Sunday, August 31, 2008

Introducing the Twiller - NYT

Introducing the Twiller - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog: "You might remember the novel in its earlier form; it had a cover, and many pages, forethought of plot, editors and agents weighing in, and, oh yes, it generally had sentences and punctuation. And, finally, some poor suckers had to take the time out of their busy days to actually read it.

Who has time for all those niceties? They’re so first half of 2008.

Introducing the Twiller.

Recently, a handful of creators (present company included) have scrapped pen and paper for mobile phone and keypad, and started texting their novels — in real time, just a few characters at a time. Our medium is Twitter, a service that lets you broadcast bursts of 140 characters at a time to be read by people who subscribe to get your updates.

In my case, I’ve for the last two months been using Twitter to write a real-time thriller. Hence: Twiller. (Cheap word play is what you get when you disintermediate, as they say, your agent and editor)."

Lines and Bubbles and Bars, Oh My! New Ways to Sift Data -

Novelties - Lines and Bubbles and Bars, Oh My! New Ways to Sift Data - "At an experimental Web site, Many Eyes, (, users can upload the data they want to visualize, then try sophisticated tools to generate interactive displays. These might range from maps of relationships in the New Testament to a display of the comparative frequency of words used in speeches by Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

The site was created by scientists at the Watson Research Center of I.B.M. in Cambridge, Mass., to help people publish and discuss graphics in a group. Those who register at the site can comment on one another’s work, perhaps visualizing the same information with different tools and discovering unexpected patterns in the data."

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Friday, August 29, 2008

Remains of a 1500-Year-Old City Uncovered in Amazonian Jungle

Mega Anthropology: Remains of a 1500-Year-Old City Uncovered in Amazonian Jungle: "A 1500-year-old Amazonian city, full of artificial lakes, large public plazas, and agricultural regions (including fish farms), is being excavated and mapped for the first time in modern memory. Until recently, the remains of the ancient city had been almost completely hidden by jungle. A group of Brazilian and U.S. researchers report in tomorrow's issue of Science that they used satellite photos to determine that the now-vanished city was structured as a group of small towns connected by roads, ditches, and shared farmlands. The researchers say the lifestyle here was clearly 'urbanism,' and compared it to cities that one might have seen in Ancient Greece or medieval Europe."

Andrew Sullivan on Obama's speech

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan: "It was a deeply substantive speech, full of policy detail, full of people other than the candidate, centered overwhelmingly on domestic economic anxiety. It was a liberal speech, more unabashedly, unashamedly liberal than any Democratic acceptance speech since the great era of American liberalism. But it made the case for that liberalism - in the context of the decline of the American dream, and the rise of cynicism and the collapse of cultural unity. His ability to portray that liberalism as a patriotic, unifying, ennobling tradition makes him the most lethal and remarkable Democratic figure since John F Kennedy.

What he didn't do was give an airy, abstract, dreamy confection of rhetoric. The McCain campaign set Obama up as a celebrity airhead, a Paris Hilton of wealth and elitism. And he let them portray him that way, and let them over-reach, and let them punch him again and again ... and then he turned around and destroyed them. If the Rove Republicans thought they were playing with a patsy, they just got a reality check."

Obama's speech seen by 38 million viewers

Obama's speech seen by 38 million viewers: "Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention was seen by more than 38 million people.

Nielsen Media Research said more people watched Obama speak than watched the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing, the final 'American Idol' or the Academy Awards this year. Obama talked before a live audience of 80,000 people in Denver.

His TV audience nearly doubled the amount of people who watched John Kerry accept the Democratic nomination to run against President Bush four years ago. Kerry's speech was seen by just over 20 million people.

Obama's audience might be higher, since Nielsen didn't have an estimate for how many people watched Obama on PBS or C-SPAN Thursday night."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

TAWOK&C: Chabon Talks About New Book

The Amazing Website of Kavalier & Clay - Chabon Talks About New Book: "Michael Chabon shed some more light on his next book, saying “a lot of the same concerns, themes, motifs, and even to some degree conventions, that I have been exploring in my recent work will find their way into this book.”

In an interview with science fiction magazine Locus, Chabon says the new book will take place in Oakley and Berkeley, a place he says he loves and “it turns out I actually know a lot about.” The novel appears to be the same untitled Bay Area novel that Chabon, which is set to come out around 2011.

