BartCop Entertainment Archives - Monday, 24 November, 2008


24 November, 2008

(Updated Daily)

[487 days in a row]


Baron Dave Romm

Farewell to the Thief

By Baron Dave Romm

Farewell to the Thief

Volume IV: Mission Accomplished, or Free At Last!

Shockwave Radio Theater podcasts

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Hail to the Thief! I, II, III

Almost immediately after the election of George W. Bush, the left knew he was a crook. Before 9/11 changed the political landscape, a Bush Backlash was forming. The first Hail to the Thief CD is "fun and only a little cruel", to quote my review.

When Pearl Harbor was attacked, the liberal Democratic president said, "There is nothing to fear but fear itself." When terrorists attacked on 9/11, the conservative Republican president said, "Run! Hide! Panic! Shop!" We all came together as a country, and slowly realized how we had been betrayed by our leaders. George Mann and Julius Margolin always knew, never forgot, and continually reminded us. We should have listened harder.

I don't have 2004's Hail to the Thief, Vol. II: Songs to Send Bush Packing, but did get George Mann & Julius Margolin's 2003 solo effort Just A Few Bad Apples, a good political statement on Bush as well as reviving old union songs.

Hail to the Thieves, Vol. III: Songs To Take Our Country Back! came out just before election day in 2006. Whether it was part of the surge or helped create the political climate, their aim was true and the Democrats took back the House and Senate. I wish the Democrats had been as forceful as the collected artists. Alas, that would have to wait another couple of years... until now.

Farewell to the Thief! Vol. IV

Like Vol. III, Farewell to the Thief! Vol. IV came out just before the election. (Sorry, I was too busy covering the campaign to do music reviews.) George Mann, Julius Margolin and Friends bring old folkies out of the woodwork for protest songs with a tinge of union- and Depression-Era music. Some of the songs are timely, and hence now dated. Most of the songs are anti-Bush, but few of them feel dated even after the election. The ill effects of the Bush administration will be felt for a long time, and the outrage should remain in public consciousness for many election cycles to come. The album is very strong, the best of the ones I've heard. And that's saying a fair bit.

Farewe to the Thief! Vol. IV is so good, it has two subtitles. Officially, it has none. Emblazoned across the picture on the front cover is "Mission Accomplished". But wait! There's more! Open up the case, and on the CD are the words "Free At Last!" Two Farewells for the price of one!

All the songs are good, and are offered in dedication to the late Utah Phillips, who died in 2008. Let me briefly touch on some of my favorites. The Seattle Labor Chorus covers a holiday tune in gorgeous a cappella:

Oil for the World
The war drags on.
And we're still number one
Let everyone rejoice
The West has made its choice
We're patriots one and all
Let's all drive to the mall
In Humvee's and SUV drive to the mall.

Seattle musician Jim Page channels some talking blues and smoothly sings "It's a cynical proposition. It's been that way from the start... Petroleum Boneparte." The Citizens Band mourns the loss of country ballads because individual pain seems to trivial when the nation is being trashed. Anymore is from their CD Just Desserts, available for download:

I can't sing about the torment of a love that's left behind
When our leaders can't agree on a future for mankind.
I can't praise those good old prison days, there's too much to fight for,
Just gets hard to sing those songs anymore.
I grew up with Hank Williams and the music of my dad,
Singing songs about the outlaws and the heroes good and bad.
When the lessons of the past have become something to ignore,
Just gets hard to sing those songs anymore.

And finally, the last cut of the set ends where the first began, nearly eight years earlier: An instrumental version of Hail to the Chief on kazoo and saw.

Hail to the Thief! Vol. IV is highly recommended. Songs by Tom Paxton, Garnett Rogers, Roy Zimmerman, Utah Phillips, Anne Feeney and others including, of course, George Mann and Julius Margolin. Sixty-One minutes of music to keep reminding you of why we so desperately needed change.

