Monthly Archive: July 2010

Al Gore Will Not Be Charged in Odd Massage Case

Al Gore will not be prosecuted over allegations that he made unwanted advances to a massage therapist in Portland, Oregon in 2006.  The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office made the announcement on Friday. According to the Oregonian, the DA cited a “lack of credible evidence.”

Charlene Wittstock in a Red Cross Ball Gown – PHOTOS

Charlene Wittstock joined Prince Albert of Monaco last night at her very first Monte Carlo Red Cross Ball as the prince’s wife presumptive, if that’s the right title.  Let’s go to the Charlene Wittstock photos:

Somerset Maugham: Swami-Loving Third-Rater?

In his 1944 essay “The Saint,” Maugham describes a mostly silent meeting
with the swami, who was “of a dark honey color with close-cropped white
hair and a close-cropped white beard” and wore only a loincloth. When
Maugham said he felt sick and weak, Sri Ramana replied, “Silence is also
conversation.” This and many of the details of his visit found their
way into “The Razor’s Edge.”

Mark Knopfler, Gettin’ Up There

That’s Mark Knopfler, performing at the Plaza De Toros De Las Ventas (“place of the sale of the bulls

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Dislikes

According to the U.K.’s Telegraph, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has a quirky collection of things he dislikes. They provide this list as evidence, from ponytails to Paul the Octopus.

Color Photos from the Great Depression

America in Color From 1939-43, from the Denver Post, is a collection of photos from the U.S. Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information. The color images come from small towns during the Great Depression and were part of a 2006 exhibit from the Library of Congress.

Barack Obama is ‘Charming’ on ‘The View’

Barack Obama is “charming as usual” on his pre-taped appearance on The View this morning.  That’s according to Joy Behar — or so says CNN.  “The president was at ease, Behar said, and did not appear nervous during the taping.”That’s a relief.

The Harvard Hippies of ’69

Harvard revisits three dropouts from its class of 1969.(Hat tip: Mr. Duffy)

Who2 is Not a Zoo, Casino, or Aquarium

The mysteries of finance: Earlier this year Who2 took out a modest line of credit to do some hedge-trimming and technical roto-tilling around the website.  US Bank, for reasons known only to itself and God, routed the approval through some part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  It was never quite clear why.

Barbra Streisand Wants Me to Buy ‘What’s Up, Doc?’

Barbra Streisand sent me an email today with the headline “‘What’s Up, Doc?’ Coming Soon on Blu-ray.”  (The inside headline is all enthusiasm: “What’s Up, Doc? Available in Two Weeks!  First Streisand Movie on Blu-ray!”)

Daniel Schorr: Politicians and Journalists Shouldn’t Mix

Mr. Schorr and [CNN founder Ted Turner] eventually fell out over a CNN plan to team John Connally, the former Texas governor and Nixon Treasury secretary, with Mr. Schorr as commentators at the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas.

John Callahan, Quadriplegic Cartoonist, Dead at 59

Willamette Week is reporting that cartoonist John Callahan has died at age 60.His personal site confirms his death (if not the age), with the photo below captioned “1951-2010.”  Wikipedia also says John Callahan was born 5 February 1951, which would make him 59.  Willamette Week says that Callahan had been in ill health for a year.

Zsa Zsa Gabor is in Critical Condition

“I’m at her bedside waiting for her to respond,” said her husband, Frederic von Anhalt. “She doesn’t talk to us, she can’t tell us what hurts and what’s wrong, so …..

Alex Trebek is 70. Holy Cow!

Alex Trebek, host of the game show Jeopardy! since 1984, turns 70 today.  (Born the same year as Bugs Bunny and Bruce Lee, it turns out.)We wish him the happiest possible birthday.  He was 44 when he started hosting the show.

‘Mad Men’ Gets the Barbie Treatment

Yes, those are Mad Men Barbie dolls. Mattel has released this rather amazing new set in honor of the upcoming fourth season of Mad Men.

The Horse Boy is Back!

“The original Horse Boy, a man in a purple jumper and a rubber horse’s head mask, was spotted on Google  Street View on Hardgate in Aberdeen.

Lindsay Lohan ‘Sulks Off to Jail’

To be fair, it IS hard to look cheery when you’re handcuffed.Here’s Lindsay Lohan shortly beforehand, heading through the metal detectors at the Beverly Hills Courthouse as she turns herself in.

Dick Cheney’s Heart, Then and Now

So Dick Cheney had a pump implanted in his heart last week. The prognosis is uncertain: it may be the prelude to heart transplant surgery, or it may be a semi-reliable solution that could endure for years.

Charlie Chaplin Film Rediscovered

According to this story from National Public Radio, a 1914 film called A Thief Catcher has been discovered at an antiques sale in Michigan, and film legend Charlie Chaplin appears on screen for a few minutes as a bumbling policeman.

Happy Birthday, Edgar Degas

Today marks the anniversary of the birth of artist Edgar Degas. He was born in Paris in 1834.
Anyone interested in the work of Degas should read this (rather long) piece by Gary Arseneau, titled All Degas Bronze Sculptures Are Fake.

Lady Gaga, Conan O’Brien, and Sexy Headlines

Early this year, the print edition of The Post had this great headline on a story about Conan O’Brien’s decision to quit rather than accept a later time slot: “Better never than late.” Online, it was changed to “Conan O’Brien won’t give up ‘Tonight Show’ time slot to make room for Jay Leno.”

