'Best of TBH Politoons'
M Is FOR MASHUP - May 28th, 2008
Where To Vacation For Mashups
By DJ Useo
Antoine du Rocher: GEORGE W. BUSH STAMPED "IDIOT KING" FIRST CLASS FOREVER (culturekiosque.com)
While the planned U.S. Postal Service First-Class postage increase is the hot story of the moment in numismatics, and the "Forever Stamp" is the hot-selling item at the post office, the centerpiece of an art exhibition in New York promises to be a much stickier, and much more enduring, commemorative issue: the "George W. Bush Idiot King" stamp that paints the Commander in Chief as a first-class idiot.
Paul Krugman: Divided They Stand (nytimes.com)
Any lingering bitterness among Hillary Clinton's supporters about her treatment during the primaries could cost Barack Obama the White House.
Emily Wilson: "They Used Pat for Public Consumption, Just Like Jessica Lynch": An Interview with Mary Tillman (AlterNet.org)
The official cover-up of football star-turned-soldier Pat Tillman's death by "friendly fire" has led his family on a four-year mission for justice.
Beth Quinn: School buses = fat kids, broke taxpayers (recordonline.com)
I saw a letter to the editor a couple of weeks ago from a man advocating that we cut back on school bus transportation for kids.
JASON NOTTE: Hungry like the wolf (csindy.com)
Outlaw country spawn Shooter Jennings wants to be more Jack White than Clint Black.
STEPHEN SEIGEL: Thirty Years Is Enough? Catch the legendary Dickies while you still can (tucsonweekly.com)
Talking to the two remaining original members of the Dickies, America's longest-running punk band, is like taking a stroll through the punk-rock history books.
Sarah Warn: Making "Ghostella's Haunted Tomb" (afterellen.com)
The biggest budgetary challenge was that I'm always broke, and while my estimated budget on these was, you know, something like 49 cents, that 49 cents still has to come from somewhere! My mom totally helped out a bit so I could buy the few props I needed...and I ate mustard sandwiches for a while to save money. Most actors provided their own costumes which was swell and a huge money-saver.
The Mary Whitehouse Story: Mary, quite contrary (entertainment.timesonline.co.uk)
As the BBC dramatises Mary Whitehouse's life, Geoffrey Robertson, QC, recalls the 'self-appointed leader of the moral majority' he clashed with in court.
Oh dear, Ewan ... (film.guardian.co.uk)
So what do you do if you're watching an absolute stinker and tomorrow you are interviewing its star? Simon Hattenstone meets Ewan McGregor.
Jill Owens: Undercover with Barbara Ehrenreich (Powells.com; from 2005)
..., in "Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream," Ehrenreich takes on the world of white-collar unemployment-a world that is becoming more familiar, unhappily, to more and more Americans. She legally changed her name to Barbara Alexander, lined up people to support her new résumé as a public relations professional, and plunged into the job-transition industry, an eerie no-man's land filled with unscrupulous (and ultimately unhelpful) job coaches, boot camps, and networking prayer breakfasts.
Finis Jhung: Interview with Ballerina Wendy Whelan (danceart.com)
The worst of all the experiences was when I was rehearsing with Billy Forsythe for Herman Schmerman in the rehearsal room late at night, while the performance was going on, and Merrill Ashley hurt her hip on the first step of Barber Violin Concerto. They had to bring the curtain down. They decided to substitute Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux for Barber. They ran up to get me in the rehearsal room, and said "You have ten minutes! Go put your hair in a bun. You have to do "Tchai Pas."
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Sunnier, but still cooler than seasonal.
Memorial To Nazi's Gay Victims
Germany unveiled a memorial Tuesday to the Nazis' long-ignored gay victims, a monument that also aims to address ongoing discrimination by confronting visitors with an image of a same-sex couple kissing.
The memorial - a sloping gray concrete slab on the edge of Berlin's Tiergarten park - echoes the vast field of smaller slabs that make up Germany's memorial to Jewish victims of the Holocaust, opened three years ago just across the road.
The effort to get a memorial built started in 1992, and a 1999 parliament decision to build the memorial to the Holocaust's 6 million Jewish victims also called for "commemorating in a worthy fashion the other victims of the Nazis." In 2001, Jewish and Gypsy leaders backed an appeal for a monument to the gay victims.
Aung San Suu Kyi
Western governments lashed out at the extension of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest, but the outrage at Myanmar's military rulers was tempered by concern over disrupting aid flows to desperate cyclone victims.
The former Burma has been promised millions of dollars in Western aid after Cyclone Nargis, but this cut no ice with the generals regarding the opposition leader, who has been under house arrest or in prison for nearly 13 of the last 18 years.
Officials drove to Suu Kyi's lakeside Yangon home on Tuesday to read out an extension order in person, but it was unclear whether the extension was for six months or a year.
Aung San Suu Kyi
Aug. 19 In Milwaukee
Downtown Milwaukee will soon have a permanent reminder of the "Happy Days" television show.
A bronze statue of Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli, played by Henry Winkler, will be dedicated Aug. 19 along the Milwaukee River, VISIT Milwaukee announced Tuesday.
