Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What Happens to Science Fiction Writers After They Die

Literary Endings: What Happens to Science Fiction Writers After They Die - io9.com: "The question of what happens after we die is unanswerable outside of Fringe, but the question of where and what will represent our death looms large. Some of our finest genre writers have had themselves cremated: H.G. Wells, L. Ron Hubbard, and Robert Heinlein to name a few. But others have had their memory preserved in stone. We take a look at some of the most intriguing SF memorials."

Greatest Books Ever Written - Esquire

Greatest Books Ever Written - Esquire's 75 Books Every Man Should Read - Esquire: "An unranked, incomplete, utterly biased list of the greatest works of literature ever published. How many have you read?"

The Transformation of NPR

The Transformation of NPR
- American Journalism Review
: "Long defined by its radio programming, National Public Radio is reinventing itself as a multiplatform force."

Stephen Colbert is a swinger for Marvel

Stephen Colbert is a swinger for Marvel | Hero Complex | Los Angeles Times: "Plenty of television comedy stars have hung with Spider-Man, but Stephen Colbert may be the first to swing with him.

Colbert, the master parodist of Comedy Central, shares an eight-page adventure with the world-famous web-slinger in issue No. 573 of 'The Amazing Spider-Man,' on sale Oct. 15. The folks at Marvel sent over a page from the story and while I can't quite tell what's going on, it's pretty clear that Colbert actually takes to the rooftops of Manhattan with the arachnid hero."

Monday, September 29, 2008

2008 Harvey Award winners announced

THE BEAT : 2008 Harvey Award winners announced

NPR to stream new Dylan set a week early | ajc.com

NPR to stream new Dylan set a week early | ajc.com: "Bob Dylan’s new album will be released one week early as a free online stream on National Public Radio’s Web site.

NPR Music will stream the entire two-CD “Tell Tale Signs,” beginning at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. It will be available for listening at least until Oct. 7, when the album is officially released by Columbia Records."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Frank Rich - McCain’s Suspension Bridge to Nowhere - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - McCain’s Suspension Bridge to Nowhere - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Frank Rich: John McCain may be the first presidential candidate in our history to risk wrecking the country even before being voted into the Oval Office.

Don’t Blame the New Deal - Editorial - NYTimes.com

Editorial - Don’t Blame the New Deal - Editorial - NYTimes.com: "This year’s serial bailouts are proof of a colossal regulatory failure. But it is not “the system” that failed, as President Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and others who are complicit in the calamity would like Americans to believe. People failed.

For decades now, antiregulation disciples of the Reagan Revolution have eliminated vital laws, blocked the enactment of much-needed new regulations, or simply refused to exercise their legal authority."

Katie grills Sarah, SNL sytle

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman dies at 83 - CNN.com

Paul Newman dies at 83 - CNN.com: "Paul Newman, the legendary actor whose steely blue eyes, good-humored charm and advocacy of worthy causes made him one of the most renowned figures in American arts, has died of cancer at his home in Westport, Connecticut. He was 83."

Anne Lamott on grief, despair, and the 2008 presidential election | Salon Life

Anne Lamott on grief, despair, and the 2008 presidential election | Salon Life: "How to handle the fury brought on by this election? Register voters, hit the streets, pray. Stop talking about her. Talk about Obama."

Friday, September 26, 2008

CBS releases latest Palin interview clip

(Hat tip Americablog.com--and yes, it's a hoax. Maybe.)

Must-Miss TV: Huckabee

The Associated Press: Huckabee to debut new show on Fox News: "Former Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee announced on his Web site that he has a new show debuting 8 p.m. EDT Saturday and Sunday on the Fox News Channel.

The show is simply titled 'Huckabee' he said.

'I'm sure the name will make it easy for all of you to find it,' Huckabee wrote on his political action committee's blog.

Fox News Channel spokesman Richard White said that Huckabee's new show would air on the channel but referred all questions about the show to Huckabee's agent.

Sarah Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor's daughter and head of his political action committee, said the same show will air both nights. She said his guest on the show will be Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the conservative co-host of ABC's 'The View.'"

Krugman - Where Are the Grown-Ups? - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Where Are the Grown-Ups? - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "This has to be a bipartisan plan, and not just at the leadership level. Democrats won’t pass the plan without votes from rank-and-file Republicans — and as of Thursday night, those rank-and-file Republicans were balking.

Furthermore, one non-rank-and-file Republican, Senator John McCain, is apparently playing spoiler. Earlier this week, while refusing to say whether he supported the Paulson plan, he claimed not to have had a chance to read it; the plan is all of three pages long. Then he inserted himself into the delicate negotiations over the Congressional plan, insisting on a White House meeting at which he reportedly said little — but during which consensus collapsed.

The bottom line, then, is that there do seem to be some adults in Congress, ready to do something to help us get through this crisis. But the adults are not yet in charge."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

'The Simpsons' hits a landmark - USATODAY.com

'The Simpsons' hits a landmark - USATODAY.com: "Homer Simpson is gunning for you, Matt Dillon.
With Sunday's premiere (Fox, 8 ET/PT), The Simpsons will tie Gunsmoke's record of 20 seasons on the air.

The writing staff keeps track of the longevity milestones, executive producer Al Jean says, but creator Matt Groening only cops to one record for the iconic Springfield family, its friends and neighbors. 'I think we've used more yellow paint than any other TV show,' he says."

Gail Collins: Bring on the Rubber Chicken - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Bring on the Rubber Chicken - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "John McCain and Barack Obama are going to join Bush at the White House to work over the details of a rescue bill with Congressional leaders. As Obama put it: “The risk of doing nothing is economic catastrophe.”

Or, as Sarah Palin told Katie Couric on CBS News last night: “Not necessarily this, as it’s been proposed, has to pass or we’re gonna find ourselves in another Great Depression. But there has to be action taken, bipartisan effort — Congress not pointing fingers at this point at ... one another, but finding the solution to this, taking action and being serious about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed.”

So say we all."

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, a Fresh Female Face Among Cable Schoolboys - NYTimes.com

The TV Watch - MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, a Fresh Female Face Among Cable Schoolboys - NYTimes.com: "Ms. Maddow has the character and political passion; what she doesn’t have is a worthy opponent."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

They're 'passionate' about punctuation | ajc.com

They're 'passionate' about punctuation | ajc.com: "Today is National Punctuation Day, the day set aside to lament bad punctuation and celebrate the good. As usual, there will be the traditional parades, rallies, walk-a-thons, TV specials, speeches by the presidential candidates and fireworks at dusk.

But amid all that hoopla, take a quiet moment to salute those unsung heroes who are always on the “lookout” for “misplaced” quotation marks. You can find them chuckling over them on the Internet at The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks (www.quotation-marks.blogspot.com) or cavorting in the Facebook group Quotation Mark “Hunters.”"

