Monthly Archive: June 2008

Tim McGraw Boots Rowdy Fan

Country singer Tim McGraw threw a drunk fan out of a concert last week, and footage of McGraw rousting the guy is now a hit on YouTube. McGraw was singing “Indian Outlaw” at a concert in Washington state when he paused mid-song, called security to “get rid of this guy,” and then helped haul the cowboy-hatted fan onstage by his belt.

Bob Crane’s Death, 30 Years Later

Good grief: It’s been three full decades since Hogan’s Heroes star Bob Crane was killed. (Others who died that same year: artist Norman Rockwell and Pope John Paul I.)

Weekend Reading: ‘Enchanted’ Music

“It’s always good to be able to use the word ‘vermin’ in a song.”Apropos of nothing, here’s a wonderful interview with Alan Mencken and Stephen Schwartz, the composer and lyricist for the 2007 Amy Adams film Enchanted.

Bill Gates Rides Halfway Into the Sunset

Microsoft co-founder and longtime chairman Bill Gates formally steps down from the company’s day-to-day operations today. He gave up his CEO post in 2000 in favor of Steve Ballmer, but has remained chief software architect. Gates will still be chairman of the board, but will devote most of his time to the Gates Foundation, his charitable group.

Patrick Swayze Is Acting Again

15 weeks have passed since the tabloids gave actor Patrick Swayze five weeks to live.Rumors of his death, etc.

Did Big Brown Have a Shoe Loose? has a new photograph showing a loose shoe on Big Brown early in the Belmont Stakes. The shot, taken by Russ Melton, seems to show the shoe unhinged or bent downward on the horse’s right rear hoof.

Grover Cleveland Died 100 Years Ago

President Grover Cleveland died 100 years ago today in Princeton, New Jersey.In a very modest coincidence, he and the late George Carlin both died at age 71, of heart failure, 100 years apart. And they shared the initials GC. (Lincoln-Kennedy it’s not, but still.)

Obituary First Lines: George Carlin

Comedian George Carlin has died at age 71. Here’s how some news outlets began their Carlin obits.”At the end of his rackety and eventful life, George Carlin, the US comedian and hero of the counter-culture, has been best remembered for seven words.” -The Independent

“Return of the ’70s Weirdos”

That’s the title Newsweek gives to its before-and-after photos of the original Microsoft team, from 1978 to today. Included, natch, are moguls Bill Gates and Paul Allen.

Heart Failure Kills George Carlin

Comedian George Carlin is dead at age 71. The New York Daily News reports that he died of heart failure on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Flimflam Ham and the Birthday Babe

Perhaps you’ve been wondering what skinny old Federalist Alexander Hamliton and skinny old golf champ Babe Zaharias had in common. Besides height, that is. (Both were 5’7″.) The answer: Both may have lied about their ages to seem like prodigies in their respective fields.

Big Brown ‘Just Didn’t Have It’

The Big Brown post-mortems continue, with dissatisfaction on all sides.”It just wasn’t Big Brown’s day,” said jockey Kent Desormeaux on Saturday. This a few days after trainer Rick Dutrow threw Desormeaux under the horse trailer, saying it was more or less all the jockey’s fault.

Countdown to Crawford

Countdown to Crawford is a brand-new blog from the Los Angeles Times, chronicling “the last days and the last actions of the Bush administration.” Interestingly, reporters have been blogging “in the dark” for the last month, trying out the new platform.

Hunks, Pre-Hotness

The LA Times offers a hard-hitting photo feature titled “Hollywood hunks before they were hot.”Still, these things are never quite resistable. And Edward Norton looks exactly the same.

Tim Russert Dies of Heart Attack

Journalist Tim Russert has died in Washington, D.C. He was only 58.MSNBC reports that Russert “was recording voiceovers for Sunday’s Meet the Press broadcast when he collapsed” at the NBC News Washington bureau. That MSNBC article also has a link to Russert video clips and tributes from others.

Now There Are One

A few days ago we mentioned that Rep. Ron Paul was still running for the Republican nomination for president — even though John McCain already had the nomination sewn up. Paul’s website even proclaimed “Now there are two!” with a graphic of him and McCain as the last men standing among the original 11 GOP candidates.

Bush (Senior) Turns 84

Happy birthday to the first President George Bush, who is 84 today. Bush was born in 1924 — along with Marlon Brando and Don Knotts.

Robert Maxwell +85

Newspaper magnate Robert Maxwell would be 85 today — if not for his mysterious death in 1991. Maxwell was born in 1923, the same year as Ed McMahon and Norman Mailer.

Big Brown is as Sound as the Dollar

Newsday reports that nothing seems wrong with racehorse Big Brown after his lackluster performance in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. His owners have “ruled out pulmonary bleeding, mucus in the lungs and breathing problems caused by a displaced palate.”The Louisville Courier-Journal tosses out a few theories.

First In, First Out in Campaign 2008

Mike Huckabee, Dennis Kucinich… remember those guys?With the final pairing set — John McCain vs. Barack Obama — here’s a quick look back on the fallen campaigners of 2008:

Clint Eastwood Has Two Expressions

“Sergio Leone, who directed Eastwood in his breakthrough role in the Man With No Name trilogy of spaghetti westerns, said he liked the actor because he had only two expressions: ‘one with the hat, one without it.'”Funny aside from the new interview with Clint Eastwood in the British paper The Guardian.

Clinton Concedes, Backs Obama

“I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the race he has run. I endorse him and throw my full support behind him.”

Big Brown Wins Triple Crown!

Top challenger Casino Drive is out with a bruised hoof. The rest of the Belmont Stakes field is suspect.

Wife Pounds Obama

Call it a fist-bump, a knuckle-bump, or the more hipsterish “pound” — Obama and his wife shared one this week.And now, the obligatory over-analysis:

Clinton to Back Obama

“I have said throughout the campaign that I would strongly support Senator Obama if he were the Democratic Party’s nominee, and I intend to deliver on that promise.”Senator Hillary Clinton, telling supporters that she will end her campaign and support her Democratic opponent, Barack Obama.

RFK +40

Today is the 40th anniversary of the shooting of Robert F. Kennedy. (The shooting happened on June 5th, and Kennedy died the next day.)The New York Times invited three of Kennedy’s children to share a memory of him. Their stories are naturally warm, but they’re also powerfully simple. If you don’t remember thoughtful idealism in American politicians, you can see it on display here.

Obama Claims Democratic Nomination

“Because of you, tonight I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States of America.”So said Senator Barack Obama last night, after winning the Montana primary and (apparently) clinching enough votes for the Democratic nomination. If the delegate count holds up, he will face John McCain in the general election on 4 November 2008.

Obama Resigns from Congregation

Senator Barack Obama has resigned his membership in Trinity United Church of Christ.The Chicago Sun-Times has the story. The paper also has the transcript of his Q&A with the press, with Obama speaking at length on the issue.