Marc Dion: What Was America Doing? (Creators Syndicate)
A European spacecraft landed on a comet Wednesday. At 57, I guess I'm too old to matter, but I remember when it seemed that only Americans did that kind of thing.
Michelle Chen: Want to feed the homeless? Be prepared to pay the government for the privilege (Guardian)
Cities are enacting politics to keep homeless people out of sight and uphold a social order riven by racial and economic inequality.
David Cairns: "Jacques Tati: Things Fall Together" (Criterion)
You can consider gags as decoration-little nuggets of entertainment dispensed on the way through a story-or you can view them as architecture, structural elements that tell the story using action. Or you can see them as Jacques Tati did, which has very little to do with story at all.
Kristin Ross: Jacques Tati, Historian (Criterion)
Comedians are often our best historians of the present because they are at once intensely invested in and poorly adapted to their moment, at one and yet out of sync with their surroundings and situation. Unlike professional historians, who feel compelled to try to explain why the present had to evolve in exactly the way it did from what came before it, comics trade in making the lived elements of the present appear to be as unnatural, as unexplainable as possible.
Daniel Dockery: 6 Unshakable Beliefs You Develop Growing Up a Redneck (Cracked)
If you lived anywhere below Maryland and east of New Mexico in the year 2003, you could luckily count on redneck comedians to be your cultural spokesmen. In that time frame, they outnumbered cockroaches 4-to-1. But, as intricate and widespread as their messages of deer hunting, comical incest and dilapidated trucks were, they left out a few ways that growing up in the rural South changes your mindset.
Cher Martinetti: 6 Surprising Realities of Life as a Hooters Girl (Cracked)
It started as a dare by my then-boyfriend. I don't remember how or why, but I do remember driving past Hooters and vaguely making some smart-ass comment when he asked if I wanted to go there for dinner.
Terry Savage: Kids Holiday Gifts (Creators Syndicate)
What to give your children or grandchildren for the holiday season is an annual dilemma. Once you get past the popular holiday toys (think "Frozen" anything!) or clothes (not very exciting), there are some real opportunities to make your gift a rewarding money experience for the young people in your life.
William McPherson: Falling (The Hedgehog Review)
The rich are all alike, to revise Tolstoy's famous words, but the poor are poor in their own particular ways.
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Michelle in AZ
From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'
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
Mostly overcast, no rain.
TV Ratings Dismal
Hollywood Film Awards
About halfway through the first televised Hollywood Film Awards, Chris Rock took the stage to accept a trophy for his film "Top Five." ''Wow, do you feel the excitement in the room?" he asked facetiously. The remark elicited the first real laughter of the night from an otherwise restrained audience.
The show that has dubbed itself the "official launch of the awards season" was, even at a brisk two hours, a subdued, often strained celebration of celebrities and their films, many of which have only played at festivals and some that have yet to be seen by anyone.
The Friday night affair was a strange amalgam of sincere and bizarre moments, including Johnny Depp slurring and cursing through a pre-written speech. The stars might have come out to party, but they didn't seem to be having any fun.
Now in its 18th year, The Hollywood Film Awards hopes to become one of the major stops on the annual movie awards trail, now that it's being broadcast on CBS, along with a pre-show from the red carpet and a post-show recap. Queen Latifah was this year's host.
Hollywood Film Awards
Mohamed Fahmy grew "very emotional" when he learned that Egypt's president now has the power to deport foreigners convicted or accused of crimes, his family said about the move that may hold the key to the Egyptian-Canadian journalist's freedom.
But it's still unclear if the decree by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi will apply to dual citizens like Fahmy - a situation which has left him and his family on tenterhooks.
Fahmy was working for Qatar-based satellite news broadcaster Al-Jazeera English when he was arrested on Dec. 29 along with two colleagues - Australian correspondent Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed, an Egyptian producer.
After a trial which drew heavy international criticism, the trio were found guilty. Fahmy and Greste were sentenced to seven years in prison, while Mohamed was sentenced to 10 years.
The judge who sentenced the journalists later said they were brought together "by the devil" to destabilize the country. The main evidence cited was interview footage produced by the journalists critical of the government.
