Friday, November 30, 2007

DIAL B for BLOG: Kirby and Adams -- Video!

DIAL B for BLOG - THE WORLD'S GREATEST COMIC BLOGAZINE: This week's edition focuses on Jack Kirby and Neal Adams, and features a video interview with Adams on Kirby.

COMICS: Your favorites on DVD? No more...

COMICS: Your favorites on DVD? Good idea, but ... - Cleveland Entertainment & Pop Culture from The Plain Dealer: "Just when it looked possible that someday most of Marvel Comics would be available on DVD, Marvel pulled the plug. Ray Pelosi of the GIT Corp., which has been producing DVDs of whole catalogues of Marvel Comics, said it would sell off its current stock by the end of February. 'That's it, that's the end,' he said. 'After that we are no longer permitted to sell Marvel DVDs.' GIT's Marvel pipeline was cut when Marvel announced Digital Comics Unlimited, which offers more than 2,500 back issues to customers at Marvel's website."

TAWOK&C: Chabon's Mysteries to premiere at Sundance

The Amazing Website of Kavalier & Clay - News: "It's official! The Sundance Film Festival announced its 2008 lineup. And the film adaptation of Mysteries of Pittsburgh made the list. The festival is Jan. 17-27."

I still have my doubts about this flick...

Blogalogue: Evangelicals in Power (Beliefnet)

Blogalogue - Debates About Faith: " When people say 'America is being run by evangelical Christians,' they usually mean that it only feels that way. But with George W. Bush in the White House, James Dobson on the airwaves, and evangelical books filling the best-seller lists, evangelicals have rarely been as prominent as they are today. And as a major new study by sociologist Michael Lindsay reveals, evangelical Christians now hold seats of influence in American government, business, culture, and higher education. This month, Beliefnet invited Lindsay, journalists Hanna Rosin and Jeff Sharlet, evangelical author Jerry Jenkins, and former Bush aide David Kuo to discuss American evangelicals and their rise to power."

Every Episode of South Park Ever Being Put Online for Free Next Year

The Price Is Right: Every Episode of South Park Ever Being Put Online for Free Next Year: "Earlier this year, Viacom put every Daily Show episode online for free, and it was awesome. Now, they're following suit with South Park, with plans to put every episode of the animated series online for free next year."

Street Prophets: PastorDan on Brueggemann's "counterscript"

Street Prophets :: Faith and Politics: "I am going to start feeding you all much more about Walter Brueggemann's ideas on creating a 'counterscript' to the dominant script that runs our lives. And when I say 'much more,' I mean 'much more': this is going to be an ongoing series, point by point through most of Brueggemann's 19 theses. It's that important. For the inaugural installment, I'm going to go out of order a bit and consider theses 3-5..."

Raw: CBS probes if the Christian right is turning left

The Raw Story | CBS probes if the Christian right is turning left: "Evangelical Christians have for years been strongly associated with the Republican Party. According to CBS, white evangelicals make up about 25% of the electorate, and 78% of them voted Republican in 2004. However, now certain evangelicals are showing a willingness to listen to the Democratic Party's message of compassion for the poor and sick. Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, was recently criticized by some on the religious right when he invited Hillary Clinton to speak at his church about the AIDS epidemic. 'The greatest criticism that Jesus got, he got not from political people or from secular people,' Warren told CBS. 'He got it from religious people. And it's amazing to me that sometimes the people who understand grace are the least gracious people on the planet.'"

Orbitcast: DOJ to rule on Satellite merger?

Orbitcast | All Things Satellite Radio - XM, Sirius and beyond: "Bear Stearns analyst Robert Peck issued a research note this morning stating that a decision by the DOJ is imminent. According to Peck, conversations with their contacts in DC suggest that a DOJ decision could come as early as today or Monday. Further, the Bear Stearns analyst believes that junior staffers at the DOJ are recommending blocking the merger, but that higher officer deputy officials likely disagree with the junior staff recommendation. The analyst expects Tom Barnett likely will rule along with the higher officials and announce that the DOJ will not be blocking the deal."

Obama’s Color Line - New York Times

Obama’s Color Line - Juan Williams op-ed in New York Times: "At first glance, the black-white response to Mr. Obama appears to represent breathtaking progress toward the day when candidates and voters are able to get beyond race. But to say the least, it is very odd that black voters are split over Mr. Obama’s strong and realistic effort to reach where no black candidate has gone before. Their reaction looks less like post-racial political idealism than the latest in self-defeating black politics. Mr. Obama’s success is creating anxiety, uncertainty and more than a little jealousy among older black politicians. Black political and community activists still rooted in the politics of the 1960s civil rights movement are suspicious about why so many white people find this black man so acceptable. "

Facebook Retreats on Online Tracking - New York Times

Facebook Retreats on Online Tracking - New York Times: "Faced with its second mass protest by members in its short life span, Facebook, the enormously popular social networking Web site, is reining in some aspects of a controversial new advertising program. Within the last 10 days, more than 50,000 Facebook members have signed a petition objecting to the new program, which sends messages to users’ friends about what they are buying on Web sites like, and Fandango. The members want to be able to opt out of the program completely with one click, but Facebook won’t let them. Late yesterday the company made an important change, saying that it would not send messages about users’ Internet activities without getting explicit approval each time."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

AJC: General not a plant, CNN producer says

Political Insider: "The man who put together Wednesday night’s CNN/YouTube presidential debate said “there’s no way” that a retired general who asked Republican candidates a gays-in-the-military question was a plant by the Hillary Clinton campaign. “It’s hard to imagine that that was a plant. He had no idea — none — that his question was going to be used,” said David Bohrman, senior vice president for CNN and executive producer of the Florida debate."

