Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Did you know?

38 years ago, Edward "Ted" Kennedy didn't save a drowning woman by the name of Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy, who drove off a bridge and into a pond with Kopechne after a party, waited until his BAC level was back in the normal range before calling for help. Irony, huh? Kennedy with an array of political connections was able to escape without any criminal punishment. The death of Kopechne was ruled an accidental drowning.

Kennedy is a staunch advocate of abortion and gay marriage. His influence has remained steady in Massachusetts despite the drowning scandal, which is known as the Chappaquiddick incident. Because of his support on the issue, he is not in good standing with his Church.

Ah, that is, ah, all I have in, ah, terms of speaking about Ted, ah, Kennedy.

Random, yes? I don't have a book next to me called "How to talk to a Liberal (if you have to)" next to me for nothing.

Darfur update

The U.N. Security Council authorized on Tuesday up to 26,000 troops and police for Darfur and approved the use of force to protect civilians in Sudan's arid western region.

The combined UN-African Union operation aims to quell the violence in Darfur.

Boston gets Gagne and Garnett

Big day in sports today.

With Eric Gagne finally pitching like his old self following two elbow operations and back surgery, the Boston Red Sox acquired the reliever on Tuesday from the Texas Rangers.

Kevin Garnett gives Boston a new Big Three that brings the Celtics much closer to what their old Big Three delivered -- an NBA title.

The Celtics, who have 16 championships but have gone without one for more than two decades, obtained the former MVP and 10-time All-Star on Tuesday in a 7-for-1 deal -- the NBA's biggest trade for one player.

Boston sent the Minnesota Timberwolves forwards Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes and Gerald Green, guard Sebastian Telfair and center Theo Ratliff, two first-round draft picks and cash considerations. Besides Ratliff, 34, the other four are 22 or younger.

With Paul Pierce and Ray Allen already on the roster, the Celtics have been transformed from a promising collection of youngsters who had the NBA's second-worst record last season into an instant contender in the mediocre Eastern Conference.

For more on Gagne and Garnett, visit our sister site, New England Sports News.

A hawk? In this town?

A BEAUTIFUL red-tailed hawk drew quite a crowd when it landed on the roof of an SUV in the Daily Item parking lot Monday afternoon to have his lunch.

Isn't that a beauty?

Michelangelo Antonioni: 1912-2007

Michelangelo Antonioni, the Italian film director whose modernist style created such haunting, enigmatic films as L'Avventura and Blow Up, died Monday at his home in Italy; he was 94.

Antonioni found box office as well as critical success with Blow Up.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Darfur update

The United States says a U.N. resolution authorizing as many as 26,000 troops in Sudan's war-torn Dafur region will be finalized by Tuesday.

Last week, Britain and France, co-sponsors of the resolution, dropped the threat of sanctions against Sudan.

New rules weighed for auto efficiency

More than a quarter century after Congress wrote the rules setting automobile fuel economy standards, lawmakers are poised to make substantial increases in them, amid rising oil imports and prices.

The debate on mandating higher fuel standards for cars and trucks is unfolding in the House, which could take up the issue this week as part of a comprehensive energy bill.

The Senate has already passed legislation that would increase standards for cars and light trucks to an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, but the House is divided on two measures.

Representative Edward J. Markey, D, Mass., is sponsoring a bill for a 35-mpg standard by 2019.

Sailing...takes me away...

WHAT COULD be better than an early evening summer sail around Lake Quannapowitt?

An early evening summer sail in a cleaner lake.

Ingmar Bergman: 1918-2007

Ingmar Bergman, the Swedish director considered one of the most influential and acclaimed filmmakers of modern cinema, died at his home in Faro, Sweden, on Monday; he was 89. The death was announced by the Swedish news agency TT and confirmed by Bergman's daughter, Eva, and Astrid Soderbergh Widding, president of The Ingmar Bergman Foundation, though an official cause of death was not yet given. Nominated for nine Academy Awards throughout his career and honored with the Irving G. Thalberg award in 1971, Bergman was cited as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, with his bleak, unsparing yet highly emotional explorations of the human psyche and its relation to life, sex, and death, in both highly symbolic and intensely personal films; he most notably influenced Woody Allen, who considered him the greatest of filmmakers. His images ranged from the stark black-and-white of films like The Seventh Seal to those awash in dreadful reds such as Cries and Whispers and the holiday warmth of Fanny and Alexander, his last film for the cinema. Born in Uppsala, Sweden in 1918, Bergman was the son of a Lutheran minister, and religious imagery as well as the tumultuous relationship between his parents would pervade his work.

