Friday, November 16, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Will Hit Sesame Street

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From Gothamist

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, PBS will be re-running Sesame Street's 2001, five-part hurricane special. While the special has run before—both in 2001 and right after Katrina in 2005—this will be the first time it will air after a devastating hurricane hit Sesame Street's front yard directly.

 In the episode, Big Bird's nest is destroyed, but the neighborhood comes together to help out. Sesame's supervising producer Nadine Zylstra told EW, the special tells the story "of everybody on the street getting ready for a hurricane, and then ultimately recovering from a hurricane." The latest airing will include a few edits, as well (though sadly no Trey cameo): “For this latest airing, the show’s team excised the portion about hurricane preparation and edited the hour so that it focuses on Big Bird’s loss—his nest is ruined, and after it’s been repaired, he returns home only to find that the nest still isn’t safe for habitation. (A city nest inspector tells Big Bird that its mud isn’t dry yet.)"

The show's edits and new additions were put together while Sesame employees were dealing with Hurricane Sandy-related obstacles of their own—even the show's tapes were stranded in storage in LIC.

 According to local listings the show will air Friday at 7 a.m.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

David McCullough Writes Books On A Royal Typewriter

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Mr. McCullough was being interviewed by the one and only Morley Safer (television's own cultural historian) in a two-part series which will be completed next Sunday night.

These two giants seized current times to philosophize about their forebears, the Revolutionary "giants" who first created this country in 1776. (Next Sunday, don't miss McCullough expounding on his latest book about how the colonists visited Paris early and late and got so much to bring back to the U.S. The book is titled The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris -- Simon & Schuster.) 

McCullough is seen working still on his trusty Royal typewriter, which seemed in keeping when so many about me on the Northeastern seaboard didn't have enough electricity to keep their cell phones, computers and Internet going. Even if you had some juice now and then, you were writing for a large audience that had other horrid things to worry about from hurricane "Sandy" and they couldn't read it! 

Author McCullough said, in defense of his Royal, "I work on it because I can't press a button and have it all disappear." He said the story of America's travails, triumphs and adversity is just that -- the vehicle of a story... like 'when in the course of human events'... What is important is (for men) to just talk straight. Authenticity is what works."

ANDY WARHOL's FLOWERS Exhibition @ Eykyn Maclean Gallery

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From Eykyn Maclean

Eykyn Maclean is pleased to present a comprehensive survey of Warhol's Flowers paintings of 1964 and1965. Gallery Director Kristy Bryce explains, “This show will bring together prime examples of Warhol’s Flowers ina variety of media to explore the series in a depth not previously addressed in an exhibition format.”

Warhol began work on his Flowers series in the summer of 1964, soon deciding that it would be the focus for his first show with Leo Castelli in the fall of that year. For the Castelli show, he worked on 48- and 24-inch square canvases. For his following show, at the Sonnabend Gallery in Paris in the spring of 1965, he included additional sizes – 14-, 8-, and 5-inch squares. The square format allowed Warhol complete freedom with orientation. For the first time, his works had no fixed upright, allowing the Flowers to be installed in a variety of ways. Another unique aspect to this series is the different techniques and media he explored, including silkscreen, pencil, hand painted acrylics, and fluorescent Day-Glo paint. Eykyn Maclean will include examples of each of these sizes and techniques to better trace the nuances of development
within this important series. Also included will be the only surviving banner (a Flowers painting on red fabric) that Warhol made for the 1965 opening of New York City's Peace Eye Bookstore.

Unlike Warhol’s work prior to this point – which drew upon images in the mass media as well as commercial brands – Warhol turned to a different source: a spread in a magazine called Modern Photography. The magazine’s June 1964 issue featured a photograph of seven hibiscus flowers taken by executive editor.


November 1 - December 8, 2012
New York gallery hours:
Tuesday - Saturday, 10-5pm
(Please note that the gallery and exhibition will be closed for Thanksgiving from November 22-26)

Andy Warhol, Flowers, 1964, acrylic, fluorescent paint, and silkscreen ink on linen, 48 x 48 in

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Second Series of TWILIGHT Fanfic Got A Book Deal

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From  Yahoo

NEW YORK (AFP) - Two fans of the "Twilight Saga" who rewrote the vampire love story as a steamy office romance have scored a two-book deal with a New York publisher in a fresh example of fanfiction going mainstream.

Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, confirmed Thursday a report in The Hollywood Reporter that it will publish "The Office" -- no relation to the Ricky Gervais television series -- plus a sequel next year.

News of the deal precedes the November 15 release of "Breaking Dawn," the fifth and final installment of the blockbuster movie franchise based on American author Stephenie Meyer's best-selling fantasy novels.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A New STAR WARS Trilogy

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Baby Walrus and Jane's Carousel Survives Hurricane Sandy

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From New Yorker by John Seabrook

Few pictures of Hurricane Sandy captured both the enormity of the disaster and the unquenchable spirit buried deep in the city’s core better than the image of Jane’s Carousel, the glass-enclosed merry-go-round on the waterfront near the Brooklyn Bridge, taken at the height of the storm. The photo shows the dark water lapping at the horses’ hooves, with the eerie blacked-out lower-Manhattan skyline in the background, and the festive riderless ponies twinkling merrily in the bright yellow light. Originally posted on Instagram and picked up by CNN, the picture was seen all around the world; at one point that night it was at the top of Twitter’s trends. 

Although the carousel sits on a raised concrete platform equal to the hundred-year floodplain, the East River had already risen to the edge of it, which was the high-water mark during Hurricane Irene. 

New York Aquarium's Baby Walrus, Mitik, Survives The Storm Despite Flooding

From Huffington Post by Sarah Medina

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, recently rescued baby walrus, Mitik, was able to weather the storm despite severe flooding on Coney Island, thanks to the constant care of his dedicated caretakers.
According to the International Business Times, the New York Aquarium on Coney Island was completely underwater after Hurricane Sandy caused massive flooding in the area. Aquarium employees remained on-site when the storm made landfall Monday evening and stayed through the night to look after the 236 lbs. walrus, reports the New York World.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Aaron Sorkin, Certified Internet Hater, Finally Joins Twitter

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From Pop Watch  by Hillary Busis

Is Aaron Sorkin ( Academy and Emmy award winning American screenwriter, producer, and playwright)  capable of completing a sentence using 140 characters or fewer? Has he perfected the art of walking and tweeting at the same time? Find out by following the TV vet’s brand new Twitter account, which EW can confirm is the real deal. (He joined the site last Friday; blame Sandy for us not reporting this important news sooner.)

Thus far, the Newsroom creator has only sent two tweets. The first was a hostage-style identity verification photo, seen above. The second was a message sent to actor Richard Schiff: “Other than 18 hrs/day for 7 years I’ve never asked for anything. I want the A. Silber cover,” Sorkin wrote. He was referring to a video of Broadway vet Alexandra Silber singing a new version of The West Wing‘s theme song; Schiff tweeted last week that he would release the clip, “but only after intense tweet demand.”

How many wonders will Sorkin’s Twitter hold? We won’t know until the Oscar winner tweets more — though considering Sorkin’s Internet history, it’s amazing enough that this account exists in the first place.


Ekso Bionics' Robotic Exoskeleton Will Help Paraplegics Walk Again

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Jacques Barzun Dies at 104

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From The New York Times By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN - Jacques Barzun, the distinguished historian, essayist, cultural gadfly and educator who helped establish the modern discipline of cultural history and came to see the West as sliding toward decadence, died Thursday night in San Antonio, where he lived. He was 104.
Mr. Barzun was a man of boundless curiosity, monumental productivity and manifold interests, encompassing both Berlioz and baseball. It was a life of the mind first cultivated more than a century ago in a childhood home outside Paris that became an avant-garde salon.

He wrote dozens of books across many decades, demonstrating that old age did not necessarily mean intellectual decline. He published his most ambitious and encyclopedic book at the age of 92 (and credited his productivity in part to chronic insomnia). That work, “From Dawn to Decadence,” is an 877-page survey of 500 years of Western culture in which he argued that Western civilization itself had entered a period of decline.

