Monthly Archive: August 2011

Happy 83rd Birthday, James Coburn

Happy birthday to rugged actor James Coburn, who turns 83 today. Or would have: he died of a heart attack in 2002.  (I thought he was still with us until I looked it up.)Others who died that same year: baseball great Ted Williams, busybody great Ann Landers, and beloved royal The Queen Mum.

Cowboys & Aliens: What Went Wrong?

One terrific trailer, several famous Hollywood geniuses, and $163 million in wasted budget later, one of the most-anticipated movies of summer 2011 is a baffling dud.

Pat Summitt Has Alzheimer’s Disease

“There’s not going to be any pity party, and I’ll make sure of that.”Pat Summitt, the winningest basketball coach in NCAA history, has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia — specifically, Alzheimer’s Disease.

Gaddafi On the Skids

The rebels are in Tripoli, and Libyan state television has gone off the air.  After 42 years of total power, it’s looking bad for Muammar Gaddafi.

Flashback: Yao Ming for Apple

The great and lovable Yao Ming retired from the NBA last month.  He never won a championship, but he did join Verne “Mini-Me” Troyer for this charming Apple Powerbook ad in 2003. Like Yao in the lane, it had a wonderfully soft touch.

Cary Grant Preferred Double Vents, If You Know What We Mean

A wonderfully obsessive analysis of Cary Grant’s gray Kilgour suit from North By Northwest:”Ventless is unusual for an expensive single breasted jacket these days, yet have been familiar on double breasted suits since the ‘column’ look of the thirties. Grant apparently preferred double vents as he liked to put his hands in his pockets whilst acting.

‘We Were Not Found Wanting’

President John F. Kennedy and his assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, died at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas within two days of each other in 1963.

Just a Nice Photo: Lebowski Edition

Jeff Bridges and John Goodman mug for the cameras with Julianne Moore yesterday. The occasion: a LebowskiFest party for a Blu-ray edition of The Big Lebowski.  I’m surprised to see …..

Taylor Swift Is a Triskaidekaphile

Pop star Taylor Swift sings in Chicago last week during her Speak Now world tour.Swift often paints the number 13 on her hand before concerts.

Happy Birthday, Leon Theremin

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Leon Theremin, the inventor of the musical instrument that bears his name. Here’s a photo of the theremin I have at home:

Meet the Woman With the Most-Stolen Social Security Number of All Time

“In 1938, wallet
manufacturer the E. H. Ferree company in Lockport, New York decided
to promote its product by showing how a Social Security card would
fit into its wallets. A sample card, used for display purposes,
was inserted in each wallet.

Tim Pawlenty Ends Presidential Bid

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty has announced the end of his campaign for the U.S. presidency. You can read about it here in the Star Tribune.
Pawlenty dropped his bid for the Republican nomination after placing third in an Iowa straw poll. He was beat out by Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul.

What Happened to Barack Obama?

“When he wants to be, the president is a brilliant and moving speaker, but his stories virtually always lack one element: the villain who caused the problem, who is always left out, described in impersonal terms, or described in passive voice, as if the cause of others’ misery has no agency and hence no culpability.”

Why I Hate Lucy

Lucille Ball was born 100 years ago today, and Google is celebrating with a clever video Doodle that reminds us how much we all hated her. It reminds *me* of that, anyway.

Roger Ebert Is Not an Especial Fan of ‘The Change-Up’

“‘The Change-Up’ is one of the dirtiest-minded mainstream releases in history. It has a low opinion of men, a lower opinion of women, and the lowest opinion of the intelligence of its audience. It is obscene, foulmouthed, scatological, creepy and perverted. As a bonus, it has the shabbiest low-rent main titles I’ve seen this side of YouTube.”Roger Ebert lowers the boom.

How Many Other Presidents Turned 50 in Office?

Barack Obama turns 50 years old on this very day.  Question: How many other U.S. presidents have turned 50 while in office?  Take a guess, and we’ll give you the answer after this roll call.

Barack Obama: A Birthday Timeline

Ever think to yourself as a kid, “Gee, I wonder where I’ll be when I’m 50?”If you’re Barack Obama, the answer to that question turned out to be: “In the White House, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, as the duly-elected President of the United States.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson Died Only Seven Years Ago

French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson died on this day, August 3rd, in 2004. He was 95 years old. One of the great post-war photographers, Cartier-Bresson had been a prisoner of the Nazis from 1940 to 1943.

Peter O’Toole Still Hasn’t Hit 80

Distinguished actor Peter O’Toole turns 79 years old today. He was born in 1932, which practically seems like yesterday.

Gabrielle Giffords Is Back in Congress

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords just made her first appearance in Congress since she was shot in the head in January.  To vote on the debt ceiling deal, of all things.

D.B. Cooper: Here We Go Again

D.B. Cooper fanboys can rejoice: the FBI says it has a mysterious new person of interest in the 40-year-old skyjacking case.