daytime picture insteadTHE FRENCH KEEP ASKING FOR IT: The re-lighting of the Eiffel Tower has been copyrighted, so that you technically must pay to photograph it at night.

WHO DID SADDAM VOTE FOR? No one, but he could have if he had turned up at a polling station, officials said. The former dictator was eligible to vote as an Iraqi citizen with no criminal record. Despite being accused of crimes against humanity and genocide, he has not been convicted. Life imitates Stripes.

JACKO JUSTICE: There's money to be made from the Michael Jackson trial, writes Danny Schechter. How many "experts" will build their careers on the media exposure? How many books and TV movies will result?

I APOLOGIZE: A hospital that accidentally placed the amputated leg of a deceased patient in a plastic bag with the personal belongings of another patient apologized Tuesday. A spokeswoman said officials were trying to determine how the error may have occurred.

Nice to look at, but...ANGELINA JOLIE: Tinseltown lesbians are whispering that there is something fishy about her. Really, must someone destroy all of our myths?

PODCASTING: Podsiphon is updated daily with free, and legal songs from sources all over the internet. In fact, you probably don't even need an iPod to download its MP3s.

THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE: Criminal complaint alleges that a teenager robbed banks in New York and Connecticut for her boyfriend.

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Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

Rise and shine, campers!

Did I have you for a moment?

GROUNDHOG DAY AND PAYOLA: Can you crack college columnist Melody Joy Kramer's code?

Heard of them through Information LeafblowerTHE BRAVERY recently won the BBC's annual Critics' Poll and are generating some buzz o­n music blogs. You can hear some of their vintage 80s-U2-Cure-New Orderish sound at the band's site.

THE KINGS OF CONVENIENCE are profiled at Flagpole.

ON THE PITCHFORK: former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus is set to release a new album in May.

BIRTHDAYS: Don Everly has turned 68. The late Ayn Rand would have turned 100. Geddy Lee probably celebrated both of them.

BPOC: Apple's iPod is the most popular music player on campus, which is a problem when it's Microsoft's campus.

ARE WE BECOMING CYBORGS? Ann Althouse blogs that her car affects her personality. Wired quotes an academic suggesting that your iPod becomes an extension of your memory and your self.

No match against a clone army, of courseBATTLEBOTS: This spring, the United States armed forces are expected to deploy 18 Talon robots to Iraq. The semi-autonomous machines will be capable of firing rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, and rockets with better accuracy than human soldiers. In development is the R-Gator, built by IRobot, which will use off-the-shelf robotics to serve as an unmanned scout or "point man," guard a perimeter, do reconnaissance, or haul supplies up to 1,400 pounds guided by GPS.

ROBOTS, PART 3: The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Project Agency has granted a contract worth at least 400,000 dollars to two professors who are trying to build a machine that can learn by reading.

The slinky betrayed us. I should have known.ACTION FIGURE HOSTAGE UPDATE: Cody tells his story.

MIXING BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE: The New York Post reports that American workers have found a way to cope with the stress of Iraq and the uncertain economy — office romances, which have surged 25 percent in the last two years. Oddly enough, the President did not take credit for increased hijinx atop the office copier in his Wednesday night address: "My Fellow Americans, though we have had much hard work to do these past years, the State of the Union is horny!"

SPEAKING OF WHICH, THE STATE OF THE UNION address (on the off-chance that you found something else to watch or do Wednesday night) can be read in full at NPR. The Democratic response was tougher for the search engines to find -- at least right after the speech -- but I found it at the Omaha World-Herald.

ARE BLOGGERS JOURNALISTS? Do they deserve press protections? Two prominent bloggers of differing politics were asked these questions by The Christian Science Monitor, which also looks at the question of whether bloggers should be protected by laws that give journalists a privilege to protect confidential sources.

IMHO, the answers to those questions are not difficult. Are bloggers journalists? Sometimes, but not often, yet. Do they deserve press protections? Yes. Journalists, bloggers and everyone else should enjoy the same rights to free speech and freedom of the press. The First Amendment protects freedom of the press because the Founders were against the colonial system which required that the press be licensed by the government. Legislatures and courts should not become involved in deciding who is "the press," but that is what would happen if "the press" has greater rights than you or I.

ARROGANCE AT THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: In a semi-related story, the AP announces it will provide a blog to its premium clients in a tone that mocks blogs as junk journalism. Did it occur to anyone at the AP that this might not be the tone to strike o­ne day after being hoaxed by a terror gang's picture of an action figure?Probably not, sadly.

