Friday, September 28, 2007

Dial B for Blog - Special Video Vault!

DIAL B for BLOG - THE WORLD'S GREATEST COMIC BLOGAZINE: "From now on, the last Friday in every month is VIDEO VAULT day! Robby cracks open his collection to share ultra-rare or unseen videos with you, the reader! This is not 'Gee, look what I found on YouTube that someone else posted!' this is more like, 'Wow! Robby created an incredible NEW video that brought me back to my childhood and gave me a few precious minutes of Silver Age joy!' To kick off this new feature, we present an all-new adaptation of Fantastic Four #4, aka 'the one where Johnny finds the Sub-Mariner in a flop house,' using the old FF radio show as an audio track! I chose this episode to adapt because it contains the biggest role for Bill Murray as the voice of Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch. "

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Paper Cuts: Ira Glass's new compilation book

Paper Cuts - Books - New York Times Blog: "Ira Glass’s “This American Life,” heard on public radio, is a show that can start bar fights – wine bar fights, anyway. Admirers talk about how, blinded by show’s minor-chord epiphanies, they’ve pulled over to the side of the road to listen to a story’s conclusion. Detractors think “This American Life” is the most pretentious and self-absorbed mewling they’ve ever heard. I tend toward the latter view; there have been times when I’d have gladly totaled my car just to make “This American Life” go away. On the other hand, I still listen more often than I’d care to admit. And every once in a while Glass & Co. still hit one way, way out into the left-field stands. Glass is the editor of a new anthology, “The New Kings of Nonfiction,” and he clearly has an eye for picking journalistic narratives. Among the pieces included here are “Host,” by David Foster Wallace, “Six Degress of Lois Weisberg,” by Malcolm Gladwell and a portion of “Among the Thugs,” by Bill Buford. It’s a winning book."

Media Matters - Dan Rather is right

Media Matters - Dan Rather is right - Eric Boehlert: "for lots of Bush bloggers, two absolute truths that must never be questioned in public are that the CBS memos were proven forgeries (they weren't), and that the whole Bush-skipped-out-on-his-National-Guard-duty story was bogus (it wasn't). Turns out, though, it wasn't the suits at CBS or the right-wing bloggers who busted the biggest vein over Rather's lawsuit. It was mainstream journalists who rushed in to denounce the former anchorman as dishonest, arrogant, bitter, and delusional, all the while making sure not to take up Rather's challenge of addressing the underlying facts of the story surrounding Bush's no-show military service."

Marvin Kitman on Bill O'Reilly - HuffPo

Marvin Kitman: Olbermann Rules - Media on The Huffington Post: "I am worried about O'Reilly. When I began studying him he was a semi-demented TV newsman, who rudely interrupted guests in debates, giving them the last word, which he also interrupted, but lately he seems to be losing it. As an O'Reillyologist, I could see it happening more easily than the normal viewers who couldn't watch O'Reilly without their blood boiling and wanting to tear his tongue out and burning him at the stake -- and that was before they would punish him. " - Scorsese to direct Harrison film - Scorsese to direct Harrison film: "Martin Scorsese has committed to direct an untitled documentary about the life of George Harrison."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Candidate Casting Couch: Superheroes - Indecision 2008

Candidate Casting Couch: Superheroes - Indecision 2008: "There's been lots of buzz recently about the upcoming season of NBC's 'Heroes.' Stories about product placement, overseas marketing, corporate breakdowns between NBC and Apple—sounds like our kind of show! Until we watched it. What a rip: no costumes, no capes, and nary an evil super-villain in sight. Unfulfilled and misunderstood, we retreated to our own Fortress of Solitude (a.k.a. the Olive Garden in Times Square) and geeked out all night (a.k.a. we ate enough bottomless salad to cover the $9.95 menu price), Indecision 2008-style! "

Street Prophets: PastorDan on our wacky Congress

Street Prophets: With Friends Like This...: "You want to know why the liberal blogosphere aims its fire at its friends so often? You want to know why we're so angry at Democrats, instead of Republicans?" - Spacey to star in HBO's 'Recount' - Spacey to star in HBO's 'Recount': "Kevin Spacey, Laura Dern, Denis Leary, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, Ed Begley Jr. and Bob Balaban have been set by HBO Films to star in “Recount,” the drama about the controversial Florida results in the 2000 presidential election. Jay Roach is directing a script written by Danny Strong. "

George Carlin reflects on 50 years (or so) of 'All My Stuff' -

George Carlin reflects on 50 years (or so) of 'All My Stuff' - "Since George Carlin earned his first professional laughs a half-century ago, the country has experienced 10 presidents, three wars and a dozen HBO specials featuring his unique brand of observational humor, social satire and political jabs. What has kept him going so long? The occasional encouraging word: 'My Aunt Aggie once said, 'You're very clever.' ' He also has been known to employ 'bribery, treachery, blackmail, trained audiences and targeted assassinations.' In honor of his 50 years in showbiz, the DVD collection George Carlin: All My Stuff, with the 12 TV concerts plus two bonus discs, arrives in stores today." Indy Jones leaks get leaker's role cut FishbowlLA: "Page 6 has some details about the dancing fool who leaked secrets about the new Indiana Jones movie, despite the NDAs everyone signed. Spielberg has cut the guy's scene in retaliation. And somehow the long arm of Spielberg convinced the guy's hometown paper to retract the story. Those Canucks--weenies. Here's the whole thing for those who can't figure out Google..."

Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg? (Part One) - Errol Morris - Zoom - New York Times Blog

Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg? - Errol Morris - New York Times Blog: Errol Morris challenges the accepted wisdom behind the origin of two famous Crimean War photographs. Fascinating.

Episcopal Bishops Reject Anglican Church’s Orders - New York Times

Episcopal Bishops Reject Anglican Church’s Orders - New York Times: "Bishops of the Episcopal Church on Tuesday rejected demands by leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion to roll back the church’s liberal stance on homosexuality, increasing the possibility of fracture within the communion and the Episcopal Church itself. After nearly a week of talks at their semiannual meeting in New Orleans, the House of Bishops adopted a resolution that defied a directive by the Anglican Communion’s regional leaders, or primates, to change several church policies regarding the place of gay men and lesbians in their church. But the bishops also expressed a desire to remain part of the communion, and they appeared to be trying to stake out a middle ground that would allow them to do so."

But then read the BBC's take on the decision:

Leaders of the Episcopal Church in the United States have agreed to halt the ordination of gay clergy to prevent a split in the Anglican Church.

The Church will also no longer approve prayers to bless same-sex couples.

Many African Anglicans threatened to leave the worldwide Anglican Communion after the ordination of the first openly gay bishop four years ago.

