Monday, June 30, 2008

Double Issue\One-Year Anniversary

Last week's issue of New York Magazine was a double-issue; therefore, there isn't a new Approval Matrix this week. Please peruse the archives, and I'll be back next Monday with the new Approval Matrix.

Btw, last Monday the 23rd, was the one-year anniversay of Behind The Approval Matrix! Happy anniversary, and thanks for reading! You can read the very first post here.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bridgeport Man Orders Python to Attack Police

4th\SW Quadrant The Approval Matrix


Police here say they arrested a man after he ordered his pet to attack two officers.

Police Lt. James Viadero says 21-year-old Victor Rodriguez was charged with threatening police and disorderly conduct after Monday's incident. No one was hurt.

Officers were called to Rodriguez's apartment on a report that he was threatening his girlfriend with the pet reptile.

Viadero says that when the building superintendent opened the apartment door for the officers, Rodriguez allegedly threatened them with the snake and told it to "Get them!"

Rodriguez and his pet were both taken away: Rodriguez to jail on a $10,000 bond, and the albino python to the city's animal control shelter.

The Intelligent-Design Theme of "The Happening"

4th\SW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

By Annalee Newitz\io9

M. Night Shyamalan's critically-panned flick The Happening is Hollywood's first blockbuster to promote the anti-evolutionary theory of intelligent design. With its references to "unexplained acts of nature" and a science teacher main character who calls evolution "just a theory," The Happening is basically a giant propaganda machine for intelligent design.

Avowed Christian Shyamalan told us that The Happening is really about religious faith, and explained that he chose Mark Wahlberg to play science teacher Elliot Moore because of the actor's intense belief in Jesus.

False Reports of Aniston-Connelly Feud

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By Jossip

Life & Style’s report that Jennifer Aniston refused to shoot a Marie Claire cover with all four of her co-stars is being shot down by her publicist Stephen Huvane.

The tabloid’s report fingered unexplained bad blood between Aniston and He’s Just not That Into You co-star Jennifer Conelly as the reason why Aniston refused to do the magazine cover if Connelly was on there too (though Aniston was supposedly fine with shooting alongside Drew Barrymore and Ginnifer Goodwin, who are also in the film, but only if she was front and center).

Immediately, Huvane was playing defense, insisting the reports are “absolutely absurd” and that “there is no drama whatsoever.”

Huvane, explaining further, says, “Marie Claire wanted Jennifer alone. It was our idea to make it a group cover. […] “The magazine only wanted to put three of [the actresses] on the cover, and definitely wanted Drew Barrymore. We recommended Ginnifer Goodwin because she is basically the lead role in the film… Jennifer got along great with Jennifer Connelly.”

Billy Ray Cyrus Speaks on Miley's "Vanity Fair" Pictures

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Billy Ray Cyrus says he wasn't around when Annie Leibovitz photographed his 15-year-old daughter, Miley, wrapped in a sheet with her back exposed, for the June issue of Vanity Fair magazine.

"I wasn't there at the time," the 46-year-old country star said in an interview Tuesday on NBC's
"Today" show.

"(Miley's) publicist was there, and everyone seemed in control," he said. "I didn't know they (were) gonna strip her down and wrap her with a blanket."

"So I was surprised when I saw it, you know, but ... stuff happens. That's life. Things happen and sometimes things get a little out of control and you just gotta deal with life," he said.
-- CNN

Billy Ray Cyrus on the "Today" Show

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tennessee Offers $3 million in Incentives for "Hannah Montana: The Movie."

4th\SW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Tennessee used more than $3 million in incentives to lure Walt Disney Pictures to the state to film "Hannah Montana: The Movie."

The Tennessean reported Sunday that state Film, Entertainment and Music Commission and its executive director, Perry Gibson, enticed Disney with the money to keep the company from taking the $28 million production about Miley Cyrus's alter-ego to Louisiana to shoot.

The Tennessean reported that it reviewed hundreds of Gibson's e-mail and text messages through a request under the state public records law.

Records also indicate that the commission forwarded potential crew resumes to Disney, some with names flagged, to show executives there was enough experienced labor in Tennessee for the company to meet the state's incentive requirements. -- WATE

"Secret Diary of a Call Girl"

4th\SW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

The series was adapted from a bestselling book that began as a blog by an anonymous writer with the pen name Belle. The show is presented as the video diary of a high-class hooker who loves her work.

It’s a series that aspires to be a candid, incisive look at the oldest profession, but mostly it stares at it lasciviously, with all the seamier bits — sexually transmitted diseases, repulsive clients, police records, drug habits — airbrushed out. -- ALESSANDRA STANLEY\New York Times

Secret Diary of a Call Girl: Trailer

Flip-Flops Are Bad For Your Feet

4th\SW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

As flip-flops become more popular, so too do the long- and short-term health problems that come with them.

"Flip-flops have singlehandedly caused more problems with people's feet in the last couple years than probably any other type of shoe," said Dr. Rock Positano, a podiatrist at New York's Hospital for Special Surgery.

"The problem with this is absolutely no support … the foot is able to go in any direction it wants to go in, and it directly impairs the ability of the foot to function as a shock absorbing part of the body," Positano explained.

Flip-flops present long-term health problems, too. Laura DePrizio had struggled with a nerve problem in her foot, but she had gotten it under control before this summer.

She couldn't believe her ears when Positano told her the culprit for the return of her problems was her flip-flops.

In addition to aggravating old problems, people with flat feet or high arches can also do long-term, serious damage by wearing flip-flops. -- ABC News

"Time Magazine's" "Approval Matrix" Rip-off

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Read this document on Scribd: time magazine web

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Albert Brooks on "Weeds"

3rd\SE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Actor-filmmaker Albert Brooks will appear in at least four episodes of the Showtime's "Weeds" this season.

