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S.Darko Scores Score

from Entertainment Weekly

British singer Ed Harcourt scoring ‘Donnie Darko’ sequel

by Shirley Halperin

Categories: FilmMovie BizMusicMusic Biz

 

Ed Harcourt will provide the score for the forthcoming Donnie Darko sequel, S. Darko. The British singer-songwriter told EW.com at LA’s Roxy last week, where he opened up for the Greg Dulli-Mark Lanegan fronted nü-gaze outfit, The Gutter Twins, that while he never met director Chris Fisher, he submitted three pieces of music for consideration after reading the script, and was delighted — if not a little surprised — to learn that he got the gig. The movie is slated for release in 2009, but Harcourt is already hard at work on a variety of soundscapes influenced by the music of Autechre, Aphex Twin, Phillip Glass, and Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. His goal: to make it “surreal and psychedelic, just like the movie.”

[ click to read article at EW.com ]

Posted on July 19, 2008 by Editor

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A Cheap and Frittersome Re-Post For A Saturday

Mobile Home Mini Putt

Posted on July 19, 2008 by Editor

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Fire Hazard My Striped Red Ass

from The Village Voice

Runnin’ Scared

Painted Into a Corner Over a $576-a-Month Chelsea Apartment

Fire hazard? Philip Sherrod is a triple threat to the senses.

By Maria Luisa Tucker

 

When Philip Sherrod mentions at regular intervals that he is “the most prolific painter of any century,” you assume it’s an exaggeration. That is, until you walk into his apartment.

The spacious fourth-floor flat on West 24th Street is a dizzying tangle of colorful faces and bodies. Bold portraits and streetscapes are nailed to the ceiling and doors and stacked 10 feet deep against the walls. In 48 years of living in the apartment, Sherrod estimates that he has accumulated a collection numbering some 5,000 of his own paintings. The walk through successively smaller doorways that lead to the back room—where hundreds more oil-painted faces peer at one another—gives you the feeling that you’ve fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole. Even the toilet seat is painted with stripes and red hearts. 

 

It’s a fitting abode for Sherrod, the 72-year-old founder of an alliance of artists called the Street Painters and a teacher at both the Art Students League and the National Academy School of Fine Arts. But to the city government—and Sherrod’s landlord—all that canvas and paint adds up to a fire hazard.

[ click to continue reading at VillageVoice.com ]

Posted on July 19, 2008 by Editor

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Vladi Said Knock You Out

from Breitbart.tv and AP

New sport combines boxing and chess
Jul 16 02:03 PM US/Eastern
By PATRICK McGROARTY
Associated Press Writer
      

BERLIN (AP) – Nikolay Sazhin almost knocked out his opponent with a blow to the chin in the second round. But he had to take the queen to win the match.In front of 1,000 cheering fans one recent Saturday night, Sazhin moved his bishop to go in for the kill and won the world championship of chess boxing, a weird hybrid sport that combines as many as five rounds of pugilism with a game of chess.     

The combatants switch back and forth between boxing and chess—repeatedly putting their gloves on and taking them off, so that they can move the pieces around the board without clumsily knocking them over—in a sort of brains-and-brawn biathlon.

“It’s the No. 1 thinking game and the No. 1 fighting game,” said Iepe Rubingh, the sport’s 32-year-old founder.

Rubingh’s inspiration was “Cold Equator,” a 1992 French comic book in which two heavyweight boxers beat each other’s brains out for 12 rounds and then play a 45-hour game of chess.

“That’s not functional. So I thought about how it could work,” Rubingh said.

Germany has emerged as a major boxing center, attracting top talent from Eastern Europe. Most of the world’s top heavyweight fighters are natives of Russia and Ukraine, and many train in Hamburg.

Rubingh knows he won’t be recruiting either boxers or chess players at the top of their game, but he believes there is a deep reservoir of talent among amateur and lower-ranked pro fighters with sharp, tactical minds.

