Monthly Archive: August 2009

Next Stop: Beastie Boulevard

205th Street in Queens was renamed “Run DMC JMJ Way” yesterday. The street’s in Hollis, the African-American neighborhood where Run-DMC got its start.

Princess Diana’s $800 Eraser

It’s now been 12 years since the death of Princess Diana in 1997.How popular is she still?

New Profile: Rosemary Kennedy

We’ve noticed a lot of user searches for Rosemary Kennedy this past week, so we’ve created a new biography of her.Rosemary was the “forgotten” Kennedy, who spent years in seclusion at a home for the disabled in Wisconsin after she was the victim of a botched lobotomy in 1941. She died in 2005, and for most of those years inbetween she could apparently speak very little and was more or less incapacitated.

Happy Birthday, Rita and David

Today is the birthday of American poet Rita Dove (born 1952) and film director David Fincher (born 1962).In celebration, here’s a charming video interview from 1999, in which Rita talks to Charlie Rose about her poetry and Rosa Parks.

LBJ Talks to Ted

From the Houston Chronicle: A page with links to audio of President Lyndon B. Johnson calling Ted Kennedy on the occasion of his brother John’s death in 1963, and again on the occasion of his brother Bobby’s death in 1968.

122 Bowdoin Street and the Kennedy Clan

Those who know Boston may be interested in the route that Ted Kennedy’s body will take today.Near the State House the Senator will visit an odd address:

A Critic’s (Non-Oily) Farewell

IS THERE ANY BEST, SAFEST WAY TO NAVIGATE A MENU?Scratch off the appetizers and entrees that are most like dishes you’ve seen in many other restaurants, because they represent this one at its most dutiful, conservative and profit-minded. The chef’s heart isn’t in them.Scratch off the dishes that look the most aggressively fanciful. The chef’s vanity — possibly too much of it — spawned these.Then scratch off anything that mentions truffle oil.

Ted Kennedy, 1932-2009

Senator Edward M. Kennedy has died at his home on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.His family announced his death in a brief statement last night. No cause of death was given, but Kennedy has been fighting a brain tumor for more than a year.

Now You’re A Goonie

This slightly strange behind-the-scenes featurette about the making of The Goonies is six minutes of pop culture sideshow at its best. As described by director Richard Donner (The Omen and Superman were his hits at the time), this not-very-good film was a pain-in-the-butt to make. And yet it has its fans, and lots of them.In this short bit you see a young Josh Brolin a couple of times, and a young Steven Spielberg — the boss on the set.

How To Bury A Millionaire

Someone just paid $4.6 million for the crypt directly above Marilyn Monroe.”Here is a once in a lifetime and into eternity opportunity to spend your eternal days directly above Marilyn Monroe,” the eBay auction description boasted.

“Killer Cows” On the Loose in Britain

Mad cows, indeed….The NFU pointed to the fact that at least two of the four deaths involved walkers with dogs, which may be a factor in turning cows from placid cud-chewing bystanders into potential killers.Watch your back, Woody!

Michael Jackson’s Death: “Homicide”

Jeepers, here we go. Homicide, says the LA coroner.On the morning Jackson died, Murray said he tried to induce sleep without using propofol, starting first with valium at 1:30 a.m. When Jackson was still awake at 2 a.m., Murray injected Jackson with lorazepam, then injected him with midazolam at 3 a.m. Murray told police he administered several other drugs over the next few hours.Good grief.

Woody Allen Is Back In London, Thank Goodness

Good news: Woody Allen is back filming in Europe, where he makes livelier pictures. That’s him in the floppy hat, talking to Josh Brolin and Freida Pinto on the London set of “Untitled Woody Allen Project” earlier today.

All That Butter!

Here’s an amusing New York Times article about Julia Child’s book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, finally hitting the best-seller list — 48 years after it was published.

Friday Follies

Alas, it ain’t real. But it is awesome.

The Clockwork Osmonds

Our new profile of Donny Osmond includes this list of his siblings. See if you can spot a pattern:George Jr. (b. 1945), Thomas (b. 1947), Alan (b. 1949), Wayne (b. 1951), Merrill (b. 1953), Jay (b. 1955), Donny (b. 1957), Marie (b. 1959), and James (b. 1963). They skipped a beat at the end there with Jimmy. But still, truly impressive consistency.

Lockerbie Bomber Goes Free

“We found him to be a highly intelligent, well-educated and deeply religious person who wishes to spend his last few weeks with his wife and five children.”Hard to believe, but Abdelbasset Ali al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of killing 270 people in the Lockerbie airplane bombing in 1988, is about to be released on “compassionate grounds.” He’s dying of prostate cancer.

Stella the Fella = Caster the Mister?

History repeats itself in Berlin. 1936: At the Summer Olympics in Berlin, women’s 100-meter runner Helen Stephens is accused of being a man.

Mozart: This Time It’s Strep Throat That Killed Him

Hoorah! Time for another new cause of death for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.In the past, you may recall, the Salzburg Stallion’s early death has been blamed on military fever, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, pneumonia, kidney stones, killer composers, and undercooked pork cutlets.

Jurassic Prez?

Steven Spielberg and Robert Redford are planning duelling biopics of beloved President Abraham Lincoln, according to The Guardian.Spielberg wants Liam Neeson as Abe.

Fred Astaire Was On ‘Battlestar Galactica’?

Oddly, yes. He played an “old con man” who “works his way into Starbuck’s life” in episode 15 in 1979. Here’s the photographic proof, with Astaire and rascally Dirk Benedict.

