Thursday, July 31, 2008

NASA Spacecraft Confirms Martian Water, Mission Extended

NASA - NASA Spacecraft Confirms Martian Water, Mission Extended: "Laboratory tests aboard NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander have identified water in a soil sample. The lander's robotic arm delivered the sample Wednesday to an instrument that identifies vapors produced by the heating of samples.

'We have water,' said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA. 'We've seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted.'

With enticing results so far and the spacecraft in good shape, NASA also announced operational funding for the mission will extend through Sept. 30."

Big Shiny Robot!'s peek at the unproduced Kavalier & Clay script

Big Shiny Robot!: "Through means I’m not at liberty to disclose, I managed to acquire a copy of Michael Chabon’s screenplay adaptation of this novel, labeled the seventh draft and dated May 19, 2002 (the week Attack of the Clones was released!).  I’m including that information for a couple of reasons so you understand that was a long time ago and I wouldn’t be that surprised if it’s been polished any number of times since then.

For anyone who has read the book, there are a number of questions to be asked about how to adapt it into a film. Reading it for the second or third time, I tried wrapping my head around the story in those terms and it seemed to me as though it would be a bitch to adapt.  Would you keep the gay love story?  Would Joe join the Navy and get stationed in Antarctica?  Would Joe jump off the Empire State Building in a costume?  How would you solve the problem of how much time passes?

Well, let me tell you that Chabon included just about everything he could and he does it in a way that truly keeps the spirit of the story and makes you feel like you got the gist of the book."

Michael Chabon is serious about genre - Los Angeles Times

Michael Chabon is serious about genre - Los Angeles Times: "MICHAEL CHABON, the author of novels such as the exuberant, Pulitzer-winning 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay' and 'The Yiddish Policemen's Union,' an alternate-universe story that recently won the Nebula Award, has long harbored a passion: to make the literary world safe for genre fiction, and to expand the notion of what a serious work of fiction can be. 'Entertainment has a bad name,' begins the opening essay of his new collection 'Maps and Legends,' called 'Trickster in a Suit of Lights.' 'Serious people learn to mistrust and even revile it. The word wears spandex, pasties, a leisure suit studded with blinking lights.'

We spoke to Chabon, 45, from his home in Berkeley about his crusade to save comics, science fiction, fantasy, horror and detective fiction from condescension."

Adam Cohen - A Tale of Three (Electronic Voting) Elections - Editorial -

Editorial Observer - A Tale of Three (Electronic Voting) Elections - Editorial - "Electronic voting has made great strides in reliability, but it has a long way to go. When reformers push for greater safeguards, they often argue that future elections could produce the wrong result because of a computer glitch or be stolen through malicious software. That’s being too nice."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Religion Dispatches: Open Letter to Sean Hannity

Religion Dispatches - RDEpistle: Open Letter to Sean Hannity

If the Left succeeds in gaining and retaining more power, the well-being of future generations will be at greater peril. I fear (our children) will inherit a nation that is less free and less secure than the nation we inherited from the last generation. It is therefore our job to stop them. Not just debate them, but defeat them.” — Sean Hannity

Dear Sean:

I found these words on page 11 of your book Let Freedom Ring. This book, and similar ones from your conservative colleagues Bill O’Reilly and Michael Savage, was found in the home of a man who read those words, internalized those words, and then loaded his shotgun. He took 76 rounds of ammunition with him to a place of worship—a place where he knew he could do his job to stop and defeat some liberals. At the Unitarian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, Jim Adkisson, a fan of yours, killed two people, wounded five others, and left an entire congregation and country shaken by his actions. Actions prompted, as he testified in his own written notes, by the ideas contained in your words...

The sad irony here, Sean, is that if Mr. Adkisson had gone to that Unitarian church and told them he was out of a job and his food stamps had just ended, they would have helped him. They would have fed them from their food pantry and used their network of friends to help find him a job. Not because they’re liberal socialists, but because they understand that it’s not “us” against “them.” Instead, what made this country great is that we pull together in times of crisis—we bear one another’s burdens and put aside our differences in order to be of service to one another. They would have reached out to Mr. Adkisson without asking him if he was Democrat or a Republican or a liberal or a conservative. Labels don’t matter when someone is in need—or they shouldn’t.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

50 years, 50 giant leaps: How Nasa rocked our world

50 years, 50 giant leaps: How Nasa rocked our world - Features, Extras - The Independent: "Today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration marks its first half-century of exploration and discovery. But missions to the Moon and beyond are only part of the story. Without Nasa's scientists, life on Earth would be very different indeed. Rob Sharp chronicles a technological revolution..."

Check out the list.

50 Bands, 50 States - Boston Phoenix

50 Bands, 50 States

Cool's what says:

As the dog days of summer settle in and hanging out at barbecues and listening to music take on a high priority, we thought it was the perfect time to direct you to the cool Web feature 50 Bands, 50 States.
Put together by the staff of the alt-weekly newspaper The Boston Phoenix, the interactive feature spotlights the all-time best band, all-time best solo artist, and best new band for each American state — the last category being especially excellent as a primer of unknownish talent worth knowing about. Each state’s page features artist videos and MP3 downloads in addition to written commentary, and you can stream choice cuts from the selected bands.

Top 25 Biggest Product Flops of All-Time - WalletPop

Top 25 Biggest Product Flops of All-Time - WalletPop: "Sometimes good companies make very bad decisions. We highlight over two dozen of our favorite examples in our list of the Top 25 Biggest Product Flops of All Time. From New Coke to Ben-Gay aspirin, we take a look at product launches that we bet these companies wish never happened."

COKE'S NEXT BIG THING? Secret brews in China |

COKE'S NEXT BIG THING? Secret brews in China | "Coca-Cola, a company first famous for mixing South American coca leaves with African kola nuts, is trying to repeat history.

For months, the Atlanta-based drinks giant has been working quietly to perfect prototype beverages using Chinese herbal cures. Analysts and executives suggest the project could be as important to the company's future as its original formula was to its past."

Bob Herbert - Can Obama Run the Offense? - Op-Ed -

Op-Ed Columnist - Can Obama Run the Offense? - Op-Ed - "I’ll say this about Senator Obama. He sure raises people’s hackles. I’ve never seen anyone so roundly criticized for such grievous offenses as giving excellent speeches and urging people of different backgrounds to take a chance on working together. How dare he? And 200,000 people turned out to hear him in Berlin. Unforgivable.

The man has been taken to task for promoting hope, threatened with mutilation by Jesse Jackson for suggesting that a lot of black fathers could do better by their kids and had his patriotism called into question because he wants to wind down a war that most Americans would dearly love to be rid of.

John McCain can barely stop himself from sputtering at the mere mention of Senator Obama’s name. He actually ran an ad blaming Mr. Obama for high gasoline prices. Even Republicans had a good laugh at that one.

And yet Mr. Obama continues to treat Senator McCain respectfully. As far as personal character is concerned, Mr. Obama has scored very well, indeed."