Mo Dowd - Park Avenue Diplomacy - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Park Avenue Diplomacy - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "Sarah speed-dated diplomacy on Tuesday. She had her very first national security briefing from the director of national intelligence and then went to a meeting with the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai. He thanked her for the help of the Alaskan National Guard in Afghanistan and told her about his young son, Mirwais, which means “the Light of the House.” Then she met with President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia.

Finally, Sarah huddled with Henry in his Park Avenue office, next to pictures of Ford and Reagan. The two made an odd couple: the last impure Rockefeller Republican and the first pure Rovian Republican, grown totally in the petri dish of cultural crusaderism."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

American Magazine Editors Group Announces Best Cover Nominees (PHOTOS)

American Magazine Editors Group Announces Best Cover Nominees (PHOTOS): "The American Society of Magazine Editors has announced their nominations for best covers of the year..."

Life magazine name is coming back on a website - NYPost.com

TIME BREATHES NEW LIFE INTO VENERABLE MAGAZINE - New York Post: "The Life name is getting a new lease on life.

After having shut down three times as a magazine, the Life title is being resurrected as part of a joint venture between Time Inc. and Getty Images that will launch a Web site offering free, downloadable photos from world-renowned photographers.

The partnership, which will go under the corporate name See Your World Llc, will bring back the life.com name and go live sometime early next year."

25 Receive $500,000 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowships - NYTimes.com

25 Receive $500,000 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowships - NYTimes.com: "A sculptor who transforms straws, paper clips and Scotch tape into dazzling forms; an urban farmer who delivers healthy food to poor city dwellers; and an astronomer who looks toward the edge of the universe are among the 25 recipients of the $500,000 “genius awards” to be announced on Tuesday by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Microsoft’s ‘I’m a PC’ Ads Created On Macs — RoughlyDrafted Magazine

Microsoft’s ‘I’m a PC’ Ads Created On Macs — RoughlyDrafted Magazine: "After dumping its $10 million contract with Jerry Seinfeld after just three ads (only two of which even aired) Microsoft has created new ad copy where regular people and a few celebrities say, “I’m a PC!” One problem with the campaign’s credibility: the ad work was created using Macs."

Michael Chabon: Obama & the Conquest of Denver - The New York Review of Books

Obama & the Conquest of Denver - The New York Review of Books: "I tagged along to the Democratic National Convention in Denver with my wife, Ayelet Waldman, one of five pledged Obama delegates elected from the 9th Congressional District of California. Like every political convention, I suppose, this one was quite a show: a spectacle. But it was more than that, and less: in the end it turned out to be only exactly what was needed. Yes, there were singing acts and short subjects, satellite trucks and talking heads, a menu of celebrities. At times the convention played like an opera, loosely based on Shakespeare; a rock concert; a rhetorical full-program magic show; a sporting event. But I can’t pretend to be cool toward the hoopla—it was high-quality hoopla—or even necessarily clear-eyed. Like a lot of other people, I have been trying to help get Barack Obama elected president of the United States of America for a long time, since shortly before he officially announced his candidacy (a time when, if I stated my belief that Obama could win the Democratic nomination, I was frequently, I don’t mind reminding some of you people now, patronized and patted on the head). I can’t claim to be fair, or balanced. But I will try."

Krugman - Cash for Trash - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Cash for Trash - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "Everyone agrees that something major must be done. But Mr. Paulson is demanding extraordinary power for himself — and for his successor — to deploy taxpayers’ money on behalf of a plan that, as far as I can see, doesn’t make sense.

Some are saying that we should simply trust Mr. Paulson, because he’s a smart guy who knows what he’s doing. But that’s only half true: he is a smart guy, but what, exactly, in the experience of the past year and a half — a period during which Mr. Paulson repeatedly declared the financial crisis “contained,” and then offered a series of unsuccessful fixes — justifies the belief that he knows what he’s doing? He’s making it up as he goes along, just like the rest of us.

So let’s try to think this through for ourselves. I have a four-step view of the financial crisis:"

Newcomers and Veterans Share the Hardware at the Emmy Awards - NYTimes.com

Newcomers and Veterans Share the Hardware at the Emmy Awards - NYTimes.com

A Measure of Hope - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Contributor - A Measure of Hope - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "The Millennium Development Goals have been a major improvement on the unfocused agenda for poverty that preceded them, but the world has changed radically since they were announced in 2000. And the assumptions on which they are based need to be rethought."

Big Financiers Start Lobbying for Wider Aid - NYTimes.com

Big Financiers Start Lobbying for Wider Aid - NYTimes.com: "Even as policy makers worked on details of a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, Wall Street began looking for ways to profit from it.

Financial firms were lobbying to have all manner of troubled investments covered, not just those related to mortgages.

At the same time, investment firms were jockeying to oversee all the assets that Treasury plans to take off the books of financial institutions, a role that could earn them hundreds of millions of dollars a year in fees."

it's STILL all about greed...

Bad Today, Gone Tomorrow - TV Shows That Disappear After One Episode - NYTimes.com

Bad Today, Gone Tomorrow - TV Shows That Disappear After One Episode - NYTimes.com: "In television, there are hits, there are misses, and then there are those most spectacular of flops: shows that are axed from the schedule after a single episode."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Jonathan Lethem on Batman - Art of Darkness - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Contributor - Art of Darkness - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "“BROKEN pipes, broken tools/People bending broken rules,” sings Bob Dylan in “Everything Is Broken.” The words are set to a guitar riff familiar from the ’60s “Batman” television show starring Adam West, my ur-Batman, cheesy and harmless though he may be. I thought of “Everything Is Broken” when I marked a return to my own Gotham City — Brooklyn, domesticated and oversold as it may be — by seeing “The Dark Knight,” now nestling into place between “Titanic” and “Star Wars” as the second-most-popular film of all time."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Poll: Racial views steer some white Dems away from Obama

Political Pulse | The Associated Press-Yahoo! News Poll on Yahoo! News: "Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks — many calling them 'lazy,' 'violent,' responsible for their own troubles.

The poll, conducted with Stanford University, suggests that the percentage of voters who may turn away from Obama because of his race could easily be larger than the final difference between the candidates in 2004 — about two and one-half percentage points."

Charles Blow - Lipstick Bungle - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Lipstick Bungle - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "It turns out that the Republican enthusiasm for Sarah Palin is just as superficial as she is. They were so eager for someone to cheer for (because they really don’t like you) that they dove face first into the Palin mirage. But, on the issues, even they worry about her.

In a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted this week 77 percent of Republicans said that they had a favorable opinion of Palin. But when asked what specifically they liked about her, their top five reasons were that she was honest, tough, caring, outspoken and fresh-faced. Sounds like a talk-show host, not a vice president. (By the way, her intelligence was in a three-way tie for eighth place, right behind “I just like her.”)"

Gail Collins - The Alpha Dogs Bark - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - The Alpha Dogs Bark - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "These times are so perilous that George W. Bush emerged from his burrow on Friday to reassure the American people about the financial crisis.

