Stephen Colbert IS cooler than you. Me. Jay-Z, even.
For all you Apple/iPad haters, let's see your Kindles do that.
Stephen Colbert IS cooler than you. Me. Jay-Z, even.
For all you Apple/iPad haters, let's see your Kindles do that.
More than 10,000 fans greeted the cast of "Lost" on Waikiki Beach and were treated to a special screening of upcoming season premiere.
Fans started lining up 12 hours before the Saturday night's event in hopes of getting a glimpse of the actors. Sitting on beach towels and lawn chairs, they watched the episode that airs Tuesday night on ABC and kicks off the sixth and final season of the castaway drama.
Among the stars that made an island-style, red-carpet arrival were Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway, Yunjin Kim and Michael Emerson.
Actor Daniel Dae Kim called the event "humbling, outrageous and a lot of fun."<\p>
There are currently at least four Nazi and/or Adolph Hitler-themed iPad parody videos on YouTube. Four. True, the Hitler one is part of a recent craze, but still, what gives? It's a nifty device, not a destroyer of freedom.
Or at least we don't think so. But to be fair, it has yet to hit stores.
Mass transit is great. Cheap. Quickish. Easy to use. Environmentally friendly.
Like, when you get on and there's some crazy-as-the-day-is-long type canoodling with his
The best part is watching people get on and off relatively like there's nothing going on. Nothing to see here. Who among us that rides the planes and trains of our great cities hasn't basically pretended that crazy wasn't happening right next to us because A) you gotta get where you're going and B) ohh, is that an open seat?
The Associated Press has jumped on this important story and gotten the city's take:
New York City's transit agency is investigating a video posted online that shows a man kissing and snuggling a live chicken aboard a subway.
Spokesman Charles Seaton said Thursday it was looking into whether the Tuesday incident on the uptown No. 6 train was a prank. He says no passengers reported it.
Apparently only service animals are allowed on New York's public transit. No word on how this chicken is servicing Mr. Rolls on the Floor.
Big news today from Apple. They announced another new super-cool gadget: the iPad!
But, guess what? The yuksters at "MadTV" thought of the iPad a long time ago ...
There may not be any more Coco after Conan O'Brien bid a relatively classy adieu to NBC and "The Tonight Show," but there was certainly more cowbell. And some more cowbell. And a little more cowbell.
A semi-all-star jam played out O'Brien after his six-and-a-half months of late night talk glory - the last half month was more gory. Billy Gibbons. Ben Harper. And Beck. And, of course, Will Ferrell - with a guest appearance by very pregnant wife Viveca as a background dancer and deep, tongue-kissing target - on the cowbell.
If only Conan had been as good as he was this week for the whole run, maybe this mess could have been averted. Or not. Jeff Zucker would have still been involved.
Police in Mexico City have rescued 150 ferrets from armed robbers after a high speed chase. Police say they found the furry contraband after the suspects crashed their car into a tree and then fled on foot.
With things like they are in Mexico these days, we can thankfully report none of the ferrets were beheaded. In fact, they were apparently not harmed at all.
Fourteen boxes of ferrets imported from the U.S. were taken by force by three robbers from a truck after it left the Mexico City airport. Two suspects are under arrest and another escaped.
Nex question: what does one do with 14 boxes of ferrets?
Police said Friday that a veterinarian who purchased the ferrets reclaimed them.
If there had been an unfortunate injury, it's not unprecedented, apparently, to do mouth-to-snout on a ferret, evidenced by this brave fireman's efforts - coincidentally also in Mexico City:
Associated Press contributing
The breakup has been brokered. Coco is a free man. His people are getting paid. Life is good.
And how else to break down the tense final moments? Why with Pee Wee Herman, legal expert, of course. Making use of a stuffed giraffe, an NBC peacock, a transformer and one of those human tank things from "Avatar."
It really is a shame this whole debacle is all but done. Late night TV is about to get much less interesting.
Watch out, Mouse, here come the bricks. Legoland is opening a theme park in Florida.
The Ledger in Winter Haven reports the park, which will only be the fifth in the world, is gonna take residence in the state after plans were leaked in an e-mail:
1. LEGOLAND Florida will be the fifth LEGOLAND attraction worldwide (CA, Denmark, England, and Germany).
2. Merlin is the second largest attraction company in the world, second only behind Disney.
3. Merlin's massive research in the area already indicated that; the LEGOLAND brand already has high recognition and a 90% intention to visit by families in their target market.