Tree man 'who grew roots' may be cured - Telegraph

Tree man 'who grew roots' may be cured - Telegraph: "An Indonesian fisherman who feared that he would be killed by tree-like growths covering his body has been given hope of recovery by an American doctor - and Vitamin A.

Dede, now 35, baffled medical experts when warty 'roots' began growing out of his arms and feet after he cut his knee in a teenage accident."

Wow... incredible. Watch the videos.

3G iPhone Coming Next Year, Says AT&T Boss - Silicon Alley Insider

3G iPhone Coming Next Year, Says AT&T Boss - Silicon Alley Insider: "Waiting to buy an iPhone until it can connect to a faster, '3G' data network? We certainly are. Great news! AT&T (T) boss Randall Stephenson says 3G iPhones will go on sale next year. The iPhone's pokey data connection on AT&T's 'EDGE' network is its biggest flaw, and rival phones from Samsung, Palm, and other manufacturers have run on 3G networks for more than a year. "

Guess I'll wait now!

TIME: New 'Split' Between Bush and Cheney on Diplomacy

TIME Preview: New 'Split' Between Bush and Cheney on Diplomacy: "The next issue of Time magazine, due out Friday, will cause ripples due to its Obama cover story, which ponders whether he is an agent of change in the race for the White House -- or is being changed by it. But a shorter article by its White House correspondent Massimo Calabresi should also get traction. Called, 'George W. Bush: Diplomat,' it reveals 'the split that has opened up between [President] Bush and his hard-line Veep.' Calabresi concludes that 'W. has come home' -- from 'Cheney and the unilateralists at one end' to the bosom of his father 'and the multilateralists at the other.' He actually has a 'late-blooming passion for diplomacy.'"

Happy Birthday, Clive

On this day in 1898, C.S. Lewis was born in Northern Ireland. As a writer, his imagination seemed to know no bounds. He may be best known for the Chronicles of Narnia, his series of children's books. His Christian faith was central to everything he wrote. "All that is not eternal," he said, "is eternally out of date."

H/T: New Morning, Hallmark Channel

BBC: Nasa outlines manned Mars vision

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Nasa outlines manned Mars vision: "Nasa has released details of its strategy for sending a human crew to Mars within the next few decades. The US space agency envisages despatching a 'minimal' crew on a 30-month round trip to the Red Planet in a 400,000kg (880,000lb) spacecraft."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ted Turner: Serious rancher or environmental overlord? |

Ted Turner: Serious rancher or environmental overlord? | "Turner has amassed 2 million acres over the past two decades to become the largest private landowner in the country. He owns land in at least nine states, with most of his holdings in New Mexico, Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota, and is restoring buffalo, cutthroat trout, wolves, black-footed ferrets and other flora and fauna that filled the Plains before the West was won."

TAWOK&C: New Intro for The Escapists hardcover

The Amazing Website of Kavalier & Clay - News: "A new hardcover edition of The Escapists will feature an introduction by Michael Chabon that will introduce real-life writer Brian K. Vaughan to Sam Clay, according to the comic's writer and artist. The hardcover, set to hit stores Dec. 12, collects the six-part series about Maxwell Roth and Case Weaver, two Cleveland comic fanatics who try to revive the dormant Escapist line of comics. In his e-mail newsletter Wednesday, Steve Rolston, who drew the 'reality' sequences in the series, says an intro Chabon wrote for the collection is 'almost like an epilogue to Chabon's novel, as the fictional Sam Clay meets a young boy at a comic convention.'"

Seth Rogen Buffs Up (Sort Of) For 'Green Hornet'

Seth Rogen Buffs Up (Sort Of) For 'Green Hornet' - Movie News Story | MTV Movie News: "Heavyweight actors like George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Jake Gyllenhaal all flirted with the project, so when it was the literally heavyweight star of 'Knocked Up' who was ultimately tapped to bring the iconic Green Hornet to the big screen, it was as if millions of fanboys cried out in terror: 'Seth Rogen as Britt Reid? Say what?' '[The fan reaction] was a little surprising. I love the idea! I think it's going to be a unique and interesting movie,' the jocular always-self-deprecating Rogen announced, before adding with a laugh, 'but nerds love complaining. You go on [the Web site for] Ain't It Cool News, and everybody complains about everything. They could find out Jesus Christ was making a movie with Frank Miller, and they'd say, 'That's a terrible combination!' '"

Chevy Chase Rehired As An "SNL" Regular - At Scale - Entertainment on The Huffington Post