Looking either grim or overmedicated, Bush spoke for several minutes — 1,260 words worth of reassurance. That was a far more ambitious effort than the day before, when, as Politico’s Roger Simon noted, our president devoted 100 fewer words to his public utterances on the collapsing economy than he did to toasting the president of Ghana at dinner.

Behind the-first-president-with-an-M.B.A.-and-a-lot-of-good-it-did-us stood the Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, who appears to be actually running the government. On Thursday night, Bernanke had called Congressional leaders together and terrified them into supporting a quadrillion-dollar rescue plan. Legend has it that there was a time when these sorts of gatherings took place at the White House, but it would probably have really cast a pall on the president of Ghana’s big night."

Warner-Fox ‘Watchmen’ Battle Surrounds the Producer Lawrence Gordon - NYTimes.com

Warner-Fox ‘Watchmen’ Battle Surrounds the Producer Lawrence Gordon - NYTimes.com

A rapidly escalating legal fight between Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox is headed for trial in federal court in Los Angeles next January.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oprah makes latest book pick - CNN.com

Oprah makes latest book pick - CNN.com: "Oprah Winfrey announced Friday she'd chosen David Wroblewski's 'The Story of Edgar Sawtelle' as her latest book club pick, calling the debut novel a classic and the 'best novel I've read in a long, long, long time.'

'I think this book is right up there with the greatest American novels ever written, I really do,' said Winfrey at the end of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.' Winfrey raved for several minutes about the novel, comparing it to the work of John Steinbeck and even, she said, Harper Lee, author of 'To Kill a Mockingbird.'"

Unknown Mozart fragment found in French library | ajc.com

Unknown Mozart fragment found in French library | ajc.com: "It's a forgotten melody, sketched in black ink in a swift but sure hand. The single manuscript page, long hidden in a provincial French library, has been verified as the work of Mozart, the apparent underpinnings for a Mass he never composed.

The previously undocumented music fragment gives insight into Mozart's evolving composition style and provides a clue about the role religion may have played for the composer as his life neared its turbulent end, one prominent Mozart expert says."

Gospel Today magazine pulled from Christian bookstores' shelves | ajc.com

Gospel Today magazine pulled from Christian bookstores' shelves | ajc.com: "Gospel Today, the Fayetteville-published magazine, was pulled off the [Lifeway Christian Stores] racks by the bookstores’ owner, the Southern Baptist Convention. The problem? The five smiling women on the cover are women of the cloth — church pastors.

Southern Baptist polity says that’s a role reserved for men.

Teresa Hairston, owner of Gospel Today, whose glossy pages feature upbeat articles about health, living, music and ministry, said she discovered by e-mail that the September/October issue of the magazine had been demoted to the realm of the risque.

“It’s really kind of sad when you have people like [Gov.] Sarah Palin and [Sen.] Hillary Clinton providing encouragement and being role models for women around the world that we have such a divergent opinion about women who are able to be leaders in the church,” Hairston said. “I was pretty shocked.”"

How Many Web Services Can One Person Use? - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

How Many Web Services Can One Person Use? - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com: "How many more new social networking or micro-blogging or video-sharing site can one person use? Most of us don’t have time to respond to voice mail and e-mail every day, let alone check our Twitter updates and Facebook accounts and Flickr friends. And even if we have the time, do we need another site that helps us share and connect and network?

This problem is just under the surface at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York this week. Just a few years ago, it was easy for start-ups that provide Web services to attract early adopters — the tech geeks who are the first to use new technologies. The challenge was attracting mainstream users. But now, even the early adopters are stretched thin."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

FakeStanLee: Tribute to Gene Colan

STAN'S SOAPBOX: "ITEM! Now at a Local Comic Shop near you — A Tribute to Gene Colan! You gotta go and get your malingering mitts on this one right away, pilgrims. Besides being an authoritative anthology of some of Gentleman Gene’s very best Marvel work, portions of the proceeds go directly to Mr. and Mrs. Colan to help offset medical expenses from Gene’s recent illness. In addition to proceeds from the tribute book, Marvel has also awarded Gene a nice retirement bonus and just generally stepped up to the philanthropic plate — and rightly so! And it’s all because Marveldom Assembled, Clever Cliff Meth, and Frantic Ones just like you demanded it! So say we all!"

Gail Collins - The McCain of the Week - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - The McCain of the Week - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "I have absolutely no idea of how John McCain would handle a financial crisis if he were president. But on behalf of all the nation’s fundamentals I would like to say that he now has me ready to stage a run on the first bank in sight."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Drudge-ology 101: McCain, Obama and Media Bias - The Fix

Drudge-ology 101: McCain, Obama and Media Bias - The Fix: "Yesterday was a typical recent day on the Drudge Report -- the single most influential source for how the presidential campaign is covered in the country.

In the banner headline spot for most of the day was a picture of entertainer Barbra Streisand touting a Beverly Hills fundraiser for Barack Obama -- not exactly the sort of headline that the Illinois senator wants as chum for the cable channels 49 days before the election.

Two other stories never merited attention from Drudge: a claim by a senior aide to John McCain that the Arizona senator had invented the BlackBerry and a statement by McCain surrogate Carly Fiorina that neither McCain nor Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would be equipped to serve as CEO of a major U.S. company."

Time Inc.'s Maghound Launches

Time Inc.'s Maghound Launches - Audience Development @ FolioMag.com: "After four years of development and testing, and almost a year after first being publicly announced, Time Inc. has finally launched the beta version of its virtual newsstand delivery service Maghound.com.

Maghound.com will feature over 240 titles."

Vatican affirms scientific value of evolution | ajc.com

Vatican affirms scientific value of evolution | ajc.com: "A professor at a Vatican-sponsored university expressed dismay Tuesday that some Christian groups reject the theory of evolution —- implicitly criticizing the literal interpretation of the Bible.

Further emphasizing the official Catholic stance, a Vatican official restated the Church position that evolution is not incompatible with faith.

Both men spoke at a news conference ahead of a March event aimed at fostering dialogue between religion and science, and appraising evolution 150 years after Charles Darwin’s landmark “On the Origin of Species.”"

Mo Dowd - ‘Barbies for War!’ - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - ‘Barbies for War!’ - Maureen Dowd - NYTimes.com: "Carly Fiorina, the woman John McCain sent out to defend Sarah Palin and rip anyone who calls her a tabula rasa on foreign policy and the economy, admitted Tuesday that Palin was not capable of running Hewlett-Packard.

That’s pretty damning coming from Fiorina, who also was not capable of running Hewlett-Packard.

Carly helpfully added that McCain (not to mention Obama and Biden) couldn’t run a major corporation. He couldn’t get his immigration bill passed either, but now he’s promising to eliminate centuries of greed on Wall Street.

The Wall Street Journal reported that McCain was thinking about taking Palin to the U.N. General Assembly next week so she can shake hands with some heads of state. You can’t contract foreign policy experience like a rhinovirus."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Living Loved in Italy

Thanks to Michael Seufer, who took this photo while on vacation with his family in Italy!