“I want to write another novel for younger readers and I know what that’s going to be, but I just felt that it had been since Wonder Boys in the early ’90s that I had written a novel set in consensus reality — modern-day America — and I missed it,” Chabon said."

Here's the whole Locus interview.

CONNECTED: You and God in the Psalms

CONNECTED: You and God in the Psalms: Coming in Spring 2009. Check out my new book blog.

CONNECTED: You and God in the Psalms

CONNECTED: You and God in the Psalms Coming in Spring 2009... check out my new book blog.

Evanier: This just in...

news from me - ARCHIVES: "Bruce Reznick just wrote me that he's signed up to be notified when John McCain announces his vice-presidential pick. He's going to be notified by telegram."

Father Edward Beck at the DNC

Part I: From the Convention

The Democratic Focus on Faith

Part II: Obama's Leap of Faith

Obama's Leap of Faith

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Virgin Comics Shut Down - PW

Virgin Comics Shut Down - 8/26/2008 6:55:00 AM - Publishers Weekly: "Virgin Comics, the high-profile 2006 international joint venture between Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and the India-based comics publisher Gotham Entertainment, has been shut down. The company’s New York office and publishing unit has been closed and the eight people that staff it have been laid off.

Sources confirm that the venture has been closed. However, in a statement released by Virgin Comics CEO Sharad Devarajan (who is also president of Gotham Entertainment), he also confirmed that the company has closed the New York City office. Devarajan said that the company is “restructuring” and will relocate to new and as yet unspecified offices in Los Angeles."

Paul Levitz Talks Digital Comics- PW

Paul Levitz Talks Digital Comics - 8/25/2008 2:21:00 PM - Publishers Weekly: "The question of what role digital content will play in the future of comics has become the subject of much discussion and experimentation in the world of sequential art. DC Comics—with the recent launch of its first motion comic, an animated adaptation of Alan Moore and David Gibbons’s Watchmen available from iTunes, and the one-year anniversary of its Zuda Web comics site approaching —has taken some significant steps into the digital world. So what exactly is DC's philosophy toward digital content, and how will it shape its approach to online initiatives in the years to come? PW Comics Week talked with DC Comics president Paul Levitz to find out."

Monday, August 25, 2008

Warner Bets on Fewer, Bigger Movies -

Warner Bets on Fewer, Bigger Movies - "Warner Bros. also put on hold plans for another movie starring multiple superheroes -- known as 'Batman vs. Superman' -- after the $215 million 'Superman Returns,' which had disappointing box-office returns, didn't please executives. ''Superman' didn't quite work as a film in the way that we wanted it to,' says Mr. Robinov. 'It didn't position the character the way he needed to be positioned.' 'Had 'Superman' worked in 2006, we would have had a movie for Christmas of this year or 2009,' he adds. 'But now the plan is just to reintroduce Superman without regard to a Batman and Superman movie at all.'"

WaPo on the popularity of comics these days

Drawing Power - "I've wandered into an alternative universe, and I'm trying to decide if I want to stay. The setting is the lovely, old-fashioned library of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, in midtown Manhattan. The event is a gathering called 'SPLAT! A Graphic Novel Symposium.' I'm here because the organizers have promised to lay out, in the course of a single day, 'Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Graphic Novels.'"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Poll: Most want church out of politics

Poll: Most want church out of politics - David Paul Kuhn - "For the first time in a dozen years, a majority of Americans believe that churches and religious institutions should “keep out” of politics, according to the annual Pew Religion and Public Life Survey.

It’s the highest level of public concern with faith’s effect on politics since Pew began asking the question in 1996.

The rise in Americans’ desire to separate religion and politics — from 44 percent in 2004 to 52 percent today — appears due to a surprising increase in conservative distaste for mingling the institutions — from 30 percent in 2004 to half of conservatives expressing the view today."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

EBay Is Planning to Emphasize Fixed-Price Sales Format Over Its Auction Model -

EBay Is Planning to Emphasize Fixed-Price Sales Format Over Its Auction Model - "Acknowledging that most online shoppers cannot be bothered with auctions, eBay plans Wednesday to announce changes to its fee structure that emphasize fixed prices over bidding. The move is intended to help eBay compete more effectively with Amazon .com and other big online retailers.

