'Best of TBH Politoons'
Rick Bentley: Dustin Hoffman is the voice of authority in 'Kung Fu Panda' (McClatchy Newspapers)
Dustin Hoffman seems to be picking roles that show great wisdom comes with age. In "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" he played a wise and slightly mystical 243-year-old toy store owner. In his latest role in "Kung Fu Panda," he plays an aged animated martial arts master who is wise and slightly mystical.
Scott Renshaw: Review of KUNG FU PANDA ***1/2 (three and a half out of four stars)
It has been fascinating to observe the rise of computer-generated animation-in particular, watching so much imagination invested in technical innovation that everyone has apparently decided to share the same plot.
Morty White: Exes And The City (huffingtonpost.com)
Now that the "Sex and the City" movie is making women crazy again, I remembered all those girls who drove me nuts trying to be like the Fab Four. Did these girls, in fact, go on to lead the lives of their "Sex and the City" heroes? I decided to call them up and ask.
Maureen Ryan: Writer brings sex and the suburbs to 'Swingtown' (Chicago Tribune)
Mike Kelley said he didn't set out to cause a fuss with "Swingtown," the provocative CBS drama that premieres 10 p.m. EDT Thursday.
Joe Amodio: Fast chat with 'Savage Grace' star Julianne Moore (Newsday)
Julianne Moore is wearing little to no makeup and killer platform boots. And her laugh - she laughs a lot - is infectious. The whole casually sexy vibe is a far cry from Barbara Baekeland, the eccentric, socialite wife of a Bakelite plastics heir whose tragic life unfurls in Moore's latest feature film, "Savage Grace."
Rogert Ebert: Tarsem and the legend of "The Fall"
Tarsem was talking about how he risked almost everything he owned to make a movie that nobody, nobody at all, was willing to finance for years. The movie is "The Fall," which will be on my list of the year's best films, and is setting box office records on the art house circuit. It is almost impossible to describe. You can say what happens, but you can't convey the astonishment of how it happens.
'I work in waves' (arts.guardian.co.uk)
In a rare interview, the renowned US artist Cy Twombly talks to Tate director Nicholas Serota about his astonishing work.
Henrik Bering: "The Ultimate Literary Portrait: Boswell's painterly masterpiece" (hoover.org)
Among the great encounters of literature, none ranks higher than the one that took place between James Boswell and Samuel Johnson in Tom Davis's bookstore in Russell Street, Covent Garden on Monday, May 16, 1763. Boswell, a 22-year-old Scot with literary ambitions, had long been desiring to meet the great man of English letters, but without success, and was sitting in the back parlor of the shop having tea when Johnson suddenly entered the store.
G. CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS: "Wizards & Words: An Interview with Patrick Rothfuss" (popmatters.com)
Author Patrick Rothfuss talks to PopMatters about the pivotal role of language in magic, the structure of storytelling, and the role of fantasy in contemporary fiction.
CONNIE TUTTLE: Beat the summer heat with a little literature (tucsonweekly.com)
With so many books and so few column inches, let's get right to my fourth annual summer reading suggestions.
PAUL CONSTANT: Fighting the Silicon Dragon (thestranger.com)
Dungeons & Dragons, the fantasy role-playing game that has consumed years of the lives of awkward basement-dwelling adolescents, is in trouble.
Alvaro Fernandez: Brain Training: Fact or Fiction? (huffingtonpost.com)
The success of Nintendo Brain Age and the PBS special devoted to brain plasticity are signs of growing interest in Brain Training.
'Dick Eats Bush'
Just made a new video "Fake It" and wanted to share it. (Strong Language, a few maybe reactive pictures)
It's of course political. Dunno if it works very well, maybe I'm tooting my own horn. I'd share some views or ask some questions but imagine most are burned out on the political ..stage show we've got going, but it seems everyone has these blinders on and few are willing to really talk about it.. for example an obama clinton ticket.. haven't we had enough of the Clinton Bush dynasty?
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Not much of a marine layer so hotter weather is on the way.
Last week I was grousing that there was no gas in Long Beach for under $4/gal. Today I was hard pressed to find a station with it under $4.50/gal.