Richard Cohen: The Ugly New McCain - washingtonpost.com

Richard Cohen - The Ugly New McCain - washingtonpost.com

"I am one of the journalists accused over the years of being in the tank for McCain. Guilty. Those doing the accusing usually attributed my feelings to McCain being accessible. This is the journalist-as-puppy school of thought: Give us a treat, and we will leap into a politician's lap.

Not so. What impressed me most about McCain was the effect he had on his audiences, particularly young people. When he talked about service to a cause greater than oneself, he struck a chord. He expressed his message in words, but he packaged it in the McCain story -- that man, beaten to a pulp, who chose honor over freedom. This had nothing to do with access. It had to do with integrity.

McCain has soiled all that. His opportunistic and irresponsible choice of Sarah Palin as his political heir -- the person in whose hands he would leave the country -- is a form of personal treason, a betrayal of all he once stood for. Palin, no matter what her other attributes, is shockingly unprepared to become president. McCain knows that. He means to win, which is all right; he means to win at all costs, which is not."

Shatner’s in the comic biz

Blog@Newsarama - Blog Archive - Shatner’s in the comic biz: "I tell you, the Shat can do anything! He sings, he acts, he writes … and now?

TrekWeb posts some key points from an LA Times interview in which William Shatner revealed that he will be working with Bluewater Productions to develop a line of comics based on his science fiction novels."

Online-Only Comics From Marvel - NYTimes.com

Arts, Briefly - Online-Only Comics From Marvel - Brief - NYTimes.com: "Marvel Digital Comics (marvel.com), the online arm of Marvel Entertainment, is starting two titles, spinoffs of big-budget Marvel films. “Iron Man: Fast Friends” will focus on the relationship between Tony Stark, the man behind the iron armor, and Jim Rhodes, who comic fans know eventually becomes War Machine, a superhero in his own right. “Incredible Hulk: The Fury Files” will follow Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson in a cameo appearance in the “Iron Man” movie) as he investigates the angry green monster that Bruce Banner becomes. The series are both weekly. Iron Man will begin on Wednesday; the Hulk will begin on Oct. 8."

Spider-Man Tobey Maguire spins deal for fatherhood - Times Online

Spider-Man Tobey Maguire spins deal for fatherhood - Times Online: "IN A victory for working fathers in Hollywood, the actor Tobey Maguire has been granted “family time” with his young daughter as part of an unprecedented deal to star in the next two Spider-Man movies.

Maguire was willing to shoot Spider-Man 4 and 5 back-to-back over six months next year but insisted he should take early mornings and evenings off so he could play with his “favourite blonde”, Ruby Sweetheart, who is 22 months old.

The 33-year-old actor is expected to earn a record $50m in salary and profit shares from the two films, substantially more than Keanu Reeves earned when he shot the last two Matrix films back-to-back."

A Spiritual Guide to the 2008-2009 TV Season -- Beliefnet.com

A Spiritual Guide to the 2008-2009 TV Season -- Beliefnet.com: "Anticipation is building for the new season of television shows, especially because the Writers' Strike led to production alterations to practically all series on the air and in production.

A part of that excitement seems to be brewing around returning and new shows that have, or could, have a spiritual aura to them.

While the network execs, showrunners and stars are trying to keep plot lines hush hush, here are some series to look out for in the 2008-2009 TV Season."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Newfound Tapes Offer Clues to Agatha Christie’s Life - NYTimes.com

Newfound Tapes Offer Clues to Agatha Christie’s Life - NYTimes.com: "“A complete egoist,” Agatha Christie said of Hercule Poirot, her brilliant, diminutive, impeccably dressed Belgian detective.

“Puffy and spinsterish,” she quipped of Miss Marple, her other famous sleuth. “The old spinster lady living in a village.”

Uttered in the reedy voice of Christie herself, these withering descriptions are contained on a cache of audiotapes, recently discovered in a dusty cardboard box in one of her former houses by her only grandson, Mathew Prichard.

The tapes — 27 reels running a total of more than 13 hours — are filled with Christie’s painstaking dictation of her life story, rough material recorded in the early 1960s that eventually made up her autobiography, published posthumously in 1977. It stands as one of only a handful of recordings of Christie, the British mystery writer, who rarely agreed to be interviewed."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Kakutani on David Foster Wallacel - NYTimes.com

An Appraisal - Writer Mapped the Mythic and the Mundane - An Appraisal - NYTimes.com: "David Foster Wallace used his prodigious gifts as a writer — his manic, exuberant prose; his ferocious powers of observation, his ability to fuse avant garde techniques with old-fashioned moral seriousness — to create a series of strobe-lit portraits of a millennial America overdosing on the drugs of entertainment and self-gratification, and to capture, in the words of the musician Robert Plant, the myriad “deep and meaningless” facets of contemporary life."

Sarah n' Hillary on SNL

FRANK RICH: The Palin-Whatshisname Ticket - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - The Palin-Whatshisname Ticket - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "WITH all due deference to lipstick, let’s advance the story. A week ago the question was: Is Sarah Palin qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? The question today: What kind of president would Sarah Palin be?

It’s an urgent matter, because if we’ve learned anything from the G.O.P. convention and its aftermath, it’s that the 2008 edition of John McCain is too weak to serve as America’s chief executive. This unmentionable truth, more than race, is now the real elephant in the room of this election.

No longer able to remember his principles any better than he can distinguish between Sunnis and Shia, McCain stands revealed as a guy who can be easily rolled by anyone who sells him a plan for “victory,” whether in Iraq or in Michigan. A McCain victory on Election Day will usher in a Palin presidency, with McCain serving as a transitional front man, an even weaker Bush to her Cheney.

The ambitious Palin and the ruthless forces she represents know it, too. You can almost see them smacking their lips in anticipation, whether they’re wearing lipstick or not."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Comcast puts more content on Fancast | ajc.com

Comcast puts more content on Fancast | ajc.com: "Comcast Corp. has reached agreements with several major content providers to offer their shows on its entertainment Web site, Fancast.com.

The Philadelphia-based cable operator has inked deals with ABC, CW, Showtime, HBO and The Food Network to offer free ad-supported TV episodes and clips. The shows will start rolling out this weekend, except those from ABC, which went live last week."

Bob Herbert - She’s Not Ready - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - She’s Not Ready - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "While watching the Sarah Palin interview with Charlie Gibson Thursday night, and the coverage of the Palin phenomenon in general, I’ve gotten the scary feeling, for the first time in my life, that dimwittedness is not just on the march in the U.S., but that it might actually prevail.

How is it that this woman could have been selected to be the vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket? How is it that so much of the mainstream media has dropped all pretense of seriousness to hop aboard the bandwagon and go along for the giddy ride?

For those who haven’t noticed, we’re electing a president and vice president, not selecting a winner on “American Idol.”"