4. LEGOLAND, CA, is the fastest growing theme park in the U.S., realizing an astounding 6% growth in 2009. The park was also recognized by Amusement Today as the country's best theme park for children for the sixth consecutive year.
5. Check out Merlin's website for a broad overview of their operations.
Whatever the case, exciting news for roller coaster fans and Lego nerds.
You gotta love "Lost" fans. The delightfully obsessed, conspiracy theorist bunch that can sometimes further the cliff-hanger show plot along better than the writers.
Case in point: This 10-minute classic of the crash of Oceanic Flight 815 in real time from the perspective of multiple characters. Watch in slightly stomach-churning syncopation as lives are lived and intersected on the island.
The fairly awesome compilation was touted on Twitter by no less that Damon Lindelhof, one of the show's executive producers. Wait, is there a clue there?
Ahh, coffee. It makes us go. A daily shot of energy - often several times daily - to keep the world as we know it spinning merrily away.
And when there's a real energy crisis, we can always turn to a nice, simple shot of espresso. Well, simple enough to drink, anyway.
But in this first in a promised series of videos from Intelligentsia breaking down various parts of the coffee making arts. Though this is not the Chicago Intelligentsia many of us know and love, but rather a Venice, Ca., location. Who knew?
Anyway, manager of Espresso Research and Development Kyle Glanville - the U.S. Barista Championship winner in 2008 - walks you through what is clearly a more involved process to get the perfect espresso shot than we may have realized by watching the pros in action.
The fairly pretentious series name, "Intelligentsia Coffee Short Film Series," aside, this is pretty cool and does get the mouth watering for a cup. But it's apparently not the first time the West Coast Intelligentsia folks have found their way onto the Web in video form.
All very interesting - but where's the Chicago Intelligentsia love?
OMG ... OMG ... OMG!!! Nick Jonas! Loves the fans!
And here's the proof. Sort of. The youngest Jonas - age is the only way to really tell them apart without starting an argument over cuteness - was in Chicago recently with his band, the Administration, for a show at the Rosemont Theatre. But before he went on stage, he took some time to meet the fans, and even offered up a little acoustic set.
Sadly(?) he sings so quietly that you can't really hear above the warbling of the assembled teens. But the fan who captured Nick was happy, according to their posting on YouTube. And really, isn't that what it's all about?
Nick Jonas singing Rose Garden and Who I Am this was before his concert on 1.17.2010
he was originally going to go around and meet all of the fans
he met half, then got called to soundcheck
so he sang these two songs for the other half of the fans.
You might still be a little confused about this whole late night TV debacle going on over at NBC. Sure, we all know that Leno's ratings suck and Conan's being booted after seven months and NBC is apparently incapable of making good decisions. But what really happened?
Thankfully, a media outlet has taken on the task of breaking down the meltdown in true journalistic form - without malice, prejudice or bias. The same newshawks that brought us rendered reenactments of the Tiger Woods-Elin Nordegren back nine beatdown have thrown in the resources to explain the crumbling world of "The Tonight Show" in imagery we can all understand - super heroes (though ironically not NBC super "Heroes").
When you take a moment to Watch Conan become the Incredible Hulk, an NBC executive - seemingly Jeff Zucker - morph into Captain America and Jay Leno transform into, umm, L-Man(?), well, it just all becomes clear.
Thank the Maker for Chinese (technically Taiwan) news reenactments.
OK, if you really must have this in English, here's the translated version. But it does seem to lose something:
David Letterman, responding to a report in The New York Times that quoted NBC executive Dick Ebersol as calling him and ousted "Tonight Show" host Conan O'Brien "chicken-hearted and gutless" in their jokes about Jay Leno, the "Late Show" host told his CBS audience Monday night that Ebersol, a long-time sports executive at NBC, should spend less time weighing in on late night and more time picking out Bob Costas' sweaters and scarves for the upcoming winter Olympics. Letterman told a cheering audience, "I'm telling jokes and making fun of Jay Leno, over and over and over, relentlessly, mercilessly, simple for one reason and that is -- I'm really enjoying it. I don't know, it's just fun!"
Letterman, who has taken to referring to Leno as "Big Jaw," has been gleefully enjoying NBC's disastrous "Tonight Show" debacle, weighing in with the kind of stinging barbs (most of them directed at NBC chief Jeff Zucker and Leno) he was famous for directing at the peacock network in the 1990s, when NBC chose Leno over Letterman to fill Johnny Carson's chair. The then "Late Night" host bolted to CBS and created one of the first enduring franchises to effectively compete against "Tonight." On his way out, he took every shot imaginable at NBC, even calling out virtually anonymous executives by name, showing their pictures on the air and mercilessly making fun of them. Letterman rarely, if ever, took shots at Leno during that time and over the years, he has only mentioned Leno sporadically (and mostly positively) until now.