The past Oscar nominee will lend his signature neurotic touch to the role of Len, the estranged father-in-law of Mary-Louise Parker's character, Nancy Botwin, according to a network rep.

It was the death of Len's son, Judah (Parker's real-life ex-beau, Jeffrey Dean Morgan), that propelled Nancy into the bowels of suburban pot-dealing. This will be the first live-action, small-screen character role for Brooks since his '70s-era appearances on such fare as The New Dick Van Dyke Show and Love, American Style. His non-talk show or Saturday Night Live TV appearances over the past 15 years have been limited to some sporadic voice-over work on The Simpsons.

Brooks, 60, most recently directed and starred in the not-quite-documentary Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, in which he plays a comedian named Albert Brooks who's dispatched by the U.S. government to India and Pakistan to find out what makes the locals laugh.

The fourth season of Weeds premiered June 16. -- Natalie Finn\E! News

"The Sword and the Stone" DVD 45th Anniversary Ed. on DVD

3rd\SE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Product Description

Dazzling color and brilliant animation bring the medieval legend of King Arthur to life in THE SWORD IN THE STONE. With a forest full of charm, spectacle, and wizardry, Disney's classic tale conjures up delightful entertainment for all ages! England is in the midst of a dark age and without a proper king, Young "Wart," an orphan and squire-in-training, is content with kitchen duties in his foster home -- until he drops in on the extraordinary wizard Merlin and his articulate owl, Archimedes. Through three life lessons, Wart learns to set his "sights on the heights," armed with the most powerful forces on earth -- intellect, wisdom, and love. When it's time to contest who will be king, Wart must use his newfound knowledge to do what no mighty knight has done before! Join in all the magical marvels that make THE SWORD IN THE STONE a classic animated film and pure Disney gold! -- Amazon

The Sword in the Stone is presented in fullscreen. Special features are divided into various categories. The “Music and More” section contains an 8 minute interview with the Sherman Brothers (from the Disney Channel methinks) and “Disney Song Selection” which allows you to jump to the songs in the film. The “Games and Activities” section contains Merlin’s Magical Academy game.

The “Backstage Disney” section contains a 7 minute black and white excerpt of Walt Disney Presents in which Uncle Walt tours a magical prop room (using the magical world Bippity Boppity Boo), a scrapbook with concept art, etc., and a film facts trivia page.

Finally there are some bonus shorts, the 7 minute “A Knight for a Day” Goofy short and the 9 minute Mickey Mouse short “The Brave Little Tailor.”
-- M & C

First-Ever Female Stephanie Wins "Top Chef"

1st\SE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

By Christopher Rocchio\Reality TV World

Stephanie Izard became Top Chef's first-ever female winner when she took home the Top Chef: Chicago title during last night's fourth-season finale broadcast on Bravo.

"It's real exciting being the first female to win Top Chef," said Stephanie after her victory was revealed. "I'm so glad that I was able to pull through. Finding out that after all this hard work and maybe doubting it a little bit, this is just a reaffirmation. This is what I'm meant to do in life."

The 31-year-old chef from Stamford, CT who currently resides in Chicago, IL claimed Top Chef: Chicago's grand-prize package of $100,000 in seed money to help open a restaurant; a feature in Food & Wine magazine; a showcase at the Annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen; and a "gourmet dream vacation" in the French Alps.

"I won Top Chef! Holy s**t! Really?" said Stephanie after her victory was revealed. "This is the biggest thing that's happened in my life. My life is about to change. It's going to be absolutely insane."

Ann Hathaway Breaks Up with Criminal

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The longtime boyfriend of "Get Smart" star Anne Hathaway was busted by the feds yesterday for allegedly swindling investors - including Bill Clinton's close pal - out of millions of dollars by convincing them he had the Vatican's backing to flip Catholic Church properties in the United States.

Raffaello Follieri secretly siphoned millions from his real- estate-investment fund to pay for a lavish lifestyle, the feds charge. Follieri's loot allegedly helped him jet around the world with the beautiful actress, who recently dumped him, and even pay her medical bills.

Follieri, 29, was hospitalized last night after collapsing in the custody of US marshals following a Manhattan federal court hearing in which he was ordered held in lieu of a staggering $21 million bail.

"[Follieri] is a con man. He was able to con a lot of people out of a lot of money and did it over a long period of time," said prosecutor Reed Brodsky in court, where the high-living Italian national faced charges of wire fraud and money laundering.

"Camp Camp"

3rd\SE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Product Description:

Dear Former Campers,

Do you recall your glory days at summer camp as some of the best months of your life? Was your camp experience


When you think about camp, what are your best memories?

*singing "If I Had a Hammer" around the campfire
*winning color war two years in a row
*getting to third base with your camp crush

Open Camp Camp and head back to the one place on earth where appropriated Native American terminology, competitive sports, social heirarchy, and libido-soaked nights lived in wholesome harmony. Here is your trip down memory lane, a trip so beautifully illustrated and fully remembered that you can almost smell the pine of the cabins when you open the pages.

Camp Camp is a love letter to camp, a chance to relive every Champion sweatshirt-wearing, accidental-bed-wetting, sky-hook-wedgie-receiving, tie-dye-making golden moment via hundreds of photographs and stories straight from the source, including tall tales from AJ Jacobs, Rachel Sklar, Paul Feig, David Wain, Jamie Denbo, and Rodney Rothman.

Do you miss...
*camp friendships
*camp freedom
*camp fun

If so, then Camp Camp is your one-way ticket back to this magical world in which Fantasy Island met Lord of the Flies.
-- Amazon

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thomas Frank

2nd\NW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Thomas Frank (born 1965) is an American historian who writes about what he calls "cultural politics". His writings, which draw heavily on the theory of the Frankfurt School, tend to analyze both the political and cultural economy of the modern American culture wars from a Left perspective. He is the founder and editor of The Baffler and the author of several books, most recently What's the Matter with Kansas? Other writings include essays for Harper's Magazine, Le Monde diplomatique, and the Financial Times.