Cancelled by CBS
There will be no more laughs in The Millers' household; the CBS sitcom has been cancelled.
The sophomore series starred Will Arnett as local Virginia news reporter Nathan Miller, and followed the exploits of his family, which also included Margo Martindale (Justified, The American).
One more episode will be shot, and the series is still scheduled to air a new episode this Monday (8:30/7:30c), but it's unclear how many episodes will air beyond that.
Russia Plans Alternative Version
Russia plans to create its own "Wikipedia" to ensure its citizens have access to more "detailed and reliable" information about their country, the presidential library said on Friday.
Citing Western threats, the Kremlin has asserted more control over the Internet this year in what critics call moves to censor the web, and has introduced more pro-Kremlin content similar to closely controlled state media such as television.
Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia assembled and written by Internet users around the world, has pages dedicated to nearly every region or major city within Russia's 11 time zones, but the Kremlin library said this was not good enough.
President Vladimir Putin has branded the Internet a "CIA special project", and the Kremlin has said it must protect its online realm from threats from the West, as ties between the Cold War-era foes have hit a new bottom over the Ukraine crisis.
Since August, bloggers in Russia with more than 3,000 followers must register with the Moscow's mass media regulatory agency and conform to rules applied to larger media outlets.
House Dems Nix Proxy Vote Request
Rep. Tammy Duckworth
A pregnant congresswoman who sought to vote by proxy in House Democratic elections next week said Friday she accepts the decision of her colleagues to reject the request.
Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who is expecting her first child in December, had asked Democrats to break with precedent and allow her to vote by proxy in leadership and committee elections beginning Tuesday. Doctors have advised Duckworth to remain in Illinois during the final weeks of her pregnancy.
After a discussion in a closed-door meeting Thursday, Democrats stood by their decades-long prohibition on proxy voting.
"I submitted a request to the caucus to allow for a proxy vote due to my pregnancy," Duckworth said in a statement. "The caucus chose not to allow me to vote via proxy. I respect the process and very much appreciated my colleagues who made sure my request was considered."
Rep. Tammy Duckworth
CBS May Go Dark
CBS started alerting viewers Friday night that Dish Network could pluck out the Eye in certain markets, in the latest dispute to hit the pay-TV biz.
"Attention, Dish customers! You could soon lose CBS," the broadcaster's spots said. Over all, there are 14 CBS-owned stations covered under Dish agreement, plus seven CW, two My Network TV and three independent stations. CBS has relaunched keepcbs.com for the Dish dispute, in a replay of its carriage fight with Time Warner Cable last year.
CBS's contract with Dish is set to expire Nov. 20. In addition, Showtime and CBS Sports Network could be affected on Dish if the companies fail to reach an agreement.
Separately, Dish is in a standoff with Turner Broadcasting over carriage terms. On Oct. 21, the satcaster lost access to CNN, Cartoon Network and other channels. Dish's deals for Turner's TNT and TBS are due to expire later this month. Dish chairman Charlie Ergen said the satellite TV carrier is prepared to drop the Turner networks for good, although he said he was hopeful of reaching a deal with CBS.
Gets Probation In Card-Marking Case
A Las Vegas gambler who once famously turned $50 into $40 million and then lost it all has been sentenced to three years' probation for a card-marking scheme that got him arrested at a California casino, a San Diego prosecutor said on Thursday.
Anargyros Karabourniotis, who was also ordered to pay $6,860 in restitution, pleaded guilty to a felony count of burglary for entering the Barona Casino in the San Diego area in July 2013 intending to commit a theft.
Better known as Archie Karas, 64-year-old Karabourniotis is legendary for arriving in Las Vegas in 1992 with $50 and going on a three-year gambling streak that included poker, pool and dice games that raised his funds to $40 million, which he lost in a few months in 1995.
At the San Diego area casino, Karabourniotis was videotaped twice marking cards at a blackjack table. He won $8,000 in one sitting, according to court records.
Deputy District Attorney Andrew Aguilar said Karabourniotis was using his fingers to daub the cards with a substance, marking them in three different ways to signal that the card was either an ace, had a playing value of 10, or was a card worth seven, eight or nine points.