The announcement, timed to increase sales during the holiday shopping season, is just one of the changes eBay has made in the last few months aimed at reducing its dependence on its auction business, which is growing more slowly than fixed-price sales. It provides yet more evidence that consumers are losing interest in auctions now that online shopping sites have become more affordable and easier to use."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rachel Maddow to Replace Dan Abrams on MSNBC - TV Decoder Blog -

Rachel Maddow to Replace Dan Abrams on MSNBC - TV Decoder Blog - "Just in time for the closing rush of the presidential election, MSNBC is shaking up its prime-time programming lineup, removing the long-time host –- and one-time general manager of the network — Dan Abrams from his 9 p.m. program and replacing him with Rachel Maddow, who has emerged as a favored political commentator for the all-news cable channel.

The moves, which were confirmed by MSNBC executives Tuesday, are expected to be finalized by Wednesday, with Mr. Abrams’s last program on Thursday. After MSNBC’s extensive coverage of the two political conventions during the next two weeks, Ms. Maddow will begin her program on Sept. 8."

Bigfoot's body a hoax, California site reveals |

Bigfoot's body a hoax, California site reveals | "Can you believe it? Georgia’s “Bigfoot” was just a big hoax.

The body of a supposed ape-man found in the North Georgia mountains was nothing but an empty rubber monkey suit embedded in ice, according to California Bigfoot enthusiasts who finally got a chance to examine it last weekend.

The two Atlanta men who stood up at a news conference in California last week and tried to convince the world they had found Bigfoot now apparently can’t be located — just like the real Bigfoot."

Monday, August 18, 2008

NYT: That McCain cross story

Who Knew What When? - The Caucus Blog - "The blogosphere is also lighting up with questions about the story Mr. McCain told at the forum — and many times previously — about a moment when a guard in his prison camp in Hanoi etched a cross in the dirt in front of him on a Christmas day. Mr. McCain related the story movingly at the forum, almost choking up, and added a line that he had not used before publicly: “For a minute there, there was just two Christians, worshiping together.

But some in the blogosphere are noting that this scene is strikingly similar to one painted by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, writing about his days in the gulag, and are questioning whether it actually happened to Mr. McCain. Mark Nicholas, a Democrat from Montana, has this. And over at the liberal DailyKos, they are noting that conservatives at Free Republic first raised doubts about the story in 2005."

UPDATE: Naw, it's not Solzhenitsyn's story, though it has been attributed to him in years past by a variety of right wingers including Jesse Helms.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Frank Rich - The Candidate We Still Don’t Know - Op-Ed -

Op-Ed Columnist - The Candidate We Still Don’t Know - Op-Ed - "The truth is we have no idea what will happen in November. But for the sake of argument, let’s posit that one thread of the Obama-is-doomed scenario is right: His lead should be huge in a year when the G.O.P. is in such disrepute that at least eight of the party’s own senatorial incumbents are skipping their own convention, the fail-safe way to avoid being caught near the Larry Craig Memorial Men’s Room at the Twin Cities airport.

So why isn’t Obama romping? The obvious answer — and both the excessively genteel Obama campaign and a too-compliant press bear responsibility for it — is that the public doesn’t know who on earth John McCain is."

Is Jon Stewart the Most Trusted Man in America? -

Television - Is Jon Stewart the Most Trusted Man in America? -

Jon Stewart says his job is just throwing spitballs. But in satirizing a world that defies satire, “The Daily Show” delivers both news and morality.

Friday, August 15, 2008

He Blurbed, She Blurbed -

Essay - He Blurbed, She Blurbed - "Caveat lector! The endorsements on books aren’t entirely impartial. Unbeknownst to the average reader, blurbs are more often than not from the writer’s best friends, colleagues or teachers, or from authors who share the same editor, publisher or agent. They represent a tangled mass of friendships, rivalries, favors traded and debts repaid, not always in good faith. There’s some debate about whether blurbs actually help sell books, but publishers agree they can’t hurt. Often, agents try to solicit blurbs even before a publisher buys a book."

