We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.
THE good people of Castrillo Matajudios , Spain, are to discuss changing the name of the town from “killing Jews” to the pre-Inquisition-era “Jews’ Hill”.
Diario de Burgos says Mayor Lorenzo Rodriguez thinks the time is ripe to change the town’s name to Castrillo Mota de Judios, which means “Castrillo Jews’ Hill.”
Know that in the north of Spain, the phrase “killing Jews” (matar Judios) has become a reference not to intense murderous persecution, rather downing glasses of lemonade spiked with alcohol at Easter.
On Good Friday, April 18, Leon will hold a “matar Judios” fiesta. Locals will chin 40,000 gallons of lemonade to the last drops – or until all the Jews have been eaten.
THE Evinrude Fishing Saucer concept boat designed by Brooks Stevens and made for the 1957 New York Boat Show.
PSST! Wannabe buy Dr Harold Shipman’s old medical examination couch? He was Britain’s most prolific serial killer, given 15 life sentences for the murders of as many as 215 patients.
Marjorie Chakravarti, 72, was a senior sister at the Abraham Ormerod Day Hospital, Todmorden where Shipman began his career as a GP and worked for seven years. She saw his old couch and bought it for £10.
I Was G-Man Jerry Cotton: When Hedy Lamarr Performed The First On-Screen Orgasm And Jane Powell Grew Up
SO. What does the music for a 1965 West German movie about a New York FBI agent sound like? That question to you, special agent Jerry Cotton, hero of Operation 100 Dollar Gang.
Cotton was played by US actor and all-round beefcake George Nader. You may know him from his 1958 melodrama The Female Animal, starring 1940s sex symbol Hedy Lamarr and actress-singer Jane Powell, pictured below taking advantage of the warm California winter to relax at pool side on Jan. 16, 1958.
VINA Pankhania is the acting headteacher at Little Hill Primary, in Wigston, Leics. She’s off on a four-week, unpaid trip to arrange her wedding. Vina will not be at school between April 28 and May 23.
The school was judged outstanding by Ofsted at its last inspection. So. She’s been doing a very good job.
THERE’S an interesting little tactic that Labour MPs are trying to use in the House of Commons these days. To ask questions about how much a department is spending on this or that and then when they get the answer they can chunter along about how poor widows are being thrown out of their homes over the bedroom tax so that Tory Ministers can spend £x on whatever it is they just asked about.
You know, Yah! Boo! The Tories and only Labour looks out for the working stiff.
This is a tactic that has just received some blowback as the answer given to the question, well, how much has Eric Pickles been spending on catering (given his size this would add another level of joy to the chuntering) was, well, a whole hell of a lot less than Labouir did when they were in power.
I’VE been saying for some time now that Bitcoin is a bubble. And we’re seeing the usual and classic bubble behaviour in its price too. It’s down to just under $400 today:
Bitcoin reached another milestone today, with the cryptocurrency falling below the $400 per-coin mark. Bitcoin sold for over $1,100 inside of the last 52 weeks.
What goes up like a rocket does usually come tumbling back down to Earth.
HOW do you report on Mayka Kukucova, the woman accused of murdering Andrew Bush at his home in Estepona, Spain? The Times begins its reports on the story:
The Slovakian swimwear model accused of killing the British millionaire Andrew Bush told a court in her homeland yesterday that she had fled Spain in fear of her life.
GARY Neville fan Keira Knightley was discussing her favourite places to eat in Hello! magazine. Knightley likes all sorts of food, stating: “I’m a real food addict.”
Can you be addicted to food?
The NHS describes addiction thus:
Addiction is a strong, uncontrollable need to take drugs, drink alcohol or carry out a particular activity such as gambling. It becomes the most important thing in your life and leads to problems at home, work and school.
MADELEINE McCann: The Star has news of another Maddie:
The Star’s sister paper, the Express, also had the story of the “Maddie lookalike taken from her bed”:
What news, then? The Star reports:
Maddie lookalike taken from family home in copycat snatch
POLICE were last night searching for a three-year-old girl snatched from her family home in a remote outback town.
THERE”S always a good time to be had touring through old computer books, especially if there’s lots to point at and laugh condescendingly. Technology has advanced so exponentially that a 1980s computer textbook may as well be ancient Sanskrit written on palm leaves. Suffice it to say, things have come a long way in just a short amount of time, and it’s a lot of fun to look back. So, let’s jump into Living With Computers by Patrick G. McKeown (1986).
“A complete computer system – user, software, CPU, internal memory, secondary storage, keyboard, monitor, and printer – is shown here.”
ON this day in 1955 Ruth Ellis shot her lover David Blakely outside the Magdala pub in Hampstead.
WHEN a pop star dies, some people get a bit more mental in the way they approach the band. Instead of liking the band for what they are and weighing up whether or not to feel sad about the plight of the singer or, indeed, the fact there’ll be no more records from them, they get bug-eyed and start acting like evangelical Apple fanboys.
