BartCop Entertainment Archives - Monday, 5 October, 2009

Monday

5 October, 2009

(Updated Daily)


[801 days in a row]

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Baron Dave Romm

Fall television premiers

By Baron Dave Romm

Fall television premiers

quick comments on new and returning tv shows

Shockwave Radio Theater podcasts


New shows

The new tv season is now several weeks old, with a wide spread. I've had a few more weeks to decide on shows. This is the first season I'm watching on HDTV. Almost as important, with the HDTV converter comes a DVR. I can record a lot of tv (far more than on a tape) and skip through the commercials easier. Whee!


FlashForward

The second episode of FlashForward built on the first. Still hard to say after two shows, but a premise that complicated can go in many directions and they seem to be headed in the right ones.

In the first episode, everyone in the entire world blacked out for 137 seconds, causing untold damage. During the blackout, most people saw a vision of themselves six months later. Some didn't. In the second episode, we wee more of how their vision of the future is affecting their present lives, and how that future might happen, and what people are doing to prevent it... or make it happen. Meanwhile, one person is caught on camera moving during the blackout. Tracing a stolen credit card, the FBI finds a call made to that person. Oooh, plot twists.

Verdict after two shows: Will continue watching for now.


Glee

Glee has been running hot and warm. Most of the episodes have had great bits and okay bits, in varying amounts. The singing and dancing is great, but the soap opera ranges from stupid to brilliant farce.

The fourth episode (of five) can be seen here, "Preggers". Utterly brilliant all the way through. They completely throw out any pretense of seriousness and go for farce... and yet the show has one of the best scenes with a father and gay son anywhere. Meanwhile, the head of the arch-rival cheerleading club has landed a gig as commentator on the local tv station, and she makes Glenn Beck look like Lou Dobbs. Her first commentary is a piece about corporal punishment and caning: She's strongly in favor.

The fifth episode brought in Kristin Chenoweth as a guest. Her storyline was only okay, but she's a fabulous singer.

I'm hooked on Glee in a way that Friday Night Lights (about a HS football team) never achieved. Some of the story lines are incredibly stupid, but as long as they descend into farce, the show will work.

Verdict after five shows: My favorite new show, which is not saying a lot, and I'll watch until the dumb parts outweigh the good parts.


Community

Community has been hit and miss, mostly miss. Joel McHale is a suspended lawyer going back to school to complete his degree (!). He's a fast talker who wants to glide through community college doing no work and has his eye pretty coed Britta (can I say things like "pretty coed" anymore?) who's much smarter than he is and far more determined. (What's she doing at a community college?) Chevy Chase's branch of stupid humor mostly just gets in the way. He finally had a funny scene in this week's show, where he demonstrated his sneezing technique.

The cast of characters is slowly being developed. This week, Abed the fast-talking yet strange and boring arab character takes center stage. He wants to be a film maker. His father wants him to take business courses so he can run the family falafel store. The plotline was predictable, but the interaction between son and father was handled nicely.

Verdict after three shows: If they don't flesh out the main characters it will lose me, but I'll watch the next few.


The Cleveland Show

Ick

I'm not a fan of Family Guy. This spin-off is worse: dumb without being funny; clever without being witty. I mention it here out of completeness and because your tastes might run differently (you know who you are).

I'll give it props for one gag: As Cleveland is leaving his Family Guy neighbors, the screen stretches out to go from analog size to HD size. The new show has been launched.

Verdict after one show: Avoid like the plague.


Medium

Medium survived cancellation by one network, but could it survive a stroke by the main character? Allison DuBois is a psychic who sees the future in her dreams. Sometimes. And she can see dead people. Sometimes. And can "read" people when she touches them. Sometimes. The extent of her abilities is never clearly defined, and that is part of the charm of the show. After her stroke, the operation removed her psychic abilities... or did it. (Hint: no.)

The family interaction is as important as the crime drama, and that runs hot and cold, though mostly works. The crimes usually (but not always) work, and Allison's unique talents aren't always a help. Quietly, this has become a favorite show.

Verdict after five seasons and two shows into a sixth: Still has game.


Middle

Wikipedia says of Middle: The show has been described as "...a dead ringer for 'Malcolm in the Middle' with its realistic, wry take on regular family life." TV critics describe the show as a "live action version of Family Guy".

