Monthly Archive: July 2011

The (Deadly?) Origins of ‘The Road Not Taken’

Many were the walks when Thomas would guide Frost on the promise of rare wild flowers or birds’ eggs, only to end in self-reproach when the path he chose revealed no such wonders.

Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things

North Korea’s dear leader gets his own Tumblr. Now we know what his days have in common with Queen Elizabeth’s. { Hat tip: TNW }

Beatrix Potter Sesquicentennial -5

Happy 145th birthday, Beatrix Potter.  Love you, babe!You were born the same year as Butch Cassidy and H.G. Wells.

Oregon Pols Complete the Rare Sex Scandal Grand Slam

So Oregon Rep. David Wu is resigning from Congress in the wake of his “unwanted sexual encounter” with the 18-year-old daughter of a campaign donor and old friend. Good grief!What is in the water in Oregon?  Rep. Wu gives the state the full grand slam of political sex scandals: Congressman, senator, governor, and mayor of its largest city. 
Let’s call the roll.

Cash Cab Kills a Canadian

A 61-year-old pedestrian was killed by TV’s Cash Cab in Vancouver last week, says the Vancouver Sun.

The Anniversary of Evita’s Death

Today is the anniversary of the death of Argentenian superstar Eva Perón. “Evita” died from cancer in 1952, at the age of 33.

Headline of the Day

“Kim Kardashian Has Psoriasis – Not Ringworm.”Duly noted.

Headline of the Day

“Kim Kardashian Has Psoriasis – Not Ringworm.”Duly noted.

Emmett Till Would Be Just 70 Years Old Now

Emmett Till, the black 14-year-old whose murder helped spark the Civil Rights revolution of 1955, was born on this day in Chicago in 1941. He’s been dead for 56 years, yet he’d be just 70 years old today.

Chad Robertson and His Gorgeous White Bread

Do you like bread? I like bread. Let’s go to San Francisco and eat some of Chad Robertson’s fantastic bread. 

{ Video: 4SP Films. }

Fedor Dostoevsky Predicts the Summer of 2011

“The heat in the street was terrible and the airlessness, the bustle and the
plaster, scaffolding, bricks, and dust all about him, and that special
Petersburg stench, so familiar to all who are unable to get out of town
in summer — all worked painfully upon the young man’s already overwrought nerves. The insufferable stench from the pot-houses, which are particularly numerous in that part of the town, and the drunken men whom he met continually, although it was a working day, completed the revolting misery of the picture.”

‘Just a Sweet Tiny Thing With a Huge Great Voice’

Tracy McVeigh remembers the late Amy Winehouse.”The reservoir of goodwill in the industry towards Winehouse was enormous. She had been a huge trailblazing force in the music industry, credited with clearing the way for, and inspiring, Adele, Duffy and even Lady Gaga.”Still…

Amy Winehouse, Talented Train-Wreck Singer, Dead at 27

“It sounds like such a wank thing to say,” Ms. Winehouse once said, “but I need to get some headaches goin’ to write about.”The Big Headache came for Amy Winehouse today.  She was found dead at her home in London this afternoon.

Happy Birthday, Alexander Calder

Below is the Google tribute to Alexander Calder, who was born on July 22, 1898 in Lawnton, Pennsylvania:

“Sandy” Calder began his career as a sculptor when he was four years old. He had a little help — his father and his father’s father were both sculptors. And they were both named Alexander, too.

Apollo 11 Anniversary

Today is the 42nd anniversary of the first manned moon landing. Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the lunar surface, while Michael Collins kept orbit in the “mothership.”

As you can see from the above graphic (courtesy of Oregon’s Eugene Register-Guard), the entire mission was done in just 15 easy steps.

Another Apollo 11 Anniversary

Today is the anniversary of the first manned moon landing. Neil Armstrong set foot on the lunar surface on this day in 1969. Then Buzz Aldrin hopped down, followed by paparazzi.
Astronaut Michael Collins waited in the car and started honking the horn after only about 15 minutes.
It was a simpler time, as you can tell by this fantastic graphic that describes the Apollo 11 mission:

The Telegraph Goes ‘Tiger Lady’ on Wendi Deng

“She has catapulted herself from the anonymity and austerity of communist China to the family – and now the family trust – of one of the world’s most powerful and wealthy men.

Paul McCartney Plays Yankee Stadium

Super-enthusiastic reviews for Paul McCartney’s concerts at Yankee Stadium this weekend. McCartney even worked in a baseball joke for the crowd: “Who’s this Derek Jeter guy?

“I Have to Admit I Was a Prat”

“I used to give myself airs and graces when I was younger,” he said in the glow of victory. “I have to admit I was a prat. I was rude to people if I’d had a bad round, and it wasn’t right. But I like to think I have
learned from my mistakes.”Nice little story about Darren Clarke, winner of this year’s British Open.

This Is The Day Nico Died

Singer and model Nico died on this day in 1988. She was only 49 years old when she died. Nico was made famous in the late 1960s, thanks to her association with Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground.She was riding a bike on the island of Ibiza when she had a heart problem that caused her to fall and hit her head. She died of a cerebral hemorrhage. That’s what got Franklin D. Roosevelt, Marcus Garvey and WIlla Cather.