From Comics to James Bond to a Liftoff in the Yard -

From Comics to James Bond to a Liftoff in the Yard - "On Tuesday, an inventor from New Zealand plans to unveil what he calls “the world’s first practical jetpack” at the EAA AirVenture, the gigantic annual air show here. The inventor, Glenn Martin, 48, who has spent 27 years developing the devices, said he hoped to begin selling them next year for $100,000 apiece.

“There is nothing that even comes close to the dream that the jetpack allows you to achieve,” said Robert J. Thompson, the director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. He called it “about the coolest desire left to mankind.”"

To Defend Our Airspace, We Should Investigate U.F.O.s. - Op-Ed -

Op-Ed Contributor Nick Pope - To Defend Our Airspace, We Should Investigate U.F.O.s. - "A healthy skepticism about extraterrestrial space travelers leads people to disregard U.F.O. sightings without a moment’s thought. But in the United States, this translates into overdependence on radar data and indifference to all kinds of unidentified aircraft — a weakness that could be exploited by terrorists or anyone seeking to engage in espionage against the United States."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ex-Google engineers debut 'Cuil' way to search

Ex-Google engineers debut 'Cuil' way to search: "Anna Patterson's last Internet search engine was so impressive that industry leader Google Inc. bought the technology in 2004 to upgrade its own system.
She believes her latest invention is even more valuable—only this time it's not for sale.

Patterson instead intends to upstage Google, which she quit in 2006 to develop a more comprehensive and efficient way to scour the Internet.

The end result is Cuil, pronounced 'cool.' Backed by $33 million in venture capital, the search engine plans to begin processing requests for the first time Monday."

First Look: Oliver Stone's 'W'

NEWSRADIO - 1290 WJNO: "The first trailer for Oliver Stone's upcoming movie, a controversial take on the life of George W. Bush, has been released."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

John McCain and the surge in Iraq | Salon

John McCain and the surge in Iraq | Salon: "Even military leaders involved in last year's troop escalation agree that the prospect of U.S. withdrawal is the main reason violence has ebbed."

New Visual Books Reviewed - Review -

Visuals - New Visual Books Reviewed - Review - "Bill Mauldin (1921-2003) was my first artist hero, and a new two-volume collection of his wartime cartoons, WILLIE & JOE: The WWII Years (Fantagraphics, $65), edited by Todd DePastino, reminds me why. In 1957, when I was 7, I found my father’s worn copy of “Up Front,” the best-selling collection of Mauldin’s regular Stars and Stripes comic panel of the same name, about the travails of two dogfaced G.I.’s, Willie and Joe. At the time, I wanted to be a cartoonist and spent many uninterrupted hours almost every day copying and recopying the details in each picture — they were my plaster casts. I learned drawing by faithfully replicating Mauldin’s comic brush-and-ink vignettes, and I learned a lot about the war, too, but not always what my history teacher wanted me to know."

Study: Networks Much Tougher On Obama Than McCain

Study: Networks Much Tougher On Obama Than McCain: "The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, where researchers have tracked network news content for two decades, found that ABC, NBC and CBS were tougher on Obama than on Republican John McCain during the first six weeks of the general-election campaign.

You read it right: tougher on the Democrat."

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Comics Reporter: 2008 Eisner Award Winners Announced

The Comics Reporter: "The winners at last night's Eisner Awards, held in conjunction with Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. Winners are indicated in bold."

Kochman To Head New Abrams Comics Imprint - PW

Kochman To Head New Abrams Comics Imprint - 7/22/2008 4:56:00 PM - Publishers Weekly: "Charles Kochman was recently promoted to executive editor at Harry N. Abrams, but he has much more to announce. He’s getting his own imprint at the venerable New York City art book publishing house just in time for its 60th anniversary. In Spring 2009, Harry N. Abrams will launch Abrams ComicArts, a sub-imprint specializing in comics and comics related books."

Bob Herbert: Getting to Know You - Op-Ed -

Op-Ed Columnist - Getting to Know You - Op-Ed - "what we’ve learned over the years is that Mr. McCain is one of those guys who never has to pay much of a price for his missteps and foul-ups and bad behavior. Can you imagine the firestorm of outrage and criticism that would have descended on Senator Obama if he had made the kind of factual mistakes that John McCain has repeatedly made in this campaign?

(Or if Senator Obama had had the temerity to even remotely suggest that John McCain would consider being disloyal to his country for political reasons?)

We have a monumental double standard here. Mr. McCain has had trouble in his public comments distinguishing Sunnis from Shiites and had to be corrected in one stunningly embarrassing moment by his good friend Joe Lieberman. He has referred to a Iraq-Pakistan border when the two countries do not share a border."

In the San Diego Comic-Con Galaxy, Stars and Terrestrials Meet -

In the San Diego Comic-Con Galaxy, Stars and Terrestrials Meet - More on San Diego, including Frank Miller's film take on The Spirit.

Merger of Sirius and XM Approved by F.C.C. -

Merger of Sirius and XM Approved by F.C.C. - "Federal regulators have formally approved the merger of the nation’s only two satellite radio operators in a deal closely watched by Washington and Wall Street.

Approval of Sirius Satellite Radio’s buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings means that more than 18 million subscribers will be able to receive programming from both services. The buyout’s cost was about $3.5 billion. Executives say it will mean huge cost savings that will lead to the first profits for the relatively nascent industry.

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 to approve the buyout. The tie-breaking vote, from a Republican commissioner, Deborah Taylor Tate, came when the companies agreed to pay $19.7 million to the federal Treasury to settle F.C.C. rule violations.

The commission’s chairman, Kevin J. Martin, confirmed the final vote on Friday night."

What's So Funny About Nebraska - Dick Cavett - NYT Blog

Whats So Funny About Nebraska - Dick Cavett - Opinion - New York Times Blog: Cavett on Comedy and Carson. Fabulous.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tom Shales - Put Leno in Primetime - TV Week

Tom Shales - TVWeek - Blogs: "Jay Leno has arguably never been funnier—but why argue about it? As the date approaches (albeit slowly) for his exit from NBC’s “Tonight Show,” Leno is reveling in the role of Peck’s Bad Boy, tweaking NBC executives in jokes and asides, as when during a “Headlines” segment he displayed had a typo that had him appearing on ABC—and jokingly called it “a headline from the future.”

Here is a plan by which NBC could hold on to Leno and still give Conan O’Brien the 11:35 spot he has been promised in 2009: Strip “Leno” Mondays through Fridays at 10 p.m., calling it “The Jay Leno Hour” or something other than “The Tonight Show” and preserving the format pretty much as it is now—the most important ingredient being Leno’s rock ’n’ rollick monologue, which appears to be the only part of the show he really cares about anyway. That is by far its best element."

Leonardo DiCaprio eyes the 'Zone'

Leonardo DiCaprio eyes the 'Zone': "Could the eerie music of 'The Twilight Zone' soon be playing again at the movies?