Even John McCain ran on a platform of Change, repudiating much of the Bush administration policies even as he couldn't bring himself to tell the truth about the president. Many on the right, even those who voted for Bush in 2000 or 2004 are suffering buyer's remorse, and if they're at all honest with themselves, many Republicans will appreciate Farewell to the Thief! Free At Last!.

But wait! There's more!

George and Julius run their online store, and you can purchase these CDs plus others, including their radio interviews, and they even have a DVD.

Whether the economic crisis will bring back Depression songs, or the massive unemployment caused by the crisis will bring back unions, I cannot say right not. But the tides of history have washed these same problems back. George Mann and Julius Margolin haven't forgotten. And neither should you.

Baron Dave Romm is a conceptual artist and a noble of Ladonia who produces Shockwave Radio Theater, writes in a Live Journal demi-blog, 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.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thanks (again), Baron Dave!


Sarah Palin's Greatest 'Gift' to America: Ruining Thanksgiving!






(observing the new scientific that the little blue pill Viagra can do more than just get your dick can give athletes (especially in higher altitudes) an edge)

zEN mAN archives





Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Will Lester: Obama Promises "Immediate Action" On The Economy (AP)
President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday outlined his plan to create 2.5 million jobs in coming years to rebuild roads and bridges and modernize schools while developing alternative energy sources and more efficient cars.

Nat Hentoff: The New Commander in Chief Can Take on the CIA (
The case disturbing the British courts is that of Binyam Mohamed, held since September 2004 at Guantánamo. Mohamed's British lawyers have sued British intelligence forces for their involvement in his imprisonment and torture by the CIA in Morocco and in the secret CIA "dark prison" in Afghanistan before being caged in Guantánamo. In the course of his shackled itinerary, Mohamed claims, CIA inquisitors often slashed his penis with razor blades.

Froma Harrop: Keeping Cool Over Joe Lieberman (
You don't have to venture too far left in the Democratic Party to find people who dislike Joe Lieberman. But wander yonder into the liberal blogosphere, and the feeling more approximates detestation.

SUSAN ESTRICH: Leaving Home (
As the fires burned across Southern California this weekend, the all-news radio station I listen to kept running tape of a guy advising people about what to put in their "grab-and-go" boxes. He was from some insurance association, so - big surprise - his focus was on insurance documents.

"The Book of Animal Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong: by John Lloyd: A review by Doug Brown
The book is laid out as an alphabetic bestiary, from aardvarks to worms. Each critter gets a couple of pages, allowing more than just a cursory glance. Lloyd and Mitchinson have good eyes for entertaining tidbits and present them with dry British humor. For instance, we learn that Adelie penguins excrete with a rectal pressure about four times that of humans, or looked at another way, "the same as a keg of lager." We also learn that a quarter pound of bat guano "contains more proteins and minerals than a Big Mac."

Roger Ebert: Siskel & Ebert & the Jugular (
What does it feel like to resemble the Phantom of the Opera? You learn to live with it. I've never concerned myself overmuch about how I looked. I got a lot of practice at indifference during my years as the Michelin Man.

Roger Ebert: "Virginia, Michael & Elaine Madsen: From Chicago to their dreams" (from June 13, 1986; Revised 11/17/08)
Back in the 1960s, I used to get these long, thoughtful letters from a woman named Elaine Madsen, who lived on the Southwest Side and was married to a Chicago fireman and was raising three kids. She was a movie fan and she wanted to be a writer. One letter asked me what I thought about letting her kids see "Night of the Living Dead." Michael was about 9, and Virginia was five years younger. I wrote back that I thought it was a bad idea. "But I sneaked out and saw it anyway," Michael Madsen confessed. "When you were 9?" Elaine said. "Yeah. You were right. I shouldn't have seen it."

Dennis Perrin: The Smothers Brothers: Now More Than Ever (
Ed Sullivan and Carol Burnett have been cited as possible influences on Rosie O'Donnell's new project. But if she really wants variety, Rosie should get a hold of "The Smothers Brothers."