Guest Shot Canceled
Bill Cosby's upcoming appearance on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman" has been canceled amid a growing uproar over allegations that he sexually assaulted several women in past decades.
Cosby spokesman David Brokaw confirmed Friday night that Cosby would not appear next Wednesday as previously scheduled. He did not say why.
"Late Show" representative Kimberly Izzo-Emmet said, "We can't comment on the guest booking process." She said Regis Philbin would be the replacement guest.
Another canceled engagement, on "The Queen Latifah Show" on Oct. 30, was characterized by that show as a postponement granted at Cosby's request.
The standup comedian Hannibal Buress last month brought heat on Cosby at a performance in Philadelphia. His routine, during which he assailed Cosby as "a rapist," was captured on video and posted online, gaining wide exposure.
The 77-year-old Cosby, who was never criminally charged in any of the cases, settled a civil suit in 2006 with another woman over an alleged incident two years before.
A Texas woman whose four pit bulls entered her neighbors' yard through a hole in the fence and killed their 10-year-old beagle is suing them for $1 million.
Emerald White says in her lawsuit filed this week in Galveston County district court that she was "seriously injured" on Oct. 27 trying to stop the attack and retrieve her dogs. She says she suffered "multiple serious bite and scratch-type injuries" and accuses her neighbors of failing to securely confine and restrict their dog, Bailey.
Bailey's owner, Steve Baker, told The Galveston County Daily News that everyone was telling him to sue White but that he didn't because it wouldn't bring Bailey back and the police declared her dogs dangerous.
"The police took the action I wanted and declared those dogs dangerous and awareness was raised, so I decided to let it go," Baker said. "Now they're suing me for $1 million - I just can't believe it."
Each of the animals must be registered with Texas City annually as a dangerous dog. A sign must be posted in White's yard alerting residents of the danger and she must have a $100,000 liability on the dogs, according to police. A fence at least 6 feet high must also be installed.
Alaska's Most Active
Alaska's most active volcano is spitting lava into the air and producing an ash cloud at low elevations. But unlike Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island, where there's been spectacular images of lava encroaching on a community and burning a home, there's no property at risk in Alaska because of the eruption of Pavlof Volcano.
The 8,262-foot Pavlof Volcano is located in a relatively uninhabited area about 625 miles southwest of Anchorage on the Alaska Peninsula. The closest community is about 40 miles away.
Observers from that community, Cold Bay, reported seeing dark snow on the surface of the volcano Wednesday, indicating an eruption has started. The eruption intensified that afternoon and continued through the week, David Schneider, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Alaska Volcano Observatory, said Friday.
Even though there's seismic monitoring systems on the volcano, Schneider said Pavlof is considered the most subtle of Alaska's volcanos. Magma can make its way up the volcano without producing any earthquakes.
This eruption is characterized by lava being ejected from a vent near the summit, producing an ash cloud that extends for about 125 miles. However, the cloud is at a relatively low altitude, about 16,000 feet.
Pot Cases Dropped
Oregon's biggest county will no longer prosecute most marijuana cases after state voters voted this month to legalize the drug even as other prosecutors across the state take a more cautious approach, authorities said on Friday.
The Multnomah County district attorney, whose jurisdiction includes Portland, said that because recreational marijuana use by adults will become legal in July there is little point proceeding with marijuana possession or delivery cases.
While Multnomah County is stepping back from marijuana cases, prosecutors elsewhere in the state are more hesitant.
In Lane County, which includes Eugene, prosecutors said they had turned their focus away from misdemeanor marijuana cases long ago to focus on more serious felonies, but worried legalization would complicate policing in areas with drug problems.
In Clackamas County, the state's third largest and a suburb of Portland, prosecutors said they expect to make a decision soon.
Glen A. Larson
Glen A. Larson, a writer and producer behind such notable TV shows as the original "Battlestar Galactica," ''Knight Rider" and "Magnum, P.I.," has died.
Larson's son, James, said Saturday that his father died Friday evening at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center of complications from esophageal cancer.
Larson was nominated three times for an Emmy and once for a Grammy for his success creating and writing shows that dominated TV screens in the 1970s and 1980s.
He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985.
He is survived by his wife, Jeannie, a brother and nine children.
Glen A. Larson