30 June 2007

We're moving into a new office!

Yes, our empire has grown faster than crabgrass and it's time for us to move into a new undisclosed office.

Once we're settled into our new flat, we promise to bring you the same hard hitting journalism and searing sensational stories which you've grown to know, love and trust from Gotham City I.

For now, I leave you with a puzzle to swirl around your palette in my absence:

The Rolling Stones are/were basically the evil Beatles.


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29 June 2007

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Second Car Bomb Found in London
British police have confirmed that not one, but two massive car bombs were set to explode in the heart of London's West End. The first car, in Haymarket, was a metallic green Mercedes packed with petrol, gas cannisters and nails, and was defused after police were alerted by an ambulance crew called to an incident at a nearby nightclub in the early hours of Friday morning. The second bomb was in a car that was illegally parked nearby and towed to the Park Lane car pound. Staff there alerted police because "it smelled of gas."

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Gimme Gimme Earth Without People

Scientific American has an fascinating feature An Earth Without People, not to mention these renderings of what the city might look like sans humans. The drawing above is what Fifth Avenue/St. Patrick's Cathedral would look like and the drawing below is what the subways would look like after just two days.

SA interviewed Alan Weisman, whose book The World Without Us discusses would happen if people just vanished completely from the face of the Earth. Given that subway system pumps about 13 million gallons of water out of its underground infrastructure each day, humans do a lot to keep our necessities going. But without them:

"There are places in Manhattan where they’re constantly fighting rising underground rivers that are corroding the tracks. You stand in these pump rooms,and you see an enormous amount of water gushing in. And down there in a little box are these pumps, pumping it away. So, say human beings disappeared tomorrow. One of the first things that would happen is that the power would go off. A lot of our power comes out of nuclear or coal-fired plants that have automatic fail-safe switches to make sure that they don’t go out of control if no humans are monitoring their systems. Once the power goes off, the pumps stop working. Once the pumps stop working, the subways start filling with water. Within 48 hours you’re going to have a lot of flooding in New York City. Some of this would be visible on the surface. You might have some sewers overflowing. Those sewers would very quickly become clogged with debris—in the beginning the innumerable plastic bags that are blowing around the city and later, if nobody is trimming the hedges in the parks, you’re going to have leaf litter clogging up the sewers."
Scientific American also has a timeline of what could happen - streets cave in after two years, buildings start to crumble in four, fires in five years, bridges collapse in 300 years. This really calls for some stop-action animation. Update: It turns out there is some animation - check out this video from Scientific American (and how vegetation starts to grow over Rockefeller Center!).

from Gothamist

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Veggie Booty Recall

All lots and sizes of Veggie Booty Snack Food are being recalled, the company said, following a report of 51 cases of salmonella poisoning that may be associated with the product.

The FDA says theres been reports of illnesses in 17 states.

The company said consumers who purchased Veggie Booty and still have the product in their homes should discard the contents and contact the company at 1-800-626-7557 for reimbursement.

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Guy Swipes Reporter’s Mic During iPhone Live Shot... During a live shot with Newsweek columnist Steven Levy outside an Apple Store in NYC, Fox News reporter Laura Ingle said, "We're going to need some security around here," just then a dude runs up and grabs the mic out of her hand. Ha! He's almost immediately tackled by a FOX cameraman / aspiring NY Giants lineman.

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My bad

A former Arkansas state trooper was sentenced to 90 days in jail yesterday for shooting to death an unarmed, mentally disabled man he mistook for a Michigan fugitive. 90 days? Not bad, huh?

Video from AP here

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iPhone Blogs

Naturally, a few of the dorks who've been waiting in line for the iPhone have blogs. Here's one and here's another.

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Love my country. Hate my Coulter.

In fact, the only person I loathe more than Coulter is WABC's Laura Ingraham, who is basically a poor man's Ann Coulter. GRRrrrrrrr.

From Americablog.com: "I've never seen people avoid ideas as much in such an obvious way," says the woman who wears the same slinky black dress to every interview and every speech, presumably to show off her legs and her cleavage (though it's possible she's simply doing an extended walk of shame from a decade-long one-night stand), and who every interview makes some tired, scripted outrageous comment, like wishing that John Edwards were assassinated or mocking the death of his teenage son in a car crash, in order to get attention. Yes, Ann Coulter never tries to avoid ideas.

Coulter is a walking caricature of herself. But what's most telling is how thin-skinned she is (which is a lesson that everyone should take to heart - responding to Coulter doesn't help her cause, it drives her crazy AND she is a walking embarrassment to the GOP and the conservative cause). Listen to the tape. She's on the verge of losing it, even though she's hardly being challenged at all. She walks around calling people "fags," mocking their dead children, wishing that they were murdered, then when people respond by saying "uh, you're kind of mean," Ann flips out over the level of venom that's directed against her.

The lady is a tramp."

Watch Ann lose her shit, here.

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The War Rages On
Anguished Blockbuster has reported they will close 280+ retail locations within the year just as rival Netflix announces they will lower the rates on a few of their monthly plans. Ouch!

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Honey, how are we on potassium nitrate?

The ATF descended on a Graniteville, Staten Island home last night after learning of the presence of large amounts of potassium nitrate which is often used in pyrotechnics.

However, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said there was no evidence that the man was involved in making bombs or selling bomb-making materials. The man was apparently selling the chemicals in smaller quantities on the Internet. Police say there is no link to any terrorist activity.

A senior special agent with the ATF said a vendor who deals with chemicals notified the agency Thursday that a resident of Staten Island had ordered a large quantity of chemicals. Well, thats good to know at least!

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Panic on the streets of Picadilly: Mercedes car bomb defused

The London Fog thwarted an apparent terror attack Friday near the famed Piccadilly Circus in the heart of London, defusing a bomb made of a lethal mix of gasoline, propane gas, and nails after an ambulance crew spotted smoke coming from a silver Mercedes outside a nightclub.

The bomb in the city's theater district was powerful enough to have caused "significant injury or loss of life" - possibly killing hundreds, British police chief Peter Clarke said.

Police planned to examine footage from closed-circuit TV cameras in the area, Clarke said, hoping the surveillance network that covers much of central London will help them track down the driver of the rigged Mercedes.

Officers were called to The Haymarket, just south of Piccadilly Circus, after an ambulance crew - responding to a call just before 1:30 a.m. about an injury at a nearby nightclub - noticed smoke coming from a car parked in front of the club.

A bomb squad manually disabled the bomb.

Early photographs of the silver Mercedes showed a canister bearing the words "patio gas," indicating it was propane gas, next to the car. The back door was open with blankets spilling out. The car was removed from the scene midmorning.

The busy Haymarket thoroughfare linking Piccadilly Circus to the Pall Mall is packed with restaurants, bars, a cinema complex and West End theaters, and was buzzing at that hour.

Explosives-Packed Car Defused in London

Terror Car Packed With Petrol And Nails

BBC: Police avert car bomb 'carnage

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Lily turns herself into the Yard

Our lil' baby Lily turned herself in to the Scotland Yard yesterday. The delicious British pop sensation was charged with assault for an incident with a photographer outside the Wardour Club in London's SOHO (HOLLA!) back in March.

Lilyface filled out some paperwork and was set free on bail yet again. She's due back for a court appearance in July.

Allen, who earlier this year canceled a number of US tour dates citing "tiredness", is due to tour Australia in August.

But hey, with gams like that, who are we to complain?
(pic courtesy of Celebrity Babylon)

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Stephanie Tanner is all grown up now

God, she was SO annoying then. I HATED her.

Now, she's banging - except for those hurt shoes and bag - I'd holla at her.

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Benoit thing gets weirder still

This mysterious tale of the double homicide-suicide of Chris Benoit, his wife and son gets even more strange.

