Sunday, October 31, 2004

KQ's Movie Reviews

Here are my latest picks and pans for movies in theaters, on DVD and on cable:


Loved it, loved it, loved it! Movie about two 40something guys on a road trip through California wine country before one of them gets married. Paul Giamatti plays a melancholy middle school teacher with a love for vino and a longing for love. He was great. The mechanic guy from "Wings" plays his friend, the lothario. The fabulous Sandra Oh is a woman the "Wings" guy picks up along the way. This movie is about the struggle to make a connection, find love and mean something to someone (and to the universe) even if you are no longer gorgeous and 20something.


Hated it, hated it, hated it. Watched it on cable. In the 1980s, I was VERY into Brett Easton Ellis novels. Perhaps I was sucked in by the hype about Ellis and about Jay McInerney. Perhaps I was curious about college kids my age who were doing drugs and having a lot of sex, because I sure as heck wasn't.

This movie finally got made recently, although it has an awesome '80s sountrack. That is the only thing it has going for it. Dawson from "Dawson's Creek" plays the lead and he is horrible and so is his character. They are all a waste of humanity and the movie is bitter and mean. Bleh.


Loved it, although it was often painful to watch. A biography of Rodney Bingenheimer, an L.A. DJ and former stand-in for Davy Jones in the "Monkees" tv series. Bingenheimer was at the top of the A list in the music scene on the Sunset Strip in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Now it seems that time has passed him by. He is still friends with lots of stars like Cher, Blondie and David Bowie. They all make appearances to talk about Rodney. He is a sad little guy though.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

HOW am I going to stand waiting for Election results?

Especially since we might not know the results for days. I am mentally prepared for legal action from whomever is the loser. But what if we have another Electoral College/popular vote split? Aiiieee.

Four years ago, I was right in the thick of things. And thank God I didn't know on Election Night that I would spend the next 37 days in re-count hell. Everyone is geared up for it this time around.

I WISH the polls were farther apart (with Kerry in the lead, obviously). Oy.

More about Catholics for Kerry

Friday, October 29, 2004

Dog saves owner's life by calling 911

See? I just love stories like this.

RICHLAND, Washington (AP) -- Leana Beasley has faith that a dog is man's best friend.

Faith, a 4-year-old Rottweiler, phoned 911 when Beasley fell out of her wheelchair and barked urgently into the receiver until a dispatcher sent help. Then the service dog unlocked the front door for the police officer.

"I sensed there was a problem on the other end of the 911 call," said dispatcher Jenny Buchanan. "The dog was too persistent in barking directly into the phone receiver. I knew she was trying to tell me something."

Faith is trained to summon help by pushing a speed-dial button on the phone with her nose after taking the receiver off the hook, said her owner, Beasley, 45, who suffers grand mal seizures.

Guided by experts at the Assistance Dog Club of Puget Sound, Beasley helped train Faith herself.

The day of the fall, Faith "had been acting very clingy, wanting to be touching me all day long," Beasley said Thursday.

The dog, whose sensitive nose can detect changes in Beasley's body chemistry, is trained to alert her owner to impending seizures.

But that wasn't what was happening on September 7, and Faith apparently wasn't sure how to communicate the problem. During Beasley's three-week hospital stay, doctors determined her liver was not properly processing her seizure medication.


In honor of Halloween...

...I am eating a candy apple. And it is sticking to my teeth.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Stern annoys the head of the FCC. Literally


Howard Stern traded shots with FCC Chairman Michael Powell on the air.

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 27) - Shock jock Howard Stern made a surprise call to a radio station during an interview of the Federal Communications Commission head, claiming the chairman only got his job because his father is Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Stern called in to KGO-AM radio in San Francisco during a live interview Tuesday with FCC Chairman Michael Powell. After claiming Powell consistently avoids him, Stern began to question his credentials.

"How did you get your job? It is apparent to most of us in broadcasting that your father got you your job, and you kind of sit there and you're the judge, you're the arbiter, you're the one who tells us what we can and can't say on the air," Stern said. "And yet I really don't even think you're qualified to be the head of the commission."

Powell, a Republican, was appointed to the commission by President Clinton in 1997 and became chairman when President Bush took office in 2001. Powell denied Stern's charge and listed his qualifications, saying he is an attorney and was chief of staff of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division.

"I think it's a cheap shot to say just because my father is famous, I don't belong in my position," Powell said.