He began writing a weekly column in the Wall Street Journal on May 14, 2008.

Lin-Manuel Miranda & Mark Rylance Tony Awards Acceptance Speeches

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2008 Tony Awards Lin-Manuel Miranda Acceptance Speech

2008 Tony Awards Mark Rylance Acceptance Speech

Tiger Woods Comes Through, Big Brown Doesn't

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Tiger Woods cradled the silver U.S. Open trophy in his right hand and limped toward the edge of the Pacific bluffs, each step as much a burden as the 91 holes he played at Torrey Pines for a major that might have been his most amazing yet.

Out of competition for two months because of knee surgery, he won the toughest test in golf. For the second straight day, Woods came to the 18th hole one shot behind and stood over a birdie putt to avoid a shocking collapse.

His knee throbbing and heart pounding, he delivered. He always does.

From the Chicago Tribune

The photograph of a dislodged shoe on Big Brown's right hind hoof in the June 21 issue of The Blood-Horse magazine might explain the colt's stunning meltdown June 7 in the Belmont Stakes. An extreme close-up shows the hoof about 200 yards into the 1½-mile race, in which the Triple Crown hopeful was eased and finished last.

So was it the extreme heat, the loose shoe or the track that brought down Big Brown? It's a moot point, because no excuse can ease the emotional or financial pain. Iavarone said not sweeping the Triple Crown cost IEAH "$60 million plus" in potential income from book and movie deals and licensed merchandise. It also impacted the colt's fee per mating when he begins his stud career next year in Kentucky.

"We only sold a minor portion of his breeding rights," Iavarone said, "and there would have been huge bonus

Stan Winston April 7, 1946 – June 15, 2008

2nd\NE Quadrant The Approval Matrix


Friends, relatives and show-business colleagues gathered Sunday to remember Oscar-winning special-effects maestro Stan Winston, the man responsible for bringing the dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park" and other iconic movie creatures to life.

Winston died at his home in Malibu surrounded by family June 15 after a seven-year struggle with multiple myeloma. He was 62.

Colleagues including "Iron Man" director Jon Favreau, Sigourney Weaver, Tom Arnold, Ernie Hudson and Robert Patrick joined Winston's family and friends to reminisce and listen to personal stories from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rabbi Judith Halevy, brother Ronny Winston, uncle Mitchell Karlan, son-in-law Erich Litoff, and directors James Cameron and Steven Spielberg.

In a career spanning four decades, Winston created some of the most memorable visual effects in cinematic history. He helped bring the dinosaurs from "Jurassic Park," the extraterrestrials from "Aliens," the robots from "Terminator" and even "Edward Scissorhands" to the big screen.

He was a pioneer in merging real-world effects with computer-generated imagery.Winston won visual effects Oscars for 1986's "Aliens," 1991's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" and 1993's "Jurassic Park." He also won a makeup Oscar for "Terminator 2." He was nominated for his work on "Heartbeeps," "Predator," "Edward Scissorhands," "Batman Returns," "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" and "A.I."

"Jollyship the Whiz Bang"

2nd\NE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Brooklyn’s nautical rock wunderkind Jollyship the Whiz-Bang is (alternately or simultaneously) a puppet troupe, rock band, and theater production company. They have performed in festivals the world over, invited on the renown of their legendary live shows, which incorporate music, puppetry, video and comedy in elaborate spectacles.

Jollyship the Whiz-Bang was conceived in 2002 by playwright Nick Jones and composer Raja Azar. The origin of the group really began with a song, "Pyrate Love," performed while the two were working for the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus. The warm response to this ballad of rape and murder became the central premise for an expanding musical and theatrical universe. A mission was forged to create a massive live musical pirate puppet sea saga, to be performed in sequential episodes developed and presented over the course of many years. 4 years later, this has yielded 6 full length multimedia productions (or “episodes”) linked sequentially, including several full scale theater productions (“Sleepless Fishes,” and its sequel “Crabquistador: Scavenger of God”) as well as generating hours of inventive musical material.
-- The Whiz Bang

Jollyship the Whiz-Bang in "Cabin Boye Fever" (2007)

Monday, June 23, 2008

False Reports Bloomberg-Paterson Feud

1st\NW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

By Danny Hakim\New York Times

Gov. David A. Paterson dismissed a verbal broadside he is said to have made against Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg...The story on Monday [June 16, 2008], by Fredric U. Dicker, a columnist and the state editor for The Post, reported that Governor Paterson said of the mayor, “You can’t trust him.”

“He has the same kind of anger that reminds you of Spitzer,” the governor was reported to have said, referring to former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, and he added, “The public generally hasn’t seen the nastiness and the outbursts that were seen during the past week.”

Governor Paterson, at a press conference on Monday, said he did not make the comments attributed to him, but would not ask for a correction or retraction.

For his part, Mr. Bloomberg, speaking at a news conference in the East Village, also played down the significance of the report in The Post.

When asked to characterize his relationship with the governor, the mayor said: “I don’t think David Paterson and I have ever exchanged a cross word. He is as likable and as easygoing and as nice a guy as you’d ever want to meet.

The Gadget-Obsessed Are Arrogant Too

1st\NW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

By Jason Chen\Gizmodo

[T]here's now an online study of 25,000 people that confirms what we've all been thinking.

Apparently, people who are early adopters of technology score high on personality traits like assertiveness, but low in modesty. Those who have high points in assertiveness and leadership are more likely to have bought three or more computers in the last two years, or a new cellphone immediately when it hits the market. Also, people who score low in modesty (you jerks) have a tendency to buy luxury brands.

