Monthly Archive: February 2009

Paul Harvey Goes to That Great Broadcast Studio in the Sky

Known for his resonant voice and trademark delivery of “The Rest of the Story,” Harvey had been heard nationally since 1951, when he began his “News and Comment” for ABC Radio Networks.

Tom Brady and Giselle Bundchen Married, With Dogs

The bride, 28, donned a form-fitting ivory lace strapless gown with a trumpet skirt, scalloped edges, long train and a floor-length veil with attached handmade satin roses and attached satin headband, all by Dolce & Gabbana.

Presidential Limos

President Barack Obama, in his speech to a joint session of congress the other night, promised a lifeline to the U.S. auto industry. It reminded us that his administration came along at a time when the Secret Service was upgrading the presidential limousine.

Stevie Wonder! Yeah!

“I think it’s fair to say that had I not been a Stevie Wonder fan, Michelle might not have dated me. We might not have married.” Stevie Wonder received the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song last night at the White House, after handsome remarks by both President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.

Today in Nixonology

In our new profile of Illinois senator Roland W. Burris we include a link to photos of a his mausoleum — no, he’s not dead — in Chicago’s Oak Woods Ceremony. The sizable monument to Burris lists the senator’s many accomplishments under the heading “Trail Blazer.”

R.I.P + 3

Rest in peace, Don Knotts. You died three years ago today.TV’s Barney Fife is buried near a swaying palm tree in Westwood Memorial Park in LA. (Same cemetery as Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin!)

Oscar Winners of 2008 (or 2009)

These were the winners in the major categories at the Academy Awards held last night.(The Academy’s clumsy system means that the awards for 2008 films are held in 2009, leading to constant future confusion about which year the awards were “for.” But let’s not be bitter.)Best actress:   Kate Winslet for The ReaderBest actor:   Sean Penn for Milk

Bridget Jones Turns 50

…Or author Helen Fielding does, at any rate. She was born on this day in 1959.She must weigh 15 stone by now. Jones, that is, not Fielding.

Chappaquiddick Revisited

“You just knew it would never be the same again. It didn’t mean he couldn’t have a life in public service, but it wouldn’t be a charmed life. It was going to be different.”The Boston Globe is running an excellent multi-part series on Ted Kennedy, apparently prompted by Kennedy’s poor health.

Photo from 'Happy Birthday, Oregon'

Happy Birthday, Oregon

Happy 150th birthday to Oregon, my home state.You were born on 14 February 1859 — in the same year as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Billy the Kid. 

A Pair of Aces

We don’t care who was born first. Happy 200th birthday, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. You studs.

“Old Dog Pulls a New Trick”

“Having just turned 10, a Sussex spaniel called Stump became the oldest best in show winner at the Westminster Kennel Club, ending his retirement last week and taking the big prize Tuesday night.”ABC News has the story.Isn’t that kind of like a 70-year-old winning the Miss America pageant?

Bar Refaeli is the 2009 Sports Illustrated Cover Girl

She’s the Israeli supermodel who’s been dating actor Leonardo DiCaprio since 2006.The issue is due out in a few days, but SI already has posted its online edition, including slightly comical video of Refaeli rolling in the surf.Last year’s cover model was Marisa Miller.

Round Rapping at the 2009 Grammys

What to wear when you’re nine months pregnant and still performing at the Grammys? Rapper M.I.A. has two ideas.

Which Came First: The Darwin or the Abe?

“As Aquarians, they should both be stubborn, visionary, tolerant, free-spirited, rebellious, genial but remote and detached — hmmm, so far, so good.”It’s true: Scientist Charles Darwin and President Abraham Lincoln were born on the exact same day: 12 February 1809.

The Lincoln Canon

There’s a joke in the publishing world. A writer asks his editor for ideas about a commercially promising topic for a book. “Lincoln’s doctor’s dog,” the editor unhesitatingly responds.What to read for Abe Lincoln’s 200th birthday? Fred Kaplan breaks down the bios (and cracks on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “hyperbolic” Team of Rivals).

So Long, James Whitmore

“I find the process of making movies absolutely boring. It’s so fragmented. You wait and wait and wait and then, look, as Jack Lemmon says, ‘It’s magic time.’ In the theater, once the curtain goes up, the actor is in charge.” The actor James Whitmore has died at age 87 of lung cancer. He was diagnosed just before Thanksgiving.

“We’re Gonna Be In the Hudson”

Newsday has the transcript and audio of US Airways flight 1549, that short hop from LaGuardia to the Hudson River.It starts with Capt. Chesley Sullenberger saying “This is, uh, Cactus 1539, hit birds. We’ve lost thrust in both engines, returning back towards LaGuardia.” (“Cactus” is the air traffic call sign for US Airways.)

Does Oscar Hate Tantrums?

So says The LA Times, weighing in on the Christian Bale fracas.

Happy 70th, George Romero!

Insert “living dead” joke here: Horror director George Romero turns 70 today.Last year was the 40th zombieversary of his cinematic cult classic.

Steve Martin, Banjo Master

Add one more thing to the list of things Steve Martin does well.

50th Anniversary of “The Day the Music Died”

Yup: it was 50 years ago today that Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens were killed in an icy plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.(Don MacLean called it “the day the music died” in his 1971 hit “American Pie.”)

2009: Phil Sees His Shadow

Six more weeks of winter. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow.Phil also slipped in a slightly clumsy promo for the local football team:”Hear Ye Hear YeOn Gobbler’s Knob this glorious Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, 2009 Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers…Proclaimed that his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers were World Champions one more time

How Fit is Rafael Nadal?

Fit enough to play a 5-hour, 14-minute match on Friday night, then a 4-hour, 23-minute match on Sunday night. Fit enough to do it in Australian summer heat. Fit enough to beat Roger Federer (again) and win the Australian Open for the first time.