Stern, who battled for years with the FCC and conservative critics over his salacious show's content, is moving his show to Sirius satellite radio when his contract with Infinity Broadcasting Corp. expires in 2006.

Stern's show was dropped by media conglomerate Clear Channel Communications in April after the FCC proposed a $495,000 fine against it for comments made by Stern. Clear Channel reached a record $1.75 million settlement with the FCC in June to settle complaints against Stern and other radio personalities.

"I don't think that, you know, we have made any particular crusade of the 'Howard Stern Show' or you," Powell said during the 20-minute interview.

"Yeah, OK, Michael," Stern replied. "That's why I've received the largest fines in history."

After Stern was off the air, Powell said Stern's argument was that there should be no limits on what he is able to do on the radio. "If there are going to be limits, someone's going to have to define them and someone is going to have to enforce them."

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Acid reflux disease caused Ashlee Simpson's vocal cords to swell

That is what her dad said. And THAT is why she used pre-recorded vocals.

Um, what?

Hasn't she ever heard of chewing some Tums?

Ashlee Simpson's embarrassing performance on Saturday Night Live didn't hurt her sense of humor.

The 20-year-old singer and reality TV star took to the stage for Monday night's Radio Music Awards at the Aladdin hotel in Las Vegas to perform " Autobiography," the song that had caused her so much consternation on SNL just a couple nights earlier. Before she began, host Carson Daly assured the audience they were getting a live version of the song, but as the track began Simpson screamed, " It's the wrong song," the Associated Press reports.

Getty Images

 A second later she added that she was " only kidding!" – and then performed the song live.

The self-deprecating moment may have put a lid on Saturday's flub, during which Simpson walked off the SNL stage when her band began playing the wrong song and a prerecorded vocal track was clearly playing.

On Monday her father, Joe Simpson, blamed the lip-synching incident on his daughter's acid reflux disease, which he said had swollen Ashlee's vocal cords. The elder Simpson said it was his decision to go ahead with the prerecorded tracks, Reuters reports. " You've got to do what you've got to do," he said.

Monday, October 25, 2004

My friend Maria's morning conversation with an old lady

From my friend Maria, a reporter in Fort Worth:

i just talked to an 86-year-old woman who claimed to have a useful news tip. she didn't. but she did sing "maria" from west side story to me. then we had a conversation that went something like this: (Maria is happily married, by the way)

> her: now let me tell you about you. you're from south texas, right?
> me: no.
> her: oh. well, you're about 28 years old, right?
> me: 31, actually.
> her: your birthday is in the spring.
> me: um, december.
> her: i thought you were a gemini. i'm a scorpio. you're strong-minded and
> smart. and boy, you have a hard time getting along with your mother. i can
> almost see you. i can picture your hands. if you come by, i'll read them
> for you. i don't usually do that anymore, but i've chosen you.
> me: um, i need to get back to work. thanks for calling this morning.
> her: ok, if you don't want to know more about yourself. but you had two
> love affairs which ended terribly. and you're having a hard time finding a
> man, because you're smart and intimidate them.
> me: i've gotta go.
> her: fine, bye.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Ashlee Simpson caught lip-syncing at SNL; runs off stage

Ashlee Simpson LIP SYNCS!!??!! How SHOCKING!

In the key of fake

New York Daily News

Teen songbird Ashlee Simpson had a microphone malfunction on "Saturday Night Live" last night, scurrying off stage when a production glitch caught her lip-synching the wrong tune.

The pop star, younger sister of singer and TV star Jessica Simpson, sounded great belting out "Pieces of Me" in her first segment on the show. It was the same song that she butchered at August's MTV Music Video Awards, drawing withering reviews for a flat, out of key performance.

But the triumphant moment turned into a debacle when she came out to debut the song "Autobiography" for a second set. But whoever was responsible for piping in a studio-engineered rendition for Simpson to mouth screwed up, playing "Pieces" once again.

The raven-haired beauty hopped around briefly, then slinked off the stage as her hapless band half-heartedly faked away. It didn't take long for critics to vent their rage on Ashlee Simpson's official Web site.

"Finally, you're exposed for the fraud that you are," wrote an E-mail poster named drdrewby minutes after the embarrassing performance. "You have cheated your fans and people who actually thought that you had a lick of talent. You should quit the music business because you are now and always will be a complete and utter joke."