On Wednesday County's district attorney Scott Ballard explained that Benoit may have killed his son with a chokehold. He said the boy had internal injuries to the throat area, but showed no bruises, indicating he may have been locked in the crook of his father's arm.

Nancy Benoit had bruises on her back and stomach consistent with someone pressing a knee into the small of the back while pulling on a cord around the neck. Benoit killed himself by wrapping a cord around his neck that was attached to a weight machine, and when Benoit released the weights about 240 pounds caused his strangulation. Ballard said the pull-down bar had been removed and Benoit was found seated against the machine.

Saturday, 23 June at 3:30 PM a co-worker received a voice message from Benoit stating he missed his flight and overslept and would be late for that night's Beaumont, Texas, house show.

According to the WWE Web site, the co-worker called Benoit back and Benoit sounded tired and groggy as he confirmed everything he had said in his voice message. A 3:42 PM, the same co-worker, "concerned about Benoit's tone and demeanor," called him back again. Benoit did not answer the call and the co-worker left a message stating, "just call me back."

Two minutes later, Benoit called the co-worker back, stating he didn't answer the call because he was on the phone with Delta Air Lines changing his flight. "Benoit stated he had a real stressful day due to Nancy and Daniel being sick with food poisoning."

Was Benoit planning on pulling an OJ? Was he setting up an alibi with the food poisoning story?

At 4:30 PM, according to the Web site, a co-worker who often travels with Benoit called him from outside the Houston airport and Benoit answered. "Benoit told the co-worker that Nancy was throwing up blood and that Daniel was also throwing up."

At 5:35 PM, Benoit called WWE's "Talent Relations" office, stating that his son was throwing up and that he and Nancy were in the hospital with their son, and that he would be taking a later flight into Houston, but would make the live event in Beaumont which we now know he never did.

Nearly 12 hours later, during the wee hours of June 24, Benoit sent those cryptic text messages to some his friends telling them his address over and over and the location of his attack dogs.

Yesterday the DEA raided the office of Dr. Phil Astin, Benoit's doctor and the dude who's name was on most of the pill bottles found in Benoit's medicine cabinet and now the authorities are trying to figure out who logged on and edited Benoit's wikipedia page with news of Nancy Benoit's death 14 hours before the police discovered the bodies.

The Wiki page has since been locked but the original posting read:

“Chris Benoit was replaced by Johnny Nitro for the ECW Championship match as Benoit was not there due to personal issues, stemming from the death of his wife Nancy.”
The line "stemming from the death of his wife Nancy" was added to the Wikipedia's Chris Benoit page at 12 AM on June 25, whereas the Fayette County police reportedly discovered the bodies of the Benoit family at 2:30 PM some 14 and a half hours later.

The IP address of the editor was traced to Stamford, Connecticut, which also happens to be the location of WWE headquarters. Weird.

After news of the early death notice reached mainstream media, the anonymous poster accessed Wikinews to explain his seemingly prescient comments:

"Hey everyone. I am here to talk about the wikipedia comment that was left by myself. I just want to say that it was an incredible coincidence. Last weekend, I had heard about Chris Benoit no showing Vengeance because of a family emergency, and I had heard rumors about why that was. I was reading rumors and speculation about this matter online, and one of them included that his wife may have passed away, and I did the wrong thing by posting it on wikipedia to spite there being no evidence. I posted my speculation on the situation at the time and I am deeply sorry about this, and I was just as shocked as everyone when I heard that this actually would happen in real life. It is one of those things that just turned into a huge coincidence. That night I found out that what I posted, ended up actually happening, a 1 in 10,000 chance of happening, or so I thought."

More as it develops...

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28 June 2007

The Big Yawn: An Autopsy

Have you ever wondered why we yawn? Yes, we yawn when we’re bored, sleepy or tired, but what purpose does a yawn serve? How are yawns triggered? And were you aware of the fact that in humans, there is a relationship between yawning and orgasm? Hey now!

Most of the higher vertebrate species yawn: mammals, reptiles, birds and even fish. It’s known that human fetuses yawn as early as the end of the first trimester of prenatal development. These facts make it clear that yawning must have evolved quite a long time ago, far back in the evolutionary line.

A yawn consists of a powerful movement of jaw-gaping along with deep inhalation and exhalation. But it involves much more than just that. While yawning, the head tilts slightly backwards, the eyes narrow, the facial muscles stretch. Inside the middle ear, the eustachian tubes open, while the tear glands and salivary glands have increased activity, not to mention a whole bunch of other brain areas, as well as hitherto unspecified cardiovascular and respiratory acts.

In terms of biochemistry, it is not known exactly what triggers this highly complex motor program. Although it’s known that boredom or sleepiness can cause yawning, it has also been documented that certain changing colour patterns can induce yawning. People have also been observed to yawn when they are tensed, like paratroopers before a jump or musicians before a concert. I personally know two people who have a habit of nervous yawning and they say dogs will sometimes yawn when they are nervous or anxious.

Research has demonstrated that the conventional belief that yawns are caused due to a high level of carbon dioxide or a shortage of oxygen in the blood or brain, is completely false. However, after comparing some of the similarities between the physiology of yawning and that of sex, it has been suggested that the two acts might have a common neurological background.

For instance, the facial expression during sexual climax (the "Oh" face) is remarkably similar to the expression during yawning. Furthermore, some of the neurotransmitters associated with sexual activity, such as oxytocin and androgens (HOLLA!), are also connected to yawning.

Chemical agents that induce yawning in lab rats have also been observed to induce penile erection. Hey now! Most fascinating of all, old school antidepressant drugs such as clomipramine and fluoxetine, in some people, have the side effect of inducing yawns that trigger orgasms. Which sounds pretty awesome but actually would totally suck.

One trait of yawning that has so far only been documented in humans, and our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees: contagious yawning. Though yawning itself is an ancient practice, contagious yawning must have evolved relatively recently. Humans are not susceptible to contagious yawning until they are several years old.

We’ve all noticed how contagious a yawn can be. Watching someone yawn can cause us to yawn too. In fact, just thinking about yawning is sufficient to induce a yawn. I’m willing to wager that by the time you finish reading this post, you will have yawned (if you haven’t already done so) or at the very least, felt like yawning.

This property of contagiousness has the potential to give us some insights into the neurological basis of imitation, face detection, and various other such social behaviours. Scientists have found that individuals with disorders like schizophrenia or autism (where the ability to infer the mental states of others is impaired), or even just schizotypal people, are markedly less prone to contagious yawning. It has even been suggested that increased rates of yawning might indicate that a person may recover from schizophrenia. Hmmmm.

Yet another fascinating aspect of yawning is the relationship between yawning and stretching, also called ‘pandiculation’. In humans as well as in animals, yawning is invariably accompanied by stretching upon waking up after sleeping, but almost never before falling asleep.

"Baby, I'm tired, do u mind if we just pandiculate tonight?"

"Sure, honey"
In many people who are paralyzed due to brain damage, pandiculation causes their otherwise immobile limbs to rise and flex automatically. This suggests that yawning activates undamaged, unconsciously controlled nerve connections between the brain and the cord motor system.

Hopefully, science may some day discover a therapeutic value of yawning for people with such conditions.

If you are interested in reading more about the research on yawns, you’ll surely find it very useful to read Robert Provine’s brilliant, jargon-free research paper "Yawning: The yawn is primal, unstoppable and contagious; revealing the evolutionary and neural basis of empathy and unconscious behavior" which you can get find here.

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Big Brother is Watching!