Since I like neither show, the odds aren't in the new one's favor. Yet, the one show aired so far was okay. Maybe I'm just starved for a new comedy and wanted to get The Cleveland Show off my mind.

Verdict after one show: Will watch another, but it's hanging by a thread.


Stargate Universe

I confess, I still have no idea of the story arc on either Stargate: SG1 or Stargate: Atlantis. Individual episodes were okay, but the larger stories just never grabbed me. Someday, I'll bother to do the research and find out what the heck was going on, then flix the series to see them all in a row. But not soon.

So the mere thought of Stargate Universe fills me with more dread than hope. The two hour pilot didn't help it's cause. The basic premise is stupid and people's actions make no sense. I was losing interest in the second hour, and couldn't really tell you how it resolved.

The plot dealt with (I think) the discovery of even yet another way to use the stargate. This time, they wind up on this huge ship a looooong way away from anything. The opening shot, reminiscent of Star Wars does a good job of giving you the scale and grandeur of the empty ship. Indeed, the special effects are handled well. They use digital technology to handle the effects library built up over two decades. The background to the universe is given, and they're suddenly on the Wagon Train to the Stars without Starfleet to help them out.

Verdict after one show: Not high on my list, and it will be the one to be dropped if I'm recording too many shows. Still, it's science fiction and I get to follow the story arc from the beginning.


Psych

Psych. I find it hilarious that the major character is complaining about The Mentalist ripping off his show's idea. He's right, of course, but I watch both The Mentalist and Castle and the two are significantly better than the barely believable premise of Psych.

Still watching The Simpsons, Monk, and a few other shows. Recording shows and zipping through to avoid commercials means I can watch three where I could only see two before.


Vikings vs. Packers, Monday Night

Someone in the Viking's front office was cagey. Either they knew something that no one wanted to admit publicly, or they were good guessers. Even after Brett Favre officially retired yet again, they held out the Packers games as part of a special, more expensive, deal. That has paid off mightily once Favre un-re-un-reunretired (sorry, I lost count). Now, the game is not merely big for Vikings and Packers fans, but is likely to be one of the most watched tv shows of the season.

I have mixed feelings. On one hand, the Packers are justifiably angry and motivated. Expect them to come out strong, and go after Favre. Injury to the Vikings best offensive lineman, Steve Hutchinson, is dangerous for the backfield. On the other, The Vikes have a better team and Favre is desperate to show that he a) can still play at a championship level and b) he doesn't hold a grudge against the players, only the front office. The other Vikings are into the rivalry and the Favre tsuris is secondary.

I predict a Vikings win, but at least one major injury.


Baron Dave Romm is a conceptual artist and a noble of Ladonia who produces Shockwave Radio Theater, writes in a Live Journal demi-blog maintains a Facebook Page, plays with a very weird CD collection and an ever growing list of political links. Dave Romm reviews things at random for obscure web sites. You can read all his music recommendations from Bartcop-E. Podcasts of Shockwave Radio Theater. Permanent archive. More radio programs, interviews and science fiction humor plays can be accessed on the Shockwave Radio audio page.

Thanks to everyone who has sent me music to play on the air.



--////
"Intangibles are the most honest merchandise one can sell. They are always worth whatever you are willing to pay for them and they never wear out. You can take them to your grave untarnished."
-- Robert Heinlein, "The Man Who Sold The Moon"


Thanks (again), Baron Dave!

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Letterman, Riding Ratings High, Plans to Continue His 'Vagina Monologues'


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Recommended Reading

from Bruce

For Those of You on Your Way to Church This Morning ...a note from Michael Moore (michaelmoore.com)
I'd like to have a word with those of you who call yourselves Christians (Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Bill Maherists, etc. can read along, too, as much of what I have to say, I'm sure, can be applied to your own spiritual/ethical values).


Froma Harrop: Fix Health Care Now, Remove Warts Later (creators.com)
"Rome was not built in a day," Montana Democrat Max Baucus said with resignation after the Senate committee he heads voted to reject a "public option." A government-run health plan that would compete with private insurers' offerings, the public option is a means to curb spiraling health care costs.


Susan Estrich: Roman the Rapist (creators.com)
He had sex with a 13-year-old girl. He got her to go to Jack Nicholson's house by promising that she would be in a photo shoot. When she got there, he fed her a Quaalude and alcohol - champagne for a 13-year-old, how enticing - and then he raped her.


