Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Researchers may have found King Solomon's mines - CNN.com

Researchers may have found King Solomon's mines - CNN.com: "Archaeologists believe a desert site in Jordan may contain the ruins of the elusive King Solomon's Mines."

The Religious Right’s Apocalyptic Visions of an Obama Presidency - ReligionDispatches

The Religious Right’s Apocalyptic Visions of an Obama Presidency | Election 2008 | ReligionDispatches: "As the election nears its final days, the fevered imaginations at Focus on the Family Action—the political action arm of Dr. James Dobson’s multi-million dollar media ministry—are working overtime to demonize Senator Barack Obama. Posted on October 22, a “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America” plumbs the depths of the religious right’s worst collective nightmare."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Conservative talker on the hateful blowback over his Obama endorsement

Head Strong: Floodgates of criticism spread wide | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/26/2008

Even if Royalties for Web Radio Fall, Revenue Remains Elusive - NYTimes.com

Even if Royalties for Web Radio Fall, Revenue Remains Elusive - NYTimes.com: "After a 19-month battle over Internet radio royalties, a truce between record labels and webcasters is finally in sight that would allow Internet radio start-ups to eke out an existence for at least a little while longer.

The two sides have signaled that they are nearing a compromise that would lower the royalties that online radio stations pay artists and labels for the rights to stream songs to listeners. On Sept. 30, they jointly persuaded Congress to pass a bill that would put into effect any changes to the royalty rate to which the parties agree while lawmakers are out of session.

Still, even if royalties decrease as expected, webcasters must figure out how to bring in enough revenue to cover the costs."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

i09: Buck Rogers Movie May Become Cheap Camp in Frank Miller's Hands

Buck Rogers: Buck Rogers Movie May Become Cheap Camp in Frank Miller's Hands: "Hey, remember when we were told that Frank Miller was definitely not directing a new Buck Rogers movie? Looks like Flint Dille, one of the producers of the movie, was a little bit hasty when saying that Miller wasn't involved. The 25th Century may very soon be filled with futuristic femme fatales and unconvincing CGI backdrops.

According to IGN, Rogers was indeed the character that producer Deborah Del Prete was referring to, when she said that Miller's next project would be revamping a classic sci-fi hero."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Daniel Craig on the new 007 movie: mensvogue.com

Daniel Craig: Movies: mensvogue.com: "Cool, calm, collected: Daniel Craig's 007 may be a smooth assassin, but surviving a $230 million epic set in six countries requires a quantum leap of stamina and brute strength — not to mention a few stitches."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

NYT Endorses Barack Obama - Editorial Board - Endorsement - NYTimes.com

Editorial - Barack Obama - Editorial Board - Endorsement - NYTimes.com: "As tough as the times are, the selection of a new president is easy. After nearly two years of a grueling and ugly campaign, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois has proved that he is the right choice to be the 44th president of the United States.

Mr. Obama has met challenge after challenge, growing as a leader and putting real flesh on his early promises of hope and change. He has shown a cool head and sound judgment. We believe he has the will and the ability to forge the broad political consensus that is essential to finding solutions to this nation’s problems."

CBR: Steven Grant on the 20 most significant comic books

Comic Book Resources > Permanent Damage - 10-22-2008: "What are the 20 most significant comics in American comics history?

The schedule got tightened a bit with the graphic novel, so I'm a little under the gun this week, but someone asked me about this awhile ago and I've been meaning to answer. The following are, in chronological order, comics that changed the nature of the industry. Not necessarily permanently, and it's not all a matter of artistic value. In fact, little of it is. But let's face it: despite the thousands of comics published, there are very few - very few — that seriously changed either the business or public perception of it. These did."

Larry David: Waiting for Nov. 4th

Larry David: Waiting for Nov. 4th: "I can't take much more of this. Two weeks to go, and I'm at the end of my rope. I can't work. I can eat, but mostly standing up. I'm anxious all the time and taking it out on my ex-wife, which, ironically, I'm finding enjoyable. This is like waiting for the results of a biopsy. Actually, it's worse. Biopsies only take a few days, maybe a week at the most, and if the biopsy comes back positive, there's still a potential cure. With this, there's no cure. The result is final. Like death."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Baldwin to Co-Host TCM’s ‘Essentials’ - TVWeek - News

Baldwin to Co-Host TCM’s ‘Essentials’ - TVWeek - News: "Alec Baldwin will join Robert Osborne as the new co-host of Turner Classic Movies’ “The Essentials.” He will begin his co-hosting duties in March, introducing each week’s movies."

Maureen Dowd - Moved by a Crescent - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Moved by a Crescent - NYTimes.com

In a gratifying “have you no sense of decency, Sir and Madam?” moment, Colin Powell went on “Meet the Press” and pushed back on ugly innuendo.

A Comic Book and a Bottle of Wine - NYTimes.com

A Comic Book and a Bottle of Wine - NYTimes.com

A comic-book figure, the hero of the manga series “The Drops of the Gods,” has quickly become the most influential voice in Asia’s wine markets.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Editorial - More Sadness for Appalachia - NYTimes.com

Editorial - More Sadness for Appalachia - NYTimes.com: "The Bush administration is writing one more sad chapter in the long, tortured history of Appalachia’s coal-rich hills. Last week, the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining proposed a revision, amounting to a repeal, of one of the last regulatory protections against an environmentally ruinous mining practice called mountaintop removal."

A Fresh Face on Cable, Rachel Maddow Produces a Sharp Rise in MSNBC Ratings - NYTimes.com

A Fresh Face on Cable, Rachel Maddow Produces a Sharp Rise in MSNBC Ratings - NYTimes.com: "Rachel Maddow, a woman who does not own a television set, has done something that is virtually unheard of: she has doubled the audience for a cable news channel’s 9 p.m. hour in a matter of days."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Men Will Be Mad for Another Season - NYTimes.com

Arts, Briefly - Men Will Be Mad for Another Season - NYTimes.com: "Fans of cocktail culture and nostalgic sexism can breathe half a sigh of relief: AMC has announced that it will broadcast a third season of “Mad Men,” its hit drama about a 1960s New York advertising agency."

