Marc Dion: Punching Charlie in the Mouth (Creators Syndicate)
Here's the Charlie Hebdo controversy as it played out when I was in high school. Monday: Kid says to other kid, "Hey, Lyle! Your mom's a whore!"
Lux Alptraum: The question isn't if female ejaculation is real. It's why you don't trust women to tell you (Guardian)
The debate about 'squirting' is actually about whether or not women can be trusted to accurately report their own sexual experiences.
Thomas Elsaesser: The Persistence of Persona (Criterion)
While Susan Sontag wrote an enthusiastic and, as it turned out, seminal article on Persona, another critical heavyweight, Andrew Sarris, wrote a dismissive review, taking time out to attack Bergman as a filmmaker generally, arguing that he had no talent for the medium ("His technique never equaled his sensibility") and that he should have remained a theater director.
Scott Burns: Keeping Up with the Retired Joneses (AssetBuilder)
Think of this as a tale of two households. They live side by side. Their houses are equal in value. They have the same income, but from different sources. They drive nearly identical cars. We could write quirky folk songs about this.
Robert Evans, Anonymous: 5 Insanely Gritty Realities of Working as an Ice Cream Man (Cracked)
… we wanted the inside "scoop" (Editor's Note: The person who wrote that joke has been fired ... out of a cannon) on what life is like as the person inside that brightly colored van full of childhood obesity. So we sat down with two veteran ice cream men. Here's what they told us: …
Beethoven "Moonlight" Sonata op 27 # 2 Mov 3 Valentina Lisitsa (YouTube)
Recording in Beethovensaal, Hannover Germany, Dec 2009. Wilhelm Kempff recorded Beethoven cycle in the very same hall.
100 Sizzling Japanese maids in Action (YouTube)
"This is an ad for non-stick cookware. At least, I think it is, because what else would it be? The reaction of the man of the house evokes some kind of weird fantasy, especially when we see how happy he is with the final result. It only gets more nonsensical as it continues. Therefore, it will be remembered, which is all that matters in advertising." - Neatorama
"Garbage Man (Official HD): ä·Â»ÃÐ¡Ñ¹ªÕÇÔµ Thai Life Insurance" (YouTube)
"If what we have seen at Neatorama over the past few years is representative of a trend, then there is a Thai tradition of producing sweet and endearing commercials that emphasize kindness, mercy, and generosity." - Neatorama
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce's Blog
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David Bruce has approximately 50 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'
Just got this from Paul Krassner. Rejected by the New Yorker.
from Marc Perkel
Hello Bartcop fans,
As you all know the untimely passing of Terry was unexpected, even by him. We all knew he had cancer but we all thought he had some years left. So some of us who have worked closely with him over the years are scrambling around trying to figure out what to do. My job, among other things, is to establish communications with the Bartcop community and provide email lists and groups for those who might put something together. Those who want to play an active roll in something coming from this, or if you are one of Bart's pillars, should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bart's final wish was to pay off the house mortgage for Mrs. Bart who is overwhelmed and so very grateful for the support she has received. Anyone wanting to make a donation can click on this the yellow donate button on bartcop.com
But - I need you all to help keep this going. This note isn't going to directly reach all of Bart's fans. So if you can repost it on blogs and discussion boards so people can sign up then when we figure out what's next we can let more people know. This list is just over 600 but like to get it up to at least 10,000 pretty quick. So here's the signup link for this email list.
( mailman.bartcop.com/listinfo/bartnews )
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Sunny and much warmer than seasonal.
Al Jazeera America is reworking all of its programming schedule, relying less on hourlong specialty programs in favor of live newscasts, the network's chief executive said in a memo to staffers Friday. The Qatar-backed cable-news outlet will also develop a two-hour morning program.
"News is at the heart of Al Jazeera, and our strong advantage in the market is embodied in our 24/7 live news programs. Our commitment to news around-the-clock remains at the heart of our mission. We will have an average of 14 hours per day of live news from our newsrooms in New York, London and Doha," said Ehab Al Shihabi, CEO of the news channel.
The network intends to run live news for three hours from early evening into primetime, he said, starting at 7 a.m. and running until 10 p.m. Shows that had formed the spine of the network's primetime lineup are being moved to later in the evening and in many cases will be shortened to half an hour. "Fault Lines" and "America Tonight," hosted by Joie Chen, will run at 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and "Real Money," hosted by Ali Velshi, will move to 10:30 p.m. "Inside Story" will shift to 11:30 p.m.