Connie Schultz: Banning a Book Near You (creators.com)
We call them school librarians, but in these contentious times, I'm inclined to call them heroes. Take Karin Perry, for example. That's "Mrs. Perry" to you middle schoolers. She cast the winning bid in an auction to bring best-selling author Ellen Hopkins to speak to her students at Whittier Middle School in Norman, Okla.


Charlyn Fargo: Breast Cancer Prevention (creators.com)
A woman's lifetime risk for developing breast cancer is 1 in 9. Given that statistic, it's important to look at what you can do to lower the likelihood of developing it. It's true the biggest risk factors - genetics and old age - are beyond our control, but there are lifestyle changes that can make a difference. The more changes you make, the lower your risk of developing breast cancer. Here's the American Institute for Cancer Research's list of changes to m


Dorothy Snarker: Alyson Hannigan, Emily Deschanel and friends get touchy feely for a good cause (afterellen.com)
Touch a tit, save a tit. Do your monthly breast exam. But beware of paparazzi.


Malinda Lo: AfterEllen.com Goes Back to School (afterellen.com)
Every year at this time, millions of students head back to school, getting ready to hit the books as they seek out the rewards of education (you know, all-nighters, a caffeine addiction and stress headaches - or was that just me?).


Jon Bream: Miranda Lambert trades in her gunpowder and lead for puppy-dog slippers (Star Tribune)
Miranda Lambert phoned the morning after, and she was wired and tired. The night before, the critically acclaimed country star had performed her much-anticipated new album, "Revolution," in its entirety at the revered Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. She was extremely nervous. But she managed to pull it off in front of fan-club members, industry tastemakers and Taylor Swift.


George Varga: Make Space on the Shelf for 'Backspacer,' Pearl Jam's Appealing New CD (creators.com)
The members of Pearl Jam don't reinvent rock 'n' roll on their triumphant new album, "Backspacer." But they reinvigorate the music and themselves, with so much infectious joy and galvanizing force that they seem to have achieved a welcome new lease on life.


Question time: Ian Brown (guardian.co.uk)
Ian Brown talks to Hannah Pool about Liam Gallagher, the Stone Roses, and why people think he's a crackhead.


Lori Leibovich: "Marilyn Monroe Was More Mentally Ill Than We Knew" (doublex.com)
Revelations from a new biography, 'The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.'


Joe Weider: No Gab Zone (creators.com)
Tip of the Week: One group of muscles you want to avoid working at the gym is those of the jaw.


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Subscribe to BartCop!

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Hubert's Poetry Corner

Retribution Against Truth?

Did the State of Texas execute an innocent man? Is Governor Rick Perry desperately trying to cover-up the facts?

"Retribution Against Truth?"


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The Weekly Poll

Current Question

The 'Public Enemy #1' Edition

Who is the most dangerous person in the U.S. right now?




Send your response to


BadToTheBoneBob


( BCEpoll 'at' aol.com )



Results tomorrow



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Glenn Beck Also the Victim of Extortion: By the Cast of Cuckoo's Nest


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Trivia Question Of The Day


"Love And Marriage," performed by Frank Sinatra, was used as the theme song for what TV series?

                                  



Send your answer to Marty






Trivia Question from Yesterday

"Movin' On Up" was the theme song for what TV series?

      The Jeffersons                                               Source







mj was first, and correct, with:
   That would be the upwardly mobil
  Jeffersons, who left their fair skinned neighbors, the Bunkers, behind on Houser Street.




Brian responded:
   The Jeffersons
  To a deeluxe apartment in the sky.




Charlie replied:
   The Jeffersons




Jim from CA, retired to ID, answered:
   The Jeffersons



Alan J said:
   The Jeffersons



Marian the Teacher responded:
   The Jeffersons



PURPLE GENE replied:
   "MOVIN' ON UP"....LYRICS
  "MOVIN ON UP" ....VIDEO (COVER)
  "MOVIN' ON UP WAS THE THEME SONG FOR "THE JEFFERSONS"




BadtotheboneBob said:
   The Jefferson's were "Movin' On Up" to the east side, to a deluxe apartment in the sky... They finally got a piece of the pie!



And, MAM   wrote:
   "Movin' On Up" was the theme song for . . .