One of his first prospects was Frank Stoldt, a 37-year-old Berlin riot policeman and amateur kickboxer. Stoldt was also an obsessive chess player who often lost himself in late-night online matches.

It was long after midnight in a Berlin warehouse when Sazhin and Stoldt entered the ring and sat down at the chessboard.

Stoldt moved quickly to establish a defensive perimeter of pawns, while Sazhin staggered his diagonally. Switching to boxing, Sazhin attacked Stoldt with a relentless series of body blows that left the German exhausted.

Back at the chessboard, Stoldt looked distracted, and he left his queen vulnerable as he scurried to protect an exposed bishop. Sazhin pounced, forcing Stoldt to concede the match.

 [ click to read full article at breitbart.com ]

Posted on July 18, 2008 by Editor

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The Return of Rubenesque?

from the NY Observer

Teen Chic is Tired; Women Are Back!

BY SIMON DOONAN

Women’s bodies are revolting! I don’t mean that the way it sounds. The girls of the world have simply had enough. They are mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore. Anarchy and change are in the air.

But what exactly is going on? Is the super-skinny trend coming to an end? Are real women—remember back when being naturally curvaceous was good thing?—about to make a giant comeback? Are Michelle Obama’s arms too thick or too thin? Will Angelina Jolie’s womb continue to burst with babies? Is the anorexic-but-busty trend—that ho look against which I inveighed in my most recent book,Eccentric Glamour (Simon and Schuster, $24), finally beating a retreat? So many questions!

Let’s start with the ho trend. All over Manhattan, fashion folk are fizzing in their cubicles over the June issue of Italian Vogue. Yes, I did say cubicles! Calm down! Not everyone in the world of fashion has a giant, sleek chrome and white Ugly Betty office. I myself am the proud occupant of a small, gray modular structure. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Au contraire!

[ click to continue reading at observer.com ]

Posted on July 18, 2008 by Editor

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The Greatest Actress In The World Amazes Again

from the UK Daily Mail

Helen Mirren the bikini queen reigns supreme at 63

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

Most women only a few days away from their 63rd birthday would be steering well clear of the beach. And if they did venture there, it would be in the most modest of concealing attire. Dame Helen Mirren, however, is happy to flaunt her enviable curves and flat stomach in a bikini. 

Mirren
How does she do it? Dame Helen Mirren looked sensational while holidaying in Puglia, Italy this week

 

[ click for more Mirren at the Daily Mail ]

Posted on July 18, 2008 by Editor

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Why France No Longer Has Any Influence on Western Civilization

Posted on July 18, 2008 by Editor

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Ich bin Lou Berliner

from The Village Voice

Berlin is not a record for schmoozing and sun. It’s a concept record best savored in solitary, in the fetal position, while slurping on a bottle of wine. The doomed love story of addicts Jim and Caroline, Berlin‘s 10 songs cycle through the couple’s initial drug-euphoric enchantment, their violent betrayals, their fatal collapse. But when the album first came out in 1973, as the startlingly somber follow-up to Reed’s Bowie-produced glam-rock triumph Transformer (“Walk on the Wild Side”), Berlin was largely dismissed as a creative and commercial flop, an indulgent fallout from Reed’s messy first divorce.

Things change: 30 years later, pieces of the Berlin Wall are for sale on the Internet, and Lou’s German-junkie ode has been recast as a masterpiece. Reed had never performed Berlin live in full until 2006, with a landmark five-day stretch at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. Director/artist Julian Schnabel brought cameras to commit the performance to celluloid; the record’s original producer, Bob Ezrin, was enlisted to oversee. Redemption all around.

[ click to read complete review at The Village Voice ]

Posted on July 17, 2008 by Editor

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Don’t You Love To Watch Her Strut

from Fashionation

If all the world is a stage, then Naomi Campbell is the actress, director and producer. There is no denying her feline features, predatory strut and larger than life attitude makes for great images. Her face just lights up and angles to the photographer like a match made in heaven. Tantrums aside, this woman knows how to work the camera to her advantage. She has stood the test of time with this inspired shoot by Mario Sorrenti for V Magazine.


