BREAKING: President Obama Jets to New Rochelle to Attend Wedding of his Personal Chef Sam Kass to MSNBC’s Alex WagnerPosted: August 30, 2014
UPDATE: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest clarified Obama’s schedule Friday afternoon, noting that he would return to the White House tonight after his fundraisers in New York. He is expected to travel back to New York on Saturday for the wedding of his personal chef Sam Kass to MSNBC’s Alex Wagner.
According to Earnest, Obama decided to “sleep in his own bed,” do a little work tomorrow, and spend some time with his family before going to the wedding. Read the rest of this entry »
‘A lot of folks are worried’ about their jobs, CNN reporter Lisa Dejardins says in farewell clip
For Variety, Kevin Noonan reports: Former CNN Capitol Hill reporter Lisa Dejardins posted a video of her final sign off from CNN on Thursday as she prepared to leave the building after being laid off.
Dejardins, a reporter for CNN.com who was not an on-air personality, compares the mass goodbye emails from laid off CNN employees to the personal ones, finding a wide discrepancy in the general tone and niceness between the two, and expresses her disappointment CNN’s decision to get rid of a congressional reporter given the bipartisan struggle in the Capitol.
However, CNN is in the midst of expanding its digital staff in Washington, D.C. as it prepares for the 2016 presidential race. The news giant recently recruited Politico alum Rachel Smolkin as executive editor for politics to spearhead an elaborate digital initiative out of D.C. Dejardins’ departure was part of a restructuring of CNN’s Washington bureau and not part of the buyout offer. Read the rest of this entry »
“While my role with NBC News may be coming to an end, I look forward to working with the NBC family well into the future.”
Chelsea Clinton has formally stepped down from her post as special correspondent for NBC News, saying she intends to focus on her work with the Clinton Foundation as well as the baby she is expecting later this year.
Clinton joined NBC News in 2011, a hire that immediately raised eyebrows in journo circles given both her history of avoiding the press and the expected 2016 presidential bid by her mother, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Read the rest of this entry »
A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Producer Julia Phillips tells in her auto-biography that Cybill Shepherd had a hard time remembering her lines during the coffee-and-pie scene with Robert De Niro. She writes that De Niro in particular was getting fed up with her and that Phillips and editor Marcia Lucas laughed over all the unusable footage they had to work with in the editing room. Read the rest of this entry »
MILLIONS of TOMATOES Senselessly MURDERED in Streets of Spain at Tomatina Festival: Can Anyone Stop the Madness?Posted: August 27, 2014
MailOnline‘s Emily Payne reports: The streets of an eastern Spanish town were awash with red pulp today, as thousands of people pelted each other with tomatoes during Tomatina, world’s most famous food fight.
“The horror…the horror…”
At the annual fiesta in Bunol, trucks dumped 125 tons of ripe tomatoes for some 22,000 participants – many from abroad – to hurl at the hour-long morning festivities.
Every year, the fiesta begins at around 10am with what’s known as the palo jabon, in which brave revellers attempt to climb a greased pole to reach a ham, which has been placed at the top.
Then a loud signal begins the onslaught of tomato madness. Tons and tons of especially grown tomatoes are thrown into the town’s main plaza, where they’re crushed, so as not to cause injury.
The fight lasts an hour and covers the whole town square with red pulp. A large scale cleaning operation involving fire truck hoses ensues. Read the rest of this entry »
— Jessica Chasmar (@JessicaChasmar) August 26, 2014
Gambling Firms Aim to Raise Funds for Macau, Overseas Casino Operations
HONG KONG— For WSJ, Kate O’Keeffe & Yvonne Lee report: China’s international financial hub, located a quick ferry ride from the world’s casino capital, has seen a throng of gambling companies rush to its equity markets over the past year.
“The Asia gaming industry should be one of the fastest-growing sectors in the next decade.”
