Monthly Archive: March 2011

Just a Nice Photo: Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan poses with Amy and Catherine Quinn, her co-stars in the 2008 film City of Ember.

Photo from 'Google Doodle for Robert Bunsen: Why the Coffee Pot?'

Google Doodle for Robert Bunsen: Why the Coffee Pot?

The Google Doodle for the day celebrates scientist Robert Bunsen on his 200th birthday.  And a lovely Google Doodle it is!  (Although technically, shouldn’t the Bunsen Burner flame be colorless?)

Wonder Woman Update: NPR Slams the Spangles

“My point is that the sorts of people you are charged to fight represent a grave, grave threat to all of us. We can’t afford to have you distracted because you’re yanking up your top all the time like a poorly-fitted bridesmaid at a hastily planned wedding.

Photo from 'Happy Birthday, Vincent Van Gogh'

Happy Birthday, Vincent Van Gogh

Today is the birthday of painter Vincent Van Gogh. Born in 1853, he would have been 158 years old if he hadn’t shot himself and died when he was 37.

Photo from 'Wonder Woman is Back. Why?'

Wonder Woman is Back. Why?

Wonder Woman is back, in the form of Adrianne Palicki (of Friday Night Lights fame) in a new TV show produced by David E. Kelley (of Ally McBeal fame). Here’s a …..

So Long to Paul Baran, Internet Pioneer

Paul Baran, a giant of early Internet technology, has died at age 84.In the early 1960s, while working at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, Mr. Baran outlined the fundamentals for packaging data into discrete bundles, which he called “message blocks.” The bundles are then sent on various paths around a network and reassembled at their destination. Such a plan is known as “packet switching.”

Photo from 'Bob Herbert's Last Column for The NY Times'

Bob Herbert’s Last Column for The NY Times

“When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely.”Bob Herbert, godblesshim,

Photo of Tom Hanks

Just a Nice Photo: Tom Hanks and a Baby

Tom Hanks meets a random baby outside the Ed Sullivan Theater while doing the David Letterman show in 2009. I just like the matching expressions (and noses).Things hadn’t started out quite so badly…

Elizabeth Taylor Late for Her Own Funeral

Per her own request!”The service was scheduled to begin at 2 PM but at Miss Taylor’s request
started late. Miss Taylor had left instructions that it was to begin at
least 15 minutes later than publicly scheduled, with the announcement,
‘She even wanted to be late for her own funeral.'”See our biography of Elizabeth Taylor >>

Photo from 'Britishisms for $200, Alex'

Britishisms for $200, Alex

Peaches Geldof “puts on her slap at a train station,” says the The Daily Mail.  “Puts on her slap”?

“It Was a Choice Between That and Bubbles the Chimp”

Legendary producer Quincy Jones on recording with Michael Jackson:Q: …I was just watching a clip on YouTube where you’re sitting on a couch with Michael and he’s petting a snake the whole time.A: Oh, I remember that. Yeah, that was Muscles.Q: Muscles?

Photo from 'William Shatner is 80, Amazingly'

William Shatner is 80, Amazingly

Happy birthday to William Shatner, who is 80 years old, starring in his own sitcom, and looking good.  (The photo above was taken last month, not in 1998.) 

Tina Fey Pats a Guy in a Bunny Costume

Tina Fey poses with a man (?) in a giant rabbit costume last week. The occasion was the Bunny Hop, a fundraiser in New York City.

Presidential Candidates 2012: Tim Pawlenty Gets Things Rolling

Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, declared today that he is forming a presidential exploratory committee for 2012. “Declared” isn’t quite right: he announced it via this video on his Facebook page:

Woody Allen Boxes a Kangaroo

From the British television show Hippodrome, here’s former comedian Woody Allen, horsing around with a boxing kangaroo in 1966:

Photo from 'David Lynch's Hair'

David Lynch’s Hair

Thanks to for this display the hairdos of filmmaker/artist David Lynch, compared to famous paintings:

Garrison Keillor Says He Will Retire In 750 Days

Q. Do you plan to scale back at some point?A. I am planning to retire in the spring of 2013, but first I have to
find my replacement. I’m pushing forward, and also I’m in denial. It’s
an interesting time of life.Q. What do you think about retirement in general?

Famous Alums of the March Madness Schools

Duke:  1. Richard Nixon, 37th president of United States. 2. Drew Rosenhaus, powerful sports agent. 3. Kara DioGuardi, songwriter, musician and American Idol judge.Oakland:  1. David Hasselhoff, former Baywatch star. 2. Robert Englund, actor most famous for his portrayal of Freddie Kruger. 3. Curtis Armstrong, actor best known for playing Booger in Revenge of the Nerds.Who gets the edge there: “resigned the presidency in shame” or “played Booger in Revenge of the Nerds”? 

Photo from 'Paul Gaugin Exhibit at the National Gallery of Art'

Paul Gaugin Exhibit at the National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is hosting an exhibit of paintings by 19th century French artist Paul Gaugin. The gallery is calling it “Gaugin: Maker of Myth” — because that sounds better than “Gaugin: Big Fat Liar.”
As this story from the Los Angeles Times points out, the expert opinion is that Paul Gaugin was a hell of a painter.