[ click to view Naomi’s full spread ]

Posted on July 17, 2008 by Editor

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Rejoicing The Lip Muff Renaissance

from the NY Observer

Below Nose, It Grows!

BY GILLIAN REAGAN

There’s no question that the mustache is having a moment. Walk through downtown (on the East Side, please!) or stroll along any Brooklyn thoroughfare, and at least a half dozen 20-to-early-30-something guys will saunter by sporting some kind of lip awning. Whether big, thick, bushy beasts or filmy, sparse little squiggles, mustaches are rising once more from the stubble.

And who is that mustached man? He appears to be a pretty ballsy breed, having bypassed the beard, that bush of whiskers grown by professors, hippies, urban wannabe lumberjacks and lazy guys who read too much Nietzsche. He’s not afraid to bust in on the territory of blue-collar cops and workers, villains (think Hitler), old-timey bank robbers and creepy dudes to claim his very own parcel of hair-land. And he’s willing to express himself, whether with a pencil-thin growth above the lip à la John Waters, or a broom-bottom Mr. Monopoly number that looks like a disguise.

Socratis Mamalis Jr. wears what he calls a “molester ’stache,” a sparse, slightly pubescent mustache that lends him a striking resemblance to JD Samson, the guitarist from feminist dance-punk band Le Tigre, who cultivates a patch of pitch-black peach fuzz above her lip.Mr. Mamalis, 24, who goes by “Soci” or “Crates,” explained during a recent indie rock show at South Street Seaport that he started growing his mustache about a month ago from “boredom slash the fact that I look like I’m 12.

“Basically, I grew it so I could ask, who wants a mustache ride?” he said with a wicked grin. He works in sales for a printing company. “I’ve noticed the ladies love it.”

The Nose Broom Now, and Then

There is something about the mustache. It adds mystery; having one says, I’m masculine! Or, I’m a rebel! A few years ago, the mustache was largely referred to as ironic, as in “ironic mustache,” since (besides baseball players, of course) it showed up mostly on sleazeball celebs like photographer Terry Richardson and American Apparel’s notorious founder, Dov Charney, both of whom seemed eager to look as repulsive as possible. But recently, the novelty of the ironic lip sweater has faded. The mustache has perhaps become a more stately, classic … even admirable facial fashion. Like high-waisted short shorts, or a muscle shirt, it takes guts to wear one.

[ click to continue reading at observer.com ]

Posted on July 17, 2008 by Editor

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Heath Lives – With Legs That Will Go On Forever

jokerwhite.jpg

Posted on July 16, 2008 by Editor

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James Frey Reading w/ Terry Richardson @ The Strand NYC, This Wednesday July 16

Book Image

Appearing at Strand July 16, 7pm

12th St. & Broadway Take either the  N R Q W 4 5 6 L  train to Union Square, walk 2 blocks South to 12th Street

Bright Shiny Morning: Wives Wheels Weapons

by James Frey

PUBLISHER JMC & GHB EDITIONS©2008

ISBN-10 0979507774
ISBN-13 9780979507779

FORMAT Wrappers

From Strand Bookstore

PHOTOGRAPHS BY TERRY RICHARDSON. 4to. 4to. Wrappered issue, LIMITED to 1000 copies (of a total edition of 2000). Includes the first appearance of Frey’s “Wives,” which, though it will appear in the English edition of Bright Shiny Morning, was omitted from the American edition. Consists of three vignettes from Frey’s novel, which have been interpreted again in photographs by Terry Richardson. A provocative collaboration from two artists known for their depiction of life’s seamier aspects. As New in wrappers.

 

Pre-Order A Signed Copy

Posted on July 16, 2008 by Editor

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Why? Because It’s There. And He Can. In 4min Flat.

