This sequence of headlines in
This sequence of headlines in my My Yahoo! says a lot:earlier. Here's the Daily Mirror's site, which is very NY Post-like.
This sequence says a lot, too:
This sequence of headlines in my My Yahoo! says a lot:earlier. Here's the Daily Mirror's site, which is very NY Post-like.
This sequence says a lot, too:
Peter Jackson is taking on another movie remake that sounds like it could be a disaster of schlock, but I just know (or actually just really hope) he'll pull it off: King Kong.
Michael Moore's next movie may be about the B*sh/bin L*den connection, and America since 9/11.
The world's best Saddam Hussein impersonator (except for the ones Saddam employs) has called it quits. War just isn't funny anymore, he says.
They've been doing it forever, but it's getting worse lately: record companies are purposely slipping (or wedging) corporate product tie-ins into their music videos, and (maybe this part is new) the corporations themselves are paying for it. MTV can blur a logo on a t-shirt, but they can't erase a Hummer. There seems to be a bit of naivete, blissful ignorance, irony, or even hypocrisy on MTV's resistant reaction to such videos. I guess it's because although MTV may be willing to admit that everything is an ad, they want to be the only ones profiting from it. (Don't forget, for example, that they take money from the companies who furnish Real World sets, and provided those Land Rovers to the kids on the fraternity show.)
My man Peter Arnett has been fired from NBC and MSNBC for remarks he made over the weekend on Iraqi TV: "The first war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another war plan." I guess saying that sort of thing on the state-owned television network of the enemy isn't the best idea. National Geographic canned him, too. Cover the story, don't become the story.
Long way down, Pete. You blew it.
Our prez has changed the policy on people seeking asylum for other countries, so that if they come from Iraq or 32 other countries, they are automatically detained while their application is reviewed. The problem is, no one is revealing what those 32 countries are, and it often takes 6 months for applications to be reviewed. "It's clearly ironic that on the eve of a war to liberate the Iraqi people, we are telling people that those fleeing tyranny there will be deprived of their liberty for extended periods when they arrive here," says one human rights lawyer. [nyt]
Sorry I didn't find this a week ago...Here's video of Michael Moore, in the Oscars press room, explaining his speech. He basically says that everyone who voted for him knew he'd speak out, that his book is a best seller and he figured it would be "irresponsible" not to represent those people in his speech, and he says he loves America and filmmaking. He also says he warned his fellow nominees that he was going to speak out, but they all joined him on stage anyway. [RealPlayer or Windows Media Player required.]
Some interesting stuff on this week's On the Media on NPR: Lengthy segment discussing how our show, 24, has been mirroring reality this season. Of particular interest to the OTM folks: how one episode slipped in a reference to the interrogators at Gu*ntanamo. It was the show's first explicit acknowledgement of 9/11 (Amy can correct me if I'm wrong). [scroll down to "Life Imitates Art" section.]
Another segment on the show discusses the "brand-naming" of military operations, such as "Operation: Desert Storm" and the terrible "Operation: Ir*qi Freedom". When I first heard "Ir*qi Freedom", its obviousness made me cringe. Now, however, I realize that it is just yet another example of how our prez absolutely lacks any subtlety whatsoever, and always makes explicit and stupid those things that used to be implicit and smart. It seems the thought process must have gone, "The American people won't understand/buy the stated goal of this war unless we actually name the operation after that goal." When Desert Storm occurred, I read an article that said that operational names came from a two-column list: the first column was used for the first word, and the second column for the second word, so there was a modicum of artfulness involved in choosing two words that went together well and suggested the goal of the operation. Everyone loved "Desert Storm", everyone hates "Ir*qi Freedom". (See "Wordsmiths of War" on the OTM page.)
Relatedly, here's a long list of recent military operations (and their names) from FAS.org, lots of which I had never heard of.
I mentioned it in advance the other day, and now it's fact: The Big Dig tunnel opened yesterday in Boston. I never thought it would happen.
Corruption at the MTA. The lead investigator "contends that the corruption has cost the agency millions of dollars and threatens to undermine efforts to protect the transit system from terrorism." Maybe that's why fares went up 50 cents?
Also, ADM reviews the new Updike in Amy's Robot: It sucks, and you didn't even write it yet.
Looks like R*msfeld has gotten himself in some hot water: according to the NYer, six times he over-ruled advice from his generals to put more soldiers on the ground in Iraq. This doesn't sound too good: "A former intelligence official [said] the war was now a stalemate. Much of the supply of Tomahawk cruise missiles has been expended, aircraft carriers were going to run out of precision guided bombs and there were serious maintenance problems with tanks, armored vehicles and other equipment." Well, actually, Rummy hasn't gotten himself into hot water, he's gotten 300,000 American soldiers in hot water.
Smoking ban starts tonight. American Journal of Public Health says that after a while, most people prefer the change, even if they resisted it at first. You can find your intrepid Amy's Robot Health Desk reporters monitoring the smokeless revolution tonight at McHale's in Hell's Kitchen.
Interesting article in today's Boston Globe about political feelings on the war entering the workplace: people are getting fired for missing work because of protests, and one woman was even fired (from Genzyme) for protesting a fellow employee's cubicle signs endorsing the war.
Update on a story we've been following: Halliburton is out of the running for the largest scale of the Iraqi reconstruction projects, although they already have the firefighting/repair contract for the oil fields. The winner of the contract will be chosen by US AID.
There is another angle on this story you sort of have to be a (former) Bostonian to notice: one of the remaining finalists is Bechtel, which is the lead contractor on Boston's grotesquely mismanaged Big Dig project. The head of US AID, Andrew Natsios, was the head of the Big Dig for about 2 years. (By most accounts he did a good job, but I thought I should note it.) Also worth noting, while we're on the topic, is that the Big Dig tunnel opens this weekend, after a 13-year-wait.
The German architect of Saddam's bunker says it'll take a nuclear bomb to penetrate it. He says even if we dropped a Hiroshima-like bomb on it, the bunker would survive.
