The Weekly Veterans Report
Mark Morford: All your problems, instantly solved (SF Gate)
Generation Facebook is totally bummed, dude. Incoming freshman across the nation report their emotional health is at an all-time low, even though they've barely been on the planet long enough to understand the question, even though they've only been alive about as long as it takes a good single-malt Scotch to reach nirvana.
Froma Harrop: From Psycho To Tourist Draw (Creators Syndicate)
Billy the Kid was a psycho. It took the balm of time and multiple retelling of Old West sagas to turn this killing machine into a folk figure. You may recall former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's causing a fuss when he considered granting the little monster a posthumous pardon. Among the Kid's many victims were officers of the law. Richardson wisely decided to take a pass.
Taylor Clark: It's Not the Job Market (Slate)
The three real reasons why Americans are more anxious than ever before.
Jim Hightower: Obama Inc.
When dancing with the devil, never fool yourself into thinking that you're in the lead.
STANLEY FISH: Race to the Top of What? Obama On Education (New York Times)
Do the president's remarks on education indicate more trouble ahead for the humanities?
Editorial: Mr. Pullman's Compass (New York Times)
The author Philip Pullman eloquently defended public libraries against Britain's harsh deficit-reduction plan.
Andrew Tobias: The Happy Gene
Thanks to all who saw the New York Times obit and e-mailed their condolences. I was so fortunate to have 16 years with this amazing guy. A second listing that follows the Times "paid death notice" format runs today and tomorrow. (At $2 a character it killed me not to abbreviate, but sometimes you just have to go all in.)
Bill Tomson and Ilan Brat: "Dietary Guidelines Call for More Exercise, Less Food" (Wall Street Journal)
Americans need to eat less, eat better and exercise more to break an epidemic of obesity, the USDA said in releasing its dietary guidelines.
20 Questions: Charlie Louvin (Popmatters)
Back in 2009, Charlie Louvin, Country Music Hall of Fame legend and half of the immortal country duo the Louvin Brothers, told PopMatters 20 Questions about the best thing he ever got - for only $3.
Randy Lewis: Other musicians remember Charlie Louvin (Los Angeles Times)
The note Lucinda Williams sent when I asked Wednesday for her reflections about Louvin Brothers singer Charlie Louvin, on getting word of his death at age 83 from pancreatic cancer, was exceptionally touching, and warm and funny.
George Russell: Happy 50th, Henry Rollins (Popmatters)
"As-Salamu Alaykum Fanatics." With this signature greeting Henry Rollins begins his weekly 120-minute hymn to the world's lost, forgotten and overlooked music. At 50, the energy of his younger days doesn't seem to have diminished, only sharpened to a knifepoint. Speaking from his home in Los Angeles he said, "That's why I was brought into KCRW [the LA public radio station that broadcasts his show]. I was told, 'we need someone like you here otherwise we're in danger of everyone sounding the same.'"
Chris Catania: "More Than One Story Out There: An Interview With Henry Rollins" (Popmatters, from 2007)
"I just don't think we know the whole story... and for America that is very dangerous." The seminal hardcore rocker and sage spoken-wordist chats with PopMatters about Iraq, Iran, music and activism, and how contemporary culture profits off those who defy it."
David Bruce has 40 Kindle books on Amazon.com with 250 anecdotes in each book. Each book is $1, so for $40 you can buy 10,000 anecdotes. Search for "Funniest People," "Coolest People, "Most Interesting People," "Kindest People," "Religious Anecdotes," and "Maximum Cool."
From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'
Michelle in AZ
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Sunny and windier.
Al-Jazeera English has temporarily gained a long-sought American television outlet for its coverage of the Egyptian turmoil, an event that the Qatar-based news network hopes is a turning point for its acceptance in the U.S. market.
Link TV, an independent broadcaster seen primarily on the DirecTV and Dish satellite systems, said Wednesday it is simulcasting about 12 hours a day of live Al-Jazeera coverage to about 33 million of the nation's nearly 116 million homes with televisions. Al-Jazeera's in-depth treatment of the story has won praise from journalists and hostility from Egyptian authorities, who closed the channel's Cairo office and briefly detained six of its journalists.
When the story calms down, Al-Jazeera plans go back to cable operators in the U.S. to seek permanent spots on the air, said Al Anstey, the network's managing director.