Monday, November 5, 2012

University of Wyoming Removed A Public Artwork That Tacitly Criticized The Coal Industry

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From NYT by Dan Frosch

The idea behind the sculpture that appeared on the
University of Wyoming campus about 16 months ago was simple but provocative: a swirl of dead wood and lumps of coal, intended to show the link between global warming and the pine beetle infestation that has ravaged forests across the Rockies. 

But in a place like Wyoming, where the oil, gas and mining industries are the soul of the economy, some view such symbolism as a declaration of war. 

And ever since the British artist Chris Drury installed the 36-foot-diameter sculpture, called “Carbon Sink,” the university has been embroiled in a bitter controversy, which eventually led to the quiet removal of the artwork last spring after energy officials and their political allies complained to administrators. 
The dispute over the sculpture — part of a series of campus installations commissioned by the university’s art museum — has continued to dog the university after it released e-mails discussing the artwork. 

The e-mails, first obtained by Wyoming Public Radio, showed that the university’s president, Tom Buchanan, privately asked that the sculpture be dismantled a year ahead of schedule because of the uproar surrounding it. 

In a note on April 13 to the director of the university’s art museum, Dr. Buchanan wrote that it would be best to remove the sculpture, “given the controversy that it has generated.”
His note followed objections raised by local lawmakers and officials in Wyoming’s energy industry, which helps support the university through state taxes and felt betrayed.

William Faulkner's Estate Suing Woody Allen's Studio

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From the Telegraph By Sameer Rahim

In what Sony Pictures Classics is describing as a "frivolous lawsuit", the estate of the American writer William Faulkner is suing the company for breach of copyright. In a deposition filed at a court in the Northern District of Mississippi, the estate picks up on a quotation from the 2011 Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris... In the film Gil Pender (played by Owen Wilson) is transported back to the 1920s where he meets his literary heroes, including Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway.

In describing his experience Pender says: "The past in not dead! Actually, it's not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner. And he was right. And I met him, too. I ran into him at a dinner party." The film actually slightly misquotes Faulkner. The original version is "The past is never dead. It's not even past," from Requiem for a Nun (1950).

Nevertheless the lawsuit claims: “The use of the infringing quote and of William Faulkner’s name in the infringing film is likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake, and/or to deceive the infringing film's viewers as to a perceived affiliation, connection or association between William Faulkner and his works, on the one hand, and Sony, on the other hand.”

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Clark Kent Quits The DAILY PLANET in The Latest Issue of "Superman"

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From Huffington Post

According to USA Today, Kent leaves his beloved newspaper job in "Superman" issue 13 after becoming disillusioned with the state of journalism in 2012. As "Superman" comic writer Scott Lobdell told the paper, don't expect to see Kent get a job at The Daily Star.

"Rather than Clark be this clownish suit that Superman puts on, we're going to really see Clark come into his own in the next few years as far as being a guy who takes to the Internet and to the airwaves and starts speaking an unvarnished truth," Lobdell said.

Boston Wedding Planner Beat Out Jay Z and Beyonce in Race to Trademark Blue Ivy'

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From The Huffington Post   

Earlier this year following the birth of their daughter, Blue Ivy, Beyonce and Jay-Z filed a trademark application in an attempt to protect the infant’s name from commercial use.

While previous reports expected the couple’s motion to be approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, it now appears that the Carters may have to explore other options.

The Boston Herald reports that 32-year-old business owner Veronica Alexandra has been operating under the name as part of her local wedding planning company. And though her brand may receive more attention stemming from its name, Alexandra admitted to the outlet that she “highly respects” the international pop stars.

Prior to the couple’s disappointing news, one lawyer thought their legal attempt was a savvy business move to protect Blue Ivy from exploitation and to keep her name off the market for a few years.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jeff Goldblum's PayPal Ads

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Wasp Named After Lady Gaga

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From The Observer by Quentin Wheeler

A new species of parasitoid wasp of the family Braconidae from Thailand has been named "in honour of popular singer and performer Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, known professionally as Lady Gaga". The species is known from a single female specimen collected along a nature trail at 507 metres elevation in the Chae Son National Park.


