Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Evanier: Classic Soupy Sales and the Rat Pack

news from me: "I linked to this a few years ago here but the link went here it is anew. It's the famous sketch from The Soupy Sales Show featuring Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Trini Lopez and a lot of pie shells full of shaving cream. Guess what happens."

Love it!

Fake Stan's Soapbox: Top 10 Unknown Gadgets in Iron Man's Armor

Stan's Soapbox: "ITEM! Way back when, King Kirby and your Uncle Stan used to take turns seeing who could cram the most gadgets into Iron Man’s invincible armor. Jolly Jack usually won those contests, but I held my own. Rocket-powered roller skates? That one was mine. Well, mine and Wile E. Coyote’s. Interestingly, some of these gadget-inventing-contests took place over 3-martini-lunches at the Seawane Club in New York. Things got, shall we say, creative. There’s probably still some waitress there who thinks her name is Pepper Potts.

So last year while enjoying a liquid lunch with Iron Man Director Jon-Boy Favreau, I told him that story and we started the game up again. One pitcher of Long Island Teas later and we’d managed to come up with quite a luminary list. Mind you, at least two of these ingenious go-go-gadgets actually make an appearance in the Iron Man movie! A special Armor-Alled Adamantium-Plated No-Prize to the first Frantic One who correctly guesses which two! So without further ado... Lee-Favreau present:

The Top 10 Unknown Gadgets in Iron Man’s Armor..."

Christopher Eccleston tipped for lead in new Prisoner - Telegraph

Christopher Eccleston tipped for lead in new Prisoner - Telegraph: "A new series of the cult Sixties drama The Prisoner is to be made with Christopher Eccleston, the former Dr Who, the favourite to take over Patrick McGoohan's role as Number Six.

McGoohan is expected to make a guest appearance in an episode. The programme will be filmed in the village of Portmeirion, north Wales, where the original series was shot. A spokesman for Portmeirion said it was 'very good news' adding: 'The Prisoner is an important part of Portmeirion's heritage.'"

This Summer's Superheroes: A Dummy, A Recluse And Two Drunks

This Summer's Superheroes: A Dummy, A Recluse And Two Drunks - Entertainment on The Huffington Post: "The classic superhero is polished, brave and morally righteous. Strong and unerring, he is perfection personified -- a superhuman ideal.

Not this summer.

Everyday human flaws are the Kryptonite of this year's movie good guys, who deign to suffer the same foibles as those who pay to see them. They may be reclusive, egotistical or intellectually challenged. They may have anger issues or alcohol issues. Some are alienated and lonely.

While the archetypal superhero always has a 'weakness,' this summer's super problems are more fit for the psychologist's couch than the villain's lair. Such shortcomings make heroes more relatable, says Marvel Comics master Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man and the Fantastic Four, among sundry others."

Praying and Preying - Mo Dowd in New York Times

Praying and Preying - Maureen Dowd in New York Times: "Having been deserted at age 2 by his father, Obama has now been deserted by the father-figure in his church, the man who inspired him to become a Christian, married him, dedicated his house, baptized his children, gave him the title of his second book and theme for his presidential run and worked on his campaign.

At the very moment when his fate hangs in the balance, when he is trying to persuade white working-class voters that he is not an exotic stranger with radical ties, the vainglorious Rev. Wright kicks him in the stomach. In a narcissistic explosion that would impress Bill Clinton, the preacher dragged Obama into the ’60s maelstrom that he had pledged to be an antidote to. In two days worth of solipsistic rants, the man of faith committed at least four of the seven deadly sins — wrath, envy, pride and greed (book and lecture fees?) — while grandiosely claiming he was defending the black church."

Tom Friedman: Dumb as We Wanna Be - New York Times

Dumb as We Wanna Be - Tom Friedman in New York Times: "It is great to see that we finally have some national unity on energy policy. Unfortunately, the unifying idea is so ridiculous, so unworthy of the people aspiring to lead our nation, it takes your breath away. Hillary Clinton has decided to line up with John McCain in pushing to suspend the federal excise tax on gasoline, 18.4 cents a gallon, for this summer’s travel season. This is not an energy policy. This is money laundering: we borrow money from China and ship it to Saudi Arabia and take a little cut for ourselves as it goes through our gas tanks. What a way to build our country."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

May 3 Freebie Alert!

Mark your calendars for this Saturday, May 3: Free Comic Book Day! Send HOGAN'S ALLEY an e-mail ON THAT DATE with
your mailing address, and we’ll send you a FREE issue of Hogan’s Alley! No obligations, no strings attached; the only thing it will cost you is several hours as you enjoy the issue. (This offer is valid for all U.S. residents, whether you’re a current subscriber or
not.) Remember the one condition—they must receive your e-mail request on Free Comic Book Day, not the day before or the day after. Send email to:

Here's some good stuff to get you started.

TPM: Obama changes tune on Wright

Talking Points Memo | Wright Redux: "The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate, and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church. They certainly don't portray accurately my values and beliefs. And if Rev. Wright thinks that that's political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn't know me very well. And based on his remarks yesterday, well I might not know him as well as I thought, either."

Gutters-Rich Johnston's review of Iron Man

Comic Book Resources - Lying In The Gutters - 4-28-2008: "I have to say, I wasn't expecting too much from the film. And so it naturally blew away my expectations. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark totally owns this role, puts a large slice of ham on a plate, eats it up and spits out an incredibly engaging performance. A soulless self satisfied epitome of selfishness given a rude awakening, yet still retaining much of the man he was. The downside is that Downey just pushes everyone else off the screen. It's hard to admire any performance as much as his, everyone becomes a cypher in his shadow."

Explore the Spirit: Want to be Super? ... Do You Know about Heroic Origins?

Explore the Spirit: 156 Tuesday Quiz: Want to be Super? ... Do You Know about Heroic Origins?: "Let's tackle The Return of the Popular Tuesday Quiz!

In keeping with this week's theme, we're looking at Superhero Origins.

At first glance, you may wonder how this relates to our overall theme -- which is more about where we're heading, than where we started. But, in fact, origins are important parts of the spiritual glue holding these themes together."

Monday, April 28, 2008

The WB, Kids’ WB Live Again Online - TVWeek - News

The WB, Kids’ WB Live Again Online - TVWeek - News: "Warner Bros. Television Group will resurrect its former broadcast network, The WB, as a new ad-supported Web video-based interactive site, The site will feature some of the studio’s most popular shows from its library targeted to the 16- to 34-year-old demographic."