– CLSA analyst Aaron Fischer
Since July 2013, at least six casino and VIP gambling companies have unveiled plans to list in Hong Kong, often through so-called backdoor listings. These companies are either hoping to raise funds to expand abroad or to bolster business at home in Macau at a time when the enclave’s $45 billion gambling market is suffering its first revenue declines in five years.
Most recently, Nasdaq-listed Iao Kun Group Holdings Co. last month filed a formal listing application to go public “by introduction,” where no new funds are raised, hiring Rothschild (Hong Kong) Ltd. as its sponsor. The company is part of Macau’s junket industry, which brings high-spending gamblers from mainland China to Macau, issues them credit and collects players’ debts in exchange for commissions from casinos. Read the rest of this entry »
…Here’s The Whole Movie In 7.5 Seconds
So for the movie’s 75th anniversary, we decided to do something a little different to honor it: we’ve boiled it down to a 7.5 second video that sums up the real theme of the movie faster than you can click your heels three times (spoiler: it involved Dorothy screaming a lot).
Here at punditromanotherplanet, we have a better idea. Fire up the DVD player (or streaming device) make a giant bowl of popcorn, put down the mobile phone, fold up the laptop, turn down the lights, tune out the news, and watch the whole thing.
Here’s a clip, also short, in honor the 75th, some things you may not have known about the film.
Have you only seen The Wizard of Oz on a mid-century color TV, when it was broadcast as a national tradition, a cherished baby boomer childhood ritual? (millennials will only know this as a hand-me-down geezer story, I apologize in advance) Well, that was me, until a few years ago. When I first got a peek at the restored, HD version, it overwhelmed me.
[Check out The Wizard of Oz: 75th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] at Amazon]
It was as if a fuzzy, distant, sentimental dream had been suddenly transformed into a hyper-real big-screen display of potent memories, refreshed and magnified. I couldn’t watch the whole thing, all at once, it was too powerful. But I did, and I treasure it. Besides a childhood favorite, it’s an indelible, iconic giant of American cultural history. Next to the remastered Godfather trilogy, this is perhaps the most important American film to be lovingly, painstakingly remastered.
Here’s a sample of what it looks like in HD:
Bidding ended Sunday evening, with 48 bids received.
A copy of “Action Comics No. 1″ was put up for auction on eBay on Aug. 14, with parts of the final price going to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Bidding began at $1 million…(read more) Variety
It starts as a video of smiling friends eating bananas but within seconds it becomes a contender for the world’s scariest selfie.
Photographer Daniel Lau pulled out his “selfie stick” to take dizzying footage of a rooftopping adventure 346m (1135 feet) above the streets of Hong Kong.
Lau, fellow photographer Andrew Tso and A.S. are seen in the video snacking while perched dangerously on the spire of The Centre skyscraper, Hong Kong’s fifth-tallest skyscraper.
The video is made all the more sickening thanks to a wide-angle lens mounted on a stick, with each pan of the camera sure to turn the stomach of those scared of heights.
攝影師 Daniel Lau 在中環中心避雷針頂端，與朋友 Andrew Tso 和 A.S. 「吃香蕉自拍」360度天台危攝片段，維港景色一覽無遺，中環「密密麻麻」的高樓大廈也頓變渺小，成為拍攝者的背景。
— Chris (@Chris_1791) August 25, 2014
“She has the ability to change the course of people’s lives with a click of her mouse.”
Interview with Actress Yao Chen
The Telegraph‘s Sarah Keenlyside: “Is it like having a superpower?” I ask the actress Yao Chen as she raises her coffee cup to her lips. She breaks into a broad smile as her translator explains my meaning. “I’m getting more mature,” she says, avoiding the question. “These days I am much more careful and cautious.”
China’s Answer to Angelina Jolie
“Stories abound of children’s operations that were paid for by donations from her Weibo followers.”
One could add the word “modest” to that list, because Yao, self-effacing as she is, has more followers on Weibo (China’s version of Twitter) than the population of Britain. That’s 71 million, in case you were wondering. And when five per cent of the population of one of the world’s most powerful (not to mention politically sensitive) countries is hanging on your every word, you have a lot of influence, no matter how cautious you are.