The Pentagon has expelled a reporter from Iraq for the first time. Phillip Smucker, working for the Christian Science Monitor, was asked to leave after revealing too-specific information about his location with the troops. [via romenesko]
Ebert gives Basic (which reunites Pulp Fiction duo Travolta and Samuel Jackson) an unusual one star. In the process, Ebert identifies a genre called "The Jerk-Around Movie." If the radio ads I've been hearing for the movie are any indication, it may suck even worse than Ebert says. The narrator of the ad, apparently quoting some nameless reviewer, intones, "John Travolta proves once again he is one of America's best actors." WHAT? Has anyone noticed that JT has made exactly two decent movies in the last 25 years? (Versus three decent movies before then.) Besides, I thought Sony had sworn off made-up reviews. Meanwhile, Ebert gives Core, starring our indie cross-over buddy Aaron Eckhart, 2.5 stars,
I just heard this one on 1010 WINS, too: A Columbia professor has caused a controversy by calling for "a million Mogadishus" in Iraq, referring to the dragging, dismemberment, and torture of American soldiers in Somalia a few years ago. He made these remarks IN FRONT OF THREE THOUSAND PEOPLE. Their response? Scary: "De Genova's hopes for the defeat of the United States were cheered by the crowd...at the Wednesday night anti-war teach-in"
The mysterious SARS virus has shown up in NYC -- apparently 5 people have it, having picked it up in Asia. Here's the official info from the Department of Health.
Don't forget that the health division of Amy's Robot has analyzed the SARS genome and determined how it is spread.
Other signs that the war isn't going well: I heard on 1010 WINS that one cadre of our soldiers in Iraq is getting only 1 meal a day because the supply lines haven't caught up to them yet. I'll see if I can find confirmation of that story. Update: here's the confirmation. Also: The U.S. military officers said that use of gas-guzzling armored vehicles had been restricted to save diesel. Items like batteries for radios are also limited and soldiers and Marines have been told to conserve the ones they have.
"The enemy we're fighting is different from the one we'd war-gamed against." Those words may be the most concise summary of the war so far. They just showed up in the paper this morning, and they're already famous. Well, who did they War Game against? Matthew Broderick? Ally Sheedy? Here's the original WP article containing the candid comments. The angry reaction from the White House has already started.
NYC's new version of the old Penn Station will be named after Daniel Patrick Moynihan. That's one blow against the presumed drives to rename things after Rudy*. Hurray for old timey liberals.
*I love America. Don't arrest me.
There's so much good stuff on IMDB's gossip page today, I'm just going to refer you there. Everything after the first blurb (about Renee Z) is interesting: Tim Robbins gets mad at the WP's Lloyd Grove, The Angelina Jolie Oscar Dress Heist was a hoax, Barbra Streisand lamely released the political speech she "planned" to make at the Oscars, Britney signs up for Will & Grace, and Guy Ritchie is attempting to salvage his dumb Madonna movie by adding more naked footage of her to the DVD release.
A new, even softer side of Sears. Now you can't buy a garbage can there anymore, and they're building up their clothes department even more, but shoppers still go there expecting washing machines and blenders.
You probably heard that Al Jazeera's English site (don't expect site to work) was hit with a Denial Of Service attack (on its first day) and earlier today was hacked and defaced, but it appears now that Uruklink, the official website of Iraq, has also been, as they say, 0wned. [via defensetech.org]
One of my political heroes, Pat Moynihan, died. Good obit. I wonder if Hillary will live up to him.
BankBoston, a bank with stong ties to South America and me, was bombed in Chile yesterday.
Word of advice to friends of Snoop Dogg: if you hate a gangster like Suge Knight, don't call up ole Snoop and leave a message on his machine telling him so. The message might wind up on an album, and you might end up in fear for your life.
Tom Brokaw's heir-apparent, the smart and capable Brian Williams, was almost shot out of the sky in Iraq. [via medianews]
Pretty riveting account in the NYT of some American soliders caught in a gun fight with Iraqi soldiers disguised as civilians. Also good: this slideshow of recent events.
Clooney & Soderbergh have announced their next producing project: the film debut of another member of their traveling love-fest, Don Cheadle. Other movie news: the release date of Spider-Man 2 has been pushed back to July 2004, due to Tobey's injury. (At least he's staying in the role.)
In other Spidey news, police in south Florida have arrested a thief who, like Spiderman, scaled a high-rise building and who, unlike Spiderman, stole some jewelry. Sound familiar? The case recalls a similar series of 80 burglaries committed in the early 90s in Florida by a burglar nicknamed "Spider-Man" who (I think) turned out to be a lanky former Marine.
NYT discusses war coverage from some unexpected media outlets like People magazine and Rolling Stone, who have embedded journalists.
Babak sent in this picture, from the NYT, of a family of Kurdish refugees watching satellite TV at their campsite. The pic says a lot about the modern world, and the apparently forgiving nature of analog satellite antennas.
Quick article on the status of various missing/presumed dead journalists in Iraq, including ITN's Terry Lloyd and some guys from New York Newsday. A total of four journalists were killed during GW1.
I studied it carefully, and found a clue that seems to indicate how the virus is spread.
This is another in a series of virus genomes we've posted here on the 'Bot.
When it comes to how the world sees America, this photo says it all.
I heard about this in the faculty room today: a teacher at a Catholic school in Bergen County was forced by his administration to remove a button that said "War is Not the Answer". Rather than comply, he quit. I guess no one in the administration there is concerned with repeated messages from THE POPE stating exactly the same thing. The principal's explanation? "I encourage teaching that (anti-war) point of view because it is a teaching of the church," Fusco said. "I just feel a button is not a vehicle to teach." What if a student or teacher wore a crucifix pin?
This has been blogged elsewhere, including by the competition, but it's too good to leave out: a report from the Vanity Fair Oscar party. Lots of great tidbits. To wit:
In was being nice. As when Janet Jackson was overheard asking Alana Stewart if Rod Stewart was her father. (Ms. Stewart is Mr. Stewart's ex-wife and was by all reports flattered by the question.) Or The New Yorker writer Susan Orlean and Meryl Streep hugging and chatting.Also included: how Adrien Brody got his tan.
Out was being rude, as when the talent agent Ed Limato threw a cocktail at Richard Johnson. Two olives bounced off Mr. Johnson's nose. Mr. Johnson, who writes Page Six for The New York Post, said that Mr. Limato was angry about an item he had written about Mel Gibson.
The Supreme Court, right now in the year 2003, is considering whether bans on consensual gay sex can exist. Obviously they should: otherwise the terrorists have won.
In case you're wondering, here's the current state of sodomy laws in America: Of the 13 states with sodomy laws, four (Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri) prohibit ''deviate sexual intercourse,'' or oral and anal sex, between same-sex couples. The other nine ban consensual sodomy for everyone: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia. How many states have you broken the law in?
NY Press reports on New York's 50 Most Loathsome People, and are incredible bitches about it. The list is based on reader votes, but remember people: only New Yorkers can appear on the list, so Ben Affleck doesn't really count. But Carson Daly does.