Bergman's 1955 film Smiles of a Summer shot him to fame.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Darfur update

China says the U.N. Security Council is still working on a draft resolution that would authorize an expanded peacekeeping force in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region.

Britain and France say they changed the tone and language of the draft after consultations with South Africa, Ghana, and the Republic of Congo.


A federal judge, in a scathing rebuke of the FBI, ordered the government to pay a record $101.7 million for its role in wrongfully sending four men to prison for a 1965 gangland murder in Chelsea.

The FBI withheld evidence that the men had been framed, those Nazis.

Ding dong ding dong...ding dong ding dong. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding.

Downtown again will hear finely-tuned and crystal clear notes coming from the steeple at the First Parish Congregational Church (FPCC) in the next few days once Rich Testa and William T. Pugh finish their significant overhaul of the chimes system.

Is his back always hunched like that? Because, come on, a hunchback working in a bell tower? Awesome!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Darfur update

The United States wants a combined U.N.-African Union force to function in Darfur from October 1, three months earlier than proposed in a draft U.N. resolution, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday.

US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Fraser said, "People are dying, there is no reason to wait until December 31st."

Nerd alert!

There's not a lot of baseball memorabilia in Curt Schilling's office in Maynard, but you'll find plenty of swords.

In fact there's long-bladed cutlery all over the place at 38 Studios LLC, the entertainment start-up founded by the Red Sox pitching ace. The swords set the right tone for a company that's developing a new massively multiplayer online fantasy game, or MMO.

But a supply of magic wands might be more useful. There are already plenty of online sword-and-sorcery games — the most popular, Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft, boasts 8.5 million players. Besides, 38 Studios won't introduce its offering until 2010; what will the market look like by then?

Hell if I know...believe it or not, I'm actually not THAT nerdy. Liz? You were in Strategy Gaming Club. You must know something about this. Right?

Horizon House is 21

HORIZON HOUSE on Water Street, a non-profit organization serving the needs of people with mental illness in the area, celebrated its 21st birthday at a party at the West Side Social Club Friday night.

Doesn't look like a very...ahem...crazy...party.

Lindsay Lohan arrested

The Associated Press is reporting that Lindsay Lohan was arrested a block away from the Santa Monica Police Department early this morning on two misdemeanor charges of suspicion of driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license, and two felony charges of possession of cocaine.

Hey Lindsay, it's time to turn your life around. See, doing drugs and driving drunk are what we call "dangerous."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Darfur update

France and Britain circulated a new, toned-down draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council Tuesday, authorizing the deployment of international peacekeepers in Sudan's western Darfur region and dropping the threat of sanctions.

The resolution calls for the deployment of a 26,000-strong African Union and UN peacekeeping force.

Now playing at Jimmy Tingle's...

The title of Abie Philbin Bowman's act is brilliant in its simplicity: "Jesus: The Guantanamo Years." And the young Irish comedian is quick to acknowledge that the title probably had a lot to do with his unexpected success at last summer's Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

"There are 1,800 shows there," he says. "If you can't sell your idea in 10 seconds, you might as well not go."

But the title sold it, and his one-man show became a surprise hit in Edinburgh, then went on to sold-out success in London's West End.

Here's the premise: Jesus returns to Earth, but La Migra sends him to Guantanamo because he's a bearded Palestinian who's willing to be a martyr.

Aw. Part III

TWO-year-old Elisabeth McDonough gets a chance to play near the water with her grandmother Mary McDonough during a warm afternoon at Lake Quannapowitt.

Click the "Aw" label for our growing collection of ridiculously cute pictures.

WHS says...

Remember summer reading.

Oh, I did. I've already read the first two Oedipus plays and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and I've started True Notebooks. I've also checked out The Handmaid's Tale. Not to mention I'm in the middle of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Spoiler alert: everyone gets killed. The end.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Globe piece on the South Bay Center

Marcel Dawson can tick off a litany of dislikes about the South Bay Center: The press of swirling traffic and swarms of shoppers. The big box stores and concrete block architecture. The gritty setting that can be intimidating come nightfall.

Yet the 31-year-old mutual funds salesman, who recently moved to Boston from Charlotte, N.C., regularly finds himself at Target, loading up on necessities. And like many of the other thousands who churn each day through the 540,000-square-foot shopping center in a no man's land south of downtown, Dawson has developed a grudging affection for the place.