ComicsDC: Amazing Fantasy #15 original Spider-Man artwork given to Library of Congress

ComicsDC: Amazing Fantasy #15 original Spider-Man artwork given to Library of Congress: "The first appearance of Spider-Man, an 11-page story which includes his origin, now belongs to the American people. According to curator Sara Duke, an anonymous donor has given the 24 pages of original interior artwork from Amazing Fantasy #15 to the Library of Congress' Prints and Photographs division. The artwork, drawn by Steve Ditko and written by Stan Lee, first appeared in print in 1962, and is in good shape."

World's Worst Comic Book Museum

WORLD'S WORST COMIC BOOK MUSEUM: "Dredged from the bargain boxes of Comics shops from one side of the continent to the other, there is hardly a volume in these four boxes for which more than 50 cents was paid. Oh, there is some good reading in there too, as well as mighty bad, for the bargain boxes become home to both ends of the spectrum. Those comics which aim high and hit are often as unsaleable as those which aim anywhich way and wildly miss. Not all of the bad ones display their full badness on the front cover -- all of them must be read in full to be truly appreciated. I shall do my best here to provide an overview of the wide range of bargain comics the discriminating collector rejects."

TVNewser: Ferguson scores at WH diner TVNewser: "It may have been George W. Bush's final White House Correspondents' Association dinner as president, but Craig Ferguson stole the show. 3,000 people packed the ballroom at the Washington Hilton last night for the annual dinner, where Hollywood met Washington, with a stopover in Glasgow.

Unlike some past entertainers, the crowd warmed to Ferguson's performance. The Scottish-born comic took the requisite shots: Vice President Cheney 'is already moving out of his residence. It takes longer than you think to pack up an entire dungeon;' about the 'feud' between Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann: 'What I see is sexual tension;' and at The New York Times who stayed away from this year's dinner: 'They felt that this event undercuts the credibility of the press. It's funny, you see, I thought that Jayson Blair and Judy Miller took care of that...Shut the hell up, New York Times, you sanctimonious whining jerks!'

Ferguson ended poignantly. Rolling up his speech and jamming it in his breast pocket, he spoke of the pride of becoming a U.S. citizen in February and what he loves most about Americans. 'Please, never, ever, ever agree with each other. Never stop arguing, never stop fighting. You cranky, magnificent bastards.'"

Explore the Spirit: "Iron Man" Explores Resurrection ... So, What Does Heaven Look Like to You?

Explore the Spirit: 155: "Iron Man" Explores Resurrection ... So, What Does Heaven Look Like to You?: "It's rare for theology and popular culture to converge as powerfully as they are this week. But, now, we've got two important new books about resurrection in the same week that 'Iron Man' kicks off the summer season of blockbuster movies.

The 'Iron Man' movie explores the transformation of human life on various levels -- from the fictional story of a deeply troubled scientist who keeps himself alive by developing Iron Man's futuristic armor -- to the real-life story of actor Robert Downey Jr., who stars in the movie's title role. After a disastrous series of real-life flirtations with self destruction, the movie's producers are widely promoting this new film as the resurrection of Downey's all-but-dead acting career, as well.

That's why we say: This is a spiritually preachable and teachable moment, if there ever was one!"

Pariah Diplomacy - Jimmy Carter op-ed in New York Times

Pariah Diplomacy -Jimmy Carter op-ed in New York Times: It is counterproductive for Washington to isolate governments that refuse its mandate, as exemplified by recent events in Nepal and the Middle East.

Users Demand Expertise at How-To Web Sites - New York Times

Users Demand Expertise at How-To Web Sites - New York Times: "Quamut is the latest brand to capitalize on what company executives said is a growing disinclination among Web users for amateur how-to advice. Whether that distaste can support a departure from Barnes & Noble’s core business is a question investors will be considering.

“I think it’s an interesting experiment,” said Sameet Sinha, an Internet analyst with the JMP Group, an investment firm. “But Quamut will have to show up very well in searches, and doing that will not be easy.”

Quamut differentiates itself from the long list of how-to sites like eHow, and, to a lesser degree, (which is owned by The New York Times Company), with a somewhat novel twist: selling downloadable documents of its otherwise free content."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Writer's Blog: TV Comedy Writer Seaman Jacobs is Dead at 96

Writer's Blog: TV Comedy Writer Seaman Jacobs is Dead at 96: "TV comedy writer Seaman Jacobs has died of cardiac arrest: he was 96. Jacobs wrote for many classic TV shows, such as The Addams Family, My Favorite Martian, the Bob Hope specials, I Dream of Jeannie and many, many more."

McCain’s Compassion Tour - Gail Collins in New York Times

McCain’s Compassion Tour - Gail Collins op-ed in New York Times: "John McCain — this is the guy, you may remember, who’s going to be the Republican presidential nominee — has been visiting the poor lately. Appalachia, New Orleans, Rust Belt factory towns. This is a good thing, and we applaud his efforts to show compassion and interest in people for whom his actual policies are of no use whatsoever."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Again With the Comics: The Eagle and Buddy the Daredevil Boy!

Again With the Comics: "From Weird Comics #15, meet the Golden Age's shirtless anvil-smacker The Eagle and his Daisy-Duke clad teenage 'ward' Buddy the Daredevil Boy. Another Obscure '40's misfit bound to be sumptuously painted by Alex Ross sometime in the next year or two, The Eagle soaked his cape in anti-gravitation fluid and took to the skies in pursuit of googly-eyed amputees, as you'll see when you read 'The Beast and the Blindness Formula...'"

9 to 5 Mac: 3G iPhone coming soon?

3G iPhone, June 9th | 9 to 5 Mac: "News around the web is spreading that Apple is going to announce the 3G iPhone on June 9th - at Apple WWDC 2008. While this makes much sense, we really feel that you'll have to sweat it out for at least a month before they are in your grubby hands. Apple typically waits about six weeks between announcing products and releasing them when they involve the FCC."

I'm waiting...

DIAL B for Blog: Secret Origins of Iron Man

DIAL B for BLOG - THE WORLD'S GREATEST COMIC BLOGAZINE: This week: The Secret Origins of Iron Man! (Just in time for the movie.)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Evanier posts a YouTube Beatles Medley

news from Mark Evanier has the video featuring Cher, Tina Turner... and Kate Smith. You gotta see it, but I'm not putting it here!

Wright Says His Words Were Twisted - NYT

Wright Says His Words Were Twisted - The Caucus - Politics - New York Times Blog: "In his first wide-ranging interview since video clips of his inflammatory sermons were aired, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. defended himself over the controversy, saying that his words were twisted.