Stumbled upon this list of online cameras around NYC

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Ye Olde Gadgetry Shoppe

We had this computer when I was a kid. The venerable Apple IIe. I didn't use it all that much; we had a few games but the only one I remember was Super Boulder Dash and I only remember that title because I could never figure out how to play it. I wish I could recall the other games we had. I didn't do much typing on it, I was young and hadn't become the manic writer I am now. I wish I could find a pic of the Brother wordprocessor we had. I spent so many hours hunched over that thing writing stories and journals and such on this tiny black screen with yellow letters.

A few years after the Apple IIe I got this for Xmas: The "PXL 2000" (didn't you love when sticking a "2000" on the end of something made it seem so untouchably hi-tech?) Anyway, it was a Fisher Price video camera that recorded video onto audio cassettes; the video played back via a 4.5 inch black & white monitor that came with the system. I still come across random cassettes that I must've recorded movies on back then because when you play them through a stereo it sounds like whales bellowing underwater. A brilliant invention methinks. I heard these things got popular again recently too among these quasi-independent, experimental/avant-garde, and underground filmmakers due to its unique low-resolution pixelated black & white image. Whatevs. I got a real kick out of this thing back in the day.

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Pictures of people who still think America rules.

Gallery 1, Gallery 2, Gallery 3

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WSJ reporters stage an old fashioned "sick out"

Registering their disapproval of Rupert Murdoch's impending Dow Jones takeover, Wall Street Journal reporters "across the country chose not to show up to work this morning."

A statement from the Newspaper Guild notes that they take this action to "demonstrate our conviction that the Journal's editorial integrity depends on an owner committed to journalistic independence" and remind "Dow Jones management that the quality of its publications depends on a top-quality professional staff."

Read "A statement from Wall Street Journal reporters:"

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Frozen non-GMO organic cornmeal ravioli for ALL !

This time it's official. A new Trader Joe's will open at the former Independence Savings Bank building, on the corner of Court and Atlantic. Ooooh and parking will be a breeze!

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My dog needs a Xanax; Do animals really have a sixth sense?

One of my dogs has always been somewhat skittish ever since I adopted her. Her first phobia was men in hoods; she wasn't down with that at all; probably because whoever abused her as a pup was some plastic gangster from J-City whose friends wore hoodies all the time. Sudden loud noises like gunshots she isn't down with either, but I don't see anything wrong with that; some things should be startling or else we'd all be dead, right?

But over the past year or so she's developed a very intense fear of thunder and lightning and rainstorms. She becomes completely inconsolable from before the storm until the following morning.

I could lay a fresh human femur bone at her feet but if its pouring outside, she couldn't care less. She just paces and pants and her little rabbit heart thumps in her chest. I feel so helpless, its really awful.

She'd taken to hiding in the shower but now even that seems like it isn't working. Last night I made her a cardboard hut which I put it on top of the chaise lounge like a little dry-land fort but she wasn't into that, either. She just hid under my chair at the computer and huffed and puffed her hot nervous dog breath on my ankles.

Today I read that this isn't uncommon and that "many dogs are not afraid of thunder or fireworks for the first few years of their lives and many people report that their dog was not in the slightest bit afraid of thunder until it was four or five years old while others say that the fear manifested in their dog's senior years." I found that very interesting but still puzzling. "It's interesting to note that during hurricanes the experts tell us to go to the smallest room in the house. Perhaps dogs know this instinctively?"

I've read a good bit about animals and their so-called 'sixth sense' and attunement or natural intuition. Many examples of what people call a "sixth sense", are probably just heightened and enhanced versions of the stable of five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell; there isn't anything paranormal about it at all actually.

So when dogs react to sounds beyond those heard by humans they can appear to react with no information but this is not really a sixth sense, but higher scaling in their sense of hearing compared to humans.

"A source of intuition that may be genuine would arise when creatures attune with their environment or niche, so that they become a part of that nature. The gifts would be especially potent if the animal or human could attune to the point of being wild. From such an integrated position within the environment, a person would have more direct linkages with initial and subtle information that an estranged person would fail to notice. The attuned person would have greater perception and wisdom, and apparent intuition, for their surroundings. They might appear to have a sixth sense, and know what was about to happen."

Attunement intuition is not actually a new sense, but a way of gaining extra meaning or making better use of the existing senses. Indigenous people know where to find food, and when to seek shelter because of signs in the weather, better than a tourist. They might be able to sense when a dangerous animal was approaching, by recognising the silence of nearby animals; a sailor can sense the wind direction better than a land lubber, etc.

A book I read, but never finished, not too long ago researched elephants and found they are particularly hypersensitive to seismic shock waves and actually communicate employing this method. Therefore, they appear to detect earthquakes long before many other animals, and flee from their direction.

You may recall hearing in the news when the massive tsunami hit Sri Lanka and the coastlines of India on the day after Xmas 2004, wild and domestic animals seemed to know what was about to happen and fled to safety. According to eyewitness accounts, elephants screamed and ran for higher ground, dogs refused to go outdoors and zoo animals rushed into their shelters and could not be enticed to come back out. We now know what followed but at the time, no one really thought anything of it. It wasn't until much later, obviously, that we put the two things together and they made eerie sense.

So, really its all scientific. Right?

Frequencies capable of being heard by humans are called audio or sonic. Frequencies higher than audio are referred to as ultrasonic; dogs are able to hear ultrasound, which is the principle of 'silent' dog whistles. Take this and the fact that a dogs sense of smell is 50 to 200 times stronger than ours, I would assume our dogs might know something was up before we did because their sensory perception is so much stronger.

If I'm walking my dog and she starts growling or barking at some dude, I usually agree with her choice as its usually some sketchy or shady character looming in the shadows. Chances are before I can even see the dude, she's made her character analysis and when we pass by him, she is going to make her presentation. Lassie wasn't a genius, she was a dog. And dogs are geniuses. It's simple, really.

However this doesn't explain everything. The elephants ran because they knew the tsunami was coming; they knew it was coming because of the oceans seismic rumbling; that's a scientific case closed. My dog is deathly afraid of rain and I'm not sure why but I am certain it has something to do with her acute (and adorable) hypersenses. I think we can chalk her thunder phobia up to something scientific. My dog barks at some sketchy dude because she probably picked up on his shady pheromones before he was even in my sight; and I think we can close that case, too, because the evil dude is there right in front of me giving off the bad vibes. My dog wasn't picking something up on her radar that was unseen and a million miles away.

So can animals sense intangible evil?

On the morning of September 11th I was walking my dog; I only had one at the time and its not the one who's afraid of rain now. Normally this dog was a perfect walker; I'd take her outside, she'd do her biz and we'd go back home. She'd watch Animal Planet on the couch and I'd leave for work. But that morning she was acting very strangely. And of course I only still remember that one walk out of a million walks because of what would happen later that day, but its worth noting.

I don't want to confound this entry anymore than I already have so I won't get into the fact that she made me late that morning and by making me late she very well could have saved my life because the route I took to work back then, had me driving right under the WTC right around the time the first plane hit. So, for as selectively superstitious as I am, I'll chalk that up to coincidence. Whether or not I had to leave for work and she made me late for my commute, she was still acting weird on that fateful morning.

She was whimpering and standing still and wasn't at all interested in taking a dump or peeing on the curb. She was preoccupied with something. And trust me, I take everything with a grain of a salt and I'm aware that with hindsight and with a tragedy like 9/11 maybe our minds want to create these terrific miraculous stories. But I swear to you, I am not. I remember thinking to myself how odd she was acting and I was getting frustrated because I wanted her to do her biz and I had to leave for work; I was running late as it was. It wasn't until later that I put the two things together and realised she was acting odd on that particular morning.

There is nothing scientific about September 11th prior to 8:46 a.m when the first plane hit. This wasn't a natural disaster; it wasn't a tsunami; my dog couldn't have physically felt the seismic rumblings of a particular plane in the denim sky; it was business as usual on a Tuesday morning in New York City.