Posted on July 16, 2008 by Editor

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What White Men Like That Their White Women Like

from The Arizona Republic

Wise to white jeans


Stretch Trouser Jeans from David Kahn Jeans, $168 at nordstrom.com

Thanks to Diddy and his famous annual White Party in the Hamptons, Mercedes Bender received at least four invitations a month last summer to similar parties, and expects even more this year.

“With so many people stressed out about the economy, (people) are just finally glad that summer is here and are trying to do it really big and have a good time,” she said.

For a summertime last-minute date or a ladies’ night out, Bender’s go-to outfit is white jeans with a bold tank, dressy heels or sandals, and bold jewelry.

“It never disappoints!” Bender said.

Yet she observes on her denim site, jeanotype.com (LINK), that many women don’t fully appreciate the power of white jeans, which make up only about 15 percent of purchases.

She doubted them at first, too.

“It took me a while, but I found both flattery and practicality in my low-rise skinny Siwy’s,” Bender said. “They are one of the few ankle lengths that a petite woman such as myself can wear without chopping off height. I always wear them with heels, but I can easily transition to the flats that I keep in my car when my heel expiration time occurs. Plus, I don’t have to worry about stepping on the back of the pant legs and ruining them. The low rise is flattering for me – I have a shorter torso – and Siwy’s rounded back pocket makes my rear look great!”

[ click to read more about Bender’s rear at AZcentral.com ]

Posted on July 14, 2008 by Editor

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The Fantastic Piano

The Fantastic Piano is a musical instrument that makes a mystic and beautiful atmosphere when you play it. Water, pumps, glitter and lights react as you conduct your own ‘water orchestra’. IR sensors detect your movements and translate them into a beautiful piece of music that you can manipulate through your motion and proximity to the instrument. Created by So-young Park, Cho Rong Hwang, Shin-Yi Huang and Laurel Boylen.

For more information or to arrange for a demonstration of The Fantastic Piano, please visit http://itp.nyu.edu/~crh272/fantasticpiano/

Posted on July 14, 2008 by Editor

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Which Side Are You On, Boy?

from The Village Voice

The NYPD Rips Up Rappers

Rebel Diaz and their hip-hop politics run afoul of the cops

By Tom Robbins

Wednesday, July 7 2008

 

rebeldiaz-kropa.pngOn June 18, a pair of brothers named Rodrigo and Gonzalo Venegas decided to take a friend visiting from Chicago for a city tour. The brothers Venegas, who comprise two-thirds of the activist hip-hop group known as Rebel Diaz, are big on the Bronx, and one of the sites they wanted to show their pal was the wonderful wall mural dedicated to the late rapper Big Pun on Westchester Avenue in Hunts Point.

Gonzalo Venegas, 22, whose rap name is G1, tells what happened when they reached the corner of Westchester and Simpson Street: “We see police picking up boxes of street vendors’ product and throwing it away. This one vendor was looking all bewildered and helpless. We approached him, and he says in Spanish that he doesn’t understand why they are taking his stuff.”

The pair asked the police if it was all right for them to translate. The cops, Gonzalo says, didn’t seem to have a problem. One of the officers explained that there were health-department violations, but others became belligerent, he says, and told the brothers to butt out. This degenerated further when the brothers asked for badge numbers.

It is important here to understand that in addition to being rappers, the brothers Venegas—whose Chilean parents fled into exile after Pinochet’s coup—are also organizers. In fact, the slogan of their group is: “If Hip Hop organized, the whole world would be in trouble.”

[ click to continue reading at Village Voice ]

Posted on July 14, 2008 by Editor

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I.M. Sony

from Daily Variety

Sony BMG moves to old CAA digs

Music unit takes over Beverly Hills space

By PHIL GALLO

 

An iconic Beverly Hills office building that became a white elephant in the weak commercial real estate market finally has a tenant.

Sony BMG Music Entertainment will relocate its West Coast headquarters to the former CAA building in January. The diskery, whose U.S. headquarters are on Madison Avenue in New York, is now housed in Santa Monica.