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Info Broadway


Monday, October 29, 2012

Barnes & Noble Can't Be Trusted w/ Credit Cards

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From Business Insider by Ashley Lutz

 Bookstore Barnes & Noble revealed that hackers stole credit card data from 63 stores. 
The hacks happened in bookstores in New York, California, Chicago and Florida, the company told the Huffington Post's Gerry Smith. 

Barnes & Noble said in a statement that it had found evidence of tampering in the credit card machines. The bookseller is working with the banks and credit card companies to deal with fraud.

Rome To Fine Tourists Who Linger At Historic Sites

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From BBC

Rome says it will issue fines of up to 500 euros (£400) to people who stop to eat or drink, or "camp out" near the capital's historic monuments.

Rome's Mayor, Gianni Alemanno, announced the fines in an order aimed at protecting areas of particular cultural worth in the historic centre.

Popular Roman sites such as the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, and the square in front of the Pantheon are often packed with crowds of tourists. 

Mr Alemanno has said the measures are necessary to protect a heritage "universally considered as unique for its historic value and relevance".

He has said in the past that such sites should be used "exclusively as a place to enjoy monumental and architectural perspectives".

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Anti-Semetic Elmo

4th NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix From CNN via YouTube

MTV's "Underemployed"

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From MTV - MTV's new scripted comedic drama "Underemployed" follows a group a five friends...all filled with lofty goals, romantic dreams and hopefulness for complete world domination on their road to adulthood. But what happens when things don't go exactly according to plan? 

"Underemployed" picks up one year after their college graduation when reality has set in and the group struggles, often comically, to stay optimistic through the major life changes young twentysomethings know all too well, including dead-end jobs, terrible bosses and romantic mistakes. This group of old friends becomes a new family as they go through all the highs and lows in their newfound adult lives and prove together that if life is about living, none of them are underemployed.

Grapefruit Sized Fish-Eyeball Found In Florida

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 From Guardian  by Richard Luscombe

A giant eyeball found washed up on a Florida beach is probably that of a giant swordfish, experts have said, bringing a disappointingly mundane ending to a bizarre marine mystery that set the internet abuzz with tales of monsters from the deep.

Since beachcomber Gino Covacci stumbled across the blue, grapefruit-sized body part as he walked on Pompano Beach, near Fort Lauderdale, on Wednesday, biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission have been trying to identify the sea creature from which it was cut.
Suggestions included a giant squid, whose eyes can be as large as soccer balls, a big eye thresher shark, which can reach can reach 16ft, a marlin or a particularly large sailfish.

The FWC has yet to release its official finding, but shark expert George Burgess of the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville said he had spoken to one of the commission's scientists on Friday afternoon, who told him "eye in hand" that he was sure that it came from a impressively-sized swordfish.

 Experts say a blue, grapefruit-sized eyeball which was found washed up on Pompano Beach in Florida on Wednesday is probably from a 10ft swordfish Link to this video

Compost-Fueled Cars: Wouldn't That Be Great? Onion's TED Talk Spoof

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From by Annie Colbret

The Onion presents an idea (probably not) worth spreading with a TED parody titled “Compost-Fueled Cars: Wouldn’t That Be Great?”
Hotshot media professional in a blazer Cameron Hughes delivers a rousing lecture hyping the future of vehicles running on worm poop fertilizer. Sure, Hughes’ lofty idea has a few holes, but world-changing visionaries have a lot of stuff to do, people.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


2nd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix 

From Amazon - Here is the remarkable true story of the real Count of Monte Cristo who inspired such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

The real-life protagonist of The Black Count, General Alex Dumas, is a man almost unknown today yet with a story that is strikingly familiar, because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used it to create some of the best loved heroes of literature.

Yet, hidden behind these swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: the real hero was the son of a black slave -- who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time.

Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas was briefly sold into bondage but made his way to Paris where he was schooled as a sword-fighting member of the French aristocracy. Enlisting as a private, he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution, in an audacious campaign across Europe and the Middle East...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Camille Paglia is a REAL HOUSEWIVES Fan

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Camille Paglia, art historian, culture critic, founding Salon columnist and expert provocateur, said, "Whoever is doing the photography and editing for Real Housewives of New Jersey and also for Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Real Housewives of Orange County — this is absolutely cutting edge. I savor how visually interesting they are — how long each shot lasts and how much information it contains. This is intelligent and sophisticated documentary filmmaking that really needs to be honored...
It’s not just the sensational drama. As a soap opera fan, I’ve been in the depths of gloom for over 20 years as TV soaps declined… I don’t like reality shows and have never watched them, but I’m addicted to Real Housewives because it’s authentic old-time soap opera reborn!"

Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson

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Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson is the ridiculously long name of Uma Thurman and husband, Arpad "Arki" Busson's, baby daughter.

Johnny Depp Starts New Literary Imprint at Harper Collins

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From NYT By Dave Itzkoff

Having hacked his way through adversaries playing screen roles like Captain Jack Sparrow and Sweeney Todd, Johnny Depp will now be slicing into manuscripts (ideally with a red pen, and not with a cutlass or a razor blade) as he starts his own literary imprint. 

The Harper imprint of HarperCollins Publishers said on Tuesday that it was creating a new list of books, called Infinitum Nihil, that will publish titles reflecting Mr. Depp’s eclectic tastes and interests. 

Among the books that have been acquired for Infinitum Nihil, the publisher said, is a new work about Bob Dylan by the historian Douglas Brinkley. Titled “The Unraveled Tales of Bob Dylan,” this book promises to “set the record straight on scores of issues pertaining to the rock-and-roll legend,” according to a statement, and is planned for release in 2015.

Infinitum Nihil will also release “House of Earth,” an unpublished novel by the folk singer Woody Guthrie. Set in the Texas panhandle of the 1930s, this book will include an introductory essay by Mr. Brinkley and Mr. Depp, and is scheduled for release in January. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

California Squirrel Tests Positive For Bubonic Plague Exposure

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From Huffington Post by Cavan Sieczkowski

A squirrel captured in Southern California has tested positive for exposure to fleas infected with the bacteria that can cause plague.

The plague-exposed squirrel was picked up in September at a campground in the San Jacinto Mountains in Riverside County, Calif., CNN reports. More tests are scheduled, as plague is endemic to the region. 

"It's not something that people should panic about, but we do want them to be educated so they can protect their families and their pets," Dottie Merki, environmental health program chief at the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health, told CNN. 


Florida Man Dies After Winning Roach and Worm -Eating Contest

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From CNN

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Labor Statistics Conspiracy

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By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times - 
WASHINGTON — The unusually steep drop in the U.S. jobless rate just weeks before the presidential election has sparked howls of protest from some conservatives that the White House cooked the books to boost President Obama's chances.

The outcry began Friday morning on social media just minutes after the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the September unemployment rate had plunged to 7.8% from 8.1% in August.

Obama administration officials strongly denied any manipulation.

Still, the conspiracy theory gained traction early when Jack Welch, the widely respected former chief executive of General Electric, asserted on Twitter that the fix was in to give Obama a boost following what many analysts said was a poor debate performance Wednesday night.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rothko Painting Vandalised in Tate Modern

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From Telegraph

A squatter accused of scrawling graffiti on a £50 million Mark Rothko painting donated to the Tate gallery by the artist himself appeared in court today.

Wlodzimierz Umaniec, 26, was accused of writing his name and "12A - A potential piece of Yellowism" on Rothko's Black on Maroon at the Tate Modern gallery on London's South Bank on Sunday afternoon.

His solicitor indicated that he would plead not guilty, and hinted that his client would 'like his day in court.'

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dallas Cowboys' Victoria's Secret Branch

4th NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix
From ABC

Ikea Caught Photoshopping Women Out of Its Saudi Arabian Catalog

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From Gawker by Neetzan Zimmerman

Sweden's trade minster issued a formal rebuke of the country's iconic furniture retailer Ikea for airbrushing women out of the Saudi Arabian version of its familiar ready-to-assemble furniture catalog.

Metro, which was first to notice the stark differences between the Saudi catalog and the company's 26 other editions, pointed out that, not only were images of women scrubbed from all the photos, but the female designer of Ikea's "PS" furniture line was also "deleted" from the publication.