A two-hour morning program to air between 7 and 9 a.m. is also in the works, he said, and some elements of shows that are being truncated or cancelled will likely appear during that time.
Washington's legal marijuana market opened last summer to a dearth of weed. Some stores periodically closed because they didn't have pot to sell. Prices were through the roof.
Six months later, the equation has flipped, bringing serious growing pains to the new industry.
A big harvest of sun-grown marijuana from eastern Washington last fall flooded the market. Prices are starting to come down in the state's licensed pot shops, but due to the glut, growers are - surprisingly - struggling to sell their marijuana. Some are already worried about going belly-up, finding it tougher than expected to make a living in legal weed.
State data show that licensed growers had harvested 31,000 pounds of bud as of Thursday, but Washington's relatively few legal pot shops have sold less than one-fifth of that. Many of the state's marijuana users have stuck with the untaxed or much-lesser-taxed pot they get from black market dealers or unregulated medical dispensaries - limiting how quickly product moves off the shelves of legal stores.
The CW is committing to its scripted programming.
The network used its platform at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour to announce an early renewals for eight series: Arrow, Jane the Virgin, Reign, Supernatural, The 100, The Flash, The Originals and The Vampire Diaries.
Much has changed for The CW in the past year. With the additions of Jane and DC Comics adaptation The Flash, the network has posted significant gains year-over-year. Its up 14 percent in total viewers - the network's best showing since 2010-11 - and up a tick in the key adults 18-49 demographic to a 0.9, while flat in its key adults 18-34 metric.
This season has seen the network post double-digit demo gains on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. The network often tops some of the Big 4's originals in the advertiser-coveted demo and, with the addition of The Flash, has seen its typically female-dominated audience grow to 40 percent male - up 10 percent compared with four years ago.
Apple Knew It Was Going To Flop
It's been a couple of years since Google first started showing off Google Glass to the world, and in that time we have never heard any rumor that Apple was working on a device to compete with the digital headset. And now a new report from Business Insider may explain why: One of Apple's most important executives seemingly thought it would be a bomb from the start.
Business Insider has obtained some emails that were sent by Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller to tech blogger Abdel Ibrahim of The Tech Block after reading one of his posts making fun of Google Glass.
"I can't believe they think anyone (normal) will ever wear these things," Schiller wrote. "It reminds me of the push to market video goggles a few years back."
There are many, many reasons Google Glass has a very big public image problem and one of them is definitely how awkward the device makes people look while they're wearing it. The other issue was that many people felt uncomfortable around people wearing Glass because they were always worried they were being secretly filmed by the device.
CBS Suspends Indefinitely
CBS Sports basketball analyst Greg Anthony has been suspended indefinitely by the network, a CBS spokesperson said on Saturday, a day after he was arrested in Washington, D.C., on a charge of soliciting prostitution.
"Greg Anthony will not be working again for CBS this season," the spokesperson said in an email.
Anthony, 47, was arrested Friday evening after making an agreement for sexual favors, according to Washington's Metropolitan Police Department.
Anthony issued an apology on Saturday to his wife, family and colleagues, saying he made a mistake.
Rapid Spread Concerns Health Officials
The measles outbreak that began at Disneyland during the holiday season is now spreading beyond people who contracted the disease at the theme park, with those patients now exposing others after returning to their hometowns, health officials said Saturday.
There are now 51 confirmed cases of the highly contagious virus across California, three other states and Mexico, and the Orange County Health Care Agency said the reports of new cases "indicate the measles outbreak will continue to spread."
Health officials had hoped to contain the outbreak to Disneyland visitors who were at the park between Dec. 17 and 20, when the virus spread from perhaps a single infected person or an ill family. But Orange County is now reporting six new cases of measles involving people who did not visit the Anaheim attraction during that period. State officials said there were two more such cases in Ventura County and one in Alameda County.
Officials say that many who have become ill were not vaccinated for measles. In the San Diego County cases alone, nine out of the 10 who fell ill did not get the measles vaccine.
A Times analysis published last September reported that the rise in vaccine exemptions among kindergartners because of parents' personal beliefs was most prominent in wealthy coastal and mountain communities, such as southern Orange County and the Santa Monica and Malibu areas.
Halts Huge Secret Data Program
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has halted a secret, nearly 15-year program that collected virtually all data on international calls between the United States and certain countries, according to documents and officials familiar with the matter.
The sweeping bulk DEA database program was stopped in September 2013, shortly after elements were revealed by Reuters and then The New York Times, according to a redacted court filing made public on Thursday and U.S. officials.