Personnel from Sony’s and BMG’s labels, publishing and licensing will move into the 65,000-square-foot space, which has been empty since CAA left for its new HQ in Century City in 2007. Sony BMG has signed a 10-year lease on the property.

The edifice had few interested parties since the asking price — reportedly $5 per square foot — was mighty steep for a building whose entire first floor consists of lobby space featuring a Roy Lichtenstein painting so huge that it cannot be removed. In addition, it was clearly designed for one company to occupy the entire building, so it was not feasible to convert it into a traditional office building with multiple tenants.

Designed by I.M. Pei — his first project on the West Coast — and built for $25 million in 1989, the CAA building became so closely associated with Michael Ovitz and his regime that the current CAA chiefs made no secret that their move to new digs in Century City was about making a fresh start. Ovitz remains a landlord of the marble structure at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards.

[ click to read full article at Variety.com ]

Posted on July 14, 2008 by Editor

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Emily’s Beautifully Strange Illustrator

from the NY Daily News

Credits: Courtesy of Nicomi Turner

 

[ click to view full slideshow at NYDailyNews.com ]

Posted on July 14, 2008 by Editor

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Experience Vocal Dance

 

[ click to visit the Experience Vocal Dance website ]

Posted on July 14, 2008 by Editor

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The Godfather’s Soul For Sale

from the NY Daily News

[ click to view full slideshow at NYDailyNews.com ]

Posted on July 13, 2008 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | 1 Comment »

Folio Cornholio at The Folger

from The Washington Post

Missing Shakespeare Knocks on Folger’s Door
English Book Dealer Arrested in Theft
By David Montgomery and Mary Jordan
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, July 12, 2008; A01

The man dressed a little flashy for a rare-book guy. British accent. He picked Monday, June 16, to go to the library — the Folger Shakespeare Library on Capitol Hill. No warning, no appointment. Out of his bag, he pulled an old book. Flimsy, no binding, big pages. Said he wanted the Folger book detectives to check it out.

firstfolio.pngCould it be genuine 400-year-old Shakespeare? he wondered.

Funny he should ask.

So begins the final chapter of the antiquarian police procedural that ended yesterday across the ocean in Durham, England, with the arrest of a 51-year-old book dealer in the theft 10 years ago of a volume of Shakespeare’s collected plays, published in 1623 and worth about $2.5 million, as appraised by the Folger.

The copy of the famous First Folio — cited by scholars as perhaps the most important printed edition in the English language — had been lifted from Durham University in northeast England.

The Folger’s sleuthing determined that the old book was genuine all right — and as hot as a pawned diamond tiara.

Shakespeare fans and rare-book lovers on both sides of the pond hailed the break in the case. Students of human behavior could only scratch their heads.

Why would someone bring a stolen Shakespeare to the place where the theft was most likely to be detected? Folger has the largest collection of printed Shakespeare, including 79 of the 230 First Folios known to exist.

Did he not know it was stolen? Was he trying to get the Folger people to authenticate it so he could sell it here, not knowing that everyone in Shakespeare world was on the lookout for the notorious “missing Durham First Folio”?

[ click to read full article ]

Posted on July 13, 2008 by Editor

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Wee-Wee Keepy-Uppy

umbrourinal-thumb.jpg

Posted on July 12, 2008 by Editor

Filed under Mirth | | 1 Comment »

Hellboy’s Back

from the Village Voice

Devil May Care About Hellboy II

Big Red returns in a mindless, revved-up sequel

By Chuck Wilson

 

hellboy.png

Hollywood’s Endless Superhero Summer rolls on with the arrival of Hellboy II: The Golden Army from Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro, but before this review goes any further, I must confess—head hanging low in shame—that I haven’t read a comic book since I was 12 years old. That means I’ve never read a Hellboycomic, the first of which appeared in 1993 (when I was well past 12). In fact, I’m not so sure I’d even heard of the big red lug until 2004, when del Toro made the firstHellboy movie, although I bet at the time I pretended that I knew all about him. These days, not reading comics and graphic novels marks one as a pop-culture loser, which goes to show you how topsy-turvy the world is—in my day, comic-book kids got beat up.

