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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Stupid News at The Opera

'Grendel' opera opening delayed by computer glitch
Fri May 26, 2006 09:30 AM ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A $2.8 million opera about a medieval monster fell prey to a 21st century computer problem on Thursday, forcing producers of "Grendel" to delay its world premiere in Los Angeles from Saturday until June 8.

"Grendel," with music by Oscar-winning composer Elliot Goldenthal and directed by Julie Taymor, who created the Broadway hit "The Lion King," was to have opened before a black tie audience on Saturday night in one of the most ambitious projects ever mounted by the Los Angeles Opera.

Instead that opening was delayed until June 8, with Saturday being reserved for a closed dress rehearsal. Two performances set for June 1 and 2 have been redesignated as preview performances.

"Everything is ready to go except the computer unit," said L.A. Opera chief operating officer Edgar Baitzel. He was referring to four computers that control 28 motors that operate the production's centerpiece, a 28-foot (8.5 meter) tall rotating ice and earth wall on which almost all of the three hour opera's action takes place.

The wall's built-in stages and moving props are too heavy to be operated manually.

Crew members said they were heartbroken that the show will not premiere as planned. "The show was looking very exciting," said one. "The music was magnificent. We are all disappointed it is being postponed."

Few new operas have been as highly anticipated as "Grendel," which tells the Anglo Saxon epic "Beowulf" from the monster Grendel's point of view.

In a statement, the opera's general director Placido Domingo said "Grendel" was the most complex production the L.A. Opera has ever mounted.

While "the show must go on," Domingo said, "until all of the set's technical issues can be resolved, it would be unfair for us to jeopardize the incredible work of 'Grendel's' creative team."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Buffy Season 8

Whedon doing Season 8 in Comic Form.


(dub the theme song before you read it for the entertainment news)

Edmonton Hockey Disasters

Oilers battle unexpected obstacle

Globe and Mail Update

Edmonton — They're dealing with a pair of significant crisis here in the heartland of hockey. The first has to do with beer. There's not enough of it for the Edmonton Oilers' hollow-legged fans.
The second has to do with the health of the Oilers.

Heading into tonight's Game 3 of the Western Conference final, the Oilers are once again battling a nasty 'flu bug that is proving a lot more difficult to shake than the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

At today's morning skate, several Oilers were absent or told not to practice. Edmonton head coach Craig MacTavish wouldn't do an exact body count for the media and instead tried to put a positive spin on the situation.

"Raffi Torres is doubtful again (he missed Game 2 in Anaheim) and we've got a few other guys who aren't feeling that well," said MacTavish. "We're doing a little stickhandling here … There's a lot better timing for it than right now but we'll deal with it."

Defenceman Marc-Andre Bergeron also missed Game 2 against the Ducks while captain Jason Smith played and played well. Others believed to be under the influence of influenza are forwards Ethan Moreau and Sergei Samsonov, both of whom did not skate today.

Despite their health woes, the Oilers have built a 2-0 series lead and have had their way with the Ducks. To correct that, Anaheim head coach Randy Carlyle said his team would have to be better in a lot of areas, and that includes being more physical against a sickly rival.

"I don't know if it's from being the 'flu," Carlyle said. "Maybe it's their injuries. In the playoffs, you know how it is? It's either an upper-body injury or an upper-body injury."

The Oilers insisted there's actually been an encouraging development to their health problems. With so many regulars out, the back-ups have been able to step in and produce. That has highlighted the team's depth.

"We've used Dick Tarnstrom (on defence). We have Igor Ulanov and Brad Winchester and Dvo (Radek Dvorak) is getting closer to being ready," said MacTavish. "He's a possibility of going in. We've got some depth. I don't think it'll hurt us on the night."

The Ducks haven't won at Rexall Place since 1999. They'll need a stronger offensive showing to shake Edmonton's defence and rattle goaltender Dwayne Roloson. As Carlyle explained, "We need a more determined effort. The will to get there has to go up and there's no time like the present."

Underlining the Ducks scoring troubles is this simple statistic: through two games, Roloson has more points (two) than Anaheim's Teemu Selanne (one).