Gov. Palin’s Worldview - Editorial - NYTimes.com

Editorial - Gov. Palin’s Worldview - Editorial - NYTimes.com: "As we watched Sarah Palin on TV the last couple of days, we kept wondering what on earth John McCain was thinking.

If he seriously thought this first-term governor — with less than two years in office — was qualified to be president, if necessary, at such a dangerous time, it raises profound questions about his judgment. If the choice was, as we suspect, a tactical move, then it was shockingly irresponsible."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Krugman - Blizzard of Lies - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Blizzard of Lies - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "Did you hear about how Barack Obama wants to have sex education in kindergarten, and called Sarah Palin a pig? Did you hear about how Ms. Palin told Congress, “Thanks, but no thanks” when it wanted to buy Alaska a Bridge to Nowhere?

These stories have two things in common: they’re all claims recently made by the McCain campaign — and they’re all out-and-out lies."

A Nonpartisan Look at Those Partisan Campaign Ads - Review - NYTimes.com

Television - The Living Room Candidate, a Nonpartisan Look at Those Partisan Campaign Ads - Review - NYTimes.com

Brian Greene - The Origins of the Universe - A Crash Course - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Contributor - The Origins of the Universe - A Crash Course - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "THREE hundred feet below the outskirts of Geneva lies part of a 17-mile-long tubular track, circling its way across the French border and back again, whose interior is so pristine and whose nearly 10,000 surrounding magnets so frigid, that it’s one of the emptiest and coldest regions of space in the solar system.

The track is part of the Large Hadron Collider, a technological marvel built by physicists and engineers, and described alternatively as heralding the next revolution in our understanding of the universe or, less felicitously, as a doomsday machine that may destroy the planet.

After more than a decade of development and construction, involving thousands of scientists from dozens of countries at a cost of some $8 billion, the “on” switch for the collider was thrown this week. So what we can expect?"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Explore the Spirit: Conversation with Phyllis Tickle about living with "The Great Emergence"

Explore the Spirit: 253: Conversation with Phyllis Tickle about living with "The Great Emergence"

Number-crunching pollster sees decisive Obama win - Yahoo! News

Number-crunching pollster sees decisive Obama win - Yahoo! News: "A pollster whose mathematical model has correctly predicted every winner of the White House popular vote since 1988 is banking on a decisive victory for Democrat Barack Obama in November.

Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz said Wednesday that according to his 'time for change' model, Obama would secure 54.3 percent of the popular vote against 45.7 percent for Republican John McCain."

Gail Collins - Misery Loves Democrats - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Misery Loves Democrats - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "It has come to our attention that a large number of Democrats have gone completely nuts about Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

He’s going to lose! Sarah Palin is getting all the attention! The Republicans are so mean! Why isn’t he tougher?

They’re calling each other up to discuss how doomed they are, vowing to move to Canada as soon as the election is over and the inevitable worst has occurred. Really, we evacuated several hurricane-prone states with more cheer and optimism.

Cheer up, Obama-ites. You’re overreacting. I’ll answer all your questions as long as you promise to take deep breaths into this nice paper bag."

Mississippi’s Ballot Trick - Editorial - NYTimes.com

Editorial - Mississippi’s Ballot Trick - Editorial - NYTimes.com: "Mississippi’s governor, Haley Barbour, and its secretary of state have come up with a particularly cynical dirty trick for the November election. Let’s call it: “Where’s the Senate race?”

Defying state law, they have decided to hide a hard-fought race for the United States Senate at the bottom of the ballot, where they clearly are hoping some voters will overlook it. Their proposed design is not only illegal. It shows a deep contempt for Mississippi’s voters."

Border Fence Is Not Likely to Be Done by Year’s End - NYTimes.com

Border Fence Is Not Likely to Be Done by Year’s End - NYTimes.com: "The Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday that cost overruns, legal obstacles and other problems were imperiling its goal of completing the 670 miles of fencing and technological improvements on the Southwest border that President Bush has promoted as vital to securing it.

Rising costs for construction and materials and delays in acquiring land from owners could foil the effort to build the fence by the end of the year, said officials, who are now seeking more money for the project."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sullivan: McCain chooses evil

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan: "For me, this surreal moment - like the entire surrealism of the past ten days - is not really about Sarah Palin or Barack Obama or pigs or fish or lipstick. It's about John McCain. The one thing I always thought I knew about him is that he is a decent and honest person. When he knows, as every sane person must, that Obama did not in any conceivable sense mean that Sarah Palin is a pig, what did he do? Did he come out and say so and end this charade? Or did he acquiesce in and thereby enable the mindless Rovianism that is now the core feature of his campaign?

So far, he has let us all down. My guess is he will continue to do so. And that decision, for my part, ends whatever respect I once had for him. On core moral issues, where this man knew what the right thing was, and had to pick between good and evil, he chose evil."

Success! The world hasn't ended

Success! The world hasn't ended | The Sun |News: "WE are all still here!
The world's most powerful physics experiment is well and truly under way.

Scientists cheered as a beam of proton particles completed their first circuit of the 27km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

At 8.30am today, the machine which some fear could create a giant black hole capable of swallowing the planet was switched on."

Apple yields to NBC Universal on price, packaging | News - Digital Media - CNET News

Apple yields to NBC Universal on price, packaging | News - Digital Media - CNET News: "To get TV shows from NBC Universal back on iTunes, Apple yielded to some demands on pricing and packaging made by the media conglomerate, NBC executives said Tuesday.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced at the company's 'Let's Rock' press event on Tuesday that NBC shows such as 30 Rock and The Office would return to iTunes a year after the entertainment company pulled out of iTunes.

Examples of how NBC can set its own prices on some shows came after the event. NBC announced that it would offer some catalog titles for 99 cents rather than the traditional $1.99 that Apple charges for TV downloads."

'Wait' may soon get answer on TV vision -- chicagotribune.com

'Wait' may soon get answer on TV vision -- chicagotribune.com: "What popular radio quiz show has cut a deal to produce a television pilot that could lead to fame, fortune and quite possibly a regular makeup artist assigned to Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell?

Wait, wait . . . don't tell you?

No, 'Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me!'

Following the lead of Chicago Public Radio stablemate 'This American Life,' 'Wait, Wait' has moved a step closer to expansion into TV—or reduction, depending how big your screen is."

Maurice Sendak’s Concerns, Beyond Where the Wild Things Are - NYTimes.com

Maurice Sendak’s Concerns, Beyond Where the Wild Things Are - NYTimes.com: "Maurice Sendak’s 80th year — which ended with his birthday earlier this summer and is being celebrated on Monday night with a benefit at the 92nd Street Y — was a tough one. He has been gripped by grief since the death of his longtime partner; a recent triple-bypass has temporarily left him too weak to work or take long walks with his dog; and he is plagued by Norman Rockwell."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Marvel Turns Stephen King’s The Stand into Comics - PW

Marvel Turns Stephen King’s The Stand into Comics - Publishers Weekly: "Stephen King is no stranger to comics now. And if the marriage of his bestselling horror novels with comic books seemed strange at first, it certainly doesn’t anymore. The Marvel Comics adaptation of his Dark Tower prose novels, a prequel miniseries called The Gunslinger Born, shot to the top of the comics sales charts both as a monthly pamphlet and a graphic novel collection in 2007. The success of the series and the book collection spurred a second Dark Tower miniseries, The Long Road Home, that began earlier this year.

