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The dBs, Rock's New Generation, Kurt Vonnegut and Cat News   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, September 16, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



GORT, KLAATU BARADA NIKTO! Robert Wise, a four-time Academy Award winner whose epic 65-year career ranged from editing Orson Welles' Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons to directing classic musicals such as The Sound of Music and West Side Story, as well as the science-fiction of The Day The Earth Stood Still and the first Star Trek film, is dead of heart failure at 91.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTERS: Try our site admin Lance's gallery of Puzzle Games.

THE dB's DOWNLOADS: The reunited band is offering a freebie at their web site, as well as a nice cover of "What Becomes of the Broken-hearted" in return for a donation to the New Orleans Musicians' Relief Fund. Ken King and I will be seeing them Saturday, so maybe there will be pictures and comment Monday...

ROCK'S NEW G-G-GENERATION, including Death Cab for Cutie, Broken Social Scene, the Flaming Lips, the Shins and Wilco, is examined by Newsweek. The growing success of new bands and the role of the internet in that success are also discussed.

FIERY FURNACES' Matt Friedberger describes the upcoming Rehearsing My Choir: "It's a regular rock album with an old woman o­n it."

KRISTIN HERSH of Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave, has started a tour blog: "So, bright and pretty g*****mn early the next morning, Bernie picked us up and crammed us into his Dalmation hair car (I always want to knit a Cruella de Ville sweater after riding in that car) and drove us to The Bus. Our tacky, beloved, and perpetually busted Bus. It smelled great: eau de bus."

R.L. BURNSIDE: The recently deceased bluesmaster's collaboration with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, A Ass Pocket of Whiskey, originally released by Matador in '95 has been reissued o­n Fat Possum. Pitchfork gives it a 7.7; the review is worth a moment.

BURT BACHARACH blasts Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina, because he funded the war instead of boosting flood control funding a few months ago. Burt may not know that Category 5 levees take decades to build or that the New Orleans Levee Board spent millions o­n the Mardi Gras Fountain and overpasses for the Bally's casino instead of flood control projects. However, with President Bush promising last night that the Crescent City will rise again, Burt can expect that the levees will get their due.

SUFJAN STEVENS o­n his band dressing -- and occasionally behaving -- as cheerleaders for the Illinois tour: "Superficially it probably looks like a lot of gimmicks, but it's been really good for us."

THE CMJ MUSIC MARATHON lineup is previewed by the critics of the Village Voice.

JAMES BROWN'S fifth wife got o­n the good foot... and into hiding from the hardest working man in show business, claiming she's "had enough of the drugs, the beatings and the verbal abuse."

THE SEX PISTOLS and TOM JONES are among those added to a list of stars to be honored at London's new Walk Of Fame.

BONO is the subject of a lengthy piece in Sunday's New York Times Magazine focusing o­n his political activism. Thanks to the magic of the Internets, you can read it today.

RENEE ZELLEWEGER and KENNY CHESNEY are trying to annul their marriage, which lasted just over four months.

BRITNEY SPEARS: American Idle has a photo(shop) of the Son of Federline, as does Dude.Man.Phat. No wonder he wants back in the womb. But the kid may luck out if Access Hollywood is correct in reporting that his name is Sean Preston, which certainly beats PMS Federline.

HURRICANE KATRINA: Early tests o­n the floodwater that covered most of New Orleans do not suggest it will leave a permanent toxic residue or render residential areas uninhabitable for more than a short time, officials of both state and federal environmental agencies said yesterday. This WaPo story notes: "Despite descriptions of the floodwater as a 'toxic soup' and a 'witch's brew' of contaminants, the preliminary tests reveal it contains little that is different from what has been seen after past floods in other cities and here." Want to guess the title of last Saturday's WaPo editorial?

KATRINA II: The area affected by the hurricane was about the size of Great Britain, but how big is the flooded area of New Orleans? CondoBuzz overlays the flooded area over maps of other major American cities for comparison.

KATRINA III: President Bush gave a speech last night vowing to fix everyone's problems -- including his -- by spending ginormous sums of cash. Moments later, Sen. John Kerry criticized Bush, saying "Leadership isn't a speech or a toll-free number." Since the latest Zogby poll suggests G.W. Bush would lose an election to every President since Carter, but would still beat Kerry, the Dems were probably better served by their other reps.

PAT ROBERTSON SAYS HURRICANE KATRINA was God’s way of expressing His anger at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for its selection of Ellen De Generes to host this year’s Emmy Awards. Yeah, that's fake... but you had to think about it for a second, didn't you? PLUS: Emmy noms.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Galpal Kate Moss caught using cocaine "during a debauched drugs and drink session with junkie lover Pete Doherty." See for yourself. Yet the troubled singer is still beaten by Keef Richards in a VH1 viewer poll of the top 10 living hell-raisers.

MONICA LEWINSKY is leaving NYC for London and got some spotted dick as a parting gift.

MRS. McCARTNEY LOSES LEG in scuffle with J-Lo's security guards.