False Rumor About Michelle Obama

1st\NW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

The Truth about Michelle

Lie: On May 30th, Rush Limbaugh said he had heard a rumor that a tape exists of Michelle Obama using the word “Whitey” from the pulpit of Trinity United Church of Christ.

Truth: No such tape exists. Michelle Obama has not spoken from the pulpit at Trinity and has not used that word.

Lie: Blogger Larry Johnson wrote on May 31st that he would add “New and dramatic developments. This is a heads up. I’ll post the news Monday morning by 0900 hours. Now I know why people who have seen the videotape say it is stunning. Barack’s headaches are only starting.”

Truth: Johnson posted no such update.

Lie: Proven GOP sleazemeister Roger Stone said on Fox News on June 1st that “there's a buzz, which I believe now to be credible, that some indelible record exists” of a tape of Michelle Obama using the term “whitey.”

Truth: Stone conceded on June 2nd that he hasn’t met anyone who has seen the tape and that it therefore may be a hoax.
-- Barack Obama
The Approval Matrix: Week of June 30, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

26% Of NYC Residents Have Virus That Causes Herpes

4th\SW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

By Medical News Today

About 26% of New York City's adult residents in 2004 had the virus that causes genital herpes, compared with 19% of adults nationwide, according to a study recently released by the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York Post reports (Mangan, New York Post, 6/10).

According to Bloomberg, most people with HSV-2 have few or no symptoms, although the disease can cause genital sores. However, the virus can increase the risk of HIV, as well as increase viral loads for HIV-positive people. "Genital herpes alone will not cause serious problems for most people, but some people will have painful genital sores, and the infection fosters the spread of HIV," Julia Schillinger -- lead author of the study...

Schillinger said that HSV-2 prevalence is likely higher in the city than nationwide because the virus is more prevalent among blacks and Hispanics. The study found that about 49% of blacks [WTF!] in the city were living with the virus, compared with 37% of Hispanics, 17% of Asians, and 14% of whites. About 36% of women in the city were living with the virus, compared with 19% of men (Lite, New York Daily News, 6/10).

Roger Clemen's Off-Field Antics

4th\SW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Rusty Hardin said the Rocket’s wife, Debbie Clemens (left), knew Mindy McCready (right) and that the singer had traveled on his plane.

Baseball star Roger Clemens carried on a decade-long affair with country star Mindy McCready, beginning when she was a 15-year-old aspiring singer performing in a karaoke bar and Clemens was the 28-year-old Boston Red Sox ace and married father of two, according to a shocking report in the New York Daily News. -- The Hollywood Gossip

The News reported Clemens also had affairs with Paulette Dean Daly, the ex-wife of golfer John Daly and a one-time Bob Hope Chrysler Classic Girl, and former Manhattan bartender Angela Moyer, often flying women around the country in his private plane. The News also reported that Clemens flew with a New Orleans woman named Jennifer on a private jet to a University of Florida basketball game, presenting her with diamond earrings in the presence of at least two friends.

According to sources, the FBI has inquired about several women involved with Clemens, as well as other people agents have already interviewed. They include trainer Kelly Blair, the owner of a Houston-area gym, Shaun Kelley, the owner of a Houston weight-loss center and Jose Canseco, Clemens' former teammate and an admitted steroid user. -- Daily News

Viral Video for Ashanti's "The Way That I Love You"

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By Daniel Kreps\Rolling Stone

Hoping to bring some notoriety to her new single and video “The Way That I Love You,” the marketing geniuses behind former Murder Inc. princess Ashanti have posted a fake news clip alleging that the music video (about a woman who gets revenge on a deceitful boyfriend by killing him) has inspired a rash of copycat crimes. Things get weird and uncomfortable when police at the fake crime scene find a blood-splattered message on the wall that reads “Black children will die.” The police name the main suspect in the crime “Commercial Hip Hop,” and “Commercial Hip Hop” wants to kill black children because they are “playing me like a fool.”

... the video has sparked a protest in Los Angeles, where several groups are condemning Ashanti and Universal Music Group for glorifying violence and demanding the video be taken down.

The site has since been taken down.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Killer Tomatoes

4th\SW Quadrant The Approval Matrix


The Food and Drug Administration may never be able to pinpoint the origin of salmonella-tainted tomatoes that have sickened hundreds of people, an agency official said Wednesday [June 18, 2008].

“We may not ultimately know the farm where these came from,” Dr. David Acheson, the agency’s associate commissioner for foods, told reporters in a conference call. “Some trace-backs that we thought were looking pretty good have been falling apart.”

The agency is investigating a cluster of nine people who ate tomatoes at the same restaurant chain, but has not disclosed the chain’s name or location. Also on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised its count of people who have become sick from eating raw tomatoes, to 383 in 30 states and Washington, D.C., up from 277 cases in 28 states and Washington.

And the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said it had confirmed six new cases in addition to a previously known one. More cases might still be confirmed, the department said.

Dr. [Robert] Tauxe [of the disease center] sadded, “We do not think the outbreak is over.”

Jewel Judges Reality Show “Nashville Star”

4th\SW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Singer-songwriter Jewel is a judge on the reality show “Nashville Star.” She’ll joins John Rich of Big & Rich as a judge/mentor on the country music reality series, which premiered on June 9. Last year, Jewel hosted the national talent search, which seeks to find the next country music star. This year’s series is hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus.

“As a young artist, I really benefited from having great mentors like Bob Dylan and Merle Haggard. They took me under their wings and encouraged me to stand up for things that, as an artist, are important,” she said. “They constantly reminded me that an artist’s only concern is being great, not being famous. If you are truly great, success should follow.”

