Ben Zion To The Big Screen

from The Observer

James Frey’s Bronx Jesus Will Ascend to Silver Screen

Christine Vachon’s Killer Films to Produce, Frey to Adapt

By Emily Witt

6343306174569262501435996_45_JFrey_021111Christine Vachon’s Killer Films will produce a film adaptation of James Frey’s The Final Testament of the Holy Bible. In the book, which was released in April, Jesus Christ returns in the form of a bisexual recovering alcoholic named Ben who lives in the Bronx.

In an interview with The Observer, Mr. Frey said that he gave Ms. Vachon a copy of the book six months before it was released, but that they had their first meeting on the project two weeks ago. He will adapt the screenplay himself but declined to suggest who he hopes will direct or star in the movie. When asked to give us an idea of what movies he had in mind, however, he listed a round-up notable for what he calls their “heavy, heavy emotional impact” but which some might refer to as a certain gross-out quality: Lars Von Triers’s Breaking the Waves, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, Larry Clark’s Kids (also produced by Ms. Vachon). He also mentioned Todd Haynes’s Velvet Goldmine (Haynes is a longtime Killer Films collaborator) and Derek Cienfrance’s Blue Valentine.

“I like a lot of emotionally impactful smaller films,” said Mr. Frey.

“But bigger in their intent and ambition,” Ms. Vachon hastened to add.

“It’s not about making 100 million dollars, it’s about making the best thing,” said Mr. Frey.

[ click to read full article at The Observer ]

Inventor of the Weed Eater Gone


Houston man who invented Weed Eater dies at 85

In this October 1975 photo, Houston entrepreneur George Ballas poses with the original Weed Eater. Ballas, best known for inventing the Weed Eater, died Saturday, June 25, 2011.  He was 85. Photo: Houston Chronicle / AP

HOUSTON (AP) — George C. Ballas Sr., a Houston entrepreneur best known for inventing the Weed Eater, has died. He was 85.

Ballas’ son, Corky Ballas, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his father died of natural causes on Saturday.

“He changed the way we cut grass,” Corky Ballas said.

Ballas got the idea for the Weed Eater, a device also commonly known as a weed whacker, while sitting in a car wash. He wondered whether the idea of spinning bristles, like the ones cleaning his car, could be applied to trimming grass and weeds in areas a lawnmower couldn’t reach.

He experimented with fishing wire that poked through holes in a tin can attached to the rotary of a lawn edger, and found that the spinning wires easily sliced through grass, The Houston Chronicle reported.

But George Ballas, who was born in Ruston, La., was also a dance studio owner and dance was an important part of his family’s life.

After moving to Houston in the late 1950s, he built and operated the Dance City USA Studio. With 120 instructors and 43,000 square feet of space, it was heralded as the largest dance studio in the world. He sold it in 1964.

Ballas’ wife, Maria Louisa Ballas, was a noted flamenco dancer who studied with famed Spanish dancer Carmen Amaya and appeared in several films.

Corky Ballas became a champion ballroom dancer, and his son, Mark Ballas, is a professional dancer. Both of them have appeared on “Dancing With the Stars.”

[ click to read full article at ]

Drunk Chick Showers Sheriffs With Breast Milk

from 10 TV News

Woman Arrested After Allegedly Spraying Deputies With Breast Milk

Monday,  June 27, 2011 5:48 AM

Robinette refused to cooperate with deputies while she was outside the Bridgewater Banquet & Conference Center, according to the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.DELAWARE, Ohio — A woman faces several charges after she allegedly sprayed deputies with breast milk as they tried to detain her over the weekend.

The incident occurred early Saturday morning near the Bridgewater Banquet & Conference Center on Sawmill Parkway.

According to the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to the area after receiving calls about a domestic dispute.  When they arrived, a man told them that he had been attending a wedding at the facility with his wife, who had gotten drunk and struck him several times before locking herself in a car.

Delaware County Sheriff Walter L. Davis III said deputies tried to talk with the woman, who was identified as Stephanie Robinette, 30, of Westerville, but she refused to cooperate.