The American Church was told to meet the conditions by 30 September or lose membership of the communion.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - Clint Eastwood eyes Mandela film - Clint Eastwood eyes Mandela film: "A movie about how the 1995 Rugby World Cup helped heal post-apartheid race relations in South Africa is fast becoming a major film event. Morgan Freeman had already signed on to play Nelson Mandela in 'The Human Factor,' an adaptation of the John Carlin book 'The Human Factor: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Changed the World.' Now, Warner Bros. is in talks to finance the picture, with Clint Eastwood eyeing it as a directing vehicle, and Matt Damon in preliminary talks to play the captain of the Springboks."

Monday, September 24, 2007

MSNBC Gives Long-Term Commitment to 'Abrams' and 'Morning Joe'

MSNBC Gives Long-Term Commitment to 'Live with Dan Abrams,' 'Morning Joe' - TVWeek - News: "“Live with Dan Abrams” and “Morning Joe,” hosted by Joe Scarborough, have earned official status as shows on MSNBC's channel lineup, effective immediately. Both shows have been operating without long-term commitments; Mr. Scarborough since May -- shortly after the cancellation of Don Imus’ simulcast in the wake of the scandal caused by comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team -- and Mr. Abrams for the last three months."

Koppel on Rather Suit - TVWeek

Koppel on Rather Suit: Squeezing Out of Newsman was a ‘Travesty’ - TVWeek - News: "Calling the ouster of Dan Rather from CBS News in 2006 a “travesty,” newsman Ted Koppel said today that he hopes the $70 million suit filed by Mr. Rather against CBS and Viacom will bring Mr. Rather “relief from his [emotional] pain.” Mr. Koppel said he “hurt” for Mr. Rather, whom he characterized as a friend. Addressing the “60 Minutes” report about President George Bush’s National Guard service that preceded Mr. Rather’s departure from CBS, Mr. Koppel said the story was “much more correct than incorrect.” Mr. Koppel said that those responsible for the incorrect parts of the report deserved to be chastised and punished."

DOuG pRATt : The MMMS Records Remastered

DOuG pRATt - The MMMS Records Remastered: "Since it seems I’m perhaps the sole provider on the Net of the audio from the two Flexidiscs that Marvel Comics produced in the 1960’s, I thought I’d offer them with superior sound compared to what I posted five years ago. Here they are, remastered for the best possible audio fidelity." Go listen!

The Book Design Review: Chabon's Pulp Fiction

The Book Design Review: "The publication of a Michael Chabon novel is always a reason to rejoice, not only for the brilliant writing but also for the design of the books."

Go compare the U.S. cover design (yuck) with the gorgeous U.K. version!

Evanier: A GOP Mayor's change of heart

news from Mark Evanier: "This is a remarkable clip. It's four minutes and you need to know the following. Jerry Sanders is the Mayor of San Diego. He's a Republican and in the last election, his platform included opposition to gay marriage. He was about to come down to the moment when he would be vetoing a city council resolution in support of same-sex wedlock. Then, as happens an amazing percentage of the time when a prominent Conservative takes a stance against homosexual rights, he found out a little something about his own family and friends..."

AWTC: Rockman!

Again With the Comics: "Rockman, soon to appear in Marvel's The Twelve by writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Chris Weston, first appeared in U.S.A. Comics #1 in the first of only two stories by the legendary, wonderful Basil Wolverton. Marvel will be reprinting the first of those stories in The Twelve #0 in December, but 'Rockman and the Killers of the Sea' was the second of those two stories, printed in U.S.A. Comics #2, and Wolverton's artwork had noticeably and substantially improved. I had the good luck to find a copy of Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age U.S.A. Comics on sale this weekend, so I grabbed it up, and I'm sharing the bounty with you, my Internet chums..." Check it out!

Collecting of Details on Travelers Documented -

Collecting of Details on Travelers Documented - "The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as long as 15 years, as part of the Department of Homeland Security's effort to assess the security threat posed by all travelers entering the country. Officials say the records, which are analyzed by the department's Automated Targeting System, help border officials distinguish potential terrorists from innocent people entering the country.

But new details about the information being retained suggest that the government is monitoring the personal habits of travelers more closely than it has previously acknowledged."

The Animated Life: Lost and Found | New York Times Video

The Animated Life: Lost and Found | New York Times Video

Here's's take:

Last week, the New York Times (finally) did away with TimesSelect, allowing all readers of its Website to have access to everything on free of charge. There are some previously hidden gems to unearth, including artist/filmmaker Jeff Scher’s series “The Animated Life,” which contains his short film Lost and Found.

Created from more than 2,000 watercolor paintings and drawings in a style he calls “psychadelichrome,” Scher’s film — which clocks in at just under three minutes — is a joyful, intensely dense jumble of colorful and surreal chaos. Cats, fish, elephants, and charging bulls share the screen with people involved in varied fantastical whimsy. Scher describes the short as a valentine to his favorite early animators (enhanced by Shay Lynch’s bouncy musical score), and it allows us to remember a time (pre-Pixar) when the medium pushed past realism’s pesky boundaries.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Rising Seas Likely to Flood U.S. History - Technology on The Huffington Post

Rising Seas Likely to Flood U.S. History - Technology on The Huffington Post: "Ultimately, rising seas will likely swamp the first American settlement in Jamestown, Va., as well as the Florida launch pad that sent the first American into orbit, many climate scientists are predicting. In about a century, some of the places that make America what it is may be slowly erased. Global warming _ through a combination of melting glaciers, disappearing ice sheets and warmer waters expanding _ is expected to cause oceans to rise by one meter, or about 39 inches. It will happen regardless of any future actions to curb greenhouse gases, several leading scientists say. And it will reshape the nation. "

Marcel Marceau, Famed French Mime, Dies |

Marcel Marceau, Famed French Mime, Dies | "Marcel Marceau, whose lithe gestures and pliant facial expressions revived the art of mime and brought poetry to silence, has died, his former assistant said Sunday. He was 84."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Return to Architectural Traditions - New York Times

A Return to Architectural Traditions - New York Times: "The church’s new building has become the focal point of what some architects are calling a revival of traditional religious architecture in the United States, as congregations like St. Martin’s have begun to yearn for a return to traditional appointments in their buildings and worship services. “We’re actually seeing kind of a pendulum swing back toward some of the great traditions of religious heritage,” said Charles J. Hultstrand, secretary of Faith and Form, a division of the American Institute of Architects that focuses on liturgical architecture. “People have missed that heritage, and that’s reflected in a good number of new church buildings.”"

Episcopal Church Remains Divided on Gay Issues - New York Times

Episcopal Church Remains Divided on Gay Issues - New York Times: "Talks between Episcopal Church bishops and top-ranking representatives of the worldwide Anglican Communion ended with few signs that the bishops would change the church’s liberal stance on homosexuality. The standoff only increases the possibility of splits within the church and in the rest of the communion, the world’s third-largest Christian denomination."