GM-Chrysler push for quick deal - USATODAY.com

GM-Chrysler push for quick deal - USATODAY.com: "Negotiators hope to finalize a merger agreement between General Motors (GM) and Chrysler before the presidential election and are lobbying for government financial assistance to help clinch the deal, says a source who has been briefed on the talks.

They are pointing to the impact on the U.S. economy if either company were to fail, compared with the viability of a merged colossus that would control 36% of the U.S. auto market. Those are the chief selling points in asking for government help, says the source, who did not want to be identified because talks are not public.

Cerberus Capital Management, which controls Chrysler, has been pushing to make GMAC, GM's financing arm, a significant part of the deal. Cerberus already owns more than 50% of GMAC but wants it all. The source says that's been a sticking point because GM has said it won't give up its stake."

A prayer

A prayer from the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church: "At the cathedral service and in the final “Franciscan Blessing” Bishop Jefferts Schori offered these words:

May God bless you with discomfort,
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger,
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears,
To shed for those who suffer from pain,
rejection, starvation, and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
and turn their pain to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness,
To believe that you can make a difference in this world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

One more reason to love Rachel Maddow

Domains - Rachel Maddow - A Pundit in the Country - Interview - NYTimes.com: "By her bed: Comic books. I read comics sometimes and graphic novels. I appreciate that genre."

Patrick McGoohan and ‘The Prisoner,’ Out in a 40th-Anniversary DVD Edition - NYTimes.com

DVD - Patrick McGoohan and ‘The Prisoner,’ Out in a 40th-Anniversary DVD Edition - NYTimes.com: "AS we’ve been reminded lately with a stream of 40th-anniversary remembrances, 1968 was an unusually tumultuous year, with the Columbia University riots, the student uprising in Paris and the assassinations of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, not to mention the fiasco of the Democratic National Convention. American television had its own upheaval that year. On June 1 audiences accustomed to the corny vaudeville of “The Jackie Gleason Show” on CBS stumbled upon an utterly baffling summer replacement: “The Prisoner,” recently released on DVD in a 10-disc anniversary set."

Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama for president | ajc.com

Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama for president | ajc.com: "Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president Sunday, describing the Illinois senator as a 'transformational figure.'

Powell said both Obama and Republican John McCain are qualified to be commander in chief. But he said Obama is better suited to handle the nation's economic problems as well as help improve its standing in the world."

Obama raises stunning $150 million in September - Yahoo! News

Obama raises stunning $150 million in September - Yahoo! News: "Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama raised more than $150 million in September, a stunning and unprecedented eruption of political giving that has given him a wide spending advantage over rival John McCain."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Charles Blow: Is it a done deal? - NYTimes.com

Nov. 5, 2008 - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "I’ve studied the polls and the electoral map for months, and I no longer believe that John McCain can win. Unless Barack Obama slips up, Jeremiah Wright shows up or a serious national security emergency flares up, Obama will become the 44th president of the United States.*

The wayward wizards of Wall Street delivered the election to Obama by pushing the economy to the verge of collapse, forcing leery voters to choose between their pocketbooks and their prejudices. McCain delivered it to Obama with his reckless pick of Sarah Palin. That stunt made everything that followed feel like a stunt, tarnishing McCain’s reputation and damaging his credibility so that when he went negative it backfired. And, some radical rabble among McCain’s supporters delivered it to Obama by mistaking his political rallies for lynch mobs....

*If I’m wrong, I’ll take my crow with a six pack of Liquid-Plumr."

McCain and Obama Earn Rave Reviews for Their Comedy Routines at the Alfred E. Smith Dinner in New York - NYTimes.com

McCain and Obama Earn Rave Reviews for Their Comedy Routines at the Alfred E. Smith Dinner in New York - NYTimes.com

For one night, the race to be the next president of the United States of America morphed into “Last Comic Standing.”

Anger Mismanagement - Dick Cavett Blog - NYTimes.com

Anger Mismanagement - Dick Cavett Blog - NYTimes.com

Inspired by John McCain, Dick Cavett explores his own anger. Jokes included.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Conservative Talk Radio Host Endorses Obama

Conservative Talk Radio Host Endorses Obama: Philly's Michael Smerconish, for the first time, will vote Democratic.

BBC NEWS: The revolution of paperless paper

BBC NEWS | Technology | The revolution of paperless paper Watch the video.

Tribune endorsement: Barack Obama for president -- chicagotribune.com

Tribune endorsement: Barack Obama for president -- chicagotribune.com

Historic: First time in the paper's long history it has endorsed a Democrat for President.

Pop Culture Safari: Best Pop Culture Websites Links

Pop Culture Safari has done a wonderful thing and posted all together all the best pop culture/comics websites. Check 'em out!

'Explainers,' written and illustrated by Jules Feiffer - Review - NYTimes.com

Book Review - 'Explainers,' written and illustrated by Jules Feiffer - Review - NYTimes.com: "At this point, there’s an entire generation of parents and kids who know Jules Feiffer solely as a children’s book author, the man behind the charming bedtime standbys “Bark, George” and “By the Side of the Road.” It’s been eight years since he stopped doing his weekly syndicated comic strip for grown-ups, which was simply called “Feiffer,” and 37 years since Mike Nichols filmed Feif fer’s screenplay “Carnal Knowledge,” an acutely adult-oriented examination of sexual desire, virginity loss, infidelity, divorce and other subjects that never come up in “Bark, George.” So the new anthology “Explainers,” which gathers all of Feiffer’s Village Voice strips from 1956 to 1966, is a welcome reintroduction — or introduction, for the uninitiated — to a great cartoonist who boldly bent his medium to adult purposes long before it was commonplace to do so. As squat and dense as a loaf of spelt bread, this book reproduces the first decade of “Feiffer” in its entirety, and therefore captures in minute detail the birth and development of a whole new approach to cartooning."

