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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

LOTR again and again and again

More Lord Of The Rings DVDs?

While we knew this was coming – Peter Jackson admitted as much around the release of the Return Of The King’s Extended edition.

Three new, two-disc “Limited Edition” sets will be released in August in the US which will all come boasting an exclusive Making Of Documentary.

Between them they will provide more than 300-minutes’ worth of fresh material.

Oh, and the discs will also present the ability to watch both the theatrical cut and extended edition of each film via branching. (EmpireOnline)

Why The World Needs A Superman Returns

by Tommie Lee

(Daily) Planet Radio

It's Thursday evening, and I've just woken up from a nice long nap in preparation of staying up way past my “morning guy bedtime”. I'm poking around on my Livejournal, commenting about how I'm going to a late-night pre-release showing of Superman Returns that's due to start in 80 minutes or so. I step out on the deck and grab a cigar.

While I'm out there, I'm cringing at how many ways this movie could flat-out suck. You're messing with an icon when you do anything with the Boy In Blue. You're tacking additional history onto something America has clung to very tightly since 1938 when he picked up that car in Action Comics.

And as Superman IV: The Quest For Peace taught us...things can go very, very wrong.

I'm remembering watching cartoons on Saturday Mornings, wearing my Superman PJs. I'm remembering comic books, read at 7, and 27. I'm remembering meeting Alex Ross, a fantastic painter who specializes in Comic Art, in Chicago...and being afraid to shake his hand for fear I might screw it up somehow. Because he makes Superman look so damn good every time he paints him. Because he respects the history.

"Relax," Ragz says as we're getting settled in our seats, "the franchise is in good hands."

Ragz is my Program Director, my boss, my friend. He did and didn't want me to see this movie tonight, given that I have to be on the air at 0530 (which is roughly 4 hours from now). But we went anyway, and settled in to see how Brian Singer did with it.

First of all: the preview for Spider Man 3 was outstanding. Looks like we have a couple villains, but most importantly, the black costume is in the house. Venom time. Gonna be sweet, comes out early next May.

Now…Superman. This Brandon Routh kid has got the goods. He gives a tasteful homage to Chris Reeve in his performance and mannerisms, but finds a way to make the character his own. I was very impressed with him. Equally so with Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor. They found a great story for him, Kevin nailed it shut, and they left his character in a perfect spot at the end.

Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane. Hmm. Not so much. Something about her didn’t click. Too young, too pretty maybe…I don’t know. I couldn’t buy into her, and neither could the people I was sitting with. However, given that one of the other alternatives was Keira Knightley, I think they had little to choose from that would have stood up to Margot Kidder. Not that she was the be all/end all…but she hoisted a hard flag to pull down with that character. Even in her goofiest moments.

I’ve heard bitching that the flick is too long, that only the first hour is good, that everything but the first hour is good…blah blah blah frickin’ blah. It ain’t rocket science: it’s a movie. And Brian Singer did an excellent job with it.

I was never bored. I was never shaking my head in disgust. I was glad I stayed up late.

This movie, whether you end up loving or hating it, is just what it should have been: a throwback to the films we used to feel good about before the internet and cell phones were on the map, and entertainment had to be immediate or it sucked.

It has the feel of the first film, with the best toys of present day thrown in for good measure.

Now go call the boss and declare a “Blue Flu”…

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Stupid News

600 lbs. woman survives getting thrown through sunroof

Town N Country, Florida – A woman is in stable condition after being ejected through the sunroof of her SUV during an accident.

Thirty-seven-year-old Ruth Matthews told paramedics that another vehicle cut her off in traffic, and she took evasive action to avoid a crash. Her Isuzu Amigo rolled over and she was thrown through the sunroof and onto the roadway. Investigators say she was not wearing her seatbelt.

Paramedics initially tried to fly Matthews to Tampa General Hospital, but her weight, estimated at 600 pounds, made it impossible.

Emergency crews were able to transport her to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where she is listed in stable condition.

Tuesday Rock Roundup for 6.27.06

Keith Richards is ready to hit the road. The Rolling Stones' official website says Keith has made a complete recovery from his accident and the band will kick off its European tour in Milan on July 11th.

The trek will cover 11 countries on the continent, including 15 shows that were postponed due to Keith's head surgery. However, two July concerts in Germany that were supposed to have Guns N' Roses as the opening act have been canceled. Right now, there's no word on whether or not Guns will open any other shows for the Stones on this tour.

Keith released a statement last week said (quote), "Excuse me, I fell off of my perch! Sorry to disrupt everyone's plans but now --it's full steam ahead!"