Liechtenstein is available for rent to corporations, who will be able to use its hotels and buildings, and temporarily re-brand them with their own logos.
I try to mention it when it happens: the NY Post and the NY Daily News had the same covers today.
Kakutani on new Delillo. She doesn't like. [nyt, via babak]
Follow-up to my Halliburton post the other day: Halliburton has won the firefighting contract for the Iraqi oil fields. Beautiful. Here's the official press release.
Service Announcement: the Michael Moore mp3, which seems to be popular today, is below, in Sunday's post. [tx babak & fimoculous]
CourtTV is producing a few documentaries based on Barry Scheck's Innocence Project, which has freed a lot of people from death row. Also, they're working on some specials based on our favorite source for legal news, The Smoking Gun.
Interesting piece on TV Barn arguing that retired military officers should not be consultants for TV war coverage. The author is seconding comments made by Michael Moore at the Independent Spirit Awards.
Michael Moore wrote a letter to Roger Ebert's Movie Answer Man column. The letter refutes some suggestions Ebert made that the movie isn't entirely accurate/transparent.
NYC has unveiled its new non-emergency citizen service phone number. It used to be that you were supposed to call 911 if, say, you saw a burned-out street light or a rat stuck in a tree or something. Now, finally, we have 311. Use it responsibly, people.
The French really do love Jerry Lewis...so much so that a Lewis impersonator was able to get through to French PM Jacques Chirac. The conversation was broadcast live on a radio morning show. Lewis himself is so pissed, he's suing.
Yeah yeah, war, whatever, but Dude, it's SPRING BREAK! Article on hubris of US college students in Cancun, and details on the new jail that had to be built around the resorts to contain all the publicly indecent drunk college kids.
The girls of tATu really do have sex with each other. No really! For real!
Once again, Cintra Wilson brings us the super-duper-mean recap of the awards (watch the short ad to read the whole thing), but makes some good points, particularly in her wonderment on how Renee ever got that part in Chicago, what with her protruding collar bones and mysteriously misplaced bust that she had nicely developed for Bridget Jones.
Also: what's with the no interviews on the red carpet on E!? As Chris said, if they take away our red carpet interviews, the terrorists have won.
Big ups to Weird Al Yankovic for showing up to collect Eminem's Oscar for him.
Michael Moore is such a crazy old leftist, who was clearly so wound up about having the biggest audience he's ever had in his life that he just about completely blew the moment.
Overall, this year was the Oscars That Were Marginally Less Offensive Than Last Year's. Everyone looked...nice. J. Lo even looked respectable, but revealed herself to be the ghetto skank that she is when she said "moun'ains" with a total Bronx glottal stop.
And thanks to Aquafina for the total shout-out to me and my friends in 10th grade for using "Pure" by the Lightning Seeds in their ad. And the Academy's shout-out by giving the Best Animated Feature to Spirited Away. Thanks, dudes.
So yeah, the Oscars. One introductory note: you might have been surprised, as ADM and I were, that Susan Sarandon didn't make any anti-war or political commentary while she introduced her awards, but that might be because she was out protesting at the LA march against the war on Saturday: here's a photo of her and other protesters, wearing her "What Would Jesus Bomb?" t-shirt. Some coverage here (as well as some surprising comments by other celebs) of war/anti-war events at the Oscars.
So the Oscars. Intrepidly, (for those of you who weren't keeping track) I brought them to you in progress.
Now, it's all over, and everybody's happy. Except Scorcese, I guess, who didn't win anything. Good night, world.
Guess what company is uniquely positioned to profit from the post-war rebuilding of Iraq? That's right, it's Halliburton, the company Dick Cheney was CEO of before he became our Vice-CEO.
Ted Rall, controversial editorial cartoonist, has issued a stinging rebuke of our prez and "the moronic majority" -- the 51% of American who believe, without cause, that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. Rall says that once the hype is over, "Like stupid Americans before them (those who bought into the Domino Theory, Joe McCarthy and the necessity of interning Japanese-Americans in concentration camps), they'll wonder what the hell they were thinking." [via babak]
NYT has a nifty, zoomable satellite-photo-based interactive map of Baghdad. It's clear that the next step in warfare is allowing American civilians to program their own missile strikes.
The March: Meandering for Peace
So I'm walking near Union Sq this afternoon, looking around for a bagel, when I come across one of those typical NYC street festivals -- you know, with all the pretzel and sausage stands -- but as I look down the block and see a bunch of people walking down Broadway, I realize that this particular festival isn't really a festival at all: it's an adjunct of the peace march which was scheduled for today, but which I thought might not materialize.
So, still with the bagel hunt on my mind, I head over to Broadway to check it out. What I see is an orderly, almost staid, procession of liberal-looking people. No soccer moms or disaffected middle managers in sight, just a lot of hipsters and hippies with almost-witty signs and stickers ("Draft the Bush Twins", "Saddam Sucks but War Sucks More", and the acronymically perplexing "WWWD -- What Would Wellstone Have Done?"). I had to wonder, is anyone watching?
At first I was surprised at the sparseness of the marchers -- there were a lot of them, but they weren't closely packed at all. The scene did not at all call to mind the fabled marches of yore, with tens of thousands of people occupying every inch over a wide area. Instead, at this march, people sort of ambled along cheerily, sometimes with just one or two people per hundred feet.
Just as I reached 12th Street, there was a rallying cry and I looked up to see about 30 marchers, almost all of them male, break off from the main march and run yelling down 12th Street, westwards. They were quickly chased by about 20 lumbering, middle-aged cops in riot helmets. Bystanders looked on bemusedly. Ah, anarchy! How cute! I saw more true violence and aggression than this minutes later when I ducked into a pizza joint (having given up on bagelry) and witnessed a heated verbal altercation between a thin, queeny black man who got his flip-flop accidentally stepped on and destroyed by an unmacho NYU grad. "Now I got nothin' to weah-errr!" Queenie challenged. NYUster was unfazed.
Post-pizza, I returned to the scene and was surprised to see the density of the march had increased in my absence, although the energy level and wit of the signage had not. [Apparently, at the end, things got a little violent, because of some idiots.]
The meandering continued for a while, but ended while I was in buying some comics. Good job, everyone. Now go home and pay your cable bill.
Zora and Joe Millionaire aren't speaking. Ironic irony: "I really liked him, but we haven't talked since the reunion in February," she told Us Weekly magazine. "He's so caught up in everything. I'd rather be with a construction worker than with someone who craves the spotlight like that."
