Monday, June 30, 2008

Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen to Star in AMC Reinterpretation of Cult Classic The Prisoner

AMC - Blogs - The Prisoner - Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen to Star in AMC Reinterpretation of Cult Classic The Prisoner: "AMC announced today that acclaimed film actors Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ, The Thin Red Line) and Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings, The Da Vinci Code) have signed on for the network's reinterpretation of the highly influential 1960s cult classic, The Prisoner. AMC is co-producing the six-part mini-series with ITV Productions and Granada International, with a worldwide premiere slated for 2009. The Prisoner, AMC's second original mini-series, combines a wide range of genres, including espionage, thriller and scifi, into a unique and compelling drama, and expands upon the network's distinctive cinematic approach to creating high-quality programming."

Blink - The Novel Side of Di Bona - TVWeek - Blogs

Blink - The Novel Side of Di Bona - TVWeek - Blogs: "“America’s Funniest Home Videos” producer Vin Di Bona is getting graphic. The TV veteran is stepping into the realm of graphic novels and comic books through his new banner, Invisible Hand Studios, which will be developing properties that hold potential for film and television adaptation. The new entity already is collaborating with Devil’s Due Publishing on several titles.

“I believe the graphic novel presents the most unique and creative entry into the future of both television and film,” explains Mr. Di Bona. “With the launch of Invisible Hand Studios, we have the opportunity to ride the crest of what will be the new wave of storytelling.”"

Tracing the Pattern of ‘Fringe’ Promos - TVWeek - News

Tracing the Pattern of ‘Fringe’ Promos - TVWeek - News: "The marketing for “Fringe” continues to live up to the show’s name.

Fox began its promotion of J.J. Abrams’ new drama in May, when—in addition to running spots on its own air—it staged a number of attention-getting stunts in conjunction with the network’s upfront presentation in New York. Among the efforts: Importing cows into the middle of Manhattan."

Archbishop of Canterbury, Presiding Bishop respond to GAFCON

Episcopal Life Online - NEWS: "Describing their proposals as 'problematic in all sorts of ways,' Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams responded June 30 to a statement released by a group of conservative Anglicans that announced a new movement to uphold traditional Anglicanism within the Communion's structures rather than to break away from it.
The announcement that the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans had been launched came in a statement released at the conclusion of the June 22-29 Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) meeting in Jerusalem, where more than 1,100 conservative Anglicans, including some 280 bishops, gathered to discuss the future shape of Anglicanism.

Also on June 30, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said 'much of the Anglican world must be lamenting the latest emission from GAFCON.'

'Anglicanism has always been broader than some find comfortable,' her statement continued. 'This [GAFCON] statement does not represent the end of Anglicanism, merely another chapter in a centuries-old struggle for dominance by those who consider themselves the only true believers. Anglicans will continue to worship God in their churches, serve the hungry, and needy in their communities, and build missional relationships with others across the globe, despite the desire of a few leaders to narrow the influence of the gospel."

Bond's "Quantum Of Solace" Trailer Released (VIDEO) - Entertainment on The Huffington Post

Bond's "Quantum Of Solace" Trailer Released (VIDEO) - Entertainment on The Huffington Post: "The teaser trailer for the new 007 movie 'Quantum of Solace' is out. Daniel Craig returns as James Bond and is again joined by Judi Dench as M.

In the new movie Bond seeks revenge for the death of his love, Vesper, and sets out to stop an environmentalist from taking control of a country's water supply. A detailed plot synopsis is available on the 'Quantum of Solace' site."

Click and Clack of ‘Car Talk’ - Two for the Road to a Toontown Sitcom on PBS -

Television - Click and Clack of ‘Car Talk’ - Two for the Road to a Toontown Sitcom on PBS - "TOM AND RAY MAGLIOZZI, the brothers who’ve turned a call-in show about car trouble into a weekly highlight for National Public Radio listeners, have long seemed ripe for a television show.

Also known as Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, these real-life owners of the Good News Garage in Cambridge, Mass., have built an empire around their freewheeling radio program, which offers on-the-fly diagnoses accompanied by bad puns and old-slacker shtick that belies their M.I.T. degrees.

Their show is broadcast on more than 600 stations, draws 4.3 million listeners, has a thriving Web site ( and publishing operation, and the brothers have their own syndicated newspaper column.

For years their popularity has prompted inquiries from television executives. Now, after more than three decades on the air, they have landed in an animated sitcom on PBS, “Click & Clack’s As the Wrench Turns.”"

Anglicans Face Wider Split Over Policy on Gays -

Anglicans Face Wider Split Over Policy on Gays - "Anglican conservatives, frustrated by the continuing stalemate over homosexuality in the Anglican Communion, declared Sunday that they would defy historic lines of authority and create a new power bloc within the communion led by a council predominantly of African archbishops.

The announcement came at the close of an unprecedented weeklong meeting in Jerusalem of Anglican conservatives who contend that they represent a majority of the 77 million members of the Anglican Communion."

Friday, June 27, 2008

NYT Book Review on 'Maps and Legends,' by Michael Chabon

Book Review - 'Maps and Legends,' by Michael Chabon - Review - "Michael Chabon’s first collection of nonfiction commences as an argument for inclusion, promoting horror stories, comic art, fantasy and science fiction. Devotees of the comic book innovator Will Eisner and the fantasist Philip Pullman will find sustenance here. The uninitiated will be introduced to M. R. James, the writer of “one of the finest short stories ever written” and, like the far more famous author whose surname he shares, a master of the psychologically rigorous ghost story."