Link already airs documentaries from Al-Jazeera, includes some of its material in its daily "Mosaic" program about news from the Arab world, and once a week it airs a half-hour Al-Jazeera newscast. It is part of the Link's mission to provide news and information from across the world through difference perspectives, said Kim Spencer, chief content officer of the San Francisco-based network.
YouTube - AlJazeeraEnglish's Channel
Tops Hollywood List
Director James Cameron cashed in on the worldwide box office success of "Avatar" to become the top Hollywood movie earner of 2010, easily outdistancing actor Johnny Depp in second place.
Cameron earned an estimated $257 million last year for writing, producing and directing his 3-D hit "Avatar," based on its worldwide 2010 box-office gross of $1.95 billion, as well as his share of DVD and pay-television sales, according to a Vanity Fair survey released on Wednesday of the top 40 Hollywood earners in 2010.
The 56-year-old director easily beat actor Johnny Depp, who scored the No. 2 spot earning $100 million after collecting paychecks from several 2010 films including "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Tourist," as well as up front payments for the next "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," which is due for release in May.
Steven Spielberg earned $80 million for Universal theme-park royalties, as well as consulting fees and for directing and producing the upcoming "War Horse," edging out "Inception" director Christopher Nolan who brought in $71.5 million.
"Inception" star Leonardo DiCaprio earned $62 million to take the No. 5 spot.
'Daily Show,' 'Colbert' Return
"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report," which have been absent from online video service Hulu for almost a year, are back on the free service.
But you'll have to pay $8 a month for the Hulu Plus premium plan to watch shows like "Jersey Shore," "Tosh.0" and "Teen Mom 2." Those shows will be available to paying customers 21 days after they debut on TV.
The new content deal between the owner of Comedy Central, Viacom Inc., and the online venture owned by News Corp., The Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp.'s NBC Universal was announced Wednesday.
Sir Peter Jackson
"The Lord of the Rings" director Sir Peter Jackson has left a New Zealand hospital after surgery for a perforated ulcer.
Publicist Melissa Booth says Jackson was discharged from Wellington Hospital on Thursday and would continue his recuperation at home. He had surgery after being admitted Jan. 26 for acute stomach pain.
Booth said a delay on filming of the two-part film "The Hobbit" is expected to be minimal. Jackson is set to start filming the prequel to his "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy next month.
Sir Peter Jackson
The media mogul may be all smiles at Wednesday's launch for his iPad newspaper, The Daily, but he's depressed about his suddenly shaky prospects for gaining total control of something much more important-the $12 billion BSkyB. Howard Kurtz reports.
Controversy swirls around Rupert Murdoch (R-Evil Incarnate) like a cloud, from thunderclaps of overheated rhetoric at Fox News to the phone-hacking scandal at News of the World. But the 79-year-old mogul has a way of getting what he wants.
The journalistic establishment was aghast when Murdoch tried to buy New York magazine in the 1970s, the Times of London and Sunday Times in the 1980s, and The Wall Street Journal four years ago. In each case, the billionaire prevailed.
Murdoch's latest target is total control of British Sky Broadcasting, which would enable him to tighten his grip on the U.K.'s media machinery. But there are signs that he suddenly faces a rocky path, complete with twists and turns suitable for a BBC melodrama.
Murdoch, whose News International conglomerate has called the review process "seriously flawed," recently flew to London to meet with his senior staff, blowing off a scheduled appearance at Davos in the process. Suddenly, what had looked like a slam dunk was anything but.
A Planned Parenthood clinic manager has been fired for behavior captured on an undercover video made by an anti-abortion group, a Planned Parenthood spokesman said on Wednesday.
The video recorded at a central New Jersey clinic was made by Live Action, which says it shows Planned Parenthood trying to cover up sexual abuse and sex trafficking.
The footage, recorded January 13, shows the manager discussing abortion, sexually transmitted disease testing and contraception with people posing as a pimp and prostitute and coaching them to lie about their age and other information, according to Live Action.
Planned Parenthood said it notified authorities in New Jersey after the January 13 visit and contacted national authorities after similar unusual visits occurred in at least 12 centers in six states within one week.
Journalists covering protests in Cairo, including CNN's Anderson Cooper and two Associated Press correspondents, have been roughed up in the crowd.
Cooper says he and his crew were attacked by supporters of President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday. CNN later said no one was seriously hurt.