So I really have no idea why she was acting so strange and nothing to attribute it to other than coincidence, but its such a coincidence that you want to think its something more. I can only think that in some way she was reacting to some unseen bad vibes - just like when they react to sketchy characters on the street - are they picking up on some sort of impending doom?

I can only intelligently assume its a lot like Voltron*; that when an animals standard five ├╝ber-heightened senses combine they form this somewhat magical and mysterious sixth sense; making them able to pick up on stuff that we can only dream about.

That's as simple as I can put it; coincidentally, that's where it all starts sounding very hokey.

Related: Can Animals Sense Earthquakes? from National Geographic News

*if you were really paying attention, you'd know that was the second time I've mentioned Voltron this week.

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Hot celeb garbage for sale: Website guarantees that all items shown were taken from the trash bins outside Paris Hilton's Hollywood home

Dudes are selling celebrity trash, no, literally; they're selling ish from celeb's garbage cans. I guess they've got a friend who's a garbageman in Hollywood. Right now the site is still in its infancy so all they've got is some garden variety Paris Hilton trash (an empty box of SunMaid raisins, used travel-size Degree deodorant, an empty Guess box, an empty can of organic gourmet dog food, an empty Sierra Nevada Pale Ale bottle, Glacial water bottle partially full with cigarette butt, etc.) Personally, I'm holding out for Selma Hayek's Q-Tips.

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Nancy Pelosi has a guilty conscience

Et tu, Brute?

Speaker of the Haus Nancy Pelosi is working hard to make sure that the fiery liberals remember that she is one of them. She's also been going out of her way to reassure opponents of the war that she is on their side. That's not good.

Her efforts are taking place in speeches and interviews off Capitol Hill and away from the constraints and compromises inherent in running the House. Liberal lawmakers and activists accuse Pelosi of being too cautious.

In recent speeches and interviews, Pelosi has acknowledged the left’s frustration with the war and asked it to work with congressional Democrats to help alter the political climate.

More from The Hill

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White House Asserts "Executive Privilege": OK, now there's BEEF

The White House, moving toward a constitutional showdown with Congress, asserted executive privilege today and rejected lawmakers' demands for documents that could shed light on the firings of federal prosecutors.

President Bush's attorney told Congress the White House would not turn over subpoenaed documents for former presidential counsel Harriet Miers and former political director Sara Taylor.

Read more from Breitbart

Related: I just posted this like an hour ago... The Senate subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's office yesterday, demanding documents and elevating the confrontation with President Bush over the administration's warrant-free eavesdropping on Americans. Oh, hang on, I think I hear a Rage Against The Machine song.

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Uh, yeah

So the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (or S.E.C.) just marched through with lots of blinding white starch, tortoiseshell eyeglasses, clipboards and questions. Naturally, this is what I was working on looking at when they walked by. I've always sorta been into the Beasties but they're instrumental stuff really puts me to bed; so boring. ZZzzzzzzz. And I guess their new record "The Mix-Up" is all of that conga, farfisa organ and tabla jam stuff. Yuck.

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Hello Thursday

  • When I worked in morning radio and woke up late, there were a few times I awoke to the sound of the hosts talking about me saying "where the F is he?!" on the air. It was the most surreal alarm clock ever. This is not unlike that, I guess, on a much larger scale. And I'm not late for work. I'm here drinking an iced coffee.

  • The famous leaning tower of Pisa isn't leaning so much anymore after a £20 million project to save it was hailed a success yesterday. The tower, which was on the verge of collapse, was straightened by 18 inches returning it to its 1838 position. I always loved favoured its 1838 position, though I have friends who enjoy the 1605 position.

  • OK now they're burning gas stations in Iran.

  • Warren Buffett, the third-richest man in the world, criticised the US tax system for allowing him to pay a lower rate than his secretary and his cleaning lady. Speaking at a $4,600-a-seat NYC fundraiser for Hillary, Buffett, who is worth an estimated $52 billion said: “The 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 % of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 %" An obscenely rich guy with a conscience? This copy can't be right!

  • The Senate subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's office yesterday, demanding documents and elevating the confrontation with President Bush over the administration's warrant-free eavesdropping on Americans. Oh, hang on, I think I hear a Rage Against The Machine song.

  • I love little sh*t stories like these: "Distrust of the United States has intensified across the world, but overall views of America remain very or somewhat favourable among majorities in 25 of 47 countries surveyed in a major international opinion poll, the Pew Research Center reported Wednesday." The who research center? What?

  • Po-po say a 19-year-old dude was shot to death last night on the Q train in Brooklyn. The victim was taken to Coney Island Hospital where he was pronounced dead. There are no arrests at this time but the investigation is ongoing...
    UPDATE: According to witnesses, Trevell Belton was shot as the train pulled into the Avenue U stop. Belton collapsed on the platform, while the shooter and his friend ran away. The Post reports that the train was packed with teens leaving Manhattan Beach, where Belton had been visiting. An investigator told the Post that Belton and a shooter were arguing because they were wearing rival gang colors. Also, the investigator said the beach was packed because a radio station had encouraged kids to head out there to protest suggestions that the beach was being overrun by "thugs."

  • Police Raid Drug-Infested Housing Project Owned by Ex-Met Big Mo Vaughn...

  • A Jersey City police dog killed some lady's Chihuahua. The police K-9, a 4-year-old German shepherd named Rommel, has been taken out of service until he can be evaluated by a canine training specialist. I'm picturing Rommel laying on a chaise lounge with a therapist, "Rommel, what made you do this?" and Rommel starts crying.

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27 June 2007

Oh Wednesday, where have you gone?

Looking back at Wednesday...

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Karazy MSNBC anchor tears up Paris Hilton script

Here's a clip of Mika Brzezinski "refusing" to talk about Paris Hilton on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show. This is SO faux.

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BLACKOUTS REPORTED... somehow our computers here are still working

Power outages have been reported on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and in the Bronx. Also, the MTA is reporting sporadic power outages on the 4, 5, 6, E and V subway lines in Manhattan, and the D line in the Bronx.

More from 1010 WINS

More from WNBC.com

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Liz Claiborne Dies

Fashion designer Liz Claiborne has died. She was 78.

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Survivor: Brooklyn

Sometimes I come across stuff that I'm so excited to immortalise and share with you I barely have time to wrap my own head around them; my mind is typing faster than my fingers can think and I'm writing faster than I'm absorbing because I'm so excited... Often times, I'll just skim the article, pick up the main points, summarise it and post it here. Like right now, after I'm done typing out this entry, I'll actually go read for myself the article I'm alerting you all to go read. Do you follow? I hope so. Try and keep up. I work fast :)

Ever since I was a kid, well at least since school trips in long yellow buses with hunter green vinyl seats where you were high up enough to see down below over the sides, anytime I drove over the Verrazano Bridge, I've always noted the little unknown uninhabited islands in the water and wondered why they weren't filled with fancy people doing fancy things. The Narrows Yacht Club for instance...

Well, I just stumbled upon an article in New York Magazine about a guy who had also made note of these little egg-shaped islands from his vantage point in a 747 and decided he'd go and visit them; all of them, or at least as many as he could to see what he could see and find what he could find.

Related: Survivor: Brooklyn from Gothamist

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Life and Times of Hassan Haj: A New Series

Ever since he was boy Hassan was always very focused.

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Hold my calls, I'm off to lunch

  • Mad beef betwixt Madge and Miss Jackson... Madonna Madonna Madonna was hanging with Shakira at Butter on Monday night with Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and Penelope Cruz (eh). Janet Jackson was hanging a few booths down and, "She was not invited to join Madonna's crew," said a spy, who told us the table drank "seven bottles of champagne and a ton of beer." Holla.