Bee Bearding in China

Wang Dalin is the winner of this year’s bee bearding competition in Shaoyang City, in Hunan Province China. They say he was able to attract nearly 27,000 bees to his body. You can read more about it here (there are more photos, too). Below is the competition’s runner-up, Lu Kongjiang. He was only able to attract about 23,000 bees:

Roy Scheider Biography

We’ve posted a Roy Scheider biography recently to go along with this spur-of-the-moment drawing:

Happy Birthday, Linda Ronstadt

Today is singer Linda Ronstadt’s birthday. She is 65 years old.
She has a great voice. I’ve liked some of her songs over the years, but her career has never quite been on my radar screen. I know that Philip K. Dick thought she was the cat’s pajamas.
Here she is with the Stone Poneys, singing “Different Drum” in 1967:

Roger Clemens Walks

The perjury trial of highly-decorated baseball pitcher Roger Clemens came to a halt on the second day of testimony when Judge Reggie B. Walton declared a mistrial.
Because prosecutors presented barred evidence to the jury. Oops.
As this piece from the Washington Post says: “His lawyers, unable to supress grins, declined to comment.”

Rebekah Brooks Resigns

“She was a timebomb strapped to Murdoch’s leg.”Once his “fifth daughter,” Rebekah Brooks becomes the latest casualty in the UK’s Rupert Murdoch wars.

Red Skelton Was a Good Guy, Says Corporal Klinger

“What a thrill! I was 19 or 20 years old and I’d grown up listening to Red Skelton’s show on a crystal set under the covers… He was such a big hero to me, and I was cast as his sidekick.” The late Sherwood Schwartz may not have loved Red Skelton, but Jamie Farr thought he was aces.

Who is More Powerful: Rupert Murdoch or Parliament?

Robert Peston wonders:”If Parliament is sovereign, there is something slightly odd about the idea that the vote can be passed and that Mr. Murdoch can choose to ignore it.”

The Who2 Biography of J.J. Grandville

Please read our new biography of French caricaturist J.J. Grandville. That’s him just above, a self-portrait from a museum in his hometown of Nancy, France. If nothing else, follow the links from our biography to see some examples of his work beyond what we’re showing here:

“This Is the Stuff of Which Heroes Are Made”

Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry received the Congressional Medal of Honor today from President Barack Obama. From the official citation:  “Instantly realizing the danger, Staff Sergeant Petry, unhesitatingly and with …..

Busy Weekend at the “ER to the Stars”

It’s no secret that Cedars-Sinai is our favorite Hollywood hospital.So we’re thrilled — thrilled — to report that two celebs had babies there this weekend.

Which Living Felon is Al Pacino Playing Now?

Al Pacino played the late Dr. Jack Kevorkian in a TV movie just last year.Now Al Pacino is playing another living person. Can you tell who it is from this on-the-set photo taken yesterday?

President Obama Uses Twitter

In a long-overdue show of “I can do the modern world, too,” President Barack Obama has apparently *tweeted* — asking for your opinion:

“The Jews Are Born Spies,” Says the President

President Nixon: The Jews are born spies. You notice how many of them are? They’re just in it up to their necks.Haldeman: Well, got a basic devious abil– deviousness that–President Nixon: Well, also, an arrogance, an arrogance that says– that’s what makes a spy. He puts himself above the law.

Tom Felton: “An American Tried to Adopt Me”

“An American once tried to adopt me. It was the most disturbing fan mail I received… He sent a binder of official documents that he’d filled out for me, so I just had to sign, change my name to Draco, then divorce my parents and go over to America to live with him.”

Photos of Tom Cruise in Tiger Paint

According to the gossipmongers at Splash News Online Hollywood bigshot Tom Cruise got his face painted as part of his 49th birthday celebration. Here’s one of the creepy photos to prove it:

The Spook Who Tracked Down Osama bin Laden

He’s in this room, but carefully hidden outside the frame of the photo.Meet “John,” the obsessive CIA analyst who drove the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Ernest Hemingway = Captain Kirk?

“There’s a lot there to pick apart in the man: the bluster, exaggerated machismo, mood swings, four marriages, alcoholism, death-wooing in the bullring, at the D-Day landing, and in bed. No small ego there. But, in all the fancy analytical footwork, it’s sometimes forgotten that, like Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, Hemingway explored ‘strange new worlds … to boldly go where no man has gone before.'”

Koko’s Winning Gorilla Haiku

Yesterday we mentioned the haiku contest being held to celebrate the 40th birthday of Koko, the sign-language gorilla.The Gorilla Foundation has now announced the winning haiku:Get your stinking pawsOff me, you damned dirty ape

Thomas Jefferson at the Library of Congress

To celebrate Independence Day, read The Declaration of Independence. Or, as it’s sometimes called, “The Constitution.”
To celebrate The Declaration Independence, visit the exhibit from the Library of Congress on Thomas Jefferson and Establishing a Federal Republic.

Give Me Liberty Or…

Motorcyclist riding in an anti-helmet rally falls, hits head, and dies.

Koko the Gorilla is 40 Today

Koko the Gorilla, the ape who learned sign language, turns 40 today. Happy birthday to her!Koko was born in 1971 at the San Francisco Zoo. That’s where she was found by a Stanford graduate student, Penny Patterson, who has made gorilla sign language her life’s work.