"Happy Days," which was set in Milwaukee, aired from 1974 to 1984.
Most of the show's stars are expected to attend the ceremony, including Winkler, Marion Ross, Tom Bosley and the show's creator, Garry Marshall. Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams from "Laverne & Shirley," a spinoff of "Happy Days," also are expected to attend.
Sharon Stone's "karma" is having an instant effect on her movie-star status in China.
The 50-year-old actress suggested last week that the devastating May 12 earthquake in China could have been the result of bad karma over the government's treatment of Tibet. That prompted the founder of one of China's biggest cinema chains to say his company would not show her films in his theaters, according to a story in The Hollywood Reporter.
"I'm not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don't think anyone should be unkind to anyone else," Stone said Thursday during a Cannes Film Festival red-carpet interview with Hong Kong's Cable Entertainment News. "And then this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that karma? When you're not nice that the bad things happen to you?"
Ng See-Yuen, founder of the UME Cineplex chain and the chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers, called Stone's comments "inappropriate," adding that actors should not bring personal politics to comments about a natural disaster that has left five million Chinese homeless, according to the Reporter.
`Sopranos' Wardrobe For Charity
James Gandolfini, who starred on the hit HBO series 'The Sopranos,' is selling off 24 outfits, including the button-down blue shirt he wore in the opening credits and the bathrobe he donned to fetch the morning newspaper.
Proceeds from the June 25 pop culture auction at Christie's will go to the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit group that assists severely wounded soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Estimates for the costumes start at $500.
The actor's contract allowed him to keep the clothes after the show ended its six-season run last year, Christie's said. He has authenticated all the outfits in the sale.
The auction house is also offering the blood-splattered costume worn in the scene when Tony is shot by a demented Uncle Junior. Consisting of a black-and-beige short-sleeve polo shirt, white tank top and black pants, the costume could fetch up to $3,000.
Blames 'Joey' For Career Hiatus
Drea De Matteo
Actress Drea De Matteo blames her role in cancelled US sitcom Joey for ruining her career.
The former The Sopranos star signed up to play Matt Le Blanc's sister on the NBC show, after he continued his famed Friends character for the spin-off following the conclusion of the original hit series in 2004.
And, according to New York gossip column Page Six, De Matteo regrets accepting a part in the doomed series - admitting she has been out of work since the show ended.
A source tells the publication, "She was saying Joey completely ruined her career. She called it horrible and said she hasn't been able to really work since then.
Drea De Matteo
Check Potential Mozart Works
A team of musicologists is reviewing 19th-century copies of musical scores from a Polish monastery's archives in hopes that some might prove to be previously unknown works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the lead scholar said Tuesday.
The team is focused on nine scores, though the musicologists will review 2,000 from the Jasna Gora monastery in Czestochowa, southern Poland.
"The scores could be compilations from various Mozart works, or compositions by other authors just signed in his name, or - in the luckiest case for us - they could be unknown authentic Mozart," Remigiusz Pospiech, head of the research team, told The Associated Press.
But Ulrich Leisinger, head of research at the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, Austria, said it was "highly unlikely" that new works by Mozart would be discovered.
Disaster Coverage Gets Low Marks
Tens of thousands have died in the natural disasters in Myanmar and China, but the coverage has been fighting for airtime with Campaign 2008 on the U.S. cable news channels.
The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press said Thursday that there was a fair amount of interest among Americans in the Chinese earthquake, about as much as the presidential campaign. But it accused cable news channels of devoting way more coverage to the politicians.
A Pew survey of 1,000 adult Americans conducted last week said that 22 percent of Americans said they followed the earthquake more closely than any other news story during the week of May 12-18. It was slightly ahead of the percentage of Americans who closely followed the 2008 presidential campaign (20 percent) but nowhere near the top news story of the week, which was gasoline prices (31 percent). Yet the earthquake got 13 percent of news coverage for the week, compared with 37 percent for the campaign.
Pew singles out cable news as the prime medium ignoring the earthquake, with only 4% of news coverage devoted to it while the campaign received 74 percent. Network TV news -- ABC, CBS and NBC -- and national newspapers split coverage more evenly.
'Last King' To Lose Crown
Seven years after most of Nepal's royal family were massacred by a drunken prince, the country's Maoists look set to scrap the Himalayan monarchy, turning the page on 240 years of history.
An assembly elected in historic polls last month to write a new constitution for the impoverished country is set to make the move when it meets for the first time on Wednesday.
The glum-faced king Gyanendra, with his heavy-handed actions, bears responsibility for the distaste with which people -- who once saw their rulers as incarnations of a Hindu god -- now regard the monarchy, observers say.
The Nepalese accuse Gyanendra of a long list of failings and there are lingering suspicions surrounding his ascension to the throne after the palace tragedy.