NYT Book Review on the new James Bond book

The Spy Who Wouldn’t Love Me - Books - Review - Review - "Taking over another author’s creation four decades after his death is tricky under any circumstances. And Bond is not just any character. He is suave and witty, a master seducer, drinker and gambler who always wins — and has a license to kill. When he first appeared in “Casino Royale” in 1953, Bond was a one-man tonic for an England reeling from its post-World War II loss of power and influence. Since then, his fame has spread worldwide, and in 1997 he won the ultimate pop culture trophy, a full-on screen parody, the sophomoric and sometimes hilarious “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” which imagined a British secret agent thrust from the louche 1960s into the politically correct 1990s.

So Faulks faces the difficult task of staying true to Bond’s history while giving readers a fresh adventure."

James Dobson Doesn't Speak For Me

United Methodist minister Kirbyjon Caldwell has a new website: James Dobson Doesn't Speak for Me... check it out:

James Dobson Doesn't Speak For Me: "James Dobson doesn't speak for me.

He doesn't speak for me when he uses religion as a wedge to divide;

He doesn't speak for me when he speaks as the final arbiter on the meaning of the Bible;

James Dobson doesn't speak for me when he uses the beliefs of others as a line of attack;

He doesn't speak for me when he denigrates his neighbor's views when they don't line up with his;

He doesn't speak for me when he seeks to confine the values of my faith to two or three issues alone..."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Newsarama: Early Dark Knight reviews positive

Blog@Newsarama - Blog Archive - Screen Bites: "Batman: The Dark Knight doesn’t open for another three weeks, but the first reviews are starting to appear. And they’re incredibly positive.

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine gives the sequel three-and-a-half out of four stars, describing it as “raw and elemental,” and marveling at how director Chris Nolan “brings pop escapism whisper-close to enduring art.”

And at AICN, a reviewer calls Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker “truly one for the books.” That’s something echoed by Travers, who dubs the late actor “mad-crazy-blazing brilliant” in the role."

Mars Got Slammed by Object: Discovery News : Discovery Channel

Mars Got Slammed by Object: Discovery News : Discovery Channel: "About four billion years ago, scientists believe Earth got smacked so hard by an asteroid or comet that a piece broke off to form the moon. Apparently, things weren't much better on Mars.

Three related studies appearing in this week's edition of the journal Nature provide evidence that Mars bears the biggest scar in the solar system -- an oval-shaped, 6,200-mile long impact crater that shattered half the planet's crust, left its southern hemisphere 2.5 miles taller than the north and possibly created the largest known string of volcanoes.

'Mars wouldn't be the planet it is today had this not happened,' lead author Jeffrey Andrews-Hanna, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told Discovery News."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Frank Schaeffer: Dr. Dobson Has Just Handed Obama Victory - Politics on The Huffington Post

Frank Schaeffer: Dr. Dobson Has Just Handed Obama Victory - Politics on The Huffington Post: "enator Obama just took another giant step toward winning the presidency. Actually, someone who considers himself a sworn enemy of Senator Obama took the step for him. Dr. Dobson of the Focus On the Family radio program (and evangelical media empire) has aired a program in which he attacks Senator Obama, the Senator's theology and his credentials as a Christian. With enemies like this Senator Obama doesn't need friends.

No, I'm not talking about Dobson energizing liberal Democrats. I'm talking about Dobson energizing his fellow evangelicals to vote for Senator Obama."

Explore the Spirit: Conversation With Comic Book Iconographer Chris Yambar

Explore the Spirit: 197: Conversation With Comic Book Iconographer Chris Yambar: "One way to look at Chris Yambar's body of work -- from his goofy 'Simpsons' comic books to his cool-cat salute to the 1950s with his espresso-sipping 'Mr. Beat' -- is to peg Chris simply as a 'comic artist' and then smile pleasantly in his direction.

But, if you do that, you'll miss entirely the prophetic force of his work."

MoDowd - More Phony Myths - Op-Ed -

Op-Ed Columnist - More Phony Myths - Op-Ed - "Karl Rove was impressed with Barack Obama when he first met him. But now he sees him as a “coolly arrogant” elitist.

This was Rove’s take on Obama to Republicans at the Capitol Hill Club Monday, according to Christianne Klein of ABC News:

“Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.”

Actually, that sounds more like W."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cut! Actors' strike threatens to bring Hollywood to a standstill - Americas, World - The Independent

Cut! Actors' strike threatens to bring Hollywood to a standstill - Americas, World - The Independent: "To have one trade union paralyse Hollywood was strange; two doing it in quick succession feels like carelessness. A threatened walkout by actors, which could begin as early as next week, is throwing major film and television studios into chaos.

The contract dispute, this time between the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and their white-collar bosses, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), is causing what industry experts have called a 'virtual strike'."

The Democrats' favorite Bible verse

Religion News (RSS): The Democrats' favorite Bible verse: "When Sen. Barack Obama turns to talking about faith on the campaign trail, he sometimes invokes the New Testament book of James and its admonition that 'faith without works is dead.'

As she competed for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton frequently did the same -- often more regularly than Obama -- though what she called her 'personal theology' sometimes took a different tack, saying that 'works without faith is too hard.'

Sen. John Kerry also called upon James in the 2004 election, saying that 'There's a great passage in the Bible that says, `What does it mean, my brother, to say you have faith if there are no deeds?''"

An in-depth look at USA's religious beliefs, practices |

An in-depth look at USA's religious beliefs, practices |

Comedian Dody Goodman dies

Comedian Dody Goodman dies: "Dody Goodman, the delightfully daffy comedian known for her television appearances on Jack Paar's late-night talk show and as the mother on the soap-opera parody 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,' has died. She was 93."