New CDs in stores today:

Warrant - Born Again
Whitesnake - Gold
Soundtrack - Superman Returns

New on DVD:

Annapolis, starring pretty much no one other than Donnie Wahlberg from The New Kids On The Block.

Failure To Launch, with Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker. Also stars Terry Bradshaw and Kathy Bates as Matt's parents, whom he still lives with at 35.

And Ultraviolet, a futuristic flick with Milla Jovovich.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tuesday Rock Roundup 062006

Billy Preston was remembered last night with a special tribute service in Inglewood, California. His funeral service will finally be held today at the same location...he passed away June 6th.

The New Cars turned out to be a lemon on the road. The tour has officially been canceled, after an accident earlier this month where the band's tour bus swerved to avoid another vehicle. Guitarist Elliot Easton was tossed from his bunk, resulting in a broken clavicle. In addition to Easton, the New Cars featured original Cars keyboardist Greg Hawkes, Todd Rundgren, Utopia bassist Kasim Sulton and Tubes drummer Prairie Prince. Blondie was the opening act.

Eddie and Alex Van Halen emerged from their spider hole Saturday Night and played with country artist Kenny Chesney in California. He's a big fan and they did "Jump" and "You Really Got Me" together. Eddie then crawled back to his crypt and went back to writing music no one will ever hear.

Only one rock release hits stores today...the remaster of Boston's "Don't Look Back"

Today's new DVD's are Eight Below, Disney's Antarctic Sled Dog movie...the remake of The Hills Have Eyes...Clooney's Syriana movie...Failure To Launch...and Monty Python Rejoice, they've finally mastered Yellowbeard to DVD.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ent News: Michael Jackson

(find The Nanny theme...)

The nanny to Michael Jackson’s kids, Grace Rwaramba (Rah-war-RAMBA), isn’t going to marry the pop star.

It turns out she's already married.

She’s been married for 11 years to an American Filmaker in Los Angeles. Fox 411 reported last week that Michael was seeking to marry his nanny.

It’s unknown whether Rwaramba has ever told Jackson that she has a husband. She has certainly not informed him of her alleged romances with his brothers Jermaine and Randy, which, according to sources, have occurred in the last seven years.

Rwaramba as worked for Michael since 1995, when she was an office assistant.

Stupid News: Vodka

18 June 2006


A LAKE has been transformed from freshwater to 30 per cent vodka after a leak from a nearby distillery.

Farmers and workers from Wielkopolska. in in Poland rushed to fill their boots with the brew - three times the strength of wine. A 71-year-old woman, who lives near Lake Bracholinskie, said: "If God doesn't help, everyone will be a drunkard with only a hole where the lake was."

Weird-Ass News: Nestle/Jenny Craig

Nestle to buy Jenny Craig for $600 million

VEVEY, Switzerland - In a twist in corporate synergy, chocolate-maker Nestle AG said Monday it will fatten up its weight-loss business by buying Jenny Craig Inc. for $600 million.

The acquisition follows Nestle's purchase for around $670 million last month of Uncle Tobys, an Australian maker of nutritional cereals and snacks, and is part of the company's "continuing commitment to nutrition, health and wellness," the Swiss company said in a statement.

While best known for its namesake chocolates, Nestle is the world's largest food and drinks company, making baby formulas, nutrition foods such as PowerBar, drinks to aid weight loss and the Lean Cuisine line. The company's purchase of Jenny Craig follows the lead of consumer products company Unilever, which bought both Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Slim Fast in 2000.

Weight management will become a new business within Nestle's nutrition unit and will reinforce its U.S. presence, the company said.

"With this strategic acquisition, the group takes another important step in its transformation process into a nutrition, health and wellness company," said Nestle Chairman and Chief Executive Peter Brabeck-Letmathe.

"The rise of obesity and the resulting metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, is a major public health concern, not only in the USA but also the world over," Brabeck-Letmathe said.

Save Screech's House

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tuesday Rock Roundup

Bob Dylan is wrapping up a new album, his first in 5 years. It'll be called Modern Times and it hits stores in late August.

Rumors are floating that Izzy Stradlin has rejoined Guns N' Roses. He's been onstage with the latest version of the band for a few festival dates.

Billy Joel recently did 12 Nights at Madison Square Garden, part of his first tour without Elton John in seven years. A piece of it gets released as a 2-CD set called 12 Gardens Live...which is in stores today.

Also in stores today:

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts Sinner
The Soundtrack to The Break Up

John Fogerty has a live DVD out today called The Long Road Home, which is also being released in theatres in 8 major cities today.