IRAQ: Faces From The Front looks at the new Iraqi courts. The Tampa Tribune has started a series called "Voices From The Front" with interviews of Maj. Bill Cowling, who coordinates reconstruction projects in Mosul, and Sgt. 1st Class Elbert "JR'' Jetton of Hinesville, GA, who is serving his second tour in Iraq as a field artillery meteorologist in Baghdad and works with tribal leaders to improve living conditions.

IRAQ II: Bill Roggio has been o­n a roll this week. Thursday brought more analysis of ops in Northern Iraq, noting the capture of three more senior al Qaeda commanders in the Mosul region, based o­n intell from locals, and sums up some stats from the north: "Eighty percent of the network has been killed or captured. Sixty to seventy percent of the terrorist killed were foreigners. Most terrorists are now in their mid-teens, and inexperienced. Mortar attacks are down from three hundred a month to six." Next, comments from Major General Rick Lynch about pursuing Zarqawi by conducting Tal Afar-type ops in cities like Qaim and Haditha. And a post noting that the Iraqi Defense Minister is already threatening similar ops in Samarrah to try to force the locals to get o­n board with the new national government.

JESSICA ALBA: Ordinarily, I would not gratuitously link to pictures of the Alba. But someone made me do it. Well, he didn't make me do it, so much as he asked me to do it. By which I mean he asked me to put something about him o­n the site, which is all well and good, except that Alba is much hotter than he is. So it's really Shain Khoshbin's fault for not being a beautiful woman.

MORE HOT GIRL-ON-GIRL ACTION, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Or women are more comfortable talking about it. Either way works for me.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is tired of spending nights in lonely hotel rooms. It really bugs me when she uses the press to rag like this. Sorry, but I can't just drop everything at a moment's notice.

SEXISM MAY SHORTEN MENS' LIVES, according to a new study. I totally set you up for that.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie is going to bank a cool 12 million bucks to be the new face of Californian fashion label St John -- similar deals for Gwyneth Paltrow, Liz Hurley and Nicole Kidman were less than half that amount. Someone o­n the Perez Hilton bulletin board looks at photos of Pitt suggesting he morphs into his lovers.

EXPLOITED WORKERS SPOTTED AT WAL-MART: They're making six bucks an hour, with no benefits, in 104 degree F weather, with o­nly two 15-minute bathroom breaks per shift. But they don't work for Wal-Mart. These people are temp workers for the United Food and Commercial Workers union, picketing against the poor working conditions at Wal-Mart.

ORLANDO BLOOM gladly stoked rumors of a romance with Elizabethtown co-star Kirsten Dunst during the movie's Sept. 10th premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

KURT VONNEGUT lists "Liberal Crap I Never Want to Hear Again" for the Daily Show.

RUSSELL CROWE warns he may turn his back o­n the U.S. for good if he is found guilty of assault. Given that a conviction would make getting a visa problematic, this is like yelling "I quit" when you realize you're about to get fired.

GWYNETH PALTROW may turn her back o­n the U.S., suggesting to a Canadian interviewer that she doesn't want to live here because of President Bush. OTOH, it was just a couple of weeks ago that Gwyneth and hubby Chris Martin were reportedly leaving the UK after being frightened by the recent terror attacks o­n London.

PATAKI FEVER hits the Hawkeye state, according to Des Moines Register guru David Yepsen.

THE SUPREME COURT: At this week's confirmation hearings, Chief Justice nominee John Roberts did not say how he would vote in future cases, but Sen. Chuck Schumer did get Roberts to say his favorite movies are Doctor Zhivago and North by Northwest. This revelation caused Prof. Ann Althouse to note that Mrs. Roberts looks like Eva Marie Saint. So why did no o­ne think to ask the favorite movie question of Clarence Thomas?

REESE WITHERSPOON is getting Oscar buzz for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in Walk The Line. And there's been similar buzz for Joaquin Phoenix playing Johnny. I'm skeptical, but hope the movie is that good -- Johnny and June deserve it.

SIENNA MILLER and JUDE LAW: Together again?

LOHAN LOWDOWN: Looks like Li-Lo is off the Skeletor diet. Now all she needs is someone to dress her in the morning.

GOOGLE'S NEW ENGINE searches blogs. First word of Google's new searching tool was, in fact, disseminated by a blog.

BLOG-FIGHT: Defamer, a blog often linked here is mooned by E! Television gossip columnist Ted Casablanca.

NEPAL: Women's rights activists hail a Supreme Court order to end the tradition in parts of Nepal of keeping women in cow-sheds during their menstrual cycle.

THE UNITED NATIONS: I forgot to do a round-up o­n President Bush's speech to the UN the other day. He asked the Secretary-General whether US Ambassador John Bolton had blown the place up yet. He was caught passing a note to Secretary of State Condi Rice asking for a bathroom break. And he gave a speech about fighting terrorists and making poverty history in Africa. Bob Geldof, who gave world leaders an unflattering four out of 10 for helping Africa beat poverty, listened to Bush's speech with UN anti-poverty chief Jeffrey Sachs and they couldn’t believe what they heard: "I think he’s really throwing down the gauntlet. It’s a very bold move," Geldof said of Bush’s trade tariff proposal, adding that he was impressed with the president’s statement that terrorism "comes from despair and lack of hope." Of couse, if Geldof was as smart as Kanye West, he would realize that Bush is targeting scourges such as AIDS, malaria and the growing threat of avian flu, particularly in Africa, to cover up the fact that he doesn't care about black people.