Jerry Seinfeld on George Carlin’s Life and Comedy - Op-Ed -

Op-Ed Contributor - Jerry Seinfeld on George Carlin’s Life and Comedy - Op-Ed -

"THE honest truth is, for a comedian, even death is just a premise to make jokes about. I know this because I was on the phone with George Carlin nine days ago and we were making some death jokes. We were talking about Tim Russert and Bo Diddley and George said: “I feel safe for a while. There will probably be a break before they come after the next one. I always like to fly on an airline right after they’ve had a crash. It improves your odds.”"

Discovery of More Planets Gives Alien Life-Seekers Heart -

Basics - Discovery of More Planets Gives Alien Life-Seekers Heart - "For those of us who still mourn the demise of the “Star Trek” franchise and its vision of the cosmos as a thrillingly multicultural if occasionally lethal nightclub, the announcement last week that many Sun-size stars in our galaxy are girdled with Earth-size planets was, frankly, transporting.

The newly detected worlds are far too close to their stellar parents to have much chance of harboring even microbial life, let alone anybody capable of looking boss in spandex. Nevertheless, the discovery gave astronomers and alien life-seekers heart."

‘The Shack,’ a Christian Novel, Becomes a Surprise Best Seller -

‘The Shack,’ a Christian Novel, Becomes a Surprise Best Seller -

“The Shack ” is the most compelling recent example of how a word-of-mouth phenomenon can explode into a blockbuster when the momentum hits chain bookstores.

Survey Shows U.S. Religious Tolerance -

Survey Shows U.S. Religious Tolerance - "Although a majority of Americans say religion is very important to them, nearly three-quarters of them say they believe that many faiths besides their own can lead to salvation, according to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The report, the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, reveals a broad trend toward tolerance and an ability among many Americans to hold beliefs that might contradict the doctrines of their professed faiths.

For example, 70 percent of Americans affiliated with a religion or denomination said they agreed that “many religions can lead to eternal life,” including majorities among Protestants and Catholics. Among evangelical Christians, 57 percent agreed with the statement, and among Catholics, 79 percent did."

Secret of the 'lost' Amazon tribe that wasn't | World news | The Observer

Secret of the 'lost' Amazon tribe that wasn't | World news | The Observer: "They are the amazing pictures that were beamed around the globe: a handful of warriors from an 'undiscovered tribe' in the rainforest on the Brazilian-Peruvian border brandishing bows and arrows at the aircraft that photographed them.

Or so the story was told and sold. But it has now emerged that, far from being unknown, the tribe's existence has been noted since 1910 and the mission to photograph them was undertaken in order to prove that 'uncontacted' tribes still existed in an area endangered by the menace of the logging industry."

Monday, June 23, 2008

'Strange and Stranger' by Blake Bell - Los Angeles Times

'Strange and Stranger' by Blake Bell - Los Angeles Times: "'Strange and Stranger' represents an attempt to get inside the Ditko mythos, to reckon with his life and work. The good news is that the book is an extremely satisfying archive of the artist's work, both famous and obscure, and that it intensely documents the twists and turns of his career. The bad news is that Bell is better at framing questions than he is at answering them. When you're writing about a recluse, reportage is the obvious challenge, and 'Strange and Stranger' ends up giving us an intricate sketch of Ditko's professional life while developing an unconvincing portrait of the man himself."

The New Classics: Books - Entertainment Weekly

The New Classics: Top 100 Books | EW 1000: Books | Books | The EW 1000 | Entertainment Weekly.

Chabon should be way up higher.

Read at Work

Read at Work

Here's what says about this unique site:

As office managers and cubicle dwellers know, the Internet is a great help for procrastinating on the job (ahem: Scrabulous). But now wasting time at the office has become much less risky, thanks to Read at Work, a website that houses cleverly disguised books in a fake Windows desktop environment; the days of bookworms’ desperately clicking back to a spreadsheet when the boss approached are over.

The site is a dead-on simulation of Windows with the books organized in desktop folders. Click and you’ll see the text rendered as a Power Point presentation, with the words rolling into graphics, charts, and photo captions. You can read short stories, novels, and poetry — by canonical authors such as Tolstoy and Orwell, and contemporary writers like Charlotte Grimshaw and Fiona Kidman.

The site, designed by the company Colenso BBDO, Auckland, is an effort by the New Zealand Book Council to entice people into reading. Sold.

Too bad I use a Mac at work :)

Carlin, counterculture comedians' dean, dies at 71

My Way News - Carlin, counterculture comedians' dean, dies at 71: "George Carlin, the dean of counterculture comedians whose biting insights on life and language were immortalized in his 'Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV' routine, died of heart failure Sunday. He was 71.
Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, went into St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday afternoon complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He had performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas."

RIP George.

Once an Internet Giant, InfoSpace Dismantles Itself -

Once an Internet Giant, InfoSpace Dismantles Itself - "A couple of weeks ago, the handful of people who were still trying to use to look up phone numbers and addresses started finding themselves on the homepage of SuperPages, the business-listings site owned by a Verizon spinoff.

Anyone who took note of this might remember that InfoSpace was once an Internet juggernaut, worth $31 billion back in March 2000. Supporters said at the time that it was poised to dominate the market for local online advertising.

Today, the company’s share of the search industry does not even reach 1 percent, and its name joins the scrap heap of once-formidable Internet brands, like AltaVista, that did not make it through."

Reporters Say Networks Put Wars on Back Burner -

Reporters Say Networks Put Wars on Back Burner - "According to data compiled by Andrew Tyndall, a television consultant who monitors the three network evening newscasts, coverage of Iraq has been “massively scaled back this year.” Almost halfway into 2008, the three newscasts have shown 181 weekday minutes of Iraq coverage, compared with 1,157 minutes for all of 2007. The “CBS Evening News” has devoted the fewest minutes to Iraq, 51, versus 55 minutes on ABC’s “World News” and 74 minutes on “NBC Nightly News.” (The average evening newscast is 22 minutes long.)"