“When I was younger a family member shared the gospel with me. And over the course of that summer I read the Bible and it just answered all of the questions I had about life, so very soon after I was baptised.”
In fact, so great is that influence, she has the ability to change the course of people’s lives with a click of her mouse. Stories abound of children’s operations that were paid for by donations from her Weibo followers, of old ladies who put their entire savings into causes she supports – even of a condemned man who was suddenly hailed as a hero because of her impassioned online defence of his character (he was a friend of her father’s).
How did a nice middle-class actress conquer Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, and turn herself into one of the most influential figures in the world?
A still from Color Me Love (2010)
So how did a 34-year-old from a small coastal city in south-east China rise from obscurity to become one of Time magazine’s 100 most powerful people on the planet? (Forbes ranked her 83rd among the world’s most influential women.) And, more to the point, why have we never heard of her?
Dave Brubeck‘s enduring influence on me had an unlikely beginning. In the early 1980s I found a stack of discarded albums in a dumpster in an alley in my university neighborhood, along with some furniture, books, and other household items (evidence of a hastily-abandoned student apartment) I rescued a few classical music albums, a Chinese cookbook, and a 1953 Dave Brubeck Quartet album Jazz at the College of the Pacific. I took it home, put it on my turntable, and fell in love.
For reasons I can’t explain, I listened to that album countless times, memorizing nearly every note. It’s a live recording, in mono (stereo was just on the horizon) and 1953 is not exactly the best-known era for Brubeck. I later understood that this is the quartet’s first album, when the band was an avant-garde college campus touring phenomenon. The Dave Brubeck Quartet enjoyed both artistic and commercial success. By the late 1950s, it was perhaps the most mainstream, popular jazz in America. By the time I came of age, it was considered “square”, not unlike how “Girl from Ipanema” went from being a worldwide favorite, to overplayed, watered-down elevator music. But in 1953? The Dave Brubeck Quartet was a radical new sound, played by a relatively unknown band, picking up momentum performing at colleges.
Brubeck’s intellect, complex timing, brooding lyricism, and signature “block-chord” playing style (as if he had 16 fingers and giant hands) matched with Paul Desmond’s disciplined ear, sweet soulful riffs, and perfect voicing, helped expand the popularity of instrumental jazz in the post-war era. What about that blocky-hand playing style? I’d always wondered. According to the Dave Brubeck page on Wikipedia:
In 1951, Brubeck damaged several neck vertebrae and his spinal cord while diving into the surf in Hawaii. He would later remark that the paramedics who attended had described him as a “DOA” (dead on arrival). Brubeck recovered after a few months, but suffered with residual nerve pain in his hands for years after. The injury also influenced his playing style towards complex, blocky chords rather than speedy, high-dexterity, single-note runs.
More from the Brubeck Quartet Wiki: Brubeck organized the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951, with Paul Desmond on alto saxophone. They took up a long residency at San Francisco’s Black Hawk nightclub and gained great popularity touring college campuses, recording a series of albums with such titles as Jazz at Oberlin (1953), Jazz at the College of the Pacific (1953), and Brubeck’s debut on Columbia Records, Jazz Goes to College (1954).
When Brubeck signed with Fantasy Records, he thought he had a half interest in the company and he worked as a sort of A & R man for the label, encouraging the Weiss brothers to sign other contemporary jazz performers, including Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker and Red Norvo. When he discovered that all he owned was a half interest in his own recording, he was more than willing to sign with another label, Columbia Records.
In 1954, he was featured on the cover of Time, the second jazz musician to be so honored (the first was Louis Armstrong on February 21, 1949). Brubeck personally found this accolade embarrassing, since he considered Duke Ellington more deserving of it and was convinced that he had been favored for being Caucasian. Ellington himself knocked on the door of Brubeck’s hotel room to show him the cover and the only reaction Brubeck could give was, “It should have been you.” (more)
Biographical notes source – Wikipedia
Image & quote: Diary Of A Radical Conformist