The 33-year-old singer, whose full name is Jewel Kilcher, says she’s honored to continue that tradition with “Nashville Star,” which switched to NBC this year after five seasons on cable’s USA Network. -- MSNBC

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wii Fit Hula Girl

3rd Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Hummus Jokes in "Don't Mess with Zohan"

3rd\SE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

By Zach Lawrence\Slashfilm

Zohan is a kick ass, hacky sacking, huge cock having, anti terrorist, super strength James Bond-Sexed crazed Austin Powers mix, but Jewish. He wants to give up killing and move to the states to become a hair stylist. With his Borat knowledge of style and music he is as hip as well, Borat, and once he gets to New York, everything is so much of a clusterfuck you can’t even absorb it. The jokes revolve mainly around his huge package and (I’m not kidding) hummus jokes. There are an uncountable amount of hummus jokes and him having sex with a ton of old ladies. After about 20 minutes, I asked my fiancé if she wanted to head out, but I think she liked him brushing his teeth with hummus so much that she wanted to stick it out.


Kimbo Slice Mania

3rd\SE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Kimbo Slice is an mixed martial arts fighter. He originally was an underground bare-knuckle boxer, appearing in several fight videos online. He is currently being trained by former MMA fighter Bas Rutten in an effort to become a professional fighter.

Kimbo first gained attention as a street brawler. Many of his fights were videotaped and broadcast over the internet. His most notable fight was in 2004 against former police officer Sean Gannon. Gannon defeated Slice amid controversy for being accused of using illegal moves. The popularity of the video led to Gannon fighting for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Slice has his first sanctioned fight in 2007 against Ray Mercer. Slice defeated Mercer with a choke hold in the first round. After the fight, Slice issued a challenge to Tank Abbott, who was in the audience. Abbott accepted the challenge and the two fought on February 16, 2008. Slice won the fight by knockout in the first round. -- Mahola

Kimbo Slice Interview and Footage (Warning: Very Violent!)

Alex Robinson's "Too Cool to be Forgotton"

3rd\SE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Product Description:

From the critically-acclaimed cartoonist behind Box Office Poison and Tricked comes the delightful 2 Cool 2 B 4Gotten, a story of second chances. Andy Wicks is a forty-something father of two who's making one final attempt to quit smoking: hypnosis. He's skeptical it will work, but is stunned to find that when he emerges from his trance, he's fifteen years old - and it's 1985! Is he doomed to relive the worst four years of his life or will this second go-round finally give him the answers he's been missing all his life? If nothing else he'll finally get to ask out Marie Simone from history class... -- Amazon

You can read an exclusive excerpt here.

Interview with Author

2nd\NE Quadrant The Approval Matrix is the worlds first online chess and Hip-Hop community. You can create and share profiles with your friends and triumph over enemies on the 64 squares. Not just against people in your neighborhood but from all over the world.

Play live chess with people from all over the world and get your learn on. lets you get knowledge from REAL chess masters online, or train in chambers against the computer to refine your skills.

Create your own chess clans to see who can build the highest ranking. Play in tournaments for prizes, or just for the joy of flexin' ya mentals.

At you can log-on to watch chess clans do battle on and check out exhibition matches with Rza, other Wu-Tang members and stars from across the planet.

WuChess taking the game of life to the next level.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Charles and Ray Eames U.S. Stamps

2nd\NW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Charles Eames would have turned 100 on June 17. To commemorate his birthday, the United States Postal Service is issuing 42-cent stamps featuring the collaborative work of the influential designer and his wife, Ray.

To reflect the couple’s rich body of work in furniture and toy design, architecture, and film, Derry Noyes, one of six art directors employed by USPS, has created a colorful pane of 16 different stamps featuring some of their iconic designs, including the Low Chair Wood, or LCW, (1945), House of Cards (1952), Hang-It-All coat rack (1953), Eames Lounge and Ottoman (1956), and Eames Storage Unit (1950). Also included is a photograph of the Eames House in Southern California, one of 25 homes built as part of the Case Study House Program. The couple moved into the house in 1949 and stayed there for the remainder of their lives. Charles died of a brain aneurysm in 1978; Ray passed away in 1988, ten years to the day after her husband’s death.

Noyes says “the stamps give a real sense of the history and richness of the duo,” adding that it is unusual for the Postal Service to issue such a diverse collection of stamps on a single subject.
-- Arch Record

Ride the

2nd\NE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Welcome to Ride the City, a website that helps you find the safest bike route between any two points in New York City.

The concept is pretty simple. Just like MapQuest, Google, Microsoft, and other mapping programs, Ride the City finds the shortest distance between two points. But there are two major differences. First, RTC excludes roads that aren't meant for biking, like the BQE and the Queens Midtown tunnel. Second, RTC tries to locate routes that maximize the use of bike lanes and greenways. -- Ride the City

Jessica Hagy's Indexed

2nd\NE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

This site is a little project that lets me make fun of some things and sense of others. I use it to think a little more relationally without resorting to doing actual math.

Le Grand Content (a little movie made from these cards):

Werner Herzog's "Encounters at the End of the World"

2nd\Quadrant The Approval Matrix

About the Film There is a hidden society at the end of the world. One thousand men and women live together under unbelievably close quarters in Antarctica, risking their lives and sanity in search of cutting-edge science.

Now, for the first time, an outsider has been admitted. In his first documentary since GRIZZLY MAN, Werner Herzog, accompanied only by his camerman, traveled to Antarctica, with rare access to the raw beauty and raw humanity of the ultimate Down Under.

ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD, Herzog’s latest meditation on nature, explores this land of Fire, Ice and corrosive Solitude. -- Encounters Film


"This Old House" is Coming to New York City

2nd\NE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

For the first-time ever, the Emmy Award-winning television series This Old House is looking for a historic home to renovate in New York City. The TV crew is hoping to find a dynamic family with a great old house in need of help, with plenty of things to save and update. However, the project's scope must be "just right"— not a whole house, but more than just a kitchen. The renovation must be completed in about 4 to 5 months, with construction beginning as early as August and finished by December. The ideal project should already be underway with design plans and have the ability to be “fast-tracked.”