Two Associated Press correspondents and several other journalists were roughed up during gatherings of Mubarak supporters. European papers reported that a Belgian journalist was also beaten, detained and accused of spying by unidentified people in civilian clothes.
State TV reported Tuesday night that foreigners were caught distributing anti-Mubarak leaflets, apparently trying to depict the movement as foreign-fueled.
Indicted On Gambling Charge
A grand jury in Las Vegas has indicted "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis on charges that he did not paying a $2.5 million gambling debt.
The Clark County district attorney's office said Wednesday that the producer behind the soft porn empire is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 16.
Francis is accused of signing gambling markers, essentially IOUs, at the Wynn Las Vegas casino in February 2007 without being able to repay.
Francis has said he already paid the debt through prior arrangements and accused casino officials of reneging on agreed discounts.
Gambling debts in Nevada are treated as bad checks. Francis is charged with theft and passing a check without sufficient funds.
Lindsay Lohan is in the spotlight again for all the wrong reasons.
Police got a search warrant Tuesday to look for a $2,500 stolen necklace at the troubled actress' home near Venice Beach, a freewheeling boardwalk known for its mix of performers, tourist shops and seaside gym.
But before detectives could execute the warrant, someone - police wouldn't say who - turned in the necklace.
Now Lohan, who is still on probation for a 2007 drunken driving case, is being investigated for possible grand theft, said Officer Bruce Borihanh on Wednesday.
Announce Break Up
The White Stripes
The White Stripes are done.
The groundbreaking rock duo, which helped revive and reshape a stale rock scene with their scorching, guitar-fueled, blues-tinged songs, announced Wednesday they are splitting up after more than a decade and six albums together.
Jack and Meg White (who presented themselves as brother and sister but were actually ex-husband and wife) said no "Behind the Music"-type troubles doomed the band.
"The reason is not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue, nor any health issues as both Meg and Jack are feeling fine and in good health," a statement announced. "It is for a myriad of reasons, but mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way."
The White Stripes
Museum Removes Mummies
Silk Road' Exhibit
A museum in Philadelphia will remove two mummies and more than 100 historical artifacts from a long-awaited exhibit because of objections from Chinese officials.
The exhibit "Secrets of the Silk Road" was to open on Saturday at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
The main attraction was a nearly 4,000-year-old pristinely preserved mummy from far western China.
Museum spokeswoman Pam Kosty said Wednesday she cannot discuss details of the dispute. The exhibit already has been displayed at museums in Texas and California.
'Silk Road' Exhibit
Says Billy Joel Needs Better Rehab
British singer Elton John has handed out some tough advice to his longtime friend and tour companion Billy Joel who has spent much of his career battling alcoholism: seek better treatment.
John, who at age 63 recently became a dad with partner David Furnish, reflected on fatherhood and his 40-year career in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine to be released later this week, including canceled tours with "Piano Man" Joel.
"He's going to hate me for this, but every time he goes to rehab they've been light," John told the magazine. "When I went to rehab, I had to clean the floors. He goes to rehab where they have TVs. I love you, Billy, and this is tough love."
"At the end of the day, he's coasting," he told the magazine. "I always say, 'Billy, can't you write another song?' It's either fear or laziness. It upsets me. Billy's a conundrum. We've had so many canceled tours because of illnesses and various other things, alcoholism."
Brushes Off Elton John Comment
Billy Joel's reaction to Elton John's declaration that the Piano Man needs rehab is one big shrug.
In a statement released Wednesday, Joel says: "Elton is just being Elton."
John took his former touring partner to task in an interview for the Feb. 17 edition of Rolling Stone, saying Joel needs to do "something better with his life" and get serious about rehab. He also said that the pair had to cancel many tours because of Joel's illnesses and "alcoholism."
While John predicted Joel would "hate" him for his comments, Joel says he's enjoyed their relationship so much he's not going to let the comments change his affection for him.
Red Swimsuit Goes To Smithsonian
The red swimsuit that helped make "Charlie's Angels" actress Farrah Fawcett a 1970s icon became part of the Smithsonian museum's collection Wednesday on what would have been her 64th birthday.
Fawcett's longtime companion Ryan O'Neal presented the swimsuit and other items to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington. O'Neal said Fawcett, who died in 2009 after battling anal cancer for several years, always intended to give the suit to the museum.
