Thursday, October 30, 2008

89-Year-Old Arrested for "Stealing" Football

4th\SW Quadrant:The Approval Matrix

Referee Tackles South Carolina Quarterback

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Liza Minnelli is Coming to Broadway

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix


Broadway legend Liza Minnelli is headed back to the Palace Theatre, where both she and mother Judy Garland famously have enjoyed sold-out triumphs, for the holiday season. Liza's at the Palace...! will run from December 3 through December 14, featuring signature Minnelli songs as well as a dance-filled tribute to the 1940s nightclub act of her godmother, Kay Thompson.

...Liza's at the Palace...! will feature hits like "Cabaret," "Maybe This Time" and "New York, New York," which were all written for Minnelli by the Broadway song-writing team of John Kander and Fred Ebb. For the tribute to Thompson (best known for appearing in the film Funny Face and for writing the children's book Eloise at the Plaza), Minnelli will appear with a quartet of men (Cortés Alexander, Jim Caruso, Tiger Martina and Johnny Rodgers) and perform songs like "I Love a Violin," "Clap Yo' Hands," "Jubilee Time" and "Hello Hello."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

State of American Airport Security by Jeffrey Goldberg

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Airport security in America is a sham—“security theater” designed to make travelers feel better and catch stupid terrorists. Smart ones can get through security with fake boarding passes and all manner of prohibited items—as our correspondent did with ease.

by Jeffrey Goldberg\The Atlantic

If I were a terrorist, and I’m not, but if I were a terrorist—a frosty, tough-like-Chuck-Norris terrorist, say a C-title jihadist with Hezbollah or, more likely, a donkey-work operative with the Judean People’s Front—I would not do what I did in the bathroom of the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport, which was to place myself in front of a sink in open view of the male American flying public and ostentatiously rip up a sheaf of counterfeit boarding passes that had been created for me by a frenetic and acerbic security expert named Bruce Schnei­er. He had made these boarding passes in his sophisticated underground forgery works, which consists of a Sony Vaio laptop and an HP LaserJet printer, in order to prove that the Transportation Security Administration, which is meant to protect American aviation from al-Qaeda, represents an egregious waste of tax dollars, dollars that could otherwise be used to catch terrorists before they arrive at the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport, by which time it is, generally speaking, too late.

The complete article can be read here

Cartman Gets A** Kicked For "Tittie Disease" Comment

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix (NSFW!)

Shake Shack Opens on UWS

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Shake Shack, a modern day "roadside" burger stand acclaimed for its delicious burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard, beer, wine and more, is thrilled to debut its second location on the Upper West Side of Manhattan! As of Monday, October 20th, the second Shake Shack will officially open.

The new Shake Shack enjoys a sweet location - across from the American Museum of Natural History and a block from Central Park, at 366 Columbus Avenue, on the northwest corner of 77th Street and Columbus Avenue.

To minimize Shake Shack's environmental footprint, SITE introduced sustainable materials into the new location through Versaroc wainscot (a cement-bonded wood fiberboard) and wheatboard tables.

Guests will have the choice of eating inside all year round - either in the glass-enclosed sidewalk cafe (which seats 34) or in the Shack's "Rec Room" (which seats 38), located on the lower level - or they are welcome to take away their Shack fare to enjoy on nearby park benches. Beginning in mid-November, the "Rec Room" will be available for private parties.

Upper West Side: 366 Columbus Avenue, Northwest corner of 77th St. & Columbus Ave.
-- Shake Shack

Rebecca Turbow's Fall Collectiom

2nd\NE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From Letizia Rossi\Cool Hunting

Known for her [Brooklyn-based conceptual fashion designer, Rebecca Turbow ] space-age, mod-influenced designs and her signature look (she dressed in a palette of exclusively turquoise and white for over six years), Turbow recently transitioned into a new colorway of sleek grey and silver. Her Fall 2008 collection, available now at her online store, features sophisticated basics... and versatile bags accented with her new custom gumdrop print.

Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers: The Story of Success"

2nd\NE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Product Description\via Amazon

In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.

Brilliant and entertaining, OUTLIERS is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.

Excerpts from the book can be read here. And I'm really looking forward to reading this book!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ronald Lauder, Term-Limit Hamlet

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From Times Newsweekly

"To be, or not to be?"—that was the question that provided Hamlet's dilemma. For Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the matter to ponder—to run or not to run—may not be one of life or death, but it certainly has as much drama.

Term limits—an idea that became a reality—precludes the mayor, members of the City Council and other elected officials from running for more than two terms.

The concept of term limits in New York City was spearheaded by Ronald Lauder, heir to the Estée Lauder cosmetics empire and failed Republican/Conservative candidate for mayor.

Lauder, who had left the family business in 1983 and went on to serve as ambassador to Austria, ran a fierce campaign against David Dinkins in 1989 that reportedly cost $14 million out of his own pocket.