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Frank Rich - Now That We’ve ‘Won,’ Let’s Come Home - Op-Ed -

Op-Ed Columnist - Now That We’ve ‘Won,’ Let’s Come Home - Op-Ed - "THE Iraq war’s defenders like to bash the press for pushing the bad news and ignoring the good. Maybe they’ll be happy to hear that the bad news doesn’t rate anymore. When a bomb killed at least 51 Iraqis at a Baghdad market on Tuesday, ending an extended run of relative calm, only one of the three network newscasts (NBC’s) even bothered to mention it.

The only problem is that no news from Iraq isn’t good news — it’s no news. The night of the Baghdad bombing the CBS war correspondent Lara Logan appeared as Jon Stewart’s guest on “The Daily Show” to lament the vanishing television coverage and the even steeper falloff in viewer interest. “Tell me the last time you saw the body of a dead American soldier,” she said. After pointing out that more soldiers died in Afghanistan than Iraq last month, she asked, “Who’s paying attention to that?”"

Mr. Bush, Lead or Leave - Friedman -

Op-Ed Columnist - Mr. Bush, Lead or Leave - Op-Ed -

It is hard to find the words to express what a fraudulent, pathetic excuse for an energy policy President Bush’s new plan is.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Obama Making Christian Push -

Obama Making Christian Push - "With the Democratic presidential nomination in his grasp, Sen. Barack Obama is making a full-throttle push for centrist evangelicals and Catholics.

It's a move that's caught some conservative evangelicals off guard. They say they are surprised and dismayed to see a liberal-minded politician attempting to conscript their troops. At the same time, they say that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has done little to court their affections."

Martian Skies - The Big Picture -

Martian Skies - The Big Picture - "Yesterday's announcement by NASA of the discovery of water ice on Mars by its Phoenix Lander probe made big news everywhere. The discovery involved the observation of water ice sublimating into the air - that is, the water went from solid to vapor state without reaching the liquid stage. The Martian atmosphere has perfect conditions for sublimation - extremely thin, dry and cold. How cold? Well, you can check the Live Martian Weather Report, with data from a station on board the Phoenix Lander. Today will see a high temperature of a toasty -26 degrees F.
What more do we know about Mars' atmosphere? It's hundreds of times thinner than Earth's atmosphere and is made of 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, and contains traces of oxygen, water, and methane. We also know, from observations that it can support dust storms, dust devils, clouds and gusty winds. With an amazing number of six current live probes exploring Mars (two rovers, a lander, and three orbiters), there are many thousands of images available. Only a few, however show atmospheric phenomena. Presented here are some of the best images of Martian atmosphere (and beyond) in action..."

The next wave of Christianity -

NEXT WAVE OF CHRISTIANITY | "They are self-centered philanthropists.

Or, the next Greatest Generation, though lacking the steady commitments their grandparents had.

They are denominational mutts.

In spite of coming of age post-Sept. 11 and seeing firsthand the nearly unassailable poverty of the Third World or inner-city America, they are hopeful.

Welcome the coming generation of Christian leaders, as described by those working with them.

Millennials —- teenagers to 20-somethings —- will soon be in your local pulpit."

Gail Collins - Picking a Vice President Is Nice - Op-Ed -

Op-Ed Columnist - Gail Collins - Picking a Vice President Is Nice - Op-Ed -

A vice-presidential nominee needs to be able to run the store in a crisis. Other than that, picking a running mate is like picking a pet.

Hollywood Still Leery of Comic Convention -

Hollywood Still Leery of Comic Convention -

Rumbling into its 39th year, the loose-jointed Comic-Con fan gathering has become the single most important promotional stop on Hollywood’s festival circuit.

A Bond Book From Bentley -

High Beams - A Bond Book From Bentley - "PRODUCT placements happen in books as well as films. James Bond, the franchise that embraced product placement, uses both. And while most people associate Bond primarily with the Aston Martins he drove in the movies, in the books Bond is most associated with Bentley. He has also, less memorably, driven a Saab and a Jaguar in the books commissioned after the death of Ian Fleming.

Now, in a Bond marketing effort tied to what would have been Fleming’s 100th birthday, Bentley has produced an edition of the latest novel, “Devil May Care,” by the novelist Sebastian Faulks. In an edition limited to 300, the Bond book was available in the United States at and priced at $1,500."

I'm in the middle of reading this book and enjoying it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hogan's Alley: National Cartoonists Society 2008 Pix Online

Welcome to Hogan's Alley!: "We want to share our photo album of the annual bacchanalia held by the National Cartoonists Society with you. We especially want to thank the indefatigable David Folkman, who, besides being Hogan's Alley's peerless art director, also took all of the following pictures. If you are pictured below and feel incriminated, it's his fault."

The Art of the Title Sequence

The Art of the Title Sequence -

Very cool site... here's what says:

When film title sequences are done right — as in the hypnotic opening of Vertigo — they are much more profoundly a part of the movie experience than, say, a book cover is of the reading experience, and they set you up for what’s about to come next almost as effectively and memorably as a great literary first line. Now a film-obsessed website, Art of the Title, has begun collecting striking opening and end title sequences from movies and television shows.