Warner Bros. and Leonardo DiCaprio's production company Appian Way are in the early stages of seeking material for a feature take on one or more episodes from the classic TV series.

The studio and production company are quietly putting out word to creators that they are looking for pitches and script ideas based on the show for feature development.

The companies are not seeking to remake an episodic movie, as the only big-screen version of the show did 25 years ago, but rather hope to build one continuing story line based on one or more episodes."

Entertainment execs hit Comic-Con to build buzz -

Entertainment execs hit Comic-Con to build buzz - "re's a new team of superheroes in entertainment. But it isn't made up of fantastical creatures that defy the laws of physics.

Due to changes in the national mood, and savvy company strategies, publishers of comic books and graphic novels — led in the USA by Marvel Entertainment (MVL), Time Warner's DC Comics (TWX) and Dark Horse — have been transformed from mild-mannered niche businesses into muscular media forces."

Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up |

Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up | "FORMER NASA astronaut and moon-walker Dr Edgar Mitchell - a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission - has stunningly claimed aliens exist.

And he says extra-terrestrials have visited Earth on several occasions - but the alien contact has been repeatedly covered up by governments for six decades.

Dr Mitchell, 77, said during a radio interview that sources at the space agency who had had contact with aliens described the beings as 'little people who look strange to us.'

He said supposedly real-life ET's were similar to the traditional image of a small frame, large eyes and head."

Stephen King Enlists Marvel in Video Plot -

Stephen King Enlists Marvel in Video Plot - "In a promotion expected to be announced Friday at Comic-Con, the big comic-book convention in San Diego, a previously unpublished story by Mr. King has been transformed by Marvel Comics into an animated video. The 25 episodes will be distributed in a variety of online and mobile channels ahead of the book's publication Nov. 11. Starting Monday, new episodes will be released daily, five times a week, through Aug. 29."

Northern lights mystery cracked |

Northern lights mystery cracked | "Scientists have exposed some of the mystery behind the northern lights.

On Thursday, NASA released findings that indicate magnetic explosions about one-third of the way to the moon cause the northern lights, or aurora borealis, to burst in spectacular shapes and colors, and dance across the sky.

The findings should help scientists better understand the more powerful but less common geomagnetic storms that can knock out satellites, harm astronauts in orbit and disrupt power and communications on Earth, scientists said."

Comic-Con Brings Out the Stars, and Plugs for Movies -

Comic-Con Brings Out the Stars, and Plugs for Movies - Lots of movies at San Diego, I suppose there are some comic books there too. NYT has a great photo of Hugh Jackman and Stan Lee here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Agreement reached for FCC to clear XM-Sirius deal

Agreement reached for FCC to clear XM-Sirius deal
| Reuters
: "U.S. regulators reached an agreement to conditionally approve Sirius Satellite Radio Inc's purchase of XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc as the companies said they would pay millions of dollars to settle allegations of past rule violations.

The three Republicans on the five-member Federal Communications Commission have agreed in principle to vote in favor of letting the deal proceed as long as the companies agree to conditions to protect consumers and settle the FCC enforcement matters, a source familiar with the agency review said on Thursday.

'I think it's fair to say an agreement in principle has been reached,' FCC Chairman Kevin Martin was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying."

AppleInsider | Microsoft sets sights on providing an Apple-like experience

AppleInsider | Microsoft sets sights on providing an Apple-like experience: "Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer on Wednesday issued a company-wide memo outlining his battle plan for the new fiscal year in which he singled out the Apple experience as a benchmark for future success."

Merger of XM and Sirius Appears Close to Approval -

Merger of XM and Sirius Appears Close to Approval - "The Federal Communications Commission was on the verge of approving a merger between XM and Sirius on Wednesday night, a move that would end a nearly 18-month government review of a deal that would essentially create a monopoly in satellite radio."

Holy www, comic book firms join digital age |

Holy www, comic book firms join digital age | "At the comic industry's giant Comic-Con International convention, opening in San Diego today, digital projects such as Top Shelf's are drawing lots of attention. Along with seminars on 'Hi-Fi Coloring' and 'How to Tell a Story,' the expected 125,000 attendees can attend sessions such as 'Masters of the Web' and 'On-Demand Digital Comics for iPod and iPhone.'

Comic book giant Marvel Entertainment is expected to announce its first offerings for cellphones and other portable devices at Comic-Con. Marvel recently started a new digital division to oversee its fledgling Web site, where visitors can view 4,000 Marvel titles for a $60 annual subscription and its other digital offerings.

DC Comics, the industry's other granddaddy, is using Comic-Con to introduce something it calls 'motion comics.' Its first offering —- part short movie, part comic strip —- is a rendition of the 1986 graphic novel 'The Watchmen' that became available July 18 on Apple's iTunes store. The first episode is free for download through Aug. 2; after that, it and 11 subsequent episodes will cost $1.99 each."

The Oil Man Cometh - Op-Ed -

Op-Ed Columnist - The Oil Man Cometh - Op-Ed - "...what the 80-year-old T. Boone Pickens says, in a $58 million campaign, is that we can’t drill our way to lower gas prices. By implication, anybody who tells you otherwise — including the fellow Texan he helped put in the White House — is a fraud.

This is a political parable for the ages: the guy who was behind one of the knockout punches to John Kerry four years ago is now doing Democrats the biggest favor of the election by calling Republicans on their phony energy campaign.

“Totally misleading” is the way Pickens describes Republican attempts to convince the public that if we just opened up all these forbidden areas to oil drilling then gas prices would fall. He’s not against new drilling, but he is honest enough to say it wouldn’t do anything."

A.O.Scott: How Many Superheroes Does It Take to Tire a Genre?

Film - The Screen Superhero May Have Met Its Match - Itself - "“The Dark Knight,” praised by critics for its somber themes and grand ambitions, has proven to be a mighty box office force in a summer already dominated by superheroes of various kinds. But any comic book fan knows that a hero at the height of his powers is a few panels removed from mortal danger, and that hubris has a way of summoning new enemies out of the shadows. Are the Caped Crusader and his colleagues basking in an endless summer of triumph, or is the sun already starting to set?"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oldest Bible Pieced Together - Discovery Channel

Oldest Bible Pieced Together : Discovery News : Discovery Channel: "The oldest surviving copy of the New Testament, a 4th century version that had its Gospels and epistles spread across the world, is being made whole again -- online.

The British Library says the full text of the Codex Sinaiticus will be available to Web users by next July, digitally reconnecting parts that are held in Britain, Russia, Germany and a monastery in Egypt's Sinai Desert.

A preview of the Codex, which also has some parts of the Old Testament, will hit the Web on Thursday -- the Book of Psalms and the Gospel of Mark."

ELO: Sudanese archbishop wants Robinson's resignation

Posted without comment:

Episcopal Life Online - NEWS: "Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, primate of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS), said July 22 that New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson should resign in order to preserve the unity of the Anglican Communion.