After losing the battle, he left town and pursued other endeavors. However, in 1993, Lauder again entered the political arena. This time not as a candidate, but as a crusader. His zeal was fueled by a frustration with elected officials.

"As a New Yorker, I feel the gridlock strangling the city, and I can think of nothing that could revolutionize the city like term limits," Lauder declared at the time.

"There would be sweeping changes." Backing his words with money, Lauder hired a staff of six and collected the necessary signatures.

He spent about $800,000—most of it to finance the legal fight after the city's lawyers challenged the measure in court—and won the right to bring term limits to a referendum vote.

Given the chance to decide in 1993, New Yorkers voted for term limits. But, politicians being what they are—and many expect to hold onto an elected office for life—brought the issue to the people again in 1996.

The fervent hope was that they could sell the public on the idea that it takes time to grow as an elected official and there is no substitute for experience.

Supervolcano Beneath Yellowstone

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Bradford Plumer\The New Republic

.... Supervolcanoes [the active supervolcano sitting beneath Yellowstone National Park], mind you, aren't just "big" volcanoes like Krakatoa or Vesuvius; they're utterly monstrous—the last time one erupted was 74,000 years ago, when Toba in Sumatra slathered the atmosphere in ash and may have wiped out all but 10,000 or so human beings on the planet. Needless to say, having the behemoth under Yellowstone erupt—with it's 1,500-square-mile caldera ... —would make us all forget about all that stock-market turmoil pretty quickly. Oh yeah, and having exploded 642,000 years ago, some scientists have calculated Yellowstone's due for another burp… sometime around now.

Recently, Derek Schutt of Colorado State University and Ken Dueker of the University of Washington estimated that the possible source of eruptions, a plume of hot mantle 50 miles below the surface in Yellowstone… isn't actually that hot, "only" about 1,450 C, cooler than the mantle plume you'd find, say, under Hawaii. This might be a sign that the plume's been disconnected from its heat source deeper down in the Earth's core—which could mean that it's dying out, making titanic eruptions less likely. Not everyone's so cheery—one geophysicist told New Scientist that "Ruling out a future catastrophic eruption would be foolish," and other recent studies have found disturbing activity on the march in the Yellowstone caldera.

$2,000 Motorola Aura

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By Mark Wilson\Gizmodo

Inspired by high end watches, the phone's switch blade design alone is driven by over 200 parts—130 of them ball bearings used to open the handset up to an estimated 100,000 times before failure.

The display is the product of fine crafting as well. Just 1.55-inches in diameter, this "word's first" circular cellphone screen features 16 million colors and 300 dpi clarity, plus it's coated with 62-carat sapphire crystal to prevent scratching.

Internally, the phone is quad band with GPRS and EDGE featuring 7.3 hours of talk time, 2GB of internal memory, AGPS and 2MP camera. And when it goes on sale December 4th, it'll carry the hefty pricetag of $2,000 (which, to be fair, is actually far less than a premium watch).

The Approval Matrix: Week of November 3, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

How to Make Fake Text Messages "From" Barack Obama

4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By Ken Layne \Wonkette

Here’s some low-level fuckery to get you through the afternoon, courtesy of perverse Wonkette Operative “Bobby,” who sends hilarious instructions for sending legitimate-looking TXT announcements from Barack Obama. Who will be the new vice president? Whoever you want, that’s who!

Using Verizon’s website its super easy to send fake VP nominations… Just make the From and Reply to number 62262. (You have to put your real number in the Call Back field, but it doesn’t show up in the text.) … and send a message (to your verizon wireless friends) thanking them for their support and letting them know you have chosen Hillaryt Clinton as your running mate!

Don’t forget to hit the Urgent checkbox! -Bobby

TBS' "Frank TV" Advertisements

4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Mark Wahlberg Reponds to SNL's "Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals" Sketch

4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

"Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals" SNL Sketch

Mark Wahlberg's Response

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rare Identical Triplets Born

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

"Grandma's Dead: Breaking Bad News"

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix
Afraid to tell your girlfriend her ass looks fat? Need to let your neighbors know you're a registered sex offender? Why not let a lovable baby bunny in a basket do it for you? Grandma's Dead: Breaking Bad News with Baby Animals softens the blow of even the harshest news, saving you anxiety and time. From "It's Malignant" to "Daddy's Never Coming Home" these functional postcards will make anyone's life a little more adorable.
-- Source: BBNBA

Britney Spears New Video

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Entertainment from ITN Feature About Britney's "Womanizer" Video

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sucka Pants' Bannerman's Castle Pics

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

(Photo's courtesy of Suck Pants)

...Bannerman Island, it is the site of Bannerman's Castle. While the two versions of the name are "Pollepel" and "Pollopel", the correct term is "Pollepel",from the Dutch word for a wooden spoon. Pollepel Island is about 50 miles (80 km) north of New York City and about 1,000 feet (300 m) from the Hudson River's eastern shore.