  • Monday marked the first day of principal photography of the new Indiana Jones film. Spielberg shares a brief video from that day. Geez, we really are engulfed in the age of the instant gratification blogospheria.

  • The Face Your Pockets "Project" began in Russia. The website wants people to empty their pockets or bags, place them on a scanner and then stick their faces on the scanner, too.

  • Weezer, The Verve and The goddamn Squirrel Nut Zippers are all "back"

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Apocalypse ASAP

Let's check in with the rest of the world and see whats crackin... Shall we?

  1. Russia = climate change, nuclear war, same sh*t.
  2. South Africa = first snowfall in 25+ years
  3. Australia = citrus farmers fear damage after coldest June ever
OK, good. Everything seems OK.

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Americans are feeling enormous "Paris fatigue"; US Weekly blacks out P_ _ _ _ coverage? I smell a rat

Paris Hilton got out of jail yesterday and she won't be on the cover of US Weekly on Friday?!

How, barring the unraveling of the Seventh Seal, is this possible?!

"When it came down to it, the staff and I felt what I believe a lot of people in America are feeling. Which is just enormous Paris fatigue," US Weekly Editor Janice Min told AP.

Now, is that something I can call out sick for? A case of Paris fatigue?

As a result of this new phenom of malaise, Hilton not only won't be on the cover, there won't even be a mention of her in the magazine. HOLLA!

That was no easy task, she said, adding US Weekly editors had to comb carefully through every beauty story and every fashion item to make sure there wasn't an offhand mention of the hotel heiress somewhere... hahaha! But, um, isn't there a program that can do that? Yes, there is, but hey, who am I to deny a few already overpaid editors some bogus O.T.?

The Associated Press put in place a similar Hilton moratorium for a week earlier this year, just to see what would happen. Ooh, what a daring experiment. But as it turned out, the celebutante didn't do much that was of interest to anyone that week anyway. AP: Foiled again!

Still, Min expects her magazine will do just fine without Paris.

Hilton, she said, has become such a mainstream media staple "that in many ways her time with US Weekly has moved on." Oh OK, riiiiiight Janice. US Weekly: the bastion of journalism pour le intelligentsia has "moved on" from stories about celebutantes and taints.

So look instead for a US Weekly cover photo Friday of Tom Cruise's baby and, inside the magazine, a dozen pages of other Hollywood babies. Oh, now THAT'S candor! A Hollywood baby gallery? How exciting and different!!

So is Janice Min really becoming Winston Churchill or is "Paris Fatigue" simply US Weekly's clever concoction to distract the fact that People ponied up and beat them to the exclusive with Miss Thang?! Hmmmmm...

Enquiring minds wanna know.

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Names released in Bay Ridge bakery accident

A few details about the incident yesterday afternoon outside Your Baker in Bay Ridge (HOLLA). Reports say that the driver of a Honda CR-V "made a wrong turn" (1010 WINS) and/or "mashed the accelerator" (Daily News).

The SUV jumped the curb, hitting Lance Sevorwell (throwing him 15 feet in the air), and then pinning Lyudmila Piyavskaya, a 53-year-old Ukrainian woman, against the front of the bakery. Piyavskaya was instantly killed and Sevorwell had leg and head injuries. Daily News reports that the driver Lou Lou Sayeg got out of her car, crying, "Oh my God!" and "I killed that lady!" (you sure did, beeotch). Her passenger had minor injuries; Sayeg was not charged. Piyavskaya's upset husband said,

"I was with her earlier, but I had to go to Queens. I wish I could have been with her. I could have saved her. I could have pushed her out of the way."
That is f*cking sad. Makes me wanna eat a whole cake and say F it.

Life is short; dress, spend, eat and love accordingly.

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WWF releases Benoit's cryptic text messages

It keeps getting more bizarre with every detail ...

Chris Benoit sent a series of text messages to WWE co-workers, some from his dead wife's cell phone. According to WWE.com, all 5 text messages were sent between 3:53 AM and 3:58 AM on June 24. He then committed suicide.

The messages revealed that Benoit distributed information on where to find his remains, and the enclosed location of his attack dogs.

Below are the times and content of text messages Benoit sent to co-workers, as first reported by WWE:

3:53 AM - Chris Benoit's cell phone: "My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane, Fayeteville Georgia. 30215"

3:53 AM - Chris Benoit's cell phone: "The dogs are in the enclosed pool area. Garage side door is open."

3:54 AM - Nancy Benoit's cell phone: "My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane. Fayeteville Georgia. 30215"

3:55 AM - Nancy Benoit's cell phone: "My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane, Fayeteville Georgia. 30215"

3:58 AM - Nancy Benoit's cell phone: "My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane, Fayeteville Georgia. 30215"
Now that the authorities have revealed the grisly details of Chris Benoit's final days, the WWE is changing their tune. In a televised statement Vince McMahon made it clear that they will no longer honour the memory of the murdering wrestler:

"Last night on 'Monday Night Raw,' the WWE presented a special tribute show, recognising the career of Chris Benoit. However, now some 26 hours later, the facts of this horrific tragedy are now apparent. Therefore, other than my comments, there will be no mention of Mr. Benoit tonight. On the contrary, tonight's show will be dedicated to everyone who has been affected by this terrible incident. This evening marks the first step of the healing process. Tonight, the WWE performers will do what they do better than anyone else in the world -- entertain you."

From exploding hearts to drug use and even to some unsolved cases TMZ.com compiled a gallery of many other pro-wrestlers who checked out either early or mysteriously or both.

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You're kidding me, right?

Who the F thought this was a good idea?

A new motorized "amphibian touring vehicle travels from midtown 'splashing' into the Hudson River before returning to midtown". Ummm... yeah. Thanks, but I don't want to be splashed on by the Hudson or East River.

Grody, totally f*cking grody.

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Cokeheads or Aliens? or Aliens on coke? or both

This is a photo of a cornfield in the village of Dussen in the south Netherlands.

The driver, high on coke, destroyed the entire cornfield in an attempt to escape from the police. Four police cars were destroyed before the 35-year-old crashed into a ditch and was arrested.

Does this mean all those crop cirlces over the years were just cokeheads doing donuts?

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Is The Splasher the new Zodiac Unabomber?

This morning the Gothamist received a small package containing three copies of a small newspaper. On the cover were the words "if we did it, this is how it would've happened" (a tribute to the recent unpublished OJ Simpson book) and a picture of a defaced Shepard Fairey piece in Williamsburg. Amazing... Gothamist breaks it all down for us here.

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Squalid Americana: it's Wednesday

  • Today I decided I'm going to write a book. Non-fiction, disjointed stories, random observations, things like that. A memoir if you will of the first few decades of my life. I've always wanted to write a book, but today I decided I truly need to. I have so much stuff I need to compile and so much more I need to download from my head and immortalise on pulp before I get really old and forget even more details. I have a few publishing routes I could take which I plan to exhaust and if those don't work, I'll try something else, but I need to be published. Today is Wednesday, June 27 2007. Let's see how long it will take me. Wish me luck!

  • Attention fellow inhabitants of Manhattan island: Starbucks coffee isn't really all that great. You are in midtown Manhattan. There are six million people dying to sell you a cup of coffee; six million avenues you could take to get a cup of coffee in SECONDS but for some bizarre reason unknown to me you'll stand on line in the sweltering summer boil for an exalted cup of exorbitantly overpriced and truly not-that-great Starbucks coffee. I think there needs to be a modern addendum to the holy commandments; an eleventh commandment which will say: Thou Shall Not Wait In Line For More Than 1 Minute For A Cup Of Black Water. Maybe I'm not the coffee connoisseur but for the most part, coffee is coffee is coffee. I prefer Dunkin Donuts coffee over Starbucks and I prefer a cup of diner coffee over both of them and I'd take a cup of coffee from a coffee cart over them all but I certainly would not wait in a LINE for 10,15,20 MINUTES for the HONOUR of BUYING a cup of coffee from anyone. I just don't get this phenom. These people over here make millions of dollars, they play in sandboxes of shredded hundreds all day; could they really be this dumb? Cattle, all.