Said CowboyJeff99: "I knew she sounded like crap live, so I was 'wondering' what was going on when her voice sounded just like the radio edit."

When the cast of the live show came out to bid the audience good night, actor Jude Law tried to explain Simpson's slipup.

"What can I say folks, live TV," Law shrugged.

A still-humiliated Simpson apologized to her fans - and blamed her band for playing the wrong song.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Two new polls show Kerry leading in NJ once again

Kerry widens lead over Bush in N.J., two polls say

Inquirer Staff Writer

Sen. John Kerry appears to have stabilized his campaign in New Jersey, a state he was expected to win going away but that abruptly turned into a question mark after the Republican convention.

Two polls issued this week show the Democratic challenger widening his lead over President Bush, whose hopes of a New Jersey upset prompted his surprise visit to the state on Monday.

Kerry is leading Bush, 46 percent to 40 percent, among likely New Jersey voters, according to Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind Poll, released yesterday. The same poll showed them virtually tied last week.

Kerry's lead expanded to 49 percent to 41 percent when voters leaning toward one of the candidates were included. Nine percent of those questioned were undecided, while 1 percent favored independent candidate Ralph Nader.

Another survey released earlier this week gave Kerry an even larger lead - 51 percent to 38 percent. That poll, by Star-Ledger/Eagleton-Rutgers University, had shown Kerry with just a 6 percentage point lead two weeks ago.

A Quinnipiac University poll showed Kerry with a slimmer lead, 49 percent to 45 percent.

In the Fairleigh Dickinson poll, Kerry showed surprising strength among men, a voting bloc that Republican candidates have carried decisively in recent elections. He had also won back a significant percentage of women voters who had been showing signs of supporting Bush after voting overwhelmingly for Democrats.

The poll suggests that "Bush's brand of conservative Republican politics is not selling very well in New Jersey," said Richard Thigpen, a Democratic strategist and analyst for the PublicMind survey.

"The more Bush does what it takes politically to pursue his Southern- and Western-oriented electoral strategy, the harder it gets for him to carry New Jersey," Thigpen said.

But Stephen Salmore, a Republican consultant and an analyst for the poll, said the state "remains in play."

The Fairleigh Dickinson telephone poll of 503 likely voters, conducted Oct. 13-21, has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

Kerry's apparent advantage going into the campaign's final 10 days could ease the concern of some Democrats that their candidate's inattention to New Jersey could backfire on Election Day.

Given New Jersey's solid support of Democratic presidential candidates since 1992, the Kerry campaign made the strategic decision not to campaign there in favor of spending its time and money in certain battleground states, such as Pennsylvania.

The Kerry campaign held firm on its plan even in the face of consistent polling in the weeks after the Republican convention showing Bush running nearly even in New Jersey, chiefly due to terrorism fears in a state that lost nearly 700 residents in the World Trade Center attacks.

And Kerry stayed away even when Vice President Cheney and then Bush, sensing a chance to pick off a Democratic state, both made previously unplanned campaign trips to New Jersey in the last two weeks.

Kerry, in a national radio interview, chided Bush after his trip to Marlton in South Jersey. He said the President was wasting his time campaigning in a state that was certain to vote Democratic in November.

No Republican presidential candidate has carried New Jersey since Bush's father in 1988. Four years ago, the current President Bush lost to then-Vice President Al Gore by 16 percentage points.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Stolen U2 lyrics returned 23 years later

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) -- A long-lost briefcase full of notes and lyrics that were intended for the 1981 U2 album "October" has been returned, 23 years after it was stolen at a Portland concert.

U2 frontman Bono made the announcement Wednesday during an appearance before the World Affairs Council of Oregon, saying the returned notes were "an act of grace."

Bono had to rewrite the "October" lyrics in the studio, and band members called it their worst recording experience. Though the record was generally well-received, it didn't earn the praise of the band's debut album, "Boy," or third album, "War."

The briefcase was returned by Cindy Harris, 44, who said she found it in the attic of a rental home in Tacoma, Washington, in 1981. She said she did not know the notes had been stolen until many years later, and then she had no idea how to reach the band.

Her friend Danielle Rheaume spent much of the past year contacting U2's management.

According to "Into the Heart," a book of stories about U2 songs, the briefcase was stolen by some women who joined the band backstage at a now-defunct Portland nightclub.