IRAN: Speaking of the UN, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited and voiced Iran's readiness to transfer peaceful nuclear technology to Islamic states.

9/11 CONSPIRACISTS INVADE GROUND ZERO: Even the Village Voice doesn't seem to think much of the people who tried to convince grieving families that the WTC attack was really a controlled demolition o­n the fourth anniversary of the attack. How bad was it? Consider this: The clamor was all too much for a passing tourist. "God bless America, you *****!" he screamed in a thick accent. "Go back to where you came from, you foreigner," groused a fellow conspiracist. "But I am French," the tourist responded indignantly.

CAT NEWS: The issues of importance, for and by cats, in QuickTime o­n Channel 102.

DEAD CAT UPDATE: The German inventor who claims to have developed a method to produce organic diesel fuel from waste denies a German newspaper story implying he also used dead cats: "I've never used cats and would never think of that. At most the odd toad may have jumped in." But he could theoretically use dead cats.

OLD YELLER DOGFOOD Disney licensed it, but who buys that name? Or the dogfood?

THREE BUBONIC MICE: Three mice infected with the bacteria responsible for bubonic plague apparently disappeared from a laboratory about two weeks ago; and authorities launched a search though health experts said there was scant public risk.

DOLPHINS swept out of their aquarium tanks by Hurricane Katrina and spotted in the Gulf of Mexico are now the focus of rescue efforts. It took this long to get the dolphin rescue going? No wonder Michael Brown resigned!

ELEPHANTS are working out o­n the treadmill in Anchorage.

WHITE GIRAFFE spotted in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park.

BLACK COCKS HARD TO SWALLOW down under in New Zealand.

...and I'm spent.

4503 Reads

Son of Federline, Decemberists, Randy Newman and Squirrelapalooza   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 08:15 AM
Posted by: kbade


DING! Bun's out of the oven, Cletus! Us magazine, which broke the story, reports the young'n would be called Preston Michael Spears Federline, ensuring a lifetime of PMS jokes.

THE DECEMBERISTS: You Ain't No Picasso has audio and video of the band covering ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky."

PINK FLOYD: Suddenly, Roger Waters is keen for another reuinion -- even a full performance of Dark Side of the Moon -- if there was a special occasion.

TOP 50 BASSLINES of all time, according to Stylus.

BAND NAME ORIGINS are being compiled at Am I Right.

JIMI HENDRIX'S childhood home again saved from demolition. Its final resting place (for now, anyway) is a three-acre site opposite the cemetery where Hendrix's body has been interred since his death 35 years ago. The City Of Seattle and The James Marshall Hendrix Foundation are in talks to renovate the house into a full-fledged community centre, complete with music lessons, practice rooms and a library of musical instruments.

WEEZER: Reports of their breakup seem semi-exaggereated.

SUFJAN STEVENS: The Mpls. City Pages thinks Illinois is "the best pop record you'll hear this year," though Stevens' banjo playing "is more Kermit o­n a log than Earl Scruggs."

ON THE PITCHFORK: The Iron & Wine/Calexico In the Reins EP scores an 8.5. Also, Wilco sets a track list for their upcoming live album.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer has reportedly recorded a duet with galpal Kate Moss.

BOB DYLAN: The BBC already gave him some love. Now it's the Guardian's turn.

RANDY NEWMAN is posting reports from the road while o­n tour. Some are very Newman: "I Just heard o­n Klassic Radio the worst record I've ever heard. Here's a hint..."

TROY'S MIXTAPE OF LOVE: "Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do's and don'ts. First of all, you're using someone else's poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing."

KANYE WEST was left red-faced recently when his mother discovered how much money he spends o­n pornography. I blame President Bush!

NATALIE PORTMAN found out the hard way that many lesbians dig bald chicks. Now that was a completely original moment.

HEIDI KLUM names her son Henry -- a name from Seal's family, rather than after a piece of fruit.

GUY RITCHIE make a documentary about Kabbalah, because he is becoming increasingly irritated with the way the faith is sensationalised in the media. Which had nothing to do with his wife Madge's embrace of the Hollywood version of it.

ON THE DL: A baseball gossip blog. For Sylvia Hauser, the literary version of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE defeats Bill Gates for control of Microsoft.

RUSSELL CROWE is looking for reduced charges in that phone-throwing incident.

STEVE BUSCEMI, Stanley Tucci and Bob Balaban are among those lined up for indie American remakes of films by the murdered Dutch film director Theo van Gogh. Mohammed Bouyeri shot van Gogh seven times before stabbing him, slitting his throat and using the knife to pin a note to his chest threatening to kill Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born Dutch politician who collaborated with the film-maker o­n Submissions, a TV project accused by its critics of portraying Islam as a misogynous religion which condoned violence against women. Submissions is not o­ne of the announced remakes. Maybe Hollywood would have been more outraged by the brutal slaying if van Gogh had made films criticizing the Patriot Act.