Mr. Wright, Senator Barack Obama’s former pastor, gave an interview to Bill Moyers on Wednesday, to air on PBS tomorrow.

“I felt it was unfair,” Mr. Wright said, according to excerpts of the interview released Thursday. “I felt it was unjust. I felt it was untrue. I felt for those who were doing that, were doing it for some very devious reasons.”"

Friedman: Jimmy Fallon Cinches Conan's Job - Jimmy Fallon Cinches Conan's Job - Celebrity Gossip | Entertainment News | Arts And Entertainment: "The word is out among the NBC brass: As rumored and bounced around for some time, Jimmy Fallon is set to take Conan O’Brien’s job as host of 'Late Night' in 2009. It’s a done deal.

Conan, of course, will be taking over for Jay Leno, who will leave the 'Tonight' show in May 2009 as part of a forced retirement.

There’s much debate about letting Leno leave NBC etc., but right now let’s just concentrate on Jimmy. He’s the perfect successor to Conan and should have just as big an audience when he takes the reins. Fallon is one of those great underrated performers. This should be the right milieu for him."

Call for an Inclusive National Day of Prayer

Call for an Inclusive National Day of Prayer: "The National Day of Prayer falls on May 1st this year, and in most parts of the country, there is a religious 'litmus test' limiting participation to fundamentalist Christian evangelicals. Focus on the Family, the largest organization on the Christian Right, and groups allied with it control the occasion, calling themselves the National Day of Prayer Task Force and asserting that their website is the 'National Day of Prayer Official Website.'"

How Apple Is Preparing for an iPod Slump - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog

How Apple Is Preparing for an iPod Slump - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog: IPod sales are stagnating for Apple. But the company has found new products and business lines that will let it continue to thrive even if its sales of MP3 players crash.

Is Obama a Mac and Clinton a PC? - New York Times

Is Obama a Mac and Clinton a PC? - New York Times: "STYLES make fights — or so goes the boxing cliche. In 2008, they make presidential campaigns, too.

This is especially true for the two remaining Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Reporters covering the candidates have already resorted to traditional analysis of style — fashion choices, manner of speaking, even the way they laugh. Yet, according to design experts, the candidates have left a clear blueprint of their personal style — perhaps even a window into their souls — through the Web sites they have created to raise money, recruit volunteers and generally meet-and-greet online.

On one thing, the experts seem to agree. The differences between and can be summed up this way: Barack Obama is a Mac, and Hillary Clinton is a PC."

At Expense of All Others, Putin Picks a Church - New York Times

At Expense of All Others, Putin Picks a Church - New York Times: "Just as the government has tightened control over political life, so, too, has it intruded in matters of faith. The Kremlin’s surrogates in many areas have turned the Russian Orthodox Church into a de facto official religion, warding off other Christian denominations that seem to offer the most significant competition for worshipers. They have all but banned proselytizing by Protestants and discouraged Protestant worship through a variety of harassing measures, according to dozens of interviews with government officials and religious leaders across Russia.

This close alliance between the government and the Russian Orthodox Church has become a defining characteristic of Mr. Putin’s tenure, a mutually reinforcing choreography that is usually described here as working “in symphony.”"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

io9: 1970s Soviet Alien Architecture

Architecture: 1970s Soviet Alien Architecture: "French photojournalist Frederic Chaubin likes to take photographs of science-fictiony Soviet architecture from the 1970s and 80s. During that era, the Soviets erected several formidable buildings that look like cities you'd see on an alien world."

Comic art sells a thousand scripts - Los Angeles Times

Comic art sells a thousand scripts - Los Angeles Times: "Want some screenwriting advice? Add drawings to your script. And then put your dialogue in bubbles.

If recent studio acquisitions are any evidence, then the fastest way to get a movie deal these days may just be to turn your next Big Idea into a graphic novel. In a faddish frenzy, no fewer than 22 film projects born of graphic novels or comics have been announced in the last six weeks."

Explore the Spirit: Rabbi Harvey tames the wild west

Explore the Spirit: 152: PASSOVER Can Rabbi Harvey Tame the Wild West -- and Graphic Novels, too?

TVBizWire - Bush Bombs on 'Deal'

TVBizWire - TVWeek: "'Deal or No Deal' matched its lowest ratings ever despite an appearance by President George Bush on Monday, the Hollywood Reporter says. The contestant to whom Mr. Bush offered encouragement also took one deal too many. At one point Army Captain Joseph Kobes had an offer of $144,000, but took home $78,000 instead."

Wilting Over Waffles - MoDowd in the New York Times

Wilting Over Waffles - Maureen Dowd column in New York Times: "He’s never going to shake her off.

Not all by himself.

The very fact that he can’t shake her off has become her best argument against him. “Why can’t he close the deal?” Hillary taunted at a polling place on Tuesday.

She’s been running ads about it, suggesting he doesn’t have “what it takes” to run the country. Her message is unapologetically emasculating: If he does not have the gumption to put me in my place, when superdelegates are deserting me, money is drying up, he’s outspending me 2-to-1 on TV ads, my husband’s going crackers and party leaders are sick of me, how can he be trusted to totally obliterate Iran and stop Osama?"

On Book Trailers, Book Vlogs, Book Videos - TVWeek

Trial and Error - On Book Trailers, Book Vlogs, Book Videos - TVWeek - Blogs: "I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Book publishing is going to be the next area that gets hip to online video. Already we’re seeing signs of publishers and authors experimenting in this area, and I really think it’s going to explode in the next year or two.

To back up my point, let me show you some new videos from authors."

The Nazi Plot That Threatens Tom Cruise and United Artists - New York Times

The Nazi Plot That Threatens Tom Cruise and United Artists - New York Times: "When United Artists said this month that it would again delay the release of “Valkyrie,” in which Tom Cruise plays a German officer who tries to kill Hitler, the Web went into obituary mode.

One Hollywood Internet site,, flatly declared, “Valkyrie is dead.” Another,, said that the revival of United Artists had effectively died with it."

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Spirit trailer is up

I dunno... looks mighty grim and gritty, a lot like Sin City, but not much like Will Eisner's Spirit. All black and a red necktie. Very chic. But is it The Spirit?

Stan Lee to oversee Virgin Comics' superheroes - Los Angeles Times

Stan Lee to oversee Virgin Comics' superheroes - Los Angeles Times: "Does Stan Lee have any more heroics in him? Richard Branson hopes so.