Movie Review: ‘The Hurt Locker’

THE HURT LOCKERViewed at the Newport AMC Theater in Newport, Kentucky6:45 Saturday night showPre-movie meal: watermelon and blueberries–Intense!I was skeptical of this film because it was directed by Katherine Bigelow, who also directed one of the silliest movies I’ve ever seen: Keanu Reeves going undercover as a surfer dude-bank robber to nab Patrick Swayze in POINT BREAK.

Les Paul, Electric Guitar Inventor, Has Died

If you listen to rock, pop, blues, or country music, thank Les Paul.Paul invented the solid-body electric guitar — the John Deere plow of rock and roll.

Happy 70th, George Hamilton

Glowing bronze actor George Hamilton turns 70 today. He was born this day in 1939, the same year as another master of suave aging: George Lazenby.Here’s an awkward photo from April. The caption: “George Hamilton being asked for money by a homeless person outside Mr. Chow restaurant. Beverly Hills, California.”

Weird New Images From Heath Ledger’s Last Film

Heath Ledger was filming a movie when he died: not Batman but The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, the latest hallucinatory (and typically cursed) project from Monty Python alumnus Terry Gilliam.How hallucinatory? New photos below.The flick was described this way at Cannes:

Keanu Reeves vs. Teddy Bears

This video from 1984 features Keanu Reeves as a correspondent for a TV show called Going Great. He’s talking with a 13 year-old who collects stuffed bears.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 1921-2009

She died this morning at Cape Cod Hospital, near the Kennedy family’s traditional summer compound in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

“For Bushies Only”

According to a report in The Raw Story, former staffers from the administration of President George W. Bush plan to create a social network, Facebook-style, specifically for fans and ex-employees of the former president.

“That Man Was Not Raised By His Parents”

“It was a wonderful turning point when we put him through the process of hair and makeup,” Taylor said, “and the first time we saw him with his haircut and his suit, all the women in the office kind of wilted and fainted when he walked by…”

Rosanna Arquette Is 50

True story.She still looked very Rosanna Arquette-ish in May at Cannes.(Photo: Zibi/

A Cool Portrait of Eunice Kennedy Shriver

“Rare Halo Display,” this portrait of Eunice Kennedy Shriver by David Lenz, was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery and unveiled in May of this year.The artist’s son is a Special Olympics participant. Groovy backstory here.

The X-Files / Hulk Connection

Gillian Anderson and Eric Bana were both born on this day in 1968.Not close together. Anderson was born in Chicago, Bana in Melbourne, Australia.

Rocky’s Beef: The Greatest Action Figure Prop Ever?

A few days ago we examined GI Joe action figures.Now we discover that that the movie Rocky *also* has action figures, created in 2006 by JAKKS Pacific, Inc. You get Rocky, Apollo Creed, Burgess Meredith’s plucky trainer guy… and this classic piece:

A Three-fer from Ringo Starr

Until we added photos to our Ringo Starr profile, we didn’t know that a flash of the “peace” sign was his personal trademark. Examples (two-handed) here, (at a flower show) here, and (with Yoko!) here.

John Hughes is Dead at Age 59

For a period of time, Hughes was so dominant — certainly in the U.S. where he always played best — that it’s hard to believe that he only directed eight films. He wrote 30 others — the “Home Alones,” most notably — that were produced, 16 of them in the ’80s, 13 in the ’90s, and contributed characters or ideas to a handful of others.John Hughes died Thursday of a heart attack during a walk in Manhattan, where he was visiting family.

Susan Boyle Fashion Photos

Yes, Susan Boyle got all gussied up for her photo shoot with Harper’s Bazaar magazine.

Super Freak +5

Rick James died five years ago today.Here he is in June 2004, two months before his death, rocking crushed velvet alongside Cincinnati’s own Bootsy Collins. (Photo supplied by WENN.)

Squeaky Fromme to be Released From Jail

It was just this past May that would-be presidential assassin Sara Jane Moore gave an interview about her 1975 attempt to kill President Gerald Ford.Now Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, the other woman in jail for attempting to kill Ford, is set to be released this month, after 34 years in prison. CNN has the story here.

Putin on Holiday

The U.K. Guardian has some terrific video of Russian leader Vladimir Putin on holiday. See how macho he looks here.

G.I. Joe Doesn’t Exist, Really

We’ve added a profile of G.I. Joe, just in time for the movie being released this weekend.Histories of the doll make it pretty clear that G.I. Joe’s creation in 1964 was a direct response to Barbie’s popularity with girls. Hasbro freely admits they coined the term “action figure” because they were afraid boys wouldn’t play with “dolls.”

Dennis Quaid Has Appeared In A Lot of Things

Heh! I love the “He has appeared as…” sequence in our profile of Dennis Quaid.You want befuddled, nihilistic, overprotective, sinewy, shady, plucky? He’s your man.Here he is as plain ol’ Dennis, bearing the difficult burden of joining Sienna Miller in Rome to promote their new G.I. Joe flick.

Happy 48th Birthday, Mr. President

U.S. President Barack Obama turns 48 today.He was born the same year as hockey star Wayne Gretzky. And he’s exactly two weeks older than Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

The Queen is NOT Her Royal Highness


The Crazy Fur Hat of Ben Franklin

But in the meantime he had fun. Tons of French aristocratic frou frou fun. Marie Antoinette and the whole gang at court were nuts for him with his BRAINS and his CRAZY FUR HAT.Maria Kalman sketches the genius of Benjamin Franklin.

The Pineapple-Eatin’ Days of Jerry Garcia

We had our two cars in an empty lot in East Palo Alto where they were both broken. Neither of them ran anymore but we were living in them. Hunter had these big tins of crushed pineapple that he’d gotten from the Army, like five or six big tins, and I had this glove compartment full of plastic spoons, and we had this little cooperative scene eating this crushed pineapple day after day and sleeping in the cars and walking around.