The selected project will be featured on multiple This Old House episodes beginning on PBS in early 2009. The deadline for submissions is Friday, July 4, 2008.

Please note that the renovations are completely funded by the homeowners and not by This Old House, though the show arranges for product discounts and donations where possible. All donated items are considered gifts, on which the homeowners pay taxes.

Please e-mail proposals to or submit them via regular mail to: This

Old House Project Proposals
P.O. Box 130
Concord, Massachusetts 01742.

-- This Old House

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Urban Heat Island Effect

1st\NW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

An urban heat island (UHI) is a metropolitan area which is significantly warmer than its surroundings. The temperature difference usually is larger at night than during the day and larger in winter than in summer, and is most apparent when winds are weak. The main cause of the urban heat island is modification of the land surface by urban development; waste heat generated by energy usage is a secondary contributor. As population centres grow they tend to modify a greater and greater area of land and have a corresponding increase in average temperature. Partly as a result of the urban heat island effect, monthly rainfall is about 28% greater between 20-40 miles downwind of cities, compared with upwind.

Thermal (top) and vegetation (bottom) infrared satellite data measured by NASA’s Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus on August 14, 2002, one of the hottest days in New York City's summer. A comparison of the images shows that where vegetation is dense, temperatures are cooler. -- Wikipedia

"Brokeback Mountain," The Opera

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The New York City Opera has commissioned American composer and New York native Charles Wuorinen to adapt the E. Annie Proulx short story ["Brokeback Mountain"] and subsequent Oscar-winning film for its 2013 spring season. It will be Mr. Wuorinen’s second world premiere at City Opera, his first being an adaptation in 2004 of Salman Rushdie’s Sea of Stoires.

“Ever since encountering Annie Proulx's extraordinary story I have wanted to make an opera on it,” said the 70-year-old Mr. Wuorinen in a statement the Opera sent out over the weekend.

-- The New York Observer

Deborah Voigt Rehired After Being Fired for Being Too Fat

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Deborah Voigt is finally putting on that little black dress. On Monday [June 9, 2008] Ms. Voigt, the acclaimed American soprano, will star in Strauss’s “Ariadne auf Naxos” at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London: the very production from which she was fired in 2004. At the time, the director, Christof Loy, proclaimed her too heavy to wear a sleek black cocktail dress that he deemed integral to his concept. The dress has since become a symbol of skewed priorities among opera directors who value a singer’s appearance over vocal artistry.

To recap the controversy: After Ms. Voigt was fired from the production, she kept quiet about it for several months. When she finally went public, her story provoked infuriated reactions from opera buffs around the world and widespread coverage in the mainstream news media. A leading dramatic soprano, especially acclaimed for her singing of Strauss and Wagner, had been fired for being too fat: a blatant case of discrimination.

For the moment Ms. Voigt, who has not appeared at Covent Garden since 2001 and who had weight-reduction surgery in 2004, is making light of the matter. Last week she and her publicists produced a video spoof, “Deborah Voigt: The Return of the Little Black Dress,” and posted it on YouTube.

David Sedaris' "When You Are Engulfed in Flames"

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Product Description:

"David Sedaris's ability to transform the mortification of everyday life into wildly entertaining art," (The Christian Science Monitor) is elevated to wilder and more entertaining heights than ever in this remarkable new book.

Trying to make coffee when the water is shut off, David considers using the water in a vase of flowers and his chain of associations takes him from the French countryside to a hilariously uncomfortable memory of buying drugs in a mobile home in rural North Carolina. In essay after essay, Sedaris proceeds from bizarre conundrums of daily life-having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a fellow passenger on a plane or armoring the windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds-to the most deeply resonant human truths. Culminating in a brilliant account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, David Sedaris's sixth essay collection is a new masterpiece of comic writing from "a writer worth treasuring" (Seattle Times). -- Amazon

However one reviewer on Amazon said, "It is beginning to feel as if success is spoiling David Sedaris. His writing is becoming, well, a little dull. His rarefied life in France and England has become a bit tiresome for the reader and his essays included here exemplify this disconnect. I've read many of these already in The New Yorker, and was hoping this book would have some new and interesting work. Very disappointing."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Google Co-founder Sergey Brin to Fly Off into Space

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(Photo courtesy of Eliana Aponte / Reuters file)

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has put down $5 million toward a flight to the international space station with the company that has sent millionaires and even a billionaire into orbit.

Virginia-based Space Adventures announced the identity of the future space traveler as well as its vision for the next decade of space tourism at a New York news conference on Wednesday.

As part of the deal, Brin paid a $5 million deposit to Space Adventures, which would secure him a spot on the future Russian Soyuz flight to the station. The price tag for such a trip has run from $20 million (or less) to $35 million (or more).

Space Adventures' co-founder and chief executive officer, Eric Anderson, said Brin could choose to fly as early as three years from now, or 2011. -- MSNBC

Air India Fires Flight Attendants for Being Too Fat

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By Citizen Sugar

India's state-owned airline, Air India, has just won the right to prevent attendants from taking flight for carrying on extra weight. The Delhi high court ruled on a case filed by five flight attendants protesting the fact that they'd been grounded by the airline for being too fat to fly. They're expected to appeal.

The judges sided with the airlines, saying a chubby crew presents a safety hazard — but then there's this addition to the judgment — in the highly competitive airline industry, flight attendant's physical condition and appearance play an important role in her overall personality.