Friday, September 21, 2007

NewsOK: Oklahomans backing Thor as fellow Okie

NewsOK: Oklahomans backing Thor as fellow Okie: "Oklahoma's adopted Asgardian, Thor, faced off against the armored Avenger, Iron Man, in this month's issue of the 'Thor” comic book. Iron Man created a clone of Thor during the 'Civil War” conflict in Marvel Comics. Now that the real Thor has returned, he's not happy with Tony Stark, aka Iron Man."

And now a word from Bob Dylan...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Next Burns War Could Be Vietnam

Next Burns War Could Be Vietnam - 9/19/2007 11:38:00 AM - Broadcasting & Cable: "Documentary producer Ken Burns told a National Press Club audience in Washington, D.C., Wednesday that he will never say never to war again, with a Vietnam documentary a possible next conflict to bring to TV. "

How to Audition for Reality TV? Cry Over Britney. -

Lisa de Moraes - How to Audition for Reality TV? Cry Over Britney. - "You know that guy who goes by the name Chris Crocker, who generated 8 million hits on YouTube in one week railing against the media for making fun of Britney Spears for profit? Now he's used poor BritBrit for profit, landing a development deal with production house 44 Blue, which plans to develop a 'docusoap' in which Crocker's front and center."

Now I know!

NPR : Frank Tavares: "Frank Tavares is the voice of NPR News underwriters. During NPR's Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, NPR newscasts, and Talk of the Nation, Tavares can be heard reading the names of the national organizations and corporations that fund each program."

I hear this voice countless times a day, never knew who it was until I googled it.

NBC to Offer Downloads of Its Shows - New York Times

NBC to Offer Downloads of Its Shows - New York Times: "NBC Universal said yesterday that it would soon permit consumers to download many of NBC’s most popular programs free to personal computers and other devices for one week immediately after their broadcasts. The service, which is set to start in November after a test period in October, comes less than three weeks after NBC Universal said it was pulling its programs out of the highly successful iTunes service of Apple Inc. That partnership fell apart because of a dispute over Apple’s iTunes pricing policies and what NBC executives said were concerns about lack of piracy protection."

Effort to Shift Course in Iraq Fails in Senate - New York Times

Effort to Shift Course in Iraq Fails in Senate - New York Times: "A proposal that Democrats put forward as their best chance of changing the course of the Iraq war died on the Senate floor on Wednesday, as Republicans stood firmly with President Bush. With other war initiatives seemingly headed for the same fate, Senate Democrats, who only two weeks ago proclaimed September to be the month for shifting course in Iraq, conceded that they had little chance of success. They said their strategy would now focus on portraying Republicans as opposing any change and on trying to chip away support for the White House as the war continued. "

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dan Rather Files Lawsuit Against CBS

Dan Rather Files Lawsuit Against CBS: "Dan Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit Wednesday against CBS, alleging that the network made him a 'scapegoat' for a discredited story about President Bush's National Guard service. The 75-year-old Rather, whose final months were clouded by controversy over the report, says the complaint stems from 'CBS' intentional mishandling' of the aftermath of the story. The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, also names CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves, Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner Redstone, and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward. Rather, the former anchorman of the 'CBS Evening News,' is seeking $20 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages."

Brian Williams' tour of NBC

MSNBC Video: Fun!

Krugman's new blog at NYT

Paul Krugman - Op-Ed Columnist - New York Times Blog: "“I was born in 1953. Like the rest of my generation, I took the America I grew up in for granted – in fact, like many in my generation I railed against the very real injustices of our society, marched against the bombing of Cambodia, went door to door for liberal candidates. It’s only in retrospect that the political and economic environment of my youth stands revealed as a paradise lost, an exceptional episode in our nation’s history.”

That’s the opening paragraph of my new book, The Conscience of a Liberal. It’s a book about what has happened to the America I grew up in and why, a story that I argue revolves around the politics and economics of inequality.

I’ve given this New York Times blog the same name, because the politics and economics of inequality will, I expect, be central to many of the blog posts – although I also expect to be posting on a lot of other issues, from health care to high-speed Internet access, from productivity to poll analysis. Many of the posts will be supplements to my regular columns; I’ll be using this space to present the kind of information I can’t provide on the printed page – especially charts and tables, which are crucial to the way I think about most of the issues I write about."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

God and the Constitution - Opinion -

God and the Constitution - Opinion - "On Sept. 17, 1787, after a long summer of argument and compromise, the Founders completed and signed what would become the U.S. Constitution. And despite popular misconception, it didn't include a word about the USA being a 'Christian nation.' In fact, the Constitution doesn't mention Christianity, or God, at all. It is a secular document outlining the structure of what would become the new government of this nation. Likewise, the First Amendment to the Constitution, which protects every individual's right to practice his or her own religion — bans government 'establishment' or direct support of religion — makes no mention of Christianity. Yet, 220 years later, an astonishing 55% of respondents to a poll released last week said they believe the Constitution 'establishes a Christian nation.'"

Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web Site - New York Times

Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web Site - New York Times: "The New York Times will stop charging for access to parts of its Web site, effective at midnight Tuesday night. The move comes two years to the day after The Times began the subscription program, TimesSelect, which has charged $49.95 a year, or $7.95 a month, for online access to the work of its columnists and to the newspaper’s archives. TimesSelect has been free to print subscribers to The Times and to some students and educators. In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain. There will be charges for some material from the period 1923 to 1986, and some will be free."

Finally! And I'm a subscriber!

Is ‘Do Unto Others’ Written Into Our Genes? - New York Times

Is ‘Do Unto Others’ Written Into Our Genes? - New York Times: "Where do moral rules come from? From reason, some philosophers say. From God, say believers. Seldom considered is a source now being advocated by some biologists, that of evolution.

At first glance, natural selection and the survival of the fittest may seem to reward only the most selfish values. But for animals that live in groups, selfishness must be strictly curbed or there will be no advantage to social living. Could the behaviors evolved by social animals to make societies work be the foundation from which human morality evolved?

In a series of recent articles and a book, “The Happiness Hypothesis,” Jonathan Haidt, a moral psychologist at the University of Virginia, has been constructing a broad evolutionary view of morality that traces its connections both to religion and to politics."

Monday, September 17, 2007

Christian Century: Our tax dollars at work

The Christian Century: "In a small-group setting at the World Council of Churches Assembly in 2006, a Paraguayan couple timidly mentioned their concerns about the United States building a military base in their country. The Americans in the group were shocked: they didn't know about such a base. But then much of what's done by the Department of Defense is shielded from U.S. citizens—and sometimes even from Congress.

According to Chalmers Johnson in his book Nemesis, officially the U.S. has 737 military bases located in 132 of the 190 countries belonging to the United Nations. But the official count fails to mention bases in Israel, Afghanistan, Iraq and several other Middle Eastern countries. The DOD also doesn't count the extensive military facilities maintained by the U.S. in Britain that nominally belong to the Royal Air Force. And then there are host countries, like Jordan, that—for the sake of relations with their own people—want to be able to deny that they have an American military presence. Johnson concludes that the total number of overseas bases is over 1,000 and that even the Pentagon doesn't know how many there are for certain....

