'Best of TBH Politoons'
Al Gore: The Transformative Decade (andrewtobias.com)
We're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that's got to change.
JOEL STEIN: How to make fun of Obama (latimes.com)
Tips for those who find it too hard to joke about the Democratic candidate.
Ellen Goodman: The Do-It-Yourself Economy (Washington Post Writers Group)
We plan our own pensions and assemble our own cheap furniture. I pray the Internet ad for a do-it-yourself eye surgery kit is a hoax.
These greens aren't good for you (guardian.co.uk)
Our children are being urged to save the planet by TV and film characters but, asks Stuart Jeffries, won't this turn them into consumerist couch potatoes instead?
Tirdad Derakhshani: 'Dirty Harry' left a smudge on film and society too (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
For good or for ill, Clint Eastwood's five Dirty Harry films, which have been released in a new seven-disc DVD boxed set by Warner Home Video ($74.98), have done more to define today's cop movie than virtually any other film.
Rick Bentley: Christian 'Batman' Bale is a serious man for a serious role (McClatchy Newspapers)
The role of Batman in "The Dark Knight" suits Christian Bale better than when he played the comic book hero in "Batman Begins." Literally, the Batman suit fits him better.
Julie Hinds: "Resident evil: Every comic book hero needs a memorable villain" (Detroit Free Press)
Being bad may never have been this good before. The early consensus is Heath Ledger is nearly perfect as the Joker in "The Dark Knight," the new Batman movie that opens this week. Ledger is "mad-crazy brilliant," according to Rolling Stone. "He's out-villained Hannibal Lecter," raved Gary Oldman, who plays Lt. Jim Gordon in the film, to Access Hollywood.
Rene Rodriguez: With 'The Dark Knight,' superhero movies take a flying leap toward maturity (McClatchy Newspapers)
Even before shooting had wrapped on "The Dark Knight" last year, the movie already seemed destined to become the defining film of the 2008 summer season. Anticipation was building for director Christopher Nolan's sequel to his well-received "Batman Begins," which had salvaged the durable Batman saga from the pop-culture junkyard of passe camp and made Gotham City hip and menacing.
Jack Patrick Rodgers: Review of "The X-Files Revelations" (popmatters.com)
Although this X-Files collection bears the vague subtitle Revelations, anyone who's been keeping up with the show lately knows exactly what it's supposed to be: a "Greatest Hits" package designed to generate some buzz (or at least some revenue) for the upcoming X-Files movie, which hits US theaters 25 July. Now that the TV show has been off the air for over six years, it's interesting to take a look back and see more clearly its moments of genius and its failures.
Jonathan Kirby "Not Just a Fluke: How Darin Morgan Saved The X-Files" (popmatters.com)
After playing the "Fluke Man", Darin Morgan reluctantly agreed to write for The X-Files. His four episodes turned a struggling show around with humor and a deep concern with the pain of loneliness in a strange and incomprehensible world.
Howard Gensler: 'Mamma Mia!'s' Amanda Seyfried talks about the price of fame (Philadelphia Daily News)
Amanda Seyfried (pronounced SIGH-frid) says that her big eyes make her look a bit like a frog.
Jon Bream: Don't try to send Neil Diamond to Vegas - at 67, he's still packing arenas (Star Tribune)
Neil Diamond talks in a brooding Brooklyn baritone. It's hard to tell when he's done making his point, because his tone never wavers, his voice never drops at the end of a sentence, his pauses all sound pregnant.
GWB Sewage Plant
Mayhaps I am a bit confused, but isn't the purpose of a sewage treatment facility to clean the shit out of sewage and make the water clean and potable? If so, I can't see naming one after Bush, since everything that asshole touches turned into shit! Granted, something that involves shit should bear junior's name, but certainly not something that actually works.
Only if there are deliberate flaws built into the plant that will allow actual chunks of San Francisco's fecal matter to issue forth from area faucets would this proposition make perfect sense!