I think this is widely blogged already, but it's still funny: an internal memo from MTV Europe telling its producers not to air videos that feature imagery of war/death/guns. On the prohibited list: not just System of a Down, but also an Aerosmith vid with images from the movie Armageddon.
The BBC accidentally broadcast the President getting his hair fixed and rehearsing his speech just before he addressed the country the other night. Says the Washington Post: The British network broadcast 1 minute and 37 seconds of presidential primping to hundreds of millions of viewers in 200 countries around the world before Bush's formal address at 10:15 p.m.
Smoking Gun has a picture. (Hey, is that a photo of Elizabeth Smart on his desk?)
According to Reuters, "the latest fad" to hit the NYC singles scene is "Dinner in the Dark". Organized by Cosmo Party, which I guess is some kind of dating service for extroverts, singles gather in a restaurant and eat and meet in total darkness -- only the waiters, who have night vision goggles, can see what's going on. Somehow, this leads to people losing their inhibitions, or maybe (like usual) it's the alcohol. One man says, It's great for groping. Another says, The food sucks. Well, then. Sign me up.
Pataki and Bloomberg say, "Life is normal. Ride the subways." They do so themselves, to prove something. Do they find terrorists? No, just hecklers.
Here's a Flash-based map of Baghdad from the AP.
Here's some pictures. Click for info.
Lots more in this slideshow.
Tom Brokaw is on NBC on the air right now interviewing the mother of one of the Marine pilots who was killed. Terrible. "Nancy, can you tell us about Jay's sister." "Um, Jay has no sisters." ... "Well, no doubt this is one of the worst days of your life." Everybody's crying.
SonicBlue, makers of ReplayTV, has filed for bankruptcy. They have to sell their ReplayTV business, as well as their Rio line of MP3 players. Too bad. I always liked them more than TiVo.
Here's the NYT.com's special section dedicated to the war. A lot of good multimedia/Flash stuff.
Wow, did you see the tanks rolling into Iraq last night? I think that was pretty much an unprecendented moment in war journalism -- live video of our tanks in the enemy country, with Ted Koppel reporting. Amazing. There is footage on ABC's website, but you might have to pay for it. Here's the written report from Mike Cerre of ABC. NYT highlights yesterday's coverage (without mentioning the ABC footage), in which the benefits of the embedded reporter program were finally evident.
Traveling with the Seventh Cavalry, a veteran CNN war correspondent, Walter Rodgers, was taping a stand-up in northern Kuwait when an enemy artillery shell whistled over his head and hit his unmanned camera. Mr. Rodgers exclaimed, "What the hell?" just as his camera exploded. By the time Wolf Blitzer got him on the telephone, he was dismissing the close call as "no big deal, O.K.?"For all its faults, nothing really beats TV for war coverage.
A telling headline from Reuters: Minorities Return to Lower Oscar Profile. Yep, Whitey loves Oscar, and Oscar loves Whitey. After Denzel and Halle last year, Latifah and Salma can't stand a chance.
NYT on the still-thriving Apple Newton community. Listen to this development: Someone wrote a program with Apple's permission that turns a Newton with a memory card into a full-featured music player that synchronizes with Apple's iTunes software.
Wow, are we old. NYT says college kids go online just to check their friends "away messages" -- the customizable messages that your instant messaging client shows people while you are busy/away. Examples: "rub-a-dub-dub", "As usual, frivolity has won out over work", "I want my jacket back and some *$& #@ IS KEEPING THE JACKET BUT GIVING ME BACK THE ID errrr". Ah, kids.
NYT has an audio interview with our comic hero, Conan O'Brien. It's with the NYT's TV writer, Bill Carter, who wrote the controversial Late Shift, about Letterman vs. Leno.
Did anyone listen to Scott Simon on NPR last night, covering the story? He was terrible, making jokes every few minutes, touting the "target of opportunity" line before it was confirmed (then retracting it), and asking the wrong questions. I usually like SS, but he blew it. Tom Shales critiques other coverage.
Some reporters leaving Baghdad have been hindered by bandits and corrupt bureaucrats. One team had to pay $60,000 to get out. [via medianews]
Monica Lewinsky will be hosting a reality dating series on (where else?) Fox.
Other entertainment news: Brett Ratner has left his Superman project so he can milk his cash-cow Rush Hour one more time, and Angelina Jolie's irreplaceable Oscar outfit has been stolen.
I meant to mention this before fighting started: there are a few sites that are ahead of the curve on defense/military news, and DefenseTech is a leader among them.
Walter Cronkite has weighed in against the war, in case it matters.
NYC is afraid terrorists are going to take over our tv stations. So they have a new security operation called "Operation Atlas": As part of Operation Atlas, police officials are deploying special patrols to guard television stations clustered in midtown Manhattan and elsewhere. Ironically, this story comes from Fox News, which has already been taken over by.... oh, never mind.
You can watch the Mayor announcing Operation Atlas here. More on that later.
Once the missiles start flying and the bombs start falling, you won't need to click around to find the best coverage: the networks have reached an agreement to share video footage from Baghdad. This could save some reporters' lives, it seems.
Ted Koppel is in Kuwait, the highest-profile journalist in the region. Meanwhile, Bernie Shaw, who so memorably covered Baghdad during Gulf War I, is glad he isn't there, and if he were, he says, he'd leave. Bernie's opinion is part of a larger story about whether journalists should stay or go. [via medianews] (NPR's gulf correspondent, who is still there, also discussed this on NPR's Morning Edition this morning, which I don't usually listen to.) ABC explains their decision re Baghdad: What clinched it was an Iraqi official's comment that things will get ''very ugly'' as Saddam Hussein's regime ends. Translation: They could use weapons of mass destruction. ''That put me over the top in terms of getting our people out.''
ClearChannel (the parent company of 1200 radio stations) has been sponsoring pro-war rallies in cities across the country, an act which some critics say comes too close to manufacturing news. [via medianews]
I feel obligated to blog this even though it's not that interesting: Barnum & Bailey circus is coming to NYC tomorrow, and the NYT has a big article about it. I'm sorry, but looking at all those wrinkled, poorly treated animals march sullenly around an arena doesn't exactly lift my spirits in these troubling times.
Crazy news from the set of 24: Elisha Cuthbert (Kiefer's annoying teenage daughter) was attacked by a lion!! It bit her hand really hard.
Elizabeth Sm*rt's abductor proposed to this, um, sort of hot girl two years ago. In his proposal, he wrote "You are the only woman that God sent us to...We are one, even as I am one with the Father." Her response: "You're crazy." She met Mitchell while working in the shoe department of a store at the Fashion Place mall.