'Gene Robinson has to be away from the Anglican world and be a normal Christian,” said Deng at an afternoon news conference. 'If he is, as he always says, a Christian, he should resign for the sake of the church.'

Asked if he has talked to Robinson, Deng replied, 'I have nothing to say to him.'

He also said he cannot participate in the Anglican Communion's Listening Process because homosexuality is not 'approved by the Bible' and 'is not part of my culture, I cannot talk about it.' Deng said there are no gay or lesbian people in Sudan."

‘At the Movies’ Reveals New Hosts, Segments - TVWeek - News

‘At the Movies’ Reveals New Hosts, Segments - TVWeek - News: "Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz will take over as co-hosts of “At the Movies” when the syndicated review show’s 23rd season premieres the weekend of Sept. 6.

Richard Roeper and Roger Ebert, longtime co-hosts, stepped down Monday.

Lyons, E! Entertainment’s film expert, has interviewed actors and reported from film festivals for “E! News” and “The Daily Ten,” in addition to his blog and the original broadband series “The Lyons Den” on E! Online.

Mankiewicz has been a host for Turner Classic Movies for five years. He also hosts “The Young Turks” on Sirius Satellite Radio."

Joe Kubert: A Busy Man - Publishers Weekly

Joe Kubert: A Busy Man - 7/21/2008 3:54:00 PM - Publishers Weekly: "Though he'll turn 82 later this year, Joe Kubert maintains the schedule of a hungry, young artist. As many as seven days a week, Kubert will go to his School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in New Jersey to either teach a class or work on an overflowing slate of projects.

Talking over the phone from the school recently, Kubert even sounded much younger, his gravelly voice slipping easily into laughter. Which he promptly did after exclaiming, 'Thank God, I'm busy as hell.'

Kubert, who started drawing comics in the late 1930s when he was just into his teens, has recently finished a revival of his classic series Tor, with the first few issues currently on shelves. He's also creating a six-issue anthology series for DC, a second book in the planned Jew Gangster trilogy and a fact-based graphic novel on an early Vietnam battle.

The MSM? Its Now Traditional - The Caucus - Politics - New York Times Blog

The MSM? Its Now Traditional - The Caucus - Politics - New York Times Blog: "Back in the early 1990s, with the rise of talk radio, conservative commentators derisively dubbed newspapers, magazines and broadcast television as the “mainstream media.” More recently, with the run-up to the Iraq war, liberal bloggers joined in, abbreviating the term to MSM.

But now the Internet has overtaken most newspapers and broadcasts as a source of news, and some on the left say the lingo ought to reflect that.

Markos Moulitsas, founder of the DailyKos Web site, the biggest liberal hub online, wrote on Monday that the heretofore “mainstream media” should be called the “traditional media.” Calling it mainstream implies that the Internet is fringe, he said, when in fact liberal bloggers, at least, are “representatives of the mainstream, and the country is embracing what we’re selling.”"

The Candidates, Comically Drawn - The Caucus - Politics - New York Times Blog

The Candidates, Comically Drawn - The Caucus - Politics - New York Times Blog: "Comic books are filled with stories about protagonists overcoming seemingly impossible odds as they fight for truth, justice and the American way. Where better to chronicle the stories of Senators John McCain and Barack Obama and their bids for the White House?

“There have been comic book biographies before, that’s not new,” said Scott Dunbier, special projects editor at IDW, which will publish the comics. “But we’re talking about a story that isn’t finished: two views of the candidates, two men who are both vying for what is arguably the most important job in the world.”"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

News Flash From the Cover of Esquire - Paper Magazines Can Be High Tech, Too -

News Flash From the Cover of Esquire - Paper Magazines Can Be High Tech, Too - "On the third floor of the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown Manhattan rests a tribute to Esquire’s glory years — a collection of 92 covers from the 1960s and early 1970s that have become, in the museum’s words, “essential to the iconography of American culture.”

That illustrious history hangs over the magazine’s effort to celebrate its 75th year. Its attempt to add to the annals of museum-worthy covers includes a nod to the digital age: an electronic cover, using admittedly rudimentary technology, that will flash “the 21st Century Begins Now,” when it appears on newsstands in September."

Hero a good fit for Bale, just like new Batman suit |

Hero a good fit for Bale, just like new Batman suit | "The role of Batman in 'The Dark Knight' suits Christian Bale better than when he played the comic book hero in 'Batman Begins.' Literally, the Batman suit fits him better.

'In the first film, I had to fight against the suit all the time when I was doing the fight sequences. This one was actually more compatible,' Bale says.

'It was heavier than the original suit but there was so much more motion. Also, it didn't squeeze my head like a vice. So this time I had to act the rage and anger.'"

Ebert follows Roeper out door at Disney-ABC |

Ebert follows Roeper out door at Disney-ABC | "Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert says he's cutting ties with the television show that he and the late Gene Siskel made famous.

In an e-mail on Monday, Ebert said Disney-ABC Domestic Television had decided to take the show 'in a new direction,' and he won't be associated with it.

His announcement came a day after Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper said he was leaving the nationally syndicated 'At the Movies With Ebert & Roeper.'"

Monday, July 21, 2008

Leno's Last 'Tonight': May 29 - TVWeek - News

Leno's Last 'Tonight': May 29 - TVWeek - News: "Jay Leno will sign off as host of 'The Tonight Show' on May 29, with Conan O'Brien taking over the storied franchise on Monday, June 1."

McCain and Obama Agree to Attend Megachurch Forum -

McCain and Obama Agree to Attend Megachurch Forum - "It has taken a man of God, perhaps, to do what nobody else has been able to do since the general election season began: Get Barack Obama and John McCain together on the same stage before their party conventions later this summer.

The Rev. Rick Warren has persuaded the candidates to attend a forum at his Saddleback Church, in Lake Forest, Calif., on Aug. 16. In an interview, Mr. Warren said over the weekend that the presidential candidates would appear together for a moment but that he would interview them in succession at his megachurch."

Mental Floss: 23 Album Covers that Changed Everything!

mental_floss Blog � 23 Album Covers that Changed Everything!: "Long before MTV, performers expressed the visual dimension of their art through their album covers. Every music fan has his/her favorites, but several covers stand out for their brilliance, their impact and their ability to make as much of a statement as the music they represent. Every art form has its giants, and album cover art is no exception. The work of the designers featured here spans over 40 years of music."

Evanier: Creig Flessel, RIP

news from me - ARCHIVES: "Creig Flessel, a pioneer artist of comics, has passed at the age of 96. He had suffered a stroke recently and that's all we know about the cause of death."

Mental Floss: 26 Important Comic Books

mental_floss Blog � 26 Important Comic Books: "Sure, it may seem silly, but, comic books mean something. Soldiers used dog-eared copies of Captain America to keep their spirits up in WWII. The Green Lantern and Green Arrow made kids actually think about issues like racism and heroin. And millions gasped when they heard the news that Superman died. In fact, the vibrant medium is so often pegged as children’s pulp, or fun for the feeble-minded, that people tend to forget that comics have actually grown with and continued to reflect the spirit of our times."