It contains about 6.5 acres (26,000 m2) — most of it rock. The principal feature on the island is Bannerman's Castle, an abandoned military surplus warehouse. It was built in the style of a castle by businessman Francis Bannerman VI (1851–1918). It remains one of a very small number of structures in the United States which can properly be called a castle. Pollepel Island is sometimes referred to as Bannerman's Island. One side of the castle carries the words "Bannerman's Island Arsenal".
-- Source: Wikipedia

Vibrating Mascara Brushs

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Estée Lauder TurboLash

Lancôme's Ôscillation

By Bellasugar

In July, Estée Lauder will launch TurboLash All Effects Motion Mascara ($30) exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. The vibration of this battery-operated brush promises to separate lashes to avoid clumping.

Lancôme's version, Ôscillation, is due out in stores this Fall. The brush vibrates 7,000 times per minute, claiming to provide 360-degree coverage around each lash. It was created by Jean-Louis Guéret, who has developed almost 400 (!) mascaras in his lifetime. Lancôme is still working out an exact launch date and a price, so we'll all have to wait with bated breath before we buzz

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jessica Helfand's "Scrapbooks: An American History"

2nd\NE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Scrapbooks: An American History

Combining pictures, words, and a wealth of personal ephemera, scrapbook makers preserve on the pages of their books a moment, a day, or a lifetime. Highly subjective, rich in emotional meaning, the scrapbook is a unique and often quirky form of expression in which a person gathers and arranges meaningful materials to create a personal narrative. This richly illustrated book is the first to focus close attention on the history of American scrapbooks — their origins, their makers, their diverse forms, the reasons for their popularity, and their place in American cultural life.

-- Source: Scrapbooks Etc


2nd\NE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From Amazon:

Product Description

“As I have often said, I would represent the devil himself for the right price–it’s not personal, just business.”
–a Washington, D.C., lobbyist

For nearly as long as there have been politicians in the United States, there have been lobbyists haunting the halls of Congress–shaking hands, bearing gifts, and brandishing agendas. Everyone knows how the back-scratching game of money, power, and PR is played. For a good enough offer, there are those who will gladly dive into the dirtiest political waters. The real question is: Just how low will they sink? Veteran investigative journalist Ken Silverstein made it his mission to find out–and “Turkmeniscam” was born.

On assignment for Harper’s magazine, and armed with a fistful of fake business cards, Silverstein went deep undercover as a corporate henchman with money to burn and a problem to solve: transforming the former Soviet-bloc nation Turkmenistan–branded “one of the worst totalitarian systems in the world”–into a Capitol Hill-friendly commodity. Even in the notoriously ethics-challenged world of Washington’s professional lobbying industry, could “Kenneth Case” (Silverstein’s fat-cat alter ego) find a team of D.C. spin doctors willing to whitewash the regime of a megalomaniac dictator with an unpronounceable name and an unspeakable reputation? Would the Beltway’s best and brightest image-mongers shill for a country condemned for its mind-boggling history of corruption, brutality, and civil rights abuse?

Who would dare tread in the ignoble footsteps of Ivy Lee, the pioneering PR guru who sought to make the Nazis look nice? And who would stoop to unprecedented new lows to conquer Congress and compromise the red, white, and blue for the sake of the almighty green? As Ken Silverstein discovers in this mordantly funny, disturbingly enlightening, jaw-dropping exploration of the dark side, the real question is: Who wouldn’t?

"Taxi to the Dark Side" on DVD

2nd\NE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Using the torture and death in 2002 of an innocent Afghan taxi driver as the touchstone, this film examines changes after 9/11 in U.S. policy toward suspects in the war on terror. Soldiers, their attorneys, one released detainee, U.S. Attorney John Yoo, news footage and photos tell a story of abuse at Bagram Air Base, Abu Ghraib, and Guantanamo Bay. From Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Gonzalez came unwritten orders to use any means necessary. The CIA and soldiers with little training used sleep deprivation, sexual assault, stress positions, waterboarding, dogs and other terror tactics to seek information from detainees. Many speakers lament the loss of American ideals in pursuit of security.

-- Source: IMDb\Written by {}

"Taxi to the Dark Side" TRAILER

"The Road" Release Date Pushed Back

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From Reuters/Hollywood Reporter via Yahoo! News

When it comes to the 2008 Oscars, this could be the end of "The Road." The Viggo Mortensen-starring dark thriller, which earlier this week had been pushed from November to December, now looks likely to open in 2009.

A new release date has not been set, but the movie, a Dimension title from The Weinstein Company, probably will bow in either February or March.