Founded by Ian Albinson, a Vermont-based designer, and Alexander Ulloa, a writer in Boston, the site is a goldmine for anyone looking for a quick film or design fix. From the whip-crack art direction of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to recent sequences that are sometimes better than the films for which they’re created (The Island of Dr. Moreau), the site’s selections are a perfect tribute to the designers and filmmakers who made and continue to make great movies better from start to finish.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gail Collins - Bad Day in the Rose Garden -

Op-Ed Columnist - Bad Day in the Rose Garden - Op-Ed - "The O.C.S. was only one part of a four-point recipe for producing tons and tons of American-bred gasoline in the future. Bush wants to search for oil offshore, out West, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in the basement, beneath the Washington Monument — you name it, he’s ready to drill.

This would require a great deal of excruciatingly controversial legislation, all of which he demanded the Democrats in Congress pass before the Fourth of July recess.

Otherwise, everything is their fault."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Obama's Play for the Faithful - TIME

Obama's Play for the Faithful - TIME: "t's safe to say there's no page in the Democratic handbook that recommends sitting down with several dozen right-of-center Christian leaders one week after clinching the party's presidential nomination. So the fact that Barack Obama slipped away Tuesday afternoon to a borrowed Chicago law-firm conference room for some prayer and frank talk about his faith and to face some tough questioning from heavy hitters in the Evangelical, Catholic and mainline Protestant worlds could be the clearest sign yet that he really does intend to practice a different kind of politics. But it's undoubtedly also a signal that he recognizes the damage done to his campaign by a spring that featured the Jeremiah Wright show and rumors about his true religious leanings — and ended with a decision to leave his church."

Bob Herbert Op-Ed: The Man in the Room at Walter Reed -

Op-Ed Columnist - Bob Herbert - The Man in the Room at Walter Reed - Op-Ed -

At Walter Reed Army Medical Center two young soldiers learn the meaning of friendship.

The Mundaneum Museum Honors the First Concept of the World Wide Web -

The Mundaneum Museum Honors the First Concept of the World Wide Web -

The Mundaneum Museum honors the first concept of a world wide wonder, sketched out by Paul Otlet in 1934 as a global network of “electric telescopes.”

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bush backer pens pro-Obama book - Ben Smith -

Bush backer pens pro-Obama book - Ben Smith - "The conservative Evangelical biographer of George W. Bush and Tom DeLay has moved on to a new subject: Barack Obama. And his new book, due out this summer, may lend credibility to Senator Obama's bid to win Evangelical Christian voters away from the Republican Party.

The forthcoming volume from Stephen Mansfield, whose sympathetic 'The Faith of George W. Bush' spent 15 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list in 2004, is titled 'The Faith of Barack Obama.' Its tone ranges from gently critical to gushing, and the author defends Obama-and even his controversial former minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright-from conservative critics, and portrays him as a compelling figure for Christian voters."

The New Yorker on Olbermann

The Political Scene: One Angry Man: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker: "Is Keith Olbermann changing TV news?"

'Get Smart,' Then and Now - Interactive Feature -

'Get Smart,' Then and Now - Interactive Feature - "A thematic look at scenes from both the television show and the movie version of 'Get Smart.'"

Superhero Spirituality: 7 Life Lessons from Great Comic Book Teachers, Superhero Spirituality: 7 Life Lessons --

Superhero Spirituality: 7 Life Lessons from Great Comic Book Teachers, Superhero Spirituality: 7 Life Lessons -- "Forget what Tina Turner sang: We do need another hero. Several, actually, judging from this summer's roster of potential blockbusters. Beginning with 'Iron Man' (released May 2), Hollywood will unleash four heroic comic-book icons between now and July 19--not including 'Speed Racer' (which first roared to existence in Japanese manga) and 'Hancock' (a superhero in need of a good PR man).

Sure, these superhero flicks make for good popcorn fare. But lately, our on-screen champions have peddled more than cool costumes and CGI wizardry. They form a crucible for how the rest of us grapple with adversity, morality and faith.

Here's a rundown of Beliefnet's Super Seven--and what they teach us."

F.C.C. Chief Backs XM-Sirius Deal -

F.C.C. Chief Backs XM-Sirius Deal - "The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is recommending approval of the $5 billion merger between the nation's two satellite radio broadcasters in exchange for concessions that include turning over 24 channels to noncommercial and minority programming, The Associated Press has learned.

That condition -- along with others, including a three-year price freeze for consumers -- convinced FCC Chairman Kevin Martin on Sunday to recommend approval for Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.'s buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. The deal affects millions of subscribers who pay to hear music, news, sports and talk programming, largely free from advertising, in homes and vehicles."

Friday, June 13, 2008

NYT Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk - Movie - Review - The New York Times: "The new movie about poor Dr. Banner, directed by Louis Leterrier (“The Transporter,” “Transporter 2”) from a script by Zak Penn (“X2,” “X-Men: The Last Stand”), is called “The Incredible Hulk.” But let’s not get carried away: “The Adequate Hulk” would have been a more suitable title. There are some big, thumping fights and a few bright shards of pop-cultural wit, but for the most part this movie seems content to aim for the generic mean. If you really need a superhero to tide you over until Hellboy and Batman resurface next month — and honestly, do you? really? why? — I guess this big green dude will do."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Explore the Spirit: Glimpsing This "Ancient" Revival with Phyllis Tickle

Explore the Spirit: 188: Glimpsing This "Ancient" Revival with Writer and Architect Phyllis Tickle: "After decades as a leading journalist, reporting on the movement of faith in people's lives in many books as well as in the pages of Publishers Weekly magazine, Phyllis Tickle has glimpsed a dramatic transformation within Christianity. Quite simply, she sees millions of Christians -- Protestants as well as many Catholics -- so discouraged by what passes for religion in the churches they have inherited that they eagerly are reaching for something deeper and more authentic.