He don't like media...BOB GELDOF: The former Boomtown Rat and Band-Aid organizer complains that the media has confused the roles of politicians and celebrities and has choice words about visiting Africa: "More often than not, it bores me profoundly - the pace of change is far too slow, and Africans excuse their own complicity in exactly the same way as our politicians."

THE SLITS reunite (sort of). Reissues and tour to follow.

MICHAEL STIPE tells Blender way more than you want to know about him.

JOHN PERRY BARLOW, a lyricist for the Grateful Dead and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation -- a cyberspace civil liberties group -- told the World Social Forum (an annual protest against the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland) that poor nations can't solve their problems unless they stop paying expensive software licensing fees. "Already, Brazil spends more in licensing fees on proprietary software than it spends on hunger," said Barlow.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS AND TED KOPPEL switching shows? Or is it a celebrity edition of Trading Spaces?

Nah, nah-nah, nah-nah, na-na-na-nah...MTV UNDER FIRE: The Parents' Television Center -- a group responsible for many of the indecency complaints lodged with the FCC over the past year -- has issued a report accusing MTV of peddling smut to teens. MTV called the report unfair, saying it ignored the network's public service efforts, such as its Emmy-winning Choose or Lose campaign during last year's presidential race.

That is as lame a defense as Hugh Hefner telling everone about the great articles in Playboy. MTV would have been better off to note that the PTC studied the channel's Spring Break coverage. This is not regular MTV programming. Moreover, most of the raciness of MTV's Spring Break coverage is showing partying college students. MTV could have replied that the Parents Television Center should be concerned about the parenting that led to those displays instead of the fact that MTV televised them.

Primetime Live, but taped. Go figure.TERI HATCHER UPDATE: On an upcoming Primetime Live, the Desperate Housewife tells Diane Sawyer, "I breast-fed for two and a half years. I mean you don't want to see me out of my bra — that's why I haven't had sex in however many years and I'm shy about the whole thing!" Hey, she cannot call the whole "spectacular" thing into question without offering proof. That is simply unacceptable.

NANOTECH: Extending battery life for cellphones.

DAVID BOWIE encourages his fans to mash-up his new material with his classics.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

I got flowers...in the Spring...

First D.J.: Rise and shine, campers and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today.
Second D.J.: It's cold out there every day. What is this, Miami Beach?
First D.J.: Not hardly. So the big question on everybody's lips...
Second D.J.: on their chapped lips...
First D.J.: ...their chapped lips is, "Does Phil feel lucky?" Punksatawney Phil! That's right, woodchuck chuckers it's...

[IN UNISON]: GROUNDHOG DAY!!!

The real Punxsutawney Phil has been called the Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary. In fact, he's only right about 40 percent of the time. Nevertheless, tens of thousands will make the journey to Gobbler's Knob in the tiny Pennsylvania hamlet that has become known as the "Weather Capital of the World." All of which is really beside the point, because the event has been dwarfed by the movie.

This is o­ne time where the internet really fails to capture the true excitement of a movie about a large squirrel predicting the weather.

Last Sunday, Roger Ebert revisited Groundhog Day, declaring that the film "finds its note and purpose so precisely that its genius may not be immediately noticeable. It unfolds so inevitably, is so entertaining, so apparently effortless, that you have to stand back and slap yourself before you see how good it really is."

At the other end of the politcal spectrum, Jonah Goldberg's equally effusive movie meditation grabs the cover of the latest National Review. Goldberg writes: "When I set out to write this article, I thought it'd be fun to do a quirky homage to an offbeat flick, o­ne I think is brilliant as both comedy and moral philosophy. But while doing what I intended to be cursory research — how much reporting do you need for a review of a twelve-year-old movie that plays constantly o­n cable? — I discovered that I wasn't alone in my interest. In the years since its release the film has been taken up by Jews, Catholics, Evangelicals, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, and followers of the oppressed Chinese Falun Gong movement."

Indeed, a 2004 article mentioned by Ebert (but not linked) from London's Independent observes that the Harold Ramis comedy has been hailed by some religious leaders as the most spiritual film of all time. In addition the examples given in that article, another can be found in today's Christian Science Monitor.

Don't drive angry!

As Phil Connors ultimately observed: "When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter."

[UPDATE: This morning, Punxsutawney Phil's handlers said the groundhog has seen his shadow -- which legend has it signals six more weeks of winter.]