Although Americans enjoy the idea of having global economic and technological supremacy, most of them don't like the image of America as an imperial military power. Niall Ferguson of New York University says that the U.S. is "an empire . . . that dare not speak its name. It is an empire in denial." We won't be able to overcome this state of denial until we realize what is happening in our name and with our tax dollars."

Olbermann Recovering From Appendectomy

Olbermann Recovering From Appendectomy - TVWeek - News: "MSNBC’s rising prime-time star Keith Olbermann was still hospitalized Monday after undergoing an emergency appendectomy Friday. Mr. Olbermann’s appendix apparently ruptured Wednesday, but he wrote it off as a stomach ailment and soldiered on. Though still feeling ill, he nonetheless reported for work Thursday night, when he anchored MSNBC’s analysis of President Bush’s prime-time address on the war in Iraq. It wasn’t until Friday afternoon that he decided it was time to seek medical attention, according to an MSNBC spokeswoman."

Paper Cuts: Book promo clip--directed by Cuaron!

Paper Cuts - Books - New York Times Blog: "This short promotional film for Naomi Klein’s new book, “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism,” feels like a game-changer for the genre. It’s more aggressive and better-made than any similar book ad I’ve ever seen, largely because it was directed by Alfonso Cuaron (”Children of Men,” “Y tu mama tambien”). You can almost hear literary agents working the angles right now: “Wonder if we can get Wim Wenders to do something for the new Ha Jin novel …”"

Todd Klein: A study of Batman's logos

Todd’s Blog - Logo Study: Batman Part 1: "Here we go with a lengthy look at the logos of Batman from his creation to the present."

Walter Cronkite Comes Back - New York Times

Walter Cronkite Comes Back - New York Times: "In accordance with CBS policy at the time, Walter Cronkite retired from the “CBS Evening News” in 1981 at age 65. “Old anchormen, you see, don’t fade away; they just keep coming back for more,” he said during his sign-off. Now, proving his point 26 years later, Mr. Cronkite is expected to sign with an aptly named cable network, Retirement Living TV. "

Tom Shales - The Emmys: Going Out With a Bang & a Bleep

Tom Shales - Going Out With a Bang & a Bleep - "A surprise win for the comedy series '30 Rock,' a rousing farewell to 'The Sopranos' (including an Emmy for best drama series) and a moving tribute to the classic miniseries 'Roots' elevated the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards on the Fox network last night -- but three instances of government-mandated censorship brought it down again."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Window of Opportunity for Macs, Soon to Close - New York Times

A Window of Opportunity for Macs, Soon to Close - New York Times: "IF you’re the owner of a Windows PC who is looking for a replacement computer, the choices are grim. You can step into the world of hurt that is Vista, the latest version of Microsoft Windows that was released in January. Or you can seek out a new machine that still comes loaded with the comparatively ancient Windows XP. Maybe, you might say, the moment has arrived to take a look at the Mac. You can easily order one online, of course. But if you’d like to take a test-drive before you commit, odds are that you’ll have to look far and wide for a store that sells it. The Mac’s presence in the retail world remains limited, a shame given the rare opportunity for Apple to gain market share that opened up when Vista arrived. "

Episcopal Church Faces Deadline on Gay Issues - New York Times

Episcopal Church Faces Deadline on Gay Issues - New York Times: "Ever since the Episcopal Church consecrated an openly gay man as bishop of New Hampshire four years ago, forecasts of a rupture over homosexuality within the church or with the rest of the global Anglican Communion accompanied each big church meeting, only to fade. But as the bishops of the Episcopal Church approach their semiannual meeting this week in New Orleans, the predictions are being taken very seriously. "

Friday, September 14, 2007

No Exit, No Strategy - Editorial in New York Times

No Exit, No Strategy - New York Times Editorial: "Last night’s speech could have been given any day in the last four years — and was delivered a half-dozen times already. Despite Mr. Bush’s claim that he was offering a way for all Americans to “come together” on Iraq, he offered the same divisive policies — repackaged this time with the Orwellian slogan “return on success.”

Mr. Bush’s claim that things were going so well in Iraq that he could “accept” his generals’ recommendation for a “drawdown” of forces was a carnival barker’s come-on. The Army cannot sustain the 30,000 extra troops Mr. Bush sent to Iraq beyond mid-2008 without serious damage to its fighting ability. From the start, the president said that the increase would be temporary. That’s why he called it a “surge.”"

Why Officers Differ on Troop Reduction - New York Times

Why Officers Differ on Troop Reduction - New York Times: "The view of the way forward in Iraq that President Bush articulated on Thursday night was the same one that Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, has outlined in Washington all week.

It holds that the military effort there is showing signs of success, that too fast a withdrawal would be foolhardy, and that while the future will be difficult and full of setbacks, it is possible to envision that the American strategy will pay off in the future.

But that vision, which defers a firm decision on steeper reductions in the force, remains deeply unpopular to some current and retired officers, who say the White House and its battlefield commander are continuing to strain the troops, with little prospect of long-term success.

It is the second time in 10 months that Mr. Bush has opted for higher troop levels in Iraq than are favored by some of his senior military advisers. "

Multiple Messages and Audiences - New York Times

Multiple Messages and Audiences - New York Times: "Mr. Bush’s speech was the culmination of a monthlong, highly orchestrated game plan to change the political debate in Washington and the country. But in the end, the speech once again raised the question of what America’s mission in Iraq really is — and how long it will last.

It also exemplified the balancing act likely to consume the last 16 months of Mr. Bush’s presidency, as he tries to hold together wavering members of his party with promises of drawdowns as soon as conditions allow while still talking about a role in Iraq and the region modeled on America’s five-decades-long presence on the Korean Peninsula."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

In Praise of "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?"

Hero worship - Rec Room - The Phoenix: "The lesson of the Sci-Fi Channel’s Who Wants To Be a Superhero? (Thursday at 9 pm) might seem obvious: the stock elements of reality TV — the preposterous challenges, the internecine conflict, the tearful confessions — become flat-out hilarious when the contestants are wearing capes and tights. But Superhero, which just wrapped up its second season, is more subversive than that. Yes, the aforementioned capes and tights are good for some cheap laughs; they also, however, prompt us to reflect on the overblown, pseudo-heroic drama that’s standard issue for shows like Survivor — and thus on our unquestioning embrace of this bogus tough-guy/tough-gal shtick. Like Spike TV’s late, great Joe Schmo Show, Superhero is a protracted wink at the inherent absurdity of an entire genre."