Phyllis believes they're reaching back -- way back to the origins of Christianity with Jesus of Nazareth -- and back even further than that to the Abrahamic origins of Judaism, Christianity and Islam."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

'Hulk' offers fresh start for Marvel hero |

FIRST LOOK 'THE INCREDIBLE HULK': Film offers fresh start for Marvel hero | "To describe 'The Incredible Hulk,' entertainment-happy is using a fairly new word: requel.

Yes, not prequel, or sequel, but requel, meaning a movie that does not continue from a previous work or start a story line over again.

In comic book-turned-movie lexicon it means 'The Incredible Hulk,' which debuts in theaters this week with Oscar-nominee Ed Norton as the genetically enlarged mean, green, fighting machine, is really nothing like Ang Lee's generally reviled 'Hulk' of a few years ago.

The new 'Hulk,' screened here Monday night for an audience of metro Atlanta film critics and often cheering and applauding fans, wastes little time before leaping into an action sequence that starts with characters on the run and builds to a deafening crescendo of bullets, huge chunks of tossed metal and the human changeling's ferocious roar."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jordan archaeologists unearth 'world's first church'

Jordan archaeologists unearth 'world's first church': "Archaeologists in Jordan have unearthed what they claim is the world's first church, dating back almost 2,000 years, The Jordan Times reported on Tuesday.

'We have uncovered what we believe to be the first church in the world, dating from 33 AD to 70 AD,' the head of Jordan's Rihab Centre for Archaeological Studies, Abdul Qader al-Husan, said.

He said it was uncovered under Saint Georgeous Church, which itself dates back to 230 AD, in Rihab in northern Jordan near the Syrian border.

'We have evidence to believe this church sheltered the early Christians -- the 70 disciples of Jesus Christ,' Husan said."

Monday, June 09, 2008

Mix of politics, religion appears a recipe for disaster - The Boston Globe

Mix of politics, religion appears a recipe for disaster - The Boston Globe: "The 2008 primary election campaign began with candidates scrambling to embrace religious leaders, and it's ending with candidates rushing to repudiate them. An election cycle that was supposed to usher in the marriage of religion and politics may be hastening its divorce."

The New iPhone! CNN

Apple's chief Steve Jobs announces new iPhone services - Jun. 9, 2008: "Apple announced on Monday a much faster iPhone that's half the price of the current model.

The news is expected to address one of the biggest complaints about the hugely popular iPhone: That its network is too slow. CEO Steve Jobs said the new iPhone, which is based on technology known as 3G, is 36% faster than top rival Nokia's N95 smartphone."

McCain, Obama Battle Over Wary Evangelical Voters - Politics on The Huffington Post

McCain, Obama Battle Over Wary Evangelical Voters - Politics on The Huffington Post: "More than the last two elections, the religious vote is up for grab between John McCain and Barack Obama. Recent problems from pastoral surrogates notwithstanding, McCain's frigid reception within the evangelical community and Obama's strong religious roots could combine to peel away a sizable number of voters from a presumed wing of the GOP base."

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Religious Right Figure Gets Chills: Obama Could Win 40 Percent Of Evangelicals - Politics on The Huffington Post

Religious Right Figure Gets Chills: Obama Could Win 40 Percent Of Evangelicals - Politics on The Huffington Post: "'With clients like Focus on the Family, Franklin Graham, and Campus Crusade for Christ, Mark DeMoss may be the most prominent public relations executive in the evangelical world. A former chief of staff to Jerry Falwell, DeMoss became then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney's chief liaison to evangelical leaders.'

In a new interview with Dan Gilgoff for BeliefNet's God-o-Meter, DeMoss explains the lack of religious enthusiasm for McCain and predicts a potential major shift to Obama."

Lesson of the Universal fire - Op-Ed -

Op-Ed Contributor - Lesson of the Universal fire - the film industry is built on the ephemeral. - Op-Ed - "This latest fire, I hope, will prompt Universal and its fellow majors to better preserve not just key titles like “Duck Soup,” “Dracula” or “Vertigo” — which will surely be reprinted and return to circulation — but also the other 90 percent of their inventories, the less famous and therefore more vulnerable titles that the studio may not feel justify spending thousands to save. These are exquisite samples of 20th-century American culture and deserve to always be seen in their extravagant, sensual, big-screen glory."

Gail Collins - What Hillary Clinton Won - Op-Ed -

Op-Ed Columnist - Gail Collins - What Hillary Clinton Won - Op-Ed - "I get asked all the time whether I think Hillary lost because sexism is worse than racism in this country. The answer is no. She lost because Obama ran a smarter, better-organized campaign. It’s possible that she would have won if the Democratic Party had more rational primary rules. But Obama didn’t make up the rules, and Clinton had no problem with them until she began to lose.

Here’s where the sexism does come in. If Barack had failed in his attempt to make history by becoming the first African-American presidential nominee, you can bet we’d have treated his defeat with the dignity it deserved. Even if he went over the deep end at the finale and found it hard to get around to a graceful concession."

Editorial - The Cons of Creationism, as Texas Takes Up the Issue - NYTcom

Editorial - The Cons of Creationism, as Texas Takes Up the Issue - Editorial - "The Texas State Board of Education is again considering a science curriculum that teaches the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution, setting an example that several other states are likely to follow. This is code for teaching creationism.

It has the advantage of sounding more balanced than teaching “intelligent design,” which the courts have consistently banned from science classrooms. It has the disadvantage of being nonsense."

James Comstock, 85, West Virginia Publisher - New York Times

James Comstock, 85, West Virginia Publisher - New York Times: This is from 1996, but I just ran across it via Google. I worked with Jim Comstock for three glorious years right out of college as his right hand man and eventually editor (to his very active emeritus). I could tell some stories. Maybe I will someday.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Spectra from

NewsWare Apps | Spectra | "Spectra merges the news spectrum and the color spectrum into an expansive news viewing experience. With comprehensive live news coverage, striking design, complete customization, dynamic browsing, human body interaction and many other unique features, Spectra brings A Fuller Spectrum of News to life in our most immersive extension yet."


