Posts

Showing posts from October, 2007

Harper Lee to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Image
President George W. Bush has announced that Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, is to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a civilian.

The medal, established in 1963, is awarded for an "especially meritorious contribution" to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, or for their accomplishments in the areas of culture or "other significant public or private endeavours."
--> A well-deserved award to one of the best authors of our time. To Kill A Mockingbird was one of my favorite reads last year. Believe it or not, I hadn't picked it up until only last year. It goes highly recommended!
(Via Telegraph)

Rufus Wainwright does Judy, again and on DVD

Image
Rufus Wainwright is spreading the gospel of Judy Garland, concert by concert. He's turned his Garland obsession into a career and soon, that gospel will be spread CD/DVD combo by CD/DVD combo.
To wit: anyone who missed his live, song-for-song interpretation of La Garland’s 1961 concert at Carnegie Hall can experience them thanks to an upcoming CD and DVD. On Dec. 4, Geffen will release the double-disc “Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall” CD collection of the singer’s June 14, 2006, show at the famed New York theater. Also due that day is “Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy! Live at the London Palladium,” a DVD of his Feb. 25, 2007, concert there.
(Via Lemonwade)

"Out of Sync" Hits Too Many Wrong Notes

Image
--> If you thought Lance Bass’ memoir, Out of Sync, would fill in the blanks of his coming out, you'd be dead wrong. Here's a bit of the review from AfterElton.

Bass doesn’t go into too much detail about being gay or his coming out journey. What he does discuss a great deal are former manager Lou Pearlman, the end of ‘N Sync, and his involvement with the American space program. (Bass was training to be an astronaut at one point.)
According to assertions Bass makes in the book, Pearlman stole money, Justin Timberlake left the band too quickly, and the Russians who partnered with the space program were, like Pearlman, strictly out for the moolah. Bass also admonishes former boyfriends, including fellow celebrity Reichen Lehmkuhl, but only briefly.
It’s impossible to know whether all the things Bass says are true, but that doesn’t matter: Using your memoir mostly to take down other people is tacky regardless of what those people have done.

Quoteables

Image
"There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."
- George Carlin

Pick Me Up of the Day

Image
Tyler Lough as featured on Major Models.

Naomi Campbell Visits Hugo Chavez

Image
British supermodel Naomi Campbell met privately with President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday, becoming the latest in a series of celebrities hosted by the Venezuelan leader.
Campbell flashed a smile to reporters as she arrived at the presidential palace, but said little about what she hoped to discuss with Chavez.
"I've been here before actually," she said. "A beautiful country, very tropical. You've got great waterfalls."
--> As if we needed further proof that she's an irrelevant imbecile. Can you imagine what the conversation is going to be like? Even Chavez is wondering what the hell she's doing there.
(Via Sun Sentinel)

New Disney Dream Portaits

Image
Disney Parks updated their Disney Dreams portrait series today with three new images shot by Annie Leibowitz. Roger Federer plays King Arthur, Julie Andrews portrays the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio with Abigail Breslin as a Fairy-in-Training, and Rachel Weisz plays Snow White.



(Via Towleroad)

N.Y. Public Library Gets Hepburn Papers

Image
22 boxes of papers from Katharine Hepburn's theater career have been donated to the New York Public Library. They will be available to scholars and fans after they have been cataloged.
When Hepburn died in 2003, the trustees of her estate chose to donate papers from her film career to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Margaret Herrick Library. They decided to donate papers from her extensive though less-known stage career to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.
Highlights from the collection were displayed last week on a table at the library. There were fan letters from Judy Garland and from Charlton Heston, who wrote in 1981, "You have made all our hearts tremble, one time or another."
--> I'd love to spend a day in NY, sifting through that stuff! Can you just imagine the wonderfully random stuff that woman accumulated? The Judy Garland letter, alone!
(Via Sun Sentinel)

RIP Robert Goulet

Image
Goulet, the handsome, big-voiced baritone whose Broadway debut in "Camelot" launched an award-winning stage and recording career, has died at age 73.