  The Jeffersons Theme





  


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Sick Days


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From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'


"The Problem With Young People Today"

(Crabby Old Fart)



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Update

Link Moved

I wonder if I might trouble you to update one of the links on your site. You linked to my "Most Extravagant Dinner Parties Ever" post (thanks!), but that article has now been moved.

The article's new URL is Most Extravagant Dinner Parties Ever

The domain name has changed from CooksDen to TheCooksDen. The link is currently redirecting, but that will go away at some point in the future.


Regards,

Ken


All taken care of, Ken!

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Reader Photos

Lake Raytown

More pictures of a misty morning at Lake Raytown, PA


Mighty, the dog, with Blue Heron on the bridge railing.




Fly away, heron!



MAM  


Thanks, Marianne!


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Reader Suggesstions

Links from RJ

Hello!

Been kinda busy this weekend, two new links for you to take a look at - hope you enjoy them!


The Real Life Tribble

Are you a Star Trek fan looking for that perfect pet to express your appreciation of the show but don't want to wait a few hundred Star Dates to go and get your own Tribble? Fear not, help is at hand. The Angora rabbit may not breed as quickly as a Tribble (they breed like, well, rabbits) but you may well have found the pet of your dreams. Let's face it, that Targ was always out of the question anyway.



The Unearthly Beauty of Antelope Canyon

The Navajo call it 'the place where water runs through rocks' and that is literally true. One of the most unearthly places on the planet, take a look at the astounding Antelope Canyon.

The peculiar formation of a slot canyon can make for an eerie experience and certainly the Antelope Canyon, on the lands of the LeChee people of the Navajo Nation is one of the stranger places you might choose to visit if your budget doesn t quite run to a space shuttle. The shuttle, though, never lands on alien planets - you can get the experience for very little here on the third rock from the sun. And it is the sun that makes this canyon extra special.


Thanks for taking a look and hope you can use one or both of them!

Best regards

RJ


Thanks, RJ!

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http://dareland.blogspot.com


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Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD

GOVERNOR MURDERER!

CALIFORNIA SCREAMING!

THE CONSERVATIVES NO LONGER CARE ABOUT SAVING MONEY!

SUNFLOWER POWER!

ACID INDIGESTION!

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME!

CONSERVATIVE PIMP!

WTF!

ALAN MAKES THE THIRD REICH TREMBLE!

"SO LET US BEGIN AGAIN!"

A ROAD TRIP THROUGH A REPUG WORLD IN SEARCH OF A TWINKIE! WORTH A LOOK

SALMA JOINS A CIRCUS FREAK SHOW!



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Ark Of Darkness

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In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Sunny and a lot cooler.



Tonight, Monday:

CBS opens the night with a FRESH 'How I Met Your Mother', followed by a FRESH 'Accidentally On Purpose', then a FRESH '2½ Men', followed by a FRESH 'Big Bang Theory', then a FRESH 'CSI: The 2nd One'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Dave are Steve Martin and Lea Michelle.
Scheduled on a FRESH Craig are Michael Sheen, Viola Davis, and Jack Ingram.


NBC begins the night with a FRESH 'Heroes', followed by a FRESH "Trauma', then a FRESH 'Leno' (Jamie Foxx and Joe Torre).
Scheduled on a FRESH Conan are Ellen Page, Kevin Nealon, and Dierks Bentley.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Fallon are Kristen Wiig, David Wells, and Christopher Cross.
On a RERUN Carson 'The Scab' Daly (from 9/16/09) are Seth Green, Kevin Lyman, and Pete Yorn.



ABC starts the night with a FRESH [and totally unrigged (cough, cough)] 'Rehabilitating A Crooked Republican Dancing With The Stars', followed by a FRESH 'Murder He Wrote Castle'.
On a RERUN Jimmy Kimmel (from 9/16/09) are David Alan Grier, 10-year-old vacuum cleaner expert Gregory Evans, and Pink.


The CW offers a FRESH 'One Tree Hill', followed by a FRESH 'Gossip Girl'.


Faux has a FRESH 'House', followed by a FRESH 'Lie To Me'.


MY recycles an old 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent', followed by another old 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'.


A&E has 'Criminal Minds', 'Intervention', another 'Intervention', followed by a FRESH 'Hoarders'.


AMC offers the movie 'The Secret Of My Success', followed by the movie 'Raising Helen'.