I've had limited luck with that technique, too. At least at the mall.
Another development: Cops found the campsite where ES was held. Elizabeth told police she was kept underground in a concealed hole covered with boards and dirt. In the hole...investigators found 'an incredible amount of evidence.'
All the slightly strangely-worded details on the charges are over at Smoking Gun.
Rachel Corrie, killed the other day by a bulldozer in Gaza, wrote some emails to her family explaining why she was doing what she was doing. They're eloquent, sincere, and heartbreaking.
First Superman is cast in doubt, now Tobey Maguire might not be back for Spider-Man 2. The problem? A bad back.
Salon analyzes The Ring, postmodernly.
Jake Tapper says in Salon that terrorists could strike a chemical plant 9 miles away from Manhattan and millions could die, but the gov't is hindering safeguards that would protect us. Click through all the ads.
The Saddameter is at 99% -- may as well be at 110%. It was at 58% in December.
LA Times discusses the jargon you need to get your war on.
Unexpected side-effect of countdown to the Oscars: a rush to Botox clinics.
Boston Globe on what to expect during the first few days of war.
Peter Arnett (working for slightly indirectly for NBC), and many other reporters, are planning to stay in Baghdad during the war, even though ABC and other networks have pulled most of their reporters. Hopefully they won't all be killed. [via medianews]
NYT on Las Vegas Chic, sort of.
Here's one for all you kittybloggers out there, and for people who think kittens are funny: how to tame feral cats. Lots of pictures of kindly matrons and their newly tame wild cats. [nyt]
NYT discusses African click languages and their roots in ancient tongues. Also, apparently the notation has changed for the noises, so you use "|" instead of "!", like I did when I was learning to speak click.
E! says Brett Ratner may have abandoned his Superman project, but, more interestingly, the article contains some history and analysis of "The Superman Curse." Think about it.
Unlike Puma, FCUK, aka French Connection, embraces the prurient and borderline obscene, as evidenced by their recent ads in the Boston Globe. Readers "objected to a full-page photo of a young model in very short shorts, her legs apart, and 'Welcome to Fcukiki Beach' written across her left thigh." [via medianews]
Some weird stuff in the Elizabether Sm*rt case [nyt], mostly from her relatives: "Elizabeth is still as pure and still as wonderful and still as much a child of God as she ever was," her grandfather said, describing Elizabeth in Biblical terms as a "lost sheep" who had at last returned to the flock. [emph added] Her bishop concurs: Elizabeth is "pure before the Lord. People who are in the control of others are not accountable." Well, that's good, fellas. We wouldn't want this kidnapping thing to get in the way of her marriage plans down the road, Gramps.
Also, her family wouldn't answer rumors that Elizabeth had been "married" to her captor in a campsite ceremony hours after her abduction. This gives me kind of a sick feeling, but it also reminds me of my favorite episode of the Jeremy Brett/Sherlock Holmes series in which a similarly fair and young girl is abducted and forcibly married in a sort of Black Mass rite.
Summary of other info:
NYT on Lil' Kim. Does she define sexuality for the hip-hop culture in the way Madonna did for pop culture? Maybe.
Jailhouse scribblings of the younger sniper suspect: references to reggae, The Matrix, and Socrates and Hobbes.
Vigilante border patrol on the US/Mexican border.
If you like ER, here's a brief interview with one of the writers/directors about ER and the ER, as part of the NYT Magazine's special health issue. The issue ends with this interesting analysis of things that happen to you when you become a posthumous organ donor.
RIP, NYC subway token. [nyt, via babak]
You can download a copy of Elizabeth Sm*rt's abductor's "manifesto", or just read a summary. Been wondering how the Sm*rts could have been so dumb as to hire a homeless guy do to roof work when they had two young daughters at home? Check this out: "Salt Lake City police Detective Dwayne Baird said that just two weeks before Elizabeth was found, police still had 50 'homeless, transient types' to interview who had done odd jobs at the Sm*rt home over the past year or so." Been wondering how the abductor could have been so dumb as to return to Salt Lake? Turns out he was advised, via revelation, to do it so he could "be arrested by evil-doers".
Retail design guru Paco Underhill (is that a made-up name?) analyzes Apple's SoHo store.
Transcript and audio recording of Elizabeth Sm*rt abductor's court appearance in San Diego for the church burglary. Excerpt: "I had for the first time in 22 years I got drunk that night and, uh, and the whole night was just a nightmare and, and it's, and, and I, this week in jail has, uh, been like, uh, Jonah getting swallowed by the whale. It's, it's turned me right around and, and I know I need to do what the Lord wants me to do with my life and, and, and uh, and uh, and I am, I am deeply sorry and, and, uh, nothing like that's gonna happen again."
Robert Blake was granted bail and is out of jail, at least until he's convicted.
Has anyone else noticed that every indie cross-over star in the world (except Parker Posey) is in the new big-budget movie about going to the Earth's core? Who ever heard of an action movie headlined by Aaron Eckhart? I love ya Aaron, but don't get all Nic Cage on me.
Brendan Fraser is one of only two remaining candidates for Brett Ratner's new Superman trilogy! I proposed this 3 years ago, although not on a blog. It's great, but it's like they were thinking, "Let's get someone just like Christopher Reeve" instead of "Let's get the best person to play Superman." Jude Law was a contender until this week. That would have been interesting. Maybe they should just wait until they repair or clone Christopher Reeve.
Here's a bigger version of the Madonna/W Magazine/Yoga photo I blogged earlier this week.
The most popular photo on Yahoo News right now is very bloody.
Daily News has a semi-shocking picture of Elizabeth Sm*rt in her white hyper-Mormon veil. The picture was reportedly taken at a "rave party". Rave party? What year is it in Utah, 1995?? Hmmm. In fairness is, here she is with her family yesterday. I just heard on 1010 WINS that they're slightly worried because she won't stop smiling. It's a shame that the almost unprecedented healing process that this girl has to go through will be played out in the media. I don't know if I'm contributing to it here, so I'll try to limit posts on the topic. Although the police aren't saying whether she was abused, it seems that that will be revealed when they are arraigned/indicted, unless they seal everything.