“When deputies attempted to remove Robinette from the vehicle, she advised the deputies that she was a breast feeding mother and proceeded to remove her right breast from her dress and began spraying deputies and the vehicle with her breast milk,” Davis said.

[ click to continue reading at 10TV ]

Columbo Gone

from E! Online

Columbo Star Peter Falk Dead at 83

Peter FalkNBCU Photo Bank via AP Images

Peter Falk, the legendary actor who graced both big screen and small over a 50-year career but will perhaps best be remembered for his Emmy-winning role as the shabby-dressed, wisecracking homicide detective on TV’s Columbo, has died. He was 83.

Falk’s family confirmed to CBS News the two-time Academy Award nominee passed away last night, though no cause of death has been announced.

As the cigar-chomping, seemingly slow-witted lieutenant Columbo, Falk was the epitome of cool as he went about solving some of TV’s most perplexing mysteries with the classic catchprase, “Just One More Thing.” Episodes aired regularly from 1971 to 1978 on NBC, before appearing sporadically as made-for-TV movies on both the Peacock net and ABC in subsequent years. The lastColumbo episode was broadcast in 2003 and the iconic part nabbed the thesp four Emmy Awards (the fifth came in 1962 for the Dick Powell TV drama The Price of Tomatoes).

[ click to continue reading at E! ]

Barcodes Gussied Up

from The Wall Street Journal

Art in Aisle 5: Barcodes Enter Expressionist Period


[BARCODE.jmp3]Design Barcodes Inc. (man, skyline); Vanity Barcodes LLC (3)

Some proposed barcode designs, from left, depict a hand mixer, jelly beans, skyline, school bus and trousers.

Package design has become so artful, it has come to this: Even the barcode, the style runt of product labeling, is getting gussied up.

Beer, granola, juice and olives are sporting barcodes that integrate famous buildings, blades of wheat and bubbles into the ubiquitous black and white rectangle of lines and numbers. Consumer-goods companies hope these vanity barcodes will better connect with customers.

The trend is popular with smaller companies, and even one of the world’s largest food companies, Nestle SA, is trying out vanity barcodes on its smaller brands.

When Sixpoint Brewery planned to launch a line of canned beer this year, the Brooklyn, N.Y., company set out to fashion the perfect can design. It soon realized, “you need this big, ugly barcode so people can scan them,” says Shane Welch, president of Mad Scientists Brewing Partners LLC, which owns Sixpoint. “I thought, why can’t we do our own custom barcode?” Launched last month, the silver cans bear a barcode that integrates the Statue of Liberty and skyscrapers.

A handful of companies that specialize in making vanity barcodes have cropped up in recent years, though some companies create them in-house.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Assassinate Yourself Online With the Suicide Machine

from Web 2.0 Suicide Machine 

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Gagosian iPad App

from PR Newswire

Gagosian Gallery’s iPad App, Designed by Award-Winning Firm, Launches Today Taking Users on an In-Depth Journey With Gagosian’s Artists and Exhibitions

NEW YORKJune 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Gagosian Gallery announces the launch of an application for the iPad, available as a free download from the iTunes store, beginning today. The app will be updated four times per year, providing content that features recent, current, and future Gagosian artists, exhibitions, and projects. The artists presented in edition #1 include Richard AvedonCecily BrownJohn CurrinVera Lutter, Kazimir Malevich, Elizabeth PeytonPablo PicassoRobert RauschenbergRichard Prince, and Rudolf Stingel.

Admirers of John Currin‘s opulent portraiture will revel in the app’s gigapixel digital expose of a recent painting, as well as a 2010 lecture by the artist. Other projects include an interview with writer James Frey about his 2011 novel, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, published by Gagosian Gallery.  The app also offers excerpts from scholar Aleksandra Shatskikh‘s catalogue essay for the historic exhibition “Malevich and the American Legacy” (March 3–April 30, 2011, New York).

Viewers can relive a key moment in art history by watching archival footage of Rauschenberg’s

1966 performance, Open Score; or follow a tour by curator Francesco Bonami of “Rudolf Stingel” (March 4 – April 16, 2011New York).

[ click to read full release at PR Newswire ]