Wednesday, August 22, 2007

3rd Quadrant 8/27 '07

The Approval Matrix: Week of August 27, 2007

The 1st Annual New York State Yo-Yo Contest

From New York Yo-Yo: The 1st Annual New York State Yo-Yo Contest and International Yo-Yo Open took place on August 11, 2007, on Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport. It was the first time world-class yo-yo talent took the stage deep in the heart of the Big Apple! The contest and open was a showcase for entertainment, education, and eye-popping yo-yo ability.

"Sweet Child of Mine" by Hand

Dark Knight Advance Screening

 posts that the cast and crew of Dark Knight — the follow-up to 2005's Batman Begins — made a special convention appearance at the Wizard World Chicago 2007 to take questions from the fans and screen a special "sizzle reel" cut exclusively for the event. In attendance were the film's director Christopher Nolan, writers David Goyer and Jonathan Nolan, and cast Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Gary Oldman (Lt. James Gordon) and Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent/Two-Face).

… the reel showed off a number of shots of Heath Ledger as The Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime was seen sitting in a prison cell, staring out at the audience and planning his next move. There were also several shots of Batman and The Joker fighting in what appeared to be an interrogation room— in fact, the Dark Knight can be scene using "bad cop" interrogation techniques, throwing The Joker across a table. There was also a scene where The Joker was meeting with Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal).

(The Dark Knight Photos: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Christopher Nolan. © Warner Bros.)

Phil "The Scooter" Rizzuto


The Times relates that Phil Rizzuto, the sure-handed Hall of Fame Yankees shortstop nicknamed the Scooter who extended his Yankee life as a popular, even beloved, broadcaster, punctuating his game calls with birthday wishes to fans and exclamations of ''Holy cow!'' died Monday night [August 13, 2007]. He was 89.

Rizzuto joined the Yankees in 1941 and played 13 seasons (he missed three while in the Navy during World War II) until 1956. His departure was abrupt. No longer willing to carry an aging, seldom-used infielder, the Yankees cut him on Old-Timers' Day. Soon after, he began calling Yankee games for WPIX-TV Channel 11 and remained in that job until 1996. Rizzuto played an integral role on the dynastic Yankees before and after World War II.

He was a masterly bunter and defensive specialist for teams that steamrolled to 10 American League pennants and won 8 World Series championships, including 5 in a row from 1949 to 1953.

Joba the Dread

Dan Graziano writes in The Star-Ledger, “The story of the month is Joba Chamberlain -- the 21-year-old [American Indian] with the turbo fastball who has burst into the Yankees' pennant-race bullpen and become the new toast of the Bronx. He comes complete with a catchy name, an eager attitude and a tear-jerking human-interest story about a father who overcame tough odds to raise him on his own. The people cheer for him. They chant for him. They cry out for him to save their season from the Proctor/Farnsworth quicksand in which it once seemed hopelessly caught.”

Tony Wilson

(1950 – 2007)

Bill Doskoch has a post on his blog from the Times that Tony Wilson, a music impresario credited with guiding a crop of bands from industrial England to the international stage, died Friday [August, 10 2007]. He was 57.

Wilson promoted a host of influential musicians from his native city of Manchester in northern England, including Joy Division, New Order and the Happy Mondays.

He died from complications of kidney cancer, the city's Christie Hospital said.

Wilson's influence on the city, and on British music, is documented in the 2002 movie ''24 Hour Party People,'' which charts the rise -- and eventual fall -- of Wilson's empire, which included Factory Records and the Hacienda nightclub.

Kevin Nealon on Weeds

Buddy TV writes that Showtime's Weeds is a dark comedy series that chronicles the life of Nancy Botwin in the fictional upper-middle class suburb of Agrestic, California. Nancy begins selling marijuana (also known in American slang as "weed") to supplement her income and maintain her lifestyle. Weeds contrasts well the illicit drug use and distribution in the nice suburb of Agrestic with the support, help, and purchases from seemingly innocent residents.

Doug Wilson is played by Kevin Nealon on Weeds. Doug is Nancy Botwin's accountant and advisor to her cannabis business, and naturally doubles as Nancy's best client. He is a man with a good heart and the best intentions, but his words are always cast in doubt because he is high in cannabis most of the time.

Kevin Nealon became famous for the characters he played on the hit show Saturday Night Live for almost a decade. His film credits include Anger Management, Daddy Day Care and Grandma's Boy.

"The Stage Names" by Okkervil River

Dan Raper of Popmatters opines that, “… Okkervil River’s latest album [“The Stage Names”] announces itself with a lyric of characteristic desolation. … they’ve given us an album full of treasured glimpses of fractured existence, part autobiography and part cinema.”

“…on the whole the album is remarkably listenable. In fact, The Stage Names may be a perfect entrĂ©e point for listeners curious about this quiet Austin phenomenon. It’s no surprise the songs themselves are almost universally high quality, and occasionally breathtaking.”

“It’s one of the year’s essential albums.”

Okkervil River is an indie band from Austin, Texas, that formed in 1998. (Wikipedia)

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