30 Most Incredible Abstract Satellite Images of Earth

30 Most Incredible Abstract Satellite Images of Earth : Environmental News Blog | Environmental Graffiti


We’ve always loved the images NASA harvests on its missions — that first picture of the Earth from the moon, films of astronauts floating in space, the pictures of the Martian surface. Still, we never expected that the federal space geeks’ favorite satellite images of the Earth would be so downright arty. But the 30 digital photographs NASA scientists carefully selected from over 400,000 shots taken by the Landsat 7 satellite for a display at the Library of Congress look like jaw-dropping abstract masterpieces — and now you can see them in glorious high resolution at the website Environmental Graffiti.

These images, which tend to resemble not-necessarily-representational art more than anything you’d see on the Discovery Channel, manage to be simultaneously familiar and utterly strange. The satellite assigned different colors to the reflected wavelengths of light from the ones your eye is accustomed to — to better highlight various environmental and terrain conditions — and the results are swirling, colorized wonderlands. Check out the image of the Kalahari desert that looks like the cross section of a petrified tree, or the apparently half-finished Chuck Close portrait that is, in fact, Garden City, Kansas.


APPLE INVESTORS WORRY ABOUT STEVE JOBS' HEALTH - New York Post: "Industry concerns about Steve Jobs' health have not gone away more than a month after the Apple CEO appeared dramatically thinner at the firm's annual developers' conference, fighting what insiders at the time were calling a 'bug.'
Apple is due to report earnings today, but many investors and analysts remain as interested in news of the condition of the tech titan - who is a survivor of pancreatic cancer - as they are in the numbers themselves."

As Papers Struggle, News Is Cut and the Focus Turns Local -

As Papers Struggle, News Is Cut and the Focus Turns Local - "Almost two-thirds of American newspapers publish less foreign news than they did just three years ago, nearly as many print less national news, and despite new demands on newsrooms like blogs and video, most of them have smaller news staffs, according to a new study.

The study, by the Pew Research Center and Tyler Marshall, a former foreign correspondent for The Los Angeles Times, is based on a written survey of the top editors at 259 newspapers of all sizes and interviews with a sampling of those editors.

The findings come as no surprise to anyone following the travails of the newspaper industry, racked every few days by new reports of layoffs, falling revenue, credit downgrades, shrinking page counts and declining circulation. But the Pew study appears to be the broadest attempt yet to measure how widespread the changes have been."

Fallon Will Start ‘Late Night’ on the Web -

Fallon Will Start ‘Late Night’ on the Web - "With a new round of shake-ups in late-night television set to begin next year, Lorne Michaels has decided to try to get a jump on things by starting NBC’s next edition of “Late Night,” with its new host Jimmy Fallon, as a nightly entry on the Internet.

Mr. Fallon has been named as the replacement for Conan O’Brien when Mr. O’Brien takes over the “Tonight” show from Jay Leno next year, and Mr. Michaels, the long-time boss of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” who also serves as executive producer of “Late Night,” told television reporters here Sunday that he wants Mr. Fallon to work out as many of the rough spots in his presentation as possible in performances on a website."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Batman’s ‘Dark Knight’ Sets Weekend Record -

Batman’s ‘Dark Knight’ Sets Weekend Record - "Fevered fans pushed “The Dark Knight,” the sixth in Warner Brothers’ series of “Batman” movies, to record three-day ticket sales of $155.3 million over the weekend, shoring up what so far had been a wobbly year at the movie box office.

By Warner’s estimate, the film narrowly eclipsed opening-weekend ticket sales last year of $151.1 million for Sony Pictures’ “Spider-Man 3,” the previous record holder."

Directing ‘The Spirit,’ Frank Miller Has the Challenge of Bringing a Will Eisner Comic to Life -

Directing ‘The Spirit,’ Frank Miller Has the Challenge of Bringing a Will Eisner Comic to Life - "THIS weekend in San Diego at Comic-Con International, the nation’s biggest comic convention, the industry grants its highest achievers Eisner Awards, the Oscars of the field. Yet few outside fandom have any idea who the honor is named after. The task of enlightening them has fallen to Frank Miller, a superstar comic writer-artist now making a film adaptation of the Spirit, the best-known creation of the cartoonist Will Eisner.

It’s a fitting match. Mr. Miller, 51, viewed Eisner as a mentor in the many years they knew each other (Eisner died in 2005 at 87), though their long relationship was certainly fraught with arguments across aesthetic and generational lines.

The film — starring Eva Mendes, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson and an unknown, Gabriel Macht, in the title role — follows the Spirit, a droll, dashing, graveyard-dwelling ex-cop who fights evildoers. It embodies the comic’s urban, shadow-drenched aesthetic, which deeply influenced Mr. Miller’s visual sensibility."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Billy Joel Closes Down Shea Stadium With Paul McCartney

Billy Joel Closes Down Shea Stadium With Paul McCartney: "Billy Joel bade a stirring farewell to Shea Stadium on Friday during an electrifying, sold-out final show at the same ballpark where the Beatles famously ushered in a new era in rock 'n' roll four decades ago.

He was joined by an all-star lineup of friends including Paul McCartney, who told Joel, 'Came here a long time ago. We had a blast that night and we're having another one tonight.'"

Friday, July 18, 2008

Movie shows alien's-eye view of Earth and Moon

Movie shows alien's-eye view of Earth and Moon-Reuters: "A spacecraft sent on a mission to inspect comets has filmed the Earth and its moon from 31 million miles away, making an alien's-eye view of our world.

The two brief sequences show the Moon passing in front of the Earth as it orbits.

'Making a video of Earth from so far away helps the search for other life-bearing planets in the Universe by giving insights into how a distant, Earth-like alien world would appear to us,' said University of Maryland astronomer Michael A'Hearn, who leads the project using NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft."

Satellite radio saga takes unexpected turn

Satellite radio saga takes unexpected turn: "During his tenure at the Federal Communications Commission, Jonathan Adelstein has been a fierce critic of government policies that allow big media companies to get bigger. So it came as a surprise when the Democratic commissioner put forth a proposal that would allow the nation's only two satellite radio companies to merge.
Adelstein, the potential deciding vote, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he would support Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.'s $3.1 billion buyout of XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. if the companies agree to a six-year price cap and make one-quarter of their satellite capacity available for public interest and minority programming, plus other conditions."

Web Draws on Comics -

Web Draws on Comics - "As Warner Bros.' latest Batman movie 'The Dark Knight' hits theaters Friday, the studio is also set to unleash an online series starring the Caped Crusader that it hopes will usher in a new kind of Web entertainment: a hybrid of comic books and animation that Warner calls 'motion comics.'