Their life in my hands (
Just how easy is it to get a star to spill the beans for their 'autobiography'? We ask seven ghostwriters.

SARAH E. BROWN: Sheryl McDougald (
Sheryl McDougald puts the gay back into Renaissance art.

"Sylvia," by Nicole Hollander


Minnesota Senate Race: A Confident Coleman Counts on Votes from Airport Bathroom


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The Weekly Poll

Current Question

Barack Obama - The Movie Edition

If you were to cast the lead for a movie about Obama's life, campaign and election who would have in the role?

    A. Will Smith

    B. Denzel Washington

    C. Eddie Murphy

    D. Samuel L. Jackson

    E. Forest Whitaker

    F. Other

Send your response, and a (short) reason why, to BadToTheBoneBob ( BCEpoll 'at' )

Results tomorrow


Trivia Question Of The Day

What was first female helium balloon character to appear in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade?

   A    Betty Boop
   B    Dora the Explorer
   C    Little Lulu
   D    Olive Oyl
   E    Raggedy Ann

Send your answer to Marty

Trivia Question from Yesterday

When does Canada celebrate Thanksgiving?

  A    2nd Monday in October
   B    3rd Sunday in October
   C    1st Thursday in November
   D    2nd Tuesday in November
   E    3rd Wednesday in November                   Source

Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States.          Source

Charlie was first, and right, with:
   Just having Monday off is probably reason for many to give thanks up there.
  A 2nd Monday in October

mj responded:
   I know it's October
  And I'm pretty sure it's the 2nd Monday, so I'm going with A.

maw said:

Jim from CA replied:
   Second Monday in October...

Alan J answered:
   A 2nd Monday in October

joe b said:
   I looked this up it is the second week of October.
  I should of looked up the Turkey wattle also.

Adam in NoHo replied:
   A- 2nd Mon in Oct. What's the point of a holiday if you don;t get a paid day off of work?

Marian the Teacher answered:
   second Monday in October

LARRY ELLIS REED (blogging as "IludiumPhosdex") responded:
   The correct answer is A (the second Monday in October).
  Which has been the case since 1957, after years of our Canadian friends being rather uncertain about when to observe Thanksgiving (in some cases, having the observance concurrent with that in the United States).

MAM     responded:
   A 2nd Monday in Octcber
  In Canada, Thanksgiving Day has been a holiday on the second Monday in October since 1957. It is to express thanks for a good harvest and other fortune in the past year. This year it was Monday, October 13, 2008

Sally said:
   I think that Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on (A) the 2nd Monday in October. It's sort of a Harvest celebration, which reminds me more of the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot, than our Thanksgiving.
  In our family, we all really like the American Thanksgiving, because collectively, we have Christians, Jews, two Muslims, a couple of Atheists, and one Berber - and it's the one big holiday when we can all celebrate on the same day and keep the bickering to a minimum!
  PS: I forgot, we also have the Republicans who live south of the Mason Dixon Line. They are the family turkeys, let me tell you...

And, Joe S wrote:
   A 2nd Monday in October

        First Nations view of Thanksgiving


Thanks to Charlie, Marianne, and Joe S for the pictures.


Reader Comment

Re: Cat Guidelines

Hey, Marty!

After checking out the link "Cat Guidelines" you had on your page yesterday, I was inspired to write a few of my own guidelines, based on my experiences with my cat, Charlie (The World's Worst CAT)! I sent them to the author of that site and he added them to the list within an hour! I hope you and your cat-loving readers like them:

Tiera H.


Cats as humanitarians - Humans have a very tenuous hold on reality and it is up to the cats to help them maintain their grasp on said reality. For instance, humans often speak to imaginary friends while holding a small object up to their ear, with no other humans in sight, obviously losing touch with the real world! A cat must put a stop to this as quickly as possible! Climb on the human and get your face right up in theirs and meow very loudly until the human acknowledges you, therefore bringing them back to reality. If that fails, you can use the top of your head to try and knock the small object out of their hand/away from their ear, which almost always succeeds in stopping their talking to thin air.