Chevy Chase Rehired As An "SNL" Regular - At Scale - Entertainment on The Huffington Post: "Before the writer's strike, Chevy Chase's return to 'Saturday Night Live' segment 'Weekend Update' was supposed to be a recurring role. 'I met with Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers and they hired me,' Chase told me on Tuesday. 'I told them I'd love to come in and do occasional pieces about politics. They're paying me scale, which is more than I was making when I did the show originally,' he laughed. Chase says his first appearance got mucked up by two things. 'The writing wasn't so good.' Also, he was thrown by the audience giving him a standing ovation. 'I didn't want to overshadow the new kids,' he says. 'I was shocked.'"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Discovery Times Channel Gets New Name - TVWeek - News

Discovery Times Channel Gets New Name - TVWeek - News: "Discovery Communications said it plans to rename it Discovery Times Channel as Investigation Discovery starting Jan. 27. Discovery Times was launched as a joint venture with the New York Times Co. in 2003. The joint venture was ended by the Times last year. “The new name, Investigation Discovery, correlates directly to the programs that have earned such tremendous viewership gains this year, while keeping the essence of the channel’s DNA in providing in-depth content focused on issues facing our world today,” said John Ford, president and general manager of Investigation Discovery. “The new branding for the network aims to engage our loyal audience with compelling content that only Discovery can provide with credibility, intrigue and exceptional story-telling.”"

Not Exactly Netflix, But - Paper Cuts - Books - New York Times Blog

Not Exactly Netflix, But - Paper Cuts - Books - New York Times Blog: "John Hodgman (he’s the Book Review’s comics critic, in addition to the other hats he rakishly wears) reads from his book “The Areas of My Expertise” in a bit that functions as a parody of a PBS “American Experience” episode. You have to love the way the camera pans over the same static image for seven minutes."

THE BEAT: My World and Welcome To It

THE BEAT - WATCH: My World and Welcome To It: "If you’re a comics lover — and we mean a REAL comics lover, the kind of person who wants to understand the joy and sorrow implicit in the butterfly wing of every line on paper — then #1 TV show of all times for cartoonists was definitely MY WORLD AND WELCOME TO IT. The show was based on the work of James Thurber, the brilliant writer and cartoonist whose whimsical flights of fancy on the page belied his deteriorating eyesight. (He created Walter Mitty, among other things.) The program starred William Windom and here are the opening credits..."

Online comics are vivid, but will they lure fans? - Los Angeles Times

Online comics are vivid, but will they lure fans? - Los Angeles Times: "I couldn't help thinking about that beloved and tattered newsprint artifact as I got my first experience with the new 'digital comics' from Marvel that made their splashy premiere earlier this month at In essence, Marvel has taken thousands of classic issues (among them every 1960s issue of 'The Amazing Spider-Man,' 'The Avengers' and 'The Fantastic Four') along with selected current titles and re-engineered them panel-by-panel to make them into something akin to a sleek Internet slide show. The elaborate venture is a bold one but it was driven as much by anxiety as ambition; even though comic-book heroes now bring robust returns as film and video-game franchises, the printed comic book is fading from the cultural consciousness of youngsters. Next year, the superhero comic book will celebrate its 70th year as a uniquely American contribution to pop culture, but it's now a foreign object to most kids. "

Kennedy Memoirs Said to Fetch $8 Million - New York Times

Kennedy Memoirs Said to Fetch $8 Million - New York Times: "Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the most prominent surviving member of the Kennedy family, has agreed to sell his memoirs for an advance of more than $8 million, people with knowledge of the negotiations say."

iTWire - Has first evidence of another universe been seen?

iTWire - Has first evidence of another universe been seen?: "Astronomers announced in August 2007 the discovery of a large hole at the edge of our universe. Since then, theoretical physicist and cosmologist Laura Mersini-Houghton and colleagues have claimed it is an “unmistakable imprint of another universe beyond the edge of our own.”

Streaming radio to your iPhone - it's real. -

Streaming radio to your iPhone - it's real. - "Introducing iRadio, an application for the iPhone that essentially brings the SHOUTcast internet radio player to your iPhone. Thousands of radio stations are now available for playing and browsing... literally at your fingertips. It works over WiFi and can work of AT&T's EDGE network as well. A year ago, no one was talking about Apple or Google in terms of the wireless landscape. Now, these two companies are the forefront of every wireless discussion out there. And both have a vested interest in bringing every possible functionality to your pockets - including 'radio.' "

The Dance of Evolution, or How Art Got Its Start - New York Times

The Dance of Evolution, or How Art Got Its Start - New York Times: "In the main presentation at the conference, Ellen Dissanayake, an independent scholar affiliated with the University of Washington, Seattle, offered her sweeping thesis of the evolution of art, nimbly blending familiar themes with the radically new. By her reckoning, the artistic impulse is a human birthright, a trait so ancient, universal and persistent that it is almost surely innate. But while some researchers have suggested that our artiness arose accidentally, as a byproduct of large brains that evolved to solve problems and were easily bored, Ms. Dissanayake argues that the creative drive has all the earmarks of being an adaptation on its own. The making of art consumes enormous amounts of time and resources, she observed, an extravagance you wouldn’t expect of an evolutionary afterthought. Art also gives us pleasure, she said, and activities that feel good tend to be those that evolution deems too important to leave to chance. What might that deep-seated purpose of art-making be? Geoffrey Miller and other theorists have proposed that art serves as a sexual display, a means of flaunting one’s talented palette of genes. Again, Ms. Dissanayake has other ideas."