The program, run by DEA's Special Operations Division, collected international U.S. phone records to create a database primarily used for domestic criminal cases - not national security investigations, according to records and sources involved.
DEA shared this information with other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, IRS, Homeland Security, and intelligence agencies, according to records reviewed by Reuters.
The DEA program is separate from the National Security Agency's bulk data collection efforts, which were exposed by former contractor Edward Snowden and which officials said are aimed at thwarting terrorist attacks.
Taken Out Of Context?
A Miami-area police department responded on Friday to public outrage over its snipers using photos, for target practice, of black suspects the agency had previously arrested, saying that photos of real people were often used for training.
The use of the mugshots was revealed to police leaders in late December after members of the Florida Army National Guard discovered the photos at a shooting range during their annual weapons qualifications training, according to the North Miami Beach Police Department and a Miami NBC affiliate.
"This is not a race issue. There was no mal-intent or prejudice involved," a police statement
"The North Miami Beach Police Department recognizes how, taken out of context, it may appear to be offensive," Police Chief J. Scott Dennis said. The statement noted that only two of the department's 95 officers are snipers.
Never Never Cry Wolf
A government plan to shoot up to 184 wolves from a helicopter to reduce their population and save caribou herds in western Canada drew sharp criticism from conservation groups Friday.
British Columbia said the killings are needed to save herds in the South Selkirk Mountains and South Peace regions of the province from possible extinction due to wolf predation.
"Evidence points to wolves being the leading cause of mortality," said a government bulletin.
Ian McAllister of conservation group Pacific Wild said the killings ignore the root cause of the problem facing caribou, which he said is habitat encroachment by human activities.
"Instead of protecting habitat and restricting snowmobilers and stopping road construction, oil and gas seismic testing that have caused the decline of caribou, the government allowed the number of industries to continue in prime habitat," he told public broadcaster CBC.
Membership Falls Again
Membership in the Boy Scouts of America took a steeper tumble during 2014, the first year under a policy that allows openly gay youth to participate, than in recent years of a decade-long decline.
About 2.4 million youth participated in the nearly 105-year-old Texas-based scouting program, representing a 7.4 percent decline over 2013 enrollment of 2.6 million youth, Boy Scout officials said in a statement on Friday.
Enrollment declined by about 6 percent in 2013. BSA officials said that decreasing participation is a trend that most youth organizations are facing.
The number of adult volunteers dropped to 981,000 in 2014, down from slightly over 1 million 2013.
Virginia "Patsy" Garrett, a well-known character actress best known as the "chow-chow-chow" lady on the Purina Cat Chow commercials, her recurring roles on TV's "Nanny and the Professor" and "Room 222" and in the "Benji" movie series, died Jan. 8 after a brief illness in Indio, Calif. She was 93.
Garrett played nosy neighbor Florence Fowler on "Nanny and the Professor" (1970-71), school secretary Miss Hogarth on "Room 222" (1972-73) and Mary Gruber in the "Benji" series of family films beginning in 1974. Her numerous TV appearances from the 1960s through the '80s included "Family," "Kojak," "The Waltons," "Medical Center" and her final TV role as a bigoted mother on Redd Foxx's "Sanford" in 1981.
U.S. TV audiences of the 1960s and 1970s will remember Garrett for her role in a series of commercial messages as the Purina Cat Chow Lady. A post-production trick involving the controlled forward motion and reversal of the film had Garrett dancing the "chow-chow-chow" with a cat in a good-humored parody of the cha-cha-cha. Garrett also appeared as the mayor's wife in the 1969 Elvis Presley film "The Trouble With Girls," which led to a lifelong friendship with the singer.
In the late 1960s, Garrett provided cartoon voiceovers for a number of Hanna-Barbera projects, including "The Banana Splits Adventure Hour."
She most recently appeared onscreen in a small role in the 1991 film "Mississippi Masala."
Born in Atlantic City, N.J., to parents who were vaudevillians ("Mason & Gwynne"), the actress and singer had her own children's radio show on a Richmond, Va., station at the age of 7. At age 17, she became a regular on Fred Waring's national radio show "Pleasure Time" as a comic singer from 1938 to 1945. During this time, she was approached by Cole Porter to promote the now-standard ballad "Begin the Beguine," which he had written for a new musical.
Garrett was preceded in death by husband Alexander Kokinacis, a composer who wrote under the name Nick Alexander.
She is survived by a son and a daughter, a stepson, and a number of grandchildren.