Human inconsistency - Humans spend many hours sitting in front of a box with moving pictures, tapping tiny squares on a board with their is rumored that this is actually how humans sharpen their claws! Considering how sanctimonious they are when they catch cats sharpening their claws, humans obviously need a lesson in consistency. One of the best ways to do this is to walk on the board with the tiny squares...that will always get a huge reaction from the human, a good indication that you're actually teaching them something! If that doesn't work, lay on the board or throw up a furball on it! There's no good reason why humans should be allowed to sharpen their claws while forbidding cats to do so!

Cat speak - Humans will sometimes try to speak in cat language, attempting to 'meow' at you while having no real idea what they're saying! Cats can either meow back and try and fool the human into thinking that there is a real connection going on, or they can stare at the human with a puzzled look on their face...after all, the human just told you that your mother was the whore of every tomcat in town! Did they mean that or did they simply not understand the implications of their attempting to meow? It's hard to say, as the level of human advancement in this area is very limited...about the only 'catspeak' they actually understand is "I'm starving" and "Let me out...NOW!" If they have truly insulted you or your family, feel free to either tell them how stupid they are in cat language or walk away indignantly.

The eternal question - When faced with the age-old question, "Is it love, or is it Fancy Feast?", we all know that it is Fancy Feast, of course. However, it is absolutely crucial that cats not let the humans know this, or the humans might stop sharing this treat with us! Always convince the human that your sudden, intense attention showered on them is LOVE! You can go back to normal behavior after the treat has been consumed!

Guidelines for Cats

Great job, Tiera!


Reader Comment

Re: Recommended Reading from Bruce


In reading the Recommended Reading from Bruce yesterday, his first recommended reading was Video: World Leaders Won't Shake George Bush's Hand ( . In my reading BAGnewsNotes last night, the BAG explained what really appears to have happened.

I am not the one to defend Bush in any of his policies or behaviors, but I am interested in how the media reports incidents that happen and perhaps give us a not-quite-right interpretation.

Michael Shaw, at BAGnewsNotes, has a different take on the Supposed G-20 Handshake Incident. He feels that the reporter, CNN's Rick Sanchez, "interpreted the scene as Bush being ignored by the other leaders and then sulking about it." However, if one watches the expanded C-SPAN report, a somewhat different interpretation of the scene is to be had.

For more, see: BAGnewsNotes


Thanks, Marianne!



Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD















Ark Of Darkness


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Overcast and cool.

Tonight, Monday:

CBS opens the night with a FRESH 'Big Bang Theory', followed by a FRESH 'How I Met Your Mother', then a FRESH '2½ Men', followed by a FRESH 'Worst Week', then a FRESH 'CSI: The 2nd One'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Dave are Nicole Kidman, Simon Baker, and Kanye West
Scheduled on a FRESH Craig are Mary Steenburgen, Eamonn Walker, and Low vs. Diamond

NBC begins the night with a FRESH 'Chuck', followed by a FRESH 'Heroes', then a FRESH 'My Own Worst Enemy'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Leno are Ron Howard and the Jonas Brothers
Scheduled on a FRESH Conan are Hugh Jackman, Marge Klindera, and Tom Morello
On a RERUN Carson 'The Scab' Daly (from 10/9/08) are Kat Von D, Jim Norton, and Young Jeezy

ABC starts the night with a FRESH 'Dancing With The Stars', followed by a FRESH 'Samantha Who?', then a FRESH 'Boston Legal'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Kimmel are Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Anna Torv, and the Killers.

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

Faux has a FRESH 'Sarah Connor Chronicles', followed by a FRESH 'Prison Break'.