Republicans threaten to cut aid to Iraq - Yahoo! News

Republicans threaten to cut aid to Iraq - Yahoo! News: "Two Republican senators said that unless Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki makes more political progress by January, the U.S. should consider pulling political or financial support for his government.

The stern warnings, coming from Sens. Lindsey Graham and Saxby Chambliss Monday, are an indication that while GOP patience on the war has greatly increased this fall because of security gains made by the military, it isn't bottomless."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Solomon Kane teaser poster

Blog@Newsarama - Solomon Kane teaser poster: "The Movie Blog posts an image of the first Solomon Kane teaser poster. The first film in a planned trilogy is due next year."

TAWOK&C: Chabon on of 50 Most Influential Jews

The Amazing Website of Kavalier & Clay - News: "The Jewish Daily Forward has named Michael Chabon one of the 50 Most Influential Jews. The editors cite Chabon's work on The Yiddish Policemen's Union and Gentlemen of the Road as reasons why they picked him. Sharing space on the list is Attorney General Michael Mukasey, director Judd Apatow, and George Soros."

AWTC: A Beginner's Guide to the Bizarro World

Again With the Comics: A Beginner's Guide to the Bizarro World

Keith Olbermann Cameos On "The Simpsons" - Media on The Huffington Post

Keith Olbermann Cameos On "The Simpsons" - Media on The Huffington Post: "Keith Olbermann had a voice cameo on 'The Simpsons' last night, appearing in Marge's nightmare. Olbermann called Marge, high on TiVo and fast-forwarding through commercials, a 'content burglar' and told her, 'You've been watching TV shows but skipping the commercials that pay for them. That makes you the worst person in the world.' The MSNBC anchor was taking over the airwaves last night: TVNewser points out that Olbermann appeared in his regular slot on NBC's Football Night in America and also showed up in a rerun of Family Guy."

It's No Laughing Matter -

It's No Laughing Matter - "Janet Grimley had some hard-won investment wisdom to share with colleagues at a gathering earlier this fall of the American Association of Sunday and Feature editors in Savannah, Ga. 'Look at your comics pages like a stock portfolio,' advised Ms. Grimley, an assistant managing editor at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 'Diversify. You need to have some risky comics,' for instance the slightly subversive observational strip 'F Minus,' and 'some safe purchases like the old favorites.' Such 'safe purchases' would include blue chips like 'Blondie,' 'Beetle Bailey,' 'Dennis the Menace' and 'Hagar the Horrible.'"

F.C.C. Chief Seeks Votes to Tighten Cable Rules - New York Times

F.C.C. Chief Seeks Votes to Tighten Cable Rules - New York Times: "The head of the Federal Communications Commission is struggling to find enough support from a majority of the agency’s commissioners to regulate cable television companies more tightly. The five-member commission is set to vote on Tuesday on a report, proposed by Kevin J. Martin, the agency’s chairman, that would give the commission expanded powers over the cable industry after making a formal finding that it had grown too big. After news reports this month that Mr. Martin supported the finding — along with the commission’s two Democrats — the cable industry heavily lobbied the commission and allies in Congress to kill the proposal. Those efforts may be paying off."

Laugh Lines in the Hollywood Strike - New York Times

Laugh Lines in the Hollywood Strike - New York Times: "“In years past, our picketing schedule has gone, ‘Picket on Mondays for two hours and then meet at a bar until the following Monday,’” said David Young, the union’s director, early this month. “That’s not how we’re going to do it this time.” Studio executives rolled their eyes, but they soon blanched as well-organized pickets fanned out across Los Angeles and New York, and only grew in intensity. It turns out, many union members say, that striking in Hollywood — at least short term — is not that bad. A lot of strikers say they are enjoying networking, taping YouTube videos, organizing theme days and dreaming up placard slogans. “The studios think we are having a horrible time out here,” said Richard Potter, a screenwriter who made “Strike Dancing,” a YouTube video showing pickets bebopping in formation to “Play That Funky Music.”"

Dick Cavett with more on Mailer and Vidal

Dick Cavett - Opinion - New York Times Blog: Dick Cavett comes across a little-known but illuminating book by Norman Mailer.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cat Conversation -- Translated

Watch this one first:

Here's the translation:

US is‘worst’ imperialist: archbishop -Times Online

US is‘worst’ imperialist: archbishop -Times Online: "THE Archbishop of Canterbury has said that the United States wields its power in a way that is worse than Britain during its imperial heyday. Rowan Williams claimed that America’s attempt to intervene overseas by “clearing the decks” with a “quick burst of violent action” had led to “the worst of all worlds”. In a wide-ranging interview with a British Muslim magazine, the Anglican leader linked criticism of the United States to one of his most pessimistic declarations about the state of western civilisation."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Did fog of war hide fraud? |

Did fog of war hide fraud? | "Millions in bribes to gain contracts were paid in Iraq at the expense of troops, government investigators claim."

Taking Science on Faith - Paul Davis op-ed in New York Times

Taking Science on Faith - New York Times: Until science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, its claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus.