Boy playing with matches started 38,000-acre fire

Image
A boy playing with matches started a Southern California wildfire that scorched more than 38,000 acres, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday.
The Buckweed Fire, which destroyed 21 homes and injured three civilians and two firefighters on its rampage, began October 21 in the Agua Dulce community.
The boy, whose name and age were not given, is home with his parents, police said. The case will be presented to the Los Angeles County district attorney for possible charges.
--> Apparently someone did not get Smokey the Bears memo.
(Via CNN)

Happy Halloween!

Image

Nip/Tuck Season 5 begins tonight

Image

Death penalty imminent for gay youth in Iran

Image
Child offender Makwan Moloudzadeh, an Iranian Kurd, is believed to be at risk of imminent execution. He has reportedly been convicted of lavat-e iqabi (anal sex) for the alleged rape of a 13-year-old boy. Makwan Moloudzadeh was aged 13 at the time of the alleged offence. His death sentence has been passed to the Office for the Implementation of Sentences and he is due to be executed in public, near his home.

(Via Amnesty International)

The Funnies

Image

New Music Tuesday

Image
The Best of Andrea Bocelli: Vivere
Britney Spears' Blackout

Pick Me Up of the Day

Image
Michael Horta as featured on We Love Guys.

Scientists: AIDS Came to U.S. from Haiti in 1969

Image
A genetic analysis of stored blood samples has led scientists to conclude that the AIDS Virus was carried to Haiti from Africa in 1966, and then to America in 1969, most likely by a single infected person.

University of Arizona evolutionary biologist Michael Worobey told Reuters: "That one infection would have become two, and then it doubles again and the two becomes four. So you have a period -- probably a fair number of years -- where you're dealing with probably fewer than a hundred people who are infected. And then, as with epidemic expansion, at some point the hundred becomes 200, you start getting into thousands, tens of thousands. And then quite rapidly you can be up into the hundreds of thousands of infections that were probably already there before AIDS was recognized in the early 1980s."

The scientists studied samples from five early Haitian immigrants and international data on 117 early AIDS patients to make their determination.

Reuters reports: "The researc…

"Dangerous" or awesome!

Image

New t-shirts from AMERICAblog

Image
--> Barack Obama hasn't made any friends these last two weeks. And if you ask AMERICAblog, he's probably lost a few, too. I'm certainly thinking twice.
(Via AMERICAblog)

More young adults taking blood pressure drugs

Image
Use of cholesterol and blood pressure medicines by young adults appears to be rising rapidly, at a faster pace than among senior citizens, according to an industry report being released today.
Medical experts point to higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol problems among young people. Also, doctors are getting more aggressive with preventive treatments.
The new data, from prescription benefit manager Medco Health Solutions, indicate use of cholesterol-lowering drugs among people ages 20 to 44, while still low, jumped 68 percent over a six-year period.
"This is good news, that more people in this age range are taking these medicines," said Dr. Daniel W. Jones, president of the American Heart Association.
(Via Sun Sentinel)

Democratic candidates to debate at 9 p.m.

Image
A Democratic presidential debate will be broadcast live on MSNBC from 9 to 11 p.m. Tuesday at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Brian Williams of NBC will moderate, joined by Tim Russert.

Gator grovel: Tasered student apologizes

Image
Six weeks after he was Tased by police for disrupting a political forum, University of Florida student Andrew (``Don't Tase Me, Bro!'')` Meyer is to deliver a shocker of his own:
He's sorry. And he's taking some time off from school.
According to The Sun, which talked to Meyer's lawyer, the student, who is from Weston, has written letters to UF President Bernie Machen, the UF police and ``the UF community and the Gator Nation the world over.''