MY recycles an old 'Twilight Zone', followed by another recycled 'Twilight Zone', then a FRESH 'Magic's Bigget Secrets Finally Revealed'.

A&E has 'CSI: The 2nd One', 'Intervention', another 'Intervention', and 'The First 48'.

AMC offers the movie 'Rocky IV', followed by the movie 'Million Dollar Baby'.

BBC  -   
 [12:00 PM]    How Clean Is Your House? US - Episode 2
 [12:30 PM]    How Clean Is Your House? - Episode 10
 [1:00 PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares - Ep 3 The Priory
 [2:00 PM]    Cash in the Attic - Ep 12 Anderson
 [3:00 PM]    How Clean Is Your House? US - Episode 12
 [3:30 PM]    How Clean Is Your House? - Episode 11
 [4:00 PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares - Ep. 3 Walnut Tree
 [5:00 PM]    Top Gear - Episode 11
 [6:00 PM]    Dragons' Den - Episode 4
 [7:00 PM]    BBC World News America
 [8:00 PM]    Top Gear: Best Of 06-07 - Episode 3
 [9:00 PM]    Top Gear - Episode 9
 [10:00 PM]    BBC World News America
 [11:00 PM]    Top Gear: Best Of 06-07 - Episode 3
 [12:00 AM]    Top Gear - Episode 9
 [1:00 AM]    Top Gear: Best Of 06-07 - Episode 3
 [2:00 AM]    Top Gear - Episode 6
 [3:00 AM]    The Graham Norton Show - Ep 11 Gérard Depardieu and Tori Amos
 [4:00 AM]    You Are What You Eat - Episode 6
 [4:30 AM]    You Are What You Eat - Episode 7
 [5:00 AM]    Cash in the Attic - Ep. 12 Kitching
 [5:30 AM]    Cash in the Attic - Ep. 13 Vita
 [6:00 AM]    BBC World News     (ALL TIMES EDT)

Bravo has the FRESH 'First Class All The Way', 'Top Chef', another 'Top Chef'< and 'Real Housewives Of OC'.

Comedy Central has 'Scrubs', another 'Scrubs', an old 'Jon Stewart', an old 'Colbert Report', 'Futurama', 'South Park', 'Futurama', and another 'Futurama'.
On a RERUN Jon Stewart (from 11/18/08) is Denis Leary
On a RERUN Colbert Report (from 11/18/08) is Paul Simon

FX has the movie 'Batman Begins', followed by the movie 'Batman Begins', again.

History has 'Modern Marvels', followed by a FRESH 'Modern Marvels', then a FRESH 'Cities Of The Underworld', and the FRESH 'Valkyrie: The Plot To Kill Hitler'.

IFC  -   
 [7:15 AM]    The F Word
 [8:35 AM]    The Castle
 [10:00 AM]    Proof
 [11:35 AM]    The Slaughter Rule
 [1:35 PM]    The F Word
 [3:00 PM]    IFC Short Film Showcase
 [4:00 PM]    The Castle
 [5:25 PM]    Proof
 [7:00 PM]    Ulee's Gold
 [9:00 PM]    The Proposition
 [10:45 PM]    Assassination Tango
 [12:45 AM]    IFC News Special
 [1:00 AM]    The Proposition
 [2:45 AM]    Assassination Tango
 [4:45 AM]    Ulee's Gold    (ALL TIMES EST)

SciFi has all 'Lost' all night.

