Monthly Archive: June 2009

Al Franken Is About to Become a Senator

Definitely.The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that the Minnesota Democrat beat Norm Coleman in November and is entitled to be seated in the U.S. Senate.Coleman finally conceded later in the afternoon, and Govenor Tim Pawlenty said he’d sign the formal election certificate.

Where’s Bubbles?

Turns out Michael Jackson’s famous chimp companion, Bubbles, now resides at the Center for Great Apes, in Wauchula, Florida.Here’s his profile from the Center.

Keeping Up With Governor Sanford

Jiminy, what next with South Carolina’s Mark Sanford? He’s made yet another emotional confession, this time to the Associated Press, to explain that when he said he’d met his mistress four times last year, he meant he’d met her five times.The new confession included his admission of two trips to New York City. “Multi-night stays” is how it’s described in the story.

It Just Got Weirder

US Weekly now claims that Michael Jackson is not the biological father of his two oldest children.The real father is Jackson’s dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein, says the mag.

Gary Busey, Senior Citizen

Or “Señor Citizen,” as they called him in Barbarosa.In any case, Gary Busey turns 65 today.

Johnny Depp as Dillinger: Photos

Johnny Depp puts down the mascara and picks up a tommy gun for Public Enemies, the new action flick coming out this week.

Bernie Madoff’s Prison Earning Power

Master fraudster Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in jail from a New York judge today.Madoff will be 221 years old when he gets out in 2159.

Mark Sanford: Now Three Women?

In explaining his absence, two critical questions were left unanswered: Why would Sanford have been near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Thursday, as his cell phone had indicated? It is 80 miles from the Appalachian Trail…

Photo from 'Michael Jackson's "Woo-hoo" Secret -- Revealed!'

Michael Jackson’s “Woo-hoo” Secret — Revealed!

I will now reveal a secret I’ve been keeping for the last 20 years about Michael Jackson.Michael is dead now, alas, so I assume I won’t be creating any gross legal or ethical difficulties in revealing my little tale.

Jeff Goldblum Is Not Dead

Farrah Fawcett, yes. Michael Jackson, yes. Jeff Goldblum, no. Reports of Goldblum’s death are not true. His publicist says the actor is alive and well in Los Angeles.Apparently the rumor, that Goldblum had fallen off a cliff in New Zealand, first began in 1999 and somehow cropped up again today.

Michael Jackson Dead at Age 50

The L.A. Times reports that Michael Jackson died after a cardiac arrest today.[Update: Jackson has indeed died. He passed away at 1:07 pm Pacific time, according to the LA County Coroner.]For a look back:

The Ongoing Saga of South Carolina’s Governor, Mark Sanford

Oh, South Carolina governor Mark Sanford — way to knock Jon and Kate off the front pages!First reports had Sanford as “missing.” Next came word he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail,” followed by a wave of “the media is making too big a deal of this!”Then it turned out he wasn’t hiking the Appalachian Trail, he was in Argentina. Because he likes to walk around by himself.

Photo from 'Rog, Sandra, El and Adolf'

Rog, Sandra, El and Adolf

No movie begins with scenes of a man and a woman who are utterly incompatible unless it ends with them in love, unless perhaps it might be one about Hitler and Eleanor Roosevelt.Roger Ebert gets whimsical as he reviews The Proposal.

Our 1000th Blog Post

This is it.Who2’s first blog post, on 18 September 2005, covered the last words of Pope John Paul II. (“Let me go to the house of the Father,” they were reported to be.)Post #100, from 6 September 2007, was “Still No Word on Steve Fossett.”

Hemingway vs. the Bull

New Ernest Hemingway art by Paul Hehn. Other new Hemingway sketches from Mr. Hehn can be found here, here and here.

The National Archives on YouTube

Today marks the official launch of the YouTube channel for the U.S. government’s National Archives. Go here for the main page.

Bo’s Shame

Cute new “baseball card” for the First Dog released by the White House today.But what’s this?”Even though Bo is a Portuguese Water Dog, he doesn’t know how to swim.”How humiliating for him. Did the White House really need to trumpet the failings of this poor dog?