Roy, SMSgt., USAF (Ret.)
in Tyler, TX
Dr Horrible's Sing-along Blog
OMG!! only till Sunday Midnight!!
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Overcast morning, cool afternoon.
New Orleans Trumpeter
In the 1930s, people danced in New Orleans night clubs to the sweet and melodic jazz of Creole singer and trumpeter Lionel Ferbos.
Now they sit at tables and sip cocktails, watching the 97-year-old perform as one of the city's oldest working jazz musicians.
Born July 17, 1911, Ferbos started playing professionally during the Great Depression. He still performs regularly at French Quarter clubs and has appeared at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival annually since its beginning in 1970.
A birthday celebration is planned Saturday night for Ferbos at the Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro. Recently, he sat with friends at a Canal Street restaurant to reflect on his life and his music.
Plans To Lift Ban
Life Of Brian
One of the stars of a highly controversial film is to look into lifting a long-standing ban on it in the town she presides in as mayor.
Sue Jones-Davies, the mayor of Aberystwyth, West Wales, rose to fame when she played the part of Judith, Brian's girlfriend, in the 1979 Monty Python hit comedy Life of Brian.
The film caused outrage among Christians all over the world who complained its content was blasphemous. As a result some areas, including Aberystwyth, prevented the film from being shown in cinemas.
The 59-year-old mother-of-three and grandmother-of-one said: "I didn't even know the ban was in existence until Friday. It isn't something I have been worrying about. It is intriguing to think it is banned but I suppose these things come into place and, unless they are revoked, the ban remains. Maybe you can still get prosecuted for showing it. I think it has been shown in the town before but it was shown quietly.
Life Of Brian
Children's librarian Judith Flint was getting ready for the monthly book discussion group for 8- and 9-year-olds on "Love That Dog" when police showed up.
They weren't kidding around: Five state police detectives wanted to seize Kimball Public Library's public access computers as they frantically searched for a 12-year-old girl, acting on a tip that she sometimes used the terminals.
Flint demanded a search warrant, touching off a confrontation that pitted the privacy rights of library patrons against the rights of police on official business.
Once in police hands, how broadly could police dig into the computer hard drives without violating the privacy of other library patrons?
Scholars To Reassemble Ancient Boat
Archaeologists and scholars will excavate hundreds of fragments of an ancient Egyptian wooden boat entombed in an underground chamber next to Giza's Great pyramid. They will then try to reassemble the craft.
The 4,500-year-old vessel is the sister ship of a similar boat removed in pieces in 1954 from another pit and painstakingly reconstructed. Experts believe the boats were meant to ferry the pharaoh who built the Great Pyramid in the afterlife.
Starting Saturday, tourists were allowed to view images from inside the second boat pit from a camera inserted through the a hole in the chamber's limestone ceiling.
A helicopter carrying the Rev. Sun Myung Moon crashed into a mountainside Saturday as it attempted an emergency landing, injuring the founder of the Unification Church and 15 others, officials said.
Moon, 88, was slightly injured in the crash, a hospital official said. Members of Moon's family, including his wife, were also hurt, and one person suffered a serious back injury, fire official Kim Wu-jong said.
The S-92 helicopter was carrying 16 people, including 13 church members, when it crashed and burst into flames, the transportation ministry said.
Moon and the others were treated at the nearby church-affiliated Cheongshim Hospital in Gapyeong, about 37 miles northeast of Seoul, hospital official Park Sung-kwon said.
Ed McMahon sued a hospital, two doctors and an investment tycoon Friday over a neck injury he has said has left him unable to work, a circumstance he has blamed for his recent money woes.
The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount, claiming negligence, battery, elder abuse and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, two doctors, and the owner of a home where he says he fell in March 2007.
The former "The Tonight Show" sidekick claims that Cedars-Sinai and its doctors originally discharged him with a broken neck and didn't adequately conduct two surgeries. McMahon's suit states his cardiologist later discovered that his neck was broken.