Is anyone following the case of Svetlana Aron*v, the missing wife of a Manhattan oncologist? I refrained from blogging it until now, because I wasn't sure it was interesting...but now I think it is. The prevailing theory, which seems off-target to me, is that she was murdered as a message to her husband, who may have been involved in insurance fraud. This theory replaces, or is added to, the theory involving the strange man loitering outside her gym a few weeks ago. I guess we'll find out the story eventually. Whenever doctor's wives go missing, the docs always have something to do with it, directly or indirectly. Darkly comic note in the article: one cop says, "The consensus is yeah, she's dead." Pretty blunt assessment for a missing person case that's only a week and a half old, one day after Elizabeth S. was found alive.
Ebert reviews Spider, the new Cronenberg movie. It seems to me that Cronenberg movies are the quintessential examples of the Roger Ebert 3-Star Movie: ambitious, avant garde, and bold, but ultimately flawed by uneven narrative and clumsy handling of a significant portion of the film. Ebert is too forgiving of these types of films. He rarely uses 2 1/2 stars, which would probably be more appropriate. Can Cronenberg make a great movie? Can David Fincher? They suffer the same malady: Three-Star-Movie Syndrome.
Looks like there will be an anti-war march in NYC on March 22, since it's been approved by the city. [nyt]
Guess who was already in jail when he was the subject of "America's Most Wanted" last month? That's right: ELIZABETH SM*RT'S ABDUCTOR. Unbelievable. He was in jail for a week for vandalizing a church. So ES herself was hanging out with the wife in San Diego in the meantime, apparently. Smoking Gun, as usual, has the whole story.
John Cameron Mitchell, creator of Hedwig, has a new movie coming out, that will apparently feature real live hardcore sex. This guy auditioned. [Salon; click through ads]
In case you've been wondering about the Three Colors series of films by Kieslowski (Blue, White, and Red), they're now out on DVD, finally. Ebert just came out with a great essay about them, and Kieslowski's work in general, with some illuminating details (except for the incorrect one about the breed of the judge's dog in Red, but we'll let that pass.)
In reference to ADM's 24 post below, I just want to point out that we at the 'bot were clearly correct when we posited that the show's writers wish to God they had the sense to kill off Spawn last season when they had the chance, and have given up on creating a meaningful plot line for her. Quote from the Salon article: "Gordon says that, on the wipeboard where the writers chart out the show's stories for each episode, "The Kim thread is always blank until the last minute." Surnow jokes that they usually fill it in eventually with "Kim takes a shower."
Also: what's with all the criticism/commentary that 24 has gotten campy this season? Um, excuse me? The amnesia subplot? The Hot Urban Outfitters Models in Prison subplot? The use of Mick Hucknall from Simply Red (or as TWoP nicknames him, Kenny G) as the undercover drug cop? Lou Diamond Phillips, and the Young Guns reunion episode? BUT HE'S MY TEENAGE BOYFRIEND? Give me a break. 24 has always been campier than bug juice and friendship boondoggle bracelets, and this season is simply a continuation of the thread. It's still good television.
I don't like opinion pieces or columns, but every now and then Maureen Dowd comes out with a zinger. And so she has today, pointing out just how foolish our "go it alone" policy is, and how it's driven by the egos and pipe dreams of a few cold war dinosaurs and sons.
Salon, like Amy's Robot, never gets tired of writing about 24. Here, they explain that it's silly but still addictive (the LA Times has begun referring to it as "a comedy"). Click through the ads to read. The article also points out that your intrepid Amy's Robot reporters missed the 24 forum at the Museum of Television and Radio. We usually try to catch these things when they involve our shows, as with The Job.
NY Press weighs in on the scripted affair that was the President's press conference last week, taking particular aim at the journalists who participated in it. Everything is a sham.
Roger Ebert follows up on interesting items from previous columns in Movie Answer Man this week, especially towards the end: he explains his "ZERO STARS" review of David Gale, offers a compendium of the world's shortest movie reviews, and weighs in on The White Stripes cover/homage to the Citizen Kane song-and-dance number (an homage we decided not blog last week, since people have known about it for a while).
Speaking of France, the grand jury testimony from Roman Polanski's sexual assault trial 30 years ago has been unsealed and is now online. Just in time for Oscar!
Ok, here it is -- the first in a series of upcoming stories that I'm sure will ultimately lead me to renounce my citizenship (or at least move to Canada). At the urging of several Republican congressmen, Congress's cafeteria has renamed their French fries "Freedom Fries" and French toast "Freedom toast", following the lead of other idiotic restaurants around the country. "This action today is a small but symbolic effort to show the strong displeasure of many on Capitol Hill with the actions of our so-called ally, France," said Ney, chairman of the House Administration Committee. Yeah, this action today is a small but symbolic effort to show what the world an idiot you are, too.
This is the best thing since Liberty cabbage (not to mention Liberty Pup*).
This story also marks yet another development that Osama Bin Laden could never have foreseen when he was planning the World Trade Center attacks. (The other main ones being the delayed release of the latest Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, and Union Square Cafe dropping to second place in this year's Zagat's survey.)
Out-of-work actors and lackey wannabe's might want to join Bush's entourage: he's refused to speak at the EU Parliament without a stage-managed standing ovation.
The L.A. Times re-evaluates those Census numbers indicating that Latinos outpopulate Blacks in America. Problems include our increasingly inadequate and inaccurate race categories that many people don't fit squarely into, and the changing socio-economic levels of many races: as some cultural theorists note, "Money bleaches."
Discouraging poll results from NYT/CBS: In the poll, 44 percent of respondents said the United States should take military action against Iraq soon, compared with 36 percent just two weeks ago. Although a majority of respondents still support giving weapons inspectors more time, that number has decreased to 52 percent from 62 percent two weeks ago.
Washington Post profiles Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now, a Pacifica radio show that is sort of simulcast on community access TV in NYC. I don't find the show compelling or (often) fair, but I guess it's a big deal to left-leaning readers of this blog, so there you go. Besides, ole Amy was arrested on Saturday for protesting/reporting in front of the White House.
It's a small picture, but an amazing one: Madonna's yoga is apparently going well, as depicted in this month's W magazine. (Yes, that's her left foot behind her right ear.)
I hear some teachers in Catholic schools have contentious relationships with their students, but some wish they would die. [via P-Lo]
When war breaks out, the military will be briefing us from a $200,000 stage in Qatar designed by the guy who did Good Morning America's stage. [via medianews]
Sorry for blogging the whole NYT today, but here's a fascinating piece about young Muslims in Jordan, who run a pizza shop and can't decide between jihad against America or going to work for Microsoft.
The White Stripes advocate a return to traditional values or, like, something, in the NYT magazine.