Also in stores today:

"Neil Young: Heart of Gold"
"The Pink Panther" Steve Martin
"16 Blocks" Bruce Willis and Mos Def
"Walker, Texas Ranger: The Complete First Season"

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Newspaper Of Tomorrow

Reuters 08:45 AM Jun, 12, 2006

The newspapers of the future -- cheap digital screens that can be rolled up and stuffed into a back pocket -- have been just around the corner for the last three decades.

But as early as this year, the future may finally arrive. Some of the world's top newspapers publishers are planning to introduce a form of electronic newspaper that will allow users to download entire editions from the web on to reflective digital screens said to be easier on the eyes than light-emitting laptop or cellphone displays.

Flexible versions of these readers nay be available as early as 2007.

The handheld readers couldn't come a moment too soon for the newspaper industry, which has struggled to maintain its readership and advertising from online rivals.

Publishers Hearst Corp. in the U.S., Les Echos in Paris and Belgian financial paper De Tijd are planning a large-scale trials of the readers this year.

Earlier attempts by book publishers to sell digital readers failed due to high prices and a lack of downloadable books.

But a new generation of readers from Sony and iRex, a Philips Electronics spin-off, have impressed publishers with their sharp resolution and energy efficiency, galvanizing support for the idea again.

"This could be a real substitution for printed paper," said Jochen Dieckow, head of the news media and research division of Ifra, a global newspaper association based in Germany.

It's easy to see why publishers are keen. Digital newspapers, so called e-newspapers, take advantage of two prevailing media trends -- the growth of online advertising and widespread use of portable devices like the iPod music player.

Nearly all papers run websites, but few readers relish pulling out laptops in transit or risk dropping one in the bathroom.

E-newspapers would cut production and delivery costs that account for some 75 percent of newspaper expenses.

Circulation in the $55 billion U.S. newspaper industry has slid steadily for nearly two decades as papers compete with internet news for attention and advertising dollars.

Some publishers now see new devices as a way to help them snatch a bigger slice of online advertising and protect their franchise in reading away from home.

Ad spending on newspaper websites grew 32 percent in 2005 but only accounted for 4 percent of total ad spending in newspapers, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

Still, little is known about demand for an e-paper. "The number of consumers who are interested in reading on the go as opposed to listening to music on the go is probably smaller in the U.S. today," NPD Group analyst Ross Rubin said.

Sony and iRex's new devices employ screen technology by E Ink, which originated from MIT's Media Lab. Investors include Hearst, Philips, McClatchy, Motorola and Intel.

The company produces energy-efficient ink sheets that contain tiny capsules showing either black or white depending on the electric current running through it.

Some of the latest devices apply E Ink's sheets to glass transistor boards, or back planes, which are rigid. But by 2007, companies such as Britain's Plastic Logic will manufacture screens on flexible plastic sheets, analysts say.

Separately, Xerox and Hewlett-Packard are developing methods to produce flexible back planes cheaply. Xerox, in particular, has created a working prototype that lets manufacturers create flexible transistor boards much like one would print a regular paper document.

Production costs are expected to be low enough soon for publishers to consider giving away such devices for free with an annual subscription. Data on subscribers could also help publishers better tailor ads.

Sony's reader will cost between $300 and $400. "If you can get one of these products to cost less than the cost of a year's subscription it could probably work," said Kenneth Bronfin, president of Hearst Interactive Media.

He declined to name which other groups plan testing, but said Hearst's San Francisco Chronicle and Houston Chronicle will likely be among the first of its 12 daily papers to offer such devices to several hundred subscribers later this year.

In Europe, Ifra is discussing trials with 21 newspapers from 13 countries. The New York Times Co. is a member.

Sony is separately in discussions with some publishers to offer newspaper downloads in its e-bookstore due to launch this summer, although no decision has been made, said Lee Shirani, vice president of Sony's online content service, Sony Connect.

stupid spanish news

Nude cyclists peel off around Spanish cities

Sat Jun 10, 2006 02:40 PM ET

MADRID (Reuters) - Hundreds of nude cyclists pedaled around Spanish cities on Saturday to protest against car-clogged streets and demand greater respect for pollution-free transport.
With slogans like "one car less" and "bio methanol" painted on their backs, the naked cyclists staged Spain's third annual Ciclonudista or "Nudecycle" in Madrid, Barcelona and Pamplona.

The protest was part of world-wide naked bike riding events on Saturday across Europe, North America and South America.

"We feel naked when up against traffic because people don't see the bicycle as just another means of transport," said Madrid cyclist Ramon Linaza, wearing only a cycle helmet and shoes.