Meyer, who apparently will withdraw from school until January, confesses to stepping ''out of line'' while loudly disrupting a Sept. 17 forum with U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. As he resisted police efforts to escort him from the University Auditorium, he yelped, ''Don't Tase me, bro!'' but was nonetheless zapped by a Taser device.
The Tasering of Meyer, 21, was captured on video and has been replayed on news shows and Internet sites around the world. It inspired the creation of T-s…

NBC exec: Leno will leave 'Tonight' on schedule

Image
"Conan O'Brien will take over 'The Tonight Show' in 2009," NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker said Monday in New York at an event arranged by Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Zucker said he'd like Leno to remain with the company and that "we are in those conversations now." "I'm hopeful that Jay will be with us," the executive told the question-and-answer session.
--> I've never really cared for Leno. I've never really cared for Letterman, either. Call me crazy but I don't wanna hear polished, primpted jokes at 11 o'clock at night. At that time, I want to get to sleep so I pop in a Golden Girls episode and I'm done for the day.
(Via CNN)

Aid workers accused of stealing 100 children

Image
Authorities in Chad have charged nine French nationals with kidnapping and seven crew members of a Spanish charter company with complicity after they attempted to fly out of Chad with more than 100 children the group claimed were orphans from Sudan.
The group was arrested last week as they tried to put 103 children on a plane to France. The "rescue mission" was organized by L'Archede Zoe (Zoe's Ark), a Paris-based charity which said the children were orphans from the Darfur crisis and were being taken to foster families in France.
A spokeswoman for the UNHCR in Abeche said the children were all very young -- most between 3 and 5, but some as young as 1 -- and that none had any papers or documentation.
--> Sorry about the late start this morning. Unexpectedly busy day at my typically un-busy job. In any case, how's this for an opening story? Something tells me there's more to this story. I think this was a humanitarian endeavor gone wrong. I'll keep a look…

Study: Stats on Abusive Gay Relationships

Image
Journal of Urban Health study: 1 in 3 gay men report being abused in a relationship.

"The study is published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Urban Health. McKirnan and graduate student Eric Houston studied surveys filled out by 817 men through the Howard Brown Health Center, which primarily serves the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community from its North Side (Chicago) location. More than 32 percent of the men reported experiencing verbal, physical or sexual abuse in an intimate relationship. Just under 20 percent said they were physically or sexually abused. As with women, poorly educated and low-income men were more likely to be victims. However, minorities did not show higher rates of abuse."

(Via Towleroad)

What I'm reading:

Image
I'm not sure if I've covered my all-out fandom for Dame Elizabeth Taylor here before. The truth is, it's the kind of fandom I've tried to keep to myself. The world doesn't need to know about another gay guy loving Liz Taylor. But alas, I'm coming out as a Liz admirer.

This weekend, I finally caved in and purchased J. Randy Taraborrelli'sElizabeth. I'm about 25 pages and can't get enough. It's a bit sensationalistic, but that's exactly what I'd expect from a Liz Taylor bio. In any case, if you're a fan I suggest you pick it up. It's an easy and informative read on one of the greatest film stars of all time.

On a related note, I recommend you watch Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf. Liz and Richard Burton at their absolute best.

Quoteables

Image
"Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing." - Sylvia Plath

Pick Me Up of the Day

Image
Michael Churchill as featured at We Love Guys.

‘Miss Bad Media Karma’ Sings, Too

Image
The New York Times reviews Britney's Blackout. Here's a portion of it:

The album includes four other Danja productions, and “Gimme More” seems to provide the template for virtually the entire CD: The electronic beats and bass lines are as thick as Ms. Spears’s voice is thin, and as the album title suggests, the general mood is bracingly unapologetic. As if to taunt all the voyeurs crying crocodile tears for her children, she delivers almost nothing but slithery come-ons and defiant invitations to nightclub decadence.
If that sounds depressing, then you should hear “Piece of Me,” produced by the Swedish duo of Bloodshy & Avant, the same team that produced her 2003 song “Toxic.” Introduced by a sludgy bass line, Ms. Spears waxes defensive, in a heavily synthesized voice that’s the main (and sometimes only) instrument: “I’m Miss Bad-Media-Karma, another day another drama/Guess I can’t see the harm in working and being a mama.”
Over and over comes a refrain — “You want a piece of…

Oprah's South African school scandal

Image
Oprah has traveled to her South African all-girls school twice in one week following reports of alleged abuse going down at the school. News24.com reports that one of the matrons fondled at least one girl, choked another girl and cursed out several students. It became so bad that one girl ran away.