Zsa Zsa Gabor Gets ‘Hip’

That’s pretty cold, making a dumb headline out of a 93-year-old woman’s hip replacement surgery.  We’re just trying to sell some papers here.

Happy 150th Innocent (?) Birthday, Lizzie Borden!

It’s the Lizzie Borden sesquicentennial!  The accused — but acquitted — killer was born on this day in 1860 in Fall River, Massachusetts.The “acquitted” part is what everyone forgets, which just proves the power of rhyme:Lizzie Borden took an axeAnd gave her mother forty whacks.When
she saw what she had doneShe gave her father forty-one.

Zsa Zsa Gabor, ‘Jeopardy!’ Fan

“She was watching her favorite show, ‘Jeopardy,’ when the phone rang. She reached over to pick it up and fell.”

John Daly Misses Whole Milk

His weight has dropped to 195 pounds, and his drink of choice is Diet Coke. His says the thing he misses most is whole milk, which his stomach can’t handle any more either. “I used to drink a half gal of that a day,” he said. “When you were as hungover as I used to be, it was great. Got rid of everything.”

George Steinbrenner, Farewell!

George Steinbrenner, the feisty owner and boss-man of the New York Yankees, has died at age 80.  He’d been in failing health for years after some strokes, but a “massive heart attack” is what got him.

An Overly Long Review of ‘Cyrus’

Cyrus is the new film that stars John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei.It’s directed by brothers Mark and Jay Duplass, so-called “indie” filmmakers who directed 2005’s The Puffy Chair, an arthouse favorite for reasons I can’t understand (beyond “at least it’s not Hollywood”).

Shakira, Her Abs, and the Jabulani – PHOTOS

Pop star Shakira holds the official Jabulani ball before the final match of World Cup 2010 yesterday.  (Spain beat the Netherlands, 1-0.)A few days earlier, Shakira showed off her startlingly football-player-like abdominal muscles at the Glastonbury Music Festival.

Roman Polanski Will Not Be Extradited

Roman Polanski will not be extradited to the United States, say Swiss authorities.The “measures of restriction on his liberty have been lifted.”  That is to say, he’s been freed from house arrest.

Judge Judy: Catch Phrases for the Next Decade

“Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining” — that’s the famous catch-phrase of TV’s Judge Judy.  (She even made it into a book title.) 

Mama Grizzly Sarah Palin Sees Pink Elephants

Here’s a new video from Sarah Palin, called “Mama Grizzlies.”
Not because a mother grizzly bear raises her offspring without the help of the father, who is off roaming the wilds of Alaska in search of another mate. And certainly not because a grizzly’s diet is 90% vegetarian. No, “Mama Grizzlies” because mother bears are protective of their cubs, and according to former governor and part-time biologist Sarah Palin, “‘cuz moms just kinda know when somethin’ is wrong.”

Lindsay Lohan Off to Jail

According to this report from, actress and fungible tabloid celebrity Lindsay Lohan has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for violating court orders going back to a 2007 arrest for driving while intoxicated.

Waiting on LeBron

Basketball fans — especially those in Cleveland — are waiting for word on where free agent LeBron James will end up playing next season.
Sports analysts on TV and radio have been guessing for months because James’s contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers expired this year. Will “King James” stay in Cleveland and finally bring them a championship? Will he go to New York where the lights are brighter? Will he go to New Jersey, where he can see New York’s brighter lights? Will he announce his decision on The View or Oprah?

Birthday Twins: Merv Griffin and Bill Haley

Merv Griffin and Bill Haley were both born on this very day in 1925.  Haley was born in Michigan, Griffin in California.Bill Haley gained super-fame earlier, thanks to “Shake, Rattle and Roll” and especially “Rock Around the Clock” in the 1950s.  He was super-famous all over again in the 1970s, when “Rock Around the Clock” became the official anthem of 1950s nostalgia.

Uruguay and Its Plucky Soccer Stars

When Andrade was born in Salto, Uruguay’s second city, in 1901, his father was said to be 98 years old, an expert in African magic who had escaped from slavery in Brazil. In the team photograph of the first winners of the World Cup in 1930, José stands out: his is the only black face.A peek at Uruguay’s surprising World Cup history.

Searching For Bobby Fischer and His DNA

United States chess champion and all-around oddball Bobby Fischer died in Iceland in January of 2008. Yesterday his body was exhumed, some DNA samples were taken and he was reinterred.

Serena Williams Wins Wimbledon AGAIN

Serena Williams whipped Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-2 today to win her second Wimbledon in a row and fourth overall.

Movie Stars in Bathtubs

In my collection I have a book called Movie Stars in Bathtubs, by Jack Scagnetti, from 1975.

Liza Makes The Rounds

The recent deal between the Home Shopping Network and Liza Minnelli has gone viral, in the form of this YouTube clip, in which Liza trots out her jewelry and clothing lines:

Raising Supermodels Like Wine Grapes

“I researched the genetic makeup of the city on the Internet… we like small towns, with Italian and German lineage, with people that live and work in the field and villages.  This helps keep the genetic makeup more concentrated.”

The L.A. Times Goes Meh on ‘Airbender’

As you can see from their subheadline, the Los Angeles Times wasn’t very excited about the new fantasy thriller from film director M. Night Shyamalan.
The arrow on the kid’s head represents the direction of Shyamalan’s career.