Friday, November 28, 2008


4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Synopsis: Celebutards. A compound of celebrity, debutante, and retard, this blunt term describes lazy and egotistical stars with too much money, fame, leisure time, and media attention, but too little common sense or knowledge, who love to spout off on topics about which they have zero expertise.

A longtime observer of the celebutard species, award-winning New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser warns us that, in an age in which fabulousness is too often mistaken for gravitas, we must be ever vigilant of the hypocrites who walk among us. With razor-sharp wit, she explodes the absurdities of the celebutard culture, showing how a dull thinker such as Madonna becomes a self-appointed sage on matters of faith; Rosie O'Donnell transforms from a shrill, gay mom into a physics expert who blames the tragedy of 9/11 on the U.S. government; singer Sheryl Crow urges us to use a single square of toilet paper per wipe while she racks up mileage in her gas-guzzling caravan of SUVs; and hothead Sean Penn morphs into an expert on international diplomacy as he brazenly breaks bread with enemies of his own country like Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Always outspoken, never pulling any punches, Andrea Peyser shows why it's vitally important that these mental midgets and media whores are exposed for the often dangerous phonies they are. In these pages, she gives us everything we need to recognize and uncover celebutards in our midst.

-- Source: B&N

Forbes' Hottest Celebrity Infants

4th\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By Lacey Rose and Lauren Streib\Forbes

To determine which tykes were tops, we looked at both press clippings and Web presence for more than 50 A-list kiddies (5-years-old and younger) over the course of a year. Then, with a whittled down list, we reached out to Los Angeles, Calif.-based polling firm E-Poll Market Research for both awareness data for the kids and consumer appeal rankings for their celebrity parents.

No. 1 Suri Cruise Age: 2 years
Parents: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

No. 2 Shiloh Jolie-Pitt Age: 2 years
Parents: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie-Pitt

No. 3 Zahara Jolie-Pitt Age: 3 years
Parents: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie-Pitt

No. 4 Pax Jolie-Pitt Age: 4 years
Parents: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie-Pitt

No. 5 Sam Alexis Woods Age: 1 year
Parents: Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren Woods

No. 6 Cruz Beckham Age: 3 years
Parents: David and Victoria Beckham

No. 7 Matilda Rose Ledger Age: 3 years
Parents: Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger

No. 8 David Banda Age: 3 years
Parents: Madonna and Guy Ritchie

No. 9 Sean Preston Federline Age: 3 years
Parents: Britney Spears and Kevin Federline

No. 10 Sam Sheen Age: 4 years
Parents: Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen

Overweight Women More Likely 2 B Criminals?

4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By Jessica\Jezebel

The Department of Psychiatry at the University of Connecticut spent a year studying the detailed diaries of 41,218 adults, and they found that significantly overweight women suffer the highest levels of stress — including, perhaps, the stress of bank heists.

The Telegraph reports that "overweight women are more likely to lose their jobs, be a victim of crime and have money troubles. They are also more likely to be criminals themselves." And that's not all: "obese women were more likely to face the death of a friend or relative [and] be sacked or made redundant…the workplace was where women experienced the highest level of stress, saying that they felt more discriminated against than their overweight male colleagues."

...discrimination could play a huge part in these findings. "Discrimination leads to low self-esteem which means the victims do not stand up for themselves, losing out on promotion or being first in line when redundancies occur."

The overweight women were also least likely to break up with a longterm partner or get a divorce.

Tims Tams Come to America

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By: Alexandra Vallis\NY Mag

[Tim Tams] come in chocolate crème or caramel flavors and then are coated in chocolate. Though the Campbell Soup Co. owns both Pepperidge Farm and Tim Tam's Australian parent, Arnott's, this is the first time the cookies will be sold in the U.S. Head to the nearest Target and hoard away — Tim Tams are here for only a limited time [from November 2008 through March 2009 at Target stores nationwide, with a suggested retail price of $3.39.]!

Australians consume over 400 million Tim Tam biscuits each year -- that's 35 million packs. And earlier this year, a joint poll by The Times in the United Kingdom and in Australia ranked Tim Tam as one of the best inventions since sliced bread.
-- Source: MarketWatch

"Furbys" Discovered in Indonesia

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By Alan Boyle\MSNBC

A primate species that looks like a living, breathing version of the Furby electronic toy has been found alive in the forested highlands of an Indonesian island for the first time in more than 70 years, scientists announced Tuesday.