'Mad Love' is a series of Web shorts drawing on a particularly popular comic book featuring Batman and the Joker, the first chapter of which will be released for downloading next week for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 game consoles and for Verizon Wireless's V Cast mobile phones. Friday, the first chapter in another series -- 'Watchmen,' based on a 1980s graphic novel -- will be released on Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store."

The Dark Knight - NYT review

The Dark Knight - Movie - Review - The New York Times: "Dark as night and nearly as long, Christopher Nolan’s new Batman movie feels like a beginning and something of an end. Pitched at the divide between art and industry, poetry and entertainment, it goes darker and deeper than any Hollywood movie of its comic-book kind — including “Batman Begins,” Mr. Nolan’s 2005 pleasurably moody resurrection of the series — largely by embracing an ambivalence that at first glance might be mistaken for pessimism. But no work filled with such thrilling moments of pure cinema can be rightly branded pessimistic, even a postheroic superhero movie like “The Dark Knight.”"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

MSNBC Has Its Eye on Rachel Maddow -

MSNBC Has Its Eye on Rachel Maddow - "For clues about who might be next to get a show on MSNBC, viewers need not have looked further than “Countdown” earlier this month. For eight nights beginning just before the Fourth of July, Rachel Maddow, the host of a program on Air America, the liberal talk-radio network, served as a substitute for the vacationing Keith Olbermann.

“At some point, I don’t know when, she should have a show,” said Phil Griffin, hours before he was promoted on Wednesday to president of MSNBC. “She’s on the short list. It’s a very short list. She’s at the top.”"

Basic Cable Scores in Emmy Nominations - TVWeek - News

Basic Cable Scores in Emmy Nominations - TVWeek - News: "Basic cable made its mark in the nominations for the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards, with AMC's 'Mad Men' and FX's 'Damages' both nominated in the drama category.

Leading the pack overall is HBO’s “John Adams” with 23 nominations. NBC’s “30 Rock,” with its 17 nominations, takes over as the most nominated comedy in a single year.

Also in the race for the drama series prize are ABC's 'Lost' and 'Boston Legal,' Showtime's 'Dexter' and Fox's 'House.' HBO's 'The Sopranos' took home the award last year for its final season."

Enough Emmy Excuses - TVWeek

Adalian Column: Enough Emmy Excuses - TVWeek - News: "If Emmy voters had a message for the broadcast networks this year, it was this: No more excuses.

The breakthroughs by basic cable’s AMC and FX—along with strong showings by ad-supported networks such as TNT, USA, Bravo, Sci Fi and A&E—demonstrated that you can make a creative splash even when operating under the constraints of commercial television."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

J.J. Abrams Pens ‘Fringe’ Theme Song

J.J. Abrams Pens ‘Fringe’ Theme Song - TVWeek - News: "The prolific writer-producer told TelevisionWeek on Monday that, yes, he has penned the theme song for 'Fringe,' the new Fox drama he created with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. By doing so, Mr. Abrams is following a pattern that's been in place since he first started writing for television.

Mr. Abrams' TV songwriting career began when he wrote 'A New Version of You,' the second of two themes used on his WB drama 'Felicity.' He followed that with the elecronica-inspired beats used to open 'Alias.' And most recently, Mr. Abrams came up with the familiar tones heard at the beginning of every episode of 'Lost.'

The string-heavy introduction to 'Fringe' came to Mr. Abrams while he was getting ready to go to bed one night. Check out this exclusive video interview and watch him explain exactly how the 'Fringe' theme was born."

Les Crane is dead

Nova uncovers 'The Bible's Buried Secrets' | Show Tracker | Los Angeles Times

TCA: Nova uncovers 'The Bible's Buried Secrets' | Show Tracker | Los Angeles Times: "It’s not often you hear “Nova” and “shocking” in the same sentence.

But participants in “The Bible’s Buried Secrets,” a two-hour special airing Nov. 18 on the PBS program, promised this morning that the show would trigger a fair share of controversy.

The special explores the ancient Israelites’ adoption of monotheism and seeks to explain who wrote the Hebrew Bible and what influenced them. Relying on archaeological work and biblical scholarship, the show poses provocative ideas -- including the notion that many Israelites believed that God had a wife –- and disputes literal readings of the text."

Going Down the Road -Revisiting the WPA Tours Interactive Feature -

Going Down the Road - Interactive Feature - "This is the first in a series of interactive maps that revisit some of the states and landmarks in the American Guide Series of books, produced during the Great Depression by the Federal Writers’ Project. Writers and photographers were dispatched to outposts and urban areas to create the guide, which has become part of the canon of American travel writing." Washington State is first up.

Monday, July 14, 2008

How Joe Scarborough Reinvented Himself As the Liberal's Favorite Talk-Show Host -- New York Magazine

How Joe Scarborough Reinvented Himself As the Liberal's Favorite Talk-Show Host -- New York Magazine: "Where else could a red-meat, right-wing congressman like Joe Scarborough reinvent himself as the liberal’s favorite talk-show host?"

'Scare tactic' — Obama slams Muslim portrayal -

'Scare tactic' — Obama slams Muslim portrayal - Mike Allen - "The Obama campaign is condemning as “tasteless and offensive” a New Yorker magazine cover that depicts Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in a turban, fist-bumping his gun-slinging wife.

An American flag burns in their fireplace.

The New Yorker says it's satire. It certainly will be candy for cable news.

The Obama campaign quickly condemned the rendering. Spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement: “The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama's right-wing critics have tried to create. But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree.'

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds quickly e-mailed: “We completely agree with the Obama campaign, it’s tasteless and offensive.”"

A Comic Book Superhero Is Headed to Small Screens -

A Comic Book Superhero Is Headed to Small Screens - "The animated adventures of the comic book superhero Invincible will soon be available on iTunes, mobile phones, the television channel MTV2 and more.

But it’s not quite animation in the traditional sense. “I like to think of it as cinematic comics — digital cinematic comics,” said David Gale, executive vice president of MTV New Media, which is producing the episodes in partnership with Gain Enterprises."

EBay Deal With Angers Auction Site's Sellers -

EBay Deal With Angers Auction Site's Sellers - "The golden era of the small seller on eBay, hawking gewgaws and knickknacks from the basement or garage, is coming to a noisy and ignominious end."

Obama: My Plan for Iraq - Op-Ed -

Barack Obama - My Plan for Iraq - Op-Ed - "THE call by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for a timetable for the removal of American troops from Iraq presents an enormous opportunity. We should seize this moment to begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated, and that is needed for long-term success in Iraq and the security interests of the United States."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The End: the best movie endings ever, from E.T. to Casablanca - Times Online

The End: the best movie endings ever, from E.T. to Casablanca - Times Online: "Is it E.T. leaving in a spaceship or Butch and Sundance going down in a hail of bullets? Here Times critics choose their Top 20 film endings. But be warned: it does contain spoilers..."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Matt Harding’s Peripatetic Dance Videos Earn Him Internet Fame -

Matt Harding’s Peripatetic Dance Videos Earn Him Internet Fame - "There are no weekend box office charts for online videos. But if there were, near or at the very top of the list right now might well be a four-and-a-half-minute video called “Dancing,” which more than four million people have viewed on YouTube, and perhaps another million on other sites, in the just over two weeks since it appeared. It’s the online equivalent of a platinum hit, seeping from one computer to the next like a virus."