Now, Marvel Comics has moved on to another King property, with a comic book adaptation of his 1978 horror classic, The Stand. A postapocalyptic vision of a world ravaged by a lethal superflu epidemic, The Stand follows two camps of survivors who are slowly drawn into confrontation. The comic book series, which is slated for 30 issues, launches September 10; it will be written by playwright and comics author Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and drawn by Captain America artist Mike Perkins. Aguirre-Sacasa and Perkins talked with PW Comics Week about the process of bringing one of King’s most popular prose works to life in the form of comics."

Daily Kos: The most bone-chilling political video on youtube!

Daily Kos: The most bone-chilling political video on youtube!

David Granger: Esquire 75th Anniversary Cover 'a Beginning' - mediabistro.com: FishbowlNY

David Granger: <I>Esquire</I> 75th Anniversary Cover 'a Beginning' - mediabistro.com: FishbowlNY: "After months of anticipation, Esquire unveiled its 75th anniversary issue — complete with E Ink technology on the cover — this morning at Borders in Columbus Circle. In a cutout on the front, the words 'The 21st Century Begins Now' blink in various configuration.

Kevin O'Malley, Esquire's vice president and publisher, introduced the magazine. In the span of his five minute speech, he called it 'a milestone,' a 'game changer,' and a 'new and truly revolutionary idea for magazines' whose 'impact will resonate' throughout the industry. We were impressed."

Bob Herbert: Hold Your Heads Up - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Hold Your Heads Up - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "Ignorance must really be bliss. How else, over so many years, could the G.O.P. get away with ridiculing all things liberal?

Troglodytes on the right are no respecters of reality. They say the most absurd things and hardly anyone calls them on it. Evolution? Don’t you believe it. Global warming? A figment of the liberal imagination.

Liberals have been so cowed by the pummeling they’ve taken from the right that they’ve tried to shed their own identity, calling themselves everything but liberal and hoping to pass conservative muster by presenting themselves as hyper-religious and lifelong lovers of rifles, handguns, whatever."

Spooky Conspiracy on Sci-Fi Frontier - ‘Fringe’ Review - NYTimes.com

Television Review - 'Fringe' - Spooky Conspiracy on Sci-Fi Frontier - ‘Fringe’ on Fox - Review - NYTimes.com: "...as pilots go, this one is sensational, an artful, suspenseful mix of horror, science fiction, layered conspiracies and extended car chases. “Fringe” sets out to stretch the boundaries of conventional network series. So did “Lost” when it began in 2004, but that ABC show was unlike any other drama in recent memory: characters stranded on a tropical island seemingly stalked by unknown and perhaps paranormal forces.

“Fringe” treads on more familiar territory. It is a lot like “The X-Files,” only this variation pairs a trusting female F.B.I. agent with a scientifically minded and skeptical male sidekick. There is even a hint of the paranoia that fueled another hit Mr. Abrams helped shape, “Alias.”"

Google to Digitize Newspaper Archives - NYTimes.com

Google to Digitize Newspaper Archives - NYTimes.com: "Google has begun scanning microfilm from some newspapers’ historic archives to make them searchable online, first through Google News and eventually on the papers’ own Web sites, the company said Monday.

The new program expands a two-year-old service that allows Google News users to search the archives of some major newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time, that were already available in digital form. Readers will be able to search the archives using keywords and view articles as they appeared originally in the print pages of newspapers.

Under the expanded program, Google will shoulder the cost of digitizing newspaper archives, much as the company does with its book-scanning project. Google angered some book publishers because it had failed to seek permission to scan books that were protected by copyrights. It will obtain permission from newspaper publishers before scanning their archives."

Monday, September 08, 2008

Donation spotlights comic book dispute: Times Argus Online

Donation spotlights comic book dispute: Times Argus Online: "Since Steve Ditko's original artwork for 1962's 'Amazing Fantasy 15' — the first appearance of the Spider-Man — was donated to the Library of Congress in April, a new breed of researcher has been spotted at the library.

'I've never, ever had researchers have their picture taken with works of art, until now,' said Sara W. Duke, a curator of popular and applied graphic art at the library. 'It's almost like a worship of the object that goes on.'

Two people with no plans to visit, however, are the webslinger's creative team: writer/editor Stan Lee and artist Ditko.

'I'm just too busy,' said Lee, 85, in an interview from his California offices. 'Plus, I've already seen them. I'm not someone who lives in the past too much.'

Ditko, 80, was more abrupt. When reached at his Manhattan studio, he would only say: 'I couldn't care less.'"

Comic Books on the iPhone? Wired.com

Comic Books on the iPhone? No Thanks | Gadget Lab from Wired.com: "Is the iPhone a good platform for reading comic books? Probably not, but that isn't stopping developers from having a crack at bringing the funnies to your pocket. The problem is that the iPhone's screen, while great for reading plain-text e-books, is just a little too small for comic book pages. Part of comics' impact is the full, two-page spread which allows for spacing and pacing of the story. But a full two pages is obviously too much for the iPhone's screen. You can zoom in to read the individual frames, but that's kind of a pain."

A liberal pundit soars to a prominent perch - The Boston Globe

A liberal pundit soars to a prominent perch - The Boston Globe: "Tonight, 'The Rachel Maddow Show' debuts on MSNBC, leaving her on the cusp of full-blown stardom in the mainstream media that her most devoted fans see as an enemy."

Campbell Brown sparks a McCain-media firestorm - MarketWatch

Campbell Brown sparks a McCain-media firestorm - MarketWatch: "CNN anchor Campbell Brown didn't intend to trigger a firestorm at the Republican National Convention.

But she did anyway.

Shortly after Sen. John McCain tapped Sarah Palin as his running mate, Brown directed pointed questions to Tucker Bounds, a spokesman for McCain's campaign, about the qualifications of the little-known Alaska governor.

As the Los Angeles Times pointed out: 'Tensions -- and voices -- rose after the anchorwoman told Bounds that she was just 'trying to get someone from the campaign to explain what foreign policy experience [Palin] has.' Bounds repeatedly skirted the question, choosing instead to criticize Barack Obama's lack of executive experience.'

'It's surprising,' Brown said of the ensuing controversy when we spoke by phone last Thursday afternoon. 'It's what we do. I'm a journalist. My role and responsibility go beyond a job. It's a duty, an obligation. We're here to ask tough questions in a responsible way.'"