Three specimens of the pygmy tarsier, a nocturnal creature about the size of a small mouse, were trapped and tracked this summer on Mount Rorekatimbo in Lore Lindu National Park in Central Sulawesi, Texas A&M University reported.

Texas A&M anthropologist Sharon Gursky-Doyen, leader of the expedition, said the tarsiers were found on mountainsides above 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) in elevation, amid damp, dangerous terrain.

Pygmy tarsiers rank among the rarest of the many tarsier species in Asia and the Pacific — and in fact some primatologists had written them off as extinct.

"Let The Right One In"

3rd\SE Quadrant:The Approval Matrix

Oskar, a bullied 12-year old, dreams of revenge. He falls in love with Eli, a peculiar girl. She can't stand the sun or food and to come into a room she needs to be invited. Eli gives Oskar the strength to hit back but when he realizes that Eli needs to drink other peoples blood to live he's faced with a choice. How much can love forgive? Let The Right One In is a story both violent and highly romantic, set in the Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in 1982.
-- Source: IMDb\Written by John Nordling, Producer

"Let The Right One In" TRAILER

Republican-CBS Conspiracy Against Dan Rather

2nd\NE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix


...Dan Rather filed suit against CBS 14 months ago — claiming, among other things, that his former employer had commissioned a politically biased investigation into his work on a “60 Minutes” segment about President Bush’s National Guard service ...

So far, Mr. Rather has spent more than $2 million of his own money on the suit. And according to documents filed recently in court, he may be getting something for his money.

Using tools unavailable to him as a reporter — including the power of subpoena and the threat of punishment against witnesses who lie under oath — he has unearthed evidence that would seem to support his assertion that CBS intended its investigation, at least in part, to quell Republican criticism of the network.

Among the materials ... are internal CBS memorandums turned over to his lawyers, showing that network executives used Republican operatives to vet the names of potential members of a panel that had been billed as independent and charged with investigating the “60 Minutes” segment.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jeffrey Deitch Wants a Basquiat in the White House

2nd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By: Andrew Goldstein\NY MAg

While Barack Obama continues to put together his Cabinet in Washington, the downtown dealer Jeffrey Deitch and some of his art-world colleagues are working to install one of their own at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: Jean-Michel Basquiat.

"We want to get a great Basquiat painting in the White House," Deitch said

Already the dealer is pulling strings through friends who worked on the campaign, which features a national arts-policy committee that includes New York art figures like Chuck Close and Agnes Gund.

"We're making inquiries, but it's premature," he says. Aside from the obvious fact that Obama and Basquiat are both black, are there any other resonances between the two men that make the pairing appropriate?

"No, no, no," said Deitch, a longtime friend and dealer of Basquiat who delivered the eulogy after the artist overdosed in 1988.

NYC's New Ian Mahaffy and Maarten De Greeve Designed Bike Racks

2nd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

[Photo courtesy of --default/flickr]

From NY City Racks

New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Paul Warwick Thompson, Director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and Paul White of Transportation Alternatives announced the winners of the CityRacks Design Competition.

The design of Ian Mahaffy and Maarten De Greeve (Bettlelab), based in Copenhagen, Denmark, was selected as the first-place winner in the outdoor competition that attracted over 200 entrants from around the world. Their design was one of ten prototypes installed and tested at Astor Place since September 30. DOT intends to use Mahaffy and De Greeve’s design as the new standard bicycle rack installed on New York City’s sidewalks. The jury also recognized second-place winner Andrew Lang and Harry Dobbs of London and third-place winner Ignacio Ciocchini of New York. Mahaffy and De Greeve will receive a $10,000 prize courtesy of Transportation Alternatives, Dobbs and Lang a $3,000 prize and Ciocchini a $2,000 prize.

Doctors Craft and Transplant Windpipe Using Stem Cells

2nd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Breakthrough Windpipe Transplant Uses Stem Cells

Jean Paul Gaultier Introducing Children's Line

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

by Miles Socha \WWD

Jean Paul Gaultier, the enfant terrible of French fashion, has signed a license agreement for children’s wear with France’s Zannier Group.