New 2008 version!

Update--even the outtakes are fun!

Favreau back on for Iron Man 2

Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily - So What Was All The Fuss About? Marvel Locks In Jon Favreau For ‘Iron Man 2′: "It's not officially announced yet, but I'm told that Marvel Studios and Iron Man director Jon Favreau have reached a deal for him to helm the sequel, due out in 2010. (Robert Downey Jr had a sequel clause in his contract so he's on board.)"

Robert Downey Jr. Tapped For Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes" - Entertainment on The Huffington Post

Robert Downey Jr. Tapped For Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes" - Entertainment on The Huffington Post: "Robert Downey Jr. is trading Iron Man's metal suit for Sherlock Holmes' deerstalker hat.

Downey is following his action blockbuster 'Iron Man' with the title role in 'Sherlock Holmes,' a mystery drama based on Arthur Conan Doyle's detective and an upcoming comic-book about Holmes by Lionel Wigram, one of the movie's producers.

Guy Ritchie ('Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels') is directing the Warner Bros. film, which is set to begin shooting in October, the studio said Thursday."

In Memoriam: Sir John Templeton, Pioneer Investor and Philanthropist, Dies at Age 95 - 7/9/2008 - Publishers Weekly


In Memoriam: Sir John Templeton, Pioneer Investor and Philanthropist, Dies at Age 95 - 7/9/2008 - Publishers Weekly
: "John Marks Templeton, the pioneer global investor who founded the Templeton Mutual Funds and for the past three decades devoted his fortune to his Foundation's work on the 'Big Questions' of science, religion, and human purpose, passed away July 8, 2008, at Doctors Hospital in Nassau, Bahamas, of pneumonia.

In 1972, he established the world's largest annual award given to an individual, the £1,000,000 Templeton Prize, which is announced in New York and presented in London. The Prize is intended to recognize exemplary achievement in work related to life's spiritual dimension. Its monetary value always exceeds that of the Nobel Prizes—Templeton's way of underscoring his belief that advances in the spiritual domain are no less important than those in other areas of human endeavor.

Templeton's progressive ideas on finance, faith, and spirituality made him a distinctive figure in both fields, but the soft-spoken Southerner never worried about being an iconoclast. "Rarely does a conservative become a hero of history," he observed in his 1981 book, The Humble Approach, one of more than a dozen books he wrote or edited.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta was the first Templeton Prize Laureate in 1973, followed later that decade by the evangelist Billy Graham and the writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. In recent years, the Prize has been awarded primarily to physicists, cosmologists, and philosophers, including Freeman Dyson, Paul Davies, Ian Barbour, John Polkinghorne, George Ellis, Charles Townes, John Barrow, Charles Taylor and Michael Heller."

Gail Collins - Obama’s Flip-Flopping - Op-Ed -

Op-Ed Columnist - Gail Collins - Obama’s Flip-Flopping - Op-Ed - "We have to have a talk about Barack Obama.

I know, I know. You’re upset. You think the guy you fell in love with last spring is spending the summer flip-flopping his way to the right. Drifting to the center. Going all moderate on you. So you’re withholding the love. Also possibly the money.

I feel your pain. I just don’t know what candidate you’re talking about."

Kristof - The G-8 and Darfur - Op-Ed -

Op-Ed Columnist - Nicholas D. Kristof - The G-8 and Darfur - Op-Ed -

The G-8’s collective shrug about the Darfur genocide - — because the victims are black, impoverished and hidden from television cameras - — will be a lingering stain.

Disney's New Dream House -

Design Notebook - The Future Knocks Again - The Times’s David Rakoff expected Disney’s new Dream Home to be an aspirational dwelling, but found it wholly retrograde.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

US networks launch bidding war for the king of late-night TV - The Independent

US networks launch bidding war for the king of late-night TV - Americas, World - The Independent: "Five of the biggest US networks are attempting to lure the veteran broadcaster away from NBC, where he presents its flagship programme, The Tonight Show, in the sort of bidding war usually reserved for a Major League baseball star. Leno's contract expires next September, and the battle to secure his future is pitching some of TV's largest egos against each other.

Rupert Murdoch's Fox network is reported to have sounded him out, while experts say CBS are eyeing him as a potential successor to David Letterman, who falls out of contract in 2010. Other contenders include ABC, Sony and CNN, which is searching for a candidate to replace 74-year-old Larry King, whose recently extended contract also runs out in two years' time."

Tech team develops interactive comics |

Tech team develops interactive comics | "It might be a way to get video gamers off the couch. It could be a fun teaching tool. Or perhaps an art installation.

The developers of Embodied Comics at Georgia Tech can't say yet what the real-world applications might be for their creation —- a blend of comics, video games and performance art.

'The idea is to take comics out of the comic books and make them interactive,' said Ozge Samanci, a Ph.D. student in digital media who came up with the concept and did the drawings. 'Can we bring it into 3D and still call it comics?'

It works like this: You stand in front of a white background while an animated figure —- representing you —- appears on a big screen. Your movements are captured by a camera and determine what happens in the story that unfolds on the screen. You move and your character moves. Clap, and it might rain. Wave your hands, and many small waving hands appear on the screen. The creators are working on incorporating props, such as an umbrella, into the story line. At the end of your interaction, you get a printout in comics form."

After 40 Years, Moon Rocks Still in Demand for Research -

After 40 Years, Moon Rocks Still in Demand for Research - "In the lab, the Moon rocks look nondescript — dark gray basalt, a whitish mineral called anorthosite and mixtures of the two with crystals thrown in. Yet nearly 40 years after the Apollo astronauts brought the first rocks back to Earth, these pieces of the Moon are still providing scientists with new secrets from another world."

As a Worldwide Schism Lurks, the Church of England Endorses Women as Bishops -

As a Worldwide Schism Lurks, the Church of England Endorses Women as Bishops - "The governing body of the Anglican Church in Britain voted on Monday to approve the appointment of women as bishops, a step that appeared to risk a schism in the church in its historic homeland as the Anglican church worldwide faces one of the most serious threats to its unity in its history, over the ordination of gay clergy members."

Monday, July 07, 2008

Mark Twain: Our Original Superstar - TIME

Mark Twain: Our Original Superstar - TIME
Roy Blount Jr. on the impact of Samuel Clemens.