Clinton Says V.P. Is Obamas Choice - NYT

Clinton Says V.P. Is Obamas Choice - The Caucus - Politics - New York Times Blog: "Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today disavowed a campaign by some of her supporters to pressure Senator Barack Obama into choosing her as a running-mate, saying they were acting on their own and the decision on who to pick was “Senator Obama’s and his alone.”"

Man Falls After Receiving Spirit, Sues - June 5, 2008

Man Falls After Receiving Spirit, Sues - June 5, 2008: "Last June, Matthew Lincoln was attending an evening service at his nondenominational Tennessee church when he approached the altar where a visiting minister was offering individual prayers for parishioners. Assigned 'catchers' were present on the altar in case congregants fainted, fell, or otherwise lost control. When the minister, Robert Lavala, slightly touched his forehead, the Knoxville-area man 'received the spirit and fell backwards.' Except nobody was there to catch him, Lincoln charges in a $2.5 million lawsuit filed yesterday against Lakewind Church and its pastors."

I have wondered when this would happen.

Senate committee: Bush knew Iraq claims weren't true

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 06/05/2008 | Senate committee: Bush knew Iraq claims weren't true: "A long-awaited Senate Select Intelligence Committee report made public Thursday concludes that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney made public statements to promote an invasion of Iraq that they knew at the time were not supported by available intelligence.

A companion report found that a special office set up by then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld undertook 'sensitive intelligence activities' that were inappropriate 'without the knowledge of the Intelligence Community or the State Department.'"

How to win the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest. - By Patrick House - Slate Magazine

How to win the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest. - By Patrick House - Slate Magazine: "Most people who look at the winners of the caption contest say, 'I could've done better than that.' You're right. You could have. But that doesn't mean you could've won the caption contest—it just means you could've done better. And if your goal is not to win the caption contest, why bother entering? There is one mantra to take from this article, worth its own line break:
You are not trying to submit the funniest caption; you are trying to win The New Yorker's caption contest."

Tony Blair's Leap of Faith - TIME

Tony Blair's Leap of Faith - TIME

TPC's take: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair unveiled The Tony Blair Faith Foundation May 30 in New York. Among other things, the foundation is dedicated to proving that collaboration among those of different religious faiths can help address some of the world’s most pressing social problems, reports Time magazine. “Faith is part of our future,” the magazine quotes Blair, “and faith and the values it brings with it are an essential part of making globalization work.”

RFK: Remembering Our Father - Op-Ed -

Op-Ed Contributors - Remembering Our Father - Op-Ed - "Forty years ago tomorrow, as he was celebrating his victory in California’s Democratic presidential primary, Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated. To mark the occasion, the Op-Ed page invited his children to share their memories of him."

Gail Collins - A Special Summer for John McCain and Barack Obama - Op-Ed -

Op-Ed Columnist - Gail Collins - A Special Summer for John McCain and Barack Obama - Op-Ed - "John McCain wants to recreate the old Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland movies about a couple of kids putting on a show in the barn. Him and Barack, barnstorming around the country. They could fly together on the same plane!

“Just two Americans running for the highest office in the greatest nation on earth!” he said enthusiastically."

Joe Scarborough Is in His Prime With MSNBC’s Morning Audience -

Joe Scarborough Is in His Prime With MSNBC’s Morning Audience - "When MSNBC awarded Don Imus’s old morning-show slot to Joe Scarborough last summer, it did so with little enthusiasm and few expectations. Mr. Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida, had never quite seemed comfortable on his prime-time show, “Scarborough Country,” nor did he seem to mesh ideologically with this cable news channel’s more liberal-leaning stars, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews.

Yet Mr. Imus’s departure, following a racially and sexually insensitive exchange, was so abrupt as to leave the channel few immediate options beyond Mr. Scarborough."

I couldn't stand Joe before but I got hooked on his java.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Doh! Homer and Marge Break a Record - TV Decoder - Media & Television - New York Times Blog

Doh! Homer and Marge Break a Record - TV Decoder - Media & Television - New York Times Blog: "At the end of next season, “The Simpsons” will be the longest-running series in the history of prime time television.

So says Fox Broadcasting, which confirmed a 20th season order for the animated sitcom on Tuesday. The big 2-0 will tie “The Simpsons” with “Gunsmoke,” according to Fox.

Fox renewed another animated series, “King of the Hill,” in April and announced two new shows, “The Cleveland Show” and “Sit Down, Shut Up,” in May. But the renewal for “The Simpsons” was delayed by contract negotiations between the voice actors and 20th Century Fox Television. Over the weekend, the two sides signed a four-year deal that will give the top actors nearly $400,000 per episode, according to The Hollywood Reporter."

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Explore the Spirit: QUIZ: Sex in the Bible

Explore the Spirit: 181: QUIZ: Headline Says "Sex Sells," but Bible Students Know All About That!: "Here's a great chance to test yourself -- 10 Questions about Sex in the Bible."

Universal picks up the pieces - Entertainment News, Film News, Media - Variety

Universal picks up the pieces - Entertainment News, Film News, Media - Variety: "The blaze that destroyed part of the Universal Studios backlot on Sunday was an accident, caused by sparks from a blowtorch used to repair part of the New York Street set, city fire officials said Monday after an investigation."