The two men have often characterized their relationship differently in public. For some time, Leno has maintained that the two are friends and have been since their stand-up comic days in Los Angeles, but Letterman told Rolling Stone in 1993, "I speak to Jay now with the same regularity that I have always spoken to Jay. Which is not much. There is no ill will personally." Given Letterman's notorious anti-social behavior, that might actually constitute a friendship. At any rate, the two did have some nice on-screen chemistry when Leno appeared on Letterman's old NBC show.
One of the great things about the Internet is that like "Lost" conspiracy theories, it's never-ending and self-fulfilling. Case in point: charred Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen.
The photo above, submitted by a reader seeking clarification on whether it's a real action(?) figure set of Luke's post-Storm Trooper adoptive parents - It doesn't seem to be, based on this answer from Hasbro - only leads to more links and Star Wars nerdy goodness.
The fresh trauma of well-done Lars in our minds, a cheerful bit of fashion was quick to the rescue. Namely this bit of head gear sure to keep anyone but the wearer on their toes:
No real info on why or how - or whether the screaming Tie Fighter engine noise is available in any way, but it's still quite the look. Is it a costume? A lifestyle choice? A birthmark? Sadly, the Internets provide coolness, but often no context, especially at WTFcostumes where it and the next gem of a getup were found.
At least we assume it's a getup. One thing is for sure - this can't smell any better on the inside than one of the actual Hoth beasts. Whatever the case, it's certainly the best use of tautaun since the implausibly cool sleeping bag from ThinkGeek. It started out as a prank, but the demand was such that it's now a LucasFilm-sanctioned bit of memorabilia that's way too nice to waste on children.
Thank you, Internets, for providing once again on a quiet Tuesday.
The Conan O'Brien fan revolution continues to be televised as the late-night hosting heavyweights and NBC spar publicly over network plans to rescue Jay Leno at the expense of his "Tonight Show" replacement.
But the villagers are sharpening pitchforks and lighting their torches in this mess, too, as Conan's fans prepare to march on various NBC affiliates nationwide to voice displeasure over the network's treatment of their favorite pasty redhead. The grassroots protest makes its way to Chicago Monday evening for a 4:30-9 p.m. event outside the NBC5 studios at Pioneer Court, thanks in large part to the 300,000-strong I'm with Coco Facebook page that has sprung up to capture and focus the angst of O'Brien's masses who love his off-the-wall brand of humor. Protesters carried signs, spray painted their hair orange and wore Conan masks in support of the pale, gangly 6-foot-4-inch host.
The group was created by Los Angeles illustrator Mike Mitchell (he made the Conan image up top) who characterizes the push as a protest against bad management by an everyman's fans. He tells the Trib that this is a chance for like-minded Conan-backers to make their collective voice hear, but acknowledges the long odds:
"NBC, I think, has already made their mind up. Maybe (the protest) is more of a thing to show that there's a lot of Conan fans."
Will the 485 voices outside NBC tonight mean anything in the long run? Probably not. But in a way the almost comical futility suits the ethos of O'Brien, a man who's comedic talent has frequently eluded mainstream explanation and popularity.
But like the slogan says on the page, "Cause we're with him, no matter what," so some long odds are hardly worth shutting down the movement - just war some orange and play nice if you plan to attend. Let the network execs stoop to the name calling and vitriol.
Ahh, intellectual property. Once again robbing the masses of the best and the brightest when big-name talent divorces monolithic media conglomerate. This time the unhappy couple is, of course, Conan O'Brien and NBC, embroiled in and ugly threesome of ego and ratings failure with Jay Leno.
And, as is often the case it's us, boys and girls, caught in the middle. What are we losing?
The Masturbating Bear.
No more Conando.
All wiped away forever in the deal that will give Conan his $30 million (reportedly) in alimony. He may move to Fox or HBO or the Internets or space, but it will be without the treasure trove of odd, sometimes even comic, characters and bits that have been part of his schtick since his incarnation of "Late Night" cranked up in 1993 until his eventual flameout after less than a year on :The Tonight Show."
But what about the dog? Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, that is? The future is unclear for the smutty mutt, reports the Hollywood Reporter. The character was developed by O'Brien pal, and "Saturday Night Live" "TV Funhouse" genius Robert Smeigel, but there's no word on who actually owns the rights.