Towing cardboard cars with gaping jaws, protesters said the rapid rise of automobile ownership in Spain was turning city streets into ever more hostile and dangerous cycling territory.

Organizers said the bicycle was a healthy and efficient form of urban transport that is largely ignored by Spanish drivers and city planners.

Central Madrid has few bike paths and cyclists are a rarity on its streets. Barcelona has the most bike paths of any Spanish city, according to cycling activists.

Per capita car ownership has rocketed in Spain after a decade of strong economic growth.

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

stupid news

Motorist Drives Truck Into Neighbor's Home To Avoid Hitting Cat

POSTED: 5:10 pm EDT June 2, 2006
UPDATED: 5:13 pm EDT June 2, 2006

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A motorist drove his pickup truck into his neighbor's home Friday -- causing a fire that burned part of the house -- because he swerved to avoid a cat in the road, authorities said.

Palm Beach County sheriff's spokesman Paul Miller said Clifton Cook, 18, swerved into bushes and then smashed into the house at about 1:40 a.m., the Palm Beach Post reported Friday.

Cook told investigators he saw the cat and tried to hit the brakes but lost control. Cook suffered a minor injury but did not seek medical attention.

No one was home at the time, Miller said.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Rock Roundup 060606

Keith Richards has healed up from his fall in the South Pacific, has promised not to climb anymore trees, drained the blood of several young virgins to regain his strength, and the Rolling Stones are heading back out on the road. The new summer tour itinerary for Bigger Bangpicks up in Europe July 11th.

The New Cars album "It's Alive" is in stores today, with Todd Rundgren singing Ric Ocasek's words on 12 tracks, and three new ones by the new lineup. Their tour with Blondie is in Vienna, Virginia tonight.

Steven Tyler seems to have recovered nicely from throat surgery, as Aerosmith are working on a new album right now and plan to tour with Motley Crue in the fall.


The New Cars It's Alive
Cheap Trick Rockford
Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint The River Between
Various Artists Strummin' With the Devil: Bluegrass Tribute to Van Halen Includes David Lee Roth sings lead on revamped versions of "Jump" and "Jamie's Cryin"

Stupid News

Boy, 6, left at West Boca Chuck E. Cheese's after his birthday party
Posted June 4 2006, 6:35 PM EDT

West Boca -- No charges are expected to be filed against the Pompano Beach mother of a 6-year-old boy who was left at Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant after his birthday party Saturday, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said.

Lacqetta Monroe, 23, thought her son, Michael Emanuel, was going to sleep over a relative's house and the mother didn't immediately realize he was left behind in the restaurant in the 21600 block of U.S. 441, investigators said. Detectives said the boy was abandoned because of a miscommunication between Monroe and her relatives. The child was not harmed.

The boy spent the night in the care of child welfare workers. He will remain in the care of Florida Department of Children and Families until a child protective hearing is held Monday and the court decides if he can return home.

World's Unhealthiest Burger

Baseball Team Creates World's Unhealthiest Burger

(CBS News) St. Louis It could be the world's unhealthiest snack. The ultimate in fast-food indulgence is cooked up, not by a restaurant chain, but by a minor-league baseball club, reports CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers.

Despite having a charming ballpark just outside St. Louis, the Gateway Grizzlies will likely never be renowned for their brand of baseball — one step below Single-A ball.

But they're already famous at the concession stand. Or should that be infamous?

It's sweet like a doughnut, and then you've got the hamburger. You’ve read that right. It's a burger with cheese and bacon, sandwiched between a Krispy Kreme doughnut — a heart attack waiting to happen. A burger so perfect, they say, tampering is discouraged.

“You're ruining it! You're not supposed to put ketchup on it!” Bowers says to a diner.

“Well, I don't know. It's my first time,” he replies.

For a mere $4.50 it's breakfast, dinner, and a little dessert all in one. That it packs up to 1,000 calories — the donut alone has 10 grams of sugar — doesn't seem to faze diabetic diner Floyd Schuetz.

“Oh, I’ll have another one of these,” he says.

Nor does it faze three fans — two in their 80s — who passed up the peanuts and crackerjacks for this.

Asked if she was worried about the health ramifications, Betty Osborne says “No, not tonight. Tonight I'm living it up.”

After trying a bite — Bowers says she would normally never eat a burger like this, but she would make the sacrifice in the interest of journalistic integrity — she says it is better than she expected.

“I don’t know that I would do this again, but it’s pretty good,” says Bowers.

The Grizzlies say "cheesy" gimmicks like this are crucial to the team's bottom line.

