Thursday, May 29, 2008


Hedley Lamarr has left the building. Damn.

Korman died Thursday at UCLA Medical Center. He won Emmys for "The Carol Burnett Show." And, of course, he was Hedley Lamarr. It was a 10-gallon hat, and we did enjoy the show.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Michelle Malkin, the blogger, has gotten her way. Dunkin' Donuts is now safe from terrorism, Rachael Ray is a left-wing apologist, and anyone wearing a black-and-white silk scarf is Against Us.

Dunkin' Donuts ran an ad featuring Ray wearing a scarf with a paisley design, "selected by her stylist for the advertising shoot," according to DD (mmm, double-Ds).

Malkin started ranting and said the scarf looked like a keffiyeh: "The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad ... the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant and not-so-ignorant fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons."

According to the Boston Globe:
[Dunkin' Donuts] at first pooh-poohed the complaints, claiming the black-and-white wrap was not a keffiyeh. But the right-wing drumbeat on the blogosphere continued and by yesterday, Dunkin’ Donuts decided it’d be easier just to yank the ad.

Said the suits in a statement: "In a recent online ad, Rachael Ray is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design. ... Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, given the possibility of misperception, we are no longer using the commercial."
Dunkin' Donuts caves, Malkin crows, idiocy reigns. Soon the clock will strike 13.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Director, actor, producer. "Out of Africa" and "Tootsie" immediately come to mind. They were his.

Pollack died of cancer Monday at his home in Los Angeles. According to The New York Times:
Mr. Pollack’s career defined an era in which big stars (Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, Warren Beatty) and the filmmakers who knew how to wrangle them (Barry Levinson, Mike Nichols) retooled the Hollywood system. Savvy operators, they played studio against studio, staking their fortunes on pictures that served commerce without wholly abandoning art.

Hollywood honored Mr. Pollack in return. His movies received multiple Academy Award nominations, and as a director he won an Oscar for his work on the 1985 film “Out of Africa” as well as nominations for directing “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” (1969) and “Tootsie” (1982).

“Michael Clayton,” of which Mr. Pollack was a producer and a member of the cast, was nominated for a best picture Oscar earlier this year. He delivered a trademark performance as an old-bull lawyer who demands dark deeds from a subordinate, played by George Clooney. (“This is news? This case has reeked from Day 1!” snaps Mr. Pollack’s Marty Bach.) Most recently, Mr. Pollack portrayed the father of Patrick Dempsey’s character in “Made of Honor.”
An Indiana boy, reared in South Bend. "Absence of Malice" and "Three Days of the Condor" were among his best works.


A little soixante-neuf never hurt anyone, height differences notwithstanding. But slap the number 69 on a T-shirt and all hell breaks loose in Billerica, Mass.

A 14-year-old was suspended from middle school for wearing a shirt that said "SOPHOMORE 69." WCVB reports:
Christina Morrison, an eighth-grader at the Marshall Middle School, was sent to the office Tuesday when she arrived at school wearing the shirt. The assistant principal told Morrison and her stepfather that the shirt was "sexually explicit," and that she was being suspended for the day, the Lowell Sun reported.

The teen said she felt like crying because she only wore the shirt she'd recently purchased from a store called Urban Behavior because she liked it.

The school principal, Roland Boucher, said he wouldn't talk about the specific incident, but added that the school's dress code prohibits "any clothing that displays offensive language or images or suggests inappropriate or illegal behavior is not allowed in school."
The teen's mother, Kimberly Cifelli, wants an apology. Cifelli says she doesn't understand why the school says the shirt is sexually explicit. C'mon, Mom.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


As you remember lost loved ones on Memorial Day, keep in mind Jeff Melton. His widow, Holly, has a challenge for locals, issued in a column in Sunday's News-Leader, and on her blog.

Holly Melton wants to establish an urgent care cancer clinic in the Ozarks -- "an urgent care medical facility that is dedicated to only the special needs of cancer patients." She writes:
When one is battling for his or her life, an urgent care clinic is needed that is specially designed to keep cancer patients free from the airborne illnesses found in a typical urgent or emergent care facility. A cancer patient's immune system is already greatly compromised. A clinic is needed where a cancer patient's wait won't be extended because of an incoming car accident that takes the immediate attention. A clinic is needed where a cancer patient will be touched gently, spoken to softly -- cancer patients are in great pain, not hard of hearing. Often the pain medication and the cancer treatments have left a cancer patient with a low tolerance for noise and light. The tumors and searing pain in their bodies make it absolutely necessary for gentle treatment, softer bedding, swift and expert bed transfers. A cancer patient doesn't want to go through their litany of medications another time. Therefore, there is a need for a registry of medications. There is a desperate need to care for those with cancer, no matter what stage of the disease.