Also named in the lawsuit is Robert Day, who owns an investment firm and has been on Forbes' list of richest Americans in previous years, and his wife. McMahon claims a ramp-like staircase where he attended a dinner party was "unsafe" because it was poorly lit and lacked handrails.
Lawsuit Exposes Growing Rift
For years, they were the picture of solidarity: the four children of Martin Luther King Jr. carrying on the legacy of the civil rights icon.
But a lawsuit over how their father's estate is being run has left a rift in one of the world's most famous families. And it may now be up to a judge to get the King children in the same room.
The lawsuit filed July 10 claims that Dexter King, the youngest King child and administrator of his father's estate, has failed to provide his surviving siblings with essential documents, including financial records and contracts.
It claims that he and the estate "converted substantial funds from the estate's financial account ... for their own use" on June 20 without notifying his sister and brother. It is not about money, but instead is a last-resort effort to talk to Dexter King about the family's affairs, even if it's through a judge, Young said.
Actor Verne Troyer has settled a lawsuit he filed against a porn broker after the defendant agreed not distribute a sex tape depicting Troyer and a former girlfriend, court documents filed Friday show.
Troyer filed a $20 million lawsuit against porn broker Kevin Blatt, distributor SugarDVD and celebrity gossip Web site TMZ after snippets of the 50-minute tape were released last month.
Records show Blatt and SugarDVD have signed agreements requiring that they get Troyer's approval before selling or distributing the tape or any images from it.
Edwin McPherson, one of Troyer's attorneys, said he planned to amend the lawsuit on Monday to try to prevent Ranae Shrider, Troyer's ex-girlfriend, from releasing the tape.
Does 3 Hours
Khloe Kardashian's stay in jail Friday may have been brief, but it did include a bit of drama: a jailhouse lockdown. The reality TV starlet spent roughly three hours in a Los Angeles area jail for violating probation stemming from a drunk driving arrest last year.
Shortly before her arrival, someone called in a bomb threat and the entire facility had to be locked down, Los Angeles County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
The threat was not related to Kardashian's arrival and she was placed in a holding cell for her safety, Whitmore said. The call turned out to be a hoax, he said.
A judge earlier this month sentenced the 24-year-old to up to 30 days in jail after she admitted violating her probation by failing to enroll in an alcohol education class and clean up roadside trash.
Beijing Begins Massive Shutdown
Beijing's Olympic shutdown begins Sunday, a drastic plan to lift the Chinese capital's gray shroud of pollution just three weeks ahead of the games.
Half of Beijing's 3.3 million vehicles will be pulled off the roads and many polluting factories will be shuttered. Chemical plants, power stations and foundries left open have to cut emissions by 30 percent - and dust-spewing construction in the capital will be halted.
In a highly stage-managed Olympics aimed at showing off the rising power of the 21st century, no challenge is greater than producing crystalline air for 10,500 of the world's greatest athletes.
Striking venues and $40 billion spent to improve infrastructure cannot mask Beijing's dirty air. A World Bank study found China is home to 16 of the 20 worst cities for air quality. Three-quarters of the water flowing through urban areas is unsuitable for drinking or fishing.
Art Stolen In Sweden
Officials say one or more thieves broke into a Swedish museum and stole work done by American pop icons Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.
Police say the break-in happened at the Abergs Museum near Stockholm early Friday.
Museum officials say two Warhol and three Lichtenstein paintings were stolen as well as a Disney movie-poster.
Jim Smith says he's never met a Jim Smith he didn't like. And he's met more than most people. That's because the 71-year-old is in Pittsburgh for the four-day Jim Smith Society Fun Fest which runs through Sunday, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Friday.
The society was formed in 1969 by a local Jim Smith to celebrate one of the most common names in the U.S. Today, the group boasts about 1,900 members.
About two dozen Jim Smiths plan to go sightseeing and visit Pittsburgh museums.
To join the Jim Smith Society potential members must, naturally, be named Jim Smith, but even this rule is flexible. Two women, both named Jimmy Anne Smith, have joined. Jamie also is an acceptable name.