Monthly Archive: February 2010

“The Moose Starts to Mingle…”

First it was King Tut Thursday — now here’s Woody Allen Saturday. A funny routine from 1965 that begins with the unlikely (for Woody) phrase, “Um… I shot a moose once.”

Oh, Apolo, Apolo, Apolo!

Apolo Anton Ohno, come on, man: you shoved him.  These things happen. Just own up, baby!We’re talking, of course, about the men’s 500 meter short-track speed skating event on Friday night.  Ohno finished second, but then was disqualified after judges ruled he had bumped Francois-Louis Tremblay on the final turn. 

Happy Birthday, Johnny Cash!

Today would have been the 78th birthday of singing legend Johnny Cash. He died in 2003 at the age of 71.It’s also the official release date of his latest record, American Recordings VI: Ain’t No Grave.Both National Public Radio and Rolling Stone magazine look back on his long career.

Saddam Hussein: How Social Networking Nabbed Him

If you’re a Saddam Hussein aficionado with a half-hour to kill, Slate has just published a fascinating five-part series titled “Searching for Saddam: How the U.S. military used social networking to capture the Iraqi dictator.”It’s not about Facebook and Twitter, but about how the Army used similar theories of social networking to work their way through Saddam’s tribal contacts and figure out his whereabouts.Here’s the series.

King Tut Thursday

DNA research has given the experts some convincing evidence as to why King Tut died at the young age of 19.The short answer is in-breeding and malaria.King Tut’s parents, they say, were brother and sister. On top of that, or maybe because of it, he had a degenerative bone disease. He also had a club foot and a cleft palate.

Shepard Fairey Draws a Crowd

Shepard Fairey has a new exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. Called “Supply and Demand,” it runs through August 22nd and shows about 250 of his works.

DVD Review: ‘Harvard Beats Yale 29-29’

Harvard Beats Yale, 29-29Documentary – 2008Viewed on: Saturday night, 20 February 2010Pre-movie meal: French onion soup, fries, and a Dr. Loosen Riesling

Guy Walks Into a Bar…

A drunk was in front of a judge. The judge says “You’ve been brought here for drinking.” The drunk says, “Okay, let’s get started.” A man goes to a psychiatrist. The doctor says, “You’re crazy.” The man says, “I want a second opinion!” “Okay, you’re ugly too!” The food on the plane was fit for a king. “Here, King!”Happy 12th deathday to the “king of the one-liners,” Henny Youngman.

Skeptical Peaches

The tattoo on Geldof’s bicep is a book with a noose laid over it. The Daily Mail claims it’s a tribute to her former boyfriend, Faris Badwan, frontman with The …..

A Few Things About Joyce Carol Oates

The newest edition of Smithsonian magazine has a brief feature on author Joyce Carol Oates and her sense of place.In her case, it’s all about rural New York, specifically Lockport, where she grew up.

Jayson Williams Gets Five Years in Prison

Retired NBA star Jayson Williams has been sentenced to five years in prison.Williams today gave a teary-eyed apology to Superior Court Judge Edward Coleman.

The Dalai Lama Tweets

Yes, from the Office of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, it’s his Twitter account!

Photo from 'Just a Nice Photo: Michelle Obama'

Just a Nice Photo: Michelle Obama

 First Lady Michelle Obama appears with schoolchildren at a White House concert by jazz musician Harry Connick, Jr. Credit: Carrie Devorah / WENN. 

Roman Polanski: “Even If I Could Come, I Wouldn’t”

“Even if I could come, I wouldn’t, because the last time I went to a festival to accept an award, I ended up in jail.”Roman Polanski, under house arrest in Switzerland, in a message to the Berlin Film Festival after winning the best director prize for his film The Ghost Writer.The Turkish drama Honey won the Golden Bear as best film.

Photo from 'Renee Zellweger PHOTOS with Naked Scapula'

Renee Zellweger PHOTOS with Naked Scapula

 Renee Zellweger was a member of the jury at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival. (So was director Werner Herzog, who’s been getting some funny blog time lately.)The festival closed this weekend. Herewith, a few photos of Renee Zellweger doing the movie star thing in Berlin.

C.J. Chivers, War Reporter on the Job

Amazing piece of reporting on Afghanistan in The New York Times this morning by C.J. Chivers.Marines Do Heavy Lifting as Afghan Army Lags in BattleA taste:

Odessa Begay’s Museum of Modern Tweets

Making fun of celebrity tweets rises to new heights with illustrator Odessa Begay’s Museum of Modern Tweets.Her captions are (alleged) twitter entries from pop celebrities like Jim Carrey, Shaquille O’Neal and, of course, Lindsay Lohan, and her pop-graphic style is a nice match for the text. Here’s a great one:

“New” Photos of The Beatles

Someone is hopefully studying the phenomenon of “never before seen photos” of famous people who’ve been in the news for the last half-century or more.Now comes this report of “unseen” photos of The Beatles, in one of their last photo shoots (1968).There they are, horsing around… in color!