President of Evangelical University Resigns - New York Times

President of Evangelical University Resigns - New York Times: "Facing accusations that he misspent university money to support a lavish lifestyle, the president of Oral Roberts University has resigned, officials said Friday. The resignation by Richard Roberts was effective immediately, according to an e-mail statement from George Pearsons, the chairman of the university’s Board of Regents. Mr. Roberts, the son of the televangelist and university founder Oral Roberts, came under fire with the university after three former professors filed a lawsuit last month that included accusations of a $39,000 shopping tab for Mr. Robert’s wife, Lindsay, at one store; a $29,411 senior trip to the Bahamas on the university jet for one of Mr. Roberts’s daughters; and a stable of horses for the Roberts children."

Friday, November 23, 2007

100 Notable Books of the Year - 2007 - New York Times

100 Notable Books of the Year - 2007 - New York Times: "The Book Review has selected this list from books reviewed since the Holiday Books issue of Dec. 3, 2006."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Living Loved Trailer

If '24' was in 1994...

Hat tip List of the Day

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Former aide blames Bush for leak deceit - Yahoo! News

Former aide blames Bush for leak deceit - Yahoo! News: "Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan blames President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for efforts to mislead the public about the role of White House aides in leaking the identity of a CIA operative. In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, McClellan recounts the 2003 news conference in which he told reporters that aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby were 'not involved' in the leak involving operative Valerie Plame. 'There was one problem. It was not true,' McClellan writes, according to a brief excerpt released Tuesday. 'I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself.'"

TV on Your PC: Hulu, Joost and Miro Reviewed

TV on Your PC: Hulu, Joost and Miro Reviewed: "The Writers Guild strike already stripped us of our Daily Show and Colbert Report, and now it may take away Heroes and House as well. Looking to escape Reality TV hell? We've painstakingly reviewed three free (and mostly legal) video services—Joost, Miro and Hulu—for your faux-TV enjoyment during these dark times."

Ebooks: Comparing Amazon Kindle to E-Book Readers of Yesterday and Tomorrow

Ebooks: Comparing Amazon Kindle to E-Book Readers of Yesterday and Tomorrow: "So Amazon unveiled its Kindle yesterday. The fancy eBook with 'free' EV-DO got a lot of attention and has a lot of people talking about whether or not digital books have a chance of taking on the paper kind. But the Kindle is far from the only eBook out there, naturally, and it's turned a lot of people off with how it charges you to read blogs, get RSS feeds, and load PDFs on it. In addition, there are some huge advances on the eBook horizon that, when released, will make the Kindle look like it was made in the late '80s. Lets take a peek at some alternatives to the Kindle that are both available today and will be in the not-too-distant future."

Rich Johnston Comics' Gossip: Bruce Wayne to die

Comic Book Resources: "The last two LITG columns...have covered the death of Bruce Wayne, his ascendancy as a Fifth World New God, and his replacement here on Earth. I can now tell you that the new Batman will be designed by Alex Ross and will see Jason Todd under the cowl."

Ross of course just redesigned Captain America after Steve Rogers was killed to be replaced by somebody else. Is there nothing new under the sun? These stunts are wearisome.

BBC: Dalai Lama 'may pick successor'

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Dalai Lama 'may pick successor': "The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, says he is considering breaking with centuries of tradition and naming his own successor. Usually, following the death of a Dalai Lama, senior Tibetan Buddhist officials, guided by dreams and signs, identify a young child to succeed him. But the Dalai Lama said he feared China would try to influence this process."

950 Years Later, 2 Churches May Reunify - Newser

950 Years Later, 2 Churches May Reunify - Newser: "Nearly a millennium after they split, the Catholic and Orthodox churches have published a joint document outlining first steps towards reunification. The Ravenna Document imagines a reunified church with the Pope at its head and proposes a new council composed of Catholic and Orthodox bishops that could formally end the schism of 1054, the London Times reports. "

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Troubling Case of Readers' Block -

A Troubling Case of Readers' Block - "Americans are reading less and their reading proficiency is declining at troubling rates, according to a report that the National Endowment for the Arts will issue today. The trend is particularly strong among older teens and young adults, and if it is not reversed, the NEA report suggests, it will have a profound negative effect on the nation's economic and civic future. 'This is really alarming data,' said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. 'Luckily, we still have an opportunity to address it, but if we wait 10, 20 years, I think it may be too late.'"

CNN: Michelle O to guest host "The View" - CNN Political Ticker: "Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, will be a guest host on the television talk show 'The View' next month."

'Mr. Whipple' actor Dick Wilson dies -

'Mr. Whipple' actor Dick Wilson dies - "Dick Wilson, the character actor and pitchman who for 21 years played an uptight grocer begging customers 'Please, don't squeeze the Charmin,' died Monday. He was 91."

Why Amazon's Kindle Is No iPod

Why Amazon's Kindle Is No iPod (AMZN) - Silicon Alley Insider: "Newsweek's Steven Levy previews Amazon's (AMZN) new $400 Kindle e-book in 4,757-word cover story. Amazon, he says, believes it has created the 'iPod of reading.' We've gotten a cursory look at the Kindle (see our first impressions here), and we like it. But Amazon's ambitions here are outsized: No matter how nifty a gadget Jeff Bezos' company has created, it won't have the same impact on publishing that Apple's iPod had on the music business."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

NYT: Ward Sutton on Campaign Logos

Reading Tea Leaves and Campaign Logos - The New York Times ope ed by Ward Sutton

BBC: Tutu chides Church for gay stance

BBC NEWS | Africa | Tutu chides Church for gay stance: "South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has criticised the Anglican Church and its leadership for its attitudes towards homosexuality. In an interview with BBC Radio 4, he said the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, had failed to demonstrate that God is 'welcoming'. He also repeated accusations that the Church was 'obsessed' with the issue of gay priests. He said it should rather be focusing on global problems such as Aids. 'Our world is facing problems - poverty, HIV and Aids - a devastating pandemic, and conflict,' said Archbishop Tutu, 76."