Robert Pattinson Makes Out on the Beach

The glamorous life of a movie star: Robert Pattinson makes out with co-star Emilie de Ravin on location for their movie Remember Me.Looks like fun.Alas, with a bit of context it seems somehow less glam:

A Fascinating Guy You Never Heard Of

We stumbled on this obituary from the New York Times, published in May of 2007. It’s about Dr. John K. Lattimer, a urologist and Columbia University professor.

Cronkite On the Ropes?

Walter Cronkite, 92, who once held the title of “Most Trusted Man in America,” is gravely ill, according to multiple CBS News sources. The network began updating his obituary more than a week ago, a source adds.CBS News executive Linda Mason, designated to speak on Cronkite’s behalf, had no comment.More from TVNewser.

Billy Joel Splits With Slightly Taller, Slightly Younger Wife

Alas: Singer Billy Joel and his wife, Katie Lee, are divorcing.They married in 2004, when Joel was 55 and Katie Lee was 22. “They grew apart,” an anonymous friend tells the NY Post.(Photo supplied by WENN.)

Happy 60th Birthday, Chris Van Allsburg!

The children’s artist and author was born in Michigan on this day in 1949. His family operated a creamery in Grand Rapids.Van Allsburg’s biography has a swell story about how he lied to an admissions counselor about Norman Rockwell in order to get into art school at the University of Michigan.

Clinton Breaks Her Elbow

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has broken her elbow after a fall, says Reuters. She’ll have surgery and continue on with her schedule.We’re glad Secretary Clinton is OK. We would have hated to add her to Destination: Sidewalk.

Proof Through DNA

Mental Floss has a fascinating (and brief) piece on 5 Historical Figures ID’d by DNA. Check it out.

J.D. Salinger Deaf, Ninety

J.D. Salinger is suing someone again. No surprise there, but this is a surprise: Court documents filed in the case describe Mr. Salinger, now 90, who lives in Cornish, N.H., as totally deaf, with ‘several age-related health problems,’ including a recently broken hip that has put him in a rehabilitation facility. Mr. Salinger has not been photographed or granted an interview for decades.Geez, he’s 90?

Imelda Channels Gordon Gekko

“For me, greedy is giving. I was First Lady for 20 years; you have to be greedy first to give to all. It is natural.”She’s back!

Caroline’s Prince Not-So-Charming

Princess Caroline of Monaco’s husband Prince Ernst August of Hanover denied in court on Monday drunkenly beating up a hotel manager with a knuckle duster on the Kenyan island of Lamu in 2000.The German aristocrat… said through his lawyer at his retrial in Germany that he gave Josef Brunlehner “two symbolic slaps” because he was annoyed about the noise and laser show at the hotel disco.

The New (British) Face of MTV

Part Chinese, part English, Alexa Chung is the host of It’s On, MTV’s new daily show. She debuts at noon today.

Phil Spector — Yikes!

So that’s what Phil Spector looks like without a wig.The 69-year-old music producer was photographed last week upon arrival at North Kern State Prison in Delano, California. He was convicted last month of the murder of actress Lana Clarkson and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.

J.D. Salinger Speaks!

Besides setting the literary community abuzz, Salinger’s decision to come out of seclusion has allowed scholars access to his massive archive of unpublished work for the first time. So far, critics have examined three never-before-seen novels, eight novellas, and more than two dozen short stories — all of which appear to be Terminator fan fiction.So reports The Onion.

Ray Charles, 1930-2004

Music legend Ray Charles died five years ago today. For your entertainment, here are a couple of Ray Charles videos:First, Ray joins Johnny Cash in a few song bits about being broke — including one of our favorites by Charles (Cash recorded it, too), “Busted”:

Images: The Obamas Go to Europe

Wonderful images from last week’s Obama family trip to Egypt and Europe. All are official White House photos taken by Pete Souza.The family watches as Sasha Obama lights a candle at Notre Dame Cathedral on 6 June 2009.

Happy 8th Birthday, Sasha Obama

First daughter Sasha Obama turns eight today. (She’s exactly 80 years younger than Britain’s Prince Philip.)Last year we analyzed the mystery of Sasha’s exact birthday.

Anvil! Yeah!