The first collection, consisting of about 120 pieces for girls and boys ages two to 14, is to be unveiled to the trade in January for fall 2009. The name of the collection, and other details, have yet to be disclosed. Zannier, founded in 1962, produces and distributes kids’ wear under about 20 brands, including Little Marc Jacobs, Levi’s, Kenzo and Oxbow.

2009 Oscars Best Documentary Shortlist

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Posted by Sean\Film Junk

This week [November 18th, 2008 ] the Academy unveiled their shortlist of the 15 documentaries that are potential nominees, and while I’ve only seen a few of them, I am definitely surprised by some of the omissions.

I may be jumping to conclusions here, but from looking at a lot of the other titles, it seems like another line-up of documentaries chosen more for their subject matter than their artistic merit.

  • At the Death House Door
  • The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
  • Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
  • Encounters at the End of the World
  • Fuel
  • The Garden
  • Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts
  • I.O.U.S.A.
  • In a Dream
  • Made in America
  • Man on Wire
  • Pray the Devil Back to Hell
  • Standard Operating Procedure
  • They Killed Sister Dorothy
  • Trouble the Water

Monday, November 24, 2008

Vavelta Wrinkle Cream Derived from Baby Foreskins

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix


The newest wrinkle in anti-aging treatments might make some youth-obsessed oldsters think twice about leaping into the treatment face first.

Vavelta is a clear liquid derived from baby foreskins, donated by mothers whose babies have just been circumcised. The liquid is injected into adult skin damaged by acne or burns.

Vavelta, developed by a British biomedical company called Intercytex, is at least four years away from being available in the U.S. If it does win FDA approval, chances are Vavelta would be used only in the treatment of burns and acne, at least initially, a company spokesperson says.
The Approval Matrix: Week of December 1, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Jennifer Aniston Calls Angelina Jolie "really uncool."

4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

LinkFrom Reuters\Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Todd Eastham

In the three years since Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston ended their Hollywood marriage, Aniston has barely said a word about the break-up and the woman who stole Pitt's heart, Angelina Jolie.

But in an interview for the December issue of Vogue magazine, Aniston finally talks about the split and the Oscar-winning actress who is now Pitt's companion, saying the way Jolie revealed details of her relationship with "Ocean's Eleven" star was "really uncool."

Aniston, 39, told Vogue Jolie should not have given a detailed account of how her relationship with Pitt developed on the set of the 2005 movie

"Mr. & Mrs. Smith," when Aniston and Pitt were still together. Those details were revealed in Jolie's 2007 interview with Vogue.

"There was stuff printed there that was definitely from a time when I was unaware that it was happening," Aniston said.

"That stuff about how she couldn't wait to get to work every day? That was really uncool," said Aniston.

"That stuff about how she couldn't wait to get to work every day? That was really uncool," said Aniston.

"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

The Real Housewives of Atlanta is an American reality television series on the Bravo cable television network, premiering in the Fall of 2008. It is the network's third series in this format, following The Real Housewives of Orange County and The Real Housewives of New York City.

The series follows the professional, social and family lives of five primarily wealthy Atlanta, Georgia women:

NeNe Leakes -- A Duluth resident and founder of The Twisted Hearts Foundation, which addresses domestic violence against women. She lives in the Stonebrier at Sugarloaf gated community on Sugarloaf Parkway. She has two sons, one of whom is attending Clark Atlanta University, and a real estate entrepreneur husband named Gregg. She once was good friends with Kim Zolciak.

DeShawn Snow -- Originally from Detroit, she is a current resident of the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta in the Manor Golf and Country Club. She has three children and is the wife of Cleveland Cavaliers professional NBA basketball player Eric Snow. Her main focus is the DeShawn Snow Foundation, an organization dedicated to the welfare of the self-esteem of teenage girls.

Sheree Whitfield -- She was born in Ohio and now resides in Sandy Springs, the ex-wife of NFL professional football player Bob Whitfield with whom she has three children. She is attempting to develop a clothing line called "She by Sheree" and has a feud with castmate NeNe Leakes.