Friday, November 16, 2007

Amazon Kindle Next Week: Amazon Kindle E Book Reader Coming Next Week

Amazon Kindle Next Week: Amazon Kindle E Book Reader Coming Next Week: "A source in content creation has informed me that the Reader is coming on Monday or Tuesday, just in time for the holiday season. Information was limited, but apparently 'a dozen media partners' were to be involved with launch, which implies non-book providers."

Crayon Game Gets You Back to Kindergarten (Verdict: Doodlelicious)

Crayon Game Gets You Back to Kindergarten (Verdict: Doodlelicious): "The Crayon Physics Deluxe must be one of the coolest touch-screen games ever. The aim is very simple: take a ball to where the start is. The tools to do it are a crayon and your imagination, since whatever you draw will automatically get recognized by the physics engine and put into motion over a piece of paper. Microsoft must buy this game and ship it with every Tablet PC. And somebody should port this to the iPhone. Pronto. "

Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything - Telegraph

Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything - Telegraph: "An impoverished surfer has drawn up a new theory of the universe, seen by some as the Holy Grail of physics, which has received rave reviews from scientists."

Cartoonists Discuss the Freedoms and Responsibilities of Their Craft | The Emory Wheel

Cartoonists Discuss the Freedoms and Responsibilities of Their Craft | The Emory Wheel: "Evaluating the boundaries and consequences of free speech, eight international political cartoonists spoke on the role of cartoons in today’s world at a panel discussion Wednesday. The discussion was titled “Art of Controversy: Where to Draw the Line?” and responded to riots caused by the September 2005 Danish caricatures of Islamic prophet Muhammad and a component of the weeklong “Cartooning for Peace” exhibition. The cartoonists “will help us grapple with some of the thorny issues caused by the clash between free speech and religious respect,” said Sheila Tefft, director Emory’s journalism program, in her introduction. "

Allred on Next Issue Project - Newsarama

MIKE ALLRED TALKS REVIVING STARDUST FOR THE NEXT ISSUE PROJECT - NEWSARAMA: "The Golden Age of Comics created such characters as Superman, Batman and Captain America…and hundreds if not thousands of other characters of all genres who filled out the 64-page books of the time. While some are still around today, many were gone after just one appearance. Until now. In December, Image will release the first volume of The Next Issue Project, a new anthology dedicated to literally picking up where the Golden Age left off. Here, modern-day creators offer their own takes on the strangest, coolest, most downright crazy characters of the 1940s. We got to chat with a couple of the contributors to volume one, Fantastic Comics #24. First up is Madman auteur Mike Allred, who teams with Image’s Joe Keatinge to revive Fletcher Hanks. What happens when the man behind Madman is let loose on one of comics’ most insane creations? Read on to find out. " - Some of the News, Most of the Time - Some of the News, Most of the Time: A new service from the Huffington Post.

C&L: Olbermann: Welcome Back

Crooks and Liars - Countdown: Welcome Home: "I defy you to watch this and not be moved. And as he does so often, Keith Olbermann zeros in on exactly what should be meant by the phrase “supporting the troops.”

To speak of supporting the troops and not understand that the only true way to enact that support is to make sure that kind of homecoming is what each of them and their families have earned is to reduce that support to a saying on a bumper sticker, to making it a meaningless brand name. Supporting the troops is supporting 1st Lt. Thomas Bourne, and supporting Amy Bourne and supporting Walker Bourne and supporting Preston Bourne. Supporting them is not making those two little boys have to cry again. It is not thumping a chest and waving a flag and threatening a dissenter. It is not what the Army Reserve is doing to Thomas Bourne and thousands more like him: sending him after his two weeks’ leave is up…back to Iraq."

When I got back from Brazil, going through the customs lines, a whole planeful of soldiers back from Iraq for two weeks was moving through the process. Realizing they were home for only two weeks, and still had to go through the hour-long security line to get out of the airport, was tough to watch.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mutts creator Patrick O'Donnell interviewed

The Enquirer - A minute with ... Patrick McDonnell: "'Krazy Kat.' 'Popeye.' 'Peanuts.' They are among Patrick McDonnell's favorite cartoons. That won't surprise readers of 'Mutts,' the comic strip McDonnell, 51, created in 1994. It's now in 600 newspapers - including The Enquirer - in 20 countries. Mooch the cat and Earl the dog inhabit the same wholly alternate, fantastic universe that made those earlier strips classics. It's a place in which animals often behave in ways more human than humans."