BBC  -   
 [12:00 PM]    Torchwood - Ep 8 They Keep Killing Suzie
 [1:00 PM]    Torchwood - Ep 9 Random Shoes
 [2:00 PM]    Torchwood - Ep 11 Combat
 [3:00 PM]    Torchwood - Ep 12 Captain Jack Harkness
 [4:00 PM]    Torchwood - Ep 13 End Of Days
 [5:00 PM]    Gordon Ramsay's F Word - Episode 1
 [6:00 PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares - Ep 2 Lela's
 [7:00 PM]    BBC World News America
 [8:00 PM]    Top Gear: Best Of 06-07 - Episode 5
 [9:00 PM]    Top Gear: Best of - Episode 9
 [10:00 PM]    BBC World News America
 [11:00 PM]    Top Gear: Best Of 06-07 - Episode 5
 [12:00 AM]    Top Gear: Best of - Episode 9
 [1:00 AM]    Top Gear: Best Of 06-07 - Episode 5
 [2:00 AM]    Top Gear - Episode 1
 [3:00 AM]    The Graham Norton Show - Ep 5 Ioan Gruffudd and Jessie Wallace
 [4:00 AM]    How Clean Is Your House? US - Episode 18
 [4:30 AM]    How Clean Is Your House? - Episode 1
 [5:00 AM]    BBC World News
 [6:00 AM]    BBC World News     (ALL TIMES EDT)


Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', another 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', still another 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', followed by a FRESH 'Rachel Zoe Project'.


Comedy Central has an old 'Jon Stewart', an old 'Colbert Report', 'Scrubs', another 'Scrubs', 'Carols Mencia: No Strings Attached', 'Futurama', and another 'Futurama'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jon Stewart is Sarah Vowell.
Scheduled on a FRESH Colbert Report is Arne Duncan.


FX has the movie 'Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story', followed by the movie 'White Chicks'.


History has 'Modern Marvels', 'Ancient Aliens', followed by the FRESH 'Clash Of The Gods'.


IFC  -   
 [6:05 AM]   Loves of a Blonde
 [7:35 AM]   Cherry 2000
 [9:15 AM]   Man of the Century
 [10:35 AM]   Loves of a Blonde
 [12:05 PM]   Cherry 2000
 [1:45 PM]   Man of the Century
 [3:05 PM]   Loves of a Blonde
 [4:35 PM]   Cherry 2000
 [6:15 PM]   The Big Empty
 [8:00 PM]   Crimes and Misdemeanors
 [9:45 PM]   Hannah and Her Sisters
 [11:35 PM]   IFC Shorts
 [12:00 AM]   The Object of Beauty
 [1:45 AM]   Crimes and Misdemeanors
 [3:35 AM]   Hannah and Her Sisters
 [5:30 AM]   The Big Empty    (ALL TIMES EDT)


SyFy has all 'Ghost Whisperer' all night.


Sundance  -   
 [05:50 AM]   Cronicas
 [07:35 AM]   Flipping Out
 [09:00 AM]   The Third Monday in October
 [10:35 AM]   Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten
 [12:45 PM]   Chris & Don
 [02:15 PM]   Flipping Out
 [03:40 PM]   The Third Monday in October
 [05:15 PM]   I Want to Be a Pilot
 [05:30 PM]   Chris & Don
 [07:00 PM]   The Day Before: The Day Before: Fendi by Karl Lagerfeld
 [08:00 PM]   Music Rising
 [08:45 PM]   I Want to Be a Pilot
 [10:30 PM]   Chris & Don
 [12:00 AM]   Rio Breaks
 [12:00 AM]   Brick City: Episode 2
 [01:00 AM]   U-CARMEN eKHAYELITSHA
 [03:15 AM]   Inland Empire    (ALL TIMES EDT)


TCM spends most of the night with Leslie Caron
 [6:00 AM]      The Whistler (1944)
 [7:15 AM]      The Power of the Whistler (1945)
 [8:30 AM]      Voice of the Whistler (1945)
 [9:45 AM]      The Mysterious Intruder (1946)
 [11:00 AM]      The Secret of the Whistler (1946)
 [12:15 PM]      The Return of the Whistler (1948)
 [1:30 PM]      Whistling In The Dark (1941)
 [3:00 PM]      Whistling In Dixie (1942)
 [4:15 PM]      Whistling In Brooklyn (1943)
 [5:45 PM]      Thousands Cheer (1943)
 [8:00 PM]      Private Screenings: Leslie Caron (1999)
 [9:00 PM]      An American in Paris (1951)
 [11:00 PM]      Gigi (1958)
 [1:15 AM]      Lili (1953)
 [2:45 AM]      The Glass Slipper (1955)