A primer then, for the secretly uninitiated: Hellboy, or “Red,” as his friends call him (played by Ron Perlman in the films), is a demon from Hell (literally) who entered this earthly realm when Hitler’s minions opened a portal to you-know-where while attempting to form an alliance with the Big Guy down below. Rescued by the Allies and raised by a gentle British professor (John Hurt), Hellboy has burnt-red skin, a long tail, thick horns on his forehead (filed down to stubs), and a massive right arm made of stone—the “Right Hand of Doom” in creator Mike Mignola’s comic. Red packs a mean right punch, but luckily, raised on Howdy Doody and Santa Claus, he’s fighting on the side of man, not with the evildoers who keep coming up from Hell to slay us all. Score one for nurture versus nature.

[ click to read full review at The Village Voice ]

Posted on July 11, 2008 by Editor

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Nancy’s Burgers

from The Chicago Tribune

 

burgers.png 

 

Posted on July 10, 2008 by Editor

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Dancing With The Puppets

from the New York Times

DANCE REVIEW | PILOBOLUS

Veering From the Standard, Returning to the Spirit

Ruby Washington/The New York Times

“Darkness and Light” is having its New York premiere as part of the troupe’s current season. More Photos>

Published: July 10, 2008

Pilobolus, like any dance company, has several styles. Some of its works are visions of imaginary biology, some are human dramas, some are about clowning. But since its early years the purest Pilobolus experiences have involved metamorphosis. We see both physicality and illusion. Bodies become imagery, and one image merges into another, organically, poetically, inexplicably.

This year Pilobolus has collaborated with someone outside its family: the puppeteer Basil Twist. Working with Robby Barnett and Jonathan Wolken, Mr. Twist has given the company “Darkness and Light,” an engrossing work that seems at once a return to pure Pilobolus essence and a complete departure from basic Pilobolism.

The New York premiere performances of “Darkness and Light” occur as part of Program 3 of the troupe’s current season at the Joyce Theater. At first you see its seven performers, largely naked, and bright lights shining out from the stage. But this is a mere prelude: the dancers and their props are just the raw material. A white curtain descends, whereupon the real stuff of “Darkness and Light” commences.

It’s a shadow play, a drama of silhouettes on the screen, and in part it’s as innocent as the games in which you hold up two hands so configured that they become a rabbit and next a church and steeple. What’s this dark shape? A vase? A funnel? No, it’s a torso. Now it acquires arms and, next, a head. When that head turns in profile, it has a haircut and bristling eyebrows — prosthetic? — unlike those of any Pilobolus performer. Soon this face is distorted into something else.

[ click to read full review at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on July 10, 2008 by Editor

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World’s Most Annoying Alarm Clock – TYRANT by Alice Wang

tyrant.png

 

[ click to view more of Alice Wang’s work ]

Posted on July 10, 2008 by Editor

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Crack Makes You Dumb

from The New York Daily News

Man robbed buying crack calls cop who arrests him

Wednesday, July 9th 2008, 9:50 AM

HARTFORD, Conn. – An East Hartford man called police to report he had been robbed while trying to buy crack cocaine.

Max Minnefield called police Monday to tell them he had paid a man and a woman $8 for drugs he never received.

Police charged him with criminal attempt to commit possession of narcotics.

During his arraignment Tuesday, Judge Bradford Ward asked Minnefield, “Did you really think the police were going to go after the people?” He added that his question was rhetorical.

Prosecutors later dropped the charges.

Laura Weslund, Minnefield’s public defender, said no drugs were ever found.