Daily Kos: VIDEO: Obama Drops October Surprise Bomb at Al Smith Dinner!

Daily Kos: VIDEO: Obama Drops October Surprise Bomb at Al Smith Dinner!: "Barack Obama and John McCain were both speakers at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner tonight held at the NYC Waldorf Astoria.

During his speech, Obama dropped a bomb about a forthcoming October surpise. He will reveal...that... his middle name is not really, Hussein, it is STEVE!"

You'll find YouTube videos of both candidates' speeches here.

Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise: Audio

Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise: Audio

The Pulitzer Prize winning critic has expanded his website. Here's what VeryShortList.com says:

Alex Ross’s The Rest Is Noise is that rare music book that teaches you how to hear — and feel — in entirely new ways. Now Ross has turned the book’s website into something more than a promotional device: Augmented with 300 audio and video files, it’s become a wonderfully convenient, stand-alone resource for those of us who’d love to learn about classical music by listening but wouldn’t know how or where to begin.

Divided into 3 parts and 15 chapters, the site proceeds chronologically, from Mahler and Strauss to bebop, rock, and modern composers you’ll actually like (we’ve grown especially fond of Argentina’s Osvaldo Golijov). Ross has also posted a dictionary of musical terms (it, too, has illustrative audio files) and an iTunes playlist you can download and listen to as you, for instance, trace the connection between Xenakis’s “Metastasis” (we’d never heard of it either) and the Beatles’ “Revolution #9.” If you want to know how and why the music you hear affects you — or even if you’re looking to impress your next date to a concert — this genius site is just the thing for you.

David Brooks - Thinking About Obama - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Thinking About Obama - NYTimes.com: "We’ve been watching Barack Obama for two years now, and in all that time there hasn’t been a moment in which he has publicly lost his self-control. This has been a period of tumult, combat, exhaustion and crisis. And yet there hasn’t been a moment when he has displayed rage, resentment, fear, anxiety, bitterness, tears, ecstasy, self-pity or impulsiveness."

Fascinating analysis.

Real Deal on ‘Joe the Plumber’ Reveals New Slant - NYTimes.com

Real Deal on ‘Joe the Plumber’ Reveals New Slant - NYTimes.com: "His full name is Samuel J. Wurzelbacher. And he owes back taxes, too, public records show. The premise of his complaint to Mr. Obama about taxes may also be flawed, according to tax analysts. Contrary to what Mr. Wurzelbacher asserted and Mr. McCain echoed, neither his personal taxes nor those of the business where he works are likely to rise if Mr. Obama’s tax plan were to go into effect, they said."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Surge of the Whitebread Protestants to Obama

The Surge of the Whitebread Protestants to Obama
- Steven Waldman
: "With all the attention showered on evangelical Christians and Catholics, we've neglected the religious group partly driving Barack Obama's recent surge in the polls: mainline Protestants.

This bucket includes the historic American churches that once dominated the spiritual landscape but have been losing members in recent years: United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church in the USA, American Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ. Their members represent 18% of the population.

This used to be a solidly Republican group. In 2004, they went for President George W. Bush 54%-46%. This summer, John McCain was leading Sen. Obama among these voters 43% to 40%, according to a study by John Green of the University of Akron.

But an ABCNews/Washington Post poll released Monday showed Sen. Obama now leading among Mainliners 53%-44%, indicating that the undecided voters are breaking heavily for the Democratic candidate."

Gail Collins - Three Guys and a Table - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Three Guys and a Table - NYTimes.com: "The staggering McCain campaign virtually closed down this week as everybody attempted to come up with a big debate game-changer that did not require an entirely different pair of candidates.

Once he calmed down and stopped grinning manically, McCain did, indeed, go on the offensive. He not only managed to compare Barack Obama to Herbert Hoover, he told America that the community group Acorn was “maybe destroying the fabric of democracy” with their sloppy voter-registration programs.

Did it work? Was the audience moved by McCain’s description of the plight of Joe, the Ohio plumber, who discovered that the Obama program might mean higher taxes for him if his business were to net more than $250,000 a year? Or were they stunned by the idea that anybody still expects to make that much money in the foreseeable future?"

TV Guide Sold for a Buck - AdAge

TV Guide Sold for a Buck - Advertising Age - MediaWorks: "en credit markets? Try $1.

For Macrovision, the deal clears from its books a money-losing print magazine and its 3 million subscribers who need to be serviced.

That's how much the private equity fund OpenGate Capital has agreed to pay Macrovision for the unprofitable magazine and all its liabilities. The cover price, by way of comparison, is $2.99.

To sweeten the deal even further, Macrovision is loaning OpenGate up to $9.5 million to help get going -- at a very friendly 3% interest."

I loved this mag as a kid... can't stand it now. Sad.

David E. Kelley Legal Series Headed to NBC - TVWeek - News

David E. Kelley Legal Series Headed to NBC - TVWeek - News: "NBC is back in business with David E. Kelley, landing the prolific writer-producer’s first project under his new deal at Warner Bros. Television.

The network has made a series commitment to Mr. Kelley’s concept, a one-hour legal-themed series about a father and daughter who are both lawyers, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. The series will have a strong comedic bent."

Matthiessen Is National Book Award Nominee - washingtonpost.com

Matthiessen Is National Book Award Nominee - washingtonpost.com: "Talk about second chances: Peter Matthiessen, 81, received a National Book Award nomination Wednesday for 'Shadow Country,' an 890-page revision of a trilogy of novels he released in the 1990s.