Spoilers: Love 'em or hate 'em? | Entertainment Weekly | 1

Spoilers: Love 'em or hate 'em? | Movie and TV Culture | News Notes | Entertainment Weekly | 1: "Leaks, surveillance photos, camera phones, spoiler sites: The battle is on between fans who want to know every tidbit they can and fans who believe ignorance is bliss. How America's appetite for secrets is changing the way movies and TV shows get made"

Findings - Futurist Ray Kurzweil Sees a Revolution Fueled by Information Technology -

Findings - Futurist Ray Kurzweil Sees a Revolution Fueled by Information Technology - Ray Kurzweil is a futurist with a track record who makes his predictions using what he calls the Law of Accelerating Returns.

After Years of Effort, Dark Energy Still Puzzles Scientists -

After Years of Effort, Dark Energy Still Puzzles Scientists - After decades of effort, some scientists are beginning to despair of explaining the universe. Or is it universes?

Monday, June 02, 2008

A Network to Make an Environmental Point -

Advertising - A Network to Make an Environmental Point - "On Wednesday, Discovery will introduce Planet Green, a new cable brand promoted as the first 24-hour channel dedicated to eco-friendly living. It is the highest-profile cable channel introduction of the year, and an equally risky one. By wrapping itself in the planet, Discovery is betting that “eco-tainment” will appeal to viewers.

Planet Green will replace the Discovery Home Channel in more than 50 million homes. Eyeing the public’s increased interest in environmental issues, Discovery is confident that it can attract more viewers with green-themed programming."

A Battered Feeling at Obama’s Former Church -

A Battered Feeling at Obama’s Former Church - "For weeks, the members of Trinity United Church of Christ on the South Side of the city felt battered by the national spotlight that had accompanied the growing fame of their longtime member, Senator Barack Obama.

First came the endless television coverage of incendiary statements by the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., their controversial former pastor. Then reports of a visiting Roman Catholic priest who had mocked Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. And finally on Sunday, a day after Mr. Obama announced that his family was leaving the church, satellite trucks idling again outside the 7:30 a.m. service.

Inside the packed sanctuary of more than 2,000, the Rev. Otis Moss III, the new pastor, did not directly mention in sermons the political tumult surrounding the church. But in a flier that workers slipped into church programs, Mr. Moss commented at length about the situation, calling the decades-old Trinity a “new church being birthed in the crucible of a public moment.”"


FOREVER BETTY - New York Post: "Read this statement and let it sink in for a moment: Betty White has been on TV since 1949.
Yes, that's 59 years, since the Truman administration.
She has starred in or had recurring roles in at least 10 series, headlining at least five of them (even producing her first one, 'Life with Elizabeth,' in 1953). She has guest-starred in countless others, from 'The Millionaire' in 1956 to 'Ugly Betty' just last December.
And she has played 'Password' in every incarnation of the quiz show since 1961, including the new 'Million Dollar Password,' hosted by Regis Philbin and premiering this week on CBS."

Search to Divine Authorship Leads 'Footprints' to Court -

Search to Divine Authorship Leads 'Footprints' to Court - "The single set of footprints in the sand -- as millions of inspired souls now know -- was that time when the Lord picked you up and carried you. It's a metaphor, people: He is there when you need Him most, and so is the ubiquitous poem known as 'Footprints in the Sand,' shared around the world on posters, plaques, Bible covers and all things decoupage.

But who wrote it? God only knows, but after years of debate that used to confine itself to the Internet, 'Footprints' could be headed to court. Basil Zangare, a 49-year-old Long Island man, insists the poem was written by his late mother during the Great Depression, even though she did not get around to copyrighting it for 50 years.

Zangare filed suit May 12 in a federal court against two women who each promotes herself as the poem's sole author and true copyright holder. He claims they've made millions on 'Footprints'-related merchandise, money he wants a part of."

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Looking Back at James Bond’s Origins as the Franchise Continues With a New Novel -

Film - Looking Back at James Bond’s Origins as the Franchise Continues With a New Novel - "IAN FLEMING, had he lived, would have celebrated his 100th birthday on Wednesday. James Bond, his greatest invention, is probably a bit younger, strictly speaking (the evidence in the books is a little contradictory) — except that Bond, of course, is ageless and immortal. Never mind those three packs a day; he has wind to spare. His liver, astoundingly, is still holding up. He has survived not only Fleming but Kingsley Amis and John Gardner, who, among others, kept on publishing Bond novels in Fleming’s stead. With a new Bond book just out — “Devil May Care” by Sebastian Faulks — there are now, in addition to the 12 Bond novels that Fleming actually wrote, almost twice as many that he didn’t."

Young Evangelicals Seek Broader Political Agenda -

Young Evangelicals Seek Broader Political Agenda - "The Journey, a megachurch of mostly younger evangelicals, is representative of a new generation that refuses to put politics at the center of its faith and rejects identification with the religious right.

They say they are tired of the culture wars. They say they do not want the test of their faith to be the fight against gay rights. They say they want to broaden the traditional evangelical anti-abortion agenda to include care for the poor, the environment, immigrants and people with H.I.V., according to experts on younger evangelicals and the young people themselves.

“Evangelicalism is becoming somewhat less coherent as a movement or as an identity,” said Christian Smith, a sociology professor at the University of Notre Dame. “Younger people don’t even want the label anymore. They don’t believe the main goal of the church is to be political.”"

Obama Quits His Church After Months of Criticism -

Obama Quits His Church After Months of Criticism - "Senator Barack Obama has resigned his membership in Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, which he attended for nearly two decades, following months of controversy about pastors and their political views.

Mr. Obama said he and his wife, Michelle, wrote a letter on Friday to the church’s pastor, the Rev. Otis Moss, explaining that their estrangement from Trinity took root in controversial remarks by the church’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., who once was Mr. Obama’s spiritual guide."