The band returned to Portland a few years after the theft and Bono asked the audience if anyone knew about the briefcase. He repeated the question when the band played at the Rose Garden arena in 2001.

Kerry wins with voters who've never been wrong: Kids!

Go kids! Go kids!

Inquirer Columnist

Democrat John Kerry rules the 14-and-under crowd. And that might be a bigger deal than you think.

Kerry scored 57 percent of the vote to President Bush's 43 percent in Nickelodeon's "Kids Pick the President" online mock election Tuesday. About 400,000 youngsters voted.

Did we mention that the Nick event, launched in 1988, has never been wrong?

"It's become a legitimate bellwether poll," says Linda Ellerbee, whose Nick News specials began focusing in March on the presidential candidates and their issues.

How legitimate? "I can only say that since '88, the kids have picked the candidate who became president two weeks before the grown-ups did," Ellerbee says.

"I'm not a pollster or a statistician, but my best guess is that kids, for the most part, are voting the way their parents vote. The grown-ups may want to pay attention."

Aside from providing a presidential "winner," the Nick election serves a more important function, says Ellerbee.

"The point is to get kids interested in the process early, with the idea that if they practice voting when they're young, they'll be more likely to go out and vote, for real, when they're older."

The mock election's 1.000 batting average "is the cherry on the sundae."

Ellerbee is not a huge fan of electoral polls, particularly at this time of year in a close presidential race. New numbers are issued virtually every day.

"If polls are so accurate, why are there so many of them? It's been fairly confusing to me. I've simply decided not to pay attention to any of them. My life is a lot less complicated now."

As for her presidential preference, "the wonderful thing about the ballot box is that it's secret," Ellerbee says. "As a journalist, I do not take part in partisan politics."

The happy/craziness of the fans in Boston

This was written by my good friend Elliott, latex god and yoga teacher:


It's almost impossible to represent what it's been like here all week.  Since that Sunday night 14 inning game that went to like 2 in the morning, people have been walking around like zombies.  Strung out emotionally, exhausted physically -  Women and men.  People haven't been coming to yoga classes - they're staying home to watch the game or they're too tired from watching last night's game....   I myself watched the final 3 games like watching horror movies - compelled yet terrified.  Viewing the final innings through my fingers, hands across my face, anxious they were going to blow it and self destruct at any moment.   Some thoughts - from yesterday's Times: NYTimes:

"Until the final out, any Boston fan would have sourly insisted that
something dreadful could still ruin this huge lead."

"But that only raised the likelihood that Boston would suffer last night in
some new and hideous way."

and from today's Times:

Certainly anyone who was not a die-hard Yankees fan would say there was a kind of poetic justice to it all: an end to the dominion of the Evil Empire, a stake in the heart of the richest, most storied franchise in sports history. After 26 championships, after years of George Steinbrenner's outspending everyone, after decades of Yankees fans' taunting Boston with chants of "1918," wasn't it finally someone else's turn? And who better to do it than the Red Sox - national symbols, along with the hapless Chicago Cubs, of the perennial underdog?

And there were other morals to be drawn from the narrative. This is what happens when you don't cherish a home-grown star like Andy Pettitte and let him go. This is what happens when you chase after All-Stars like Kevin Brown, Alex Rodriguez, Kenny Lofton and Gary Sheffield, who are hardly true-blue, pinstriped Yankees. This is what happens when you think you can buy a championship team and strip-mine your farm system. This is what happens when you have the hubris not to correct obvious flaws on the pitching staff, like not having any ace left-handers.

Yes, Yankees fans have been horribly spoiled over the years. We did not know the pain of Boston. Or Chicago. Or even the pain of Jets, Mets and Knicks fans. We have taken tradition, luck and money for granted. And so there was that morality lesson as well.

Many Yankees fans had grown so entitled that they practically assumed a trip to the World Series was an annual autumn rite, and now that illusion has been smashed. And because of the shocking way in which the Yankees lost ("Hell Freezes Over," blared The Daily News), the result was not the usual disappointment that millions of sports fans feel every year, but something more disorienting - a kind of identity crisis, combined with a creeping sense of mortality, the realization that this was truly the end to the dynastic hopes that were planted in 1996 and that blossomed between 1998 and 2000. This, after all, was not the same Yankees team, and it did not possess the same mojo or the same ensemble feel. Only Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Joe Torre remain of the old Yankees, and there was talk, even before this week's debacle, of the toll that time and age were beginning to take on some of them."