Here’s Virgil Earp’s Grave

No, it’s not his birthday. No, it’s not the anniversary of his death. Who2 doesn’t even have a profile of famous Old West lawman Virgil Earp (but we have profiles of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday).

Gary Coleman on The Insider

Frozen-in-time actor Gary Coleman was on the tabloid TV show The Insider, trying to talk about his recent run-in with the law over a domestic dispute. He ended up storming off the set, after telling panelist Lisa Bloom “you’re pushing my buttons.” Indeed, she was pushing his buttons, and he ended up turning in one of the most dramatic performances of his career: See the video right here.

More Nuggets on The Knack

“It’s a great song… It’s a fun song. There are many other songs that I think are as good in our canon, but I don’t mind being known for ‘My Sharona.'”Following up on yesterday’s post about the death of “My Sharona” writer Doug Fieger: here’s a 1998 Rolling Stone interview with a few choice Fieger nuggests.

The Real “My Sharona”

Entertainment Weekly has this brief interview with Sharona Alperin, the real-life inspiration for the 1979 hit single “My Sharona.”Doug Fieger, who wrote the song and made it famous as a member of The Knack, passed away February 14th, after fighting cancer for many years. Fieger and Alperin dated for a few years, way back when. Now the Sharona sells real estate. You can see for yourself at her professional site.

Tributes to J.G. Ballard

Writer and “psychogeographer” Iain Sinclair pens this tribute — loaded up with big words and big ideas — to the late author J.G. Ballard, titled “Crash: JG Ballard’s Artistic Legacy.”

Alexander McQueen Hanged Himself: Inquest

Fashion designer Alexander McQueen hanged himself last week, according to evidence presented at an inquest today.McQueen left a note and there were “no suspicious circumstances.”More from BBC News and the Daily Telegraph.

Old Chums

Credit: Adriana M. Barraza /

Channing Tatum Wants You to Love

Actor Channing Tatum has launched a new site — coincidental with his new movie, Dear John — that promotes the idea of telling someone you love, “hey, I love you.” …..

Photo from 'Rare Photos of Celebrities'

Rare Photos of Celebrities

The folks over at are featuring a 30-photo slideshow of what they call “rare movie star photos.”

Chrismas Day Bomber Abdulmutallab Arrest Timeline

Government officials have released the timeline of when the Christmas Day bomb suspect — a.k.a. “the underwear bomber” — Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was arrested and, later, advised of his Miranda rights.Being “Mirandized” means being advised of your constitutional right to refuse to answer questions unless you have legal representation.

Susan B. Anthony: 190 Unsmiling Years

We have several photos of Susan B. Anthony from the U.S. Library of Congress, and in none of them is she smiling. She meant business. Thanks for everything, Ms. Anthony, …..

Ohno Claims Silver in 1500 Meters

Apolo Anton Ohno won a silver medal in the 1500-meter event of men’s short-track speedskating on Saturday night. Ohno moved from fourth to second on the final turn as two South Koreans wiped out just ahead of him. Jung-Su Lee, a 20-year-old South Korean, won the gold medal.

Lindsey Vonn: New Biography

Lindsey Vonn takes a turn in this photo from the 2009 Alpine Ski Championships in Val d’Isere, FranceJust in time for the Vancouver Olympics, we’ve posted a new biography of skier Lindsey Vonn. 

Bill Clinton and His Heart Went to the Hospital

Former U.S. president and global gadabout Bill Clinton was in the hospital in New York today. He went feeling chest pains, and by the end of the day he’d undergone surgery.The Wall Street Journal says that President Clinton underwent a “stent procedure” to unclog some arteries.President Clinton had quadruple bypass surgery in 2004. He is 63 years old.

Nelson Mandela: 20 Years of Freedom

Mandela is seen rarely in public these days. (We wrote about one possible reason a few months ago.) He made a brief appearance at a celebration today, but didn’t speak.  …..

Bo Knows Snow

Bo, the Obama family dog, frolics in snow outside the White House in the aftermath of winter storms in Washington, DC.  More than a foot of snow fell on the city.(White House photo by Pete Souza)

“I Guess It Just Shows That Billboards Work”

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has the latest on that strange George W. Bush billboard on I-35 in Minnesota — the one with just his photo and the caption “Miss me yet?”

11 Fans Turn Out to Greet Colts

It sounds like a headline from The Onion.11 fans turned out to cheer Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts as they returned from losing Super Bowl XLIV.

Rep. John Murtha Dead at 77, Two Days After Setting Longevity Record

Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha has died at age 77. He had been suffering from an infection after gall bladder surgery.Just two days ago Murtha became the longest-serving Congressman in Pennsylvania history. He took office in 1974 and was reelected 17 times.A Vietnam War veteran as a Marine, John Murtha was a “master of pork barrel politics” and an ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Photo from 'Sarah Palin's Cheat Sheet is Her Hand'

Sarah Palin’s Cheat Sheet is Her Hand

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin likes to make fun of President Barack Obama for being articulate — at this week’s Tea Party Convention she referred to the president as …..