Fawcett wore the bathing suit for a photo shoot shortly before her debut on Charlie's Angels in 1976. The resulting poster sold millions of copies and became the best selling poster of all time, according to Smithsonian curator Dwight Bowers. Bowers compared the poster to World War II pinups of Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth, saying it became a symbol of the 1970s era.
Though fans know the bathing suit as red, it is actually a burnt orange color, possibly due to fading. Before it was donated to the museum, Fawcett framed it herself, and it was stored at a Los Angeles warehouse, O'Neal said.
5 New Genes Found
Scientists have identified five new genes linked to Parkinson's disease in a large genetic analysis of the illness, according to a new study. After reviewing nearly 8 million possible genetic mutations, researchers pinpointed five genes connected to Parkinson's disease. Previously, six other genes were identified, and experts say there is now increasing proof the degenerative disease is sparked by peoples' genes.
The discovery doesn't mean there are any new treatments just yet, but experts are optimistic they are getting closer.
Scientists analyzed genetic samples from more than 12,000 people with Parkinson's disease and more than 21,000 from the general population in Europe and the U.S. They found people with the highest number of mutations in the 11 genes linked to Parkinson's were two-and-a-half times more likely to develop the disease than people who had the least amount of mutations.
The average person has a 2.5 percent chance of developing Parkinson's disease in their lifetime, and the risk for people whose close relatives have the illness is about six percent.
A male apprentice, longtime companion and possible lover of Leonardo da Vinci was the main influence and a model for the "Mona Lisa" painting, an Italian researcher said.
But the researcher, Silvano Vinceti, said Wednesday the portrait also represents a synthesis of Leonardo's scientific, artistic and philosophical beliefs. Because the artist worked on it at various intervals for many years, he was subjected to different influences and sources of inspiration, and the canvas is full of hidden symbolic meanings.
The apprentice Gian Giacomo Caprotti, known as Salai, worked with Leonardo for more than two decades starting in 1490. Vinceti described their relationship as "ambiguous," and most art historians agree Salai was a Leonardo lover.
Several Leonardo works, including "St. John the Baptist" and a lesser-known drawing called "Angel Incarnate," were based on Salai, Vinceti told a news conference at the Foreign Press Association. These paintings show a slender, effeminate young man with long auburn curls.
Rankings for the top 15 programs on cable networks as compiled by the Nielsen Co. for the week of Jan. 24-30. Day and start time (EST) are in parentheses:
1. "Jersey Shore" (Thursday, 10 p.m.), MTV, 6.23 million homes, 8.83 million viewers.
2. "Pawn Stars" (Monday, 10:30 p.m.), History, 4.98 million homes, 6.98 million viewers.
3. "Pawn Stars" (Monday, 10 p.m.), History, 4.71 million homes, 6.74 million viewers.
4. "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Saturday, 11 a.m.), Nickelodeon, 4.37 million homes, 6.55 million viewers.
5. "American Pickers" (Monday, 9 p.m.), History, 4.29 million homes, 6.19 million viewers.
6. "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Saturday, 10:30 a.m.), Nickelodeon, 4.27 million homes, 6.52 million viewers.
7. "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Saturday, 11:30 a.m.), Nickelodeon, 3.937 million homes, 5.76 million viewers.
8. "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Saturday, 10 a.m.), Nickelodeon, 3.93 million homes, 5.97 million viewers.
9. "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Friday, 8 p.m.), Nickelodeon, 3.83 million homes, 6 million viewers.
10. "State of the Union: Republican Response" (Tuesday, 10:25 p.m.), Fox News Channel, 3.76 million homes, 5.28 million viewers.
11. "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Friday, 8:30 p.m.), Nickelodeon, 3.75 million homes, 6.05 million viewers.
12. "State of the Union Analysis" (Tuesday, 10:13 p.m.), Fox News Channel, 3.74 million homes, 5.44 million viewers.
13. "State of the Union Analysis" (Tuesday, 10:36 p.m.), Fox News Channel, 3.43 million homes, 4.8 million viewers.
14. "State of the Union 2011" (Tuesday, 9:11 p.m.), Fox News Channel, 3.42 million homes, 4.96 million viewers.
15. "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Saturday, 9:30 a.m.), Nickelodeon, 3.41 million homes, 4.96 million viewers.