Thursday, October 21, 2004

My sinuses

Ick. I have a cold and stuffed up nose. Head is pounding, right over my eyes. Eh. Ew. Eh.

Yea Red Sox!

Very happy that Boston beat the New York Yanks last night. Hate the Yanks. Bleh. They alsways win and I always favor the underdog. Which Philly teams used to be before they started just to STINK. (All right, all right. Not the Eagles. They are doing well this year.)

Watched the last half of the baseball game while clutching a pillow. Must be cool to be in Boston today.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Meghan comments on Britney

These are my friend Meghan's comments on Britney's letters to her fans:


"I think you should assign your students to do a paper  on a critical reading of this piece!

This is fascinating. She has skillfully woven a leitmotif of "not a girl, not yet a woman" through her prose, a theme ever-present in her musical compositions. As in: " Right now, I have to go-- I really want to watch "Saved" with Mandy Moore and re-runs of "Sex and the City.""    Which is it, Britney?  The Christian-high school good girl movie or the bad girl in the city television program that's too hot for regular cable?

She keeps us guessing. That is the brilliance of Britney Spears.

And here, she applies her message globally: 

"There is so much change going on right now... not only with me, but in the world, as well.  So, the next time you see my face, hear one of my songs or even if I'm the topic of your next conversation, please remember that times are changing & so am I."

Britney's letter to her fans!



Dear Fans,

I am going to start writing this column now as often as possible. The reason being is so I can talk directly to you, my fans, who have stuck by me & who continue to support me. Also, I'm not going to be as busy as my Mom. She's running behind my sister like crazy! I am also going to take some time off to enjoy life. I've actually learned to say "NO!" With this newly found freedom, its like people don't know how to act around me. Should we talk to her like we did when she was 16 or like the Icon everyone says she is? My prerogative right now is to just chill & let all of the other overexposed blondes on the cover of Us Weekly be your entertainment... GOOD LUCK GIRLS!! I'm sorry that my life seemed like it was all over the place the past 2 years, it's probably because IT WAS! I understand now what they mean when they talk about child stars. Going & going & going is all I've ever known since I was 15 years old. It's amazing what advisors will push you to do, even if it means taking a naive, young, blonde girl & putting her on the cover of every magazine.

I know now that my knee gave out on me this past summer so that I would have no choice but to stop. My body was shutting down and needed rest. It's funny how the Man upstairs works. Right now, I have to go-- I really want to watch "Saved" with Mandy Moore and re-runs of "Sex and the City." I want to enjoy all of the simple things that I missed over the past few years due to working way too much.

Being married is GREAT and I can't wait to start my family! There is so much change going on right now... not only with me, but in the world, as well. So, the next time you see my face, hear one of my songs or even if I'm the topic of your next conversation, please remember that times are changing & so am I.

Love always, Britney

P.S. I look forward to writing you all again soon. Kevin and I are finally able to take our Honeymoon!!

NOT the best time for O'Reilly to promote children's book

This is a very funny article. Click here for the full story:,1,6560842.story

Here are some great excerpts:

Released last month, the 188-page book offers children advice on how to deal with subjects such as bullies, divorce, smoking, drugs, music, TV ... and sex. In the book, each chapter ends with O'Reilly's own experiences.

Given the nature of the lawsuit, it's difficult not to contrast his advice to children and Mackris' charges against him.

He wrote: "I didn't have sex until I was twenty years old! Can you believe it? I was kind of a shy guy around girls, and I had absolutely no 'moves.'"

She wrote: Among other accusations, O'Reilly described to her a Caribbean fantasy. "Well, if I took you down there then I'd want to take a shower with you right away, that would be the first thing I'd do."

  • He wrote: "Here's another smart thing to consider. Whatever you do, don't give the details to your friends. That is a betrayal of trust. I don't care if it was the best sex in your life."

    She wrote: O'Reilly in 2003 regaled her and her friend over dinner "with stories concerning the loss of his virginity to a girl in a car at JFK, two 'really wild' Scandinavian airline stewardesses ... and a 'girl' at a sex show in Thailand who had shown him things in the backroom that 'blew his mind.'"

  • He wrote: "I am going to tell you to look for love, though. For most of us, it's a lengthy search, but the challenge is fun. Some people think that's why we're here. Maybe so."