One man, called Richard Lee, is a Kurt Cobain death conspiracy theorist and he’s suing the Seattle Police Department. He used to have a public access TV show called ‘Kurt Cobain Was Murdered’. It’s no ‘Everybody Loves Ray’.
FRENCH cinema’s intense The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cents coups – the French title comes from the idiom, faire les quatre cents coups—“to raise hell”) features a fantastic performance from Jean-Pierre Léaud as the delinquent adolescent Antoine Doinel. For anyone who has not seen this spellbinding 1959 film, here’s an outline of the story from Criterion:
François Truffaut’s first feature is also his most personal. Told through the eyes of Truffaut’s cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), The 400 Blows sensitively re-creates the trials of Truffaut’s own childhood, unsentimentally portraying aloof parents, oppressive teachers, and petty crime. The film marked Truffaut’s passage from leading critic to trailblazing auteur of the French New Wave.
OF all the dreadful, heart-wrenching stories to come from Guantanamo Bay, the news that the CIA are using the Red Hot Chili Peppers music as a torture device is surely the worst.
Prisoners in Guantánamo Bay have been subject to all manner of woeful behaviour, but surely they’d all prefer to be water boarded than have to listen to Anthony Kiedis & Co. Just imagine being couped up, chains around your ankles, while someone plays their brand of rock-funk dreck at you.
It’s enough to make your brain shut down just so the ears and body die.
FLASHBACK to June 28, 1937 at a Los Angeles station – file under awkward kisses:
John Barrymore and Elaine Barrie have settled all their martial differences. Elaine said that the first thing she would do would be to set aside the interlocutory divorce which she obtained, after which they would go house-hunting. John Barrymore and Elaine Barrie making up their differences with a kiss at the station at Los Angeles, on June 28, 1937.
Given the look on their faces, you would be not surprised to learn that the Barrymores who married in 1936 divorced divorced 1940.
LIFE as a member of KISS must be more mental than living in a hedge filled with laughing spiders. And depressing too. More depressing than Gene Simmons blood-chilling sex tape. No, we’re not providing a link. Look for it yourself. You’ll never listen to Foreigner in the same way again.
Anyway, former KISS honcho Paul Stanley (the one with the star on his eye when done up) has released a new new memoir, ‘Face the Music: A Life Exposed,’ written with journalist Tim Mohr. Naturally, it is anecdote-central and is filled with a myriad of bold claims.
COMPARE and contrast these articles in the Times:
Nov 11, 2013:
Anorexia: not just a ‘women’s illness’
Jan 25, 2014:
How to boost your daughter’s self-esteem
…Parents can help offset the toxic environment too, says Dr Sharpe. Discuss the portrayal of women’s bodies with their daughters and maintain a commentary when looking at images in magazine, on TV or online. “It’s also vital to model good body confidence and self-esteem yourself,” she says. “It’s interesting that during our trips to schools telling children not to engage in fat-talking we would go into the staff room and hear lots of it. We all do it — even I find myself doing it sometimes.”
NOT so long ago we covered the most depressing songs ever recorded, but there’s a big difference between depressing and sappy. A depressing song can actually be quite good; the artist intends to elicit sadness and it works. “Alone Again (Naturally)” by Gilbert O’Sullivan is a fine example, as is Harry Chapin’s “Cats in the Cradle”. Things turn sappy when it becomes excessively sentimental. Maybe the lyrics are transparently gooey, or the notes are sung to exaggerate the emotion. Take, for instance, the Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt song “I Don’t Know Much”:
I don’t know much
But I know I love you
That may be
All I need…. to know, whoaohohohah
You all know this misty-eyed classic. You half expect Linda to break down into convulsive sobs at song’s end. Yet, it still doesn’t rise to the level of sap needed for a spot on this list. The reason: We can’t go calling every romantic ballad “sappy”. Just as depressing songs have their place, so do overtly romantic songs. Perhaps, the best way to illustrate sap at its worst is by example. So, here we go…
10. “All Out Of Love” by Air Supply (1980)
They may be all out of love, but there’s still plenty of cheese to go around. Indeed, Air Supply made quite a successful career smothering the early eighties in saccharine sincerity. Their tracks were perfect for couples skating at the roller rink, but that’s where their usefulness ended. To listen to an Air Supply album the whole way through is like passing through a cloud of schmaltz.
9. “Hello” by Lionel Ritchie (1984)
Lionel Ritchie (or as I like to call him, Sappy McSapperstein) left his funk roots behind when he departed from the Commodores in favor of a solo career drenched in sentimental slush. No doubt, Ritchie could craft a beautiful melody, but they are dripping with sap. It’s a shame he couldn’t add even a little unvarnished edge to his 80s schmaltzfests.
8. “Clair” by Gilbert O’Sullivan (1972)
This song is just so precious it’s impossible to criticize. It’s like a warm buttery blanket of sentimental lovey-dovey-ness. Gilbert wrote the song for his manager’s daughter, whom he babysat. How can I complain about such an innocent lullaby…. yet, it’s saccharine levels are so high, listeners are in danger of developing Type II Diabetes. You have been duly warned.
