4/1/01 - How to clean a toaster. No, you don't stick a fork in it. Kellogg cuts more jobs at Keebler. Fortunately, the Pop-Tarts division remains untouched. Why toaster collectibles? Heck, why not? Plenty of vintage toaster art to be had here at the Toaster Museum Foundation. A Concise History of Toast, including mention of the long-forgotten Egyptian bread obelisks. How to make Strawberry Pop-Tart blowtorches. Now that's no way to treat a perfectly good toaster. Consume nirvana God is not to be eaten But toast will suffice - Toast haiku. Sorry if all the navel-gazing around here is getting newer readers down. If so, you may want to inquire at the Toast dictionary first, or peruse the the Toaster Files here. And it's always fun to discover how toasters work. The all-knowing Toaster Oracle. Beware - knowledge of the future has driven better men than I to the brink of madness.
3/30/01 - Metascene makes a solid case for the virtues of the official Leonardo di Caprio homepage. So, unfortunately, my man Berkeley here has come down with an ear infection, which is nothing serious but does involve me having to grapple him to the floor twice a day to stick antibiotics down his ear canals. As a result, he's got this wet look about him these days which just screams mid-eighties at me. As my brother noted last night, I think he's sporting the exact same do as Alan Wilder of Depeche Mode, or possibly one of the gang from Flock of Seagulls or Kajoogoogoo. In Hollywood, the long-feared strike gets ever closer. Breaking news...Hurricane hits Sesame Street...Big Bird's Nest Destroyed...More to Follow. Get your Dark Name (Via Not Enough of Me.) I'm either a Quiet Samurai or Fanatical Menace, depending on whether or not I keep the middle C. Ah, silly name...the meme that never grows old. Could it really be happening? McCain-Feingold forces successfully repel the non-severability amendment and look to win the day come Monday's final vote. This is the most faith-restoring political news I've heard in over a year. Of course, the bill must still pass the House, domain of the Exterminator and his minions. And then there's always the final hurdle, the desk of Dubya...although Mitch McConnell (R-KY) seems to indicate that Bush will sign what Congress gives him. Speaking of the Prez, don't say he's a do-nothing: Bush takes direct action to save the game of baseball. Apparently, games of T-ball will be played on the South Lawn to amuse the Child King while the Vice-Presidential regent runs the nation. Daily Radar previews Throne of Bhaal, the final installment of the Baldur's Gate II series. But, until that comes out, I think I'm going to make a run at the much-hyped Black and White, which the Radar labels "one of the most compelling, beautiful and impressive pieces of code we have played in a long, long time" and CNN/Gamepro calls "the best game ever." Okay, I'm in. Today's casting news from Dark Horizons: Joseph Fiennes, late of Enemy at the Gates, may take the starring role in Frank "Shawshank" Darabont's remake of Fahrenheit 451. Also, stage veteran Harry Lennix is slated to take on Morpheus in the Matrix sequels. R.E.M. drops us another song from Reveal, "Chorus and the Ring." I usually leave the Survivor 2 commentary to the much more trenchant Lots of Co., but I just have to say - see ya, Jerri, you devious little brat. Couldn't have happened to a nicer person.
3/29/01 - Ian McKellen answers LOTR-related fanmail on his personal webpage. Maybe Dubya has a subliminal need to be Jimmy Carter. Now that he's successfully talked the economy down, Bush now declares America is in an energy crisis. Trust a Stag party President to try and reintroduce stagflation. A very happy blogday to Cluttered. Featured in the trailer bin today is the new trailer for Swordfish. This looks rather awful, and John Travolta is as usual horribly miscast, but perhaps Hugh Jackman and Don Cheadle'll bring something to the table. In the latest round of campaign finance talks, Fred Thompson saves the day on the hard money issue. (I'm with Now This - increases in hard money spending sounds like a perfectly reasonable compromise to me.) But a non-severability amendment looms, which if passed could end up killing McCain-Feingold in the courts. The once and future breakup of R.E.M., in Q Magazine. 'Zo's back in the Heat lineup, despite his kidney ailment. Power to him, but, as David Aldridge notes, is this really a good idea? Possible huge spoiler for the next (even-numbered, thank goodness) Trek flick. Word is the villain will be none other than Spock, who at last sighting was hanging around the Romulan underground. Also, on the pleading of Patrick Stewart, Jean-Luc Picard will buy the farm. The film's slated for next spring. Two weeks after the Times, the Post also examines the increasingly likely possibility of a Schwarzenegger gubernatorial candidacy in California. Is there a House in New Orleans? (Via Lake Effect.) By the way, if you play guitar, the song is easy, great, fingerpicking fun: Am C D F Am C E, Am C D F Am E Am. William Saletan pulls apart David Horowitz on his recent anti-reparations media junket. It's the Memphis Express vs. the Louisville Colonels...ESPN delves into an until-recently untapped revenue stream for pro sports, team naming rights. And, in other product placement news, Harry gets a pic of the 2003 Cadillac Evoq, car of Neo, Trinity, and all your other Matrix 2 stars.