As for beer crisis, bar owners on Whyte Ave., the city's party strip, are saying they're running dangerously low. Oiler fans have consumed so much alcohol that the bar owners have sent out emergency keg requests.

And when it's dubbed an emergency keg request, you know it has to be serious.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Rock Roundup

Led Zeppelin reunited last night, with Jason Bonham sitting in for his Dad on Drums, to accept the Polar Music Prize in Sweden.

Keith Richards is back home in the USA, recovering well from his fall in Fiji.

Paul McCartney wants the press to go away and stop speculating about his separation from Heather Mills.

Elton John swore at a pool of photographers at the Cannes Film Festival, and said that they "should all be shot". They had interupted him repeatedly while he was presenting an award to actor Kevin Zegers.

The Eagles begin a European Tour tonight in Spain.

Letters John Lennon wrote to his first wife, Cynthia, are up for auction this week at Christie's Of London.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Bad Hotel

Any use for this?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Stupid News

Officials say tainted muffins contained marijuana
5/19/2006 2:23:24 AM

DALLAS (AP) - Muffins that made 18 staff members at a Dallas-area high school ill contained the active ingredient found in marijuana, Dallas County health department officials said Thursday.

Meanwhile, the FBI released frames from a surveillance video showing a young man delivering the muffins to Lake Highlands High School on Tuesday. The FBI said the man is considered a "person of interest" in the case.

If a suspect is arrested, he could face federal product tampering charges as well as local and state charges, FBI Special Agent Lori Bailey said. Tampering charges could carry a 10-year sentence.

"We don't take these types of events lightly when people are injured or there's the potential for injury," she said. The muffins were left in a teachers lounge and eaten by school employees, who later complained of nausea and feeling lightheaded.

Seventeen of the employees who became ill were released from the hospital Tuesday. A hospital spokeswoman says that the remaining employee, an 86-year-old switchboard operator, was released Wednesday.

Friday, May 19, 2006

for Wednesday

Bob Dylan turns 65 today

contest? music?


  1. Next week is the last of TVs
  2. Wheel Of Baldwins for the next big prize

Friday, May 12, 2006

Trower Tickets

"Samuel Says"

What movie is the quote from?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Topic for next week:

What was the last movie you actually saw more than once in a theatre?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Further Neil Young for Friday if needed

It seems impossible to believe, but it really happened: for a short time in early 1966, Rick James and Neil Young were in the same band. The group, called the Mynah Birds, also included bassist Bruce Palmer, who, with Young, would go on to Buffalo Springfield shortly after the Mynah Birds split. It is difficult to determine exactly what the Mynah Birds might have sounded like, though, because although they did an album's worth of material for Motown, nothing from those sessions has ever been released.

The Mynah Birds were a group on the Toronto scene that had been around for a while before Young was asked to join by Palmer in January 1966. Young had been struggling to establish himself as a solo singer/songwriter for some months without success, and was glad to join the band if only for steady work. Initially Young's role in the group was not major, as they did none of his songs; he described it, in John Einarson's 1992 book Neil Young: The Canadian Years: Don't Be Denied, as "a Rolling Stones kind of R&B thing." Rick James, then known as Ricky James Matthews, was the singer and frontman of the band and Young has remembered that he and James wrote some songs together.

Shortly after Young joined, the Mynah Birds were signed by Motown, in one of its very first ventures into the rock band market. They recorded 16 songs, according to Bruce Palmer, but the sessions were abruptly halted when Rick James was taken away by authorities for being AWOL from the U.S. Navy. The rest of the band, although they had known James was American, had no idea that he was evading the military. That spelled the end of the Mynah Birds, who broke up in March 1966. Fortunately for the musicians, although they had signed a long-term contract with Motown, this was canceled, freeing Young and Palmer to record with Buffalo Springfield with no complications.