Newsarama interviews Chabon

NEWSARAMA.COM: MICHAEL CHABON: A GENTLEMAN OF THE ROAD: "More than anyone else, Michael Chabon has broken the barriers separating quote-unquote literary fiction and comics. He's not alone, of course, others have blurred the lines including Art Spiegelman, Frank Miller, Marjane Satrapi and other too numerous to mention. But it was Chabon's Pulitizer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay that made comics and comic culture respectable subjects for writers of literary fiction. He's just one of the reasons why comics have become inseparable from the culture at large. Chabon spoke with about (what else) comics, literature, movies and his new novel, Gentlemen of the Road (Del Ray)."

Think Progress: Rove to balance out Kos at Newsweek

Think Progress: "Earlier this week, Newsweek announced that it is hiring DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas as a contributor for the 2008 presidential campaign, offering occasional opinion pieces. Markos said, “Newsweek is ‘balancing’ me out with someone that should make heads on our side explode.” Now we know who. Newsweek has announced it is hiring Karl Rove to become a Newsweek contributor."

Ken Follett Is Latest Oprah Winfrey Pick - Entertainment on The Huffington Post

Ken Follett Is Latest Oprah Winfrey Pick - Entertainment on The Huffington Post: "Oprah Winfrey went for the big time Wednesday with her latest book club pick, choosing Ken Follett's 973-page 'The Pillars of the Earth,' an announcement that will likely mean hundreds of thousands more sales for an author with a huge, international following."

I've had this book for years, guess I may have to read it.

RFD-TV nabs Imus for 5 years

RFD-TV - Rural America's Most Important Network: "Don Imus and Rural Media Group, Inc. signed a 5-year agreement to simulcast the popular Imus In The Morning program exclusively on RFD-TV and RFD HD."

Spy books win National Book Awards - NYP

SPY BOOKS WIN AWARDS: "Two books about espionage -- one fiction, one-non-fiction -- took top prizes at the National Book Awards last night. 'Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA,' by Tim Weiner, was the winner of the award for non-fiction. The book by the New York Times reporter was published by Doubleday. 'Tree of Smoke' by Denis Johnson, a novel set during the Vietnam War, took top honors in the fiction category. It is published by Farar, Straus and Giroux."

NYT: TV Strike may help marginal shows

Writers’ Strike - Television - New York Times: "In the television business the grim reality of the writers’ strike has set in, with the prospect of a long shutdown of scripted shows growing stronger by the day. But in what seems to be growing consensus among executives at the television networks, the strike could contain a faint glimmer of good news for one group of shows: struggling, barely surviving prime-time series."

NYT: Cavett on Mailer

Dick Cavett - Opinion - New York Times Blog: "It was at a vividly bad time in Norman Mailer’s life that I met him, and a sort of water-treading time in mine. He had stabbed his wife, and I was a copy boy at Time magazine. Time had just done a rough piece on Mailer, even publishing a ghastly, wild-eyed picture of him being arraigned at the station house. The magazine’s treatment of Mailer had been been much protested, as I knew from working at the copy desk and seeing the mail."

Good stories. But speaking of the copy desk, did you notice the error that Cavett and his NYT editors missed?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Missed It: NYT Magazine on the Evangelical Crackup

Evangelical Movement - Religion and Politics - Presidential Election of 2008 - Christians and Christianity - Voting and Voters - New York Times: "Today the [conservative Christian] movement shows signs of coming apart beneath its leaders. It is not merely that none of the 2008 Republican front-runners come close to measuring up to President Bush in the eyes of the evangelical faithful, although it would be hard to find a cast of characters more ill fit for those shoes: a lapsed-Catholic big-city mayor; a Massachusetts Mormon; a church-skipping Hollywood character actor; and a political renegade known for crossing swords with the Rev. Pat Robertson and the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Nor is the problem simply that the Democratic presidential front-runners — Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator Barack Obama and former Senator John Edwards — sound like a bunch of tent-revival Bible thumpers compared with the Republicans."

I missed this when I left for vacation--linking here now because it's important.

"Stunning": CBS News Discovers "Hidden Epidemic" of Military Suicides

"Stunning": CBS News Discovers "Hidden Epidemic" of Military Suicides - Media on The Huffington Post: "Tonight CBS will air the first of a two-part series on the 'hidden epidemic' of military suicides, revealing numbers that CBS calls 'stunning.' The report examines data on the suicide rate amongst veterans once they return home, which indicates a serious mental health issue — and a hidden mortality rate. 'We first started researching military suicides because it had never been done before,' said Armen Keteyian, CBS News' chief investigative correspondent in a statement forwarded by CBS News. 'But when all the data was collected, we were astonished. I had no idea how much of an epidemic CBS uncovered. We expect this to be a wake up call.'"

Polls Find Voters Weighing Issues vs. Electability - New York Times

Polls Find Voters Weighing Issues vs. Electability - New York Times: "Democratic voters in Iowa and New Hampshire — the states that begin the presidential nominating battle — say Senator Barack Obama and John Edwards are more likely than Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to say what they believe, rather than what they think voters want to hear, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Polls. But they also view Mrs. Clinton as the best prepared and most electable Democrat in the field, the polls found."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

TALKERS: Imus talking to RFD-TV?

TALKERS magazine - Home: "Imus in Negotiations for Cable TV Carriage. Don Imus, who will start in morning drive on WABC, New York and in national syndication via ABC Radio Networks shortly thereafter, is talking with Nashville-based cable channel RFD-TV about simulcasting his radio show. The “rural America” channel is currently seen in only 30 million households but station execs believe snagging Imus will help get it onto cable systems in major markets such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles."