Lisa Wu-Hartwell -- Also a Duluth, Ga. resident, she is the wife of NFL professional football player Edgerton Hartwell and ex-wife of R&B singer-Keith Sweat, with whom she has two children that live with Keith. She has also gone by the names: Sharon Millette Wu, Sharon Lisa Sweat, and Lisa Wu-Sweat when she filed chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2007 despite her mantra during the introduction of the show, "If it doesn't make me money, I don't do it." She lives in the exclusive gated community St. Marlo Country Club. Her father is Chinese and her mother is African American, and she works with the Hartwell and Associates real estate firm and has a jewelry line and baby clothing line.

Kim Zolciak -- She is a Connecticut native and Duluth resident, a divorced mother of two who is attempting to pursue a career as a country singer. She had a "sugar daddy", whom she mysteriously referred to as "Big Poppa", who chose not to be aired on the show for personal and privacy reasons. He funded her somewhat lavish lifestyle, buying her $14,000 diamonds and a $60,000 Escalade. Kim and Big Poppa broke up in the last episode of season one.

Atlanta was chosen as the focus for this new television series because of its status as a haven for successful African-Americans. Each of the women lives in northern metro-Atlanta suburbs situated in north Fulton and Gwinnett counties. The show was originally planned to follow the lives of five black women, but Leakes's good friend Zolciak impressed the producers with her personality.
-- Wikipedia

Sneek Peek

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mike Birbiglia's "Sleepwalk With Me"

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From Sleep Walk with Mike

Sleepwalk With Me
, a new comedy written by and starring Mike Birbiglia, will play The Bleecker Street Theater, off Broadway (45 Bleecker Street just East of Lafayette Street) beginning October 17th with the official opening scheduled for November 11th. The show is produced by Nathan Lane and Eli Gonda and Ryan Scott Warren of QuasiWorld Entertainment.

In his theatrical debut, comedian Mike Birbiglia takes the audience on a hysterically funny and intensely personal journey through his struggles with sleepwalking and his reluctance to confront his fears of love, honesty and growing up.

Sleepwalk With Me is the rare collision of comedy and theatre that touches your funny bone and tickles your heart.

“Every once in a while, someone comes along who renews your faith in the art of stand-up comedy. It happened when I first saw Mitch Hedberg, and it happened again when I saw Mike Birbiglia” said Nathan Lane. “The energy in the room changes, and you realize you’re in the presence of a fresh and original voice. And that is very rare. You know you’re getting the real turtle soup, not merely the mock. Like any great comedian, it’s hard to categorize Mike - he is his own unique creation. You should definitely just go see him, and get lost in his world. It’s a fun and hilarious place to be.”

Tickets for Sleepwalk With Me range from $49.50 with premium seating available. Sleepwalk With Me plays Wednesday - Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm and 10pm, and Sunday at 4pm and 7pm. Tickets can be purchased by visiting Telecharge at or calling (212) 239-6200.

MTVs "Sex ... with Mom and Dad."

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From MTV

Sex may be everywhere in American media, but that doesn't mean American families are talking about it. While most teens could learn a thing or two from talking candidly with their parents about sex... and most parents would benefit greatly from opening up about sex with their kids-- it's simply easier said than done. Much, much easier. That is, until Sex ...with Mom and Dad.

In each half-hour episode, Loveline's Sex and Relationship Expert Dr. Drew will help a teen and their parents work through their problems about sex, dating and relationships. Maybe a dad is worried that his daughter uses her sexuality to get attention; a son is concerned that ever since he came out of the closet, his parents haven't acted the same towards him; or a son's "ladies man" M.O. has mom worried that sex, and the girls he sleeps with, mean nothing to him.

Whatever the issue, Dr. Drew will get the family talking -- often for the very first time -- about sex and intimate relationships. Initially, the family meets with him in a neutral setting to get the conversation started and pinpoint the family's main issue. At the end of the session, he'll send the family on their way with two fun yet daunting tasks, tailored specifically to their issue, and designed to get them to open up about their sexual beliefs and experiences. The journey ends with a final therapy session with Dr. Drew, in which the family typically realizes that while the journey was tough, in the end, they were ultimately able to get to know each other and respect each other in a completely new and different way. Shockingly frank, upbeat, and funny, Sex ..with Mom and Dad proves that if families can talk about sex, they can talk about anything -- ultimately breaking down barriers and improving relationships in the process.