MICHAEL JACKSON rents out an entire water park in Dubai so that children and their parents could enjoy the facilities for free. Jacko wore a white lycra body suit exposing o­nly his eyes and nose, which was not flattering, according to a lifeguard o­n the scene.

TONY FERRARI: If you haven't heard of him, I wouldn't want to spoil anything, so go there, but don't go there.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio has more analysis of strategy and tactics around Tal Afar, including the significant involvement and cooperation of the Iraqi Army. He also looks at Zarqawi's retaliatory wave of terror bombs in Baghdada, but notes the degradation of Zarqawi's forces in Northern Iraq. And the most recent Iraq Index from the Brookings Institution has casualty figures that are better than I tought they would be, given the o­ngoing operations in the north and the Anbar province.

NOW THAT'S A LANDSLIDE: Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party won so big that it did not have enough candidates to fill all the seats it would have won in Tokyo.

CULT OF THE iPod: The Joy of Tech pictures alternative uses for the Nano. Also, portable music players are turning people deaf. Not me though -- Hüsker Dü in Iowa City gets the credit there.

NANOTECH: A new poll shows people are excited about the benefits of nano tech, but want regulation -- though they are skeptical that government would get it right, either. Meanwhile Dartmouth researchers have created the world's smallest untethered, controllable robot. About 200 of these could march in a line across the top of a plain M&M. Moe techy details and video here.

MEAT PRESERVATIVES may preserve you someday.

BIONIC EYE: Nanananananana....

EDU-BLOGGING: The back-to-school edition of the Carnival of Education is o­nline.

HURRICANE KATRINA: CNN reports that even after Michael Brown's resignation as head of FEMA, "criticism of the government's response to the disaster keeps rising. It threatens to swamp other officials involved in the recovery effort. Blame is being directed at every level of government -- federal, state and local." Yesterday, CNN reported a new Gallup poll showing that about 60 percent thought federal, state and local officials did a bad job after the storm, but when asked about the response "in the last few days," the results were almost reversed. So from where is the rising criticism coming? The same Gallup poll shows that 49 percent think the media are spending too much time trying to figure out who is responsible for the problems in the areas affected by the hurricane. Nevertheless, as I noted recently, a CNN producer was coaching at least o­ne invited guest to "get angry." CNN boss Jonathan Klein is in love with angry anchor Anderson Cooper: "He brings a new dimension to the job, which is a concept of an anchor as a kind of missionary. It’s a new model for thinking about what the anchorperson ought to be." Some might question whether Cooper is up for the missionary position, but I think if CNN viewers wanted to see missionary reporters, they would already be watching CBN. The public is starting to question the unsubstantiated and seemingly overstated death estimates and the equally unsubstantiated stories of rape and murder in the Superdome, so journalists ought to keep in mind that they should be accurate before they get angry.

HURRICANE RELIEF: Delone Catholic High School in McSherrystown, PA, is playing Hanson's 1996 hit "MMMBop" through the loudspeakers before classes begin, between periods and during lunch. The idea? Annoy students into donating; have them pay to stop the music. I'm surprised the ACLU hasn't shown up there -- this sort of thing is called torture down at Gitmo.

OSAMA BIN LADEN: The U.S. military in Afghanistan has denied that o­ne of its officers told reporters OBL was seeking medical attention. Reuters adds: "The United States holds al Qaeda responsible for many attacks, including the suicide hijack assaults o­n New York and Washington o­n September 11, 2001." Apparently, Reuters was in the bathroom when Khalid Sheikh Mohammed admitted al Qaeda was responsible for 9/11.

SQUIRRELAPALOOZA: A baby squirrel is nursed by a boy's pet Terrier. Awwww... A crazy little squirrel greets drivers as they cross the Hulton Bridge to enter Oakmont, PA (click link at the site to see him). Police in Barre Town, VT believe they have identified the "Squirrel Man," believed to be responsible for killing squirrels and leaving them in plastic bags all over the town and Barre City for the past three to four years. And next time you're passing through Spencer, IA, stop for some lovely canned squirrel. (via Fark)

SEA LIONS are the scourge of a California town, recently sinking o­ne man's 50-foot, newly-restored 1910 sailboat.

CATS: In New Orleans, Ray Lambert got past military checkpoints to batter frantically at his house with a sledgehammer in search of his eight cats.

FROG ACTION PLAN: Scientists will meet in DC this weekend to launch an action plan aimed at stemming the global decline in amphibians. Last year, the Global Amphibian Assessment revealed that almost a third of the 5,743 known species are categorized as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable.

3181 Reads

Geezer Rock, Geek Rock, Derek Smalls, Alt-Fuels and Gators   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


IGNORANCE IS BLISS: Knowing very little about country music, Johnny Cash or even how to sing probably helped Joaquin Phoenix turn in an Oscar-worthy performance as the Man in Black in Walk The Line.

GEEZER ROCK: In the Seattle P-I, David Lister opines that the '60s icons can still give exhilarating shows, but have lost some of their gift for songwriting. Lister asked Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of The Who about this; Daltrey seemed to agree, saying Townshend could yet be the great chronicler of middle-age angst. Lister wrote that we "shall see if that is the case when their new album is released shortly." Don't bet o­n it -- Townshend now says that the process of writing songs worthy of the Who could take another five years or more.

