Monthly Archive: October 2009

Heath Ledger, Video Director

From rapper N’fa (a.k.a. No Fixed Abode), comes a music video for his song “Cause An Effect,” directed by the late Heath Ledger, the actor who made 2008’s The Dark Knight worth watching (parts of).

“The Loin In Winter”

Headline of the day, from a NY Times article on the aging Hugh Hefner.Comes with a slide show with shots of a young, intense-looking Hef.

Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin: The Patent

Today’s document from the National Archives is the patent application for Eli Whitney’s cotton gin.Whitney applied for a patent on October 28, 1793 and on March 14th of the following year was granted a U.S. patent for his machine, which removed seeds from the cotton fiber.

What’s the Correct Way to Wish Happy Birthday to a Dead Person?

On this day in 1872 Emily Post was born. Post set etiquette standards for Americans for most of the 20th century by adapting high society rules of behavior for a wider class of people — but class was still the operative word. Women were “ladies” and men were “gentlemen,” and her books on etiquette still presumed a level of education and sophistication associated with higher incomes and bigger cities.

Henry V at Agincourt

For the anniversary of Henry V’s victory over the French at Agincourt in 1415, a news release from historians at the University of Southampton has challenged the notion that the English were vastly outnumbered by the French.

Rare Video of Anne Frank

The Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam has posted this footage to its YouTube Channel.

Where’s Buzz? At the Beverly Hilton!

Buzz Aldrin is a stud. Dude landed on the moon. Whatever he and Neil Armstrong want to do with their time is OK by us. They could start robbing banks together and we wouldn’t say a word.

Book Review: “The Silent Spirit”

“She’s a master.”       -Tony HillermanAnyone writing a Native American mystery has to wrassle with the presence of the genre’s 500-pound gorilla: the late Tony Hillerman. Margaret Coel dispatches the issue with a Hillerman blurb right on the front cover of her new novel, The Silent Spirit. (Could that be Hillerman’s Last Blurb? He died last October.)

The ‘Horsey Incisors’ of Hilary Swank

It’s Oscar season and you know what that means: Time to wheel Hilary Swank out for her annual viewing. In ‘Amelia,’ she plays the legendary aviator Amelia Earhart, and those big, horsey incisors of hers may at last have met their match.Ty Burr reviews the new movie Amelia.

While We’re Talking About It…

Yesterday’s post about Jack Kerouac was a nice prelude to this:William S. Burroughs: A Man Within.

Kerouac Videos

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Jack Kerouac’s death (at the age of 47). For some Kerouac-related media, we recommend this archive called Digital Beats.

Ideas for Oscar Rejuvenation

Defamer has some lively ideas for making the Academy Awards relevant again. Included are scenarios titled Drink the Golden Globes Under the Table, Post-Modern Oscar, and… Logan’s Run: The tweens have taken over entertainment; how long does Oscar think it can hold out anyway? Show Oscar’s commitment to staying relevant by terminating the careers of any actor over 35 on live TV.Host: Vanessa Hudgins

One Dream Rush

Diversion: Some liquor company somewhere had a contest of sorts called One Dream Rush. Filmmakers had 42 seconds to make a dreamy movie.The above link goes to the YouTube channel that features some of the short films, including ones by David Lynch and, oddly enough, James Franco.

Meryl Streep’s Kid Mamie

[Editor’s note: Originally posted in 2009.]That’s actress Mamie Gummer, the daughter of Meryl Streep and sculptor Donald Gummer, at a Whitney Museum gala last night.

Saturday Flashback: Fleetwood Mac and ‘Rhiannon’

Good stuff: Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac play “Rhiannon” live in 1976 — the year after their debut album, Fleetwood Mac, and the year before the release of their smash album “Rumours.”

George Takei on The Newlywed Game

Check out this video bit from of Star Trek’s George Takei and his husband, Brad Altman, who appeared on the game show The Newlywed Game. The first same-sex married couple to do so, they say.The clip includes shots from the show and the two of them chatting about the experience.

Behind the Scenes with Spike Jonze

From Paste magazine, here’s a behind-the-scenes video from the upcoming Spike Jonze movie based on Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.The video is called “The Absurd Difficulty of Filming a Dog Running and Barking at the Same Time.”

The Pythons, Then and Now

The members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus (with part-time Python Carol Cleveland) at last night’s 40th anniversary show in New York City…

A Song, A Baby, A Monty Python Reunion

Monty Python is having a 40th-anniversary reunion show tonight in New York. Their show launched on the BBC on 5 October 1969.Last night they had a pre-union, as it were, on the Jimmy Fallon Show. Eric Idle, backed by Fallon’s house band, sang “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”

Lenny Bruce Auction

Happy birthday to the late comedian Lenny Bruce, who would have been 84 years old today, had he not overdosed himself off this mortal coil back in 1966. His daughter, Kitty, runs The Official Lenny Bruce Website, and today marks the beginning of a two-week auction of Bruce memorabilia.

A Toast from the Secretary of State

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton toasts photographers at McDaid’s Pub in Dublin on Sunday. She was accompanied by Art Rooney, the new U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.Clinton visits Belfast for political talks with Northern Ireland leaders today.

The Anniversary of Welles’s Death

Filmmaker Orson Welles died on October 10th (that’s tomorrow) in 1985, at the age of 70. Here are a few links — mostly videos — in tribute to Mr. Welles:

Barack Obama Wins the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.”From the official announcement from the Nobel Peace Prize committee.

You Certainly Have Game, Mr. President

Mr. Lombardi played twice with Obama during the campaign… The first time, in May 2008, came about by sheer happenstance. Lombardi was at the gym, and there was Obama, so Lombardi introduced himself.”Hey, listen,” Obama said, “I have members of my staff here, five or six guys, we wanna play full court, you go find a few guys.”

Way to Go, Harry

Singer and actor Harry Connick, Jr. was a guest judge for a talent contest on live television in Australia, part of the show Hey, Hey It’s Saturday, when he was startled by an act that was a “tribute” to Michael Jackson: the skit involved five white men in black face and afro wigs.

Giant Puppets

Here’s a gallery of amazing photos from Berlin, where they let France’s Royal de Luxe theater troupe crowd the streets with giant wooden marionettes.Courtesy of the Boston Globe.

George Clooney Is the Spice of Life

Variety loves George Clooney’s new movie, Up In the Air.Clooney has scarcely ever been more magnetic onscreen than he is here as Ryan Bingham, a gun-for-hire who specializes in the dirty work some corporate bosses don’t like to do themselves, firing employees.


Vanity Fair has a nifty slideshow of its past photos of Penelope Cruz.

Dancing Without Delay

The latest news in the world of TV’s Dancing with the Stars (the on-air dancing competition that features F-list celebrities): Former U.S. congressman Tom DeLay, who went from Powerful Politician (during the the administration of President George W. Bush) to Ousted-and-Under-Indictment TV celebrity, has reportedly withdrawn from dance competition, due to stress fractures in his feet.

Fastest Land Vehicles

Popular Mechanics offers this nifty list of the Ten Fastest Land Speed Record vehicles, beginning with this beauty, the 999, by Henry Ford.

Archie Goes Polygamous

“The polls that I’ve seen ran about 80/20, Betty over Veronica, with Jughead continually coming in a strong third.”Archie seems to be solving his dilemma by marrying both girls. (The Times blames his polygamy on Robert Frost.)