  • Express Bus Etiquette; The Silent Code: Everyday I take an MTA express bus from Brooklyn to 48th street in midtown Manhattan. In the morning, I get on the bus pretty early on its route; I think my stop is the second or third stop, so when I board the world is my oyster; any seat in the house is mine for the taking. By the time the bus reaches the eighth and ninth stop it starts getting crowded and people start getting cagey and territorial. A commonly employed method of discouraging someone else from sitting next to you is to choose the outside seat in the row. That way if someone dares sit next to you when there are no more empty rows, they'll have to commit to asking you to get up so they can take the window seat which you assume is a big hassle and fuss. Its exactly like arming your home against burglars: you hope they'll just give up on your fortress and move on to an easier target. Another classic age-old deterrent is the ole make yourself as big and mean as possible trick (also good for scaring away bears and tigers); cover as much area as humanly possible with your body and then stack bags on your lap and on the seat next to you, creating a mound of luggage and flesh. Chances are that new passenger, that late-to-the-party motherf*cker (who's only fault is that they happen to live further down on the bus route) will move on down the line and sit next to someone else. I need to befriend a pocket-size psychologist and take him or her with me everywhere I go because everything I see has some sort of deep rooted trip to it. These people guarding their seats and surrounding them with virtual firewalls; its very 'call of the wild'; very primitive. Which blows my mind because no matter what year it is, no matter how far along we've come with modern technology, humans will always be the same. You can put us in a $200,000 car with every Jetsons amenity available and we still won't let people cut in a line waiting for a bridge or a toll; we're still wild, territorial, human animals in spaceships.

  • Anthony Bourdain's "Nasty Bits" is the quintessential bathroom reader. It's written in beautiful short and concise stop-start chapters and it's all over the place. It's perfect, it never gets old and its way more hip than grandma's Readers Digest. Which leads me to ask, has Readers Digest ever published an issue without including a story about a guy pinned under his own car who cuts his arm off to escape? Maybe in their Xmas issue they'd leave that one out, otherwise, it's always there, they must have a giant file of those stories because its always either that or a story about a woman summoning superhuman strength and lifting a jackknifed 18-wheeler off of her trapped Lhasa Apso.

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Killed while looking at cakes? I can think of worse ways to go

2 men were injured and a woman was killed when an SUV jumped the curb and slammed into the front of Your Baker on 86th street.

The 40-year-old driver of a Honda CRV made a wrong turn and lost control hitting a man waiting at the bus stop. Then, slamming on the gas instead of the brakes she continued onto the sidewalk where she hit a man who was walking along and then slammed into a woman standing in front of Your Baker with her back turned looking at the cakes in the window. The woman was killed instantly.

The two men that were hurt were taken to Lutheran and their conditions are unknown. The driver of the SUV and a passenger in another car were also injured and taken to Lincoln Medical Center. Their conditions are also unknown.

Dying sucks but if we don't know when its coming, I wouldn't mind looking at cakes before the lights went out.

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26 June 2007


Peep the new video from Interpol, "The Heinrich Maneuver"

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Details come to light on gruesome Benoit murder/suicide

Pro wrestler Chris Benoit strangled his wife, suffocated his 7-year-old son and placed a bible next to their bodies before hanging himself with the pulley of a weight machine.

Benoit was a quiet, roughhewn figure amid the glitz and bluster of pro wrestling. He performed under his real name, eschewed scripted personas and didn't bother to fix a gap where he had lost one of his front teeth. (According to the WWE Web site, he lost the tooth while roughhousing with his pet Rottweiler, awww monkey)

Authorities offered no motive for the killings, which were spread out over a weekend, and would not discuss Benoit's state of mind. No suicide note was found.

Investigators found prescription anabolic steroids in the house and want to know whether Benoit was unhinged by the bodybuilding drugs, which can cause paranoia, depression and explosive outbursts known as "roid rage." Eh, yeah, but I've never heard of "roid rage" lasting an entire weekend. I think he just lost his f#king mind.

Continue reading..................................

District Attorney Scott Ballard dropped some more knowledge on the bizarre story saying Benoit's 7 year old son "had needle marks in his arms and it was believed that the boy had been given growth hormones for some time because the family considered him undersized." Ballard said it seemed that Benoit was making "an effort to try and get somebody to come find the bodies after the suicide" by sending out several creepy and cryptic text messages to friends and neighbours saying he knew his "wife and son were both sick" and that the front door was open and the pet's were outside.

There was a documented history of domestic violence and violent outbursts; his wife Nancy Benoit, 43, filed for a divorce in 2003, saying the couple's three-year marriage was irrevocably broken and alleging "cruel treatment." Though she would later dropped the complaint, as well as a request for a restraining order in which she charged that her husband had threatened her and had broken furniture in their home.

District Attorney Ballard said that Benoit's wife was killed Friday in an upstairs family room, her feet and wrists were bound and there was blood under her head, indicating a possible struggle; it appeared that she had been pinned to the floor and asphyxiated with some sort of cable.

The 7-year-old son, Daniel, was probably killed late Saturday or early Sunday, the body found in his bed. Ballard indicated that he had been choked to death.

Benoit, 40, apparently killed himself several hours or as long as a day later. His body was found in a downstairs weight room, his body found hanging from the pulley of a piece of exercise equipment. Ballard said that he had used weights, the pulley and cable to choke himself to death.

Ballard said he found it "bizarre" that the WWE wrestling star spread out the killings over a weekend and appeared to remain in the house for up to a day with the bodies; telling ESPN.com that investigators smelled what they ascertained to be decomposing bodies when they entered the home. The varying degrees of decomposition between the bodies helped indicate the staggered times of death.

From ESPN.com: Steroids discovered in probe of slayings, suicide

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Tuesday To Go

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Confessions of a Morrissey stalker

One of my best friends is one of these Moz lunatics. I think he flew red-eye to Guam one time to see Moz play charity mini-golf so of course he was there when Moz was taping Letterman in his own backyard yesterday.

My boy managed to snap a few (creepy, total stalker, dude in a tree with binoculars) pics of the legend with his trusty Moz-loving Sidekick...

Moz getting back on his Prevost to the next tour stop I guess
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Moz with the famous Hello Deli in the background, maybe he was going to get one of those shrink-wrapped corn muffins?
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This one confuses me. Is that Moz in the distance? and whats this giant blue thing? A waterslide? Moz likes waterslides and demanded CBS have one installed for him to play on before the Letterman taping?
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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Richard Masur deemed worthy by Gawker!

Allright, Richie! you still got street cred, kid.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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We been here since last Tuesday

iPhones go on sale Friday, I'm assuming on tonights local news they'll do the tired story about the dolts who have been camping outside Best Buy since last Wednesday. Wanna make a bet?

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Martin Kove vs. Richard Masur

I just realised yesterday afternoon when I spied Richard Masur it was the exact same spot where I spied Martin Kove a few weeks ago; 45th and 5th; which is somewhat eerie because Richard Masur and Martin Kove are like rival sublebrities- at least in my mind and for the sake of this article they are.

I think Masur may be slightly more well-respected because he was president of SAG for a few years and I think he won an Academy Award or two, where as Martin Kove played the malicious Cobra Kai Sensei John Kreese in the Karate Kid movies and then, for all intents and purposes, vanished, even though he's never stopped working. For me, Richard Masur played the dad in License to Drive and also vanished, though he too never stopped working.

