Monthly Archive: June 2011

Photo from 'Bruce Springsteen's Groovy Eulogy for Clarence Clemons'

Bruce Springsteen’s Groovy Eulogy for Clarence Clemons

“As you boys know your pop was a not a day at the beach. ‘C’ lived a life where he did what he wanted to do and he let the chips, human and otherwise, fall where they may. Like a lot of us your pop was capable of great magic and also of making quite an amazing mess.

Photo from 'Photo of the Day'

Photo of the Day

Basketball star Dirk Nowitzky at a rally

Wait, Did Robert Browning Murder Elizabeth Barrett Browning?

No, probably not.Noting that Robert was in the habit of administering Elizabeth’s medicines himself, his accusers claim that towards the end of her life he increased the daily dosage of laudanum to a fatal level… And it is true that towards the end of her life, her English doctor did prescribe stronger medication to alleviate Elizabeth’s symptoms of suffocation, irregular heart action and severe coughing fits.

Rod “Blago” Blagojevich Found Guilty

Former Illinois governor Rod “Blago” Blagojevich was found guilty of 17 out of 20 counts on charges that basically boil down to him trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008.

The 10,000-Year Clock of Danny Hillis

“I think this is the most important thing I can work on. More than cancer. Over the long run, I think this will make more difference to more people.”Danny Hillis is building a giant mechanical clock inside a mountain in West Texas, with cash from founder Jeff Bezos.  “Over the lifetime of this clock, the United States won’t exist,” Bezos tells me. “Whole civilizations will rise and fall. New systems of government will be invented.

Mark Twain Didn’t Exactly Love Jane Austen

“Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”Mark Twain on Jane Austen, from The 30 Harshest Author-on-Author Insults in History.

Two Presidents Died On This Day

On this day in history, two United States presidents died — 46 years apart.
President Martin Van Buren died on June 24th in 1862, and President Steve Cleveland died on June 24th in 1908.
Steve Cleveland? Yes, Grover Cleveland’s real first name was Stephen.

Peter Falk Dies

Actor Peter Falk died last night, at the age of 83.
He was best known for playing the rumpled detective Lt. Columbo in the television series Columbo, originally on the air from 1971 through 1978, then revived in TV movies after 1989.
Peter Falk was born in New York in 1927. From the New York stage he began working in television in the late 1950s. He guest starred in dozens of shows and appeared in several movies in the ’60s and won two Oscar nominations, one for Murder, Inc. (1960) and one for Pocketful of Miracles (1961).

Photo from 'A New Caravaggio Means More Caravaggiomania'

A New Caravaggio Means More Caravaggiomania

A rediscovered painting thought to be by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio is being exhibited for the first time as part of the show “Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome.” The painting is currently on exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada.

36 People Playing a Radiohead Song

Congratulations to YouTube user OHADI22 for this edit of the song “Paranoid Android” by the U.K. band Radiohead:

It’s Going To Be A Long Presidential Campaign

It’s hard to keep track of who is running for president in 2012 among the Republicans. In part because there seem to be so many of them, but also because these days there are a dozen stages of announcing your candidacy before you actually announce your candidacy.
And to think we have 19 months to go! Just this week, the slate of candidates and maybe-candidates have been in the news more for their wacky ideas and missteps than for any policy proposals. Let’s take a look:

Ed Sullivan Tribute from Woot

Sixty-three years ago, on 20 June 1948, the first program from TV host Ed Sullivan was aired.
We can’t improve on this post from
Check it out. And thanks, Mike Duffy!

Photo from 'Anthony Weiner Resigns From Congress'

Anthony Weiner Resigns From Congress

New York Representative Anthony Weiner has resigned from office, after announcing that he was going to announce his resignation.
You can read the details here, in the New York Times. The Times avoids puns and titillating discussion, of course. They summarize the story — about Weiner’s use of modern technology to network socially (wink, wink). About as racy as it gets is when they refer to Weiner’s “tight-fitting underpants.”

Happy Birthday, Mr. Cube!

Today is the birthday of O’Shea Jackson, the man also known as Ice Cube. Mr. Cube turns 42 years old today.
So let’s listen to one of my favorite Ice Cube songs:

Some Things To Know About Flag Day

Today is Flag Day in the United States. That’s only one part of Flag Week. Did you know there was a Flag Week?
Congress in 1971 asked the president to proclaim Fondue Day as part of Flag Week.
Wait, that’s not true. But then, neither is the story that Betsy Ross is the one who designed and sewed the first flag. Maybe. Who knows. You can read more about it in our Who2 biography of Betsy Ross.