Sex ... with Mom and Dad Trailer

Dr. Zizmor Ad in Fake New York Times

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From US Law

The Times reports on the spoof, Liberal Pranksters Hand Out Times Spoof: "In an elaborate hoax, pranksters distributed thousands of free copies of a spoof edition of The New York Times on Wednesday morning at busy subway stations around the city, including Grand Central Terminal, Washington and Union Squares, the 14th and 23rd Street stations along Eighth Avenue, and Pacific Street in Brooklyn, among others.

Romanesko posted a press release from the people behind the distribution, "In an elaborate operation six months in the planning, 1.2 million papers were printed at six different presses and driven to prearranged pickup locations, where thousands of volunteers stood ready to pass them out on the street."

Gawker links this to the Yes Men, "The email address that sent out this message was linked to the site of The Yes Men, longtime liberal prank group that has been doing things just as complex and finely tuned as this for years. The Yes Men run the Because We Want It site, through which they set up this prank. They wanted to be anonymous for a while allegedly, but too late."

In addition to articles like "Bush Resumes Golf Game" and "High Speed Internet Hits Fast Track to Appalachia," this edition of "All the News We Hope to Print" includes "ads" for Monsanto, KBR, ExxonMobil, DeBeers, GM, McDonalds, and New York subway advertising icon Dr. Zizmor.

Russ & Daughters' Lox Populi Blog

2nd/NE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

About Lox Populi

Lox Populi is the place to head for daily updates about all things related to Russ & Daughters: bits of history, tastes of new treats, recipes, customer stories, traditions, anecdotes, kvetching, and kvelling.

But we can’t do it without the lox and we can’t do it without the people. So, please send us your stories and photos. Tell us about that time you met your spouse while waiting here, all morning, in a holiday line. Show us exactly what you are going to do with the six pounds of sturgeon you just ordered. Explain the incident, in 1955, with the herring barrel. Talk about the time you tried to work on your slicing skills. Share the ways you prepare bagel sandwiches at home. We want to know who you eat with, what you have, how it all happens, and why you keep coming back. And we want to feature your stories here on our blog.
-- Source: Lox Populi

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shelby Steele Defends "Why Obama Can’t Win" Subtitle

2nd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By NOAM COHEN\New York Times

Many an author has come to incorrect conclusions, but only a few have had the courage to make a prediction in a title that could be directly contradicted.

Mr. Steele, a prolific author on racial issues in America and a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, said he had had plenty of time to get used to the snickering about the title of his book, which was published late last year by the Free Press, part of Simon & Schuster, and officially contradicted last week.

“My feeling is that I stand by every word of the analysis — what is between the covers of the book,” he said in a telephone interview. “For the year I have had to apologize for the stupid, silly subtitle that was slapped on to the book.”

He made it clear that he was the one who slapped the subtitle onto the book — “in about 30 seconds” when Barack Obama was trailing Hillary Rodham Clinton by about 25 percentage points. But, he added, “subtitles are marketing devices — I hate them. I’ve always hated them.”

CBS's Saturn Financed "Novel Adventures"

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

NEW YORK CBS has partnered with Saturn to launch Novel Adventures, an original branded-entertainment series on the Web about four women who participate in a book club.

The show, which stars former Melrose Place regular Daphne Zuniga, will premiere Nov. 3. Each of the eight planned episodes will first be exclusively available on, and for 48 hours, after which they will be rolled out across the CBS Audience Network, which includes AOL, Yahoo!, Veoh and other sites.

Each episode will feature the four thrill-seeking female friends embarking on various adventures after being inspired by books they read in their club.

For example, in the premiere episode the group takes a deep-sea fishing trip after reading Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. In a later episode, the group attends spy school after reading several of Robert Ludlum-penned Jason Bourne thrillers.

"Novel Adventures" Trailer

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Spain on the Road Again"

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Ride along with Gwyneth Paltrow, Chef Mario Batali, Author/Journalist Mark Bittman and Actress Claudia Bassols on the unscripted, anything-goes, cross-country road-trip, Spain...on the road Again on WMFE TV!