Fire A Hot Topic
The recent fire damage to Universal Studios' video vault underscores the significance of film preservation and archiving, which already been receiving increased industrywide attention.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that organizes the Academy Awards, put the topic front and centre with its recent report on the challenges of digital archiving.
Universal executives are still assessing the damage from last Sunday's spectacular blaze on the studio's backlot -- believed to have affected 40,000-50,000 episodic TV and feature assets. They believe that all the video and film is replaceable as duplicates were kept elsewhere.
At issue is what assets will be replaced. These decisions will be made based on factors including the title, age of title, existing backup and the condition and quality of backups.
Cost CA $2.1 Billion
The recent Hollywood writers' strike tipped California into a recession, resulting in a loss of $2.1 billion to the state economy and costing 37,700 jobs, the Milken Institute said in a research report.
The report, issued by the economic think tank on Thursday, takes on increasing importance as the Screen Actors Guild and Hollywood's major movie studios are embroiled in their own contract talks that threaten to throw the industry into another work stoppage as soon as the SAG contract expires on June 30.
"The biggest thing that (a potential SAG strike) really does is it slows down the recovery, even a short strike is going to lead to a further disruption of filming schedules," said Kevin Klowden, managing economist at the Milken Institute and one of the report's authors.
Klowden said the three-month writers' strike that ended in February cost the entertainment industry alone $500 million. But because Hollywood overlaps with other state industries, the report found the strike had a wider impact overall.
'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
Aristotle. Nietzsche. Buffy? The blond heroine of the campy TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," as well as other works by creator Joss Whedon, will be the focus of a three-day academic conference beginning Friday at Henderson State University.
The show starring Sarah Michelle Gellar won cult fame and critical praise during its seven seasons on The WB and UPN networks.
Since it ended, the series has spawned enough academic books on the philosophy surrounding the roles of friendship and feminism to fill a 15-foot-wide bookshelf at the college in Arkadelphia, said Kevin Durand, an associate professor of philosophy.
Durand said more than 90 academic papers will be discussed at the conference. He expects about 150 people to attend and discuss the vampire slayer and Whedon's other works, including the television series "Firefly" and "Angel." Another point of discussion will be a lesser-known part of Whedon's work - his screenplay for the hit animated film "Toy Story."
'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
Typo On Diplomas Embarrass
Westlake High School
A Cleveland-area principal says he's embarrassed his students got proof of their "educaiton" on their high school diplomas.
Westlake High School officials misspelled "education" on the diplomas distributed last weekend. It's been the subject of mockery on local radio.
Principal Timothy Freeman says he sent back the diplomas once to correct another error. When the diplomas came back, no one bothered to check things they thought were right the first time.
The publisher has reprinted the diplomas a second time and sent them to the 330 graduates.
Westlake High School
Japan Recognises Indigenous People
Japan on Friday for the first time recognised the Ainu as an indigenous people, pledging to support the traditionally nature-worshipping community that has endured centuries of discrimination.
It is a landmark step for Japan, which has prided itself on being ethnically homogeneous but where the Ainu have sharply lower incomes and educational levels.
Parliament unanimously approved a resolution recognising the Ainu and calling for "immediate" support to the community. The move is primarily symbolic, although it will likely open the way for economic aid.
The resolution recognises for the first time that the Ainu "are an indigenous people with a distinct language, religion and culture."
CMT Wrestling Show
Danny Bonaduce, Dennis Rodman and Dustin "Screech" Diamond are heading into the ring to compete in CMT's upcoming reality series "Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling."
Also on board are Todd Bridges ("Diff'rent Strokes"), super-heavyweight boxer ButterBean, Trishelle Cannatella ("The Real World"), Erin Murphy (Tabitha Stephens on "Bewitched"), Frank Stallone, '80s pop star Tiffany and Playboy playmate Nikki Ziering.
They will compete to be named "Celebrity All-Star Wrestling Champion" based on their performance in various challenges that will include mastering complex wrestling moves, talking trash and working an audience.
Production on the eight-episode series is under way in Los Angeles for a fall premiere.
A Pittsburgh woman who sent Comcast Corp. a check made out for "My Right Arm and Zero Dollars" is up in arms because she says someone published a copy of the check on the Internet.