The Weinstein Company declined to comment on any postponement. But director John Hillcoat's film about a man (Mortensen) and his son wandering a post-apocalyptic U.S. is not expected to be ready in time for a 2008 release, and those involved with the film have decided that it will benefit from more post-production time and a less crowded release calendar.

Based on a Cormac McCarthy novel and produced by 2929 Productions and Nick Wechsler Prods, "The Road" is said to straddle the line between a commercial and prestige release.

Given that another McCarthy novel resulted in the Oscar-winning "No Country for Old Men" and that Mortensen was nominated last year for his lead role in "Eastern Promises," "Road" had been mentioned as an awards contender.

Monday, October 20, 2008

National Book Award to City: Drop Dead

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix


2008 National Book Awards Announcement from National Book Foundation on Vimeo.
The Approval Matrix: Week of October 27, 2008

Don't Eat Corn Syrup? You're Snobby and Racist

4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

The Corn Refiners Association started a $30 million ad campaign, saying that corn syrup has the "same natural sweeteners as table sugar and honey."

The FDA concluded that it was natural, and in the US District Court upheld the decision.

According to Lloyd Alter, "... don't believe that "all natural" label- it's meaningless."

-- Source: Lloyd Alter\via Treehugger

High-Fructose Corn Syrup Ad 1

High-Fructose Corn Syrup Ad 2

No Turtles, Lizards, or Hamsters as Pets for Kids

4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From the Associated Press\Via Inrich

Warning: young children should not keep hedgehogs as pets -- or hamsters, baby chicks, lizards and turtles -- because of risks for disease.

That's according to the nation's leading pediatricians' group in a new report about dangers from exotic animals.

Besides evidence that they can carry dangerous and sometimes potentially deadly germs, exotic pets may be more prone than cats and dogs to bite, scratch or claw -- putting children younger than 5 particularly at risk, the report says.

Young children are vulnerable because of developing immune systems plus they often put their hands in their mouths.

Major Internet Issues!

I'm having major Internet issues at home. I didn't get a chance to finish last week's Approval Matrix, and I haven't started on this week's Matrix, because of it; however, posting will continue as usual this evening.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, October 17, 2008


3rd\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

LittleBigPlanet is [a] puzzle platformer and world creation video game for the PlayStation 3...

In LittleBigPlanet, players control small characters nicknamed Sackboy, owing to their material and appearance, each of which can run and jump, as well as hang onto and drag objects. Players use these abilities in a number of ways: to play and explore the environments that come with the game, which feature platforming elements such as jumping, pushing, grabbing and running, and which make use of the game's robust physics engine; to create their own content, such as simply placing stickers into levels, as well as using the level editor to create, destroy, edit and manipulate levels: and finally to share creations, by publishing items such as levels and objects with the online community, as well as play these creations online with others. These three modes are described simply by the title's catch phrase: Play. Create. Share.
-- Source: Wikipedia

LittleBigPlanet Trailer

Banksy's Rat Graffiti in New York City

3rd\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Banksy is a well-known pseudo-anonymous British graffiti artist. He is believed to be a native of Yate, South Gloucestershire, near Bristol and to have been born in 1974, but there is substantial public uncertainty about his identity and personal and biographical details.

His artworks are often-satirical pieces of art on topics such as politics, culture, and ethics. His street art, which combines graffiti writing with a distinctive stencilling technique, is similar to Blek le Rat, who began to work with stencils in 1981 in Paris and members of the anarcho-punk band Crass who maintained a graffiti stencil campaign on the London Tube System in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

His art has appeared in cities around the world. Banksy's work was born out of the Bristol underground scene which involved collaborations between artists and musicians.
-- Source: Wikipedia

By MELENA RYZIK\New York Times

The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill [89 Seventh Avenue South (near Bleecker Street) in Greenwich Village.], as the green awning reads, is Banksy’s first official exhibition in New York [a mock pet supply shop, filled with animatronic creatures like a rhesus monkey and would-be creatures like fish sticks swimming in a tank.], his representatives say, and it will be open to the public daily through Oct. 31.

Holographic Television?

2nd\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By Mike Steere\CNN

It sounds a lot like a wacky dream, but don't be surprised if within our lifetime you find yourself discarding your plasma and LCD sets in exchange for a holographic 3-D television that can put Cristiano Ronaldo in your living room or bring you face-to-face with life-sized versions of your gaming heroes.

The reason for renewed optimism in three-dimensional technology is a breakthrough in rewritable and erasable holographic systems made earlier this year by researchers at the University of Arizona.

Dr Nasser Peyghambarian, chair of photonics and lasers at the university's Optical Sciences department, told CNN that scientists have broken a barrier by making the first updatable three-dimensional displays with memory.

"This is a prerequisite for any type of moving holographic technology. The way it works presently is not suitable for 3-D images," he said.