NYT reviews Blake Bell's Ditko book

Book Review - 'Strange and Stranger - The World of Steve Ditko,' by Blake Bell - Review - "When an anonymous donor recently gave the Library of Congress Steve Ditko’s original artwork from the 1962 comic book “Amazing Fantasy #15,” the issue in which he created Spider-Man with the writer Stan Lee, barely anyone took notice. One of American comics’ great visual stylists, Ditko also had a hand in the development of both Iron Man and the Hulk, but his characters’ subsequent mass-media careers have made him neither rich nor particularly famous. He drew his greatest work for a flat page rate; Lee, his collaborator, was the grinning public face of Marvel Comics, while Ditko has refused all interviews and public appearances for decades. The comics scholar Blake Bell’s overview of Ditko’s career, illustrated on nearly every page, is anecdotal and critical rather than strictly biographical. Bell didn’t have much of a choice: the endnotes reveal that he corresponded with Ditko for several years, but that in 2003 the cartoonist decided that both author and publisher were “anti- Ditko” and repudiated them."

Left Behind Authors Speak Out on McCain Ad 'The One' - Christian Newswire

Left Behind Authors Speak Out on McCain Ad 'The One' - Christian Newswire: "John McCain's campaign ad 'The One' has generated a lot of buzz regarding the 'Left Behind Series.' Political commentators are comparing McCain's portrayal of competitor Barack Obama with the blockbuster apocalyptic series' depiction of the antichrist. But even the series authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins don't think Obama is the antichrist. What may have been created as a farce has generated a firestorm of controversy on the internet."

Graves Found From Sahara’s Green Period -

Graves Found From Sahara’s Green Period - "When Paul C. Sereno went hunting for dinosaur bones in the Sahara, his career took a sharp turn from paleontology to archaeology. The expedition found what has proved to be the largest known graveyard of Stone Age people who lived there when the desert was green."

50 Years of Mad Libs - NYT Op Ed

At the 50th anniversary of Mad Libs, co-creator Leonard Stern reflects on the last five decades.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

NYT's David Pogue: Microsoft's biased spell checker

From the Desk of David Pogue - Pogue’s Mailbag - Questions on TiVo, HDTVs and More - "Q: David: I've noticed this for a year, and have not been able to get Microsoft to change it: Type 'Obama' or 'obama' in Microsoft Word or Outlook, and the spelling checker recommends 'Osama' as the corrected spelling. How could this continue month after month, especially now that Mr. Obama is likely to be the Democratic candidate for president? Hope you can connect with appropriate folks at Microsoft and get this changed.

A: Well, it does seem like a silly glitch. But I'm not sure even I could convince Microsoft to release a new version of Microsoft Office software just to correct a single entry in the spelling dictionary. But if it helps, here you go: How about it, Microsoft?"

Big Foot body found in N. Georgia? - Local Wire: "Three 'Bigfoot'' seekers, including a Redwood City man who released a documentary titled 'Bigfoot Lives,'' claim they may have the body of one and plan to release a photo and what they claim is DNA evidence at a news conference in Palo Alto on Friday.

Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, Georgia residents who lead Bigfoot-tracking expeditions, say they found the body of what appears to be a Bigfoot in the woods of northern Georgia and will join local Bigfoot researcher Tom Biscardi at the news conference, according to Robert Barrows, who is publicizing the event."

Julia Child One Notable Among 24,000 OSS Spies

Documents: Julia Child One Notable Among 24,000 OSS Spies: "Famed chef Julia Child shared a secret with Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg and Chicago White Sox catcher Moe Berg at a time when the Nazis threatened the world.

They served in an international spy ring managed by the Office of Strategic Services, an early version of the CIA created in World War II by President Franklin Roosevelt."

L. Rust Hills, Fiction Editor at Esquire, Dies at 83

L. Rust Hills, Fiction Editor at Esquire, Dies at 83 - "L. Rust Hills, a staunch advocate of contemporary American literature who, as Esquire’s curmudgeonly fiction editor in three separate stints from the 1950s through the 1990s, published original works by scores of the country’s finest writers, died on Tuesday in Belfast, Me. He was 83 and lived in Key West, Fla."

Classic shows could find new life in digital TV -

Classic shows could find new life in digital TV - "Everyone knows that the national transition to digital broadcast television will promote sexy new technologies including high-definition TV (HDTV).
But few could have imagined that it might also revive some of the creakiest movies and series ever committed to celluloid, including The Lone Ranger, McHale's Navy and The Addams Family.

Vintage reruns and other inexpensive shows are in vogue, though, as stations and programmers rush into a potentially important new business: multicast networks."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Cartoon Lounge: New Yorker Interviews the Comics Curmudgeon

The Cartoon Lounge: Online Only: The New Yorker: "This week, the Cartoon Lounge sat down with Josh Fruhlinger, the Comics Curmudgeon."