The premise is simple: the two men, single-minded food- and wine-obsessed fiends, are constantly on the lookout for their next great meal. The two women also like to eat and drink but they have their own agenda: enjoying Spain's infinite other pleasures — museums, shopping, music, spas and nightlife.

Put the four of them on a cross-country trip and the result is a showcase of Spain as it's never been seen before — the intense beauty of Spanish food and culture mixed with all the hazards of male-female relationships and spontaneous, wacky road trip adventures.

Piracy in Yemen

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By: Amel Al-Ariqi\Yemen Times

...Yemen’s Coast Guard continues searching for a boat (Alzhra) carrying 12 Yemeni fishermen who disappeared two weeks ago.

Yemen’s navy has intensified its security measures to protect Yemeni fishermen from potential piracy in the Socotra islands...measures were intensified after Somali pirates kidnapped Yemeni fishing boats and their fishermen on a fishing journey in Yemeni territorial waters near Abdul Kori Island.

“Our Coast Guard and marine forces are on the alert to take necessary action against such piracy,” Foreign and Migrant Affairs Minister Abubakr Al-Qirbi said in a news report.

IRIN news service quoted Al-Qirbi as saying that continued piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea is threatening Yemen’s fishing industry. “Sea piracy is threatening the stability of the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea,” he said.

He also said pirates represent a threat to both tourist cruises and international shipping in the region. “Our problem is the threat they pose to our fishermen as well and their role in trafficking people, drugs and weapons,” he added.

$400 Feng Shui Compass

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

With the Fortune Compass you are ready to find your Fortunate Energies in every situation of your life. Now you will instantly know which directions in your environment offer you the most support possible for your personal Success, Relationships, Health and Spiritual Growth.

The Fortune Compass takes 4000 year old Traditional Compass Feng Shui and instantly calculates it for you in a hand held electronic compass and computer. It begins with a mathematical compass calculation based on your birth date called a Gua Number. When you orient yourself in your surroundings according to your favorable directions according to your Gua number, you invite the energy of the Universe to support and assist you.
-- Source: Fortune Compass

The Approval Matrix: Week of November 24, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jessica Simpson's "Major Movie Star" is Top Film in Russia

4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix
Tagline: The Few. The Proud. The Blonde.

Plot: When fluffy, bubble gum movie star Megan Parker suddenly finds herself broke and humiliated in the public eye, she wanders from the wreckage of a car accident and witlessly enlists in the U.S. Army hoping in vain that it will change her life.

VH1 Pays Prostitutes

4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Posted by Gabe\Videogun

This week's episode is all about "kino escalation" which is Mystery's Dungeons and Dragons term for "touching girls." The first thing he makes the boys do is tell him on national TV what their sexual experience consists of. This would seem incredibly embarrassing, except that as soon as they're done sharing, Mystery invites two prostitutes into the living room, who ask the boys to make out with a mannequin in front of everyone to demonstrate their "technique." So, actually, the sexual histories thing is the least of their embarrassments.

Anyway, as if sharing what we are constantly reminded is their "limited" sexual experience with the world, and then being asked to show the place on the doll where they would touch you were not embarrassing enough, next the boys go into a pitch black room filled with dirty clearance pillows from Target's home décor section, and make out with Erin, the "professional sexologist." Hahaha. Right. Professional Sexologist. She's basically a scientist. Erin explains what a sexologist is by saying "I'm a sexologist, which means that I study sex." True! She studies sex by having it with men for money. Because she is a prostitute. Seriously. She appeared on this show and allowed strangers to kiss her on camera for money. If you google "erin sexologist pick up artist" it will say "did you mean 'prostitute'"?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

TopShop NY Opening Delayed Until March

4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From DNR

Topshop, the British fast-fashion retailer, which originally planned to open a 40,000-square-foot flagship in Soho this fall, has postponed its entrance into the U.S. market until March because of construction delays at the store, located at 478 Broadway.

“This has been a logistical nightmare,” Sir Philip Green, Topshop’s owner, said bluntly. “America is a new territory for us and we have to get it exactly right. This store can’t be a nine out of 10 when it opens; it has to be a 10 out of 10. So we’re delaying the opening until around mid-March.