 [4:30 AM]      Down to Earth (1947)     (ALL TIMES EDT)


Tuesday  -  10/06/09

TCM spends the night with Esther Williams
 [6:15 AM]      The Young In Heart (1938)
 [8:00 AM]      Three Loves Has Nancy (1938)
 [9:15 AM]      Brief Moment (1933)
 [10:30 AM]      Lady By Choice (1934)
 [12:00 PM]      In Name Only (1939)
 [2:00 PM]      Raffles (1930)
 [3:30 PM]      Cynara (1932)
 [5:00 PM]      The Devil To Pay (1930)
 [6:15 PM]      Kismet (1944)
 [8:00 PM]      Easy To Love (1953)
 [10:00 PM]      Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)
 [12:00 AM]      Pagan Love Song (1950)
 [1:30 AM]      This Time For Keeps (1947)
 [3:30 AM]      Thrill Of A Romance (1945)

 [5:30 AM]      MGM Parade Show #21 (1955)     (ALL TIMES EDT)



Any opinions?

Or reviews?







(See below for addresses)

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Country music artist Willie Nelson, left, speaks in a news conference as Neil Young, right, listens prior to the start of the Farm Aid Concert event Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009, in St. Louis.
Photo by Kyle Ericson

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Click Here!

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Weird, Rare Clouds and the Physics Behind Them | Wired Science

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Does Legal Limbo

Tom DeLay

Republican Tom DeLay danced the cha-cha and the tango on TV, but he's tiptoeing through a legal web as his criminal case crawls through the courts in Texas.

The former U.S. House majority leader who's competing on ABC's hit show "Dancing With the Stars" was indicted four years ago on charges of money laundering and conspiracy allegedly connected to 2002 state legislative elections. His case now hinges on how an appeals court rules on legal questions raised by DeLay's two indicted associates.

It could be months before the case goes to trial, if it does at all.

DeLay, who has claimed he did nothing wrong, hardly appears worried about a possible criminal conviction. Once one of the most powerful men in politics, he's taken a lighthearted approach to the competition, at times winking and pointing to Burke and the judges. The next round is Monday.

Tom DeLay

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Actor Eric Idle arrives at the 'Lint Roller Party' benefiting Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009.
Photo by Dan Steinberg

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18 Awesome Hand Drawn Mazes

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Wins Worst Film Award

Antonio Banderas

Antonio Banderas' action film Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever has topped a new poll to find the worst film of the past decade.

The Spanish actor's 2002 movie, co-starring Charlie's Angel Lucy Liu, is at the bottom of the 100 Worst of the Worst list, compiled by Rottentomatoes.com.

Japanese horror flick One Missed Call closely trails Banderas' film at two, while Roberto Benigni's Pinocchio and comedies King's Ransom and National Lampoon's Gold Diggers round out the countdown at numbers three, four and five respectively.

Other notable entries are Heather Graham's Killing Me Softly in 12th place and John Travolta's Battlefield Earth at 27th.

Chris Klein and LL Cool J's sci-fi film Rollerball followed Travolta's flop at 28.

Antonio Banderas

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bartcook

In The Kitchen With BartCop & Friends

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Giant Puppets

Berlin

More than 1.5 million people watched gigantic puppets parade in the German capital at the weekend as part of celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, organisers said Sunday.

The crowd was so packed on Saturday at Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate to watch the puppets that police had to block access to the site several hours earlier than scheduled.

The wooden and metal marionettes, a 15-metre giant from the west and his five-metre little "niece" giant from the east, reunited at the gate which was for 45 years the border between communist east and capitalist west.

On the last day of the street show Sunday, the two characters symbolically returned to the crowd tens of thousands of letters intercepted by East Germany's Stasi secret police.

Berlin

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Musician Lenny Kravitz and daughter Zoe attend a New York Film Festival screening of 'Precious' at Alice Tully Hall on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009 in New York.
Photo by Evan Agostini

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Stone Pages Web guide to Megalithic Europe

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Looking For A Home

T. Rex

A fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex is still looking for a home after bidders failed to meet the minimum price Saturday at a Las Vegas auction.