The British tycoon is going into business with the 85-year-old Lee, the co-creator of Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Iron Man, Daredevil and dozens of other signature characters made famous by Marvel Comics."

Explore the Spirit: The Return of Houdini -- a True Superman of "Self-Liberation"

Explore the Spirit: 149: PASSOVER: The Return of Houdini -- a True Superman of 'Self-Liberation';

TV stars head to Hall of Fame - Variety

TV stars head to Hall of Fame - Entertainment News, TV News, Media - Variety: "The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has tapped six inductees for its Hall of Fame.

Honorees include the late Merv Griffin, actress Bea Arthur, former Capital Cities/ABC CEOs Daniel B. Burke and Thomas Murphy, writer Larry Gelbart and “Brady Bunch” guru Sherwood Schwartz."

Arthur Bicknell’s ‘Moose Murders,’ Floppiest of Broadway Flops, Again Raises Its Antlers - New York Times

Arthur Bicknell’s ‘Moose Murders,’ Floppiest of Broadway Flops, Again Raises Its Antlers - New York Times: “Moose Murders,” a fabled Broadway flop, reappeared 25 years later in Rochester. It was not a pretty sight.

Paramount Ready to End Movie Sales to Showtime - New York Times

Paramount Ready to End Movie Sales to Showtime - New York Times: "The sibling rivalry that is Sumner M. Redstone’s media empire turned more fractious on Sunday, as Viacom’s Paramount Pictures movie studio said it would start its own premium television channel, ending a longstanding relationship in which it sold its movies to CBS’s Showtime.

Unable to reach terms with Showtime, Paramount said it would join forces with two other studios, MGM and Lionsgate, to introduce a premium channel and video-on-demand service beginning in the fall of 2009."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Trapped on an elevator: The New Yorker

Trapped: Online Only Video: The New Yorker: "This week in the magazine, Nick Paumgarten writes about the lives of elevators, and tells the story of Nicholas White, who was trapped in an elevator in New York City’s McGraw-Hill building for forty-one hours. Here is a condensed look at White’s ordeal, as captured by the building’s security cameras."

Nasa: German Schoolboy Corrects NASA's Math - We're All Doomed

Nasa: German Schoolboy Corrects NASA's Math - We're All Doomed: "NASA has been forced to check its math after a 13-year-old German boy wrote to tell them their calculations for the probability of an asteroid hitting earth were incorrect. Agency bosses had predicted a one-in-45,000 chance of an interstellar object bringing an end to life as we know it; that was until teen Nico Marquardt told them that the figure was closer to one in 450."

Stan Lee to launch new superhero franchise

Stan Lee to launch new superhero franchise: "Comic book legend Stan Lee and his production shingle POW! Entertainment, along with Brighton Partners, have partnered with Rainmaker Entertainment to launch 'Legion of 5,' a new superhero property.

'Legion of 5' -- owned jointly by Rainmaker, POW! and Brighton -- is planned as a series of CG-animated films but with a cross-platform approach to include games, online and mobile releases. Merchandizing is part of the plan as well.

Details of the characters and story line are being kept under wraps."

Joe Simon, a Creator of Captain America, Still Fighting for Comic Book Artists at 94 - New York Times

Joe Simon, a Creator of Captain America, Still Fighting for Comic Book Artists at 94 - New York Times: "“Living legend” is how Joe Simon is categorized on the list of special guests appearing at the New York Comic Con at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center this weekend. Mr. Simon, 94, has a different take on it. “I call it the old-geezer table,” he said during a recent interview at his Midtown Manhattan apartment.

Mr. Simon will take part in the “Legends Behind the Comic Books” panel at 3 p.m. on Friday, one of numerous events planned at the convention, a three-day celebration of all things comics.

Mr. Simon earned the “legend” title with his partner Jack Kirby by creating Captain America, the superhero who arrived in December 1940, just in time to play a patriotic foil to the Axis powers. The cover of the first issue even has the good captain socking Hitler in the jaw.

For Mr. Simon and Mr. Kirby, though, the biggest blow came when they were dismissed from the series, which had been selling a million copies a month, in a dispute over royalties. The team moved to Detective Comics (today DC Comics), but Captain America stayed with Timely, the forerunner of Marvel Comics.

It’s a tale worthy of its own comic (and one of many inspirations for Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay”): On the frontier of a new industry, writers and artists creating scores of characters, but publishers profiting from them."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tree Man Has Surgery, Wants Love - Living on The Huffington Post

Tree Man Has Surgery, Wants Love - Living on The Huffington Post: "The 'Tree Man of Java' is officially looking for love, now that doctors have surgically removed some of the bark-like tissue covering his hands and feet.

Speaking from an Indonesian hospital, he said: 'What I really want first is to get better and find a job. But then, one day, who knows? I might meet a girl and get married.'
Dede Koswara, also known as the 'Tree Man', is a big fan of sudoko now that he can hold a pen, reports the Telegraph."

Peter Gabriel wants to help organize entertainment options - Los Angeles Times

Peter Gabriel wants to help organize entertainment options - Los Angeles Times: "'We've all sat there at the computer with muscle fatigue in our thumbs and faced with so much information without focus,' said Gabriel, a partner in the new website. 'Getting the good stuff without the grief, that is the dream. And I'm not talking just about music, I mean everything. Not just a disc jockey, but a life jockey.' has a beta launch today and goes public in May to join a wide and churning group of recommendation engines. (Many track only music preferences; the Filter aspires to add film to the mix.)"

Monday, April 14, 2008

TCR: Eisner Award nominees announced

The Comics Reporter: "The nomination list for the 2008 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards represents the most diverse slate of titles and creators in the 20-year history of the awards (considered the 'Oscars' of the comic book industry). The nominees range from literary Japanese graphic novels to comics based on popular TV series, from massive hardcover collections of classic comic strips and comic books to cutting-edge anthologies, from goofy humor titles to works about the Soviet space program, a Chinese vaudeville magician, and the Negro Leagues. In fact, the nominations are so varied that it is difficult to summarize any trends."

Democrats Wrangle Over Words and Beliefs - New York Times

Democrats Wrangle Over Words and Beliefs - New York Times: "A candidate forum devoted to issues of faith and justice became another flash point for Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton to spar in their intensifying nominating fight, with the candidates exchanging frosty glances Sunday night as their paths briefly crossed on stage.

The Democratic contenders addressed the Compassion Forum at Messiah College here, one after the other. Their cold, quick encounter as they traded places on the stage reflected the hostility between them over the past two days as Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly hammered Mr. Obama for remarks he made at a fund-raiser suggesting that some voters turned to religion and guns as consolation for their bitterness about their economic hardship."