Others in the fiction category included Marilynne Robinson for 'Home,' a companion novel to her Pulitzer Prize-winning 'Gilead'; Aleksandar Hemon for 'The Lazarus Project'; and debut authors Salvatore Scibona ('The End') and Rachel Kushner ('Telex From Cuba').

Among the nonfiction finalists were Chevy Chase, Md.'s Jane Mayer for 'The Dark Side,' an investigation into the war against terrorism, and Annette Gordon-Reed's 'The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.' Winners, each of whom receives $10,000, will be announced Nov. 19.

A few major names were left off this year's list: Philip Roth, John Updike, Toni Morrison and Jhumpa Lahiri."

Four Questions With FiveThirtyEight.com's Nate Silver - mediabistro.com: FishbowlNY

Four Questions With FiveThirtyEight.com's Nate Silver - mediabistro.com: FishbowlNY: "Nate Silver's Web site, FiveThirtyEight.com, has been the talk of the recent election cycle. The 30-year-old baseball stat geek took the formulas he developed working at Baseball Prospectus and applied them to the Presidential election, predicting results of early Democratic primaries with remarkable accuracy. At first, Silver remained anonymous, but eventually he revealed himself and has since been subject of numerous article....

We caught up with Silver by phone while he was at the airport, waiting for a flight. He talked with us about the surprising success of his 'cheap' site, his status with Baseball Prospectus and his plans for the 2010 midterm elections and beyond."

Editorial - The Final Debate - NYTimes.com

Editorial - The Final Debate - NYTimes.com: "When John McCain embarrassed himself last month by declaring that the “fundamentals of our economy are strong,” he quickly claimed that he was talking about his belief in the American worker — and darkly implied that anyone who disagreed was less than patriotic.

For all of that concern, it’s a shame that Mr. McCain hasn’t come up with policies that would actually help workers. Instead, he’s served up the same-old trickle-down theories and a government-is-wrong, markets-are-right fervor that helped create this economic disaster.

Wednesday night’s debate was another chance for Mr. McCain to prove that he is ready to lead this country out of its deep economic crisis. But he had one answer to almost every economic question: cut taxes and government spending. Unfortunately, what Mr. McCain means is to cut taxes for the richest Americans and, inevitably, to reduce the kinds of government services that working Americans need more than ever."

Neal Hefti, composer of 'Batman' theme, dies - ContraCostaTimes.com

Neal Hefti, composer of 'Batman' theme, dies - ContraCostaTimes.com: "Neal Hefti, a Big Band trumpeter, arranger and composer of themes for the movie 'The Odd Couple' and the 'Batman' television series, has died. He was 85.
Hefti died Saturday at his home, said his son Paul Hefti.
Neal Hefti's notable achievements include the iconic theme of the 1960s superhero series 'Batman,' which became a Top 40 hit and won a Grammy Award in 1966 for best instrumental theme. He also composed music for 'The Odd Couple,' 'Barefoot in the Park' and 'Harlow,' which featured his classic track 'Girl Talk.'"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Don Cheadle joins 'Iron Man 2'

Don Cheadle joins 'Iron Man 2': "Don Cheadle is stepping in to replace Terrence Howard in 'Iron Man 2,' Marvel Studios' sequel to its summer blockbuster.

In the movie, Howard played Jim Rhodes, Tony Stark/Iron Man's best friend and future armor-clad hero War Machine. One scene featured Howard looking at a silver suit of armor and saying 'Next time,' a line that caused great delight for fans.

But there will be no next time for Howard.

Marvel had no comment, but sources close to the deal said negotiations with Howard fell through over financial differences, among other reasons. Marvel, which had wanted to work with Cheadle, then decided to take the role in another direction and approached the actor, who is shooting Antoine Fuqua's 'Brooklyn's Finest' with Richard Gere and Ethan Hawke."

The Top U.S. Celebrities as seen in Japanese Commercials

The Popcorn Trick: The Top U.S. Celebrities as seen in Japanese Commercials: "It's a poorly kept secret that American celebrities occasionally head over to Japan to hawk products in return for big bucks. And who can blame them? Easy money for not a lot of work? I'm guessing most, if not all of us would jump at the chance to do something like this. I know I would (hint to all you rich Japanese executives that need a 'typical' American blogger to be the next face of your product).

That being said...

These spots can still be great fodder for awkwardness, looniness, and absurdity. For the past day I have waded through the muck and mire of U.S. celebrities endorsing Japanese products, and I'm truly at a loss to explain what is going on in some of these spots. Which only make them better. So, thanks in large part to Japander.com, which indexes many of these ads, I have compiled what I think are the top 21 celebrities hawking Japanese products, and have included evidence for each one. Why 21? Because that's the fewest I could narrow it down to. Please enjoy the videos I've chosen..."


Click around and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Video Site Joost Reboots as a Hulu Clone - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

Video Site Joost Reboots as a Hulu Clone - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com: "The world probably does not need yet another Web site where it can waste precious time watching old episodes of “I Dream of Jeannie,” clips from “The Daily Show” and the Michael Jackson MTV oeuvre.

But that is exactly what Joost, the much-hyped Internet video service, is set to give us.

On Tuesday, Joost will relaunch as a Flash-based online video hub with free, ad-supported television shows and films — or, in other words, a clone of Hulu.com, the popular Web site jointly owned by NBC and Fox."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spider-Man Musical will be most expensive Broadway show ever? - New York Post

TAYMOR'S WEB OF RICHES - New York Post: "IN this econ omy, every body's tight ening their belts. Every body, that is, but Julie Taymor.

The genius director of 'The Lion King' has never met a budget she didn't blow right past.

Case in point: 'Spider-Man,' her new show - extravaganza, really - whose budget has ballooned to $40 million, making it the most expensive production in theater history.