Anvil is back. The obscure Canadian metal rockers from the 1980s will open for AC/DC at Giants Stadium in July.Comparisons to Spinal Tap are inevitable, thanks to the 2008 documentary about the band: Anvil! The Story of Anvil. (Trailer below.) But yes, they’re a real band.

Here’s That Colbert Clip

Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert, while broadcasting from Iraq, gets his hair shorn by the order of President Barack Obama:

Coroner: Death of Danny Gans was Accidental

Las Vegas entertainer Danny Gans died of a toxic reaction to painkillers, plus high blood pressure, according to the Clark County coroner.Gans died in his sleep on the morning of 1 May 2009; his wife called 911 from their home to report that Gans was having trouble breathing. He was pronounced dead at the scene. It later came out that Gans was taking hydromorphone, an opiate more commonly known as Dilaudid.

Stories That We’re Sorry Went Away

Madonna has stunned the movie industry with plans to remake Casablanca — and this time set it in Iraq.So claimed The Daily Mail last year. But since then, sadly… nothing.

Federer’s Lucky Number 14

He bagged it today. Roger Federer is now tied with Pete Sampras for the all-time record with 14 major titles: 1 French, 3 Australian, 5 U.S., and 5 Wimbledon.(He won #14 despite a dopey fan, too.)Amazingly, Federer has reached the semifinals in 20 straight major tournaments.

“Snatch the Pebble from my Hand”

Here’s the opening to “Kung Fu,” the pilot for the TV series that made David Carradine a star. Well made! If you haven’t got time for the full clip, hop to minute 7:00 for the famous “snatch the pebble from my hand” moment. As TV moments go, you can’t beat it. “When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.”

David Carradine Found Dead in Bangkok Hotel

Actor David Carradine has died at age 72.Details are sketchy, but Carradine was apparently in Thailand to film his latest movie. The BBC reports that the former Kung Fu star “was found by a hotel maid sitting in a wardrobe with a cord around his neck and other parts of his body.”Here’s a shot from his salad days on Kung Fu.

Obama: “This is the hope of all humanity”

I am grateful for your hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. I am also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: assalaamu alaykum.President Barack Obama has given his much-anticipted speech at Cairo University on the relations between the U.S. and the Islamic world. (“Assalaamu alaykum” is a traditional greeting which means, roughly, “Peace be upon you.”)

Brother Can You Spare A Rhyme?

During the height of the Depression, in March 1932, Herbert Hoover called a meeting with Rudy Vallee in the White House, at which Hoover told Vallee that if he could “write a song to drive away the Depression,” he would “rate a medal.” Vallee demurred, instead recording “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”A history of “meltdown music.”

Chuck Barris is 80!

No gong from the Grim Reaper for Chuck Barris. The game show impresario is 80 today — born in 1929.Here’s a Barris photo from 2006. “Chuck Barris and guest at Christie’s 40th anniversary of Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball. New York, 3 March 2006” is the caption provided by our friends at WENN. (Nice guest, Chuck!)

Photo from 'Ladies' Man: Robert Pattinson'

Ladies’ Man: Robert Pattinson has photos of Twilight star Robert Pattinson from when he was a toddler.They say it’s Pattinson, anyway, and they say he was just as adorable then as he is now. You be the judge. Here’s our favorite.

Can Michael Jackson Rally for 50 Concerts?

“He’ll probably play a couple of shows, then get a doctor’s sick note. Jackson’s not a well man. To do 50 concerts you need real strength, mentally and physically. He couldn’t even read the teleprompter at the press conference.”An in-depth look at Michael Jackson’s physical and financial health. 800,000 tickets have been sold for his upcoming 50-concert stand in London.

Photo from 'Last Survivor of Titanic Dies'

Last Survivor of Titanic Dies

Elizabeth Gladys Dean died yesterday at a nursing home in Southampton at the age of 97. Known as Millvina, she was the last surviving passenger on the Titanic, the ocean liner that sank in 1912.She was only nine weeks old at the time, traveling with her parents and brother from Southampton, England to Wichita, Kansas. Her father didn’t survive, but her mother and brother did. Millvina didn’t find out until she was eight years old that she’d been a passenger on the ship.