Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

10 May 2009

Weekend Reading Roundup (Verbatim, Rapid-Fire edition)

BLUE HENS!: With 30 points apiece, Delaware and Buffalo shared the overall (men's and women's) championship. The Blue Hens and Michigan tied for the men's title, with 28 points each, and Buffalo (30) took the women's crown. Dad Vail, North America's largest collegiate rowing regatta, showcased 122 schools and nearly 3,300 rowers. (Rick O'Brien, Inky)

ANOTHER REASON I CAN'T WAIT FOR BRUNO TO ARRIVE IN THEATRES: Paula Abdul admits she was fooled by Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno character. (Hit List, Entertainment Weekly)

LEECH READERS: What can’t be reinvented is the wheel of commerce. Just because information wants to be free on the Internet doesn’t mean it can always be free. Web advertising will never be profitable enough to support ambitious news gathering. If a public that thinks nothing of spending money on texting or pornography doesn’t foot the bill for such reportage, it won’t happen. (Frank Rich, NYT)

OFFICE-CHICK FIGHTS: Just the mention of women treating other women badly on the job seemingly shakes the women’s movement to its core. It is what Peggy Klaus, an executive coach in Berkeley, Calif., has called “the pink elephant” in the room. How can women break through the glass ceiling if they are ducking verbal blows from other women in cubicles, hallways and conference rooms? Women don’t like to talk about it because it is “so antithetical to the way that we are supposed to behave to other women,” Ms. Klaus said. “We are supposed to be the nurturers and the supporters.” (Mickey Meece, NYT)

BROWN CORPORATE ACID, EATEN: Dozens of projects are planned to commemorate the August 1969 concert, including an Ang Lee movie called “Taking Woodstock,” a Heroes of Woodstock concert tour (with Jefferson Starship and Melanie) and at least 13 books, including one for children co-authored by a second cousin of Max Yasgur, the farmer who lent his land in Bethel, N.Y., for the original event. Target is set to run a “Summer of Love” promotion featuring licensed Woodstock merchandise, like beach towels with the symbolic white dove perched on a guitar neck. (Allen Salkin, NYT)

MURDERBALLAS: Sleeping pills came first, a whole fistful that A.J. Nanayakkara managed to shove in his mouth a month after the accident. He woke up three days later, "very well-rested," he says, "but very pissed off."
Stabbing yourself when you're a quadriplegic takes more than determination. He couldn't strangle himself with the hospital cord, and he failed to poison himself with antifreeze - any of the three times he drank it.
"All I wanted to do was die, and I couldn't even do that," he says. "So I spent eight years depressed." (Daniel Rubin, Inky)

THE GOVERGAMBLER KNEW WHEN TO HOLD 'EM: And he could imagine the rumors: "It's going to look like Harrah's did something for me, or they rigged the machines for me," said Rendell, who fought to create the state's multibillion-dollar slots industry in 2004. "I thought, 'Oh, my God, we are in trouble.'" (Mario Cattabiani, Inky)

HOPE THERE'S A NEW BIG BROTHER: When you’ve devoted 22 weeks of your life to the vagaries of a serialized show, the season finale offers a multitude of potential satisfactions: that the hero might defeat the villain; that the platonic but made-for-each other couple might become not so platonic; that the arrogant cast member holding out for more money might see their character stricken with a terminal illness. (Dave Itzkoff, NYT) (Graphic of shows, here)

Q: You’re 79 and you’ve endured two bouts of Hodgkin’s disease. Why would you want to run for re-election?
A: Don’t forget my brain tumors or my bypass surgery or the incorrect diagnosis of A.L.S. on the list of my maladies. But I’m full of vim, vigor and vitality. Just check my schedule. (Deborah Solomon, NYT Magazine)

GOLIATH SHOULD WORRY: David’s victory over Goliath, in the Biblical account, is held to be an anomaly. It was not. Davids win all the time. (Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker)

MONKEY BUSINESS: In one experiment, he mapped a monkey's hand area in the brain, then amputated its middle finger. Some months later, he remapped the monkey's hand and discovered that the brain map for the missing finger had vanished and been replaced by maps for the two adjacent fingers, which had spread to fill the gap. (John Colapinto, The New Yorker)

THE AMERICAN IDOL: A parade of American Idol survivors, from Fantasia to Clay Aiken to Taylor Hicks, have hit Broadway over the last few years. But who would have guessed that Constantine Maroulis — now showcasing his goofy charm in the '80s metal musical Rock of Ages — would be the first to earn a Tony nod? (Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly)

THE SOON-TO-BE AMERICAN IDOL: Though Adam is widely assumed to be gay (even his celebrity rooting section, which ranges from Kathy Griffin to Hairspray director Adam Shankman, thinks he's out), the most he would say to EW about the public scrutiny is "I know who I am. I'm an honest guy, and I'm just going to keep singing." (Mark Harris, Entertainment Weekly)


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