Poll: Obama Leads Among Christians

Poll: Obama Leads Among Christians: "The Barna Group, a Christian research firm, shows Barack Obama leading John McCain by a substantial margin among Christian voters:

A new nationwide survey of people's candidate preference conducted by The Barna Group some movement over the past two months, with Sen. Obama maintaining a substantial 43% to 34% lead among those who are likely to vote in November, with 5% selecting minor party candidates.

MacNN | Info leaks on Sirius XM radio app for iPhone

MacNN | Info leaks on Sirius XM radio app for iPhone: "A Sirius XM application is in production for the iPhone, according to reports. The app is said to be in development by GeeksToolBox as part of the StreamSmart project, which aims to allow the streaming of Sirius, XM and Internet radio to multiple platforms including the iPhone. The name of the app, StarPlayr, may indicate that a partnership with NiceMac, as StarPlayr is the name NiceMac uses for its Mac OS X software of similar function. The Sirius XM app is allegedly still in an alpha stage, meaning it remains under heavy development and that a number of leaked details could change."

Sibley: Pauline Baynes, queen of Narnia and Middle-Earth

BRIAN SIBLEY : the blog: PAULINE BAYNES: QUEEN OF NARNIA AND MIDDLE-EARTH: "It is with deep sadness that I write these few words about our dear friend, Pauline Baynes, who died, on Friday, in the cottage in Dockenfield, Surrey, where she had lived and worked for many years.

There are certain illustrators whose work is so intimately interwoven with the author's text as to rank as the books' co-creators. Sir John Tenniel, for example, the first illustrator of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and E H Shepard who, with A A Milne, led us into the world of Winnie-the-Pooh. Similarly, Pauline Baynes' pictures of country and denizens in C S Lewis' seven Chronicles of Narnia are still - despite the recent big-screen movie imagery - the definitive depiction of that extraordinary land beyond the wardrobe..."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

DK Lands on Comic Fans’ Coffee Tables - PW

DK Lands on Comic Fans’ Coffee Tables - 8/11/2008 - Publishers Weekly: "Oh, sure, you have comic books. But do you have books about comic books? Great big ones? If not, Dorling Kindersley (DK) is coming to the rescue this fall with not one but two new oversized hardcover books about the history of two large forces in the comics world: Marvel Comics and DC’s Vertigo imprint."

'Seinfeld' WHO? |

'Seinfeld' WHO? | "Ten years after the final fresh episode of 'Seinfeld' aired, the seminal sitcom remains a fixture on TBS, its catchphrases fully ensconced in pop culture vernacular. ('Not that there's anything wrong with that.')

But over time, there's been a bit of, well, shrinkage.

Jerry Seinfeld himself is mostly retired, save for the occasional stand-up tour. Michael Richards has been incognito since his racist rant at a comedy club. Jason Alexander, after two failed sitcoms, is no longer a regular presence on TV. Only Julia Louis-Dreyfus remains in the spotlight, starring in CBS' "The New Adventures of Old Christine."

And although you can still catch "Seinfeld" repeats on TBS, ratings are down 21 percent year over year during the comparable first week of August."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Michael Chabon's Validation as Sci-Fi Author Complete - GalleyCat

Michael Chabon's Validation as Sci-Fi Author Complete - GalleyCat

Yiddish Policemen Wins Hugo

The Amazing Website of Kavalier & Clay - Yiddish Policemen Wins Hugo: "Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union won the Hugo Award on Saturday for best novel.

It’s the second science-fiction related prize that the novel has nabbed since it was published last summer. In April, Chabon won the Nebula Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America. He was nominated for an Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America, but lost to John Hart’s Down River."

Beijing Olympic 2008 opening ceremony giant firework footprints 'faked' - Telegraph

Beijing Olympic 2008 opening ceremony giant firework footprints 'faked' - Telegraph: "As the ceremony got under way with a dramatic, drummed countdown, viewers watching at home and on giant screens inside the Bird's Nest National Stadium watched as a series of giant footprints outlined in fireworks processed gloriously above the city from Tiananmen Square.

What they did not realise was that what they were watching was in fact computer graphics, meticulously created over a period of months and inserted into the coverage electronically at exactly the right moment.

The fireworks were there for real, outside the stadium. But those responsible for filming the extravaganza decided in advance it would be impossible to capture all 29 footprints from the air.