Draining The Treasury
Pentagon auditors say billions of dollars in military spending is going unchecked because they are having trouble keeping pace with the ever-expanding defense budget and combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In a recent report, the Defense Department inspector general estimates that nearly half of the military's $316 billion weapons budget went unchecked last year because the IG's office lacked the manpower. Whereas 10 years ago when a single auditor would have reviewed some $642 million in defense contracts, individual investigators are now charged with auditing more than $2 billion in spending.
The IG also has been stretching its staff to investigate corruption and fraud cases overseas, primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan where the military is hiring contractors to help run operations.
"The continual degradation of audit resources that is occurring at a time when the (Defense Department) budget is growing larger leaves the department more vulnerable to fraud, waste, and, abuse and undermines the department's mission," the report states.
Cases Jumped 50 Pct. In 2007
The number of troops with new cases of post-traumatic stress disorder jumped by roughly 50 percent in 2007 amid the military buildup in Iraq and increased violence there and in Afghanistan.
Records show roughly 40,000 troops have been diagnosed with the illness, also known as PTSD, since 2003. Officials believe that many more are likely keeping their illness a secret.
Defense officials had not previously disclosed the number of PTSD cases from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Army statistics showed there were nearly 14,000 newly diagnosed cases across the services in 2007 compared with more than 9,500 new cases the previous year and 1,632 in 2003.
Children May Face Lifelong Ailments
The anguish of Hurricane Katrina should have ended for Gina Bouffanie and her daughter when they left their FEMA trailer. But with each hospital visit and each labored breath her child takes, the young mother fears it has just begun.
"It's just the sickness. I can't get rid of it. It just keeps coming back," said Bouffanie, 27, who was pregnant with her now 15-month-old daughter, Lexi, while living in the trailer. "I'm just like, `Oh God, I wish like this would stop.' If I had known it would get her sick, I wouldn't have stayed in the trailer for so long."
Doctors cannot conclusively link her asthma to the trailer. But they fear she is among tens of thousands of youngsters who may face lifelong health problems because the temporary housing supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency contained formaldehyde fumes up to five times the safe level.
The chemical, used in interior glue, was detected in many of the 143,000 trailers sent to the Gulf Coast in 2006. But a push to get residents out of them, spearheaded by FEMA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, did not begin until this past February.
Just As Good As Private Schools
Students in public schools have math scores that are just as good if not better than those of students in private schools, according to a new national study.
The research focused across several years on 9,791 kindergarten through fifth-grade students.
Combined with other, yet-unpublished studies of the same data, which produced similar findings, "we think this effectively ends the debate about whether private schools are more effective than publics," said researcher Christopher Lubienski, whose research has dealt with all aspects of alternative education.
This is important, he said, because many current reforms, such as No Child Left Behind, charter schools and vouchers for private schools, are based on the assumption that private schools offer better education than public schools.
Stays True To Name
The Original Kazoo Co.
The name of the place says it all: The Original Kazoo Co. And, boy, do its owners mean original.
The same belt and pulley machines that stamped and shaped the world's first metal kazoos circa 1900 still stamp and shape kazoos today. The machines are still in the same building, making the same ker-thwunk sound as they perforate, fold and shape.
The finished product hasn't changed, either. The palm-sized, submarine-shaped musical instrument still makes a tinny vibration when someone hums into it.
If there was ever the temptation to modernize the kazoo-making operation as the business changed hands over the years, it didn't last.
The Original Kazoo Co.
Earle H. Hagen, who co-wrote the jazz classic "Harlem Nocturne" and composed memorable themes for "The Andy Griffith Show," "I Spy," "The Mod Squad" and other TV shows, has died. He was 88.
Hagen, who is heard whistling the folksy tune for "The Andy Griffith Show," died Monday night at his home in Rancho Mirage, his wife, Laura, said Tuesday. He had been in ill health for several months.
He and Lionel Newman were nominated for an Academy Award for best music scoring for the 1960 Marilyn Monroe movie "Let's Make Love."
For television, he composed original music for more than 3,000 episodes, pilots and TV movies, including theme songs for "That Girl," "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."
Born July 9, 1919, in Chicago, Hagen moved to Los Angeles as a youngster. He began playing the trombone while in junior high school.
He became so proficient that he graduated early from Hollywood High School and at 16 was touring with big bands. He played trombone with Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey and arranged for and played with Ray Noble's orchestra.
He and Newman wrote "Harlem Nocturne" for Noble in 1939. It has been covered many times since and served as the theme music for "Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer" television series in 1984.
In the 1950s, he and Herbert Spencer formed an orchestra partnership that also wrote music for television, including scoring the Danny Thomas hit "Make Room for Daddy."
After retiring from TV work in 1986, Hagen taught a workshop in film and television scoring.
He also wrote three books on scoring, including 1971's "Scoring for Films," one of the earliest textbooks on the subject. His 2002 autobiography was titled "Memoirs of a Famous Composer - Nobody Ever Heard Of."
Besides his wife, Hagen is survived by his sons, Deane and James, both of Palm Desert; stepchildren Rebecca Roberts, of Irvine, Richard Roberts of Los Angeles and Rachael Roberts of Irvine; and four grandchildren. His first wife, Elouise Hagen, died in 2002 following 59 years of marriage.