Sundance  -   
 [05:50 AM]    Jump Tomorrow
 [07:30 AM]    Summercamp!
 [09:00 AM]    House of Boateng: Episode 8
 [09:30 AM]    Big Girl's Blouse: Episode 6
 [10:00 AM]    Slaughterhouse Five
 [12:00 PM]    Derailroaded: Inside the Mind of Larry "Wild Man" Fischer
 [01:30 PM]    Nice Bombs
 [03:00 PM]    Blue Vinyl
 [04:35 PM]    East of Havana
 [06:00 PM]    Iconoclasts - Season 4: Bill Maher + Clive Davis
 [07:00 PM]    Iconoclasts - Season 4: Venus Williams + Wyclef Jean
 [08:00 PM]    Iconoclasts - Season 4: Cameron Diaz + Cameron Sinclair
 [09:00 PM]    Stone Time Touch
 [10:30 PM]    Dimmer
 [11:00 PM]    The Education of Ms. Groves: Episode 3
 [11:30 PM]    Architecture School: Episode 2
 [12:00 AM]    Iconoclasts - Season 4: Cameron Diaz + Cameron Sinclair
 [01:00 AM]    Zoo
 [02:30 AM]    Sheitan
 [04:00 AM]    Flying: Confessions...: Part 2
 [05:00 AM]    Red Lights     (ALL TIMES EST)

TCM spends the afternoon with Gale Storm, then features Charles Laughton most of the night..
 [6:30 AM]      What Price Hollywood? (1932)
 [8:00 AM]      Hollywood Party (1934)
 [9:15 AM]      Crashing Hollywood (1938)
 [10:15 AM]      Hollywood Cowboy (1937)
 [11:30 AM]      It Happened in Hollywood (1937)
 [12:45 PM]      Hollywood Round-Up (1937)
 [1:45 PM]      Foreign Agent (1942)
 [3:00 PM]      Revenge Of The Zombies (1943)
 [4:15 PM]      Nearly Eighteen (1943)
 [5:30 PM]      Campus Rhythm (1943)
 [6:45 PM]      The Texas Rangers (1951)

 [8:00 PM]      The Paradine Case (1947)
 [10:15 PM]      Witness For The Prosecution (1957)
 [12:15 AM]      The Bribe (1949)
 [2:00 AM]      Salome (1953)

 [3:45 AM]      Samson and Delilah (1949)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Tuesday  -  11/25/08

 [6:00 AM]      On An Island With You (1948)
 [8:00 AM]      Neptune's Daughter (1949)
 [9:45 AM]      Two Weeks With Love (1950)
 [11:30 AM]      My Man And I (1952)
 [1:15 PM]      Arsenic And Old Lace (1944)
 [3:15 PM]      Gabriel Over The White House (1933)
 [4:45 PM]      The Man Who Came To Dinner (1942)
 [6:45 PM]      Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939)
 [8:00 PM]      Cleopatra (1963)
 [12:15 AM]      Rio Grande (1950)
 [2:15 AM]      They Died With Their Boots On (1941)
 [4:45 AM]      Viva Las Vegas (1964)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Any opinions?

Or reviews?

(See below for addresses)


Singer Alicia Keys arrives at the 2008 American Music Awards in Los Angeles November 23, 2008.
Photo by Phil McCarten


Click Here!


The Brewster Kaleidoscope Society



Generation Gap

Thailand's three-year political crisis has divided friends and families, but few can have felt the strain as much as the Sawadipol clan.

The daughter, 27-year-old lawyer Khattiyaa, is an ardent supporter of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), the royalist protest movement that has occupied the Prime Minister's compound for three months in a bid to unseat the government.

Her father, widely known by the nickname Seh Daeng, is a maverick major-general, who has threatened to counter the PAD with bombs, rifles -- and snakes dropped from helicopters. Yet, according to a joint interview in the Bangkok Post published on Thursday, serenity rules under the Sawadipol roof.

"At home, my dad is lovely. He always makes me happy," said Khattiyaa, pictured getting a hug from her combat fatigue-wearing father. "Despite our differences, we need not fight. We must be open-minded and respect each other's freedom."