Some of the people involved (there are dozens and dozens, with more being added daily) are starting to blanch at the price tag. With straight faces, a few are running around town saying things like: 'Well, it's $40 million now, but we think we can get it down to $35 million.'"

THE BEAT - Michael Chabon’s Top 12 Tales of Adventure

THE BEAT = Michael Chabon’s Top 12 Tales of Adventure: "Michael Chabon’s “Dashing Dozen”: 12 favorite works of adventure fiction:

CAPTAIN BLOOD, Rafael Sabatini
The Kull Stories, Robert E. Howard
The Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories, Fritz Leiber
AGAINST THE DAY, Thomas Pynchon
The Brigadier Gerard stories, Arthur Conan Doyle
THE ICE SCHOONER, Michael Moorcock
FLASHMAN AT THE CHARGE, George MacDonald Fraser
The Jirel of Joiry stories, C.L. Moore

New projects from Stan Lee - Australian Herald Sun

New projects from Spider-Man creator | Herald Sun: "STAN Lee, one the creative geniuses behind Marvel Comics, has been thrilling his readers for almost 70 years. He tells Scott Podmore there's more to come."

Krugman Wins Nobel Prize for Economics - NYTimes.com

Krugman Wins Nobel Prize for Economics - NYTimes.com: "The American economist Paul R. Krugman won the Nobel economics prize on Monday for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity."

Fantastic! What an honor, well deserved.

Kristol: McCain Should Fire His Campaign - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Fire the Campaign - NYTimes.com: "It’s time for John McCain to fire his campaign.

He has nothing to lose. His campaign is totally overmatched by Obama’s. The Obama team is well organized, flush with resources, and the candidate and the campaign are in sync. The McCain campaign, once merely problematic, is now close to being out-and-out dysfunctional. Its combination of strategic incoherence and operational incompetence has become toxic. If the race continues over the next three weeks to be a conventional one, McCain is doomed."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

NBC to air unseen JFK interview footage Monday

Going downtown - The Daily Nightly - Brian Williams - msnbc.com: "I wanted to alert our viewers (as Tom Brokaw will on Meet the Press on Sunday) to something we have coming up Monday night: newly-discovered audio tape, of an un-guarded JFK, just months before becoming President -- just over 3-years before his assasination. He talks candidly about his life, politics and his own health. The tapes will air for the first time anywhere on our broadcast Monday night. I've listened to all of it -- and it is chilling, haunting and fascinating at the same time. Having read just about every book extant on the Kennedy family and his presidency, I already know there is material here that will be in the next printing of various textbooks."

Gail Collins - Dear Old Golden Dog Days - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Dear Old Golden Dog Days - NYTimes.com: "Remember when McCain’s campaign ads were all about his being a prisoner of war? I really miss them.

Now they’re all about the Evil That Is Obama. The newest one, “Ambition,” has a woman, speaking in one of those sinister semiwhispers, saying: “When convenient, he worked with terrorist Bill Ayers. When discovered, he lied.” Then suddenly, with no warning whatsoever, she starts ranting about Congressional liberals and risky subprime loans. Then John McCain pops up to say he approved it. All in 30 seconds! And, of course, McCain would think it’s great. For the first time, the Republicans appear to have captured his thought process on tape.

The Republican campaign strategy now involves sending their candidates to areas where everybody is a die-hard McCain supporter already. Then they yell about Obama until the crowd is so frenzied people start making threats. The rest of the country is supposed to watch and conclude that this would be an enjoyable way to spend the next four years."

Bob Herbert - The Mask Slips - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - The Mask Slips - NYTimes.com: "Voting has consequences.

I don’t for a moment think that the Democratic Party has been free of egregious problems. But there are two things I find remarkable about the G.O.P., and especially its more conservative wing, which is now about all there is.

The first is how wrong conservative Republicans have been on so many profoundly important matters for so many years. The second is how the G.O.P. has nevertheless been able to persuade so many voters of modest means that its wrongheaded, favor-the-rich, country-be-damned approach was not only good for working Americans, but was the patriotic way to go."

YouTube to Offer TV Shows With Ads Strewn Through - NYTimes.com

YouTube to Offer TV Shows With Ads Strewn Through - NYTimes.com: "fter months of experimenting with long-form video, YouTube said on Friday it would start offering full-length episodes of some television shows on its sprawling Web site."

G.M. and Chrysler Explore Merger - NYTimes.com

G.M. and Chrysler Explore Merger - NYTimes.com: "General Motors is in preliminary talks about a possible merger with Chrysler, a deal that could drastically remake the landscape of the auto industry by reducing the Big Three of Detroit automakers to the Big Two."

Friday, October 10, 2008

McCain Faces Backlash Over Rabid Crowds

McCain Faces Backlash Over Rabid Crowds: "John McCain was booed by his own supporters during a rally on Friday after he described Barack Obama as a 'decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States.'

McCain was responding to a town hall attendee who claimed he was concerned about raising a child under a president who 'cohorts with domestic terrorists such as [Bill] Ayers.' Despite the fact that McCain and his campaign have repeatedly used Ayers to hammer Obama in recent days, the Arizona Senator tried to calm the man.

'[Senator Obama] is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared about as President of the United States,' he said, before adding: 'If I didn't think I would be one heck of a better president I wouldn't be running.'

The crowd groaned with disapproval.

Later, McCain was again pressed about Obama's 'other-ness' and again he refused to play ball. 'I don't trust Obama,' a woman said. 'I have read about him. He's an Arab.'

'No, ma'am,' McCain said several times, shaking his head in disagreement. 'He's a decent, family man, [a] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about.'"

McCain's attacks fuel dangerous hatred -- baltimoresun.com

McCain's attacks fuel dangerous hatred -- baltimoresun.com: Frank Schaeffer:

"John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as 'not one of us,' I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence.