The Mynah Birds tapes were believed lost, but, again according to Neil Young: The Canadian Years: Don't Be Denied: "...a musicologist has recently stumbled upon them, mislabeled in Motown's vaults. A listen to the tapes reveals little sign of Neil's characteristic guitar or vocal. In fact, Neil did not sing on any of the recordings and his guitar playing is mixed down so low that it is virtually indistinguishable amid the other instruments. The only stand out feature is Ricky Matthews' voice." Only one James/Young composition, "I'll Wait Forever," was copyrighted, although Young remembers having written a song called "It's My Time" with James as well.

Although on the face of it the Mynah Birds experience seems like it could have hardly been more discouraging, some good things came out of it for Young and Palmer. Young had been playing a 12-string acoustic when he first joined the band, but millionaire John Craig Eaton, a backer of the group, got him a new electric Rickenbacker and got amplifiers for the whole act. This equipment, in turn, was sold to pay for Young and Palmer to take a trip to California, where they hoped to find Stephen Stills (whom Young had met in 1965) and form a band. Miraculously, they did find him, in a legendary incident in which they passed each other driving in opposite directions. And, with Richie Furay, the musicians formed Buffalo Springfield, one of the greatest rock bands of the 1960s. Young got his payback for that act of hubris when, in the early '70s, Eaton had a court order put a lien on Young's earnings from a Toronto concert until he paid Eaton back for the sold Mynah Birds equipment. Which Young did. And wouldn't you say the price was worth it?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


May 16

Whitestarr (the sons of Dickie Betts and Roy Orbison), Luv Machine
Wishbone Ash, Clan Destiny

May 23

Def Leppard, Yeah!
Dr. John, Mercenary
Keith Emerson, Honky
Keith Emerson, At The Movies (3 CD Box Set of 7 film scores)

May 30

George Thorogood, The Hard Stuff

Monday, May 08, 2006

More Stupid News

Hurricane plan still fuzzy on details
Evacuation shelters, Amtrak use uncertain
(Sunday, May 07, 2006)

The mayor of Baton Rouge -- a likely refuge for tens of thousands of evacuees from New Orleans if a storm hits this season -- was more than a little irked.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin last week unveiled an elaborate hurricane plan without so much as a call to his counterpart upriver.

The River Center, Baton Rouge's equivalent of the Superdome, would not be available for sheltering New Orleanians, Mayor Kip Holden announced.

More bad vibes emanated from Houston, which is still trying to figure out how to house -- and police -- Louisianians who fled there after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Neil Young, or Not Neil Young?

  • Once formed a band called The Bluenotes to record an R&B Swing-type album with a six-piece horn section, to the dismay of most of his fans?
  • Tried to become the Official Grandpa Of Grunge by touring, and recording with, Pearl Jam?
  • Released a techno album called Trans?
  • Provided the score for the film Where The Buffalo Roam, a movie about Hunter S. Thompson starring Bill Murray?
  • Once played in a band called the Mynah Birds with Rick James on Bass?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Stupid News

Grandmother Leaves Child At Day Care, But It's Not A Day Care

OMAHA, Neb. -- What started out as a possible child abandonment case in Omaha turned out to be a misunderstanding, police say.

Police received a call from a woman who said another woman she didn't know had driven up to her home, handed her a baby boy and a diaper bag and left.

It turns out the woman was the baby's grandmother and thought she was dropping the baby off at day care, but she had the wrong address, officers said.

Police said the incident on Wednesday was a misunderstanding, and no charges will be filed.

The infant was placed in foster care for several hours until his mother showed up at police headquarters after seeing pictures of her baby on television news.

Father Faces Felony Charges For Rushing To Injured Daughter's Side

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. -- A panicked father who pushed past rescue workers to get to his injured daughter at the scene of a car crash now faces felony charges.

Karl Swanson of Holiday, Fla., told the St. Petersburg Times he got a call from his daughter's cell phone late Tuesday: "Listen," the caller said, "your daughter's been in a terrible accident. She's in critical condition. It doesn't look good."

Florida Highway Patrol troopers said the 48-year-old anesthesiologist drove into the accident scene, narrowly missing an emergency helicopter, then pushed past a trooper and a paramedic to get to his 18-year-old daughter's side.

Swanson was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and battery on an emergency medical care provider. He is free on $10,000 bond.