But auction house Bonhams & Butterfields is in negotiations with a number of institutions and individuals, and Tom Lindgren, the company's natural history director, said he's confident a sale will be completed in the next couple of weeks.

The auctioneer had hoped bids would top $6 million for the T. rex dubbed "Samson." The highest bid at Saturday's auction at the Venetian hotel-casino was $3.7 million.

Experts say the 170 fossilized bones discovered about 17 years ago in South Dakota represent more than half the skeleton of a 40-foot-long, 7.5-ton dinosaur that lived 66 million years ago.

T. Rex

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Vidiot Speak

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Officials Remove Zombie Plan

University of Florida

The University of Florida's response plans for a zombie apocalypse are no longer available for public consumption.

UF spokesman Steve Orlando said Friday the university removed a link to a disaster recovery exercise, which detailed how the school could respond to an outbreak of the undead. The link was taken down late Thursday afternoon.

Orlando says officials felt the joke "didn't really belong" on the site, which also included plans for dealing with hurricanes and pandemics.

The exercise lays out the university's response to attacks by "flesh-eating, apparently life impaired individuals." It notes that a zombie outbreak might include "documentation of lots of strange moaning."

University of Florida

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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, center, his dog, and 'journalist' Lu Parker arrive at the 'Lint Roller Party' benefiting Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009.
Photo by Dan Steinberg

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The Most Incredible Geysers on Earth

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Radio Exec/Embezzler

Paul W. Lyle

A former Kansas radio executive who admitted that he embezzled to support an addiction to scratch-off lottery tickets won a $96,000 lottery prize.

Prosecutors say the prize money will go toward paying restitution to Paul W. Lyle's former employer, American Media Investments.

Lyle pleaded guilty Thursday to felony theft for embezzling an estimated $88,000 from American Media.

His conviction carries a sentencing range of five to 17 months in jail or prison. But prosecutors say Lyle likely will get probation because he has no previous felony convictions.

Paul W. Lyle

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50 Extraordinary and Attractive Billboards

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New Fund Cuts

Nursing Homes

The nation's nursing homes are perilously close to laying off workers, cutting services - possibly even closing - because of a perfect storm wallop from the recession and deep federal and state government spending cuts, industry experts say.

A Medicare rate adjustment that cuts an estimated $16 billion in nursing home funding over the next 10 years was enacted at week's end by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - on top of state-level cuts or flat-funding that already had the industry reeling.

The funding crisis comes as the nation's baby boomers age ever closer toward needing nursing home care. The nation's 16,000 nursing homes housed 1.85 million people last year, up from 1.79 million in 2007, U.S. Census Bureau figures show.

Already this year, 24 states have cut funding for nursing home care and other health services needed by low-income people who are elderly or disabled, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonprofit research firm based in Washington, D.C.

Nursing Homes

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In this photo provided by the Rubin Museum of Art, the museum's chief curator, Martin Braun, left, and Felix Walder, great-grandson to Carl Jung, inspect Carl Jung's 'The Red Book' after its arrival at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009. 'The Red Book,' considered one of the most important unpublished works in the field of psychology, will be displayed to the public for the first time on October 7, coinciding with the first-ever publication of the book by W.W. Norton & Company.
Photo by Stuart Ramson

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15 Wonders of the LEGO World

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44 Tons Of Stinking Bison Meat

Bridgewater, SD

Behind the freezer doors at a meat plant mysteriously abandoned by its owner, the 44 tons of bison meat managed to hold its own for months, masked by the brutal chill of two South Dakota winters.

Once the power was cut and spring thaw arrived, nature took over. And enough rotting meat to fill a high school gym did exactly what you'd expect: It stank.

It stank at the bank. It smelled at the law office. It reeked at the cafe. Even the jewelry store wasn't immune. Everyone in this tiny town could smell it, everywhere they went. A putrid odor so downright nasty the cleaners sent to mop up the gooey mess of liquefied meat - topped by a blanket of swarming white maggots and buzzed by a legion of flies - gave up after two days.

Fed up with the smell, a brave crew of 18 city and county workers took matters into their own hands this summer and stormed the plant to haul away the putrid meat and take back their town. What came next was the biggest indignity: Three months after the cleanup, the owner still hasn't paid the $11,151 cleanup bill, and owes about $14,085 in unpaid property taxes on top of it.