This is rather embarrassing isn't it? RFD TV?

PW: Evanier on his Jack Kirby book

The Return of the King - Publishers Weekly: "For comics enthusiasts, one of the major publishing events of 2008 will be the long-awaited release this February of Kirby: King of Comics, the art book and biography covering the late Jack Kirby. The prolific creator or co-creator of such series as Captain America, Fantastic Four and The New Gods, Kirby remains one of the greatest and most influential artists in American comic book history. Published by Abrams, the book is written by Kirby’s former assistant and longtime friend Mark Evanier."

Panel Mania: Dan Dare - PW

Panel Mania: Dan Dare - Publishers Weekly: "In this 6-page preview of the first issue of Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine's Dan Dare, Britain's greatest space commander, Danel McGregor Dare, comes out of retirement to fight a new and terrible threat from Outer Space. The first issue was released this month by Virgin Comics."

Filling big shoes; Mason Mastroianni takes over on B.C.

Filling big shoes; Mason Mastroianni takes over on B.C. - The Daily Cartoonist: "Perhaps no other cartoonist, with so little cartooning experience, has ever taken on such a iconic and highly syndicated feature as Mason Mastroianni has with the famous comic strip B.C.. Under normal circumstances, an aspiring cartoonist and his comic feature would be given a developmental period to work with an editor and hone the skills of producing a quality comic strip, but after the death of his grandfather, Johnny Hart, Mason found himself at the helm of one of the most highly syndicated features - read by millions of people everyday."

Marvel Comics shows its marvelous colors in online archive -

Marvel Comics shows its marvelous colors in online archive - "The comic book industry makes a long-delayed step into cyberspace today when Marvel Comics unveils the industry's first online archive of more than 2,500 back issues, including the first appearances of Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Incredible Hulk. Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited will offer the archive in a high-resolution format on computer screens for $59.88 a year, or at a monthly rate of $9.99, at"

Free would be nice.

Craig Yoe interviews Tom Heintjes, Hogan's Alley Editor

Arflovers � Blog Archive - Arf Lovers High Fives Tom Heintjes of Hogan’s Alley!: "Tom Heintjes is the editor of the absolutely wonderful comics magazine, Hogan’s Alley. HA covers both old skool and contemporary cartooning and always does so with an terrific entertaining and lively flair. Both the writing and design in Hogan’s is top notch. I always wanted to find out a little more about the talent behind HA so I talked the usually shy and modest Heintjes into a little self-revelation via an Arf Lover’s Blog Gimme Five!"

Tom is a great guy and produces a fantastic magazine. Disclaimer: I help him proofread it.

Painfully Funny - Paper Cuts NYT

Painfully Funny - Paper Cuts - Books - New York Times Blog: "The British writers and booksellers Russell Ash and Brian Lake have compiled a small but toothsome anthology called “Bizarre Books: A Compendium of Classic Oddities.” “All the books recorded are real titles, with real authors,” they write in their introduction. “All of them were published with the serious intention of informing, not amusing. In this they have signally failed.”"

Former pilots and officials call for new U.S. UFO probe - Yahoo! News

Former pilots and officials call for new U.S. UFO probe - Yahoo! News: "An international panel of two dozen former pilots and government officials called on the U.S. government on Monday to reopen its generation-old UFO investigation as a matter of safety and security given continuing reports about flying discs, glowing spheres and other strange sightings. 'Especially after the attacks of 9/11, it is no longer satisfactory to ignore radar returns ... which cannot be associated with performances of existing aircraft and helicopters,' they said in a statement released at a news conference."

'Hidden Costs' Double Price Of Two Wars, Democrats Say -

'Hidden Costs' Double Price Of Two Wars, Democrats Say - "The economic costs to the United States of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so far total approximately $1.5 trillion, according to a new study by congressional Democrats that estimates the conflicts' 'hidden costs'-- including higher oil prices, the expense of treating wounded veterans and interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars.

That amount is nearly double the $804 billion the White House has spent or requested to wage these wars through 2008, according to the Democratic staff of Congress's Joint Economic Committee. Its report, titled 'The Hidden Costs of the Iraq War,' estimates that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have thus far cost the average U.S. family of four more than $20,000."

Monday, November 12, 2007

DIAL B for BLOG: Don Martin's Captain Klutz

DIAL B for BLOG reviews one of Mad's Maddest Artist's unique creations, Captain Klutz.

Chabon: 'Looking for a little adventure'

Michael Chabon: 'Like the men in my old stories, I'm looking for a little adventure' - UK Telegraph: "As he publishes his first swashbuckler, Michael Chabon examines the enduring appeal of quest fiction..."

WaPo: Chabon on his new adventure book

IN CONVERSATION . . . With Michael Chabon - "Almost every book Michael Chabon writes is playful and plot-driven, and he has often found inspiration in popular culture. This time he's gone way beyond dabbling in alternate history and comic books: 'Gentlemen of the Road' is pure pulp adventure. Is it a deliberate assault on the boundaries of literature? Or just a good read?"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Back from Brazil--with the pictures to prove it

Hola! I've been away for about two weeks on vacation in Brazil... check out the pix by clicking on the link below.
Brazil Vacation 2007