3/28/01 - De Niro, Norton, Bassett, Brando...how could a film with such talent look so lame? The trailer for The Score hits the web. The battle for Campaign Finance continues. McCain-Feingold troops successfully repel the Hagel challenge, and are now looking for a hard money compromise that will appeal to wavering Republicans. Meanwhile, the questionable constitutionality of the Wellstone amendment is further scrutinized, while Jake Tapper suggests it might all come down to Daschle. Harry obtains some hand-held spycam footage of Spidey in action, as well as a much larger picture of the Green Goblin. Can't say I much like that goofy mask. Joe Lieberman preps for a Presidential run should Al Gore decide to defer. Great. That now makes two lame-O Dems that progressive forces will have to work to defeat in the primary. Typical. As much as 10% of DC's police force are busted for sending each other racist, sexist, and homophobic messages on their squad car computers. U2 begins their summer tour. The Supreme Court, sans Breyer, takes a look at medical marijuana, and - judging by their comments during argument - it looks like drug hysteria will once again prevail over common sense. Feed Magazine calls out TNR's Franklin Foer (a friend of mine, even if we disagree vehemently on the subject of Nader) for his defense of conventional wisdom, blogged here awhile back. Bankruptcy, schmankruptcy. Iridium returns. Also proving today that there are always second acts in American life is P. Diddy, formerly known as Puff Daddy. If you're going to change your name, why not go for it? Might as well have picked Pad Duffy or Duff Paddy.
3/27/01 - Closing a loophole or killing reform? Jake Tapper wonders what Paul Wellstone was thinking when he pinned a reform-minded amendment to McCain-Feingold yesterday. I'd like to think that Wellstone was operating with the best of intentions, but the road to Hell... As the Times notes, "this measure actually passed because it got votes from opponents of campaign reform." The Post examines the recent conflict between Dubya and his only moderate Republican appointee, EPA Chief Christine Todd Whitman. Pizzicato 5 breaks up. (Via Lots of Co.) That's too bad. I have a great fondness for their Sound of Music. Paging Oliver Stone: A british scientist's aural analysis lends credence to JFK conspiracy theories. Former President Clinton likens himself to the witches of Salem. Um...there may be some truth to that, but for some reason I don't think that type of ridiculous self-pity is going to go over very well.
3/26/01 - The Memphis Grizzlies? I thought I'd read a poll somewhere that noted that Tennesseans generally don't much care for basketball, and that Memphis will be the league's smallest market. I wonder if FedEx's commitment will be enough to fill the seats. TNR's Michelle Cottle surveys the more unappetizing aspects of Texas on the Potomac. So, the Oscars were last night as everyone knows, and I must say, when Marcia Gay Harden went up early for Best Supporting Actress, I thought we might be seeing a night of upsets. Unfortunately, the system reasserted itself in the third hour with Russell, Julia, and Gladiator all winning undeserved awards...ah, well. Highlight of the evening for me was Bob Dylan's performance of and acceptance for "Things Have Changed," even if we were subjected to a Remote Satellite Extreme Close-Up of his splotchy Chester-the-molester 'stache all throughout the first verse. You go, Bob. Week 2 of Campaign Finance Debate begins, with Senators McCain and Feingold trying to put the kibosh on the loophole-ridden Hagel bill and House Whip and right-wing crazy Tom DeLay declaring he will do everything in his power to kill the bill. If DeLay loathes McCain-Feingold, you know it must be worth passing. Just before Oscar weekend, Slate offers a social perspective of Wilson the Volleyball.
3/23/01 - It's a bird, it's a plane...it's Comrade Superman? Pat Buchanan, among others, aren't too happy about a forthcoming communist take on the Supes mythos by Scottish writer Mark Millar. Peek-a-boo. Ewan MacGregor eyes some no doubt nefarious shenanigans in the most recent Episode 2 select. He's also popped up with much less hair on Scottish TV recently to talk Black Hawk Down. R.E.M. discusses Reveal with MTV. E.J. Dionne on Reagan memorial madness. "Perhaps we should simply rename ourselves the Ronald Reagan United States of America." Of geeks and gamers: Salon offers Part One of the fall and rise of Wizards of the Coast. Are you allowed to discriminate against Federation personnel in job hiring like that? The Mir goes down. You'd think one of the key installations of Humankind's initial forays into the stars wouldn't suffer such an ignominious end. I didn't even get a taco out of the deal.
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