    She wrote: Over dinner in 2002, Mackris says, O'Reilly advised her to avoid contact with her ex-fiance and to "pick up 23-year-old men in bars" and to "meet men with credentials" and to spend the next year doing what she likes "without thinking about the consequences."
  • Sunday, October 17, 2004

    U2 performs live in London

    Why oh why don't I live in London????

    Performing to hundreds of fans who had turned up at BBCTV Centre, the band played a blistering version of the new single Vertigo live to millions of UK TV viewers of Top of the Pops.

    You can catch a thirty-second video clip at the TOTP site here.

    With U2.Com competition winners jammed in front of a stage erected below the iconic BBC TV Centre building - and hundreds more fans jammed against the gates from the road - the rain held off as the band performed ‘All Because of You’ and ‘City of Blinding Lights’, the last with Bono on guitar. It was a song, he said, inspired both by early visits to London and by the experience of playing in New York on the Elevation Tour, not long after the events of 9/11.

    ‘I’m amazed,’ said Martin Diggins, a fan from London who had been waiting 24hours outside the BBC. ‘The new songs are breathtaking.’

    Although the band had only been expected to play two songs, after a short break they returned to the stage to play ‘Desire’, ‘Mystery Girl’ and another rendition of ‘City of Blinding Lights.’

    Then, with a promise to ‘see you next summer’ it was back inside for more recording in the studio.

    Thursday, October 14, 2004

    Bill O'Reilly accused of sexual harassment

    Well, this is creepy. One of  his fantasies apparently involved a loofah mitt. Huh.

    Chris Rock to host the Oscars

    This could be a good choice. Better than some other hosts. I really liked when Steve Martin hosted, but not so much when Whoopi Goldberg was in charge.

    LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- The Oscars have a piece of the Rock.

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Thursday announced Chris Rock will host the next Academy Awards telecast.

    Rock, who's been in the films "Head of State" and "Dogma," is best known for his standup comedy specials "Bigger & Blacker," "Bring the Pain" and "Never Scared."

    Rock, 39, has previously hosted the MTV's Movie Awards.

    "I am a huge fan of Chris Rock," said Gil Cates, the producer of the Oscars telecast. "He always makes me laugh and he always has something interesting to say. Chris represents the best of the new generation of comics. Having him host the Oscars is terrific."

    The one-time "Saturday Night Live" regular has won three Emmys for his TV programs and two Grammys for his comedy albums.

    Rock currently is shooting a remake of "The Longest Yard" with Adam Sandler and recently provided the voice of the zebra in the animated feature "Madagascar," both to be released in May 2005.

    His other film credits include "Head of State," "Bad Company," "Down to Earth" and "Nurse Betty."

    The 77th Academy Awards telecast is set for February 27.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2004

    How Dinosaurs Slept

    You know, I HAVE wondered about this....Turns out they slept like birds!

    Fossil Hunters Find Sleeping Dinosaur in China By Patricia Reaney, Reuters

    LONDON (Oct. 13) - Scientists have unearthed the remains of a perfectly preserved 130 million-year-old new species of dinosaur which provide a first-ever look at how the prehistoric creatures slept.

    The small two-legged dinosaur was discovered in China, curled up with its head tucked under the forearm similar to how modern birds sleep.

    ''This is the first report of sleeping behavior in dinosaurs,'' Xing Xu, of the Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing, told Reuters on Wednesday.

    ''We've never had any other information about a dinosaur sleeping.''

    Dubbed Mei long, which means ''soundly sleeping dragon'' in Chinese, the dinosaur was about 53 cm (21 inches) long or about the size of a large bird. Several features indicate its avian origins.

    ''It is one of the most complete skeletons I have ever seen. It is a perfect preservation. We have almost every bone in the skeleton,'' Xu explained.

    ''There is no disturbance. The body is arranged in a life-like posture.''

    The sleeping skeleton was found near Beipiao City in Liaoning province, an area rich in fossils that have revealed secrets of dinosaur behavior.

    The sleeping posture indicates the characteristic probably originated in dinosaur ancestors of modern birds, according to the scientists.

    Judging from its remarkably preserved state and position of the skeleton Mei long died a peaceful, and probably sudden, death.

    Unlike other dinosaurs found with their neck extended back in a classic death pose, Mei long seemed to be sleeping contentedly when it died. Xu and his colleague Mark Norell, of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, are not sure what killed the dinosaur but they said there are several possibilities.