Superhero Geography: Where The Marvel Universe And Real World Intersect

Superhero Geography: Where The Marvel Universe And Real World Intersect: "Ever wanted to go on a tour of the world that the Marvel superheroes fly around in? Thanks to Flickr member ChildOfAtom, that's easier than ever. He's gone to four of the real world addresses of some of the most famous addresses of the Marvel Universe and taken photos of what's actually there, and posted those photos online along with comparisons to their cartoon counterparts."

5 Superpowers From the Bible That Put Marvel and DC to Shame |

5 Superpowers From the Bible That Put Marvel and DC to Shame | "If we could ask God for just one thing, it'd be this: We want superpowers like people in the Bible had.
Is that too much to ask? We could do a lot with our powers, some of it good. So why not? It used to happen quite a bit, the Bible is full of people who God infused with powers that would put most of the Marvel and DC lineup to shame. Such as..."

Bishop N.T. Wright on The Colbert Report

Bishop N.T. Wright | The Colbert Report | Comedy Central: "Stephen tells Bishop N.T. Wright his idea of heaven is getting a harp, drinking a mint julep and asking Ronald Reagan questions."

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Holy Bookworms! Superheroes Take To The Page : NPR

Holy Bookworms! Superheroes Take To The Page : NPR: "Quake in fear, puny humans! Spandex-clad superbeings have engineered a mass escape. From big screens and billboards, to bus ads and even bookshelves: this summer, nowhere is safe from superheroes." 

A review of some of the best super-hero themed books, available now.

Ancient Tablet Ignites Debate on Messiah and Resurrection -

Ancient Tablet Ignites Debate on Messiah and Resurrection - "A three-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus is causing a quiet stir in biblical and archaeological circles, especially because it may speak of a messiah who will rise from the dead after three days.

If such a messianic description really is there, it will contribute to a developing re-evaluation of both popular and scholarly views of Jesus, since it suggests that the story of his death and resurrection was not unique but part of a recognized Jewish tradition at the time."

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Moon mistaken for UFO - Telegraph

Moon mistaken for UFO - Telegraph: "Police in Wales were called to investigate a mysterious flying saucer, only to discover it was the moon."

Where is Torchwood when you need them?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Larry Harmon, longtime Bozo the Clown, dead at 83 | AccessAtlanta

Larry Harmon, longtime Bozo the Clown, dead at 83 | AccessAtlanta: "Larry Harmon, who turned the character Bozo the Clown into a show business staple that delighted children for more than a half-century, died Thursday of congestive heart failure. He was 83."

C. Welton Gaddy: Politics Can Hurt Religion - Religion and Ethics Newsweekly

C. Welton Gaddy: Politics Can Hurt Religion - Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: "Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance discusses why religion can be so controversial in the context of a campaign. He says there are dangerous consequences when religion gets too political."

TPC: Thomas Lane Butts on Christianity and Citizenship

TPC NeXus - Christianity and Citizenship: "Christianity was a religion without a state for three hundred years. Christians were at the mercy of the laws of whatever state in which they happened to be. Since Christianity was promulgated primarily within the bounds of the Roman Empire, the attitude and policy of the reigning Roman Emperor was a matter of crucial importance. Treatment of Christian ranged all the way from being casually ignored to being systematically persecuted. It varied from the cruel and capricious treatment of Nero in the first century to the final acceptance of Christianity as an official religion under Constantine in the fourth century."

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Vanity Fair's Christopher Hitchens Undergoes Waterboarding - Media on The Huffington Post

Vanity Fair's Christopher Hitchens Undergoes Waterboarding - Media on The Huffington Post: "Just in case the news that American torturers have been revealed to have taken their cues from that model of moral clarity that was the Chinese Communist regime hasn't fully convinced you that the practice is unquestionably, incontrovertibly evil, Christopher Hitchens' column in the August 2008 Vanity Fair, 'Believe Me, It's Torture,' ought to drive it home. That is, if the accompanying video, available online at Vanity Fair's website, doesn't do it first."

Gag-me news of the day: Limburger reups thru 2016 for nearly half a billion bucks

DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2008: "The American broadcast industry is rocked, realigned and blasted into a new orbit, yet again, by Rush Limbaugh, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

In what is being described as an unprecedented radio contract, Limbaugh will keep his syndicated show on-the-air and e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e through 2016 with CLEAR CHANNEL and PREMIERE RADIO.

Already host of the most lucrative hours since radio's inception, Limbaugh's total package is valued north of $400 million, according to media insiders."

The Legacy of 'New York' Founding Editor Clay Felker by Kurt Andersen-- New York Magazine

The Legacy of 'New York' Founding Editor Clay Felker by Kurt Andersen-- New York Magazine: "New York's founding editor died at home this morning with his wife by his side. His legacy was understanding—and explaining—the city as a pageant of ambition."

Comic-book heroes rule this summer's box office |

Comic-book heroes rule this summer's box office | "This is arguably the biggest comic-book-movie summer ever. Iron Man and Hulk have already smashed the box office, and Hellboy and Batman are back this month.

Comic artists are finding it easier than ever to turn their dreams into celluloid reality. A select few are being brought into the moviemaking process, while others can only watch from the sidelines, hoping Hollywood doesn't butcher their work.

'Wanted' was tailor-made for a big-budget action movie. Jones and writer Mark Millar created a story that looks like Quentin Tarantino on supersteroids, focusing on a mild-mannered office drone who is ripped out of his mundane life by a group of supervillains and trained as the ultimate assassin. A movie deal came almost immediately after the first issue hit the shelves in 2003."

Obama Seeks Bigger Role for Religious Groups -

Obama Seeks Bigger Role for Religious Groups - "Senator Barack Obama said Tuesday that if elected president he would expand the delivery of social services through churches and other religious organizations, vowing to achieve a goal he said President Bush had fallen short on during his two terms.

“The challenges we face today — from saving our planet to ending poverty — are simply too big for government to solve alone,” Mr. Obama said outside a community center here. “We need an all-hands-on-deck approach.

Some Democrats have previously backed similar efforts, but Mr. Bush’s version, a centerpiece of his first-term agenda, has been a lightning rod for criticism from those concerned about the separation of church and state and those who argued that Mr. Bush had used it to further a conservative political agenda.

In embracing the same general approach as Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama ran the political risk of alienating those of his supporters who would prefer that government keep its distance from religion.

But Mr. Obama’s plan pointedly departed from the Bush administration’s stance on one fundamental issue: whether religious organizations that get federal money for social services can take faith into account in their hiring. Mr. Bush has said yes. Mr. Obama said no.”"

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


AT 76, TARZAN CHIMP SIGNS NEW RECORD DEAL - New York Post: "Meet Hollywood's oldest swinger - and he's still got all his hair.

Cheeta, who was Tarzan's sidekick in those Johnny Weissmuller movies of the 1930s and '40s, is making a comeback.

Forty-one years after his last movie, the 76-year-old chimp - The Guinness Book of World Records says he's the world's oldest living simian - has signed a record deal.

He has also had a part in a new DVD, and 'Me Cheeta,' his memoirs - if a chimp can really have memoirs - are coming out in February."