Monthly Archive: October 2011

Peter Jackson is 50

Peter Jackson is hugging stuffed dogs, directing The Hobbit, and turning 50.  

An Interview with Mikhail Gorbachev

Got a spare hour? Watch (or listen) to an interview with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at the LBJ Library and Museum.

Did Sobriety Kill Amy Winehouse?

The coroner has ruled that Amy Winehouse drank herself to death.  But there could be a little more to the story.

Rita Dove on 20th Century Poetry

 Former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer winner Rita Dove edited The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry. The Wall Street Journal talked to her about it.

The Autumn Beard Quiz

Can you match the celebrity with the bushy chin? 

Dictatorial Quote of the Day

“He could have left and gotten out of the country and lived a happy life.”

How Sherlock Holmes Came Alive

What tricks did Arthur Conan Doyle use to bring blood to the veins of his famous detective?

Adulterous Republican to Join Fox News

 Former Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina has decided to fix his credibility problem by joining Fox News as a political commentator.

This Week in Biographies

A new memorial, an old Hungarian, and Darth Vader writes an autobiography.  

Richard Gere Sells His Guitars for $936,000

 An auction at Christie’s this week brought in $936,438 for actor Richard Gere. He says he’ll give the money to charity. Apparently Gere no longer needed a million dollars worth of guitars.

Rubik’s Cubes in Everyday Life

 Today I saw an example of another use for the toy cube created by Hungarian inventor Erno Rubik.  This time it was a chest of drawers, one of the more clever variations, as you can see by some of the other Rubik-inspired creations out there. 

The Cat Lover Who Nabbed Whitey

  The most wanted criminal in the United States was nabbed thanks to a tip from Anna Bjornsdottir, a former model and 1974’s Miss Iceland in the Miss Universe pageant. How did a TV spokesmodel for Noxema cross paths with James “Whitey” Bulger?

Al Davis: A Career Timeline

When was the late Al Davis in the Army? And just how old is his son?

Oh, Wow: Groovy Star Trek Hippie is Dead

The Times calls Charles Napier “actor who played tough guys.” But he was really “hippie guitarist from Star Trek.”

Jane Goodall Interviewed

 Jane Goodall is on tour.  She’s in my town right now, across the river, being interviewed on the radio program Think Out Loud, from Oregon Public Broadcasting. What makes a 77 year-old want to go on tour?

Happy Birthday, Anne Rice!

 Author Anne Rice is 70 years old today. She’s the one who gave us the vampire Lestat, introduced in her 1976 novel Interview with a Vampire. If you don’t know that book, uh… it’s like Twilight for grown-ups.  Grown-ups who like to read pages and pages of flowery prose.

U.S. Supreme Court Opening Day

 The first Monday of October is the opening day for the United States Supreme Court.  Can you name all twelve Supreme Court justices?