The government-run airline is up against private airlines who don't clothe their employees in traditional saris, opting for Western get-ups, and they've pinpointed the crux of being competitive with their employees' looks. At a recent recruitment drive the airline refused applicants with acne or bad teeth.

McCain, "I Will Veto Every Beer!"

1st\NW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

The Approval Matrix: Week of June 23, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Kurt Cobain's Ashes Stolen

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According to the News Of The World, the Nirvana frontman's [Kurt Cobain] remains – the location of which has previously been kept secret – were taken from the Los Angeles home of his widow Courtney Love.

The ashes were said to have been kept in a "pink teddy bear-shaped bag along with a lock of his hair" and were taken with some jewellery and clothes. -- NME

Love believes a former friend is responsible for swiping Kurt's remain... -- Guardian

M. Night Shyamalan's "The Happening"

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Plot: A paranoid thriller about a family on the run from a natural crisis that presents a large-scale threat to humanity.

Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune wrote in his review of the film, "After the insufferably dense mermaid mythology of Lady in the Water, Shyamalan clearly wanted to keep things simple. He whizzed straight past simple to simplistic."


Phony Weed at MTV Movie Awards

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Drunk Woman Drives the Wrong Way on Tappan Zee

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By Theresa Juva\LoHud

An Eastchester woman went the wrong way through the toll plaza on the Tappan Zee Bridge early yesterday and crossed most of the 3-mile span without crashing into oncoming traffic, state police said.

Kathleen M. Beaton, 28, was stopped by troopers about 3 a.m. on the causeway near the Rockland County shore, police said.

Beaton was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, after she failed a field sobriety test and recorded a blood-alcohol level of 0.20 percent - more than twice the legal limit, said Sgt. Kenneth Cano of the state police at Tarrytown.

Cano said several motorists alerted police that a 2007 Honda was traveling north in the southbound lanes of the bridge.

Beaton is due in Grand View Village Court on June 30.

Bluefly Bag in "Sex and the City"

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Lindsay of the blog Videogum posted that the Bluefly bag must have been a product placement in the movie, because, " is a website and presumably would not send items in bags -- unless it was product placement."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Journey Returns with New Filipino lead singer

3rd\SE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Arnel Pineda - Journey on ELLEN

Partial Remains of Pringles Can Inventor Buried in Can

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The man who designed the Pringles potato chip packaging system was so proud of his accomplishment that a portion of his ashes has been buried in one of the iconic cans.

Fredric J. Baur, of Cincinnati, died May 4 at Vitas Hospice in Cincinnati, his family said. He was 89.

Baur's children said they honored his request to bury him in one of the cans by placing part of his cremated remains in a Pringles container in his grave in suburban Springfield Township.

The rest of his remains were placed in an urn buried along with the can, with some placed in another urn and given to a grandson, said Baur's daughter, Linda Baur of Diamondhead, Mississippi. -- CNN

"Sex and the City" Box Office Sales

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By Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

Early fears that romantic comedies could not travel overseas were somewhat assuaged over the weekend as New Line's "Sex and the City" surged to the top of the international market...

In its second weekend, "Sex" edged out "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," pulling in $37.6 million from 5,708 screens in 40 markets compared with $36.5 million for the Paramount tent pole title's third round on 7,519 screens in 53 territories. "Sex" reached an international gross to date of $91.5 million while "Indy" hit a lusty $325.1 million.

In Australia, where "Sex" debuted at No. 1 with $7.5 million, pirates served as indicators of what's hot at the box office when police raided two retailers in Sydney that were selling pirated copies of the film two days before the opening. Many theatres in major Aussie cities reported sell-out audiences on opening day, with a number of showings in movie houses that normally play art-house fare.

In Hong Kong, where the film was categorized as restricted to persons over 18, about 75 percent of the audience were women in their 30s and 40s who dressed up for the occasion and attended in groups, according to Joe Li, manager of the IFC Palace Theatre in central Hong Kong's multinational business hub.

"Sex" opened at No. 1 in 16 of its 25 new openings, including Greece, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia and Lithuania.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jessica Valenti's "He's a Stud, She's a Slut"

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Product Description: Double standards are nothing new. Women deal with them every day. Take the common truism that women who sleep around are sluts while men are studs. Why is it that men grow distinguished and sexily gray as they age while women just get saggy and haggard? Have you ever wondered how a young woman is supposed to both virginal and provocatively enticing at the same time? Isn’t it unfair that working moms are labeled “bad” for focusing on their careers while we shake our heads in disbelief when we hear about the occasional stay-at-home dad?

In 50 Double Standards Every Woman Should Know, Jessica Valenti, author of Full Frontal Feminism, calls out the double standards that affect every woman. Whether Jessica is pointing out the wage earning discrepancies between men and women or revealing all of the places that women still aren’t equal to their male counterparts—be it in the workplace, courtroom, bedroom, or home—she maintains her signature wittily sarcastic tone. With sass, humor, and in-your-face facts, this book informs and equips women with the tools they need to combat sexist comments, topple ridiculous stereotypes (girls aren’t good at math?), and end the promotion of lame double standards. -- Amazon

Bo Diddley 1928 – 2008

3rd/SE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Bo Diddley, the musical pioneer whose songs, such as "Who Do You Love?" and "Bo Diddley," melded rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll through a distinctive thumping beat, has died. He was 79.

Diddley died Monday, surrounded by family and loved ones at his home in Archer, Florida, a family spokeswoman said.

The cause was heart failure, his family said.