Will Durst on What's Wrong with America

Faith And The City :: Issues :: Social Environment :: Articles: "You know what's wrong with America? I mean, besides a headache medicine that you apply to your forehead? Our national obsession with 'me.' Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Nobody ever thinks about 'us' anymore. It's all about 'me'. 'You' are on your own. 'We' is a convenient umbrella for a collection of like minded 'me's,' of which 'I' better play a feature part and 'they' and 'them' are simply obstacles to be steered clear of at all costs and knocked down and run over with track cleats if unavoidable. It's not totally our fault, as we are engaged in learned behavior. We, the people, or rather, me, the people, and you, the rabble, can legitimately claim to be magnificently obsessed with ourselves, because of the conduct we witness in our leaders. Dim luminaries observed daily giving less thought to what is good for the whole than an alligator gives to the mood of a brood of baby ducks before hungrily gobbling up both parents."

One Vote Under God: The Role Of Faith In The 2008 Election Campaigns

One Vote Under God / The Role Of Faith In The 2008 Election Campaigns...hat tip to

Media Matters: The Conservative Advantage in Syndicated Op-Ed Columns

Media Matters - Black and White and Re(a)d All Over: The Conservative Advantage in Syndicated Op-Ed Columns: "The results show that in paper after paper, state after state, and region after region, conservative syndicated columnists get more space than their progressive counterparts. As Editor & Publisher paraphrased one syndicate executive noting, 'U.S. dailies run more conservative than liberal columns, but some are willing to consider liberal voices.'1 Though papers may be 'willing to consider' progressive syndicated columnists, this unprecedented study reveals the true extent of the dominance of conservatives..."

SFBG: Top Ten censored news stories

San Francisco Bay Guardian : Article : Censored!: "The top 10 big stories the US news media missed in the past year..."

Show Series to Originate on MySpace - New York Times

Show Series to Originate on MySpace - New York Times: "Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick — who have made films like “Blood Diamond” and “The Last Samurai” and whose ABC series “Thirtysomething” helped to define television drama in the 1980s — have made a deal with MySpace, the online social network owned by the News Corporation, to produce an original Web series called “Quarterlife.” Mr. Herskovitz described “Quarterlife” as a regular television series, made by network-caliber writers, directors and production crews. Each hourlong episode — about young people struggling to find their way after college — will be broken into six shorter segments, with a new one posted on MySpace TV each Sunday and Thursday night, beginning Nov. 11."

BBC: 'Super-scope' to see hidden texts

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | 'Super-scope' to see hidden texts: "The hidden content in ancient works could be illuminated by a light source 10 billion times brighter than the Sun. The technique employs Britain's new facility, the Diamond synchrotron, and could be used on works such as the Dead Sea Scrolls or musical scores by Bach. Intense light beams will enable scientists to uncover the text in scrolls and books without having to open - and potentially damage - them. "

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Music Industry goes mad; creates the "Ringle" -

Music Industry goes mad; creates the "Ringle" - "While the RIAA scrambles to discover new revenue streams to turn around sliding profits, they go and create a product that demonstrates exactly how out of touch they are with consumer trends...

...the 'Ringle.'

Yes, the 'ringle' - it's the unholy union of the nearly defunct CD Single with ringtones. Each 'Ringle' will feature one popular track, one (possible) remix, and an older track from the same artist - oh and the ringtone.

And the distribution medium of choice? Well, the CD of course! Complete with a slip-cover! ...

But it doesn't stop there. Because the price for the 'ringle' is expected to be come in at a whopping... strap in folks... $6 to $7 per Ringle."

Analyst: XM-Sirius Merger approval as early as October -

Analyst: Merger approval as early as October - "Investment analysts and the Street are increasingly optimistic over the probability of the Sirius-XM merger going through. The latest comes from Tom Watts of Cowen & Company who issued a client note this morning stating that approval could come as early as October. Watts also placed the likelihood of approval is being the 'best ever.'"

Time's Top 100 TV Shows Of All Time

List Of The Day: Time's Top 100 TV Shows Of All Time: "The 100 greatest TV shows of all time, selected by Time magazine. Each title links to Time's commentary on why it was chosen and a clip." My buddy at LOTD comments on the list... and makes some excellent points!

E&P: Two of Seven Soldiers Who Wrote 'NYT' Op-Ed Die in Iraq

Two of Seven Soldiers Who Wrote 'NYT' Op-Ed Die in Iraq: "The Op-Ed by seven active duty U.S. soldiers in Iraq questioning the war drew international attention just three weeks ago. Now two of the seven are dead. Sgt. Omar Mora and Sgt. Yance T. Gray died Monday in a vehicle accident in western Baghdad, two of seven U.S. troops killed in the incident which was reported just as Gen. David Petraeus was about to report to Congress on progress in the 'surge.' The names have just been released."

Absolutely heartbreaking.

TVNewser: Olbermann's win TVNewser: "On Friday night, MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann was the top-rated cable news show in the 25-54 demo. That means Olbermann beat his cable rival, FNC's The O'Reilly Factor and its host Bill O'Reilly. That's a first."

Author Dave Eggers Cops $250,000 Heinz Award -

Author Dave Eggers Cops $250,000 Heinz Award - "Author, philanthropist and literary entrepreneur Dave Eggers has become the youngest person ever to win one of the annual $250,000 awards from the Heinz Family Foundation.

Eggers, 37, used earnings from his autobiographical 2000 bestseller 'A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius' to launch 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center in San Francisco for children ages 6 to 18. Since then, the center has replicated itself in five other cities, with another branch scheduled to open this fall in Boston.

"I think of it as a validation of the work that 826 does," a grateful Eggers said in an interview. He said the $250,000 would be split evenly among the seven centers."

Academy to Invite Jon Stewart Back as Oscar Host - New York Times

Academy to Invite Jon Stewart Back as Oscar Host - New York Times: "The Academy Awards haven’t exactly turned into a yearly show with Jon Stewart. But Mr. Stewart, the political satirist and star of “The Daily Show,” is getting another shot at the Oscar podium. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which bestows the Oscars, is expected to bring back Mr. Stewart, who was host of the ceremony in 2006. An announcement is scheduled for Wednesday, according to two people involved with the plan who spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to talk to the news media."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

ACLU - Stand Up! - Defenders of Freedom

ACLU - Stand Up! - Defenders of Freedom: "The ACLU presents Defenders of Freedom, our first graphic novel."

2007 Quill Award Winners Announced

2007 Quill Award Winners Announced - Quills News Story - WNBC | New York: "Al Roker and Ann Curry announced this year's Quill Book Award winners on The Today Show." And now you can go vote.

Drudge going off the air

OFF THE AIR - Pagesix - New York Post Online Edition: "MATT Drudge , the fedora-favoring Web-site operator, is giving up his syndicated Sunday night radio show - and no one knows why. The official explanation from Premiere Radio Networks, which syndicated the show to 325 stations nationwide, including WABC here in New York, is that Drudge wants 'to focus on his Web site and other endeavors.' But there are no details on his 'other endeavors.'"