    It could have been starved of oxygen, buried under thick layers of volcanic ash or could have been sleeping in a cave or burrow when the roof collapsed.

    ''What you can see from the skeleton is that it died peacefully, quickly,'' according to Xu who reported his research in the science journal Nature.

    10-13-04 13:39 EDT

    Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    "Michael Jackson is very angry"

    Oh puh-leeeeeeeeze. This is so silly. Michael Jackson is upset because a character who looks like him is in Eminem's new video. I watched it last night on MTV (because now that I have digital cable, I can actually watch videos!!!) and it is freakin' funny. The Jackson character is onstage with Madonna/Eminem. Madonna/Eminem's John-Paul Gaultier boob catches on fire, which sets "Jackson'" hair on fire. Heh.

    Then Eminem, as himself in "Eight Mile," projectile-vomits on the Jackson character. Heh heh.

    Furious Michael Jackson Reportedly Calls for Ban on Eminem's New Video That Mocks Him

    The Associated Press

    NEW YORK - Michael Jackson is reportedly angered by the way he is portrayed in rapper Eminem's recently released video "Just Lose It." The pop singer is said to be so upset that he has asked networks to remove the video from their rotations.

    "Michael Jackson is very angry. He feels that Eminem has crossed the line," Jackson representative Ramone Bain told the Daily News in Tuesday editions. "Michael is calling on all networks to pull the video."

    In the video, Eminem appears dressed mockingly as Jackson with a group of boys in the background, jumping. Then he sings the lyric in reference to Jackson's child molestation allegations: "Come here little kiddie, on my lap. Guess who's back with a brand new rap..."

    Later in the video Eminem also ridicules plastic surgery done on Jackson's nose, and an accident in which Jackson's hair caught on fire while filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984.

    So far, Black Entertainment Television has agreed to pull the video, and was expected on Tuesday to announce that it is removing the video.

    "Michael feels the video is disrespectful and's one thing to spoof someone, it's another to be completely insensitive and disrespectful," said Bain.

    Friday, October 8, 2004

    Think good thoughts for Melissa Etheridge

    Singer Melissa Etheridge Diagnosed With Breast Cancer, Cancels Tour to Undergo Treatment

    The Associated Press

    LOS ANGELES Oct. 8, 2004 — Singer Melissa Etheridge has been diagnosed with breast cancer and has canceled upcoming tour dates to undergo treatment, according to her publicist.

    Etheridge, 43, will undergo surgery and her doctor expects a "speedy and complete recovery," publicist Marcel Pariseau said in a statement.

    The cancer was detected early and Etheridge has been receiving treatment, Pariseau said Thursday.

    "I am fortunate to be under a wonderful doctor's care and thankful that this was caught early," Etheridge said in the statement. "I am looking forward to a quick and full recovery."

    Etheridge and actress Tammy Lynn Michaels held a commitment ceremony in September 2003. The musician, who lives in Los Angeles, shares custody of a daughter and son with former partner Julie Cypher, who had the children through artificial insemination using a sperm donation from rocker David Crosby.

    Etheridge's latest album, "Lucky," was released in February. Refunds for tickets to her upcoming shows will be available where they were bought; the entertainer's Web site says she had been scheduled to play 11 dates in seven cities this month.

    Tuesday, October 5, 2004

    Fahrenheit Footnote

    For those of you not so sold on "Fahrenheit 9/11,"  here is a website that dissects the different points made in the movie and analyzes them further.

    Monday, October 4, 2004

    Yard sale

    (This is slated to run as a column in the Inquirer later this month.)

    When it comes to yard sales, three rules apply: Bring lots of plastic bags in case it rains, be aware that old ladies like to haggle and sell as many Mariah Carey CDs as possible.

    The morning of Oct. 2 dawned rainy and wet. It was not supposed to be rainy. The day was supposed to be clear but cool, perfect weather for the semiannual yard sale at my apartment complex in Deptford. There would be free coffee and donuts. There would be buyers to cart away my junk from my cluttered apartment.

    Instead, there was rain, old people and wet pants.

    For days I had combed my apartment for CDs I never play (Spin Doctors. Hello, what was I thinking?), videos I never watch anymore ("Independence Day") and knick-knacks that had remained in their box-untouched and unpacked -- since I moved in two years ago.