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The Jew and the Carrot | A Jewish Food Blog

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Weekend Box Office

`Zombieland'

The undead were alive and well at movie theaters as Woody Harrelson's horror comedy "Zombieland" opened on top with $25 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Yet the general box office was less lively as a flurry of new wide releases did solid to ho-hum business. Overall Hollywood revenues came in at $113.4 million, down 4 percent from the same weekend last year.

Tied for sixth-place with $4.85 million was Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story," which expanded nationwide after a week in limited release. The Overture Films documentary, Moore's exploration of the roots of the economic meltdown, raised its total to $5.3 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Final figures will be released Monday.

    1. "Zombieland," $25 million.
    2. "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," $16.7 million.
    3. "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" in 3-D, $12.5 million.
    4. "The Invention of Lying," $7.4 million.
    5. "Surrogates," $7.3 million.
    6 (tie). "Capitalism: A Love Story," $4.85 million.
    6 (tie). "Whip It," $4.85 million.
    8. "Fame," $4.8 million.
    9. "The Informant!", $3.8 million.
   10. "Love Happens," $2.8 million.

`Zombieland'

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Now That's Nifty: NFL Fans - A Full Frenzy of Fervent Fans

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In Memory

Mercedes Sosa

Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa, the "voice of Latin America" whose music inspired opponents of South America's brutal military regimes and led to her forced exile in Europe, died Sunday, her family said. She was 74.

Her remains lay in state at the National Congress, where thousands of people - many with flowers or Argentine flags - lined up to pay respects to one of the region's most iconic voices.

Sosa was best known for signature tunes such as "Gracias a la Vida" ("Thanks to Life") and "Si se Calla el Cantor" ("If the Singer is Silenced"). She had been in the hospital for more than two weeks with liver problems and had since been suffering from progressive kidney failure and cardiac arrest.

Affectionately dubbed "La Negra" or "The Black One" by fans for her mixed Indian and distant French ancestry, Sosa was born July 9, 1935, to a poor, working-class family in the sugarcane country of northwest Tucuman province.

At the age of 15, friends impressed by her talent encouraged Sosa to enter a local radio contest under the pseudonym "Gladys Osorio." She won a two-month contract with the broadcaster - the first of many accolades over a career that continued until her final days.

By the 1970s she was recognized as one of the South American troubadours who gave rise to the "nuevo cancionero" (New Songbook) movement - singers including Chile's Victor Jara and Violeta Parra, Argentina's Victor Heredia and Uruguay's Alfredo Zitarrosa who mixed leftist politics with poetic musings critical of the ruling juntas and their iron-fisted curtailment of civil liberties and human rights abuses.

In 1972, Sosa released the socially and politically charged album "Hasta la Victoria" ("Till Victory"). Her sympathies with communist movements and support for leftist parties attracted close scrutiny and censorship at a time when blending politics with music was a dangerous occupation - Jara was tortured and shot to death by soldiers following Chile's 1973 military coup.

In 1979, a year after being widowed from her second husband, Sosa was detained along with an entire audience of about 200 students while singing in La Plata, a university city hit hard by military rule.

She walked free 18 hours later under international pressure and after paying a $1,000 fine, but was forced to leave her homeland.

With three suitcases and a handbag she headed to Spain, then France, becoming a wandering minstrel. Her pianist and musical director, Popi Spatocco, said exile was exceedingly harsh for a woman who loved Argentina.

Sosa returned home to wide acclaim in 1982 in the final months of the dictatorship, which she would ultimately outlive by a quarter-century.

Late in life, with South America's military regimes consigned to the dustbin of history, Sosa remained relevant by tapping powerful, universal emotions, singing about stopping war and ending poverty, about finding love and losing loved ones.

All told, Sosa recorded more than 70 albums; the latest, a double CD titled "Cantora 1" and "Cantora 2," is a collection of folkloric classics performed with contemporary Latin American and Spanish stars such as Shakira, Fito Paez, Julieta Venegas, Joaquin Sabina, Lila Downs and Calle 13.

Mercedes Sosa

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In this Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009 photo, colorful aspen trees stand straight into the blue sky during the autumn season change near Buena Vista, Colo.
Photo by Nathan Bilow

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