The researchers produced displays that can be erased and rewritten in a matter of minutes.To create television sets the images would need to be changing multiple times each second -- but Peyghambarian is very optimistic this can happen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Storefront White House Redux

2nd\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Awarded 1st Prize By Jury: Project 834

From Eyebeam

In January 2008, during the run-up to the election of the 44th President of the United States, Storefront for Art and Architecture and Control Group sent out an open call for ideas: What would the White House, the ultimate architectural embodiment of power, look like if it were to be designed today?

Over 850 participants from 42 countries around the world signed up to participate, and almost 500 proposals were received. Some are visionary, others polemical; some tap into themes related to current electoral politics, others into the remarkable potential of the building's iconic status. All are investigations of architecture's opportunities and obligations in relation to political power.

On October 2 at 7pm, Storefront inaugurated an exhibition presenting 150 ideas and proposals submitted for White House Redux. At 7.30pm, awards were presented to the authors of the best projects as selected by a distinguished panel of judges.

1st Prize Winner Video

Times Square TKTS Booth (Finally!) Opens

2nd\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By CBS News

The TKTS booth in New York's Times Square has a new updated look that fits in with its neon-bright neighborhood.

The new booth, which sits on a traffic island at the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue, is a fiberglass shell encased by an all-glass structure that sits under a glowing red glass staircase.

The Theatre Development Fund says the pedestrian space of the once crowded island, known as Father Duffy Square, also has been updated and enlarged by 115 percent. Hundreds of tourists and New Yorkers line up at the booth daily to buy same-day tickets to Broadway and off-Broadway shows.

The new booth officially opens Thursday [today] afternoon.

The New Duffy Square/TKTS Booth

I'm walking down there in a few to check it out!

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

2nd\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Cases rarely come much colder than the decades-old disappearance of teen heiress Harriet Vanger from her family's remote island retreat north of Stockholm, nor do fiction debuts hotter than this European bestseller by muckraking Swedish journalist Larsson. At once a strikingly original thriller and a vivisection of Sweden's dirty not-so-little secrets (as suggested by its original title, Men Who Hate Women), this first of a trilogy introduces a provocatively odd couple: disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist, freshly sentenced to jail for libeling a shady businessman, and the multipierced and tattooed Lisbeth Salander, a feral but vulnerable superhacker. Hired by octogenarian industrialist Henrik Vanger, who wants to find out what happened to his beloved great-niece before he dies, the duo gradually uncover a festering morass of familial corruption—at the same time, Larsson skillfully bares some of the similar horrors that have left Salander such a marked woman. Larsson died in 2004, shortly after handing in the manuscripts for what will be his legacy. 100,000 first printing. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Source: Amazon

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Trailer

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tony Kushner Wins $200,000 Mimi Award

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

by Hillary Frey\The New York Observer

Playwright Tony Kushner has a big reason to smile this morning, as he's been named the first recipient of the ‘Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award,' aka the Mimi, which carries with it a $200K prize. The award, which was established earlier this year by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and which honors and promotes artistic achievement in the theater, will be presented at a ceremony on Tuesday, October 21, at 620 Loft & Garden at Rockefeller Center. Mr. Kushner will also then get his ‘The Mimi,' a statue designed by Tony Award-nominated scenic designer and architect David Rockwell.

Tony Kushner (born July 16, 1956 [in New York City]) is an award-winning American playwright most famous for his play Angels in America, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He is also co-author, along with Eric Roth, of the screenplay of the 2005 film Munich, which was directed by Steven Spielberg and earned Kushner (along with Roth) an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
-- Source: Wikipedia

Henry Paulson "Nigerian Scam" Email

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transaction is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury
Henry Paulson

-- Source: Peter Viles\L.A. Times Blog

Friedman's "Hot, Flat, and Crowded"

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix Review\Book Description

Thomas L. Friedman’s phenomenal number-one bestseller The World Is Flat has helped millions of readers to see the world in a new way. In his brilliant, essential new book, Friedman takes a fresh and provocative look at two of the biggest challenges we face today: America’s surprising loss of focus and national purpose since 9/11; and the global environmental crisis, which is affecting everything from food to fuel to forests. In this groundbreaking account of where we stand now, he shows us how the solutions to these two big problems are linked--how we can restore the world and revive America at the same time.

Friedman explains how global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the astonishing expansion of the world’s middle class through globalization have produced a planet that is “hot, flat, and crowded.” Already the earth is being affected in ways that threaten to make it dangerously unstable. In just a few years, it will be too late to fix things--unless the United States steps up now and takes the lead in a worldwide effort to replace our wasteful, inefficient energy practices with a strategy for clean energy, energy efficiency, and conservation that Friedman calls Code Green.

This is a great challenge, Friedman explains, but also a great opportunity, and one that America cannot afford to miss. Not only is American leadership the key to the healing of the earth; it is also our best strategy for the renewal of America.