Monday, September 10, 2007

One million iPhones sold -

One million iPhones sold - "Amazing, Apple just announced that they've sold 1 million iPhones. It's been almost 6 years since the iPod was launched, and it took Apple two years to reach the one-million-mark. With the iPhone, they've reached that milestone in 74 days."

ComicMix.Com: Free online comics coming

ComicMix.Com: "In a few weeks, we’re adding the first of several major components to ComicMix. We’re doing brand-new serialized online comics by major comics talent, in traditional comics format, with an amazingly cool proprietary reader, and it’s all for free. Please note. I said “brand-new” and “major comics talent.” And I said free. What talent, you might ask? Well, to name but a few, and in alphabetical order, we’re talking about Mike Baron, Rick Burchett, Chris Burnham, Michael Davis, Ian Gibson, Dick Giordano, Mike Gold, Stuart Gordon, Mike Grell, Bo Hampton, Glenn Hauman, Marc Hempel, Lovern Kindierski, Linda Lessman, Jay Lynch, Frank McLaughlin, William Messner-Loebs, John Ostrander, Andrew Pepoy, Bob Pinaha, Michael H. Price, Bill Reinhold, Nick Runge, John K. Snyder III, Joe Staton, Martha Thomases, Robert Tinnell, Timothy Truman, Trevor Von Eeden, Mark Evan Walker, Matt Webb, Mark Wheatley, Skip Williamson, Marv Wolfman, and John Workman. And more. You think we’re going to tell you everything?"

Guardian UK: Rankin's Rebus exits

Retirement present | By genre | Guardian Unlimited Books: "Ian Rankin's Exit Music bids farewell to Scotland's finest fictional cop, says Mark Lawson "

God as Their Running Mate - Kinsley in TIME

God as Their Running Mate - Michael Kinsley in TIME: "These days presidential candidates are required to wear their religion on their sleeve. God is a personal adviser and inspiration to all of them. They all pray relentlessly. Or so they say. If that's not true, I want to know it. And if it is true, I want to know more about it. I want to know what God is telling them--just as I would want to know what Karl Rove was telling them if they claimed him for an adviser. If religion is central to their lives and moral systems, then it cannot be the candidates' 'own private affair.' To evaluate them, we need to know in some detail the doctrines of their faith and the extent to which they accept these doctrines. 'Worry about whether I'm going to reform health care, not whether I'm going to hell' is not sufficient."

Evanier to write Spirit

news from me - ARCHIVES: "It was revealed on a panel at the Baltimore Comic Convention so I guess I should post it here. DC Comics, as you may know, publishes a fine comic that continues the adventures of Will Eisner's The Spirit. Darwyn Cooke has been writing and drawing it but he's departing the book. That's all old news. The new news is that while its next artist has not yet been announced, the writing will be handled by Sergio Aragones (the plots) and me (the words). I'll tell you more about it when there's more to tell."

The news has been that Sergio Aragones is writing, but he's just plotting. Should be interesting. Can't wait to see who's going to draw it.

Iron Man Trailer is officially online

Apple - Trailers - Iron Man - Trailer - Large

The 50 Worst Cars of All Time - TIME

The 50 Worst Cars of All Time - The 50 Worst Cars of All Time - TIME: "On the 50th anniversary of the Ford Edsel, TIME and Dan Neil, Pulitzer Prize-winning automotive critic and syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times, look at the greatest lemons of the automotive industry..."

Prisons Purging Books on Faith From Libraries - New York Times

Prisons Purging Books on Faith From Libraries - New York Times: "Behind the walls of federal prisons nationwide, chaplains have been quietly carrying out a systematic purge of religious books and materials that were once available to prisoners in chapel libraries. The chaplains were directed by the Bureau of Prisons to clear the shelves of any books, tapes, CDs and videos that are not on a list of approved resources. In some prisons, the chaplains have recently dismantled libraries that had thousands of texts collected over decades, bought by the prisons, or donated by churches and religious groups. Some inmates are outraged. Two of them, a Christian and an Orthodox Jew, in a federal prison camp in upstate New York, filed a class-action lawsuit last month claiming the bureau’s actions violate their rights to the free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. "

Poll: Iraqis Say US Troops Not Helping - The Huffington Post

Poll: Iraqis Say US Troops Not Helping - The Huffington Post: "Overwhelming numbers of Iraqis say the U.S. troop buildup has worsened security and the prospects for economic and political progress in their country, according to a poll released Monday that provides a strikingly bleak appraisal of the war. Forty-seven percent want American forces and their coalition allies to leave the country immediately, the survey showed, 12 percent more than said so in a March poll as the troop increase was beginning. And 57 percent _ including nearly all Sunnis and half of Shiites _ said they consider attacks on coalition forces acceptable, a slight increase over the past half year. The poll, conducted by ABC News, Britain's BBC, and Japan's public broadcaster NHK, was released at the start of a critical week in the fight by Democrats trying to force President Bush to begin a withdrawal."

Study finds left-wing brain, right-wing brain - Los Angeles Times

Study finds left-wing brain, right-wing brain - Los Angeles Times: "Exploring the neurobiology of politics, scientists have found that liberals tolerate ambiguity and conflict better than conservatives because of how their brains work.

In a simple experiment reported today in the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists at New York University and UCLA show that political orientation is related to differences in how the brain processes information.

Previous psychological studies have found that conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments whereas liberals are more open to new experiences. The latest study found those traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions."

USA Today turns 25 - MarketWatch

USA Today turns 25 - MarketWatch: "It was the summer of 1983. I had just landed my first newspaper job, at a daily with the unlikely name of USA Today. While the publication was not yet a year old, it had already achieved notoriety -- as a journalistic joke. You see, I lived in Manhattan, where the New York Times is the dominant voice. Times loyalists, as well as newspaper purists and big-city pundits, got a kick out of ridiculing my new employer. They dubbed it 'McNewspaper,' the McDonald's of dailies because of its bite-size stories. They said that it could win a Pulitzer Prize for best paragraph. Figured. The city slickers didn't understand the strategy -- or the appeal -- of USA Today. Well, they get it now. USA Today now has an average daily circulation of 2.3 million."

Warner Shifts Web Course, Shouldering Video Costs - New York Times

Warner Shifts Web Course, Shouldering Video Costs - New York Times: "In the race to become a major supplier of original video programming to the Web, Warner Brothers has decided to reverse its direction. The studio, part of Time Warner, plans today to introduce 24 Web productions in a range of formats including minimovies, games and episodic television shows. But for this latest online push, Warner Brothers has discarded its initial strategy of insisting that advertisers shoulder production costs from the start. Instead, it has decided to finance most projects itself and worry about lining up advertisers to recoup costs later."