If you have ever witnessed someone who has just received a round of chemotherapy, or a cancer patient who is so weak and in desperate need of a blood transfusion, or a cancer patient whose pain is so intense that the thought alone of moving makes them vomit, then you can see the need exists. Please join me. We can do this.
Stop by her blog, read up, consider joining her challenge. It's a worthy one.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Co-host, with Dan Rowan, of "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In," a groundbreaking television show of the 1960s. The Associated Press reports:
Martin, who went on to become one of television's busiest directors after splitting with Dan Rowan in the late 1970s, died Saturday night of respiratory complications at a hospital in Santa Monica, family spokesman Barry Greenberg said. ...

"Laugh-in," which debuted in January 1968, was unlike any comedy-variety show before it. Rather than relying on a series of tightly scripted song-and-dance segments, it offered up a steady, almost stream-of-consciousness run of non-sequitur jokes, political satire and madhouse antics from a cast of talented young actors and comedians that also included Ruth Buzzi, Arte Johnson, Henry Gibson, Jo Anne Worley and announcer Gary Owens.

Presiding over it all were Rowan and Martin, the veteran nightclub comics whose standup banter put their own distinct spin on the show.

Like all straight men, Rowan provided the voice of reason, striving to correct his partner's absurdities. Martin, meanwhile, was full of bogus, often risque theories about life, which he appeared to hold with unwavering certainty.
Sock it to me. Bet your sweet bippy. Say goodnight, Dick.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Since last August, human feet have been washing ashore on British Columbia's Gulf Islands. Right feet, to be precise, and clad in sneakers.

It happened again on Thursday, in Richmond.

According to this story, it's a real stumper:
The first foot appeared last Aug. 20 on Jedediah Island, near Nanoose Bay.

A week later, a second foot was found on nearby Gabriola Island.

On Feb. 8, a third foot washed up on the eastern shore of Valdez Island, off the shore of Nanaimo, which is accessible only by floatplane or private boat.

All three were right feet and all were found in sneakers. The first two feet were found in size 12 men's sneakers.

The latest foot was found on the north side of uninhabited Kirkland Island, west of the George Massey Tunnel at the south end of No. 5 Road.
Someone has gotten off on the right foot.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Your favorite smoker will appreciate this:
This ashtray looks like a lung. And as you put your cigarette in it, it starts coughing and screaming.
Eleven bucks. Hey, a bargain.


It pays to be bland.

Exhibit A: Steven Barber, former student at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. He turned in a short story for a creative-writing class. His instructor freaked out at the story's violent tone. Barber, 23, was forced into a psych bin, then expelled.

The Wall Street Journal reports:
"It had to be acted on immediately," says Christopher Scalia, the instructor. He alerted administrators, who reacted swiftly, searching Mr. Barber's dorm room and car. Upon discovering three guns, they had him committed to a psychiatric institution for a weekend. Then they expelled him.

Yet the psychiatrists who evaluated Mr. Barber during his hospitalization determined he was no threat to himself or others. Mr. Barber says the guns were for protection from threats such as school shootings. He maintains that his story, titled "Sh---y First Drafts," was merely a fictional attempt to address school shootings such as the April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech massacre, which left 33 dead, including the gunman. The story "was supposed to show how disturbed people are who do that," Mr. Barber says. ...

The problem for Mr. Scalia, the instructor, was the story's references to the class and its assignments and to the murder of a professor called Mr. Christopher, a name identical to his own first name. Mr. Barber, a Navy veteran who served in the Iraq war, wrote of stockpiling alcohol and drugs for a binge and sleeping with the "cold and heavy steel" of a gun under his pillow. "I knew I had a choice," he wrote. "Murder or suicide. Either way, death was imminent."
Scalia is the son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. He believes Barber's story was about him.

Barber gave the school enough ammo to shoot him. He was already on school probation for booze and for possession a nightstick-like weapon. He also had a 3.9 GPA and was on the dean's list. He says he'd write about "butterflies and rainbows" if he had a second chance at Wise.