“It has nothing to do with what’s going on with the economy,” Green stressed. “This is totally to do with the complexity of this project. It’s basically a rebuild of an entire building and we want to make sure we do it right.”


3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Plot Summary for JCVD

Between his tax problems and his legal battle with his wife for the custody of his daughter, these are hard times for the action movie star who finds that even Steven Seagal has pinched a role from him! In JCVD, Jean-Claude Van Damme returns to the country of his birth to seek the peace and tranquility he can no longer enjoy in the United States.
-- Source: IMDb\Written by Wismerhill & Redking

JCVD Trailer

10 Euros ($12.70) Flights From Britain to New York City

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Budget airline Ryanair is drawing up plans to offer trans-Atlantic flights as cheap as 10 euros ($12.70) before taxes to several U.S. cities from Britain and Ireland, a company official said, according to a newspaper report Sunday.

The Irish airline intends to offer services from London's Stansted and Dublin airports to New York, Florida, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary was quoted as saying in an interview with Britain's News of the World tabloid.
-- Source: MSNBC

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Power Your Bike's Light Using Butt Energy

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By Sean Fallon\Gizmodo

You may not like it now, but you would be thankful for that big butt of yours if you ever got a chance to ride a bike fitted with designer Deco Goodman's "Commuter Cyclist's Sustainable Energy Source." The device attaches underneath the seat and collects power generated by the compression of the seat springs, braking, pedaling etc. As a result, the electricity could be used to power headlights/taillights and any portable gadgets you bring with you on the road. As you might have guessed, it is only a concept at the moment, but at least it doesn't sound completely far-fetched.

"Black Watch" Extended Thru December 21 at St. Ann's Warehouse

2nd\NE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

St. Ann's Warehouse and National Theatre of Scotland have joined together to present a two-month return engagement in October 2008. Here's a second chance to see this searing soldier's-eye-view of the Iraq war that takes audiences to the battlefield with a poetic power beyond the grasp of journalism, film or TV. The action veers seamlessly and imaginatively between pub-set interviews and in-the-moment deployment scenes, careening between past and present with hallucinatory immediacy to a live musical score that includes regimental folk songs and thrilling bagpipes. The physicality of Black Watch is extraordinary and brings war to shattering life, intimately portraying how members of this historic regiment dealt with an intense tour of duty in Iraq and with what it means to make the journey home again. Come join us for what Ben Brantley, of The New York Times, calls "an essential testament to the abiding relevance-and necessity-of theater."
-- Source: St. Ann's Warehouse

"Black Watch" Trailer

"But That's Another Story: A Photographic Retrospective" by Milton H. Greene

2nd\NE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Product Description

A privileged witness to the glamorous spirit of the 1950s and 60s, Milton H. Greene photographed the greatest artists, actors, and personalities of the twentieth century. Renowned for his fashion photographs, Greene perfectly captured the fantasy, elegance, and beauty of his models, for which he secured assignments from major national publications and prestigious advertising clients. But That’s Another Story: A Photographic Retrospective of Milton H. Greene reproduces, in their original clarity and integrity, pictures that have been largely unavailable since Greene’s death in 1985. Organized thematically, it features both the widely published fashion and celebrity series (including the campaign Greene shot for American Airlines in the 1950s) and some intimate backstage candids. A whole chapter is dedicated to photos of Marilyn Monroe, where some of her most iconic portraits mix with private moments from her life. Ultimately, Greene’s photography invites us back to an era when film and fashion, art and style were at their highest.
-- Source: Amazon

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gene Expression's "Which countries does the NYT cover..."

2nd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

--Source: Many Eyes

Sarah Kane's "Blasted" at Soho Rep

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Marin Ireland and Reed Birney star in Soho Rep's new production of [Sarah Kane's, who committed suicide in 1999, at the age of 28] "Blasted ," which is having its New York premiere [through December 21].

Mark Blankenship writes of "Blasted": "On the most obvious level, it bursts with audacious violence. Drawing parallels between sexual assault and the cruelty of war, the plot follows an older man and a younger woman as they hide from combat inside an opulent hotel room. "

The war then literally and figuratively invades their space, subjecting them to Jacobean-style horror. One stage direction has eyeballs being sucked out and eaten, and another has a dead infant getting buried under the floor."
-- Source: New York Times

Synopsis (Spoilers!)