"It's impossible to retouch women out of reality," Ewa Björling, the trade minister, told the free daily. "These images are yet another regrettable example that shows we have a long road ahead when it comes to gender equality in Saudi Arabia."

Ikea has since apologized for the decision to remove women from its Saudi catalog, saying in a statement, "we should have reacted and realized that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the IKEA Group values."

No word, however, on whether it plans to reprint the catalog with the original photos intact.

 [image via imgur]

Maude Apatow & Rebel Wilson to Form Rap Group?

3rd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lady Gaga: Oversized Pink & Blue Dress in France!

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From JJ

Lady Gaga wears an over-sized two tone dress while leaving her hotel on Saturday (September 22) in Paris, France.

The 26-year-old singer recently opened up about gaining 25 pounds and sent a message to her fans about accepting her even after her weight gain.

“Thank [you] to my fans who love me no matter what, and know the meaning of real beauty & compassion. I really love you,” Gaga tweeted.

Gaga also shared a quote from Marilyn Monroe, saying, “To all the girls that think you’re ugly because you’re not a size 0, you’re the beautiful one. It’s society who’s ugly.”

Jonathan Franzen's "House for Sale" Opens

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From Playbill by By Adam Hetrick

A stage adaptation of "Freedom" author Jonathan Franzen's autobiographical essay "House for Sale" will receive its Off-Broadway world premiere in October under the wings of the Transport Group at the Duke on 42nd Street.

Daniel Fish has adapted the essay and will also direct House for Sale, which will begin previews Oct. 13 towards an Oct. 24 opening. The production will continue through Nov. 18.

According to the Transport Group, "House for Sale follows Franzen as he travels to his childhood home in Missouri to sell the family house following his mother's death. Beset by memory and feeling a keen burden to sell the property for a price his exacting mother would accept, Franzen purges the home of personal artifacts, unearths hidden mini-treasures, and selects the realtor who will sell this reliquary of family memories. Exploring ideas of change, loss, and the value of the 'quintessential American Dream,' House for Sale is a daring exploration of the merging of art forms as well as an examination of the very essence of the human condition." 


A WRINKLE in TIME: The Graphic Novel by Madeleine L'Engle, Illustrator Hope Larson

2nd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From Amazon
The world already knows Meg and Charles Wallace Murry, Calvin O'Keefe, and the three Mrs--Who, Whatsit, and Which--the memorable and wonderful characters who fight off a dark force and save our universe in the Newbery award-winning classic A Wrinkle in Time. But in 50 years of publication, the book has never been illustrated.  Now, Hope Larson takes the classic story to a new level with her vividly imagined interpretations of tessering and favorite characters like the Happy Medium and Aunt Beast. Perfect for old fans and winning over new ones, this graphic novel adaptation is a must-read.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Jerry Seinfield's "Really?" Letter To The New York TIMES

2nd  NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix 

From Pop Watch by Maane Khatchatourian

Jerry Seinfeld is really, really ticked off. The comedian penned a letter to The New York Times in response to TV critic Neil Genzlinger’s Monday column about the abuse and overuse of one of Seinfeld’s favorite words: ”really.”

”Really, Neil? Really? You’re upset about too many people saying, “Really?”? I mean, really,” Seinfeld writes.

The amusingly outraged letter to the editor, which uses the word ”really” 10 times, comes to the defense of the ”lazy” comedy writers who use the word that Genzlinger claims is ”undoing 2,000 years’ worth of human progress.” Seinfeld defends Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update segment “Really!?! With Seth,” which used to star Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers and which Seinfeld himself contributed to in 2010; and turned the tables on Genzlinger by ripping him for using the phrase, “wrap my head around it.” “Don’t preach to us about ‘Really?’ and then wrap our heads around things,” wrote Seinfeld. “You crumbled a bit of civilization off there yourself.”

Seinfeld’s keen observation about everything and nothing couldn’t come at a better time — his five-borough New York City comedy tour kicks off tomorrow. I really hope he addresses the “R word” in his routine.