Maybe you heard about Mel Gibson's forthcoming movie "The Passion", about Jesus's* last hours (which purportedly will be in Aramaic and Latin, sans subtitles). Turns out Mel is heavily involved in a fundamentalist/traditionalist Catholic movement, which the Times describes as "a strain of Catholicism rooted in the dictates of a 16th-century papal council and nurtured by a splinter group of conspiracy-minded Catholics, mystics, monarchists and disaffected conservatives -- including a seminary dropout and rabble-rousing theologist who also happens to be Mel Gibson's father." Mel's so involved he is building a church for their brand of Catholicism outside LA, and Gibson's dad denies the Holocaust and calls the pope "Garrulous Karolus, the Koran Kisser". [nyt]
Guess who's playing Jesus? Jim Caviezel, of course!
NYT Magazine's lengthy article about the people behind the anti-war movmement in the US.
Sunday's NYT has a couple of good pieces about torture, including a lengthy -- though maybe not lengthy enough -- discussion of interrogation techniques being employed at various US detention facilities, and a look at whether torture is actually an effective means of getting good information.
Looks like anti-French sentiment in NJ is heating up. This guy poured several thousand-dollar bottles of French wine down the toilet at his restaurant. [nyt] Yeah! That'll show 'em! Hurray for US!
I don't think I've ever read such a compendium of ignorant opinions in the NYT before. One observer sums up the reaction as exactly that: "I think the hostility comes from Americans who go to Paris and expect the French to speak English to them," she said. I didn't even really like France before all of this, but getting mad at them for resisting war seems pretty stupid and only re-inforces our image as a hawkish country who goes to war without hesitation, without diplomacy, and without cause.
And let me finally say, on the record, that it doesn't f'ing matter that we saved their ass in WWII. For one thing, they saved our ass in the American revolution, people.
Encouraging poll results from Quinnipiac, re: our prez. Hey, I'll take what I can get.
NYT Magazine has a lengthy, well-written article on face transplants.
Everyone had a splendid time at our anniversary party. Sorry you couldn't make it.
Maybe because of Eminem, a 44-year-old mother of two* (also from Detroit) is apparently looking to break into hip-hop.
*phraseology ©Amy H.
Safety of Objects, the movie based on the book by pseudo-doppel-namer-ganger A.M. Homes is out. Ebert gave it three stars, but I don't know if that means he liked it: "The Safety of Objects is like a hike through the swamp of despond, with ennui sticking to our shoes," says Ebes.
Homes is one of my favorites, but I liked her better when she was the sharp-witted, hot picture on the back of Safety of Objects, not the pretentious, unsubtle near-matron reading her bad new book at Half King. Maybe Amy can weigh in on this one.
LA Times says Six Feet Under (a show I've never seen, because of its initial reviews) is the best thing on TV right now. It makes the point by comparing it to our old friend 24, which the writer doesn't like anymore (sorry, Ames). What's funny is he describes the action of the show as a metaphor for the show itself, a rhetorical trick pioneered by either Amy or me and first seen here on Amy's Robot (although I can't find the original post right now).
Just what the world needs in a time of crisis: a men's version of Lucky, the worst magazine ever. You know, it's the one about shopping. [nyt]
More snow. Here's a nice picture in the Times.
Forget radios and hub caps -- today's car thieves opt for airbags and headlights [nyt]. What's next, head rests? Warning to all thieves: my car has a system that will automatically electrocute and sue you if you tamper with it.
Fametracker brings you a roundup of the biggest Oscar nomination snubs, the most flagrant of which is clearly Dennis Quaid (who FT fears might retaliate by starring in Great Balls of Fire II: Greater, Ballsier, Fierier!) And THANK HOLY GOD Whoopi Goldberg isn't hosting this year. I think we can all feel reasonably assured that Steve Martin won't make lots of racist jokes.
In celebration of Amy's Robot's ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY, we will be hosting a star-studded gala Friday night, March 7, at CEDAR TAVERN (aka Cedar Bar) in Manhattan. The party starts at 8, and will continue until we all gasp and die. No need to RSVP -- just come, even if we've never heard of you!
Meet your favorite 'Bot scribes, and pick up your complimentary archive of our complete works*. Bring a dog-eared copy of your favorite post, or maybe a wry sonnet to commemorate the occasion. We hope to see our galaxy of fabulous readers there, along with some other friends of the 'Bot. So call, email, or text message your crew and come on down.
Cedar Bar is at 82 University Place, just south of Union Square.
*first 30 guests only.
Did you know that Daredevil is the most Catholic action movie ever? It is. Even more Catholic than Desperado. From the very beginning, Catholic imagery dominates the film almost as much as Jennifer Garner's apparently fake boobs -- even more than Ben Affleck's fake "red" hair -- but not as much as Ben Affleck's inert acting. The funny thing is, the Catholic imagery in the film is like a tale told by an idiot -- full of sound, full of fury, but signifying nothing. Or maybe signifying the wrong thing, as in the shot that made me laugh outloud, when Bullseye, played by the nearly mute Colin Farrell, gets stigmata-fied and pleads to the camera with outstretched bloody hands. Inasmuch as Bullseye is one of the most amoral characters ever depicted on film, it seemed odd to me that he was being offered up as an image of Christ.
If that doesn't do it for you, how about Daredevil's messianic blood dripping down a stained glass portrait of the Virgin Mary? Deeply moving. Or the priest non-chalantly grabbing a votive candle out of the candles-for-dead-people section of the church so that he can navigate his way through the dark cathedral. Or Daredevil clinging to the cross on top of said cathedral until dropping (again, inertly) onto its floor with a thump and lying there prone, looking as he'd just been taken down from THE cross. Yes, wonderful work, everybody, but, uh, isn't there supposed to be more to this imagery thing than just making pretty pictures? It's supposed to mean something. Otherwise, your movie ends up being churlish, facile, and dumb. Quod erat demonstrandum.
Elsewhere in the movie, Jennifer Garner was ok, although a bit cross-eyed (I've heard she's always like that), in the role of the Latina-ified Greek heiress. Jon Favreau was good as a young Albert Brooks, and Joe Pantoliano played his gold-hearted reporter a little more menacingly than you'd expect, so that his gold heart wasn't revealed until...the moment of truth. In this case, (spoilers coming!) the moment of truth happens to be a tacked on, Carrie Bradshaw/Agent Scully close-up-of-the-word-processor voice-over scene in which he can't bring himself to do something truthful but not nice. See ya in the sequel, Joe.