"It's almost like a train station. We are all here to pick something up," he said as he shopped with his fiancee for a clothing storage bin. "And because of that, you don't get the 'Don't cross into my neighborhood.' No one territorializes this place."

In an area famous for balkanized neighborhoods and clannish mentalities, the South Bay Center on the border of Dorchester has emerged as a melting pot uniting residents of South Boston, Dorchester, the South End, and Roxbury.

Not much local news today, huh?

It was a nice weekend, eh?

WITH SUPERB summer weather, Lake Quannapowitt was a beehive of activity this weekend.

This weekend, I was at a wedding reception at the Hartshorne House.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Trans Fats

A statewide ban on artery-clogging trans fat lost its biggest potential roadblock yesterday when the leading association of restaurateurs told legislators it will not fight the measure.

I am all for banning Trans Fats from restaurants and grocery stores alike, but only if that means all the flavor from the food is brought back. Crap, according to wikipedia any food that contains partially hydrogenated oils has trans fat. So basically every thing I eat has trans fat.

Pancakes? Yes. Waffles? Yes. Cake? Yes. Milk? Yes. Deep fry oils? Oh yeah. Fast Food including fries? Oh Oh Yeah. Snack Foods? Yes.

Mostly everyday I either have waffles or cake for breakfast so let's say that is close to 1/4 of my daily consumption of food. Deep fried stuff and fast food? On some days that can take up 2/4 of what I eat. Snacks, milk? That's the other 1/4. So yeah, all trans fat. If they all of a sudden banned all of these hazardous fats (with the exception being milk, because that Trans Fat is present naturally) then my risk for coronary heart disease would be greatly reduced.

Darfur update

European parliament members in Strasbourg are discussing the crisis in Darfur, after a recent fact-finding mission to Sudan's war-torn western region revealed widespread problems in the AU peacekeeping mission, known by its acronym AMIS.

The lawmakers are especially focused on reports that the 7,000 AU soldiers have not received their salaries in more than four months, despite the monthly multi-million dollar European contribution to the peacekeeping mission.

A spokesman for the EU development and aid commission, Amadeu Altafaj, says that the European Union does not believe corruption is the reason for the delay. He says a lack of expertise in financial and administrative management, combined with inadequate resources, may be the problem.

"We have been carrying out audits in Addis, in Khartoum," Altafaj said. "We do not have evidence of any fraud, any misuse of the money. But on the other hand we have seen that there are difficulties, there are delays. There is a lack of capacity. There is a lack of expertise in the African Union, but AMIS is doing an important job on the ground. They are the only ones taking this responsibility on the ground, so what they need is full support of the international community in general."

Fighting in Darfur continues even though the largest rebel group signed a peace agreement with the government.

There's a sand sculpting contest in Revere?

Propping their elbows on the fence, three buddies watched Matthew Martelli carve the base of a 12-foot-tall sand pirate and offered hometown encouragement.

"Matthew, you're going too deep there," teased Bob Otolo, 54.

Not bothering to glance up, Martelli shot back, "Thank you." His friends cackled.

Martelli, 50, grew up in Revere, and his friends planned to trek to Revere Beach daily through Saturday as he tries to outsculpt nine professionals from across the country, all vying for the $10,000 grand prize in the New England Sand Sculpting Festival.

10 grand? Hey Glen, let's figure out how to make the Millenium Falcon out of sand.

Aw. Part II

THE WAKEFIELD Department of Public Works (DPW) recycling education program was recently presented to the third grade students at the Walton School.

Wait until they get to high school and find out they can only recycle paper.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Darfur update

European funds designated for the African Union mission in Darfur have not reached the undermanned and underequipped military force for months, leaving soldiers there without pay, officials said Tuesday.

The African Union acknowledged the problem, but said the European Union requires cumbersome accounting impossible in a remote and violent region the size of France.

The European Commission has earmarked $384 million for the African Union since November 2004, and further funds have been provided by the individual EU states, for a total of more than $544 million. The European Union is investigating why its money has not been paid to AU soldiers, officials said Tuesday.

The AU is supposed to pay the soldiers, but the EU discovered that they have not.

Natalie Jacobson to leave Channel 5

WCVB-TV legendary anchor Natalie Jacobson today announced she is going to step down July 18th from the Channel 5 anchor desk, a position she has held for some 35 years.

Jacobson said, "It's time to move on. Life promises many opportunities, leaving me eager to begin my newest season."