Seinfeld Microsoft ad crashes | ajc.com

Seinfeld Microsoft ad crashes | ajc.com: "o soup for Microsoft?

The software giant’s new ad starring Jerry Seinfeld has drawn largely negative reviews online after premiering last week during NBC’s broadcast of the National Football League’s season kickoff game.

The ad was the start of a highly anticipated $300 million advertising campaign that Microsoft is launching in attempt to rebuff Apple’s popular TV commercials, which have portrayed Microsoft and PCs as uncool."

MSNBC Takes Incendiary Hosts From Anchor Seat - NYTimes.com

MSNBC Takes Incendiary Hosts From Anchor Seat - NYTimes.com: "MSNBC tried a bold experiment this year by putting two politically incendiary hosts, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, in the anchor chair to lead the cable news channel’s coverage of the election.

That experiment appears to be over.

After months of accusations of political bias and simmering animosity between MSNBC and its parent network NBC, the channel decided over the weekend that the NBC News correspondent and MSNBC host David Gregory would anchor news coverage of the coming debates and election night. Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Matthews will remain as analysts during the coverage.

The change — which comes in the home stretch of the long election cycle — is a direct result of tensions associated with the channel’s perceived shift to the political left."

Archie and Jughead? No, Javascript - NYTimes.com

Archie and Jughead? No, Javascript - NYTimes.com: "When a company introduces a product, a multimedia presentation is usually available to show it off. Some companies use video; others employ slide shows. To prepare the way for Chrome, its new Web browser, Google decided to make a 38-page comic book. To do that, the company hired Scott McCloud, the writer-artist of “Making Comics,” “Reinventing Comics” and the critically acclaimed “Understanding Comics.”"

New E-Newspaper Reader Echoes Look of the Paper - NYTimes.com

New E-Newspaper Reader Echoes Look of the Paper - NYTimes.com: "The electronic newspaper, a large portable screen that is constantly updated with the latest news, has been a prop in science fiction for ages. It also figures in the dreams of newspaper publishers struggling with rising production and delivery costs, lower circulation and decreased ad revenue from their paper product.

While the dream device remains on the drawing board, Plastic Logic will introduce publicly on Monday its version of an electronic newspaper reader: a lightweight plastic screen that mimics the look — but not the feel — of a printed newspaper."

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Nikki Fink: Sony Locks In Sam Raimi & Tobey Maguire in ‘Spider-Man 4′; Studio May Shoot ‘4′ and ‘5′ At The Sam

Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily - EXCLUSIVE: Sony Locks In Sam Raimi & Tobey Maguire in ‘Spider-Man 4′; Studio May Shoot ‘4′ and ‘5′ At The Same Time: "Sony doesn't want any info to leak but I'm told that both star Tobey Maguire and director Sam Raimi will be returning to make Zodiac screenwriter Jamie Vanderbilt's script of Spider-Man 4. Sources tell me that Sony has recently locked in both veterans of Spider-Man 1 through 3."

Friday, September 05, 2008

Jeffrey Goldberg interviews Michael Chabon on Palin & Alaska

Jeffrey Goldberg - The Michael Chabon Interview: Special Sarah Palin Edition: "Michael Chabon is an expert on a great many things, especially hummus and Alaska. He seemed like the perfect person to turn to for a conversation about Sarah Palin:

Jeffrey Goldberg: Isn't it great that Michael Palin's sister is running for vice president?

Michael Chabon: Jeffrey, I fear it might actually be kind of sad that I had exactly the same thought when I first heard her name. At least we can safely assume, at this point, that Governor Palin fully appreciates the deep wisdom contained in that old axiom: nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition."

Jerry Seinfeld's Microsoft Ad Premieres (VIDEO)

Jerry Seinfeld's Microsoft Ad Premieres (VIDEO): "During NBC's NFL broadcast Thursday night of the Giants v. the Redskins the new Microsoft ad featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates debuted. Last month news broke Seinfeld would be participating in the $300 million campaign for a fee of about $10 million.


Embarrassingly awful...!

TPM: Green Screen Mystery Solved!

Talking Points Memo | Mystery Solved!: "A lot of people were asking tonight: what the hell was that mansion up behind John McCain tonight during the first part of the speech? ...the TV close-ups only showed McCain's head against the grass in the picture, which made it look like he was reprising his famed green screen performance. And when they panned out, it looked like McCain was showing off one of his mansions.

Well, several readers have written in to tell me that the building is actually the main building on the campus of the Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, California."

Josh surmises that somebody meant to Google-image Walter Reed Hospital! Sheesh.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

PBS to ‘Make ’Em Laugh’ With Comedy Documentary - TVWeek - News

PBS to ‘Make ’Em Laugh’ With Comedy Documentary - TVWeek - News: "PBS will air “Make ’Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America” over three consecutive nights starting Jan. 12.

The six-hour documentary, hosted by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris, will explore more than a century of American comedy through social and political change, with each episode highlighting a different comic genre.

The series will combine performance, biography and history, including more than 90 interviews with comedy writers, producers and performers including Judd Apatow, Roseanne Barr, Anne Beatts, the Smothers Brothers, Carol Burnett, Sid Caesar, George Carlin, Larry David, Will Ferrell, Cheech Marin, Steve Martin, Chris Rock, Mort Sahl and Dick Van Dyke."

Why the media should apologize - Roger Simon - Politico.com

Why the media should apologize - Roger Simon - Politico.com: "On behalf of the media, I would like to say we are sorry.

On behalf of the elite media, I would like to say we are very sorry.

We have asked questions this week that we should never have asked.

We have asked pathetic questions like: Who is Sarah Palin? What is her record? Where does she stand on the issues? And is she is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?

We have asked mean questions like: How well did John McCain know her before he selected her? How well did his campaign vet her? And was she his first choice?

Bad questions. Bad media. Bad."

Jon Stewart Hits Karl Rove, Bill O'Reilly, Dick Morris On Sarah Palin Hypocrisy

Jon Stewart Hits Karl Rove, Bill O'Reilly, Dick Morris On Sarah Palin Hypocrisy: "Wednesday night on 'The Daily Show,' Jon Stewart hit Karl Rove and Bill O'Reilly with damning evidence of their hypocrisy regarding Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin."

"Peanuts" animator Bill Melendez dies - Yahoo! News

"Peanuts" animator Bill Melendez dies - Yahoo! News: "Bill Melendez, best known for bringing the Peanuts characters to life with such classics as 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' and 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,' died Tuesday at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica. He was 91."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Rachel Maddow Discusses Her New MSNBC Television Show With ThinkProgress

Think Progress - Interview: Rachel Maddow Discusses Her New MSNBC Television Show With ThinkProgress: "MSNBC recently announced that liberal Air America radio host Rachel Maddow will get her own television show. We interviewed Maddow in St. Paul yesterday to discuss how the show came about and what she hopes to accomplish with it..."

