If there is any eternal truth to be gleaned from the squillions of reality TV hours that will air this season, it is perhaps to be found in this single statement: "Owning a barnyard animal isn't as easy as it looks on the Internet." Credit this singular epiphany to Rob Dyrdek, professional street skateboarder and bona fide MTV star.
The shooting at Virginia Tech wasn't even a day old when Mobile Campus e-mailed a press release to technology reporters. "Everyone's asking why the students at Virginia Tech weren't notified of the shootings more quickly and efficiently," it began. "I'd like to suggest a story on a proven emergency-notification system." The system, naturally, is made by the company pitching the story.
The details are still scarce. But as the death toll from a killing spree at the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg ratcheted up past 30, law-enforcement authorities and outside experts were trying to learn as much as possible from the little information in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
For about an hour yesterday, visitors to Sen. John McCain's MySpace page were treated to a stunning announcement from the 2008 presidential candidate. "Today I announce that I have reversed my position and come out in full support of gay marriage," the message read. "Particularly marriage between two passionate females." Cleary this was the work of some malicious hacker, right?
Ever receive a "Dear friend" e-mail from a "West African widow" you've never met? Did this person claim to have access to millions of dollars in "leftover funds" and want to transfer them to a "foreign partner" such as yourself for safekeeping, for which you would be handsomely compensated?Did you, even for just one second, consider replying to that e-mail?If you did, you're not alone.
"My Name Is Buddy" is coolly billed as "Another record by Ry Cooder," as if it were a casual studio outing in an unremarkable career. But this is, after all, the man who brought us 1997's "Buena Vista Social Club" and, in 2005, "Chavez Ravine," a record about the ugly razing of an immigrant Los Angeles neighborhood to build Dodger Stadium.
Apparently BYOB translates a little differently in Sweden. At least for IKEA, the privately held assemble-it-yourself furniture chain and Swedish-meatball purveyor, the acronym now means "bring your own bag." Beginning March 15, all of its U.S. stores will start charging five cents for each plastic bag that customers take their purchases home in.
President George W. Bush concluded his annual State of the Union address this week with the words "the State of our Union is strong … our cause in the world is right … and tonight that cause goes on." Maybe so, but the state of the Bush administration is at its worst yet, according to the latest NEWSWEEK Poll.
Sean Stroupe has a fairly typical MySpace page in that it's fairly atypical. His profile is tricked out with a song that plays whenever his page is reloaded, two slideshows from recent parties, a couple of YouTube videos that caught his fancy and an audio message from his mother, posted with just a twinge of irony. "You want to make it as interesting as possible.
After being introduced as the Madonna of stand-up, Phyllis Diller quipped, "The day I grab my crotch, it'll mean it's falling off. And at my age it could." You can watch her deliver that line, and hundreds of others, in "Goodnight, We Love You." Out on DVD this week, the documentary chronicles her last performance ever, in 2002, after 47 years on the road.
It certainly sounded like a bold idea—shockingly brazen, even. Raid the Beatles' master recordings at Abbey Road Studios, break them apart, scramble, mash and reassemble them, and then serve up the result in 5.1 Surround Sound as the score to a Cirque de Soleil show called "Love." To diehard fans it smacked of sacrilege.
Fred Benenson spent a recent drizzly Saturday afternoon with friends in Manhattan wearing yellow hazmat suits. They were in front of the new Apple store on Fifth Avenue, distributing flyers and explaining to passersby why iTunes, Apple's online music store, "sucks." The target of their ire: a technology the recording and film industries call "Digital Rights Management." DRM, as it's known, is encoded onto downloadable digital content so that copyright owners can prevent piracy.
For a taste of how nasty these midterm elections got in the tighter contests, look no further than New Jersey. In a race that has pitted an incumbent appointee against a political neophyte with a Garden State golden name, the GOP identified one Senate seat they felt hopeful they could snag away from the Democrats.
Cartoonists, the writing is on the wall. Step into the Jewish Museum in New York City, which is currently cohosting the wonderful "Masters of American Comics" exhibit, and read it for yourself: "'Masters of American Comics' endeavors to establish a canon of fourteen of the most influential artists working in the medium throughout the 20th century." The framing-and-hanging of cartoons is nothing new—Mort Walker, the creator of "Beetle Bailey" and "Hi and Lois," founded the Museum of Cartoon...
If you lived anywhere near Boston six years ago, there was a grim little memoir, peppered with hard-won humor, called "All Souls" that was inescapable: you saw it in shop windows, in the hands of passengers on the bus, on laps on the "T," which the author and his pals from the projects used to hop turnstiles to ride. "All Souls" was the first-person testimony of Michael Patrick MacDonald, survivor of the Old Colony development in the Irish enclave of South Boston (Southie, as it's known)—one...