At a Sarah Palin rally, someone called out, 'Kill him!' At one of your rallies, someone called out, 'Terrorist!' Neither was answered or denounced by you or your running mate, as the crowd laughed and cheered. At your campaign event Wednesday in Bethlehem, Pa., the crowd was seething with hatred for the Democratic nominee - an attitude encouraged in speeches there by you, your running mate, your wife and the local Republican chairman.


John McCain: In 2000, as a lifelong Republican, I worked to get you elected instead of George W. Bush. In return, you wrote an endorsement of one of my books about military service. You seemed to be a man who put principle ahead of mere political gain."

Obama radio interview: Huntington/Portsmouth

Listen to this. What a fun interview. You don't get to hear much of this kind of stuff from either candidate. This is from the morning show of a radio station in the Huntington WV/Ironton-Portsmouth OH area:

TVBizWire -"V" returning to ABC?

TVBizWire - TVWeek: "ABC is developing an update to the 1980s miniseries 'V,' which was about alien lizards come to earth, Daily Variety reports. The update is written by Scott Peters, co-creator and executive producer of 'The 4400.' Warner Bros. TV will serve as producer as it did for the original and Jace Hall will serve as executive producer along with Peters, Variety says. Hall will also help with expanding the franchise through other platforms, including video games. The original “V” was a huge ratings success in 1983 and a sequel and a weekly series followed during the 1984-85 season."

Paul Krugman - Moment of Truth - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Moment of Truth - NYTimes.com

If a new rescue plan is not announced this weekend, the world economy may experience its worst slump since the Great Depression.

Krugman's analysis is most helpful. As usual.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Poll: Obama struggles to sway evangelicals | ajc.com

Poll: Obama struggles to sway evangelicals | ajc.com: "Polling by a group that researches and supports progressive religious and social campaigns shows that Sen. Barack Obama is not pulling evangelical voters from the camp of Sen. John McCain, though a majority of Christians from mainline churches say they support the Illinois senator.

Obama’s campaign hired faith liaisons and tried this year to make inroads among evangelicals, a solid Republican base in the last two presidential elections."

Daily Kos: Breathtaking Ignorance Captured on Film at McCain/Palin Strongsville, Ohio Rally

Daily Kos: Breathtaking Ignorance Captured on Film at McCain/Palin Strongsville, Ohio Rally: "Tim Russo at Blogger Interrupted captured the breathtaking ignorance that presides over most McCain/Palin rallies. The base is in rare hate-filled form. Tim captures it like no other blogger in Ohio does. He’s simply the best there is at this. There really is no wonder the crowds have turned into near lynch mobs. Between the rhetoric of the two candidates and the ignorance of the crowds, it would only take the slightest match to set off this powder keg of racial intolerance and religious fear mongering."

Gail Collins - Clearing the Ayers - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Clearing the Ayers - NYTimes.com: "John McCain traces the rancorous tone of the presidential campaign back to last summer when he invited Barack Obama to have lots and lots of town-hall meetings with him all around the country. When Obama turned him down, obviously McCain had no choice but to start depicting his opponent as a terrorist-loving advocate of talking dirty to kindergarteners.

Finally this week, the two men did meet in a town-hall showdown, which turned out to be like all other debates, except with much less excitement and much more pacing around. It seems unlikely that many people switched off their TV sets and said: “Gee, I could sit through a dozen of these.”"

No Need for a Recount Here - Political Comedy Is Winning on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ‘Daily Show’ and ‘Colbert Report’ - NYTimes.com

No Need for a Recount Here - Political Comedy Is Winning on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ‘Daily Show’ and ‘Colbert Report’ - NYTimes.com: "For late-night comedy shows specializing in topical satire, the rabid attention that millions of viewers are giving to the presidential (and vice presidential) contest is providing a jolt of ratings and creative energy."

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Marvel assembles cartoon 'Avengers'

Marvel assembles cartoon 'Avengers': "The cry of 'Avengers assemble' will soon be coming from the television.

Marvel Animation, the cartoon division of Marvel Entertainment, is beginning production on 'The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes,' the company's latest animated series.

Film Roman, the company behind 'The Simpsons' and 'King of the Hill,' has been tapped to produce the 26-episode series, which will be available for broadcast in 2011, in time for Marvel Studios' releases of the tentpole live-action movies 'The First Avenger: Captain America' and 'The Avengers.'"

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Daily Beast: Dracula to rise again

Cheat Sheet - The Daily Beast: "Holy water and Hollywood producers having done their number on Dracula, one of Bram Stoker’s heirs has decided the old vampire needs rescuing. Next October, Dacre Stoker, Bram’s great-grandnephew, will unveil a new book called Dracula: The Undead. It is partly based on some exhumed but unpublished portions of Bram Stoker’s 1897 original. 'Our intent is to give both Bram and Dracula back their dignity,' Dacre Stoker says. And also their economic viability: The book sold for a cool $1 million."

Evolution of Logos

Best Ad: Evolution of Logos

Interesting! Hat tip vershortlist.com

Olbermann: It's Palin who's pallin' around with terrorists

Happy Birthday, Bishop Tutu!

From New Morning Daybook (Faithstreams.com):

Desmond Tutu was born October 7, 1931, in the gold-mining town of Klerksdorp, South Africa. As a teenager, he contracted tuberculosis and spent 20 months in bed recuperating. He was able to continue his studies with the help of frequent visits by the white Anglican priest Trevor Huddleston, whose beliefs and opposition to the apartheid system were important influences. Tutu became a teacher because he could not afford the medical education that he had hoped for. He resigned his teaching post in protest, after the state mandated an inferior education for blacks. He entered an Anglican seminary because, he later said, "It just occurred to me that, if the church would have me, the profession of priest could be a good way of serving my people." Archbishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

Campaigns Shift to Attack Mode on Eve of Debate - NYTimes.com

Campaigns Shift to Attack Mode on Eve of Debate - NYTimes.com: "Chris Lehane, a Democratic consultant known as an advocate for tough campaigns, said: “At the end of the day, campaigns are campaigns. In the last five days, it always comes down to a knife fight in a telephone booth.”"