[ click to read at NYDailyNews.com ]

Posted on July 9, 2008 by Editor

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More Stories From Styron Coming At Random

from the New York Observer

Posthumous Fiction Collection From William Styron To Be Published by Random House

A new collection of short fiction—including the first chapter of an unfinished novel—is coming from the late William Styron, according to InkWell Management agent Michael Carlisle.

Mr. Carlisle said the stories in the new collection-three of which have been previously published, but only in literary magazines-are all in some way about soldiers returning home from war. The never-before-seen novel fragment, he said, entitled “My Father’s House,” concerns an unnamed narrator who has just come back from World War II to live with his stepmother. The story-which was found in Styron’s papers, currently housed at Duke-runs about 30,000 words, and was prepared for publication by Styron’s  biographer, James West of the University of Pittsburgh.

The other stories in the as-yet-unnamed collection are “The Suicide Run,” “Marriot, The Marine,” and “Blankenship,” Mr. Carlisle said.

[ click to read complete article at Observer.com ]

Posted on July 8, 2008 by Editor

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China’s Warhol

from The Guardian UK

Cultural revolutionary

He’s China’s equivalent of Andy Warhol, but the artist who inspired Beijing’s Olympic Stadium won’t be attending the opening ceremony. An outspoken critic of the government, he has never forgiven them for sending his father into exile. By Rachel Cooke

Rachel CookeObserver

Ai Weiwei, China’s most famous living artist, lives and works in Caochangdi, which used to be a village to the east of Beijing but is now, thanks to the city’s endless creep – locals call Beijing Tan Da Bing, or spreading pancake – just another crowded suburb. It takes a long time to get anywhere in Beijing, and in our taxi, April, my translator, is getting more and more excited. ‘He’s like the king,’ she says (she has met him before). ‘And we will be like… the servants. The people who work for him, they’re like his servants, too. If he doesn’t want a drink, no one gets one.’ She smiles. Being received by Ai Weiwei, you understand, is an honour, no matter how gnomic his pronouncements, nor how desperate you might be for a cup of tea.

In the West, Ai’s name was once known only in art circles. After his collaboration with the architects Herzog & de Meuron on Beijing’s Olympic stadium – it was his idea to make it look like a bird’s nest – his fame spread, especially when he gave an interview in which he announced that he had ‘no interest’ in the Olympics or in the Chinese state’s propaganda – and that, no, he would not be attending the opening ceremony. Even so, it remains hard to convey the extent of his fame in China. The New York Times has described Ai Weiwei as a ‘figure of Warholian celebrity’ in Beijing, but I’m not sure even this does him justice. Warhol did a few screen prints and hung out in a night club with other famous people, in a country where he was free to do pretty much as he liked. Ai Weiwei is not only an artist but also an influential architect, a publisher, a restaurateur, a patron and mentor, and an obsessive blogger (he is read by 10,000 people every day).

And then, on top of everything else, there are his politics. Ai Weiwei’s father was Ai Qing, the great poet who, during the Cultural Revolution, was exiled to a desert labour camp for being the wrong kind of intellectual. For many years his son lived in another kind of exile, in America. Then, in 1993, Ai returned to Beijing to the bedside of his dying father.

 

But if the authorities imagined he would now retire quietly to his studio, they were wrong. In the years since, he has been outspoken about issues like democracy, hoping that his international reputation as an artist would keep him safe but, even if his status doesn’t protect him, caring for silence and complicity far too little to shut up.

[ click to continue reading interview ]

Posted on July 8, 2008 by Editor

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Blue Collar Brawlin’ Ban Soon To Be Enacted in Arkansas?

from AP via Yahoo News!

Fake Ark. bouts showing men kissing draw suspicion 

By JON GAMBRELL, Associated Press WriterTue Jul 8, 6:13 AM ET

Crowds in Arkansas came for the lure of cage fighting and $1 beer, but police say what they got instead was men ripping each others’ clothes off and kissing — a stunt suspected of being orchestrated by Sacha Baron Cohen of “Borat” fame.