In vivid, entertaining chapters, Friedman makes it clear that the green revolution we need is like no revolution the world has seen. It will be the biggest innovation project in American history; it will be hard, not easy; and it will change everything from what you put into your car to what you see on your electric bill. But the payoff for America will be more than just cleaner air. It will inspire Americans to something we haven’t seen in a long time--nation-building in America--by summoning the intelligence, creativity, boldness, and concern for the common good that are our nation’s greatest natural resources.

Hot, Flat, and Crowded is classic Thomas L. Friedman: fearless, incisive, forward-looking, and rich in surprising common sense about the challenge--and the promise--of the future.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gwyneth Paltrow Lifestyle Website

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By Huffington Post

Gwyneth Paltrow continues to branch out, this time with a lifestyle website. On the heels of her new PBS travel/cooking show, the actress has launched While still minimal, the website includes a newsletter signup and a first person essay from Paltrow, a married mother of two, about what matters to her. It also features yet-to-be-filled sections called "Make," "Go," "Get," "Do," "Be," and "See."

In the essay she promises everything from tips on dining in London to advice from her "sages." Sounding a bit like her friend Oprah, with whom she recently shared her exercise routine last week, Paltrow promises to share her life with readers.

Paul Taylor Dance Co Priced Out of Soho

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

(Josh Haner/The New York Times)

By DANIEL J. WAKIN\New York Times

They are two classic New York stories.

One is the young dancer who came to the city, worked with the creative legends of the 1950s and ’60s and become a cultural lion. The other is the Holocaust survivor who arrived after the war, ran a clothing factory and took a real estate gamble that paid off.

For 20 years their lives have intersected at a building at 552 Broadway, in the heart of SoHo. The dancer is Paul Taylor, whose company has its home on the second floor of the building. The businessman is Milton Steinberg, who owns it.

Now other forces of New York — neighborhood metamorphosis and the insane rents that can come with it — are driving them apart.

A Banana Republic store on the first floor wants to expand upward, and Mr. Steinberg has agreed. The Paul Taylor Dance Company has lost its lease and must be out by April 15.

Vladimir Putin Judo DVD

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

The Approval Matrix: Week of October 20, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Jeanine Pirro is Becoming a TV Judge

4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Posted by Malone\The Activity Pit

A former district attorney is parlaying her experience as a legal commentator on television into becoming a judge on a TV show.

The CW network announced Monday that Jeanine Pirro will be the presiding jurist on "Judge Jeanine Pirro," weekday afternoons beginning Sept. 22.

Pirro has "a powerful and dynamic television presence with a distinctive point of view, and depth of professional and life experience," said Hilary Estey McLoughlin, president of Telepictures Productions, which is making the show.

Pirro, 56, was once a rising star in New York's Republican Party. She was a popular Westchester County judge, a big winner in three consecutive runs for district attorney and once was chosen for People magazine's "most beautiful" issue.

Analysts said she would have been a natural for higher office, except that her wealthy husband, Albert Pirro, seemed to have a knack for holding her back with his own problems, including a paternity suit and a federal tax-fraud conviction. (Last November, the Pirros announced they were separating.)

In 2005 Pirro decided to challenge Hillary Rodham Clinton and run for the U.S. Senate. But her campaign opened disastrously when a page of her announcement was misplaced and she was speechless for 32 seconds. Pirro eventually switched to the race for state attorney general, but was easily defeated by Democrat Andrew Cuomo.

PETA Asks Ben & Jerry's to Use Breast Milk

4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., urging them to replace cow's milk they use in their ice cream products with human breast milk, according to a statement recently released by a PETA spokeswoman.

"PETA's request comes in the wake of news reports that a Swiss restaurant owner will begin purchasing breast milk from nursing mothers and substituting breast milk for 75 percent of the cow's milk in the food he serves," the statement says.

PETA officials say a move to human breast milk would lessen the suffering of dairy cows and their babies on factory farms and benefit human health.

"We applaud PETA's novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother's milk is best used for her child," said a spokesperson for Ben and Jerry's.

PETA to Ben & Jerry's: "Use Human Breast Milk in Ice Cream"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Jesse Ventura to Host a Conspiracy Theory TV Show

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By NEAL JUSTIN\Star Tribune

The former governor [Jesse Venture] will host a new program for TruTV (formerly Court TV) in which he'll travel the country, exploring modern-day conspiracies and getting input from believers and skeptics.

"I've been a mayor; I've been a governor. Now I get to be a detective and seek the truth," he said in a news release.

Filming starts in October and is being produced by A. Smith & Co., which is also responsible for "Hell's Kitchen" and "Trading Spaces." A premiere date has not been announced.

Ventura is also reportedly in talks to do a syndicated "Judge Judy"-type program.