Now if someone were to tell me Martin and Richard acted in a movie together, I'd freak out and the world just might end. Otherwise that's all I've got for this one. See ya!

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Tuesday is Newsday

  • WWF wrestler dude Chris Benoit canceled a pay-per-view appearance in Houston because of "personal reasons" a day before he, his wife and their 7-year-old son were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide. WWF said it had asked authorities to check on Benoit and his family after being alerted by friends who received "several curious text messages sent by Benoit early Sunday morning." Weird, tragic & sad. UPDATE: Authorities also said they are investigating whether steroids may have been a factor in the deaths. Benoit strangled his wife and smothered his son before hanging himself in his weight room.

  • The king of the jungle doesn't frighten the lion whisperer... Animal behaviourist Kevin Richardson has such an intimate bond with big cats that he can spend the night curled up with them without the slightest fear of attack. Richardson, 32, who is based in a wildlife conservation area near Johannesburg in South Africa, works his unusual magic on other species too. Cheetahs, leopards and even unpredictable hyenas hold no threats for him. These pics are adorable.

  • I kinda love hard-ass John McCain... the other day he told a crowd of supporters if anyone thinks he's out of the running, they must be "smoking something". I love it.

  • Shark pregnancy baffles aquarium

  • Gaggle of total Johnsons just walked by my desk, presumably on their way to a power lunch at The Four Seasons; discussing home theater equipment or whatever Johnson #1 suggested a certain brand saying:

    "Y'know if ya have the money and the space blah blah blah..."

    Johnson #2 responded quizzically, "Why, such-and-such brand is very expensive?"

    To which the all-knowing-Johnson #1 said "No... not... not exaggeratingly so".

    Now, who the F says exaggeratingly?!?!?!!

    There is simply NO WAY anyones brain could automatically access that word; thats a word you have to really look for, behind mental furniture and underneath cerebral couch cushions before it comes out of your mouth. Nobody says "exaggeratingly", nobody.

    Boys, could you do me a favour and keep those kinds of words away from my desk; I'm trying to keep this area neat, thanks!

  • I spied some pics of Paris Hilton free as a bird from prison and she actually didn't look half-bad, a lot softer and less like a fish skeleton in a Tom & Jerry cartoon. Maybe she finally got some carbs in lockdown? I mean holding Paris down and forcefeeding her bread and white rice is akin to a bloody shanking in the shower to a regular inmate. Right?

  • New Ferrell / Pearl skit is online. Sadly, it will be her last. So, enjoy!

  • 62-year-old comedian turned Law & Order SVU star Richard Belzer says he's gonna write two "mystery books". OK, fair enough. But wait, there's more. Belzer said "it is with great enthusiasm that I will bring the world of show business, celebrity worship, sly social commentary and even 'cameos' by real celebrities into my literary adventures"... Ummm... Uhhh... Errr.... "a potent mix of Dashiell Hammett, Oscar Wilde, Lenny Bruce and Robert Altman seasoned by the Belzerian vision of life, as the wry and raucous, raunchy worlds of make-believe and reality converge, this is the first 'reality novel' of the new millennium that explores a unique universe that poses the question, 'What is reality?'"Ok, Belz, bro, you just killed it. You shoulda just left it as "I'm gonna write 2 books".

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Panic on the streets of...

I still love New York but pics like this really make me itch and wanna move far, far away.

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Charmed Life: A Memoir {Part One}

This particular blog is based on actual events. In certain cases incidents, characters and timelines have been changed for dramatic purposes. Certain characters may be composites, or entirely fictitious.

There was a time when I woke up early, real early. I was awake as the city never sleeps slept. I rode the subway with construction workers and the homeless and that's it. You know that feeling when you've been out all night and you sleep for an hour or two before you've gotta be somewhere else? That's how I felt every morning; that chill; that hot shiver is hard to explain.

Walking down the middle of 57th Street on the yellow stripes like a tightrope I saw dudes on their hands and knees polishing up that gold embedded in the sidewalk outside the Russian Tea Room. It was me, a few circling taxis and the coffee truck guys unhooking their carts from their AstroVans. They all have AstroVans.

I worked for a big time raido guy. BS'd my way into a gig there and showed my face a lot, got known, pitched ideas and they liked me. I was somewhat covered in tattoos before the whole world was so I was still a freak and they enjoyed that, naturally. I got an offer across town at a rival shop but the money was better so I took it; heard through the grapevine that big time radio guy wasn't happy. Hearing that was bittersweet. Who the F was I anyway?

So I took this other gig and it was like summer camp. I busted my ass but it was fun work. I'd BS'd my way into this gig hot on the heels of my gig with the big time guy. The new shop assumed I knew what I was doing since I worked for big time; I didn't; I had no idea, I just made it up as I went along. I can clearly recall one of the interns being quite resentful that I had the gig yet I was asking him how to use the gear. Later that same intern learned what band(s) I was in and everything changed; suddenly he was cool to me and we became bro's.

The gig was a goof. I basically answered the phones during a radio show and screened the callers. I still miss that gig. I loved being the gatekeeper to the airwaves and having grown up making prank phone calls anytime my parents left the house, I was a pro at detecting when someones story was full of ish or when someone just wanted to get past me and on the air so they could yell some B.S. or attack the hosts of the show. I really loved that gig. I miss going to my cockpit everyday.

After the show we'd sit in the back office and brainstorm for tomorrows show: "Hey, how about we have some strippers come in and roll around in kitty litter to win Yankees tickets or we could have people bob for dogsh*t to win WWF tickets?!" Stuff like that. This was work. I got paid to do this ish and all the free swag I could wear or swallow.

It was the hot sauce radio era, circa 2000-early 2001. I say hot sauce because around this time all these hack radio hosts were realising how much fun you could have on-air simply introducing hot sauce to the equation. If there was a bottle of hot sauce in the studio, chances are someone was gonna dare someone to do something with it. Nearly every contest would somehow involve hot sauce; dudes doing shots of hot sauce, dudes putting wasabi on their nuts, dudes pouring hot sauce in their ears, etc.

There were just so many new upstart companies with products to hock to this particular male demographic; this was the dawn of Viagra and all these herbal wanna-be Viagras that promised this or that; it was all snake-oil smoke and mirror pills. But there was just so damn much of it that you had to think up ideas for contests on a daily basis, and it wasn't easy to do something a) funny b) fresh c) original.

Looking back, it was the final frontier for terrestrial radio; the new and final wild west renaissance. There was a window or a vacuum there when the FCC seemed to be busy with other ish. We did stuff on the air then that we might face jail time for today, and I'm not even being dramatic; if not jail time, we'd definitely be fired, immediately.

It was like Las Vegas before they ran the mob outta town and Wall Street before it got hosed down. But just like Vegas and Wall, eventually it would all come crashing and everyone would lose their jobs.

To be continued...

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The only thing I truly remember from college...

is the Drei Kaiser Bund.

I learned it in history class at Fordham Lincoln Center. This term has stuck with me more than anything from all my schooling and I've no idea why or what I was doing at the time I learned about it that has caused this decade+ fixation. It's quite strange.

Around that time, circa 1996, I was definitely scribbling down ideas for the name of my bands first album as we were being courted by a few labels. Maybe I was interrupted from my back page of the marble notebook brainstorming sesh by a rousing lecture on these three kaisers? I need to see a psychiatrist so they can somehow figure this out and why this one random historical tidbit has stuck with me for so long.

So allow me to school you on the one thing I learned in school for I am the worlds foremost Drei Kaiser Bund expert. I've been all over the world teaching lads about this event and only this even when Kaiser Wilhelm II, Mehmed V, Franz Joseph were the 3 tenors emperors of the Central Powers in World War I, and together they formed a Voltron of sorts naming it the "Drei Kaiser Bund".