As a result, only the last, visible from the camera stands inside the Bird's Nest was captured on film."

Hmmm, thought they looked fake!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Science close to unveiling invisible man - Times Online

Science close to unveiling invisible man - Times Online: "INVISIBILITY devices, long the realm of science fiction and fantasy, have moved closer after scientists engineered a material that can bend visible light around objects.

The breakthrough could lead to systems for rendering anything from people to large objects, such as tanks and ships, invisible to the eye – although this is still years off.

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, whose work is funded by the American military, have engineered materials that can control light’s direction of travel. The world’s two leading scientific journals, Science and Nature, are expected to report the results this week."

The Classic Rock Magazine Is Switching to a Smaller, Rack-Friendly Size -

The Classic Rock Magazine Is Switching to a Smaller, Rack-Friendly Size - "Some packages like the curvaceous old Coke bottle become so iconic that they are recognizable at 30 paces. So it is with Rolling Stone, whose large format has stood out on magazine racks for more than three decades. It won’t for much longer, however. With the Oct. 30 issue, which will go on sale Oct. 17, Rolling Stone, published by Wenner Media, will adopt the standard size used by all but a few magazines."

Soul Legend Isaac Hayes Passes Away - AOL News

Soul Legend Isaac Hayes Passes Away - AOL News: "Isaac Hayes, the pioneering singer, songwriter and musician whose relentless 'Theme From Shaft' won Academy and Grammy awards, died Sunday, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office said. He was 65."

Saturday, August 09, 2008

SF Gospel: Four-Color Theophanies: Ten comic book characters who have met God

SF Gospel: Four-Color Theophanies: Ten comic book characters who have met God

Comic Book Idols Seek to Aid a Holocaust Artist -

Comic Book Idols Seek to Aid a Holocaust Artist - "As all-star comic-book team-ups go, this one beats the first meeting of Superman and Spider-Man. Three of the elder statesmen of comic books — Neal Adams, Joe Kubert and Stan Lee — have joined forces to combat what they see as a real-world injustice."

Friday, August 08, 2008

Longtime Power Broker Brillstein Dies - TVWeek - News

Longtime Power Broker Brillstein Dies - TVWeek - News: "Legendary Hollywood power broker Bernie Brillstein, an old-school talent manager who helped package landmark series ranging from “Saturday Night Live” and “Hee-Haw” to “Alf” and “The Muppet Show,” died Thursday night in Los Angeles. He was 77."

Happy Birthday Morning Joe

Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation to be adapted for TV |

Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation to be adapted for TV: "US cable channel AMC, home to critically lauded advertising drama Mad Men, is looking to develop a TV series based on Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 movie The Conversation.

The low-key thriller, about a paranoid surveillance expert called Harry Caul, played by Gene Hackman, who has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will be murdered, earned three Oscar nominations, including best picture.

Former 24 executive producer Tony Krantz has been attempting to turn the movie into a TV series for more than a decade and has lined up an impressive roster of creative talent to work on the project for AMC."

Tina Brown To Release The Beast

Revivals: Tina Brown To Release The Beast: "Tina Brown has worked in the US for more than two decades, since taking the helm of Vanity Fair in 1984; and she's now attempting to reinvent herself for the internet. But Lady Evans, as the 55-year-old former magazine editor is also entitled to call herself, remains at heart a Brit of an earlier generation, pickled in ink and arch wit. Her forthcoming news site, backed by old patron Barry Diller of IAC, is to be dubbed The Daily Beast, after the shameless tabloid of Evelyn Waugh's 1938 novel Scoop."

Shakespearean Theater Found?

Discovery News : Discovery Channel : Shakespearean Theater Found: "The theater where 'The Merchant of Venice' and 'Romeo and Juliet' likely debuted and where William Shakespeare himself may have trodden the boards has likely been discovered in east London, archaeologists at the Museum of London said Wednesday.

The possible foundations of what is known as simply, The Theatre, were unearthed by builders excavating the site -- a vacant garage -- for another structure. Museum archaeologists were called to the location to make sure nothing was destroyed, and had a eureka moment."

Darfur Olympics

Darfur Olympics: "Welcome to the Darfur Olympics – a week-long protest to keep the spotlight on the people of Darfur during the Beijing Games."

Alternative Opening Ceremony

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Walmart has a new logo, loses hyphen Save money. Live better.