Also, if you're going to spend $1 gazillion on your comic book movie, can you please tell the computer animators to take the time to do some decent animation of the human body when you are showing your hero jumping from building to building? Otherwise, as is the case here, it looks like a badly-drawn cartoon and disallows the old suspension of disbelief, which is so crucial to crappy movies like this. Give that up, and all is lost. You wouldn't believe how fake the jumping around looked. It was like the animators had never watched a human being move around before. Newsflash guys: it doesn't look like that.
This was just a part of a larger problem with the movie, namely the over-reliance on computer graphics to do what modeling or creative shooting could have accomplished much more convincingly. Here are examples of some of the things that were CG'd into mediocrity: a single rat, rain, an unremarkable office building. All of them looked terrible.
I was the only person in the theater when I saw it.
Update: Anyway, here is the US Catholic Bishops review of the film, which scarcely mentions its religious aspects, and ignores the hilarious confession scene in which Daredevil is absolved of sins he's obviously not sorry he committed.
This was on fimoculous, but still: NME's top 100 albums ever. If this sounds familiar, you may be confusing it with the Top 100 most influential bands, which NME did a year or two ago. Great list, but perhaps lacking much foresight (i.e. The Strokes).
Now a whole new generation can decide who's Sponge-worthy. [via Agent 0019]
Remember Choke by Chuck Palahniuk, the book that is the "Last Great Book I Read" of everybody who is anybody on Nerve/Salon Personals? Well, it's jumping out of fiction and into real life: a guy is running around Florida claiming that he is choking, and then asking girls for their phone numbers, post-rescue. [via obscurestore]
The answer to many states' budget deficits might be legalized gambling. Even pristine, upstanding states like Maine are thinking about bringing in a few video poker machines. An article in Harper's from last year about the sorry state of South Carolina, which has video poker games in almost every gas station and supermarket, described it as the crack cocaine of gambling.
In a move sure to further distance itself from its icky, carginogenic image, "Altria" (formerly Philip Morris Companies) is moving Philip Morris USA, who make the cigarettes, out of NYC to Richmond. Maybe the smoking ban about to go into effect was another motivator, though they deny it.
No sleep for Kiefer: Fox has already picked up 24 for next season. Which is a spoiler in itself.
Surprise, surprise...it turns out drilling for oil off the North Coast of Alaska isn't good for the environment [NYT]. No doubt we'll end up in the ANWR anyway, maybe because you can take a picture like this in the oil field closest to ANWR. (More on Halliburton.)
NYC.gov has a new photo archive of interesting pictures from the city's past, taken by public and private photographers. Some great shots, famous and not-so-famous. Worth checking out.
The topic of this post is nipples.
Specifically, the number of nipples viewable on Yahoo News' "Most Popular Photos" feature. Now, you may have noticed how about 50% of the photos there involve girls, usually either (a) models at fashion shows, (b) hot celebrities at awards shows in provocative dresses, or (c) a woman (usu. an athlete) caught in some unintentionally suggestive pose. However, you never seem to see actual nudity -- just suggestions of nudity.
Well, things have really gotten out of control over there in the last week or so, so I feel obligated to mention it. The one-upmanship started with a photo from a figure skating event in which a man's hand was practically inside of his skating partner, who was spread-eagled and still skating. The next step towards prurience came with a photo from a fashion show in which a model struggles to hold up the top of her dress, which was giving in to gravity. You could see a pretty full outline of a breast in that one, as well as the jovially shocked expression of the model herself (which mirrored my own). That raised my eyebrows a little, and I started to detect a trend. My intuition was confirmed when Y! ran the Spanish tourism bureau's photo of a thongless ass, which created some controversy.
But then came the next photo, a photo so shocking in its lack of precedent that I right away emailed my blogging partner to see whether I should formally document this trend: the photo was of a naked female protester getting dragged off by beefy female cops in Chile. You could see her breasts. I decided to hold off because, after all, people, we're not purveyors of porn over here at Amy's Robot. We're people of culture.
Notwithstanding that, my eyes, etc., popped out when just now I came across the #2 most popular photo on Y! today: it's from Carnival, and it features near full frontal nudity, breasts and all. Be assured, my interests in linking to this photo are purely professional and journalistic in nature.
Where does it end, Yahoo? Where does it end?
24 has been picking up lately, and so have the recaps. Xander Berkeley puking all over his desk and passing out! Kiefer battering terrorists and doping them up with Demerol! And some great coverage of the best moment of the season so far: TerrorSister getting shot in the arm and screaming in pain for almost the whole episode. Tonight: full frontal nudity by Kim Bauer. Well OK, maybe, but seriously, we've seen her nipples all over the screen last week, and we all saw her ass hanging out of her pretend-boy underpants in Old School. Right?
Journalist Warren Berger writes in to MediaNews about what it's like to be a talking head for 5 minutes on a cable news program that no one is really watching. "You start to wonder," he says, "what's in it for me?"
Signs of progress: we now have the American Dance Music Awards, which will take place in Miami on March 19, with all kinds of impressive celebrity DJs. Um, and J. Lo. One indicator of the future of dance music as a profitable industry in the US is the "Best Use of Music in a Commercial" category.
Since the 'bot is so dedicated to covering important media events and reporting back to you, I will take it upon myself to actually travel to Miami and cover the awards.
AP has a lengthy investigation into the FBI's practice of looking the other way when informants commit(ted) violent crimes. The practice first came to light during the investigation into the Boston office's protection of Whitey Bulger, who is now a 10 Most Wanted Fugitive. The article shows that this was part of a larger, continuing pattern, all across the country.
Why did the Unabomber do it? This guy says because he was systematically humiliated at Harvard [nyt]. The argument seems overly intellectualized to me, although it could be part of a wider explanation. Ted's mom once said he was never the same after he got sick as a toddler and went to the hospital for a while. That to me seems like the beginning of his emotional detachment -- the stuff at Harvard must have cemented some of that.
NYT reports on twins who were separated at birth in Mexico, didn't know about eachother, but have re-united while attending college in New York. One of them is named Tamara, the other is named Adriana. One of them is Jewish, the other Catholic.
How are the FBI's wanted posters supposed to work if the depiction looks like this, but the guy actually looks like this? Well, they caught him anyway, but I don't think it was because of the posters. I think it was because of the t*rture.
The FBI has updated their photo to read "LOCATED". Hmmm. They usually update them to say "CAPTURED". This suggests to me that he is still in custody of the Pakistanis and their car-battery/bed-springs combos.
Here's a good summary of the case , along with suggestions that (a) we've had him in custody since before Saturday (though this article refutes this, unless it's all lies) and (b) he's probably being tortured by the Pakistanis as I write this.