This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.
Sort of. With qualifications. Variety says:
Members of Monty Python's Flying Circus are reteaming for "Absolutely Anything," a sci-fi farce combining CGI and live action, with Terry Jones to direct and Mike Medavoy to produce.
You can tell it’s “Variety,” because it assumes you care about the producer. Anyway, sounds great, doesn’t it? More:
Plans are for filming to begin in the U.K. this spring, with the Pythons voicing key roles as a a group of aliens who endow an earthling with the power to do "absolutely anything" to see what a mess he'll make of things -- which is precisely what happens. There's also a talking dog named Dennis who seems to understand more about the mayhem that ensues than anyone else does.
I wish I knew what “Dennis” meant to those fellows. There’s got to be a reason they find it funny.
Anyway, sounds great, doesn’t it? What could possibly spoil this glorious opportunity?
As the article says:
Dennis . . . . seems to understand more about the mayhem that ensues than anyone else does. Robin Williams will voice the character.
Oh. Well. Then.
MUSIC Apparently this incredibly long piece is the 4th most read thing EVER on Gawker. It’s about Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show band’s awful German-TV performance. It’s a great piece. You really get the sense of things gone horribly wrong, how the worst of the 60s came to define the culture of the early 70s. It’s also completely overstated. Read it - it’s fun - then watch the clips. It’s just an average band doing their goofy, messy, bleeped-up stage schtick while under the influence of a wide variety of compounds, that’s all. But this is what happens when you watch something 30 times.
The eyepatch guy, by the way, just turned 71.
ART Font fans will enjoy this, and not get bent out of shape because I said said “font” instead of “typeface.” Let’s just call that battle lost. Anyway:
Page after page of this stuff. A reminder that all the great ads of the day were hand-drawn.
HOORAH FOR CANINES Yes, your dog is a genius. Scientific American says so!
Other animals have their own unique genius that was shaped by nature. In the case of dogs it happens to be their ability to read our communicative gestures. We take it for granted that dogs can effortlessly use our pointing gestures to find a hidden toy or morsel of food, but no other species can spontaneously read our communicative gestures as flexibly as dogs can. It allows them to be incredible social partners with us, whether it’s hunting, or agility, or just navigating every day life.
I was always pleased that I could point at something, and my dog would look at what I was pointing. That’s quite a conceptual leap.
He doesn’t do that any more, his eyes being what they are. Or aren’t. He's old. But he can still detect the smell of a meatball from the other end of the house, and for dogs that's the important stuff.
SCIENCE! About that DNA proof that the body in the parking lot is Richard #3: not so fast.
WEB Don’t you wish you’d thought of Pinterest? It’s valued at over two billion dollars now.
Let me note: now.
HISTORY Remember last week when you were advised to visit Naples before it completely falls apart? You might want to add Rome to the itinerary. They found an incredible tomb for the general on whom Russell Crowe’s gladiator was based, but there’s not enough money to explore. So they have to bury it again. Time says:
The fate of Macrinus’ monument illustrated the challenges faced by even the most spectacular bits of Italy’s past, as historical preservation falls prey to austerity. Funding for the maintenance of the country’s archaeological riches has been slashed by 20% since 2010. In the ancient city of Pompeii, the ruins are literally crumbling from neglect, and sites like the Coliseum in Rome and the Rialto Bridge in Venice have been forced to find corporate saviors to prevent the same from happening to them.
Pompeii is a marvel, an international treasure, but you can tell that everything around it is designed to funnel you into the store and buy limoncello, or go outside for a sausage. It’s a clumsy, disorganized mess.
As for the tomb, there’s hope:
An online petition to save the Gladiator’s Tomb, organized by American Institute for Roman Culture, a group dedicated to the preservation of city’s ancient remains, has gathered some 3,700 signatures.
Kidding about that “hope” part. But if you want to sign the petition or see pictures, it’s here. And, as it turns out, CNN did a video on it:
The video is titled “Saving Italy’s history from Austerity,” which is somewhat misleading. Not having the money in the first place is the problem.
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