BRAINY GEEK ROCK, including Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, the Postal Service, the Shins, Bright Eyes and Iron & Wine, is racking up sales. Spin executive editor Doug Brod believes there's a ceiling to how far these dorks can climb: "Frankly, these guys are nerds in sweaters and polyester pants who sing sensitive songs. That can o­nly take you so far."

DEVO: WFMU has an a cappella version of "Mongoloid" as performed by a German vocal choir.

CAMERON CROWE lists music you should hear at Amazon. Oddly missing is anything by My Morning Jacket, who appear in his forthcoming Elizabethtown and o­n the soundtrack.

LOU REED will be involved with a seminar o­n Lou Reed at Columbia this semester.

SIGUR ROS: The Icelanders get a great review, with links to streams and MP3s from... National Review o­nline.

THE DECEMBERISTS' vinyl version of Picaresque is a double LP in a gatefold sleeve with a 24-page full color booklet and five "kinda new songs."

LEONARD COHEN: The Hollywood Reporter calls I'm Your Man "A beautifully produced concert film/documentary tribute that's as poetically soulful as its man of honor." Also: "While Cohen's far-reaching fan base will be pleased -- his ruminations o­n love and loneliness have been embraced by everybody from Diana Ross to punk rockers -- the Lions Gate release also serves as a terrific primer for the as-yet uninitiated."

THE SMITHS hang in the National Galley in London. Because the music that they constantly play, it says nothing to me about my life.

SPINAL TAP BASSIST DEREK SMALLS launches a record label called Courgette --which is an English term for zucchini.

CLEAR CHANNEL has launched o­nline programming showcasing newly signed and unsigned artists. The artists will be showcased exclusively o­n Clear Channel radio stations' websites for 90 days at a time, and will be promoted both o­nline and o­n-air.

KANYE WEST VS. GEORGE W. BUSH: An unbiased head-to-head comparison. For example, which wildlife each resembles.

THE JOURNEY THAT SAVED CURIOUS GEORGE: A new book details how Margret and H.A. Rey, German Jews who created Curious George, fled in June 1940 from the Nazis advancing o­n Paris. Is there a lost manuscript for Curious George Visits Rick's Cafe Americain?

THE FRENCH HOTEL fears we will mock her mock musical efforts. Don't fear it... bet o­n it! Especially following rumors that she's too cozy with her greasy producer.

MADONNA: o­ne-armed Madge is pelted with food in a resttaurant. By her husband.

BILL COSBY gains custody of Fat Albert.

HEIDI KLUM gives birth to a baby Seal.

TINA FEY gives birth to a mean girl.

TERI HATCHER refuses to wear a bikini: "I wear a swimsuit, never a bikini Maybe 50 per cent would say I look cute but the other 50 per cent would say that my a** is a little droopy." Again, you really can't go around saying things like this without some polling to back it up.

GARRISON KEILLOR is suing a blogger for selling t-shirts with the saying, "A Prairie Ho Companion." I can see where Keillor would want to save that idea for when the movie with Lindsay Lohan comes out.

JOHNNY DEPP grilled a puppet for acting tips.

FRODO is tickled by websites suggesting he is very, very gay. Like this o­ne.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie's daughter Zahara, who weighed a mere nine pounds when adopted, gains six pounds; Angie calls her "chubby."

J-LO makes her employees call her "Mom." That's not at all creepy.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON is distracted by a roomful of hottie men in pinstripes. But not too distracted to collect 200K from them.

MARCH OF THE PENGUINS: At the beginning of this month The New York Times critic suggested the popularity of the movie might be a "a response to the Orwellian political climate." Now the NYT suggests it's a weapon of a vast right-wing conspiracy. For 99.9 percent of the population it's a movie about penguins marching and mating.

HURRICANE RELIEF: In Memphis, displaced and dipossessed musicians are getting help from the Beale Street Merchants Association and the local chapter of MusiCares. ALSO: Evacuees at the Astrodome will be getting free copies of Star magazine.

IRAQ: President Talabani said that U.S. could withdraw as many as 50K troops by the end of the year, declaring there are enough Iraqi forces trained and ready to begin assuming control in cities throughout the country. The Washington Post dryly notes, "That assessment differs dramatically from those offered by Bush and by U.S. military commanders in Iraq." Joint U.S.-Iraqi military efforts have damaged the network of foreign insurgents led by Zarqawi, but the indigenous Iraqi insurgents have been tougher to track down, according to Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte. Arthur Chrenkoff posts his final round-up of under-reported news, though the job is being taken up by others.  And Bill Roggio has more o­n operations in Haditha, Tal Afar and around Karbila.

THE SUPREME COURT: Chief Justice nominee John Roberts sees himself as an umpire. But how cool would it have been for him to say that he always wanted to be a lumberjack, leaping from tree to tree as the float down the mighty rivers of British Columbia?

NASCAR DADS: Sitcom writer Jack Burditt pays a visit to the track.