The play is set in an expensive hotel room in Leeds. Ian, a foul-mouthed middle-aged tabloid journalist has brought a young woman, Cate, to the room for the night. Cate is much younger than Ian, and emotionally fragile. Throughout Scene 1, Ian tries to seduce Cate, but she resists. All the while, Ian proudly parades his misogyny, racism and homophobia. The scene ends with the sound of spring rain.

Scene 2 begins the next morning. Ian has raped Cate during the night. She attacks him and then escapes out of the bathroom window. Then, unexpectedly, a soldier enters the room in full battle dress. The hotel room is then struck by a mortar bomb, and the scene ends with the sound of summer rain.

In Scene 3, the hotel room is in ruins; the bomb has blasted a hole in the wall. The soldier and Ian begin to talk, and it is gradually revealed that the hotel is located in the midst of a brutal war. The soldier tells Ian about appalling atrocities that he has witnessed and taken part in, involving rape, torture and genocide, and says he has done everything as an act of revenge for the murder of his girlfriend. He then rapes Ian, and sucks out his eyes. The scene ends with the sound of autumn rain.

In Scene 4, Ian lies blinded next to the soldier, who has committed suicide. Cate returns, describing the city being overrun by soldiers, and bringing with her a baby that she has rescued. The baby is dead, however, so she buries it in a hole in the floorboards and leaves.

Scene 5 consists of a series of brief images, showing Ian crying, masturbating and even hugging the dead soldier for comfort as he starves in the ruined room. Eventually, he crawls into the hole with the dead baby and eats it. The stage direction then reads that Ian dies. It starts raining, and Ian says "Shit". Cate returns, bringing a sausage that she has paid for by having sex with a soldier. She eats and feeds the rest of her meal to Ian, who says: "Thank you."
-- Source: Wikipedia

Note: The photo isn't from the Soho Rep production.

California Voters Ban Same-sex Marriages

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

AP | November 5, 2008\via Huffington Post

In an election otherwise full of liberal triumphs, the gay rights movement suffered a stunning defeat as California voters approved a ban on same-sex marriages that overrides a recent court decision legalizing them.

The constitutional amendment -- widely seen as the most momentous of the nation's 153 ballot measures -- will limit marriage to heterosexual couples, the first time such a vote has taken place in a state where gay unions are legal.

Similar bans had prevailed in 27 states before Tuesday's elections, but none were in California's situation -- with about 18,000 gay couples married since a state Supreme Court ruling in May. The state attorney general, Jerry Brown, has said those marriages will remain valid, although legal challenges are possible.

Spending for and against the amendment reached $74 million, making it the most expensive social-issues campaign in U.S. history and the most expensive campaign this year outside the race for the White House.

Somehow I totally missed this! I had no idea the ruling was overturned!

The Approval Matrix: Week of November 17, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

Olsen Twins Book Signing Rules

4th\SW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

1) Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen will be with us for a limited time. They will only be signing copies of their book, Influence. They will not be speaking, reading or taking questions.

2) Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen will NOT sign any memorabilia or product other than Influence. There is a limit of one book per person, and your one book must be purchased here.

3) You will be directed to pay for your book upon entering the store and will be given a receipt for your purchase. Please keep your receipt. You will receive your book at the signing table.

4) Along with your receipt, you will be given a B&N wristband, and then directed to the event space on the 4th floor. You must have a receipt and a wristband to access the 4th floor.

5) Anyone approaching the signing table must have paid for the book and be wearing a B&N wristband. One person, one wristband, one book.

6) You will collect your signed book at the signing table. If you have paid for any additional copies, a staff member will provide you with those before you exit the space.

7) There is no photography allowed. You must put away your camera or cell phone before approaching the signing table. The authors will not pose for photos.

8) If you leave, or the authors leave, before you are able to collect a signed book, you may present your receipt to a cashier for either an unsigned book or a refund. (Refunds only issued within 14 days of receipt.)

9) There will be no extra signed copies available after the authors leave the store. They will not be able to sign for anyone who is not on line. No pre-orders.

[From Racked]