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Frank Rich: As the Iraqis Stand Down, We'll Stand Up

Frank Rich | As the Iraqis Stand Down, We'll Stand Up: "When the line separating spin from reality is so effectively blurred, the White House's propaganda mission has once more been accomplished. No wonder President Bush is cocky again. Stopping in Sydney for the economic summit after last weekend's photo op in Iraq, he reportedly told Australia's deputy prime minister that 'we're kicking ass.' This war has now gone on so long that perhaps he has forgotten the price our troops paid the last time he taunted our adversaries to bring it on, some four years and 3,500 American military fatalities ago."

Sunday's column is well worth your time.

NYT Real Estate Mag shows us Stan Lee's homes

The New York Times > Key Magazine > Slide Show > Sketching Out His Past: "Where the Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee lived, worked and created his famous characters."

BBC: Jonathan Ross in Search of Steve Ditko

BBC - BBC Four - Comics Britannia - Jonathan Ross in Search of Steve Ditko: "Stan Lee is famous as the author of the Spider-Man stories, but the man who designed the characters, illustrated the comics and came up with many of the storylines, co-creator Steve Ditko, is virtually unheard of. In this documentary, Jonathan Ross, a lifelong fan of Ditko's work, hopes to tell his story."

Friday, September 07, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle, RIP

Episcopal Life Online - NEWS: "Madeleine L'Engle, a lay Episcopalian who wrote more than 60 books ranging from children's stories to theological reflection, died September 6 in Litchfield, Connecticut. She was 88. Her death, of natural causes in a nursing home, was announced September 7 by her publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, according to the Associated Press. L'Engle was best known for her children's classic, 'A Wrinkle in Time,' which won the John Newbery Award as the best children's book of 1963. By 2004, it had sold more than 6 million copies, was in its 67th printing and was still selling 15,000 copies a year, the New York Times reported. "

No Thanks, Mr. Nabokov - NYT Book Review

Interesting article about literary rejections in this Sunday's NYT Book Review:

For almost a century, Knopf has been the gold standard in the book trade, publishing the works of 17 Nobel Prize-winning authors as well as 47 Pulitzer Prize-winning volumes of fiction, nonfiction, biography and history. Recently, however, scholars trolling through the Knopf archive have been struck by the number of reader’s reports that badly missed the mark, especially where new talent was concerned. The rejection files, which run from the 1940s through the 1970s, include dismissive verdicts on the likes of Jorge Luis Borges (“utterly untranslatable”), Isaac Bashevis Singer (“It’s Poland and the rich Jews again”), Anaïs Nin (“There is no commercial advantage in acquiring her, and, in my opinion, no artistic”), Sylvia Plath (“There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice”) and Jack Kerouac (“His frenetic and scrambling prose perfectly express the feverish travels of the Beat Generation. But is that enough? I don’t think so”). In a two-year stretch beginning in 1955, Knopf turned down manuscripts by Jean-Paul Sartre, Mordecai Richler, and the historians A. J. P. Taylor and Barbara Tuchman, not to mention Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita” (too racy) and James Baldwin’s “Giovanni’s Room” (“hopelessly bad”).

Dial B for BLOG is back with the secret origin of Batman

DIAL B for BLOG - now a weekly must-read - restarts with a series on the secret origins of the Batman character.

AppleInsider | Apple looking to halve cost of iTunes TV downloads - report

AppleInsider | Apple looking to halve cost of iTunes TV downloads - report: "In an aggressive bid to push more digital video sales, Apple Inc. is reportedly talking to television networks about cutting the price of TV show downloads through iTunes in half.

Citing three people familiar with the proposal, Variety claims that Apple has told networks and studios that it would like to slash the cost of most TV episodes sold via iTunes from the current $1.99 to just $0.99 -- the same price it charges for most music singles. Apple reportedly believes the move will spur a more than a twofold increase in sales of the digital television downloads, which would effectively offset the impact of the price reduction through higher volumes. "

Gone Baby Gone among top crime movies of decade - Reuters

Gone Baby Gone among top crime movies of decade | Entertainment | Reuters: "Ben Affleck seemed like a promising young actor when he starred in 'Chasing Amy' a decade ago. A year later, he and Matt Damon won an Oscar for their screenplay for 'Good Will Hunting.' But since then, Affleck has been better known for his offscreen romances than for his screen performances, which have been pretty universally derided. So a lot of people will be surprised by his directorial debut, 'Gone Baby Gone,' though if you caught the glint of intelligence he showed in such movies as 'Going All the Way' and 'Boiler Room,' his achievement here might seem less startling."

Survey: Candidates viewed as 'least religious' are leading polls - On Politics -

Survey: Candidates viewed as 'least religious' are leading polls - On Politics - "'The candidates viewed by voters as the least religious among the leading contenders are the current frontrunners for the Democratic and Republican nominations,' the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press reports today. Those candidates would be Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Rudy Giuliani." 'Osama bin Laden' motorcade with Canadian flags clears APEC checkpoints 'Osama bin Laden' motorcade with Canadian flags clears APEC checkpoints: "Members of an Australian TV comedy show, one dressed as Osama bin Laden, drove through two security checkpoints Thursday before being stopped near the Sydney hotel where U.S. President George W. Bush is staying. The stunt embarrassed Sydney police who have imposed the tightest security measures in city history for a summit of leaders from Pacific Rim countries, including Mr. Bush and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who arrived Thursday."

Diana Butler Bass on the passing of D. James Kennedy

God's Politics: Check out Diana Butler Bass on the death of D. James Kennedy...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Slate presents The Reagan Biography

Slate presents The Reagan Biography: A new graphic novel account of the Gipper's life.

Leonard Pitts on God and Mother Teresa

I know He's out there -- somewhere - 09/02/2007 - "I was sitting on the deck in a chaise lounge. God was floating on His back in the pool.

I pointed to the night sky, a white disk of moon rising magisterially into an infinity of black. ''Nice work,'' I said. God didn't answer.

''And hey, thanks for the weather today,'' I said. ``75 degrees, low humidity, a nice breeze. Well done.''

Still no answer. He gets in these quiet moods sometimes.

''Now I know how Mother Teresa felt,'' I groused, laughing to show Him I was just kidding. Might as well have been laughing at the moon."

The Funnies Aren't Anymore?