Monday, October 06, 2008

Buzz Board: Eric Idle's tip - The Daily Beast

Buzz Board - The Daily Beast: "In these troubled times, when Palin has been trotted out onto the world stage for a cheap laugh, I retreat into Dickens. He is the only one who is truly divine about hypocrisy. Cringing in despair after watching McCain debating himself, I destroyed my television set, downloaded all of Dickens onto my Sony Reader and have retreated into a dark room with David Copperfield–no, not the annoying magician. I have also read all of Michael Chabon's works. I think I shall stay indoors until the election is over."

--Monty Python Member Eric Idle

Is This a 'Victory'? - Peter Galbraith in The New York Review of Books

Is This a 'Victory'? - The New York Review of Books: "We hear again and again from Washington that we have turned a corner in Iraq and are on the path to victory. If so, it is a strange victory. Shiite religious parties that are Iran's closest allies in the Middle East control Iraq's central government and the country's oil-rich south. A Sunni militia, known as the Awakening, dominates Iraq's Sunni center. It is led by Baathists, the very people we invaded Iraq in 2003 to remove from power. While the US sees the Awakening as key to defeating al-Qaeda in Iraq, Iraq's Shiite government views it as a mortal enemy and has issued arrest warrants for many of its members. Meanwhile the Shiite-Kurdish alliance that brought stability to parts of Iraq is crumbling. The two sides confronted each other militarily after the Iraqi army entered the Kurdish-administered town of Khanaqin in early September."

Early Superman Strips Revealed — Dispatches

Siegel Before Krypton—Dispatches/James Vance: "About a month ago, blogger Jeff Trexler broke the story that a few of us have been sitting on for years, the story of Jerry Siegel and Russell Keaton’s aborted collaboration on a Superman newspaper strip in 1936.

The sample strips drawn by Keaton which were posted with that report were extremely muddy and faded, and Trexler noted in a follow-up comment that some intrepid folks were hoping to clean them up and restore them to their original glory.

No need. There are already lovely clean versions of these strips in the possession of Keaton’s widow, Virginia."

Go see!

Q&A with Tina Brown - The Daily Beast

Q&A with Tina Brown - The Daily Beast: "It's a speedy, smart edit of the web from the merciless point of view of what interests the editors. The Daily Beast is the omnivorous friend who hears about the best stuff and forwards it to you with a twist. It allows you to lead the conversation, rather than simply follow it."

The Beast is launched...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Mo Dowd - Sarah’s Pompom Palaver - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Sarah’s Pompom Palaver - NYTimes.com: "Being mush-mouthed helped give the patrician Bushes the common touch. As Alistair Cooke observed, “Americans seem to be more comfortable with Republican presidents because they share the common frailty of muddled syntax and because, when they attempt eloquence, they do tend to spout a kind of Frontier Baroque.”

Darn right. And that, doggone it, brings us to a shout-out for the latest virtuoso of Frontier Baroque, bless her heart, the governor of the Last Frontier. Her reward’s in heaven.

At Sarah Palin’s old church in Wasilla, they spoke in tongues. Maybe that’s where she picked it up."

Frank Rich - Pitbull Palin Mauls McCain - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Pitbull Palin Mauls McCain - NYTimes.com

The 2008 election is now an Obama-Palin race about “the future,” and the only person who doesn’t seem to know it is Mr. Past, poor old John McCain.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Cavett on Newman - NYTimes blog

’Tis but a Man Gone but What a Man - Dick Cavett - Opinion - New York Times Blog: "I hate having to say goodbye to Paul Newman.

He was one of the last of the giants. It’s as if a Sequoia has fallen.

And, corny as it sounds, he was on that shortest of short lists: real good guys.

His good deeds, charities and availability for worthy causes should get him into anybody’s heaven."

Charles Blow - The Joe Biden Show - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - The Joe Biden Show - NYTimes.com: "I expected Sarah Palin to perform well in Thursday’s debate, so I wanted to watch it with the most conservative crowd I could find. (In truth, after her horrendous performance with Katie Couric, anything short of her head spinning around and spewing vomit would have been considered an improvement.)"

Gail Collins - Talking in Points - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Talking in Points - NYTimes.com: "This entire election season has been a long-running saga about the rise of women in American politics. On Thursday, it all went sour. The people boosting Palin’s triumph were not celebrating because she demonstrated that she is qualified to be president if something ever happened to John McCain. They were cheering her success in covering up her lack of knowledge about the things she would have to deal with if she wound up running the country."

Bob Herbert - Palin’s Alternate Universe - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Palin’s Alternate Universe - NYTimes.com

In such a serious moment in American history, it’s hard to believe that someone with Sarah Palin’s limited skills could possibly be playing a leadership role.

Dick Cheney, Role Model - Editorial - NYTimes.com

Dick Cheney, Role Model - Editorial - NYTimes.com: "In Thursday night’s debate, Ms. Palin was asked about the vice president’s role in government. She said she agreed with Dick Cheney that “we have a lot of flexibility in there” under the Constitution. And she declared that she was “thankful that the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president also, if that vice president so chose to exert it.”

It is hard to tell from Ms. Palin’s remarks whether she understands how profoundly Dick Cheney has reshaped the vice presidency — as part of a larger drive to free the executive branch from all checks and balances. Nor did she seem to understand how much damage that has done to American democracy."