In an emergency meeting, Oprah told parents, "I've disappointed you. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry."

She gave them her personal phone number, e-mail and mailing address. Oprah hired investigators and also put the Principal and one another matron on leave.

On leave?! Yeah, I know what that means. That's "Oprah talk" for thrown to the alligators. Nobody humiliates the Oprah! Nobody!
--> I love blogger Michael K. He's replaced Perez Hilton in my heart and in my Favorites folder. He's trash but I think I'm developing a crush on him.
(Via Dlisted)

Dante's Cove Season 3 promo

Image
(Via DNA)

Cuba: Independent reporter says a gay rights organization has been launched

According to Manuel Guerra Pérez, a reporter for the newly formed Associated Free Agency (ALAS), writes that a new gay rights organization called the Cuban Movement for Homosexual Liberation (MCLH) was launched at a ceremony that took place in Havana's Arroyo Naranjo neighborhood which involved twenty or so participants.

Neat article at Blabbeando.

Secret postcards

Image
(More via PostSecret)

Obama supporter blasts gays at Gospel concert; white preacher and Obama say nothing

Image
The whole controversy might have been forgotten in the swell of gospel sound except Mr. McClurkin turned the final half hour of the three-hour concert into a revival meeting about the lightning rod he has become for the Obama campaign.
He approached the subject gingerly at first. Then, just when the concert had seemed to reach its pitch and about to end, Mr. McClurkin returned to it with a full-blown plea: “Don’t call me a bigot or anti-gay when I have suffered the same feelings,” he cried.
“God delivered me from homosexuality,” he added. He then told the audience to believe the Bible over the blogs: “God is the only way.” The crowd sang and clapped along in full support....
Mr. McClurkin’s support for Mr. Obama could signal to some black evangelical voters that race and religion are more important than Mr. Obama’s support for gay rights.
--> I'm seriously starting to rethink my Obama vote. I've been an Obama supporter for a very long time, but this is too much, it's too bl…

Boston Sweeps World Series Again

Image
They have gone from exorcism to coronation in record time. The Boston Red Sox, who fought ghosts for most of the last century, are the premier team of the new millennium.
The Red Sox won their second World Series in four seasons Sunday, edging the Colorado Rockies, 4-3, in Game 4 at Coors Field. They are the first team to win multiple championships since 2000, and with a deep payroll and a stable of talented young pitchers, they may be poised for more.
--> A hardy congratulations to the Sox. A great city breeds a great team. Bravo, boys!
(Via NYT)

Weekend box office

Image
Box Office Top Five
#1 Saw IV ($32.1M) #2 Dan In Real Life ($12.1M) #3 30 Days Of Night ($6.7M) #4 The Game Plan ($6.26M) #5 Why Did I Get Married ($5.7M)

Gap shuts down child labor sweatshop

Image
The president of Gap North America says a subcontractor accused of using child labor to sew Gap clothes in India has been fired and the Gap will not sell clothes made in the New Delhi sweatshop.
"It's deeply, deeply disturbing to all of us," Gap President Marka Hansen said after watching video of the children at work. "I feel violated and I feel very upset and angry with our vendor and the subcontractor who made this very, very, very unwise decision."
Hansen blamed the alleged abuse on an unauthorized subcontractor for one of its Indian vendors and said the subcontractor's relationship with the Gap had been "terminated."
--> Did we learn nothing from the Kathy Lee Gifford debacle?
(Via CNN)

Pick Me Up of the Day

Image
Bruno Schuind as featured on Terra.com.

Yoda Stamp Makes Debut

Image
The U.S. Postal Service sought to harness the force Thursday, releasing a new postage stamp featuring Star Wars' enigmatic Yoda, known for his odd syntax as well as his wisdom.

The Jedi master's stamp was originally part of a multi-stamp Star Wars set and is now available as an individual stamp following a public vote on which of that set should receive special attention.

--> Buy this stamp, you will.