Denver - News - The Funnies Aren't Anymore: "Not long ago, I was a zealous reader of daily newspaper comics, devouring at least a dozen strips per day, more when I had the time. But somewhere along the line, that number began to dwindle, with my enthusiasm waning each time favorites such as Gary Larson ('The Far Side'), Bill Watterson ('Calvin and Hobbes'), Bill Amend ('FoxTrot') and Aaron McGruder ('Boondocks') either quit, cut back or went on indefinite hiatus. Recently, I realized there isn't a single strip in the Denver Post that I bother to peruse anymore, and just two in the Rocky Mountain News: Garry Trudeau's 'Doonesbury,' which remains strong more than three decades down the line, and Darrin Bell's 'Candorville.' Moreover, others with whom I spoke seemed similarly dispirited about the current state of comics. "

Pavarotti RIP

Saul Bass Lives! UnBeige: "Really cool report in from Typographica for we film geeks. First, they announce that Brendan Dawes has brought back his famous Saul Bass website after a slight hiatus. Second, they've gotten permission from Matt Terich to let people download his Bass-esque font, 'Hitchcock,' which is super awesome and something you should go get immediately and play with all day."

Envisioning the Next Chapter for Electronic Books - New York Times

Envisioning the Next Chapter for Electronic Books - New York Times: "Technology evangelists have predicted the emergence of electronic books for as long as they have envisioned flying cars and video phones. It is an idea that has never caught on with mainstream book buyers. Two new offerings this fall are set to test whether consumers really want to replace a technology that has reliably served humankind for hundreds of years: the paper book. In October, the online retailer will unveil the Kindle, an electronic book reader that has been the subject of industry speculation for a year, according to several people who have tried the device and are familiar with Amazon’s plans. The Kindle will be priced at $400 to $500 and will wirelessly connect to an e-book store on Amazon’s site. That is a significant advance over older e-book devices, which must be connected to a computer to download books or articles. Also this fall, Google plans to start charging users for full online access to the digital copies of some books in its database, according to people with knowledge of its plans. Publishers will set the prices for their own books and share the revenue with Google. So far, Google has made only limited excerpts of copyrighted books available to its users."

Al Gore readying new environmental book -

Al Gore readying new environmental book - "For those frightened by the tale of global warming in Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, and wondering what can be done, the former vice president has an answer: a sequel. Gore is working on a new environmental book, The Path to Survival, that will be released as a paperback original on April 22, 2008, Earth Day. According to publisher Rodale Books, Gore will continue where he left off in An Inconvenient Truth and offer 'a visionary blueprint for the changes we should make as a world community.'"

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Megachurch Leader D. James Kennedy Dies |

Megachurch Leader D. James Kennedy Dies | "The Rev. D. James Kennedy, a pioneering megachurch pastor who became one of the nation's most prominent Christian broadcasters and a key figure in the rise of the religious right, died Wednesday, a church spokesman said. He was 76. Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church spokesman John Aman said Kennedy died at about 2:15 a.m. at his home in Fort Lauderdale. He had suffered a heart attack in December and announced his retirement last month. Kennedy took the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale from a congregation of 45 in 1959 to a megachurch of nearly 10,000 members today. "

Gizmodo covers Apple

Gizmodo, the Gadget Guide: Interesting images and news bits on the new generation of iPods... sigh...

Going After Gore:

Going After Gore, by Evgenia Peretz: Politics & Power: "Al Gore couldn't believe his eyes: as the 2000 election heated up, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other top news outlets kept going after him, with misquotes ('I invented the Internet'), distortions (that he lied about being the inspiration for Love Story), and strangely off-the-mark needling, while pundits such as Maureen Dowd appeared to be charmed by his rival, George W. Bush. For the first time, Gore and his family talk about the effect of the press attacks on his campaign—and about his future plans—to the author, who finds that many in the media are re-assessing their 2000 coverage."

BBC: Bloggers battered by viral storm

BBC NEWS | Technology | Bloggers battered by viral storm: "Google's Blogger site is being used by malicious hackers who are posting fake entries to some blogs. The fake entries contain weblinks that lead to booby-trapped downloads that could infect a Windows PC. Infected computers are being hijacked by the gang behind the attacks and either mined for saleable data or used for other attacks."

The Mix Tape of the Gods - New York Times

The Mix Tape of the Gods - New York Times: "Having accomplished its mission, Voyager 1 might have quietly retired. Instead it remains active to this day, faithfully calling home from nearly 10 billion miles away — so great a distance that its radio signals, traveling at the speed of light, take more than 14 hours to reach Earth. From Voyager’s perch, the Sun is just another star, south of Rigel in the constellation Orion, and the Sun’s planets have faded to invisibility."

A Saint of Darkness - NYT Editorial on Mother Teresa

A Saint of Darkness - New York Times: "To the extent people ever tried to project themselves into the mind of Mother Teresa, they might have pictured a Gothic vault washed in dazzling beams of saintly conviction. How startling to discover that it was a dark and dispirited place, littered with doubts. A new book of her letters, “Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light,” published by Doubleday, show her struggling for decades against disbelief. “If I ever become a saint,” she wrote in one letter, “I will surely be one of ‘darkness.’ ” And in another: “If there be no God — there can be no soul. If there is no soul then Jesus — You also are not true. Heaven, what emptiness.” That may rattle some believers, but it is a welcome reminder that saints, too, are only human, and that stories of dauntless piety tend to be false. "

NBC in Deal With Amazon to Sell Shows on the Web - New York Times

NBC in Deal With Amazon to Sell Shows on the Web - New York Times: "NBC Universal significantly deepened its relationship with Amazon’s digital video download service after a dispute with Apple over the pricing of television shows on iTunes. The media conglomerate, part of General Electric, said yesterday that Amazon had agreed to give it something that Apple would not: greater flexibility in the pricing and packaging of video downloads. As a result, NBC Universal said it had agreed to sell a wide variety of television programming on Amazon’s fledgling Unbox download service, including the drama “Heroes” and the comedies “The Office” and “30 Rock.” Episodes will be available on Unbox the day after they are shown."

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Michael Wolff on his new Newser startup

Is This the End of News?, by Michael Wolff: Politics & Power: "Even a guy burned by one failed Internet start-up can't resist the idea that this latest technology—like Linotype, TV, and cable before it—could remake the news. So here goes, the author's attempt to rescue a common narrative of public life."

7 Wonders Panoramas

7 Wonders Panoramas - The New 7 Wonders-Travel Great Wall, Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu - 360 degree Panoramas: Check out this fantastic website... here's what says about it:

In July, the nonprofit New 7 Wonders Foundation announced a new 7 Wonders of the World. Sure, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon sounded cool, but since — like all of the other original wonders (except for the Great Pyramid of Giza) — they no longer exist, we were glad to see that their replacements are equally spectacular. The new wonders — Machu Picchu, the Colosseum, the Taj Mahal, Petra (the ancient Jordanian city, not the Christian rock band!), the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, Chichen Itza, and the Great Wall — are open to tourists, but now you can visit them without using up frequent-flyer miles, thanks to the Website Panoramas.

A compilation of immersive, 360-degree photographic panoramas, the site lets you examine each wonder in vivid detail — you can spin around above Rio de Janeiro or stare at the sun over Machu Picchu. It’s the perfect way to start planning for (or dreaming about) your next big trip.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Hooray! Dial B for BLOG is back!