The WSJ hed: Schools Struggle With Dark Writings. The real struggle seems to be with common sense.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


George Takei, the actor who played Mr. Sulu on the original Star Trek series, is getting hitched to his longtime partner.

The BBC reports:
Takei, 71, said he and Brad Altman were going through the "delicious dilemma" of where to marry.

The actor and 54-year-old Mr Altman have been together for 21 years.

"We can have the dignity, as well as all the responsibilities, of marriage. We embrace it all heartily," Takei wrote on his website. ...

On Thursday, California's Supreme Court said the "right to form a family relationship" applied to all Californians regardless of sexuality.

But opponents of the decision said they would seek an amendment to the state constitution, which would override the ruling.

Following the Supreme Court's decision to legalise same-sex marriage, comedian Ellen DeGeneres announced plans to marry her girlfriend, actress Portia de Rossi.
Does this mean the Sulu in "Mirror, Mirror" was straight?


Political whiz kid from the 1970s who helped push Jimmy Carter into the White House. Last name pronounced "JUR-den." The Associated Press reports Jordan died of cancer. It happened Tuesday night.

In his memoir, No Such Thing as a Bad Day, Jordan discussed living through three bouts with cancer before he was 50.

A Friday memorial service is planned at the Carter Center in Atlanta.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


At least 35,000, or maybe four times that number, dead in Myanmar. Another 30,000-plus killed in China. It's news, even big news, but it's not the Mother of All News. The MOAN designation is attached only to the events we see for ourselves, when it's our shoes on the ground, our nose filled with the pungence of mayhem.

Unfair but true; subjective but real. It's the Law. McClurke's Law.

Reportedly named after a jaded BBC editor, McClurke's Law holds that some deaths are worth more. NBC journalist Martin Fletcher's Breaking News -- a helluva read, even if you don't work in a paragraph factory -- includes McClurke's Law:
One hundred thousand Bangladeshis killed in a flood equals 10,000 Africans killed by famine equals 500 Egyptians eaten by crocodiles on the Nile equals five British soldiers killed in Northern Ireland equals two of the queen's corgi dogs run over by a bus.
Rue the day when the U.S. has to endure a death toll equivalent to a dozen Sept. 11ths. The ensuing coverage may kill us all.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Rough sex gone wrong. After seeing that headline, who's not going to read more?

The skinny: Man loves woman. She loves him. They drink, heavily. They have rough sex. He asks her to "carve artwork" into his chest. She picks up a knife. Things go awry.

Thank God the Winnipeg Sun is around to provide details:
A court order has prohibited the young lovers from communicating with each other since the February 2007 incident. That order was lifted yesterday and the couple left court together, smiling. ...

Court heard the 25-year-old woman and 24-year-old man had known each other since grade school but had only become romantically involved four weeks prior to the accident.

The man was rushed to hospital in critical condition after suffering a stab wound to the left ventricle of his heart.

"Hospital staff thought he was going to die, he was very close to death," said Crown attorney Larry Allan, adding the man has fully recovered. ...

"He said they engaged in dangerous play, and due to her intoxication, was not precise with the knife and punctured his heart," Allan said.

The man told police the stabbing was an accident and that the two routinely cut and scratched each other with knives. The man showed police several wounds, including a heart-shaped scar on his back featuring the woman's initials.

McCammond said it was the victim who introduced the woman to "body modification" and asked her to carve another heart on his chest. The woman was complying when the man asked her to press harder, said [the woman's lawyer, John] McAmmond. ...

Judge Brian Corrin said the woman was "clearly remorseful and unlikely to be reinvolved."

Corrin ordered the woman to participate in alcohol counselling while on probation.
Nothing so sweet as young love.


An explosion just discovered, and it's the most recent in the Milky Way -- about 140 years old.

According to news from NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory:
Previously, the last known supernova in our galaxy occurred around 1680, an estimate based on the expansion of remnant Cassiopeia A. ...

The tracking of this object began in 1985, when astronomers ... used the [National Radio Astronomy Observatory's] Very Large Array to identify the remnant of a supernova explosion near the center of our galaxy. Based on its small size, it was thought to have resulted from a supernova that exploded about 400 to 1000 years ago.

Twenty-two years later, Chandra observations revealed the remnant had expanded by a surprisingly large amount, about 16 percent, since 1985. This indicates the supernova remnant is much younger than previously thought.

