NEIL YOUNG: The Thrasher's Wheat blog has started an online petition to have Young's 1973 album Time Fades Away released on CD. Young can be a stubborn guy, but On the Beach was released following a similar effort by fans.
CULT OF THE iPod: The Washington Post describes the arrival of iPod and similar devices as the end of the CD. "The new format is no format," predicted George Petersen, editorial director of Mix magazine -- a 24-year industry veteran who also owns a record label, a recording studio and a music-publishing company.
DID YOU AVOID THE GRAMMYS? If so, you were not alone, as ratings sunk to their lowest level since 1995. Of course, this year, the Grammys had to compete with Desperate Housewives. If you're curious, you can read the Grammy play-by-play at Coolfer. DID YOU KNOW? Jazz composer Maria Schneider took home a Grammy on Sunday for her album Concert in the Garden, without selling a single copy in a record store. ALSO: Some of our tax dollars went to the Grammy Foundation.
DID YOU MISS THE OSCARS? They were not televised, but the Academy handed out the scientific and technical awards over the weekend in a ceremony hosted by Scarlett Johansson. The press accounts are worth reading for their description of the hapless Johansson's attempts to describe the technical achievements off of a teleprompter, often giving way to ad libs: "We're here to discuss the world of digital compositing, and Table 23, I'm only going through this once!" At another point, the audience of mostly engineers and mathematicians seemed to startle Johansson by applauding her lengthy description of motion-capture technology used in films like Polar Express, I, Robot and the Lord of the Rings trilogy to mimic human movements. Give the geeks this: they may be geeks, but have been around Hollywood long enough to know how to get hot actresses, as Johansson follows in the footsteps of former hostesses Jennifer Garner, Kate Hudson and Charlize Theron.
VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR: You can download a Ben Folds cover version at off city limits.
VALENTINE'S DAY REAX: Prof. Ann Althouse notes that the holiday is officially condemned in countries like India and Saudi Arabia; it's even being criticized in Canada.
DOG CATFIGHT: Britney is trying to start one with the woman named after a French hotel. A case of teeny dog envy.
PUNDIT CATFIGHT: Liberal talk show host Janeane Garofalo and conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham got into a shouting match -- during a panel discussion of whether cable debate shows like CNN's recently canceled Crossfire have screamed themselves out of business.
ROBERT DE NIRO: Newsweek is talkin' to you. About bad career choices. And you should listen.
SIN CITY: The Entertainment Weekly shots of the upcoming movie adaptation of the graphic novels have been scanned by SuperheroHype. Bruce Willis stars, but if you're a fan of Jessica Alba (and I think we all know what I mean by that), you will want to take a peek.
THE SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT ISSUE goes on sale today. It's a 50 million dollar business. Apparently, sports fans are also very interested in swimming.
HOME-MADE PORN VIDEO shot by a United Nations logistics expert in the Democratic Republic of Congo have sparked a sex scandal that threatens to become the UN’s Abu Ghraib. I have to note stories like this every so often so that people Googling for porn find this site. And if you don't believe me, go to the web links section of this site, look under the Claude Pate category to read our traffic report.
9/11 CONSPIRACY THEORIES are being debunked by Popular Mechanics. It appears their reporters got access to NIST researchers who will be issuing a report on the attacks later this Spring.
A GUANTANAMO BAY DETAINEE urged al-Qaida operatives to acquire nuclear weapons for use against U.S. troops and said he knew where to get them, according to American investigators.
SPONGEBOB UPDATE: one of the show's artists told an audience at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen on Thursday that the artists "drew every character on that show as gay and in every sexual position possible. Then we’d hang those pictures on the backs of our office doors." I think he was joking.
CHRIS ROCK is still set to host the Oscars, despite rumors to the contrary after an Entertainment Weekly interview in which he called the Oscars a "fashion show" and asked, "What straight black man sits there and watches the Oscars?"
THE AVIATOR won at the British Academy Film Awards, but Scorsese lost out to Mike Leigh, who directed Vera Drake Warner Bros. did not send screener copies of Million Dollar Baby to BAFTA voters, so it's an unlikely predictor for the Oscars.
GOLDEN YEARS: A David Bowie fan has produced a nice-looking bio site.
AGING: A new study suggests that older people can lose focus, but may be better at seeing "the big picture" than the young.
HIV KILLS CANCER? A genetically-modified version just might, according to researchers at UCLA.
CHINA CRACKS DOWN on INTERNET CAFES, closing 12,575 at the end of last year.
WHAT KIND OF BURGLARS take not only jewelry and cash, but also a hamster and a turtle?