7. “Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro (1968)
There’s nothing wrong with sad songs. “At Seventeen” by Janis Ian and “Ode to Billy Joe” by Bobbie Gentry are perfect examples of songs that had sad stories to tell, but they were also meaningful and even profound on some level. In stark contrast, “Honey” has nothing to say except just how sh***y it was that his wife died.
And speaking of songs about dead wives…
6. “Wildfire” by Michael Martin Murphy (1975)
My apologies to those who hold this song dear, but this is just dreadful. “Wildfire” is 4 minutes and 47 seconds of weepy drivel. Michael Martin Murphy makes Barry Manilow seem edgy and cynical.
And if you just can’t get enough of dead spouse music, I recommend “Daisy a Day” by Judd Strunk (1973).
5. “Heartlight” by Neil Diamond (1982)
There’s been just so many sappy songs over the years, it’s difficult to cherry pick; I could have made this a Top 100 list and still not scratch the surface. “You Light Up My Life” by Debbie Boone, “Careless Whisper” by Wham, and “Send in the Clowns” by Judy Collins would all qualify. Then I remembered the saptastic “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” by Streisand and Neil Diamond, which led me to the frighteningly cheesy “Heartlight” – a song literally inspired by the movie E.T. It simply doesn’t get much sappier than this, folks.
4. “Don’t Give Up On Us” by David Soul (1976)
When Soul wasn’t starring in gritty TV crime dramas (Starsky & Hutch) or gritty cinematic crime dramas (Magnum Force), David Soul was dishing up one of the sappiest tracks ever recorded. Scientific studies have demonstrated that bees are actually attracted to the saccharine tones of this song. Indeed, chemical analysis of the 12” vinyl single of “Don’t Give Up On Us” was found to contain trace quantities of fructose. Sounds crazy, but it’s all true.
3. “There Will Be Sad Songs” by Billy Ocean (1986)
This one gets bonus points for being a sappy song about sappy songs. But, now I’m faced with a question: which decade excelled in sappiness the most? I would say the 1980s were the Golden Age of Sap. In the 1970s, soft rock flourished, but it only rarely had the sugary outer-coating that 80s artists dripped on their songs so lovingly. In other words, 70s soft rock was about getting high and introspective and taking it down a notch; whereas, 80s pop was a damn schmaltzapalooza.
2. Every Power Ballad Ever Recorded by Hair Metal Bands
I use “I Hate Kissing You Goodbye” by Tuff to illustrate, but this could just as well be any hair metal power ballad. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison, “When the Children Cry” by White Lion, “Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Till It’s Gone)” by Cinderella, “I Remember You” by Skid Row… the list could go on forever. There was something very un-metal about these hair metal bands. Not only did they look like androgynous hookers, their music was more akin to Streisand than it was Maiden.
1. “Feelings” by Morris Albert (1975)
Is it any surprise that the Grand Poobah of sappy love songs makes an appearance on this list? “Feelings” combined the traditional cheeseball ballad with the corny flakiness of the lounge act and created a monster. Children of the Seventies well remember the horror of hearing this come on the car radio. Despite urgent pleas to turn it off, our parents would sing along instead. Oh, the humanity!
And on that note, I think the perfect ending for this list has to be “Feelings” as sung by The Bionic Woman. Enjoy.
FOUR movies strong, and spanning three decades (the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s), the cinematic Alien saga — consisting of Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992) and Alien Resurrection (1997) — is renowned for its titular creature, one of the most terrifying silver screen boogeymen of all time.
Given the nature of this franchise’s hostile (and perfect?) monster, it’s no surprise that the death scenes featured throughout the saga are frequently terrifying, bloody, and brilliantly-orchestrated.
Yet the truly memorable death scenes possess another quality as well. They’re shocking. These scenes strike with a combination of terror, disgust, sorrow, and surprise, leaving a permanent imprint on the viewer’s mind.
For a death scene to be considered shocking, it must be one that the audience can’t see coming. In other words, we expect that Colonial Marines fighting aliens by the pack are going to die, or that confused convicts running from a monster in a dark corridor will come to a bad end.
WRITING on Peaches Geldof in the Guardian, Hadley Freeman says ‘The Geldofs were Britain’s first celebrity family”. The article is called:
‘Beyond pain’: Peaches Geldof, Paula Yates and one family’s epic suffering”
Epic suffering? We don’t know the family any more than Freeman does, but we imagine their suffering at untimely deaths of loved ones – Peaches’ mother Paula Yates, her partner Michael Hutchence (whose orphaned daughter has been raised by Bob Geldof) and now the second oldest daughter of three – though terrible for the nearest and dearest are no more epic than what many families have endured. But it’s this family’s fame that attracts the hyperbole and acres of news coverage, not the individuals.