CULT OF THE iPod: Time magazine backgrounds the birth of the Nano, while CoolTechZone looks at the strategy behind the ROKR iTunes phone.

SNOOPING o­n YOUR TYPING just from the sound of it is now possible.

SMELL is more subjective than vision hearing and touch: "The human genome contains 347 olfactory genes — fully o­ne percent of the total — while there are o­nly four, for example, for vision."

NANOTECH: The debate over potential health and environment risks of nanomaterials may heat up when the EPA holds a public hearing Sept. 29th o­n recommendations for voluntary nanotech safety guidelines scheduled to take effect in 2006.

ALTERNATIVE FUELS: Would you prefer to generate power from stinking hog manure or dead cats?

L.A. GATOR UPDATE: Reports of the gator's capture in Lake Machado were greatly exaggerated.

ANOTHER SMUGGLED GATOR roams the busy city streets of Nicosia, Cyprus.

SEA SQUIRTS may overpower the ecosystem o­n the ocean floor o­n Georges Bank in Maine.

A STUD THOROUGHBRED was accidentally shipped to Ukraine, with illegitimate foals fathered down under by a mystery horse.

HUMAN ZOO: Following the display at the London Zoo, humans visting the zoo in Zagreb, Croatia can now experience what it feels like to be a caged animal.

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Brain Surgery, Jive Talkin', The Bruce Lee Peace Plan and Zsa Zsa Top   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, September 13, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


CHARLIE AND RONNIE o­nly have eyes for each other... NTTAWWT. ALSO: Mick Jagger thinks terrorists scare him, but not as much as the London police do. Mick can take comfort in the fact that Tony Blair is getting advice from people like Cat Stevens, Inayat Bunglawala -- who refers to Osama bin Laden as a "freedom fighter," and describes Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman ("the blind sheikh" behind the 1993 WTC bombing conspiracy) as "courageous" -- and Ahmad Thomson, who claims Blair decided to wage war o­n Iraq after coming under the influence of a "sinister" group of Jews and Freemasons. They are currently advising Blair to scrap the Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day because it is regarded as offensive to Muslims. And Britain is still the weak link when it comes to extremists, so Mick can rest easy about those scary London Bobbies.

PLEASED TO MEET YOU, won't you guess my name? What's troubling you... my operation o­n your brain?

MEATLOAF is donating the proceeds from his upcoming show in Savannah, Georgia, to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

NEW RELEASES: Largehearted Boy, from whom I often steal material, usually has a handy guide to what's new, including Sonic Youth and Richard Thompson re-issues, new albums from the Dandy Warhols, Diamond Nights Tim Fite and Super Furry Animals, as well as the Iron & Wine/Calexico EP.

THE TOP 100 HITS from 1960 to the present. Look up the year you graduated high school, just to frighten yourself. (Thanks, Debbie... and domo arigato, Mr. Roboto!)

THE WHITE STRIPES show to be streamed o­n NPR will also include The Shins and M Ward. Pitchfork snarks that it's "a crash course in the sounds your favorite record store clerk was grooving to, like, two years ago," but it's not a bad triple bill.

BONO doesn't care about the ghetto, according to Mos Def.

KANYE WEST explains when it's okay for Whitey to speak jive. Word.

UK POST-POST-PUNK POP: A feature o­n the Pitchfork counts down the Top 40.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer had to take down the forum o­n his web site after people used it to slam Doherty's drug habits.

PORN STAR or POP STAR? Play the game that's sweeping the nation. SFW, though you may want to keep the annoying music track off. BTW, I o­nly scored 70 percent and was instructed to watch more porn, so if anyone has recommendations...

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise had no idea there were so many wedding magazines. But David Spade is looking forward to the wedding. And according to the all-knowing Enquirer, Cruise Collateral co-star Jamie Foxx is miffed that Cruise allegedly made a ,000 donation to the Church of Scientology in Foxx's name without him knowing. Friends allegedly believe Cruise was was using Foxx's name to recruit African-Americans into the church. SEMI-RELATED: Scientologists put Boys & Girls Club logo o­n booklets.

TYRA BANKS has an X-rated lookalike.

RENEE ZELLEWEGER: More shaky marriage rumors. Craig O'Neill really needs to click o­n this o­ne for the headline.

WE'VE TRACED THE CALLS... they're coming from Clay Aiken!

CLAUDIA SCHIFFER got an engagement tortoise instead of a ring. And still accepted.

SIENNA MILLER: More pregnancy rumors.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: More marriage rumors, from Star magazine this time, so they must be true. Most college women want to sleep with Pitt, more want to sleep with Jolie, according to a recent poll. PLUS: Good Angelina vs. Bad Angelina.

BRUCE LEE unites the ethnically divided Bosnian city of Mostar. Next stop: Iraq!

KEVIN BACON talks about the zero degrees of separation between himself and a game.

EVA LONGORIA has become a good luck charm for the French national basketball team. Don't ask, don't tell. Speaking of which, she probably doesn't make friends telling everyone she's a size zero, even though she is tiny.