"Skins" BBC America

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

About The Show

They're just your average group of 17-year-olds from Bristol. The gang is led by Tony, the best-looking, most-popular kid in town. He's always up for a laugh but always at someone else's expense. And then there's his poor best mate, Sid, who is forever lusting after Tony's gorgeous girlfriend while Tony plays him like a fool. But Sid will get the girl of his dreams, eventually - just not the girl he thinks.

Tony's girlfriend Michelle - a.k.a. "Nips" (don't ask) - is drop-dead gorgeous with a quick wit that keeps everyone on their toes. Except Tony, that is - he runs rings around her. And she knows it.

Chris is the class clown; he'll do anything (or anyone) if it's good for a laugh. But nothing gets him going quite like his psychology teacher, Angie. And there's Jal, who is hands down the most talented classical clarinet player in the whole UK. No joke. She's bright as hell, and nothing gets past her. Especially the way Tony treats her best mate, Michelle.

Maxxie is magic on his feet and a whiz with his hands. He can have any boy he wants - and he wants them all. His partner-in-crime is Anwar, a "practicing" Muslim who doesn't let the teachings of the Koran get in the way of his less spiritually-inclined pursuits.

Everyone loves the ethereal Cassie, who is completely bonkers. But magic with it. She's a self-harming anorexic with zero self-esteem and a heart of gold. And we can't forget Tony's mysterious little sister, Effy, who keeps her mouth shut but gets up to more than you'd care to imagine. Together, these troublesome teens grab life by the balls and then give it a good twirl...

Skins was created by Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain. Skins airs Sundays at 10/9c.
-- Source: BBC America


Google Maps' Public Transit Directions

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

NYC Transit on Google Maps

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Wendy and Lucy"

2nd\NE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix


"Old Joy" helmer Kelly Reichardt plays to her strengths in "Wendy and Lucy," a modest yet deeply felt road movie about an idealistic young drifter, her faithful canine and the wide-open spaces of the Pacific Northwest.

Living out of her car with barely two spare dimes to rub together, Indiana native Wendy (Williams) has ... set out for Alaska, where she hopes to find gainful employment in a Ketchikan fish cannery. Things go awry, however, when her wreck of a car breaks down in Oregon and Wendy takes an ill-conceived stab at shoplifting dog food for her lone traveling companion, Lucy, whom attentive viewers will recognize as the same tan-colored retriever that accompanied the two male leads of "Old Joy" on their trek into the woods.

Caught red-handed by an overly officious stock boy, Wendy is arrested and slapped with a stiff fine. By the time she returns to the supermarket parking lot where she left Lucy tied up, the dog has disappeared.

Remainder of "Wendy and Lucy" concerns Wendy's efforts to fix her car and find her lost pet, which Reichardt dramatizes in a series of two-handers between Wendy and the various strangers, some kinder than others, who cross her path.

"The Alcoholic" by Jonathan Ames and Dean Haspie

2nd\NE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Product Description

Acclaimed novelist Jonathan Ames writes his first comics work with the original graphic novel THE ALCOHOLIC, illustrated by THE QUITTER artist Dean Haspiel.

This touching, compassionate, ultimately humorous story explores the heart of a failing writer who's coming off a doomed romance and searching for hope. Unfortunately, the first place his search takes him is the bottom of a bottle as he careens from one off-kilter encounter to another in search of himself.

-- Source: Amazon

How did the collaboration between Ames and Haspiel come about?

by Van Jensen\Publishers Weekly

The Alcoholic ended up as a graphic novel (published by Vertigo, which recently announced a plan to put more focus on original graphic novels) through Ames's friendship with artist Dean Haspiel, a fellow Brooklynite. "I was sitting in a cafe in Brooklyn,” Ames said, “and he came up and introduced himself to me, said he was a fan of my writing, and then we fell in love, and eventually adopted several children. We were kind of like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, except nobody knew it," Ames joked. More seriously, he added, "After meeting at the cafe, we became friends. One of those rare after-age-35 new friendships."

After they'd known each other a while, Haspiel convinced Ames to meet with Vertigo editor Jonathan Vankin, who had been looking to bring more literary talent to comics. Originally pitched as a six-issue series about a drunk, The Alcoholic mutated into a graphic novel, and Ames set about learning how to write in the medium. I had no fear that Ames wouldn’t conquer the difficult challenges the comics form presents, and when his first draft of The Alcoholic arrived, I was blown away."

"Blindness" Rape Scene

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Plot Summary: A city is ravaged by an epidemic of instant "white blindness". Those first afflicted are quarantined by the authorities in an abandoned mental hospital where the newly created "society of the blind" quickly breaks down. Criminals and the physically powerful prey upon the weak, hording the meager food rations and committing horrific acts. There is however one eyewitness to the nightmare. A woman whose sight is unaffected by the plague follows her afflicted husband to quarantine. There, keeping her sight a secret, she guides seven strangers who have become, in essence, a family. She leads them out of quarantine and onto the ravaged streets of the city, which has seen all vestiges of civilization crumble. Their voyage is fraught with danger, yet their survival and ultimate redemption reflect the tenacity and depth of the human spirit.
-- Written by Festival de Cannes' Editor\via IMDB

Apparently, the rape scene was recut over six times due to viewers leaving the theater during test screenings.