That young age was confirmed in recent weeks when the Very Large Array made new radio observations. This comparison of data pinpoints the age of the remnant at 140 years - possibly less if it has been slowing down - making it the youngest on record in the Milky Way.
The photo -- a blending of data from Chandra and the Very Large Array -- is money.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Gospel songwriter, singer. Died Sunday when her tour bus wrecked on Interstate 44, just east of Mount Vernon, Mo. Severe storms could have contributed to the crash. The Associated Press reports:
Rambo, of Nashville, Tenn., was on her way to a Mother's Day performance in Texas, according to her Web site.

"She was a giant in the gospel music industry," said Beckie Simmons, Rambo's agent. "Dolly Parton recorded some of her songs."

Parton sent condolences to "everyone involved in this terrible tragedy."

"I know Dottie is in heaven in the arms of God right now, but our earth angel will surely be missed," Parton said in a statement. "Dottie was a dear friend, a fellow singer, songwriter and entertainer, and as of late my duet singing partner."

Rambo was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame last year and the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
Rambo wrote the 1982 Gospel Music Association Song of the Year, "We Shall Behold Him."

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Real first name: Lynne. The First Lady of Radio. Wife of broadcaster Paul Harvey. Died Saturday of leukemia in River Forest, Ill. Radio and Records reports:
An official statement from the Harvey family said, "A director, writer and editor, she was the creative and administrative heartbeat behind the number-one-rated 'Paul Harvey News and Comment,' which reaches tens of millions of listeners." ...

Lynne's influence can be felt in many of the ways Americans consume electronic news media today. Her news related innovations include the concept of news features within hard-news broadcasts, humorous "kicker" stories, which became a Paul Harvey trademark, and news broadcasts at 10:00 p.m. to take better advantage of adults' leisure time. In television she created "Dilemma," a program which became a prototype for today's talk-show genre and "Paul Harvey Comments," a nationally syndicated show that aired five days a week for 20 years.
She was born in St. Louis, educated at Washington University. She met Paul Harvey when she worked at KXOK; they married in 1940.

He has lost his Angel, but their partnership endures. Especially in the program she developed and edited, the one he delivers with idiosyncratic style. It's a short, snappy little program, a story with a twist. She named it "The Rest of the Story." And now you know.


Angelique Vandeberg is this month's Top Mom -- and just in time for Mother's Day. Police say the Wisconsin woman (mugshot here) shot her daughter in the leg with a BB gun. Reason? To win a $1 bet.

The Sheboygan Press reports:
Police began looking into the incident Wednesday after a school counselor reported it to police. The girl was shot three or four days earlier, but a circular bruise with a white-colored point in the middle remained visible on her thigh, the counselor said.

The girl said the shooting occurred in her mother's bedroom, where Vandeberg was with her boyfriend after she had consumed 10 to 12 beers.

The boyfriend bet Vandeberg $1 she wouldn't shoot the child, then handed her the BB pistol. Vandeberg took it and shot the girl. The bullet, which did not break the skin, bounced off her leg and struck her 7-year-old brother, who was not injured.
Wonder what she'd do for five bucks?

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Someone within the Department of Justice wants to mess with our heads. A typist using an IP address belonging to DoJ made edits to an article about the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, also known as CAMERA.

The scrubbed info: How CAMERA was trying to "cooperate with prominent Wikipedia editors to promote a Zionist viewpoint and oppose pro-Arab viewpoints on Wikipedia."

The Wikimedia Foundation has been all over the story. According to this report from mister-info:
After the IP address belonging to the DOJ was blocked, Wikipedia editors informed the Wikimedia Foundation's Communications committee about the incident. Both Wikinews and Wikipedia are projects of the Wikimedia Foundation. In addition to the DOJ IP address, several Wikipedia users determined to be cooperating with the CAMERA campaign to influence Wikipedia had also previously been blocked by Wikipedia administrators.

Wikinews requested a statement from the Department of Justice on the edits to Wikipedia, but as of this article's publication had not received a response.
The (for now) anonymous DoJer also made edits to articles about Tracy Jordan, Roger Ebert and James E. Akins.

The DoJ address was blocked for "repeated vandalism," but someone else in D.C. is also making the same edits to the CAMERA article. Nice to know CAMERA is a government front, and we always suspected there was something odd about Roger Ebert. But Tracy Jordan? Maybe the Black Crusaders are real.