I hadn't noticed this. Quite a change.

Rowan Williams: gay relationships 'comparable to marriage' -Times Online

Rowan Williams: gay relationships 'comparable to marriage' -Times Online: "Rowan Williams believes that gay sexual relationships can “reflect the love of God” in a way that is comparable to marriage, The Times has learnt.

Gay partnerships pose the same ethical questions as those between men and women, and the key issue for Christians is that they are faithful and lifelong, he believes.

Dr Williams is known to be personally liberal on the issue but the strength of his views, revealed in private correspondence shown to The Times, will astonish his critics.

The news threatens to reopenbitter divisions over ordaining gay priests, which pushed the Anglican Communion towards a split."

Behind the scenes of Hilton's mock ad

Behind the scenes of Hilton's mock ad: "Paris Hilton didn't need cue cards for her presidential campaign ad.
The 24-year-old heiress memorized her entire monologue, which included Hilton outlining her energy plan, in an online video spoof posted on Funny or Die, the comedy Web site's content director said.

Co-founder Adam McKay came up with the concept for a mock ad starring Hilton, which has received over 3 million views since it was posted Tuesday.

'Adam thought it would be really funny to get Paris to respond to the John McCain ad that featured her,' Funny or Die content director Amy Rhodes told The Associated Press on Wednesday. 'Adam contacted Paris directly, and she agreed to do it. He wrote the sketch. And she really, really loved it.'"

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

WSJ: How did Paul Levitz get there?

"Few people can turn their hobbies into full-time work and still enjoy it. But that's what Paul Levitz, president of DC Comics seems to have accomplished. The Brooklyn native started writing for the comic-book company while still in his teens. And on the long road to becoming publisher, he wrote for almost every DC title, including 'Batman,' 'Superman' and the 'Legion of Super-Heroes.' Now 34 years later—and after weathering a serious superhero slump in the 1990s, DC is enjoying newfound success with its expanded lines of graphic novels, Internet comics, games, merchandising, and movies (including 'The Dark Knight'). Writer Dennis Nishi spoke with Mr. Levitz about his career at San Diego Comic-Con International, a four-day fan event that's swelled in recent years to over 130,000 attendees."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

WFMU's Beware of the Blog: Groucho Saves The Day

WFMU's Beware of the Blog: Groucho Saves The Day: "For the 1969 Fall TV season, ABC tried to make waves with Music Scene, a new music variety show that combined Shindig and Laugh-in. Musical guests included a lot of variety, as well as the A-list likes of Janis Joplin, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jerry Lee Lewis, and James Brown. Unfortunately, the show presented many of these artist in pre-recorded scenes that lacked any real verve.

Originally, the show was hosted by a rotating cast of six comedians (including a young Lily Tomlin), but six un-funny episodes later, only one remained, David Steinberg. His intellectual sarcasm made him a more than affable host, but the format change didn't help the ratings, and the show was canceled after only a few months on the air.

But that lead to a moment of inspired brilliance. For the final episode, Steinberg was able to convince a very good friend of his to appear and co-host the show. Since this was the end of the series, I'm guessing nobody really cared if the co-host had anything to do with the context of the show. And so, much of the last episode of Music Scene was given over to un-scripted moments with the original cultural anarchist: 79-year-old Groucho Marx."

Circuit City Sorry For Commanding Employees To Destroy Mad Mag's "Sucker City" Parody

Circuit City: Circuit City Sorry For Commanding Employees To Destroy Mad Mag's "Sucker City" Parody: "After a thin-skinned Circuit City exec ordered stores carrying Mad Magazine to search and destroy all copies of a recent issue featuring a 4-page parody of 'Sucker City,' someone with a brain stopped the madness. Here's the surprisingly classy message we just got from corporate..."

Friday, August 01, 2008

NBC Hires Luke Russert as a Correspondent - TV Decoder Blog -

NBC Hires Luke Russert as a Correspondent - TV Decoder Blog - "The late “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert’s imprint will remain with NBC News for some time to come: his son Luke will serve as a correspondent at large for the network.

The elder Mr. Russert, 58, died of a heart attack on June 13. He frequently mentioned Luke, his only son, in television appearances.

The younger Mr. Russert’s first assignment will be at the Democratic National Convention in Denver at the end of August and at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul at the beginning of September. A 2008 Boston College graduate, he will focus on youth issues for NBC."