TAWOK&C: Chabon's Spidey 2 Script Online

The Amazing Website of Kavalier & Clay - News: "More than three years after the release of Spider-Man 2, McSweeney's has posted online the never-before-published script Michael Chabon wrote for the film.

McSweeney's released the script in honor of the publication of Maps and Legends, Chabon's first nonfiction book.

'Chabon was the third of four screenwriters assigned to the project; he ultimately received shared 'screen story' credit,' McSweeney's Web site says. 'As far as we know, this script hasn't been seen anywhere else, and it won't be seen here for long.'"

Here 'tis:

I picked up my copy of M&L over the weekend. Looks great!

UPDATE: Well, at the link above there's the opening few pages now, and then this note: "The rest of this screenplay
is no longer available." That didn't last long...

He Wrote 200,000 Books (but Computers Did Some of the Work) - New York Times

He Wrote 200,000 Books (but Computers Did Some of the Work) - New York Times: "It’s not easy to write a book. First you have to pick a title. And then there is the table of contents. If you want the book to be categorized, either by a bookseller or a library, it has to be assigned a unique numerical code, like an ISBN, for International Standard Book Number. There have to be proper margins. Finally, there’s the back cover.

Oh, and there is all that stuff in the middle, too. The writing.

Philip M. Parker seems to have licked that problem. Mr. Parker has generated more than 200,000 books, as an advanced search on under his publishing company shows, making him, in his own words, “the most published author in the history of the planet.” And he makes money doing it.

Among the books published under his name are “The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on Acne Rosacea” ($24.95 and 168 pages long); “Stickler Syndrome: A Bibliography and Dictionary for Physicians, Patients and Genome Researchers” ($28.95 for 126 pages); and “The 2007-2012 Outlook for Tufted Washable Scatter Rugs, Bathmats and Sets That Measure 6-Feet by 9-Feet or Smaller in India” ($495 for 144 pages)."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

All the Time He Needs - Editorial in New York Times

All the Time He Needs - Editorial in New York Times: "President Bush said last week that he told his Iraq war commander, Gen. David Petraeus, that “he’ll have all the time he needs.” We know what that means. It means that the general, like the Iraqi government, should feel no pressure to figure a way out of this disastrous war. It means that even after 20,000 troops come home there will be nearly 140,000 American troops still fighting there — with no plan for further withdrawals and no plan for leading them to victory.

It means, as we’ve always suspected, that Mr. Bush’s only real strategy for Iraq has been to hand the mess off to his successor. Mr. Bush gave himself all the time he needs to walk away from one of the biggest strategic failures in American history."

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ouch! The Daily Show's Eviscerating "Documentary" About Fox News - Media on The Huffington Post

Ouch! The Daily Show's Eviscerating "Documentary" About Fox News - Media on The Huffington Post: "The Daily Show's John Oliver put togther a stunning smackdown of Fox News on last night's show, punctuated by some damning clips showing egregious comments from some anchors (John Gibson, natch) and some — gasp! — flip-flopping on certain positions (like, say, executive privilege). Watch as Oliver tries to sneak into Fox HQ dressed as the Statue of Liberty, hosts a pundit shoutfest, and waves many flags. Featuring Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Neil Cavuto, Chris Wallace, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George Bush, Bill Hemmer, Megyn Kelly, Jim Pinkerton, Peter Hart, Newt Gingrich and the super-chipper Gretchen Carlson. Watch it below:"

New Leader in Late-Night TV Ratings - New York Times

New Leader in Late-Night TV Ratings - New York Times: "For the first time, Craig Ferguson, the CBS late-night host whose program follows David Letterman on weeknights, has won a ratings contest against NBC’s late-night star, Conan O’Brien.

Last week, Mr. Ferguson had more viewers than Mr. O’Brien on four of the five nights, as well as for the week overall, averaging 1.88 million viewers to 1.77 million for Mr. O’Brien."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

John Carter of Mars To Get Pixar Touch

John Carter of Mars To Get Pixar Touch: "One of my favorite discoveries in my father's box of pulp was a complete collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series. The story of a Confederate soldier who, through a mysterious gas, finds himself transported to Mars, where the lower gravity makes him superhuman and (eventually) a king, I've always thought this series would be an excellent choice for the Hollywood treatment.

Now it looks like I might get my wish. Pixar, creators of the Toy Story films, are looking to do A Princess of Mars as their next project. They intend on filming the novel as a combination of live action and computer animation... a first for them."

VF Daily: Inside Dylan's Brain

VF Daily: Inside Dylan's Brain: Online Only: "People have long wondered what goes on in Bob Dylan’s mind. But if you pay attention to what the recent Pulitzer Prize-winner says and plays on his XM satellite-radio program, Theme Time Radio Hour, you can actually get a pretty good idea. Here, by cataloguing the themes has chosen for the episodes, the artists he has favored, and Dylan’s other preferences and quirks, Vanity Fair has constructed a revealing portrait of America’s most enigmatic musician. Below is a near-exhaustive, up-to-date list, expanding on the version printed in our May issue."

Pinochle Politics - Gail Collins in New York Times

Pinochle Politics - Gail Collins op-ed in New York Times: "“... I was raised on pinochle and the American Dream.”

This is Hillary Clinton in a TV ad running in Pennsylvania in which she reminisces about spending childhood vacations in Scranton. Once again, a campaign in which we thought we had heard every possible piece of information delivers a little surprise.

Really, it’s hard to count the questions this line raises. Is pinochle particularly popular in Pennsylvania? Did Mark Penn do a poll on this? Did something inspiring happen at the pinochle table that caused Clinton to make this particular connection? (“Young Hillary, if you play your cards right, someday you could become president of the United States.”)"

‘The Incredible Hulk’: Big and Green and Desperate to Be a Hit - New York Times

‘The Incredible Hulk’: Big and Green and Desperate to Be a Hit - New York Times: "The unjolly green giant, born from a botched gamma bomb experiment in a 1962 comic book, belongs to an elite class of superhero. In Marvel’s stable of characters, which includes the X-Men and the Silver Surfer, only Spider-Man outsells him. The Hulk, along with his emotionally withdrawn alter ego, Dr. Bruce Banner, has spawned television shows, theme-park rides and best-selling toys.

But big-screen glory has eluded him. In 2003 “Hulk,” a pricey attempt to give the monster a Spidey-size movie career, flopped after the director Ang Lee’s artsy creature was ridiculed as Gumbyesque. That picture, which cost $150 million to make, sold a disappointing $132 million in tickets in North America and made less overseas.