An Hour With the Coen Brothers

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s hour-long interview with Joel and Ethan Coen, the filmmakers who did Fargo, No Country For Old Men and Barton Fink:

Photo from 'Behind the Scenes at the Movies'

Behind the Scenes at the Movies

Although it’s not a huge gallery, there are some terrific shots for movie lovers at this site called Best of BTS.
Like this one, from The French Connection, with Gene Hackman:

Sebastian Junger is Giving Up Front-Line Reporting

“I’m not going to do any more front-line reporting, because I don’t want to put my wife through what I went through with Tim [Hetherington]… Tim’s death made war reporting feel like a selfish endeavor.”Sebastian Junger says he’s getting out of the game. 

Gabrielle Giffords: An Update, Kind Of

“We do a lot of inferring with her because her communication skills have been impacted the most… What we’ve been able to infer and what we believe is that her comprehension is very good. I don’t know about percentage-wise or not, but it’s close to normal, if not normal.”

Leona Helmsley’s Millionaire Dog, Trouble, Is Trouble No More

Leona Helmsley’s Maltese pooch Trouble has died at age 12.You may recall that Leona Helmsley left Trouble a trust fund of $12 million, which was later cut by a judge to a mere $2 million. The dog’s been living on $100,000 a year since Helmsley died in 2007.

Remembering Grete Waitz

[Jack] Waitz was an accountant and part-time coach who suggested his wife try the New York City Marathon. The story is often told that she hated her first marathon so much that she threw her shoes at her husband, even though she had set a world record. A star was born.George Vecsey remembers the great marathoner Grete Waitz, who won New York an amazing nine times.

Photo from 'Les Paul: Stars Playing His Guitars (Photos)'

Les Paul: Stars Playing His Guitars (Photos)

Les Paul is featured on today’s Google Doodle — he was born on this day in 1915. Which gives us a chance to mention our photo essay, Stars Playing Les Paul Guitars.

Patrick Stewart’s Jaguar

Star Trek’s Patrick Stewart drives around a race track and talks about his love of cars in this video from the U.K. show Top Gear:

Photo from 'For the Love of Movie Posters'

For the Love of Movie Posters

Here’s a delightful way to while away the hours — go visit Film On Paper, a new site from movie poster collector Eddie Shannon.
Shannon has created a gallery chockablock with a variety of promotional posters like these:

James Arness Says Goodbye

Actor James Arness died Friday at the age of 88. Arness was the star of the television series Gunsmoke, a western that was on the air from 1955 to 1975. Yes, that’s right, it was the longest-running drama on American TV, and Arness was Sheriff Matt Dillon.
James Arness was also known for his roles in the science fiction classics Them! and The Thing (the original, not the Kurt Russell one).

Sarah Palin and Paul Revere

Dear Fritz:
Just a thought — should we change our biography of Paul Revere to reflect this never-before-revealed story told by presidential hopeful Sarah Palin?
According to Sarah Palin, Paul Revere rang some bells to warn the British not to take his arms (which he would need to ring the bells, I guess). Something like that. She goes on to say some other stuff that sounds a little too philosophical and intellectual for my tastes, but since it’s not specifically about Paul Revere I think we can ignore it.

Is Weinergate All About Clarence Thomas?

Angry Black Lady makes a pretty good case.  The kicker, about the connection to Rep. Anthony Weiner, comes near the end.  (Warning: contains naughty language plus frank talk about Clarence Thomas.){ Hat tip: The Dish }

Paul McCartney’s Video Contest

Anybody can have a YouTube channel. Even singer Paul McCartney, who was once a member of the group The Beatles, and who has since been crowned a Lord High Bannister Earl of The Court Order for the Empire (by Queen Elizabeth himself). So now we call him Sir Paul McCartney.

Bradley Cooper Rattling On in French

Here’s actor Bradley Cooper being interviewed on French television about his new movies, The Hangover Part II and Limitless:

Photo from 'Marilyn Monroe and Andy Griffith are Birthday Twins'

Marilyn Monroe and Andy Griffith are Birthday Twins

American icons Andy Griffith and Marilyn Monroe were both born on the very same day: June 1 of 1926. They presented two rather different views of America back in the day, you might …..