    My friends Lisa and Karen joined me. Lisa, a veteran yard-seller, brought plastic bags and orange sticker price-tags. Karen, the mother of two, brought kids stuff to sell.
    We got to the site of the sale to find our tables dripping wet. I ran back home for towels and tablecloths. We wiped off the tables and set up our stuff on the plastic cloths.

    That worked until it started raining. Again. Thus began the cycle of rain, wet, no rain, wipe. Thank God for those plastic baggies keeping dry my CDs, videos and knick-knacks. (Mariah Carey must not get moist!)

    At first there were many tables of my fellow apartment dwellers selling their wares. One by one, the families got too wet and packed up. After an hour, there were just three groups of us still there. By now, my jeans were soaked because I kept sitting on a wet chair.

    The first prospective buyers arrived when Lisa and I were setting up. They seemed annoyed that we did not have all our stuff set up at 9 a.m. on the dot. Next came an older woman with a car packed high with stuff. She looked at our stuff to see if she needed more stuff. She did not.

    A man came by to tell us there was a really BIG yard sale in the parking lot of the Tweeter Center that day. With 600 tables! Did he want us to compete? Perhaps to ask 597 strangers to come over into the apartment complex parking lot? Who knows.
    More rain. We ate some free donuts.

    "There were no jelly donuts," Lisa moaned.


    Karen arrived with all her stuff.

    "It was sunny when I left my house," Karen said, eyeing the sky.


    Karen brought a red, inflatable Blues Clues "Thinking Chair." I wanted that chair. Nah, I already think too much.

    Hey, was that the sun coming out? With that, a phalanx of senior citizens showed up. Two ladies came to haggle. For every price I quoted ($2 for the CDs and $1 for the books) they haggled lower. For them, the thrill was in the negotiation. I should have haggled harder but by now, my jeans were completely damp and I was cranky.

    Then came the two older couples. One nice lady with very high hair bought my fan. Perhaps it would help keep her hair so high. They also bought a lot of other stuff. One man three of my CDs - including the Mariah Carey one. Yea!

    A chatty daughter, her mother and her grandmother walked over. They bought even more stuff, including lots of Karen's leftover handbags. Yea! Karen went off to meet her husband and kids with a lot less junk in her life.

    Things slowed down. Except the rain. THAT started up again.

    Around noon, we finally started packing up. That is when even MORE people arrived.

    "Is this it?"a woman shouted out of her car window. "Is this all there is to the yard sale?"

    Yes, yes it was, we said. She looked sad, in a mournful, existential way.

    This was not the case with SUV woman. She looked mightily aggrieved when she saw us packing up the table.

    "The yard sale is over?" SUV woman asked indignantly. "The sign says it goes until 1 p.m. That is what the sign says! Till 1 p.m.!"

    Oh well. Life is full of disappointments, SUV lady. Perhaps you should head to the Tweeter Center. There were apparently 597 more tables than at my apartment complex.

    Lisa and I drove to eat lunch. We pried our soggy money out of our wet jeans. I made about $20. Yea! And then we promptly spent all that on lunch - and dessert-since we were so darn hungry. At least there was a lot less junk in out lives and in our apartments.

    Sunday, October 3, 2004

    Song list for new U2 album

    Exclusive! The Full Track Listing
    We revealed six tracks earlier this month, now here's news on the complete running order for How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.

    1. Vertigo
    2. Miracle Drug
    3. Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
    4. Love And Peace Or Else
    5. City Of Blinding Lights
    6. All Because Of You
    7. A Man And A Woman
    8. Crumbs From Your Table
    9. One Step Closer
    10. Original Of The Species
    11. Yahweh

    Saturday, October 2, 2004

    Friday, October 1, 2004

    Presidential Debate

    Did you watch? At least some of it? I hope so.

    I listened to the first part of the radio in my car, while I also screamed at the radio in my car whenver Bush said something that made me mental, which was often, Sounded like he was becoming a Mr. Cranky Pants toward the end of the debate.

    Kerry did well, I thought. Held his own. Very forceful in his opinions. Hopped right on Bush' gaffe when Bush said "we were attacked" so that is why we invaded Iraq. Whaaah? That would be Al-Qeada who attacked us, Kerry pointed out.

    Not sure what I thought about Bush giving shout-outs to Kerry's daughters and suddenly being all nice and "yo bro, we both went to Yale so you are cool.) Hmm.