BRITNEY SPEARS: The pregnant pop tart denies she went into labor over the weekend. But the Enquirer claims she's an "emotional wreck" because she's faced with spending the first few months of her baby's life with K-Fed o­n the road promoting his alleged music career. And she might be o­ne of the few o­n the planet dumb enough to not see it as a blessing.

JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT called ghostbusters to her house, which was o­nce owned by Lon Chaney. That JLH stars as a medium in a new CBS series called The Ghost Whisperer is purely coincidental.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS and GEORGE GALLOWAY will debate the war in Iraq Wednesday. Hitchens has called Galloway a "renegade member of Parliament who has been Saddam Hussein's chief propagandist in Britain" with an "ugly mouth," while Galloway countered that Hitchens was nothing but a "drink-sodden former Trotskyist popinjay." The latter inspired a blog.

IRAQ: Iraqi politicians continue to negotiate over the draft constitution and it remains unclear when a final text may be printed, less than five weeks before a referendum. Do they have Kinko's in Baghdad? The U.S. military denied an accusation that U.S. and Iraq forces used toxic gas during an attack o­n the Iraqi town of Tal Afar. Bill Roggio reminds us that Tal Afar is part of a much larger operation. Defense Industry Daily covers the detection of IEDs by robots and remote-contolled cars from Radio Shack. No, really.

HURRICANE KATRINA: Michael Kinsley, formerly of CNN, Slate and now of the L.A. Times, produces the must-read "Hindsight: A User's Guide." There's the nugget that a "Los Angeles Times colleague of mine, appearing o­n CNN last week to talk about Katrina, was told by a producer to 'get angry,'" but there's much more than that, too.

HEY SEAN, where you goin' with that gun in your hand?

HURRICANE RELIEF: If you are still looking around for some way to contribute, Newsweek had a piece about several groups, including Project Backback, which collects supplies for the thousands of children who are starting school far from home. My co-worker Debbie is working with the group in Illinois and it was oddly fun to shop for school supplies again. Those of you with kids probably won't feel quite that way, but you might empathize.

BIG EASY UPDATE: The City of New Orleans declined to put several hundred people o­n an Amtrak train the Saturday night before the hurricane hit; what would Steve Goodman say? Big Daddy's strip club o­n Bourbon Street is getting ready to reopen as soon as the club can get dancers.

ALREADY THINKING ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS? Perhaps an office person would like The Cubes.

THE SUPREME COURT: Four-year-old Jack Roberts channels the reaction of most Americans to the opening day bloviations from the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings o­n the nomination of Judge John G. Roberts to be Chief Justice. For the rest, there is live-blogging and more at the SCOTUS blog.

CULT OF THE iPod: Ars Technica stress tests the Nano. It's pretty tough, but you'll have to click if you want to know whether you can drive a car over it.

THREE FUGITIVE CHIMPS shot and killed in Nebraska.

SPOTTED OWLS: Almost every night, researchers in the Pacific Northwest scour huge swaths of forest to create a detailed, real-time database of the owls' locations using radio telemetry, global positioning satellite and geographic information systems.

GET HIPPOS CHEAP from the Congo. As low as fifty bucks -- no wonder they are almost extinct.

ANTEATER BORN AT ST. LOUIS ZOO is named Zsa Zsa Top by guitarist Billy Gibbons. She will stay with her mother in the River's Edge exhibit for up to two years, but then you know what she'll be looking for...

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CYHSA, Emmylou Harris, Son Volt, L.A. Gators and Elephant Polo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, September 12, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


CLARENCE "GATEMOUTH" BROWN, after a 50-year career playing blues, country, jazz and Cajun music, died Saturday in his hometown of Orange, Texas, where he'd gone to escape Hurricane Katrina. Brown, who had been battling lung cancer and heart disease, was in ill-health for the past year. He was 81.

THE ROLLING STONES: The Glimmer Twins are interviewed in London's Guardian. Stereogum writes that it's "as interesting as this sort of archeological dig can be" and tags o­n something better from ol' Keef. In another interview, Keef suggests that if Charlie Watts -- who Keef says is "the true soul" of the band -- died, the show would go o­n. And why not? After all, Mick and Keef have been dead for ages.

ART BRUT loses guitarist Chris Chinchilla, but the band is classy enough to put his web address in the press release announcing the split.

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH: Sterogum shows us where the band found its odd name.

BEST BEATLES COVERS EVER are batted around at I Love Music.

GREG DULLI names his Top Ten Albums for WXPN.

JEFF BECK marries for the sixth time at age 61.

BOB DYLAN is getting a whole mini-site at the BBC. Net radio, audio, video, photos and links, links, links.

EMMLYLOU HARRIS has her Best Of reviewed o­n the Pitchfork.

LES PAUL is back o­n the Billboard charts at age 90. He last appeared o­n the Billboard album chart in 1955.

SON VOLT: Jay Farrar serves up juicy dish about the breakup of Uncle Tupelo. You can stream Son Volt's recent performance o­n NPR.

RAY CHARLES' engineer has theft charges against him dropped.

DAVID BOWIE makes a comeback for the Arcade Fire and tweaks Coldplay's Chris Martin. Brooklyn Vegan has the links to audio and video.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer claims he's secretly married to galpal Kate Moss. Which explains why she moved to Los Angeles.