(Via NBC6)

Che Guevara Hair Lock Sold for $100,000

Image
A hair lock snipped from Ernesto "Che" Guevara before his burial in 1967 sold for $100,000 at auction Thursday to a Houston-area bookstore owner who called the Marxist "one of the greatest revolutionaries of the 20th century."
Bill Butler, 61, won the 3-inch tress clipped from Guevara's mane after placing the only bid, which matched the reserve price.
--> I'm absolutely speechless.
(Via Sun Sentinel)

Everglades gets another 6,000 acres of filter marshes

Image
Water managers and environmentalists gathered in southwestern Palm Beach County to celebrate a key step on the path to recovering the vastly polluted Everglades. They have planned to convert another 6,000 acres of former farmland into man-made wetlands to filter pollutants out of water headed for the Everglades.
Phosphorus-infused fertilizers that wash off sugar cane and other agricultural fields pollute the Everglades by overloading its waters with nutrients that fuel the growth of cattails, squeezing out sawgrass and other habitat vital to preserving what remains of the River of Grass.
To decrease that infusion of phosphorus, the newly expanded Stormwater Treatment Areas help capture water flowing off agricultural land and use cattails and submerged plants to create a natural filter — absorbing the nutrients before they wash into the Everglades.
--> This was a nice bit of news to read this morning. At a time when you're reading about the biggest ice sheet on Earth melting and ar…

Cuba shows Bush speech on TV

Image
In a highly unusual move, the Cuban government media Thursday published an entire page of excerpts from President Bush's speech on the island, and earlier broadcast about 15 minutes of his address on television.
The step surprised veteran Cuba watchers, who said the rare decision to let Cubans see and read Bush's withering criticism of Havana's leadership clearly signals a shift in strategy -- though they're not sure in what direction.
Bush gave a 30-minute address Wednesday about Cuba, his first in four years. He attacked the Castro administration and outlined ways that Washington could help in the event that communism collapsed and freedom took its place.
(Via Miami Herald)

Eugen Bauder for Kenvelo

Image

Discovery docks with station

Image
Space shuttle Discovery docked with the international space station on Thursday, and its crew prepared to embark on the most challenging construction work ever attempted in a single mission.
With commander Pamela Melroy at the helm, Discovery snuggled up to the space station and latched on after performing a giant somersault to give engineers a close look at the ship's belly and make sure it wasn't damaged during liftoff.
The docking marked the historic meetup of the first two spacecraft simultaneously commanded by women. Space station commander Peggy Whitson is the first woman to be in charge of the orbiting lab.
The astronauts have to install Discovery's primary payload, a pressurized compartment that will be a docking port for European and Japanese laboratories being launched on the next three shuttle flights.
(Via MSNBC)

Hairspray DVD cover

Image
--> This is just plain awful. Awful doesn't even cut it! This is a trainwreck. What happened to the cool art they had for the movie posters? The different-colored light bulbs? I wanted something cool, and purple, and pretty. Tracy isn't even on the front cover, for crying out loud! And this is the two-disc Shake & Shimmy Edition. I can hardly fathom what the regular edition will look like.
It's out November 20th.

2 struck and killed by car while arguing on I-595 on-ramp

Image
A man and a woman who got out of their car and started fighting in the road near Interstate 595 Thursday morning were killed when they were struck by another vehicle, authorities said.
The accident happened on the State Road 7 northbound ramp to I-595 a little after 4 a.m., said Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Mark Wysocky.Ramon Perez, 20, of Port St. Lucie, and Marie Mary, 36, of Lauderdale Lakes, got out of their car and fell to the ground in a violent struggle, Wysocky said.
A northbound 2007 Toyota entering the highway from State Road 7 struck the pair.Both victims died on the scene.
The driver of the Toyota, Amanda Dumont, 20, of Plantation, remained at the scene as troopers and paramedics arrived. She was uninjured.
--> That's it. This is definitive proof that human beings are getting dumber.
(Via Sun Sentinel)

Pick Me Up of the Day

Image
Fernando Sippel as featured on Terra.com.