Now Marvel is attempting what it openly calls a do-over. Starring Edward Norton, “The Incredible Hulk,” set for a June 13 release, will serve up more action (Hulk battles a new creature called Abomination) and more female-friendly themes. (Banner is madly in love.) The monster was mute in Mr. Lee’s film, but this one speaks, a nod to the campy 1978-82 television series that starred Bill Bixby and the bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno (resplendent in green body paint)."

Names That Match Forge a Bond on the Internet - New York Times

Names That Match Forge a Bond on the Internet - New York Times: "In “Finding Angela Shelton,” a book published this month, a writer named Angela Shelton describes her meetings with 40 other Angela Sheltons. Keri Smith, an illustrator, has posted drawings of six of her Googleg�ngers on her blog. There are name-tally Web sites like SameNameAsMe, and Facebook coalitions including nearly 200 people named Ritz (their insignia is a cracker box logo) and a group aiming to break a world record by gathering together more than 1,224 Mohammed Hassans.

But while many people are familiar with Googleg�ngers, a fundamental question has gone unanswered: Why do so many feel a connection — be it kinship or competition — with utter strangers just because they share a name?

Social science, it turns out, has an answer. It is because human beings are unconsciously drawn to people and things that remind us of ourselves."

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

What We Think We Think - Paper Cuts - Books - New York Times Blog

What We Think We Think - Paper Cuts - Books - New York Times Blog: " comes the noted philosopher Charles Taylor, winner of the 2007 Templeton Prize, to tell the rationalists not to be smug. In his difficult, digressive, repetitious, exasperating and indispensable book “A Secular Age,” Taylor insists that the secularists operate out of a belief system of their own, just as believers do. They’ve merely exchanged one set of assumptions about the cosmos and the meaning of life for another."

When Novelists Attack: Chabon takes "umbridge" (sic)

When Novelists Attack - sans everything: "In an article for Slate, I took a deeper look at the controversy surrounding Fredric Wertham and the postwar anti-comics crackdown. During the course of my article I made reference to Michael Chabon’s much-loved novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (where Wertham figures as a very minor character). Somewhat to my surprise, Chabon took umbridge at my reference to his novel. His response to my article (and my reply to him) can be found here.

The New York Observer, a gossipy Manhattan weekly, even did a write-up of the whole controversy (proof that this is a very slow, verging on comatose, news day). Rather unintentionally, I seem to have created a literary donnybrook.

I should say, not just in the interest of peace and goodwill but in all honesty, that I have nothing but the highest regard for Chabon as a writer."

A TNR Debate: 'The Ten-Cent Plague'

A TNR Debate: The Ten-Cent Plague: "In this TNR debate, Douglas Wolk, the author of Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean, and David Hajdu, music critic for The New Republic and author of the new book The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America, discuss Hajdu's book, the potentially malevolent effects of lurid horror comics on '50s teenagers, and the current state of the art form."

EW: The Comic Book That Hooked Me!

Fantastic Four | Comic Books: The One That Hooked Me! | Photos | "Fifteen groundbreaking graphic storytellers — including Jim Lee, Brian Michael Bendis, Warren Ellis, and Chris Ware — reveal the first comic book that made them fall in love with the form"

Disney to release animated movies in 3-D |

Disney to release animated movies in 3-D | "Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it will jump on the 3-D bandwagon, vowing to release every animated movie in the format beginning with 'Up' next year.

Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter made the announcement at a presentation of Disney's upcoming lineup of animated movies from its Pixar and Disney studios.

The lineup includes 'Rapunzel,' a retelling of a fairy tale set for release for Christmas 2010, and 'King of the Elves,' set for release around Christmas 2012."

Toil and Trouble - MoDowd in New York Times

Toil and Trouble - Maureen Dowd in the New York Times: "The Surge Twins were back, but the daylong testimony of David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker before two committees seemed more depressing this time. As the Bard writes in “Macbeth”: “From that spring whence comfort seemed to come, discomfort swells.”

They arrived on the heels of the Maliki debacle in Basra, which made it stunningly clear — after a cease-fire was brokered in Iran — that we’re spending $3 trillion as our own economy goes off a cliff so that Iran can have a dysfunctional little friend.

Not good news, given Ahmadinejad’s announcement that his scientists are putting 6,000 new uranium-enriching centrifuges in place."

Prior Convictions: Did the Founders want us to be faithful to their faith? - The New Yorker

Prior Convictions: A Critic at Large: Jill Lepore in The New Yorker.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Unsold Sci-Fi and Fantasy TV Pilots

Amazing stuff...

Pop Culture Safari: Smothers Brothers

Pop Culture Safari: "'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,' which ran from 1967-69, should be on DVD on the basis of historical interest alone: It was one of the most controversial and groundbreaking programs ever aired on U.S. television. But there is loads of entertainment value, too."

One of my favorite bits on the show was the Mason Williams "Classical Gas" art video. It's been recreated here:

According to the YouTube poster:

The "Classical Gas Video," as it has come to be known, started out as a student film with Beethoven's 5th Symphony as the original soundtrack. After seeing the film in early 1968, Mason Williams, writer for the Smothers Brothers and composer of Classical Gas, approached the film's creator about replacing the music with his composition, a successful Top 40 record at the time. The revamped music video was shown on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, first during the summer of 1968 and several times more throughout the year. The video has since passed into legend (some call it one of the very first music videos), while Classical Gas, due in part to the impact of the video, became one of the largest selling instrumental recordings of all time.

The actual video has not been seen since 1968 and, for a multitude of reasons, may never again see the light of day. I have re-created it using the original student film as a guide, re-editing it to Classical Gas. Give or take a few frames, it is nearly identical to the actual video that aired on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour 40 years ago

ELO: Staub on the theology of the five Oscar-nom best pictures

Episcopal Life Online - OPINION: "In a nation where the dominant religion is Christianity, one would expect an adequate Christian response to the theological questions raised by today's films.

So what, then, are the theologies of the five nominees for the best picture award, and is there a compelling Christian response?

All five nominees portray human capacity for evil and fallenness, and explore, in a way, whether there is reason for hope. With one exception, these films reveal a sense of inevitable doom and a pervasive pessimism about the human condition."