While the vast majority of the characters O'Brien introduced are said to owned by NBC, it's unclear who controls Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, the crass canine puppet that is perhaps O'Brien's most popular recurring bit. Triumph was originated by writer and longtime O'Brien pal Robert Smigel, whose reps declined to comment on whether Smigel or NBC owned rights to the character.
Will mom or dad get the family pet? We'll have to wait to find out.
Of course, NBC has famously been down this path before, again with Leno playing a major role. When Johnny Carson hit the brick as the iconic hot of "The Tonight Show" in 1992, David Letterman and Leno were embroiled in a cage match to see who would inherit the seat next to Ed McMahon, both assuming the show was their birthright.
Leno won and Letterman bolted, at Carson's urging, for CBS. But not before NBC stripped him of several trinkets of intellectual property, including his old "Late Night" show name, which would become O'Brien's home, rebranded as "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," until last year. Letterman couldn't even take Larry Bud Melman, the recurring cantankerous old man character - no, not his real father - though the actor who played him, Calvert DeForest did make the trek to CBS.
The famously acerbic Letterman found ways to sidestep NBC's intellectual tentacles - a loose renaming of his Top Ten list, for instance, being the most famous in the parting. And he came up with a whole new lineup of characters - Biff the Stage Manager - and skits.
Conan will be no different. The Harvard alum's start in the business writing for "The Simpsons" and "SNL," before becoming the controversial replacement for Letterman, will give him a leg up restarting the creativity gene. Some critics have complained that his move to the mainstream "Tonight Show" had softened the often unconventional humor than was his calling card on a later slot. Being forced to figure out a new format and content, while sitting on a boatload of NBC cash, may be just the clean start the brainy host needs to recapture his edge.
Where was this guy during Chicago's R. Kelly trial?
More non-Conan-Leno late-night fun from last night: Aziz Ansari ("Parks and Recreation") reminisces with Jimmy Kimmel about R&B freakazoid R. Kelly ... and does a fine impression:
Amid all the madness currently steaming in late-night TV, enjoy this non-Conan-Leno bit of hilarity from last night's Jimmy Fallon show, in which "Neil Young" (yes, that's Fallon) sings the country's next big hit -- "American Idol" sensation "Pants on the Ground":
Bobbies on tobbagans is not in keeping with the classic British reserve, it seems.
These Oxfordshire coppers, taking a break to enjoy the snow using their riot shields - inventive! - as sleds got a stern talking-to from their commanding officer who does not see the humor (humour?) in his boys acting like boys.
Local policing area commander Supt. Andrew Murray said the snow had "a habit of bringing out the child in all of us. I have spoken to the officers concerned and reminded them in no uncertain terms that tobogganing on duty, on police equipment and at taxpayers' expense is a very bad idea should they wish to progress under my command"
So back to beating on soccer hooligans, fellas. Break's over.
On Wednesday, a NASA probe returned unbelievable photographs of the Red Plant's surface with trees popping up. Unfortunately, researchers now believe the "trees" are actually the result of landslides. The dark streaks are likely dark basaltic sand debris and erupting dust clouds, according to Candy Hansen, a member of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter team. "The streaks are sand, dislodged as ice evaporates, which slide down the dune," Hansen tells The Sun. "At this time of the Martian year the whole scene is covered by CO2 frost." The detailed photo was taken from orbit around Mars by one of the world's most powerful cameras known as HiRISE.
Engineer-inventor Douglas Hines, right, poses with his company's "True Companion" sex robot, Roxxxy. (Getty Images)
In an age where relationships are more complicated than ever - Internet dating, video game character marriage, same-sex marriage, high school - it's refreshing to see technology continue to take a romantic lead.
Meet Roxxxy, the $7,000 robot of love. But she's not just some plastic blowup doll, oh no. Roxxxy is, according to her manufacturers (pimps?) a five-foot, seven-inch, 120 pound companion that comes with five "personalities", is "ready for action."
She's fully customizable in terms of, err, physical attributes - including skin color, hair and mos of the other bits you'd think to mold. And, this may or may not be a turn-on, she's conversational. Roxxxy can kick back and chat about the Bears game if you're so inclined, but won't bug you about paying the bills or cleaning the gutters.
"She can't vacuum, she can't cook but she can do almost anything else if you know what I mean," Douglas Hine, her New Jersey-based artificial intelligence engineer and creator said.
"She's a companion. She has a personality. She hears you. She listens to you. She speaks. She feels your touch. She goes to sleep. We are trying to replicate a personality of a person."