Bo Diddley was one of rock 'n' roll's true pioneers," said Neil Portnow, president and CEO of The Recording Academy, the music industry organization best known for presenting the Grammy Awards. "He inspired legions of musicians with his trademark rhythm ..., and his song 'Bo Diddley' earned a rightful place in the Grammy Hall Of Fame. He leaves an indelible mark on American music and culture, and our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and fans. The 'Bo Diddley beat' surely will continue on." -- CNN

Jane and Micheal Stern's "Times" review of Patricia and Walter Wells' Book

2nd\NE Quadrant The Appproval Matrix

From Jane and Micheal Stern's New York Times review of Patricia and Walter Wells' “We’ve Always Had Paris ... and Provence”

"A memoir is intrinsically self-centered, at best offering a fresh vision of the world through other eyes, at worst reading like an overlong Christmas letter. Patricia Wells’s recipes, which follow every chapter, are indeed delicious and unusual, some so evocative that you can practically smell the lavender fields outside the kitchen window and feel the chill of the mistral. Appearances of Robuchon, Julia Child and a Provençal truffle hunter are frothy peaks in the story. But when the Wellses focus on themselves the cream curdles. The book is overloaded with pictures of them separately and together, beaming out at us with politicians’ pasted-on smiles, perfectly outfitted for a night on the town or a morning in the garden, always looking just right and manically happy. It is not just the canned pictures that make it difficult to relate to our omnipresent bibliohosts the way it is so easy to do in such disarming memoirs as Peter Mayle’s “Year in Provence” and Adam Gopnik’s “From Paris to the Moon.” They write like ad men trying to sell readers on the excellence of their self-proclaimed fantasy lives, from the distinctive wines they make to Patricia’s triumphs as a long-distance runner. Without irony, Walter quotes the cookbook editor Maria Guarnaschelli observing their shopping habits in France: “You originated the Dean & DeLuca lifestyle.” He then sincerely boasts that their lifestyle is even better than that, because the excellent butcher delivers their leg of lamb to Patricia’s car, “parked far away.” What might have been a delicious invitation to a banquet winds up reading like a brochure for an expensive gated community."

Yves Saint Laurent Dies at 71

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Yves Saint Laurent, who exploded on the fashion scene in 1958 as the boy-wonder successor to Christian Dior and endured as one of the best-known and most influential couturiers of the second half of the 20th century, died on Sunday at his apartment in Paris. He was 71.

During a career that ran from 1957 to 2002 he was largely responsible for changing the way modern women dress, putting them into pants both day and night, into peacoats and safari jackets, into “le smoking” (as the French call a man’s tuxedo jacket), and into leopard prints, trench coats and, for a time in the 1970s, peasant-inspired clothing in rich fabrics.

Mr. Saint Laurent achieved instant fame in 1958 at the age of 21 when he showed his Trapeze collection, his first for Christian Dior following the master’s death. But unlike many overnight sensations, Mr. Saint Laurent managed to remain at the top of his profession as fashion changed from an emphasis on formal, custom-made haute couture to casual sportswear.

“Concerto DSCH”

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Paul Kolnik/New York City Ballet


As “Concerto DSCH,” the new ballet by Alexei Ratmansky for New York City Ballet, unfolded at its premiere on Thursday night, you could feel wave upon wave of emotion sweeping across the audience. Wonder, excitement, admiration, affection, hilarity, surprise, exhilaration.

“Concerto DSCH” is an endlessly suspenseful choreographic construction, with passages of breathtaking dance brilliance. Again and again, you find yourself thinking, “I didn’t realize this was going to happen after that,” and “What exactly were those steps that flashed by just now?” Better yet, it’s marked by tender pure-dance poetry.

From the first it creates a world onstage, a world that keeps changing, enthrallingly, before our eyes. Its proceedings abound in classical pattern, design and formal structure, yet at the same time they’re full of very informal human touches (as when three virtuosos, taking a break at the back of the stage, sit and watch the action with happy inelegance). The dancers’ relationships keep starting to suggest stories, though the dance then sweeps unstoppably on.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Never Contacted Tribe

2nd\NE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Brazil's government agreed to release stunning photos of Amazon Indians firing arrows at an airplane so that the world can better understand the threats facing one of the few tribes still living in near-total isolation from civilization, officials said Friday.

Anthropologists have known about the group for some 20 years but released the images now to call attention to fast-encroaching development near the Indians' home in the dense jungles near Peru.

"We put the photos out because if things continue the way they are going, these people are going to disappear," said Jose Carlos Meirelles, who coordinates government efforts to protect four "uncontacted" tribes for Brazil's National Indian Foundation.

Brazil's National Indian Foundation believes there may be as many as 68 "uncontacted" groups around Brazil, although only 24 have been officially confirmed. Anthropologists say almost all of these tribes know about western civilization and have sporadic contact with prospectors, rubber tappers and loggers, but choose to turn their backs on civilization, usually because they have been attacked.

"It's a choice they made to remain isolated or maintain only occasional contacts, but these tribes usually obtain some modern goods through trading with other Indians," said Bernardo Beronde, an anthropologist who works in the region.

Brazilian officials once tried to contact such groups. Now they try to protectively isolate them.
-- ABC

Newtown Creek "Eggs" Illuminated

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New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd joined members of the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee (NCMC) tonight to celebrate the lighting of the digester "eggs" at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn. The lighting arrangement was designed by the French design firm L'Observatoire International as part of the upgrade of the plant. The illuminated eggs will be visible from vantage points in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan and will serve as a landmark for travelers on the Long Island Expressway, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Kosciusko Bridge, among other locations.

"It is thrilling to see form and function beautifully expressed in the structure we are illuminating tonight," said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. "Each evening we will be reminded of the elegant combination of engineering and art in the blue aura of the structure."

The digesters will process up to 1.5 million gallons of sludge everyday. Each egg, clad with low reflectivity stainless steel, is 145 feet high and 80 feet in diameter.

"It is thrilling to see form and function beautifully expressed in the structure we are illuminating tonight," said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. "Each evening we will be reminded of the elegant combination of engineering and art in the blue aura of the structure." -- NYC