KANYE WEST: His new single, "Gold Digger," gets remixed around his accusation. West himself gets roundly booed at the NFL kickoff. Usher tells young people to ignore Kanye's comment. Master P, who lost loved o­nes in N.O., questions Kanye's rant. o­n last Friday's telethon, Chris Rock mocked West's charge, declaring that "George Bush hates midgets." Since Trent Lott has been berating FEMA's response, perhaps Rock should have claimed that Bush doesn't care about Dixiecrats.

FEMA DIRECTOR MICHAEL BROWN is kicked off of Katrina duty as Time finds problems with his resume (though some of the Time story itself has been called into question). Certainly, Brown has seemed out of his depth, which is going to be fatal to an appointee who got the job largely o­n cronyism, rather than expertise. But is that the whole story? After all, FEMA was criticized last year for moving too fast after four hurricanes ravaged Florida. Those who saw election year politics forget that FEMA got praise from Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) for its handling of Hurricane Isabel -- the first major storm where FEMA was part of the Dept. of Homeland Security. Conversely, while FEMA generally got good marks during the Clinton Administration, it was slow off the mark after Hurricane Floyd. It will be tempting for both political parties to scapegoat Brown & Co. I hope it's not too much to ask whoever ends up investigating this to make sure any deeper problems are addressed.

IRAQ: President Talabani urged the U.S. o­n Friday not to withdraw hastily and said U.S. forces should be reduced gradually over the next two years. Bill Roggio rounds up links outlining simultaneous offensives occurring in Qaim, Tal Afar, and Rabiah, and the launch of Operation Cyclone in the southern town of Rutbah. Al Qaeda-linked websites threaten chemical warfare unless they halt their offensive. The U.S. army said it killed o­ne of Al-Qaeda's military chiefs for Mosul. Michael Yon has a progress report from Mosul also.

TARA REID: How low have you sunk when you get fired from your own reality partying show?

JOHN TRAVOLTA, KELLY PRESTON and Lisa Marie Presley were part of the Scientology Disaster Response Team that hit Baton Rouge and New Orleans last week. All were proudly wearing their church t-shirts.

REESE WITHERSPOON and RYAN PHILLIPE discover the joys of raising their 22-month-old boy and six-year-old girl.

GEORGE CLOONEY beaten by gay cowboys. NTTAWWT.

BRITNEY SPEARS is eating for four.

PORTIA DeROSSI desperately wants to marry Ellen DeGeneres. But DeRossi says she would have to be asked by Ellen first. Why?

IRAQ II: London's Guardian reports that key rebuilding projects are grinding to a halt because American money is running out and security has diverted funds intended for electricity, water and sanitation, according to US officials. In paragraph 13, the paper gets around to noting: "There have been improvements: the health ministry says the overall rate of disease among children under five has dropped; parts of Baghdad are noticeably sprucer; and thousands of schools have been built or rehabilitated. Electricity generation has recently climbed above pre-war levels." Afaik, it's the first time the Guardian reported any of the above.

IRAQ III: The Washington Post runs an article largely based o­n the diaries of U.S. soldiers patrolling Balad. As such, it's o­ne the paper's better pieces, but check this from reporter Steve Fainaru: "The days are infused not with the politics of war but the stark realities of it: tragedy and loss, loneliness and exhaustion, resilience and camaraderie in the face of a stubborn and deadly insurgency." While there is probably an element of truth there, I've noticed that reporters will almost never describe our troops as stubborn or deadly or the enemy as exhausted or losing almost every direct confrontation. Compare the typical media framing with anything written by Michael Yon to see how different the tone of reporting could be. Indeed, im Yon's latest, the Commander of the unit Yon has covered remarks o­n the media coverage.

CULT OF THE iPod: Playlist magazine reviews the Nano, calling it "Apple's thinnest and, quite possibly, coolest iPod yet."

MARTIAN MINING: As Quaid would say, "Get your a** to Mars."

NANOTECH: Mobile phones could o­ne day have the memory capacity of a desktop computer using microchips with nonwires.

WE CAN REBUILD HIM -- we have the technology.

MAC USERS need to wake up to potential security problems -- before they are rudely awoken by a destructive piece of malware.

BABY SQUIRREL takes refuge from Hurricane Katrina in a woman's cleavage. The woman also cares for 11 cats, 12 tortoises, three dogs and two chameleons.

L.A. GATOR UPDATE: "Little Reggie," the smaller of two alligators at large in Los Angeles, was behind bars o­n Friday after firefighters ended a tense standoff by hauling the thrashing reptile from a drainage canal. The bigger gator, "Reggie," a/k/a/ "Carlito," remains at large in Lake Machado.

...AND HE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT, TOO, if it hadn't been for that meddlesome wabbit...

GRIZZLY MAN: Human and bear families face off in Montana's Glacier National Park. Afterward, it was o­nly the human father whose face was off.

ELEPHANT POLO: The Chivas Regal Scotland team clinched their second King's Cup Elephant Polo title Sunday in Bangkok. Even before I clicked o­n the link, I suspected liquor would be involved.

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