France recovered very rapidly from the terrible blow dealt her by Germany during WWI. The French worked hard and saved their money. In less than 2 years, France had paid off the last cent of the one billion dollar indemnity, and the German troops were obliged to go home.

France had adopted the same military system that Germany had, and required all young men to serve 2 years in the army and be ready at a moment's notice to rush to arms. France also began to build up a strong navy, and to spread colonies in Africa and other parts of the world.

This rapid recovery of France surprised and disturbed Bismarck, who thought that never again, after the war of 1870, would France become a strong power.

Otto von Bismarck had tried to renew the old "Holy Alliance" between Germany, Russia, and Austria with the idea of preventing the spread of republics. These were the 3 nations which gave their people very few rights, and which stood for the "divine right of kings" and for the crushing of all republics.

Eddie Van Bismarck called this new combination the "Drei-kaiser-bund" or three-emperor-bond. Bismarck himself says that the proposed alliance fell to pieces because of the lies and treachery of Prince Gortchakoff, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mad aged beef.

And that's what I learned in college. After that I went to The College of Staten Island a.k.a 13th Grade where dudes bought peanut M&M's in vending machines to get their protein for the day before going for a tan. Somehow, I turned out allright.

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THIS is why ya gotta love the Mets

Part of why I think Mets fans love the Mets with such fervor is because they've never been Hollywood. Even in '86, they were characters, but never intangible comic book heroes.

The Mets have always been the team that even though you know they don't, you can sorta imagine that after a home game they all walk home with their Kahn's gym bags to their humble Corona row houses on Roosevelt Avenue.

I mean, look how excited they are in this picture, welcoming Shawn Green, who hit a walk-off 11th inning home run, to the plate. Only the 1st place Mets get this genuinely excited about a win versus the 3rd place Cardinals at the end of June.

Only the Mets.

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I Spy A Celeb

I see a lot of celebs around these Park Avenue parts, I usually send my sightings to Gawker because they do that Gawker Stalker thing but from now on, whenever I see a celeb I just know they won't care about, I'll post it here.

So yesterday I saw this dude. It's Richard Masur. Richard Masur is a total "Ohhhhh, that dude". He's a familiar face but he hasn't really been typecast and its hard to recall where the F you know him from. In fact, I realised the only place I truly remembered Masur from is 1988's "License to Drive" with The Coreys: Haim and Feldman. I f*cking loved that movie. He played the neurotic dad and he was great. Now I really wanna go rent that ish.

So yeah, I saw your boy walking down 5th Avenue looking very granola in olive khakis, sunglasses, some sort of linen safari shirt and awful gray New Balance running sneakers, oh and he was wearing a backpack, I assumed it was full of trail mix.

This is from his official bio on imdb:

Versatile character actor whose quality TV movie roles over the years have ranged from playing a Senate investigator in Adam (1983) (TV), to a child molester in the acclaimed Fallen Angel (1981) (TV), to a gay cop in When the Bough Breaks (1986) (TV). He also received an Emmy nomination for his performance, opposite Farrah Fawcett (also nominated) as an abused wife and mother in The Burning Bed (1984) (TV).

Peep his resume, my man has been in 7 million movies and TV shows.

Ok, I'm out.

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"Hot enough for ya?"

What is it with the weather and people? MUST you speak to me? MUST you make a comment to me about the humidity or whatever? As a man of larger carriage, chances are if YOU'RE feeling warm, surely I felt warm a few minutes ago. I'm not a meteorologist or a weather forecaster, I just know when I feel hot, its hot and when I feel cold, well, its cold and I just assume everyone else around with me with skin and a pulse feels somewhat similarly. But hey, that's just me, I assume things. The classic "Hot enough for ya?" I haven't heard in a while and I'm actually starting to miss its simplicity because now we've got these rogue bus stop & elevator meteorologists who make remarks about the humidity and the jet stream and all this ish. I'd RATHER a good old annoying "Hot enough for ya?" over these prompts for an early morning round table discussion about the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. YES, IT'S HOT, deal with it on your own, just like I am doing, SILENTLY. You talking to me about how hot it is or how hot you heard its gonna get will not make it any COOLER therefore whats the point of you even SPEAKING TO ME AT ALL?! What happened to talking to yourself quietly? What happened to having a silent conversation with yourself in your head? Step outside and say to YOURSELF "It sure is hot today" and leave it there. I have nothing to add to your observations so why share it with me? I don't need to chill out, PEOPLE JUST NEED TO SHUT THE F UP.

This is one of my favourite scenes from Groundhog Day:

Angela Paton (bed & breakfast innkeeper): "There's talk of a blizzard".

Bill Murray:
"Well we may catch a break and that blizzard's gonna blow right by us. All of this moisture coming up out of the south by midday is probably gonna push on to the east of us and at high altitudes it's going to crystallize and give us what we call snow; probably going to be some accumulation. But here in Punxsutawney our high is gonna get up to about 30 today, teens tonight, chance for precipitation about 20% today, 20% tomorrow. Did you wanna talk about the weather or were you just making chit-chat?"

I wish I knew enough about the weather to come back with something like this when some dolt makes a remark to me about how hot it is.

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It's Tuesday and my oatmeal is too damn hot

I ain't got no fruit or pat o' butter on mine just some brown sugar and a plastic spoon but this thing is like a seething cauldron on my desk, the spoon is a few degrees away from melting. It's too damn hot! The guy at the place downstairs heated it up with the espresso foamer thing and now, well, its just too damn hot! I got problems...

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25 June 2007

I always loved this video

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Trains Playing Chicken = Good Times

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The Closest Thing To Black Flag

We missed Fucked Up once again the other night. They passed through town and played Europa while we were busy getting speeding tickets; but getting a speeding ticket is pretty fucking punk so the effort was there. Fucked Up is one of the only bands around today that whets our whistle and I really don't care or need to tell you why, just know and note it, dually if u must. Rumour has it they'll be back in July.... - The 20th at the Knitting Factory, and then the 21st @ Southpaw with Pissed Jeans. Check it out.

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Amy Winehouse of Style

You know we love our Winehouse. We're just checkin in and sayin "Haaaaaayyy". Here's Amy rocking Glastonbury. Holla when u get to NYC girl.

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Foxy Says "Na Yo" But The Po-Po Says "Yes Yes"

Just when you thought the story about Foxy Brown being robbed by her pimp ex-boyfriend's friends couldn't get any weirder, well, it goes and does.

Foxy (real name Inga Marchand) claims she was never robbed and that she wasn't even in Brooklyn at the time of the alleged early Saturday morning attack. She said, "A lot of the time, people mistake me for someone else, or people always call in these false tips." Right, sure.

The po-po said Foxy was robbed of her hair weave, hearing aid, and Louis Vuitton purse. Hearing aid??!?!

We all know Foxy got got over by her old buildin and now she's trying to save face and salvage her cred.

Police said that Foxy even jumped in the back of a black & white, drove around and helped look for attackers after the incident early Saturday morning. That's when Foxy pointed out Roshawn Anthony, a 23-year-old woman who was arrested for assault and robbery.

Anthony's lawyer says his client is being "squeezed by the police" and that Brown is "bringing out a colourful story. But something much more realistic will come out at the grand jury."

The Daily News, which reported that Brown was beaten up because she dumped her boyfriend when she found out he was a pimp, gives an update: On Sunday, Brown had a weave in place, cursed out reporters, tried to drive the wrong way on a one-way street and yelled, "We love the controversy. Keep writing."

Hmmmmm. We don't know Inga but one thing is fo sho, the streets is watchin girl, so u best holla.

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