So I'm a sucker for lists - sue meON THE PITCHFORK: Their Top 100 Singles: 2000-04 Some will be familiar, some might become new favorites. They also link to the contributors' personal lists, so you can avoid the folks who were kind to Britney and Justin. ALSO: A big thumbs-up (of course) to the new compilation of singles by Super Furry Animals. They're Welsh, y'know.

ROBERT POLLARD is not slowing down; just take a gander at his planned projects for 2005 -- including a GbV book by former GbV bassist and rock critic Jim Greer.

IRAQ ELECTION REAX: Leaders Say Vote Decides Equality for Iraqi Women.

Cowards picked o­ne without the Kung Fu gripIRAQI TERRORISTS TAKE ACTION FIGURE HOSTAGE, hoaxing both the Associated Press and Reuters.

AL-JAZEERA IS GOING PUBLIC: The Qatar-based TV net is (as noted yesterday) o­ne of the top brands in the world, but despite gaining as many as 40 million viewers daily, it's not making money. Andy Borowitz jokes that Fox News could buy it.

BLOGS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT: Anastasia Goodstein's Ypulse blog has become a must-read for those into youth culture, from Seventeen's Atoosa Rubenstein to youth ministers and librarians, according to the San Fransisco Chronicle.

Be careful when you eat at Satriale'sFUHGEDDABOUTIT: A&E bids a record 2.5 million bucks per episode to broadcast edited versions of The Sopranos. The Emmy-winning mob drama will begin o­n the basic cable network in fall 2006. A&E will have to sell a lot of commercials to pay that tab, but I imagine an edited Sopranos episode will leave plenty of time for commercial breaks.

SUPER BOWL: The New York Post previews the much-anticipated advertising. Meanwhile, Editor and Publisher chats up the four ink-stained wretches who have covered all 38 Super Bowls.

COUPLES MAGAZINES may be the new trend in the post-Maxim era.

JACKO JUSTICE: The Los Angeles Times reports that Santa Barbara County is asking news organizations covering the Michael Jackson trial to pay the expenses the county will incur through having all that media to deal with.

GLOBAL WARMING may be responsible for the evolution of bats 50 million years ago.

OUTKAST has finished shooting o­n a movie musical.

Where have you gone, J.J. Jackson?THE TWO-HEADED DOG: A sign of the apocolypse? It's the new logo for MTV2, so you be the judge. Both MTV and MTV2 will preview the new MTV2 during the halftime show at the Super Bowl. The new faster-paced network will officially launch at midnight following the game. Apparently, MTV is not catering enough to an short attention spans.

ROY ORBISON: I don't know what Roy would have thought about a trove of stories about being wrapped in "clingfilm." Perhaps "Only The Lonely?"

DOODLES FROM DAVOS: Scribbled notes were found on British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s desk following last week’s International Economic Forum in Switzerland.

Experts drooled over what the notes, squares, circles and jottings revealed about his personality. Graphologist Emma Bache concluded Mr Blair was "slightly out of control, very frustrated and stressed", and that the doodles suggested "more than a hint of megalomania". Psychologist Elaine Quigley said the notes showed that Mr Blair was "struggling to concentrate and his mind is going everywhere".

The doodles were actually created by Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates, who had been sitting with Blair and Bono. Draw your own conclusions.

THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES: In the year since the controversial CAN-SPAM Act went into effect, the quantity of junk e-mail has increased by a third, now comprising about 80 percent of all e-mail. The FTC is working o­n closing loopholes in the law. I wouldn't hold my breath.

SCENES FROM AN ITALIAN RESTAURANT: As imagined by Jeff Goldstein.

TEEN VOGUE: Gawker notices something kinda creepy about the cover, particularly for a mag aimed at girls.

THE STATE OF DISNEY: ESPN and theme parks boosted Disney earnings to 723 million dollars last quarter, but profits from home video plummeted.

BRAD-JEN BREAKUP AFTERMATH: The Pittston split leaves Ali G homeless. I hope he captured that o­n video.

Just a head shot? What was I thinking?TERI HATCHER: The Desperate Housewife clarifies that her breasts are real, knowing that Seinfeld fans will fill in the "spectacular" part themselves.

THAT AND 15.6 MILLION DOLLARS will get you a cup of coffee.

I HAVE NO IDEA whether this story about the Orange Revolution in Ukraine is true. Indeed, I would take it with a shaker full of salt. But it would make a good movie!

NIH STUDY: The part of the human brain governing risk-taking does not fully mature until age 25. Every auto insurance company in the world knows this, but it's nice to have some science behind it, I guess.

STEREOGUM can't get the image of clay Lionel Richie out of his head.

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