Marcus, Marshall and Three-Fer Luckovich Win Opinion Awards from The Week - Media on The Huffington Post

Marcus, Marshall and Three-Fer Luckovich Win Opinion Awards from The Week - Media on The Huffington Post: "Tomorrow night, The Week magazine, in association with the Aspen Institute, will host its fifth annual Opinion Awards in D.C. for an assemblage of typical D.C. glitterati (see here and here). The menu's been planned, the guests have been invited — all that remains is for the winners to be announced, and here they are! ETP can exclusively report that the winners of The Week's fifth-annual Opinion Awards are....the Washington Post's Pulitzer-nominated Ruth Marcus for Columnist of the Year, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Pulitzer-winning Mike Luckovich for Editorial Cartoonist of the Year (again), and Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall as Blogger of the Year."

TVBizWire - Aronofsky to develop AMC series

TVBizWire - TVWeek: "Darren Aronofsky, whose directorial and writing credits include 2000's 'Requiem for a Dream,' will develop a psychological thriller series with Cablevision unit AMC, the Hollywood Reporter says. The script for 'Riverview Towers,' featuring a family living in a paranormal-inhabited apartment complex, will be written by John J. McLaughlin, the newspaper says."

TVBizWire - CNN to air candidate faith forum

TVBizWire - TVWeek: "CNN will broadcast a forum for U.S. presidential candidates on faith-related issues from Pennsylvania's Messiah College on April 13, Multichannel News reports. Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have agreed to take part in the 90-minute event while Republican candidate John McCain hasn't, Multichannel News says."

TVBizWire - CBS Denies CNN agreement talks

TVBizWire - TVWeek: "CBS News and CNN had conversations about sharing off-air resources in Baghdad, but CBS is not negotiating a broader deal to outsource its news gathering to the cable network, TVWeek reports. The New York Times reported that the organizations were engaged in broader talks that would pair CBS News personalities with CNN camera crews in order to cut its costs. CBS and CNN have had conversations in the past and CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour and anchor Anderson Cooper have contributed to CBS News' '60 Minutes.'"

CBS Said to Consider Use of CNN in Reporting - New York Times

CBS Said to Consider Use of CNN in Reporting - New York Times: "CBS, the home of the most celebrated news division in broadcasting, has been in discussions with Time Warner about a deal to outsource some of its news-gathering operations to CNN, two executives briefed on the matter said Monday.

Over the last decade, CNN has held intermittent talks with both ABC News and CBS News about various joint ventures. But during the last several months, talks with CBS have been revived and lately intensified, according to the executives who asked for anonymity because of the confidential nature of the negotiations."

BBC: Pavarotti faked final performance

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Pavarotti faked final performance: "Tenor Luciano Pavarotti was miming during his last performance at the winter Olympics in Turin in 2006.

Conductor Leone Magiera has revealed the singer's rendition of Nessun Dorma was pre-recorded, as a live performance would have been 'too dangerous'.

Pavarotti, who died in September, was already suffering pain months before being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Magiera said: 'The orchestra pretended to play, I pretended to conduct and Luciano pretended to sing.'

He added: 'It came off beautifully, no one was aware of the technical tricks.'"

Check it out:

Monday, April 07, 2008

The 50 Best Jokes - New York Post

KILLER JOKES - New York Post: "To assemble this collection of jokes, The Post contacted dozens of comics, ranging from top-dollar headliners in Vegas to regulars on 'Late Night' and 'The Daily Show' to up-and-comers who do alt-comedy at local bars. We asked them to tell us the best gag they'd written in the past year and their favorite punch line delivered by another comedian. So according to some of the funniest people on earth, these are the 50 most hilarious jokes of the last 12 months, whether they were told in nightclubs, on television or around a platter of fries at a late-night diner meal. Feel free to incite your own laugh riot."

The U.S. establishment media in a nutshell - Glenn Greenwald -

The U.S. establishment media in a nutshell - Glenn Greenwald - "In the past two weeks, the following events transpired. A Department of Justice memo, authored by John Yoo, was released which authorized torture and presidential lawbreaking. It was revealed that the Bush administration declared the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights to be inapplicable to 'domestic military operations' within the U.S. The U.S. Attorney General appears to have fabricated a key event leading to the 9/11 attacks and made patently false statements about surveillance laws and related lawsuits. Barack Obama went bowling in Pennsylvania and had a low score.

Here are the number of times, according to NEXIS, that various topics have been mentioned in the media over the past thirty days:

"Yoo and torture" - 102
"Mukasey and 9/11" -- 73
"Yoo and Fourth Amendment" -- 16
"Obama and bowling" -- 1,043
"Obama and Wright" -- More than 3,000 (too many to be counted)
"Obama and patriotism" - 1,607
"Clinton and Lewinsky" -- 1,079"

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Coming soon: superfast internet - Times Online

Coming soon: superfast internet - Times Online: "THE internet could soon be made obsolete. The scientists who pioneered it have now built a lightning-fast replacement capable of downloading entire feature films within seconds.

At speeds about 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection, “the grid” will be able to send the entire Rolling Stones back catalogue from Britain to Japan in less than two seconds.

The latest spin-off from Cern, the particle physics centre that created the web, the grid could also provide the kind of power needed to transmit holographic images; allow instant online gaming with hundreds of thousands of players; and offer high-definition video telephony for the price of a local call."

Friday, April 04, 2008

io9: The Amazingly Awful Spider-Man

Found Footage: The Amazingly Awful Spider-Man: "It's pretty easy to see why the live-action Amazing Spider-Man show hasn't ever made it to DVD. It's not just the lame special effects, like the obvious stop-motion camerawork when Spider-Man uses his webshooters to grab someone's gun or cobweb a gun-happy dowager. Nor is it the fact that every episode includes half an hour of Peter Parker and friends sitting around discussing world affairs. There's also the extreme silliness, like Spider-Man using his Spider-Vision (huh?) to spy on the women's bathroom. Or the villains deciding 'there's no time' to unmask him after their Oddjob-esque henchman has used his throwing stars to collapse the balcony he was standing on. We've collected some of the silliest bits from one episode, just to illustrate why you should be writing postcards to demand CBS/Fox not issue this series on DVD."

I dunno, I still liked it!

40 Years Ago...

81% in Poll Say Nation Is Headed on the Wrong Track - New York Times

81% in Poll Say Nation Is Headed on the Wrong Track - New York Times: "Americans are more dissatisfied with the country’s direction than at any time since the New York Times/CBS News poll began asking about the subject in the early 1990s, according to the latest poll.

In the poll, 81 percent of respondents said they believed “things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track,” up from 69 percent a year ago and 35 percent in early 2002.