The director, Fernando Meirelles, said in an exclusive interview with i09, "It was the sixth cut. And we had around 500 people in the theater, and I think 62 walked out. There were two rape scenes. In the first rape scene, there were four or five women who left, and in the second one a bunch of people just stood up and left the theater. I was shocked by that. I didn't know it was so strong. After that I went back and said, "I can't have people walk out." That, to me, was the turning point. And then I showed the film again at a second test screening in New York, and only a few women walked out in the rape scene."

"I thought the film was ready, and then the repsonse was so crazy, so many people leaving, I decided to recut. It was a problem of balance. Sometimes you have a film where more and more people leave the theater... but [in this case] it was only during the rape scene. [That means] I didn't prepare them to get to the scene, or the scene is really too much."


Monday, October 6, 2008

Karita Mattila in "Salome"

1st\NE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

(Richard Termine for The New York Times)

Salome the Daughter of Herodias (c AD 14 - between 62 and 71), is known from the New Testament in connection with the death of John the Baptist.

Christian traditions depict her as an icon of dangerous female seductiveness, for instance depicting as erotic her dance mentioned in the New Testament (in some later transformations further iconised to the dance of the seven veils), or concentrate on her lighthearted and cold foolishness that, according to the gospels, led to John the Baptist's death.

A new ramification was added by Oscar Wilde, who in his play Salome let her devolve into a necrophiliac, killed the same day as the man whose death she had requested. This last interpretation, made even more memorable by Richard Strauss's opera based on Wilde, is not consistent with Josephus' account; according to the Romanized Jewish historian, she lived long enough to marry twice and raise several children. Few literary accounts elaborate the biographical data given by Josephus.

-- Source: Wikipedia


As before, her [Karita Mattila] portrayal culminates in a fleeting moment of real nudity, during her gender-bending performance of the 10-minute “Dance of the Seven Veils,” ... she vamped and shimmied along with two male dancers who twisted and lifted her. Toying with King Herod, her lecherous stepfather, she removed item after item of her costume until in a moment of delirious triumph she stood, arms aloft, completely naked.

Vocally Ms. Mattila is born to this daunting role, singing with an eerie combination of cool Nordic colorings and raw power. She can spin a Straussian melodic line with sumptuous lyricism. But when Salome erupts in a spasm of twisted desire or childish petulance, Ms. Mattila unleashes chilling, hard-edged top notes that slice through Strauss’s king-size orchestra.

Bloomberg is Running for Mayor Again

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix


The city needs him for four more years, Mayor Bloomberg said Thursday [October 2, 2008] - and anyone who doesn't like it should vote for someone else.

"Given the events of recent weeks and given the enormous challenges we face, I don't want to walk away from a city I feel I can help lead through these tough times," Bloomberg said.

"I want to give the voters a chance to decide if they want me at the helm. If voters don't like what they've seen, they will vote for someone else."

Bloomberg will ask the City Council next week to extend the city's term limits law to three terms from two, and insiders expect it to be rapidly approved - despite misgivings from some members and outrage from politicians whose plans for next year are in limbo.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Gerald Schoenfeld wins Inaugural Schoenfeld Award

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

(Photo courtesy of Broadway World)

By BWW News Desk\via Broadway World

The Broadway League has announced its first two award recipients - including Gerald Schoenfeld (for whom the award is named) and New York City Department of Education chancellor, Joel Klein.

Both are being honored for their contributions to arts education. The award will be handed out on October 6 at a League gala for Blueprint for the Arts.

The October 6 gala will take place at the Waldorf Astoria and will feature performances by Betty Buckley, Carolee Carmello, Marin Mazzie, Donna Murphy, Leslie Uggams, and students from New York City public schools.

The proceeds raised from this evening will jointly benefit implementation of the Blueprint for the Arts in the NYC public schools and The Broadway League's educational initiatives.

The New York Sun Closes

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix


The New York Sun, the six-year-old newspaper with a conservative mind-set, announced on Monday that it would close after publishing Tuesday’s issue.

The Sun’s president and editor, Seth Lipsky, said a three-week search for new financial backers had failed. Mr. Lipsky announced on Sept. 4, in a front-page “Letter From the Editor,” that The Sun would shut down by the end of the month unless it raised new money.

But he [Seth Lipsky] assured his staff that The Sun was shutting down “in an orderly way,” not filing for bankruptcy protection. He said The Sun would pay employees through November. He said their health insurance would continue through Dec. 31. A spokesman for the newspaper said it had about 110 full-time employees.
The Approval Matrix: Week of October 13, 2008