Friday, October 03, 2008

Science Fiction Was Made For Radio, BBC Says

Bbc Radio: Science Fiction Was Made For Radio, BBC Says: "BBC Radio is launching a huge science fiction 'drama season' that will span three stations in the month of March: Radio 3, Radio 4, and BBC 7. Audio plays, including adaptations of Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous With Rama and Iain M. Banks' State Of The Art (adapted by Paul Cornell), will air during Radio 3's Afternoon Play, Classic Serial and Women's Hour timeslots. Meanwhile, BBC 7 will launch a new 10-part audio series called Planet B. The BBC's Jeremy Howe says the initiative is all about celebrating 'contemporary science fiction,' not chestnuts. And he says radio is the 'natural home' of writers like Clarke and William Gibson, who've created 'fantastic works of the imagination.'"

Comics: 12 Splash Pages Will Convince You Frank Miller Shouldn't Adapt The Spirit

Comics: 12 Splash Pages Will Convince You Frank Miller Shouldn't Adapt The Spirit: "Most of the people eagerly awaiting the Frank Miller-ized movie of Will Eisner's amazing comic The Spirit have never actually read the original comic. So they probably don't have a sense for the difference between the comic and Miller's campy Sin City-esque vision for the film version. So as a public service, we're presenting the best 12 splash pages featuring Will Eisner's masked hero, to show once and for all why Miller can't hope to bring their genius to life."

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Ritchie and Downey Jr launch new, 'authentic' Sherlock Holmes

Ritchie and Downey Jr launch new, 'authentic' Sherlock Holmes-guardian.co.uk: "It will not be the Sherlock Holmes on film many remember - the suave Basil Rathbone to the bumbling Nigel Bruce - but a new big budget action movie will be faithful to Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories, its director Guy Ritchie said yesterday.

Shooting is about to begin in London on the Warner Bros movie with Robert Downey Jr taking the lead alongside Jude Law, now confirmed as Dr Watson. Kelly Reilly will play Watson's love interest, Mary, Rachel McAdams has signed on to play the traditional object of Holmes' affections, Irene Adler, while Mark Strong is Blackwood, the 'unremittingly evil' baddie."

Arguing Against the Atheists - Lisa Miller -Newsweek.com

Belief Watch: Arguing Against the Atheists | Newsweek BeliefWatch: Lisa Miller | Newsweek.com: "Sometimes I argue in my mind against the new generation of professional atheists, and the arguments go something like this. First, if 90-odd percent of Americans say they believe in God, it's unhelpful to dismiss them as silly. Second, when they check that 'believe in God' box, a great many people are not talking about the God the atheists rail against—a supernatural being who intervenes in human affairs, who lays down inexplicable laws about sex and diet, punishes violators with the stinking fires of hell and raises the fleshly bodies of the dead. It is impossible to measure what people do mean when they talk about God—to tease their individual experiences of transcendence apart from what culture and catechism teaches them—but according to a new survey by Baylor University, just about half of Americans believe that God intervenes in worldly affairs. Less than half characterize God as 'punishing.' What's more, even some of those who do envisage the God described above also believe all kinds of other stuff. They chant mantras in yoga class. They believe in eternal salvation for people from faith traditions other than theirs. The problem with religion is not belief itself, which even in the most orthodox believers is inconsistent, but the (violent or oppressive) enforcing of one truth over another."

On this day 58 years ago...

Good grief, the first Peanuts comic strip was published on this day in 1950. Created by Charles M. Schulz, the strip featured a cast of children, one beagle and one small bird. It ran for 50 years and appeared in 2,600 newspapers in 21 languages in 75 countries — dispensing humor, wisdom and the occasional World War I fighting ace. Schulz, who died in 2000, never shied away from religious or difficult topics. In Schulz's obituary, The New York Times quoted this exchange between his characters, "After you've died, do you get to come back?" Linus asks Charlie Brown. The latter replies, "If they stamp your hand."

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Branagh in talks to direct 'Thor' - Variety

Branagh in talks to direct 'Thor' - Entertainment News, Film News, Media - Variety: "Kenneth Branagh is negotiating to direct 'Thor,' the next Marvel Comics property that will be turned into a live-action film by Marvel Studios. Pic will be released in 2010.
Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige's choice of Branagh is surprising, as Branagh hasn't really directed an action-heavy film since his debut on 'Henry V,' a bloody telling of the British king's conquest of France.

Branagh is the latest in a string of directors -- such as Jon Favreau ('Iron Man'), Christopher Nolan (the Batman franchise) and Gavin Hood ('X-Men Origins: Wolverine') -- with arthouse roots taking on big-budget comicbook fare."

Top 10 Censored News Stories - SF Bay Guardian

San Francisco Bay Guardian: "The daily dispatches and nightly newscasts of the mainstream media regularly cover terrorism, but rarely discuss how the fear of attacks is used to manipulate the public and set policy. That's the common thread of many unreported stories last year, according to an analysis by Project Censored.

Since 1976, Sonoma State University has released an annual survey of the top 25 stories the mainstream media failed to report or reported poorly. Culled from worldwide alternative news sources, vetted by students and faculty, and ranked by judges, the stories were not necessarily overtly censored. But their controversial subjects, challenges to the status quo, or general under-the-radar subject matter might have kept them from the front pages. Project Censored recounts them, accompanied by media analysis, in a book of the same name published annually by Seven Stories Press."

Nobel literature head: US too insular to compete

Nobel literature head: US too insular to compete: "Bad news for American writers hoping for a Nobel Prize next week: the top member of the award jury believes the United States is too insular and ignorant to compete with Europe when it comes to great writing.

Counters the head of the U.S. National Book Foundation: 'Put him in touch with me, and I'll send him a reading list.'"

CW Turns to Batman's Robin - TV Week

CW Turns to Batman's Robin for Pilot - TVWeek - News: "With “Batman” feature “The Dark Knight” burning up the box office this summer, the CW has decided to add a dose of Robin to its development slate.

The network has given a pilot commitment to “The Graysons” that includes penalties if the show isn't picked up. The pilot is a one-hour drama that will explore how a young Dick Grayson became the Boy Wonder to Batman’s Caped Crusader."