Aaron Eckhart on ‘Battle: Los Angeles’

Actor Aaron Eckhart gave this lengthy video interview to the site Making Of, about his new action thriller Battle: Los Angeles.Eckhart also talks a bit about his early career, and a lot about his approach to being a movie actor:To see the video, you have to go here, because I couldn’t wrestle their embedding code to fit into our space.

The Hunt for Red October: Alec Baldwin’s ‘Beady-Eyed’ Producer Responds

Yesterday Alec Baldwin described how he was forced off the sequel to The Hunt for Red October in 1991.He named the “beady-eyed” producer responsible, David Kirkpatrick, and hinted that he was a specimen of the “lyingest, thievingest scumbags on Earth.”Today Kirkpatrick responded.

Happy Birthday, Rupert Murdoch and Antonin Scalia!

Today is the birthday of both Rupert Murdoch (Fox News!) and U.S. Supreme Court associate justice Antonin Scalia.
Rupert Murdoch turns 80, and Antonin Scalia turns 75. Perhaps they’re celebrating together, eating cake made of money and riding on a yacht powered by the sweat of the underclass.
In their honor, we present this classic tune by The Who, “Young Man Blues”:

Photo from 'LIFE:  Eva Braun's Private Photos'

LIFE: Eva Braun’s Private Photos

Like me, you were probably just wondering, “how come I’ve never seen Adolf Hitler’s girlfriend in blackface?”

Photo from 'Emilio Estevez Biography, with Meme'

Emilio Estevez Biography, with Meme

Since we’re all smack in the middle of the Season of Charlie Sheen, it’s time to drag out the Who2 biography of Charlie’s big brother, actor Emilio Estevez.
And while you’re at it, you may as well read the Who2 biography of their dad, actor Martin Sheen.

‘The Adjustment Bureau’ and Philip K. Dick

Yesterday I saw the new Matt Damon movie, The Adjustment Bureau. I didn’t know too much about it on the way in. Early on, my wife asked me, “is this based on a Philip K. Dick book?”I said, “I don’t know… if not directly, then indirectly.” I answer a lot of her questions that way — if not directly, then indirectly. As it turns out, The Adjustment Bureau is based on a Philip K. Dick short story, The Adjustment Team, published in 1954.

Photo from 'Happy Birthday, Luther Burbank'

Happy Birthday, Luther Burbank

Today is the birthday of plant hybridizer and potato creator Luther Burbank. He was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts in 1849.

Photo from 'Just a Nice Photo: Joan Cusack'

Just a Nice Photo: Joan Cusack

Actress Joan Cusack gets smooched at the premiere of Mars Needs Moms at the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles last night.

K.W. Jeter and the Birth of Steampunk

“Personally, I think Victorian fantasies are going to be the next big thing, as long as we can come up with a fitting collective term for Powers, Blaylock and myself. Something based on the appropriate technology of that era; like ‘steampunks,’ perhaps….”Letters of Note pins the term steampunk to a letter from sci-fi author K.W. Jeter in 1987.

Andy Warhol Exhibition, Andy Warhol Interview

Tomorrow the Indiana University Art Museum is opening an exhibit of more than 150 photographs by pop artist Andy Warhol.
The photos come from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Not to be confused with the Warhol museum.

Charles Portis Biography, with Anecdote

While reading up on author Charles Portis, I came upon the transcript of a lengthy interview he did with Roy Reed in 2001. The interview was for a project about the history of Little Rock’s Gazette, a newspaper Portis worked at in 1958.
Charles Portis went on to become a novelist. He wrote The Dog of the South and True Grit.
You can find the interview by way of this unofficial tribute to Portis.

Photo from 'Sirhan Sirhan: No Parole, 13 Times and Counting'

Sirhan Sirhan: No Parole, 13 Times and Counting

“Board members argued that Sirhan hasn’t spent enough time reflecting on his crime.”Sirhan Sirhan, the man who assassinated Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, has again been denied parole.It’s the 13th time Sirhan Sirhan has been denied parole. The “I was brainwashed” argument didn’t carry the day for him.

New Dashiell Hammett Short Story to be Published

This week The Strand Magazine will publish a previously unknown short story by legendary mystery master Dashiell Hammett, the author of The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man.
The story, titled “So I Shot Him,” is one of 15 unpublished stories discovered by The Strand editor Andrew Gulli at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin.
Hammett’s family decided they would allow Gulli to publish one of the fifteen, and he picked “So I Shot Him.”
Here are some things to read about it:

Photo from 'Happy Birthday, Bieber and Bork!'

Happy Birthday, Bieber and Bork!

Today is Robert Bork’s birthday! Yay, he’s 84 today.
It’s also the birthday of Justin Bieber — he’s 17. Yay!
Robert Bork, you may recall, became famous when he didn’t get the job as an associate justice for the United States Supreme Court. President Ronald Reagan nominated Bork in 1987, but Bork was rejected by a vote of 58 to 42. He went on to make a decent living as “the guy who got voted down.” He would add, “…and it was UNFAIR!”

Photo from 'Jack Wild, Happy Fifth Deathday to You'

Jack Wild, Happy Fifth Deathday to You

Actor Jack Wild died on this day in 2006. Cancer of the mouth was the cause; he’d had most of his tongue and larynx removed in 2004, but the disease got him at age 53.