“With minor league baseball we have to work extremely hard to get fans to come out here,” says the Grizzlies’ Jeff O’Neill.

Which begs the question — what's next?

“We were in the concession stand the other day trying to come up with 'Baseball's Best Pizza.' "

Let’s just hope it's not going to be be on a Krispy Kreme crust.

(© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Stupid News from Florida

Two people found dead under advertising balloon in Lutz

Lutz, Florida – 21-year-old Sara Rytman and her friend Jason Ackerman were found dead Saturday morning underneath a deflated promotional balloon in front of the Lake View condos.

Major Bob Shrader of the Hillsborough County Sherrif’s Office said, “It’s my understanding that it is or was filled with some kind of gas. What it was I don’t know. We’ll have to determine that through further investigation.”

Investigators do not suspect foul play. Both victims were found fully clothed.

Christina Saunders, a neighbor, said the red balloon was put up Friday and described it as “100 feet [up] with string.”

Investigators are still trying to determine the exact cause of death, but anti-drug experts say that there is a growing trend of people inhaling helium and other gasses in an attempt to get high. “Sure, we’ve all inhaled [one small breath of] helium from a balloon, but when you do anything in extreme it can always be harmful,” said Dr. Preeti Jois-Bilowich of the emergency room at Tampa General.

“[…] the helium displaces all of the oxygen from the lung tissue and you actually have sudden death,” she went on to explain.


Gov. Bush signs 'doggie dining' bill

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Florida restaurants are going to the dogs. Governor Bush signed the so called "doggie dining" bill today in Orlando. The new law lets local governments decide if they want to permit dogs to eat with their owners outside.

The measure would create a three year pilot program after which time the state would revisit the issue to determine whether it was a good idea.

Allowing dogs to dine would be up to the local city or county, and then even if local restrictions were waived to allow it, it would still be up to the restaurant owner as to whether to participate.


DNA ties UM prof to Genghis Khan

Is Genghis Khan a UM accounting professor's forefather? The DNA says yes.


Web Vote If you were related to Genghis Khan, would you tell your friends?

A British research firm recently combed 25,000 DNA samples searching for a modern descendant of Genghis Khan from outside the Mongolian warlord's ancient empire.

They found the first one: a University of Miami accounting professor with a receding hairline.
Tom Robinson, a 48-year-old Palmetto Bay resident, has taken the odd news with amiable modesty. In some quarters, he's being treated like the guy who walks into a store and finds out he's the millionth customer. The Mongolian ambassador to the United States plans to invite him as an honored guest to his Washington embassy.

They're an unlikely pair, the emperor and the accountant. Genghis was known as the type of guy who would conquer villages across two continents, murder entire tribes and take thousands of female partners. Robinson, on the other hand, just returned from a cruise to Alaska with his wife of 25 years.

''I think I do have a certain number of administrative skills,'' Robinson said, noting he was once president of a local financial analyst society. ``I haven't done any conquering, per se.''


Mama's girl


Peggy Justus was always honest about what she did. And she always figured one of her daughters would follow in her high-heeled footsteps.

TAMPA - Tiffany punches something special on the jukebox. She and Peggy take the stage. They start off slow. Late on a Friday afternoon, there are hardly any customers at the Mons Venus.

Peggy, in faded jeans, holds the pole at the center of the stage and spins. Tiffany runs her hands up under her shirt and pulls off her top.

In this light they could be the same girl. Same long blond hair, same small breasts. Same slow, swaying motion. Some guys think they are sisters.

"It is obvious there is some kind of relation,'' says another dancer, watching from nearby. "You can tell what Peggy used to look like.''

Their song, the one playing on the jukebox, is by Kanye West. Tiffany loves to play it when she's onstage with her mom. She likes to sing the words, feel them, think about what they mean. Sometimes she plays the song even when her mom isn't working.

The Mons Venus sits on Dale Mabry Highway, tucked between a car wash and a Taco Bell, just down the street from Raymond James Stadium. The inside of the club is dark and clean. Mirrors cover the walls and ceiling. The stage swims in light cast by blinking traffic signals on the side and rotating beams of color from above.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Metallica for Infants

(from Premiere)

Metallica fans with babies can now listen to their favorite band without worrying about damaging their little ones' ears. Thanks to Baby Rock Records, a new series of C-Ds featuring baby-friendly lullaby remakes of rock songs will give parents the opportunity to play "Enter Sandman" or "Master of Puppets" without the neighbors reporting them to social services. The Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions series also features lullaby renditions of Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, Coldplay, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and more. The albums are due out August 29th.

(clip of Metallica in the O drive)