Hines, who must have some really interesting research habits and lab practices, promises the lifelike creation from TrueCompanion (Actual marketing slogan: "The World's First Sex Robot - She's Ready to Talk or Play") is able to "know exactly what you are like" thanks to a wireless Internet connection. She can study your habits and interests and even send you e-mails through the day in what surely must be the most interesting messages your IT department will spy on in their life.
"Sex only goes so far, then you want to be able to talk to the person," he told the Daily Telegraph.
If you can look past the absolute creepiness for just a moment, the technology and robotics are pretty impressive. Hines says she has an operating spine that allows for "realistic" movement - though not arms and legs, apparently - and a mechanical heart with a liquid cooling system.
OK, but back to the creepy. There's also the promise of partner swapping "without risk of emotional damage" and the ability to store personalities for various scenarios. In fact, the inspiration for this stroke of genius supposedly came out of the Sept. 11 attacks. Apparently a friend of Hines' was killed and he wanted to figure out a way to store the personality forever. How you make the leap from lasting storage and tribute to a fallen friend to sex toy is surely an interesting story filled with the right mixture of pathos and freakiness, but he doesn't get into the creation process.
Roxxxy was announced at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo - in Las Vegas, of course. And don't worry, there are plans for a guybot - Rocky.
Mark Zuckerberg knows you. I mean, he really knows you.
The founder of Facebook, the social media behemoth with a user base the size of the United States population, sat down for a little chat with Techcrunch brainchild Michael Arrington to discuss his thoughts on what's public information and how much privacy any of us, especially those on Facebook, should expect in this day and age.
The short answer: Not much. Zuckerberg doesn't see privacy in today's world of constant updates as a "social norm" anymore. Here's a quick synopsis of Zuckerberg's take:
When I got started in my dorm room at Harvard, the question a lot of people asked was 'why would I want to put any information on the Internet at all? Why would I want to have a website?'
And then in the last 5 or 6 years, blogging has taken off in a huge way and all these different services that have people sharing all this information. People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.
We view it as our role in the system to constantly be innovating and be updating what our system is to reflect what the current social norms are.
A lot of companies would be trapped by the conventions and their legacies of what they've built, doing a privacy change - doing a privacy change for 350 million users is not the kind of thing that a lot of companies would do. But we viewed that as a really important thing, to always keep a beginner's mind and what would we do if we were starting the company now and we decided that these would be the social norms now and we just went for it.
Facebook and its privacy policies and murky content ownership decisions have bubbled up increasingly in the public consciousness of late. At a site where people feel free to post anything and everything about their lives - when did we become such exhibitionists? - to hear the driving force behind it eschew the strident need for privacy protection is, umm, an interesting public admission that bears cautionary attention.
But do you even care about privacy anymore? Or are you fine with status updating and geo-lacting and photo posting your way toward a completely open, available lifestyle?
Time for another installment of Odd Battle of the Bands.
Radiohead, meet Hanson. Hanson, Radiohead. The Mmm, Bop boys, now actual shaving, rocking, older members of the pop music world, take on Thom Yorke's "Optimistic" in this clip (kind of ironic, kind of perfect for them).
Anyway, take a listen - I bet Radiohead has never experienced the level of screaming teen lust you can hear in the background - and then enjoy a live version of the original below. You be the judge.
And for the control subject, here's the "Kid A" album version:
Don't know about you, but I feel like this sometimes, too, when it gets too cold ...
"The 12 year break is over & school is back in session. Sign up now. Knights of the Soundtable ride again!"
That's how iconic '90s grunge band Soundgarden engulfed those of us of a certain age in a swirl of flannel-scented nostalgia. After 12 years, the band is back together, they announced on New Years Day, to tour and bring the Seattle Sound back to the stage.
To come of age at the height of Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Alice in Chains was to be a fan of Chris Cornell's rich, husky vocals. The widely anticipated news - rumors of a reunion have been floating around for months, fueled in pard by the reformation of bands of that age like Rage Against the Machine, Faith No More, The Pixies, Stone Temple Pilots and the Smashing Pumpkins - was announced via Cornell's Twitter. Most ungrungy.
The Soundgarden lineup is singer Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, drummer Matt Cameron and bassist Ben Shepherd. Formed in 1984, Soundgarden won Grammy awards for the songs Spoonman (video above) and and Black Hole Sun, sold around 20 million albums worldwide. They disbanded in 1997.
Reunion talk began in earnest following a quick gig last year when they regrouped on stage to perform the Temple of the Dog song Hunger Strike together during a Pearl Jam show.