Borgman starts new chapter | Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati.Com

Borgman starts new chapter | Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati.Com: "Jim Borgman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist who has been with The Enquirer for 32 years, has applied for, and was granted, severance under the company's voluntary severance program....

Although Borgman's daily cartoons will end later this month, he will create a new cartoon feature later this year that will appear in his familiar space on the cover of the Sunday Community Forum section.

"I've enjoyed doing two of the best jobs I can imagine - drawing editorial cartoons and my comic strip 'Zits' - and I have loved it all, although it is exhausting," Borgman said.

"Continuing 'Zits' while doing a new weekly feature sounds like a great balance."

Obama Met With Fox News Executives - washingtonpost.com

Obama Met With Fox News Executives - washingtonpost.com: "During the sit-down in a Waldorf-Astoria hotel suite in Manhattan that included Rupert Murdoch, the network's owner, Obama expressed concern about the way Fox was covering him. 'I just wanted to know if I'm going to get a fair shake from Fox News Channel,' Ailes recalled him saying.

'Senator, you're the one who boycotted us,' Ailes says he replied. 'We're not the ones who boycotted you. Nor did we retaliate for your boycott.'

The meeting appears to have eased tensions between the two camps, which began when all the Democratic candidates, complaining that the network favors Republicans, refused to hold any primary-season debates on Fox. After resisting invitations for months, Obama now plans to appear on Bill O'Reilly's prime-time Fox program on Thursday, the night that John McCain delivers his acceptance speech at the Republican convention here."

Letterman Baffled by NBC’s Replacing of Leno by O’Brien - NYTimes.com

Letterman Baffled by NBC’s Replacing of Leno by O’Brien - NYTimes.com: "In an interview with Rolling Stone on newsstands this week, Mr. Letterman, the longtime “Late Show” host, expresses bewilderment about NBC’s decision, first announced four years ago, to replace Mr. Leno next year with Conan O’Brien, the current host of “Late Night.”

“Unless I’m misunderstanding something, I don’t know why, after the job Jay has done for them, why they would relinquish that,” Mr. Letterman said in the interview. “I guess they thought it was a less messy way to handle what happened to me at NBC. I don’t know.”"

Candidate McCain’s Big Decision - Editorial - NYTimes.com

Candidate McCain’s Big Decision - Editorial - NYTimes.com: "If John McCain wants voters to conclude, as he argues, that he has more independence and experience and better judgment than Barack Obama, he made a bad start by choosing Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.

Mr. McCain’s supporters are valiantly trying to argue that the selection was a bold stroke that shows their candidate is a risk-taking maverick who — we can believe — will change Washington. (Mr. Obama’s call for change — now “the change we need” — has become all the rage in St. Paul.)

To us, it says the opposite. Mr. McCain’s snap choice of Ms. Palin reflects his impulsive streak: a wild play that he made after conservative activists warned him that he would face an all-out revolt in the party if he chose who he really wanted — Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut."

Apple Hints at iPod News - NYTimes.com

Apple Hints at iPod News - NYTimes.com: "Apple is expected to show off its new iPod music players, and possibly announce price cuts, on Tuesday but may not release a long-awaited update to its MacBook laptop computers until a later date."

NYT's Pogue on Google's Chrome Browser

State of the Art - Serious Potential in Google’s Browser - NYTimes.com: "For now, it’s best to think of Chrome as exactly what it purports to be: a promising, modern, streamlined, nonbloated, very secure alternative to today’s browsers. You should do exactly what Microsoft, Apple and the Firefox folks will all be doing: try it out and keep your eye on it.

Because every now and then, Google’s fresh approach ends up dominating its once much bigger competitors (See also: AltaVista, Lycos, Ask ...)"

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

CBR: Comics Royalty Team-Up to Save Superman Creator's House

Comic Book Resources > CBR News: Comics Royalty Team-Up to Save Superman Creator's House: "In commemoration of Superman's 70th birthday, New York Times bestselling novelist Brad Meltzer and The Siegel & Shuster Society have teamed up to launch a star-studded, comic industry-fueled online auction to fund the restoration of Superman creator Jerry Siegel's boyhood home in Cleveland, Ohio."

Don LaFontaine Dies At 68

Don LaFontaine Dies At 68: "oiceover Master Don LaFontaine has died. He was 68."

TVLand deemphasizing nostalgia - WSJ

WSJ.com: "Viacom Inc.'s TV Land cable network is set to announce a new programming strategy this week -- scaling back its traditional emphasis on nostalgia in pursuit of younger viewers.

The new programming plan, which the network plans to present to advertisers this week, will more than triple the number of hours of original programming on TV Land's prime-time schedule. By the end of 2009, TV Land -- which has for years served baby boomers a diet heavy with shows from their youth -- wants to fill half its prime-time lineup with original programming..."

I hate when cable networks do this. I love watching the old shows on TV Land.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Google plans to launch web browser: report

Google plans to launch web browser: report
| Reuters
: "Google Inc plans to launch a web browser called Google Chrome in a challenge to Microsoft Corp's Internet Explorer, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Monday.

The browser launch is likely to be announced soon, the paper said, citing unnamed sources."

For Web TV, a Handful of Hits but No Formula for Success - NYTimes.com

For Web TV, a Handful of Hits but No Formula for Success - NYTimes.com

"When the Writers Guild of America strike stopped television production last fall and winter, Hollywood writers and producers rushed to create new scripted series for the Web, often called webisodes for lack of a more artful term. The strategy seemed simple: make money by going straight to the Internet.

Months later, they are realizing that producing Web content may be easy but profiting from it is hard. While a small number of writers, producers and actors are making a living with webisodes, they are still a long way from establishing the form alongside television and feature films. The newfound industry lacks clear business models and standardized formats.

And so far, it also lacks audiences. Ask most average media consumers what Web shows they watch, and the reaction is likely to be a blank stare. If they have heard of webisodes at all, it is probably in the context of “Quarterlife,” a Web series that leapt to TV and flopped spectacularly in the ratings in February, or “Prom Queen,” an online drama backed by Michael Eisner, the former chief of Walt Disney."

Lynn Johnston to retell story of 'For Better or For Worse' | ajc.com

Lynn Johnston to retell story of 'For Better or For Worse' | ajc.com: "The creator of the popular comic “For Better or For Worse” has had a change of heart and isn’t retiring after all. Lynn Johnston announced recently that, starting today, “For Better or For Worse” will be retold in a blending of repeat and new comic strips.

Not long ago, Johnston, 61, had planned to retire this year and offer mostly reruns of her 29-year-old comic strip. But her life changed when she got divorced. “At this time in my life, I thought I would be on a cruise ship to Panama or the Mediterranean, retired with my Tilley hats, my sneakers. But I’m a single lady now, and I want to keep working,” she said in a video posted on YouTube.

As of this month, Johnston said, “For Better or For Worse” is a mix of old and new comics, but the new comics, which she called “new-runs,” are drawn in a retro style. “I want it to flow into the classic material seamlessly,” she said."