Generation Gap


Actors Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Ben Stiller (from R to 2nd L) and film producer Jeffrey "Sparky" Katzenberg (L) stand together during a visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem November 23, 2008, in this picture released by Yad Vashem. All four arrived in Israel on Saturday for the premiere screening of their film "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa."
Photo by Isaac Harari


8 Of The Best Treehouses In The World


Mexican Fiesta Rocks Indigenous Town


Attaching flowers to a ribbon headdress, pulling a lace slip under an embroidered skirt and draping a necklace of gold coins over his head, Pedro Martinez puts the finishing touches on the traditional costume of Zapotec women in southern Mexico.

"When I get all dressed up like this my father always says, 'Oh Pedro! You look just like your mother when she was young," beams Martinez, 28, gluing on fake eyelashes in front of a mirror.

Martinez spent two hours in the hair salon he owns getting ready for this weekend's festival of the "muxes," indigenous gays and transvestites in the town of Juchitan who have found a haven of acceptance in Mexico's macho society.

The muxes (pronounced moo-shes), mostly of ethnic Zapotec descent, are widely respected in the southern town where a dance and parade that crowns a transvestite queen and celebrates the harvest has been held annually for the last 33 years.

Anthropologists say the tradition of blurring genders among Mexico's indigenous population is centuries old but has been revived in recent decades due to the gay pride movement.




In The Kitchen With BartCop & Friends


Solar Panels In Cemetery

Santa Coloma de Gramenet

Santa Coloma de Gramenet, a gritty, working-class town outside Barcelona, has placed a sea of solar panels atop mausoleums at its cemetery, transforming a place of perpetual rest into one buzzing with renewable energy.

Flat, open and sun-drenched land is so scarce in Santa Coloma that the graveyard was just about the only viable spot to move ahead with its solar energy program.

The power the 462 panels produces - equivalent to the yearly use by 60 homes - flows into the local energy grid for normal consumption and is one community's odd nod to the fight against global warming.

The concept emerged as a way to utilize an ideal stretch of land in a town that wants solar energy but is so densely built-up - Santa Coloma's population of 124,000 is crammed into four square kilometers (1.5 square miles) - it had virtually no place to generate it.

Santa Coloma de Gramenet


Actress Salma Hayek arrives at the CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute awards show, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008, in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles.
Photo by Gus Ruelas


Tick Tock Toys - Archives & Galleries


What's Italian For 'Asshole'?

Silvio Berlusconi

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi brushed aside international outrage from earlier this month on Sunday to make reference once again to US president-elect Barack Obama's "suntan."

He told ANSA news agency his initial remark was intended as a "compliment," adding that he is equally "envious" of black supermodel Naomi Campbell.

"My compliment to Barack is a little envious," said Berlusconi, who had what he described as a "long, cordial" telephone conversation with the new occupant of the White House -- instigated by Obama -- on November 7.

"We would all like to be tanned like Naomi Campbell and Obama," said the self-made billionaire, who sports a permanent tan, during a press conference in Pescara, Italy.

Silvio Berlusconi


Vidiot Speak


Flunk American History Test

US Officials

US elected officials scored abysmally on a test measuring their civic knowledge, with an average grade of just 44 percent, the group that organized the exam said Thursday.

Ordinary citizens did not fare much better, scoring just 49 percent correct on the 33 exam questions compiled by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

The exam questions covered American history, the workings of the US government and economics.

Asked about the electoral college, 20 percent of elected officials incorrectly said it was established to "supervise the first televised presidential debates."

US Officials


Annie Lennox arrives at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008.
Photo by Chris Pizzello


50 Things Everyone Should Know How To Do


Settles Lawsuit

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson has reached a settlement with a Bahraini sheik who says the singer owes him $7 million after breaching a signed contract, the pop star's spokeswoman said Sunday.

The out-of-court settlement means Jackson will not be giving evidence at London's High Court as scheduled on Monday, Celena Aponte said.

Sheik Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa said he gave the singer millions and planned a series of collaborations following Jackson's acquittal on child molestation charges in June 2005. Al Khalifa, 33, invited Jackson to the small, oil-rich Gulf state to escape the media spotlight.