Although the public mood has been darkening since the early days of the war in Iraq, it has taken a new turn for the worse in the last few months, as the economy has seemed to slip into recession. There is now nearly a national consensus that the country faces significant problems."

BBC: iTunes 'biggest US music seller'

BBC NEWS | Business | iTunes 'biggest US music seller': "Apple's iTunes has overtaken supermarket group Wal-Mart to become the largest music retailer in the US, an independent study has said.

Market research firm NPD said iTunes surpassed Wal-Mart in January and February if 12 downloads are considered equal to the sale of one CD album.

Steve Knopper, a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine, said the news showed the big change in music retailing."

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Lampoon Goes ‘National’

The Harvard Crimson :: News :: Lampoon Goes ‘National’: "Magazine readers nationwide may have been surprised yesterday when they picked up what looked like a thin April issue of National Geographic—and found Paris Hilton cavorting with a stuffed elephant and gorilla on the cover.

No, it’s not an actual copy of the iconic nature publication, but an April Fools’ parody issue distributed across the country in a collaborative effort between National Geographic magazine and The Harvard Lampoon, a semi-secret Sorrento Square social organization that used to occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine.

The Lampoon provided and controlled the content for the issue, with articles poking fun at the wildlife magazine’s stories on nature and international events."

Carter all but formally endorses Obama |

Carter all but formally endorses Obama | "'We are very interested in the primaries,' Carter said, according to the Nigerian newspaper This Day. 'Don't forget that Obama won in my state of Georgia. My town, which is home to 625 people, is for Obama. My children and their spouses are pro-Obama. My grandchildren are also pro-Obama. As a superdelegate, I would not disclose who I am rooting for, but I leave you to make that guess.'

Carter spokeswoman Deanna Congileo confirmed the former president's remarks to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday."

Radar: Tina Brown to take on Arianna online?

Fresh Intelligence : Radar Online : Tina Brown to Partner with Barry Diller on News Aggregation Site: "Former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown has more than her much-ballyhooed bio of Bill and Hillary Clinton coming down the pipeline: Radar has learned that the erstwhile 'Queen of Buzz' is partnering with InterActiveCorp honcho Barry Diller to launch her own news aggregator website.

The site, Brown tells Radar, will have 'no ideological stance' and will be edited by Edward Felsenthal, the former deputy managing editor of the Wall Street Journal who is currently a consultant at Portfolio. (We hear that two business editors at the New York Times were also contacted about jobs, but didn't bite.) Brown declined to offer specifics on either a launch date or about what, exactly, the site hopes to accomplish, saying only that it would be 'a new take on an aggregator website.'"

A Black Hole Rating System - Gail Collins in New York Times

A Black Hole Rating System - Gail Collins op-ed in New York Times: "The woes of the world have been so multitudinous lately that it’s hard to give them all proper attention. You start fretting about the collapse of the housing market. Then you wander off into melting glaciers or large cranes collapsing at urban construction sites. And before you know it, the day is over.

And now it turns out that there’s a giant particle accelerator in Switzerland that critics say could create a black hole that would swallow up the Earth. (Or, in a more optimistic scenario, turn it into what Dennis Overbye of The Times called “a shrunken dense dead lump.”)"

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Peabody Awards announced

Press Releases: "Thirty-five recipients of the 67th Annual Peabody Awards were announced today by the University of Georgia`s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The winners, chosen by the Peabody board as the best in electronic media for 2007, were named in a ceremony in the Peabody Gallery on the UGA campus.

The latest Peabody recipients reflect great diversity in content, genre and source of origination. Recipients included The Colbert Report, Comedy Central`s cable-news satire, and A Journey Across Afghanistan: Opium and Roses, a documentary from Bulgaria`s Balkan News Corporation (bTV). Whole Lotta Shakin, the Texas Heritage Music Foundation`s rollicking public-radio series chronicling the 1950s heyday of rockabilly music received the award, as did Univision`s Ya Es Hora, a public-service campaign that taught legal aliens how to apply for American citizenship."

Stan Lee, Disney set projects - Variety

Stan Lee, Disney set projects - Entertainment News, Front Page, Media - Variety: "Walt Disney Pictures and Stan Lee have set up a trio of projects that will be exec produced by Lee and Gill Champion via their POW! Entertainment banner. The projects are all based on stories by Lee.

'Nick Ratchet' will be directed by Richard LaGravenese ('P.S. I Love You') from a screenplay he is writing. Larry Jacobson and Sonny Grosso are in talks to produce.

'Blaze' is being penned by Gary Goldman ('Next').

'Tigress' is being written by newcomer Zoe Green. State Street Pictures' Robert Teitel and George Tillman will produce. Film is not the same as a previously announced project titled 'Tigress' that Lee is developing with Michelle Rodriguez attached to star. That project is based on a 'Conan the Barbarian' villainess.

The studio is keeping plot details for all three projects under wraps.

'You have no idea how frustrating that is for me, because I love these characters so much and want to talk about them,' Lee said."

TVNewser; 5 Questions for Hugh Downs TVNewser: "Longtime newsman Hugh Downs is the namesake of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University, where he lectures and takes classes. Retired from television news since 1999, Downs also gives speeches and travels extensively with his wife, Ruth.

87-year-old Downs began his 60-year broadcasting career in radio, at age 18. He moved to television in 1945, eventually becoming the announcer for Sid Caesar's Caesar's Hour and The Tonight Show with Jack Paar, and host of the game show Concentration. Downs went on to host NBC's Today for nine years and to anchor ABC's 20/20 for 21 years."

20 Worst Comic-Book Movies Ever |

20 Worst Comic-Book Movies Ever | Photos | "They may be filled with superheroes like Superman, Batman, and the Fantastic Four, but these flicks couldn't triumph over mediocrity"

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fool! The Purpose of Pranks - New York Times

Practical Jokes - Psychology - April Fool! The Purpose of Pranks - New York Times: "Keep it above the belt, stop short of total humiliation and, if possible, mix in some irony, some drama, maybe even a bogus call from the person’s old flame or new boss. A good prank, of course, involves good stagecraft. But it also requires emotional intuition."

Bjork in 3-D: The 'Wanderlust' Video | New York Times Video

Bjork in 3-D: The Wanderlust Video | New York Times Video

Gmail: Introducing Custom Time for Gmail

Gmail: Email from Google: "New! Gmail Custom TimeTM

Ever wish you could go back in time and send that crucial email that could have changed everything -- if only it hadn't slipped your mind? Gmail can now help you with those missed deadlines, missed birthdays and missed opportunities."

Just in time for April Fool's!