“My Way” Killings

From the pages of The New York Times comes this bizarre story about killings in the Philippines over karaoke disputes. Specifically, it’s about how dangerous it is to sing the Frank Sinatra song “My Way.”Some karaoke bars have banned the song or removed it from their song lists, and the Philippines news media have “recorded at least half a dozen victims in the past decade,” in what they call “My Way Killings.”

Vince Lombardi: Trophy Man and Gapper

Vince Lombardi, the legendary pro football coach, has now been profiled by editor Paul Hehn.And just in time: the NFL Super Bowl trophy has his name on it.  (Lombardi, not Hehn.) Lombardi is a “gapper” — someone we should have profiled long ago. 

Michael Biehn, Bite Victim

In every James Cameron movie Michael appears in, his character is bitten on the hand by another character. From Wikipedia’s entry on actor Michael Biehn.  But wait: there’s a caveat!This does not include Terminator 2: Judgment Day (however, Biehn is only in one scene in this film, and the scene is not part of the theatrical version; it is only available in the extended edition of the film).

Tiger Woods Is Out of Sex Rehab, Probably

Tiger Woods has checked out of a Mississippi sex addiction clinic and flown off with his wife, Elin Nordegren Woods. That’s according to various media reports, none of which have an on-the-record quote or attribution.

Prince Charles Loves His New Football Jersey

Prince Charles visits Burnley Football Club on 5 February 2009This photo of Prince Charles just cracks me up, for some reason.  You have to love the guy.

Photo from 'Norman Rockwell Writes a Fan Letter'

Norman Rockwell Writes a Fan Letter

“This is the second fan letter of my long career.”So begins a great little 1948 missive from artist Norman Rockwell to illustrator Al Parker — now found on the fabulous site Letters of Note.

Happy Birthday, William S. Burroughs

Writer and performance artist William S. Burroughs was born on this day in 1914. One of the 20th century’s Counter Culture Heavyweights, he wrote Naked Lunch and shot heroin (and his wife). He lived to the ripe old age of 83. In honor of his birthday, here are a pair of video clips:William S. Burroughs Likes Weapons:

Photo from 'Dennis Hopper PHOTOS Over Time'

Dennis Hopper PHOTOS Over Time

Dennis Hopper, star of Easy Rider and so many other films, is battling prostate cancer. (Compounded by a so-called “deathbed divorce” from his fifth wife, Victoria Duffy.)We wish him well. Herewith, a look back through his 199 (to date) film and TV roles.

Is That Young Meryl Streep?

Fans of multi-Oscar nominee Meryl Streep should enjoy this minor controversy over a video clip from 1965 that shows what could be a young Streep, waiting alongside other fans of The Beatles (fans of The Beatles should enjoy it, too):

Patricia Highsmith, Happy 15th Deathday!

Patricia Highsmith, the creepy and sophisticated author of The Talented Mr. Ripley, died 15 years ago today.(Aside: When did 1995 get to be 15 years ago?)

Morgan Freeman’s Easy Reader

Yep, that’s 2010 Oscar-nominee Morgan Freeman as rhyming ‘n’ dancing “Easy Reader” on the old educational TV show The Electric Company. His song and dance partner there is Oscar/Tony/Emmy/Grammy winner …..

Lyndon Johnson, Fresca Fanatic

Lyndon Johnson “gave up alcohol and drank tea, Tab and Fresca” after he became president in 1963, as we note in our profile.  We didn’t know until now that he used Fresca as a weapon, too.

New Faces on Mars?

Recent publications of images from Mars have kicked new energy into the once-vibrant Science Division of Who2.From HiRISE (that’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, from the University of Arizona), we analyzed this image:

The Day the Music Died

Yes, it’s the anniversary of the plane crash in 1959 that killed early rock and roll star Buddy Holly, as well as Ritchie Valens and J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson.Buddy Holly is known for the songs “That’ll Be The Day” and “Peggy Sue.”Ritchie Valens had a big hit with “La Bamba.”

Bill Watterson Interview

Cartoonist Bill Watterson, the creator of the beloved Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, has given his first interview in many years to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Punxsutawney Phil Sees His Shadow

It’s over. Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his den this morning and, in a rock-star ritual enhanced with texting, predicted six more weeks of winter.

J.D. Salinger: Not A Recluse?

Author J.D. Salinger was not a recluse, as so many have said (cough). Or so claim his New Hampshire neighbors:He would, until recent years, vote in elections and attend town meetings at the Cornish Elementary School, and he went to the Plainfield General Store each day before it closed. He was often spotted at the Price Chopper supermarket in Windsor, separated from Cornish by a covered bridge and the now ice-jammed river, and he ate lunch alone at the Windsor Diner. Mr.