Jackson's lawyers have maintained the money was a gift and argued that the musician wasn't bound by the deal because the contract was signed on behalf of 2 Seas Records, a venture which never got off the ground.

Michael Jackson


Uncontrollable Semantics


Working On Second Act

Ted Haggard

Earlier this month, a guest took the pulpit at Open Bible Fellowship in Morrison, Ill., a 350-member church surrounded by cornfields. The speaker was an insurance salesman from Colorado named Ted Haggard.

The former superstar pastor, disgraced two years ago in a sex-and-drugs scandal, had returned - this time as a Christian businessman preaching a message that was equal parts contrition and defiance. Haggard linked his fall to being molested in second grade and apologized again.

While his exact plans remain unclear, Haggard is unmistakably making himself a public figure again, nine months after his former church said he walked away from an oversight process meant to restore him.

The man who confessed to being a "a deceiver and a liar" is asking for another hearing, finding encouragement from a loyal circle of supporters, skepticism from those evangelical leaders who think it's premature and complex emotions at the Colorado Springs church he betrayed.

Ted Haggard


Shirley Bassey arrives on the red carpet at the Atlantis hotel grand opening on Jumeirah Palm Island in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008.
Photo by Kamran Jebreili


Symmetry Explorer


Man Shot

Celebrity Centre

A security guard shot and killed a man wielding a sword Sunday on the grounds of a Scientology building in Hollywood, police said.

The unidentified man approached the guard around noon in the parking lot of the Scientology Celebrity Centre, said Officer April Harding, a police spokeswoman.

The guard "felt threatened for his life" and fired at the man, Harding said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The Celebrity Centre includes a seven-story Norman-revival landmark that towers over the Hollywood freeway and used to be a residential hotel for movie stars.

Celebrity Centre


The Atlantic Bus Yard


Weekend Box Office


The vampire romance "Twilight" drained the box office in its opening weekend, taking in $70.6 million. Catherine Hardwicke's film also enjoyed the biggest opening ever for a female director, blowing away the previous standard of $41.1 million set by Mimi Leder's "Deep Impact" in 1998.

The tremendous take for "Twilight" far exceeded expectations, which had been set around $50 million.

The other major debut of the weekend, Walt Disney's 3-D animated "Bolt," made $27 million to take third place. Featuring the voices of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus, "Bolt" follows the cross-country journey of a dog who plays a superhero on television, but sadly realizes he has no magical powers once he gets separated from his "person."

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released Monday.

    1. "Twilight," $70.5 million.
    2. "Quantum of Solace," $27.4 million.
    3. "Bolt," $27 million.
    4. "Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa," $16 million.
    5. "Role Models." $7.2 million.
    6. "Changeling," $2.6 million.
    7. "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," $2 million.
    8. "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," $1.7 million.
    9. "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas," $1.67 million.
   10. "The Secret Life of Bees," $1.28 million.



Mosquito Tone Test, or How To Tell You're A Young'un



In Memory

Betty James

Betty James, who co-founded the company that made the Slinky and beat the odds as a single mother in the late 1950s to become a successful executive, has died. She was 90.

She died Thursday, said a spokeswoman for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

In 1945, James and her husband at the time, Richard, founded the company that would later make Slinky, the toy for which she was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2001.

She took over management of James Industries Inc. 14 years after the company was founded, after her husband left her to follow a religious cult in Bolivia. Richard James died in 1974.

Initially, James would leave her six children with a caregiver from Sunday through Thursday while she oversaw operations in Philadelphia. But in 1965, she moved the company to her hometown of Hollidaysburg, where although it was sold in 1998 to Michigan-based POOF Products Inc., it remains today.

Betty James



A butterfly lands on a Linaria plant Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008 in the new Emma B. Heske Community Garden, which was built with a $515,000 trust that Heske left to the City of Las Cruces, N.M.
Photo by Shari Vialpando


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