"Basically, he made a very serious and stressful situation worse," Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Larry Coggins said. "When people just relax for a second and listen to reason, we always let them see their loved one."

"They told me my daughter was dying," he said Wednesday. "They told me to go there. So that's what I did."

Cruise's Ultrasound Machine Prompts Proposal For Ban
Actor Bought Unit To View Unborn Baby With Holmes

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A California lawmaker said he fears Tom Cruise as father figure could be setting a dangerous precedent.

Democratic Assemblyman Ted Lieu is proposing a state ban on the sale of ultrasound machines to anyone but licensed medical professionals.

Lieu said there's no medical reason for an untrained person to use an ultrasound machine, and he worries because doctors say putting the technology in the wrong hands could harm a fetus.

Cruise said he bought an ultrasound machine so he could see images of his then-unborn child with Katie Holmes.

"If someone sees Tom Cruise buy one, they think this is the thing to do," Lieu said.

Clowns Not Funny To Some People
Costume, Makeup Hide Expression, Body Language

Clowns populate every circus. But clowns strike fear into the hearts of many, according to a Philadelphia TV station.

The No. 1 reason many people are scared of clowns is the movie "It," that came out in 1990, the station reported.

Granted, the killer clown in "It" is scary, but the fear of clowns has been around forever.

"You can't tell what's going on behind the clown face," said Dr. Linda Welsh, a psychologist.

Welsh said that the expressive nature of body language is all hidden behind a clown's makeup and costume.

"So you often get uncomfortable and don't know how to act -- even anxious and frightened," Welsh said.

Man's Tattooed Toes Allegedly Tied Him To Crime

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Richard Costello was tripped up by his own toes, police say.

Costello, 29, was trying to sell stolen motorcycle parts on eBay, so he laid the items on a linoleum floor and took photographs for the Web site, said Clearwater police Sgt. Greg Stewart.

Authorities noticed Costello's toes -- tattooed with letters spelling "White Trash." They searched jail records, which noted Costello's tattooed toes, and arrested him Monday.

"This one goes in the "Not the brightest star in the sky' file," Stewart told the St. Petersburg Times.

Detectives arranged to meet Costello to buy parts Monday and arrested him when he arrived in a van full of stolen property.

Police: Fast-Food Worker Tosses Hot Grease At Customer

PHILADELPHIA -- A fast-food worker tossed a cup of hot grease on a customer, giving the woman second- and third-degree burns on her arms and chest, authorities said.

"My skin was cooking," said Vouncile Lambert, 44, who was treated at a hospital.

The 17-year-old worker was charged with aggravated assault. The employee, who had worked at the Checkers restaurant in West Philadelphia for about two months, will be fired, a restaurant manager said Wednesday.

Candidate Could Have Won If His Two Sons Had Voted

CASTALIA, Ohio -- You're both grounded!

Two voting-age sons of a northern Ohio candidate didn't go to the polls Tuesday, and their father's race ended in a tie.

William Crawford, trying to retain his seat on the central committee of the Erie County Democratic Party, and challenger Jean Miller each received 43 votes in the primary balloting.

Officials plan to conduct a recount, but the race may have to be settled by coin flip, said David Giese, the county's Democratic Party chairman and an elections board member.

Crawford was able to laugh about it Wednesday, but he said his sons are going to be getting an earful for skipping the election.

"Oh they will, let me tell you," Crawford said.

Son Jim lives across the street from Crawford's home in Castalia, about 45 miles southeast of Toledo, and son Andy is a college student who lives at home. Both are registered Democrats.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Next week

What she says...what it actually means...

Spanish Speaking Girl

For the Spanish Password Of The Day.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sopranos actors in trouble

John Ventimiglia, who plays temperamental chef Artie Bucco on the HBO hit, was arraigned on Monday on drunken driving, drug possession and other charges after officers spotted him weaving in and out of traffic in Brooklyn.

In Queens, Louis Gross -- who plays bodyguard Perry Annunziata on "The Sopranos" -- was charged with criminal mischief after a woman claimed that he broke into her home on April 18. True to his character, the 23-year-old observed omerta (the Mafia's code of silence) on Monday following his release without bail.