ABC Family's Portrayal of Age-Discrepant Relationships

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

This is an excerpt from the manuscript/first draft of my forthcoming creative non-fiction book, The Allure of Nymphets, From Charlie Chaplin to Mark Sanchez Man’s Fascination with Young Women:

On the very popular ABC Family teen drama, Pretty Little Liars, which was adapted from the series of books that I wrote about in a previous chapter, 16-year-old brunette Aria met Ezra at a bar, kissed him and “made out” with him in the bar’s bathroom before she found out the next day that Eric was actually Mr. Fitz, her new English teacher. But unlike Lux and Eric on the television show Life Unexpected, and maybe that is why Life Unexpected was cancelled after its second season, things did not stop there. Aria and Mr. Fitz continued to make out, among other places in his car and in his apartment. 

You may be asking yourself, “How can a television show get away with portraying a sixteen-year-old in a relationship with her English teacher and get away with it?” The answer is, "Easily." Pretty Little Liars is set in Pennsylvania where the age of consent is, you guessed it, sixteen-years-old. The writers strategically set the show in Pennsylvania, so they could legally shock its viewers. (It's worth mentioning here that Rob Lowe, met a girl in a bar as well, took her back to his hotel room, and videotaped himself having sex with her. And just like with Mr. Fitz, Rob was shocked to learn later that the girl was sixteen-years-old, but since the encounter occurred in Los Angeles where the age-of-consent is eighteen, Rob was forced to pay an undisclosed amount of money to the girl, do community service, and speak at prisons and halfway houses.)
When Mr. Fitz tried to end the liaison, not because of their age difference, but because he feared losing his job, Aria was portrayed as the aggressor in the relationship and as desperately wanting them to remain a couple.

France Unveils Zidane Head-Butt Statue

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix 

From WP by Melissa Bell

Retired French soccer player Zinedine Zidane has plenty of victories to his name, having been a key player when France won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship.

But Algerian-born artist Adel Abdessemed was more interested in memorializing one of Zidane’s more aggressive moments on the field.

This week, Paris’s Pompidou Center unveiled a 16-foot statue depicting Zidane head-butting Italian opponent Marco Materazzi in the chest, the infamous move that got Zidane ejected from the 2006 World Cup final.

“This statue goes against the tradition of making statues in honor of certain victories. It is an ode to defeat,” exhibition organizer Alain Michaud told Agence France-Presse.

Zidane claimed after the head-butt that knocked Materazzi down that the Italian defender had insulted his mother and sister. Zidane was sent from the field with a red card in the match’s 110th minute, and Italy went on to win. Zidane retired after the match.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ken Burns' THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE Footage Subpoened

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix
From The Guardian by Andrew Pulver

Renowned US film-maker Ken Burns has refused to comply with a subpoena served on him by New York City in connection with his film The Central Park Five, about a notorious miscarriage of justice.

Lawyers for New York are demanding to examine footage and notes that Burns and his team compiled during the making of their film as the city seeks to defend the actions of its officials in the aftermath of the horrific rape in 1989 of a jogger in Central Park.
Five black teenagers were convicted in 1990 for the attack, but they were cleared in 2002 after convicted murderer Matias Reyes confessed to the crime. The five subsequently launched legal action against the city for malicious prosecution, but the city has refused so far to settle.

Burns's documentary about the case, which premiered at the Cannes film festival earlier this year, alleges that the teenagers' confessions were forcibly extracted and that racism played a significant part in the police's decision to arrest them.

The Approval Matrix: Week of October 15, 2012

DMX Uses Google For the First Time

 3rd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix


Honest Toddler's Blog and Twitter Feed

 3rd NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From Parenting by Sabrina James
@HonestToddler has taken the Twittersphere by storm. His identity is unknown and he hides behind a deceptively earnest pen name. He speaks for our children and calls all parents out with such precision that we can’t help but laugh (and cry a little) wondering if he could possibly be our very own child with a Twitter account. Who is Honest Toddler? Like the famed underground street artist Banksy, HT is prolific, subversive, and everywhere, reminding us just how powerless we parents truly are…and how awesomely fun that actually is. 

Honest Toddler