“We had a contract for cage fighting. We were deceived,” said Dwight Duncan, president and CEO of Four States Fair Grounds in Texarkana, where the first of two Arkansas fights raised suspicions last month.

Matt Labov, a Los Angeles-based publicist for Baron Cohen, said he had no comment Monday about the faked fights. One of Baron Cohen’s movies is due out next year.

The day after the June 5 Texarkana bout, Fort Smith’s convention center hosted “Blue Collar Brawlin.'” Fort Smith police Sgt. Adam Holland said organizers told him a character named “Straight Dave” would goad a planted audience member into the ring for a fight.

The two men would then wrestle, rip away some of their clothes and share a brief kiss reminiscent of one between Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell in the film “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”

Producers said “there would be a romantic embrace,” Holland said. “They said it was kind of to essentially make fun, poke fun at wrestling — two guys rolling around on the floor, all sweaty.”

An elaborate array of mounted and handheld video cameras caught the crowd of 1,600’s reaction as the two men “went right up to the line” of the city’s morality laws, Holland said. The two men stripped down to their underwear, kissed and rubbed on each other, the sergeant said.

The audience, as well as local fighters drawn to take part in the show, became enraged. “It set the crowd off lobbing beers,” Holland said. “They had beers in plastic cups. Those things can get some distance on them actually.”

[ click to read full AP article ]

Posted on July 8, 2008 by Editor

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Okay, fine – DANCING. There.

Posted on July 8, 2008 by Editor

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Why Everyone Needs A Dog That Can Snarl

from TwinCities.com

The cops said public service. But he said wait a minute.

Lakeville man challenges police policy in wake of late-night home intrusion

By Maricella Miranda

Troy Molde marched into Lakeville City Hall on Monday to defend his rights.

He said Lakeville police violated them last month when officers barged into his unlocked home at 3 a.m., waking him to warn him to keep his doors closed and locked.

Now, he is petitioning the city for a public hearing to consider amending Lakeville Police Department policies on when officers should enter a home without a search warrant.

“The police don’t have a clue what our rights are,” said Molde, 34. “I’m working hard to try to protect people’s rights. That is my core issue with all of this.”

The surprise visit by police was part of a public service campaign.

Officers fanned out across Lakeville early on the morning of June 19, leaving notices on doors reminding residents to prevent crime by keeping garage doors closed and doors and windows locked.

But Molde received more than a notice.

He awoke to police flashlights shining in his face and two uniformed Lakeville officers in his bedroom, knocking on the wall. The officers also woke his two sons, ages 5 and 7, and 5-year-old twin nephews who were having a sleepover in the living room.

At the time, the officers told Molde his garage door was open, the TV was on, keys to his truck were in the ignition and the door to his house was ajar.

The intrusion was justified because the officers’ initial door knocks went unanswered, Sgt. Jim Puncochar said last month. Police went inside to check if anything was wrong.

[ click to read full article at TwinCities.com ]

Posted on July 8, 2008 by Editor

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Some Folks Never Learn

from The Guardian UK

Pamplona bull run injures 13

pamplona.png

Onlookers hurt in Pamplona’s first bull run of year after animals plough into crowd of spectators

Thirteen people were injured in Pamplona’s first bull run of the year today after the animals ploughed into a crowd of spectators.

Today marked the start of the annual week-long Fiesta de San Fermin, as the Pamplona bull run is known. 

The Spanish Red Cross said the wounded were treated for head and rib injuries after falling or being trampled. None of the patients – five Spaniards and tourists from Britain, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Romania and South Korea – had been gored.

One of the animals became disoriented and tried to return to the starting point before herders waving sticks guided it to the bull ring where the course ends. Upon reaching the finish, one bull collapsed and lay inert on the ground for several minutes before coming round.

“There were a few tense moments, but I think everything went quite well,” said Aritz Lopez, a 29-year-old runner from Bilbao.

[ click to read full article at Guardian UK ]

Posted on July 7, 2008 by Editor

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