Grounds for a mistrial? Let’s hope not. One of the jurors in the Scooter Libby case gets kicked off the jury. “U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton ordered the juror removed, saying ‘what she had exposure to obviously disqualifies her.’ The judge declined to say what information the juror had seen. Walton said the remaining jurors had not been tainted. He said he would allow deliberations to continue with 11 jurors rather than calling on one of two alternate jurors.”
Word leaks that Warner Brothers is moving forward on a Justice League film, having hired the writers of (ugh) Mr. and Mrs. Smith to pen a screenplay for the project. “How the story arcs unfold will also affect whether the studio will make offers to actors Christian Bale and Brandon Routh to play their respective roles in the project.”
“‘It was probably the most shocking thing of my life…I couldn’t describe to you the emotions I have had…everything from anger to outrage to reflection to some pride and glory.” Genealogists discover a hitherto unknown historical (and perhaps genetic) link between Al Sharpton and Strom Thurmond: namely, in the dark days of slavery, Thurmond’s people owned Sharpton’s. “‘In the story of the Thurmonds and the Sharptons is the story of the shame and the glory of America,’ Sharpton said Sunday.“
“This session will be remembered for a lot of things, but 20 years hence I suspect one of those things will be the fact that we came together and passed this resolution.” In related news, the Virginia General Assembly unanimously expresses “profound regret” for Virginia’s hand in slavery, becoming the first state to do so. “The measure also expressed regret for ‘the exploitation of Native Americans.’“
As you no doubt know, the Oscars were held last night, with The Departed, Martin Scorsese (finally), Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland, and Helen Mirren for The Queen the big winners of the evening. [Full list.] (Letters from Iwo Jima was to my mind a better film than Departed, but Scorsese’s Aviator was better than the egregious Million Dollar Baby two years ago, so it’s a wash.) Alas, once again I was a very close also-ran in the Webgoddess Oscar pool, placing in the top-four [I got 10 out of 12 of the major awards right, missing only on Best Foreign Film (I picked Pan, but was glad to see it lose, in a way — it had already taken too many of Children of Men‘s awards) and Best Song. (Melissa Etheridge over Dreamgirls? Really? That’s just bizarre.)] Ah well, wait ’till next year…
“What would happen if an astronaut became mentally unstable in space and, say, destroyed the ship’s oxygen system or tried to open the hatch and kill everyone aboard?” Yet another use for that miracle of miracles, duct tape, is discovered: restraining crazy astronauts in space. Hmmm. Somehow I doubt that would’ve worked on Ash.
The King of the World? Director and documentarian James Cameron announces, for a forthcoming Discovery Channel special, that archaeologists have discovered the tomb of Jesus…and his son. “‘How possible is it?’ Pfann said. ‘On a scale of one through 10 — 10 being completely possible — it’s probably a one, maybe a one and a half.’”
“If you’ve never been listed in Wikipedia, you can always argue that your omission is an oversight. Not me. I’ve been placed under a microscope and, on the basis of careful and dispassionate analysis, excluded from the most comprehensive encyclopedia ever devised. Ouch!” Slate‘s Tim Noah discovers he’s not famous enough for Wikipedia (at first.)
“‘This process has become to a great extent about money — a lot of money,’ Vilsack said at a news conference in Des Moines yesterday. ‘And it is clear to me that we would not be able to continue to raise money in the amounts necessary to sustain not just a campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire but a campaign across this country. So it is money and only money that is the reason that we are leaving today.‘” Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, the first entrant into the Democratic race, begs out of the 2008 presidential contest, citing money issues. Well, what did you think was going to determine the winner? Issues?