Krista Cooney and her husband Chad are suing the Philadelphia-based cable television company for invasion of privacy. They say an unknown Comcast employee circulated a copy of the check - containing their personal banking information - along with a snide comment. They say a Colorado man saw the image and alerted them.
The suit says Cooney sent the check last summer because she was unhappy with a large bill she received after subscribing to bundled services for her cable television, Internet and telephone.
Visits Larry King
Ed McMahon blames the possible foreclosure of his multimillion-dollar Beverly Hills house on a set of problems all too familiar to many Americans: a foundering economy, health problems and poor planning.
"If you spend more money than you make, you know what happens," McMahon said Thursday night on CNN's "Larry King Live." "You know, a couple of divorces thrown in, a few things like that. And, you know, things happen."
McMahon, 85, appeared with his wife, Pamela. The couple said they are $644,000 behind on their mortgage payments and are in negotiations with lender Countrywide Home Loans Inc. to set a foreclosure date.
McMahon, in a neck brace, said he had stopped working since he broke his neck in a fall 18 months ago. He didn't elaborate.
KCAL-9 (part of the CBS duopoly in LA) reported Thursday that Ed McMahon was worth over $200 million in 1990.
Ancient Grave Found During Subway Work
Greek authorities say subway construction work in the northern city of Thessaloniki has unearthed an ancient grave with a wealth of golden jewelry.
The 2,300-year old grave contained a female skeleton, accompanied by four gold wreaths and gold earrings in the shape of dogs' heads set with semiprecious stones.
A Culture Ministry statement said Friday that the grave goods included a bronze mirror, a bronze vase and six clay pots.
The woman had been buried in a wooden coffin, traces of which survived. The ministry said part of the grave had been destroyed by a modern sewage pipe.
Endangered Bird Making Comeback
Australian officials say they are having success with a captive breeding program aimed at saving an endangered native bird, the regent honeyeater.
Twenty-seven of the yellow and black birds were fitted with radio transmitters and released May 1 into Chiltern Mount Pilot National Park in Victoria state. The site, about 300 miles (500 kilometers) southwest of Sydney, was picked because it is home to the box and ironbark forests the birds prefer.
So far, the birds have thrived, with 22 of the 27 sighted daily in the park and only one confirmed dead, park officials and conservationists said Friday.
Conservationists also said the captive-bred birds quickly adapted to their new homes and began interacting with wild populations in the park. In fact, the first wild birds seen in Chiltern in 18 months arrived only after the captive birds were released.
Sold At Record Price
A jumbo black watermelon auctioned in Japan on Friday fetched a record $6,100, making it one of the most expensive watermelons ever sold in the country.
In a society where melons are a luxury item commonly given as gifts, the watermelon's hefty price tag followed another jaw-dropping auction last month, when a pair of "Yubari" cantaloupe melons sold for a record $23,500.
The 17-pound, black-skinned "Densuke" watermelon, a variety grown only on the northern island of Hokkaido, was purchased Friday by a marine products dealer who said he wanted to support local agriculture, according to Kyodo News agency.
The price was the highest on record for a Densuke watermelon, said Kazuyoshi Ohira, a spokesman for the Tohma Agricultural Cooperative in Hokkaido. Most retail at department stores and supermarkets for a more modest $188 to $283, Ohira said.
Newspapers Run Fake Airline Ads
Derrie-Air has been exposed. Readers of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News opened their papers Friday to see ads for a new airline called Derrie-Air, which purportedly charges passengers by the pound.
But the new carrier will never get off the ground. It's a one-day advertising campaign about a fake airline by Philadelphia Media Holdings, the papers' owner, and Gyro ad agency.
In light blue banners throughout the papers - as well as on their Web site, Philly.com - Derrie-Air cheerily trumpets its policy: The more you weigh, the more you pay. The ads direct readers to the Web site http://www.flyderrie-air.com.
Visitors to the airline site learn that Derrie-Air is the world's only carbon-neutral luxury airline, and it justifies its fare policy by saying that it takes more fuel to move heavier objects. The carrier pledges to plant trees to offset every pound of carbon its planes release into the atmosphere.