FOURTH OF JULY is a fun time for all, especially the children, here is Gianna Palmerino with her dad Nick at the Independence Day Committee Parade.

With those things on her head, doesn't she look like a Fraggle?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Israel sets up a tent city for Darfur refugees

The government will set up a tent city in the Negev to house dozens of Sudanese refugees who infiltrate Israel from Egypt almost daily, Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter said Monday.

Dichter said the housing is temporary, and that the refugees will be sent back to Egypt.

Iraqis told to arm themselves

Prominent Shi'ite and Sunni politicians called on Iraqi civilians to take up arms to defend themselves after a weekend of violence that claimed more than 220 lives, including 60 who died yesterday in a surge of bombings and shootings around Baghdad.

The string of bombings in Baghdad show that extremists can still unleash powerful strikes there.

[insert title here]

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

11 Year Old Charged With DUI

11 years old, driving, and drunk?

Thus the story begins:

"When I was 11, I rode my bike. I drank Kool-aid. I had a healthy respect for police officers, and the law in general. [An] 11-year-old girl from Alabama... got drunk and led police on a 100mph chase. They only caught her after she sideswiped another vehicle, flipped her car, and crashed."
- http://www.parentdish.com/2007/07/06/11-year-old-charged-with-dui/

Just when you thought you had seen it all...

Friday, July 6, 2007

WTF! Website/Forum = Hit

My friend and I were bored one day in the computer lab and decided to search random web sites name. Raunchy ones aside, we decided to type in wtf.com.

Wtf.com is a website and forum that was created sometime in 2004. More specifically, WTF?! is an "online RANTING community for those who want to bitch and moan about anything on their mind." The forums are what the bitching and moaning are for; the main site describes a bunch of news stories that make you want to gawk and, at the same time, squeal "What the Fuck?!"

Today's headlines are: Earth Smaller Than Assumed, Gay Pastor Kicked Out of Ministry, Al Gore's Son, and one that took place right here in good ol' Massachusetts: Mother's live-in boyfriend bit off 3-year-old's ear, lip.

Even if you don't want to join the forum, at least visit the main website. You'll laugh, cry, and maybe even throw a rock through your computer screen. Once again it's wtf.com

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Darfur update

China claimed credit on Thursday for coaxing Sudan to accept a planned U.N. presence in its troubled Darfur region, and said it had raised concerns about its arms exports flowing to Khartoum-linked militia there.

Beijing's envoy on Darfur said his nation was crucial in persuading Sudan to accept the peacekeeping force.

I actually fell asleep instead of watching the show. Again, I'm an idiot.

Despite heightened security and drizzling rain, tens of thousands of patriotic revelers crowded the Charles River Esplanade last night for the nation's premier Fourth of July celebration. People came from across the country -- and some camped out all night -- for the free concert by the Boston Pops and rocker John Mellencamp, followed by the city's signature fireworks display.

Ah, yes, another Fourth has come and gone. We've been getting some good "rockers" lately. Mellencamp this year, Aerosmith last year. Let's try and get Prince for next year. He did the best halftime show ever. Think of what he could do with an orchestra!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

January-June, 2007: The Half-Year in Review

1/1 - The Facebook phenomenon continues. Sure, MySpace is where all the corporations go to advertise, but Facebook is far more popular, at least in Wakefield. Why? Maybe it's because you can't see the pictures of you getting drunk with your friends unless you have an account, so your parents will never find out. Not that I've ever taken pictures of myself getting drunk with friends and put them on Facebook.

1/31 - As the Étudiant's own Glen Maganzini said...

"Come on, admit it. Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens are geniuses. First, they set off a bunch of middle finger pointing cartoon figures in Boston and second, they held a press conference that discussed only one, irrelevant subject: hair styles. Okay, maybe the first thing was far less genius than their press conference, but come on these guys are great."
Then again, the first thing shut down the city of Boston, and was the greatest publicity stunt of all time.

2/4 - I don't know about you, but I was totally rooting for da Bears on Super Bowl Sunday. Yes, Peyton Manning deserved it. No, I wasn't mad that the Colts beat the Pats. It's because my mom lived in Chicago for years. Plus, I love those SNL sketches.
2/11 - The Police reunite at the beginning of the Grammys, and I miss it because I'm an idiot. Plus I had homework, I think. Oh well, thank God for YouTube.

3/16 - Apparently, there was a three-way tie on Jeopardy! on this date. This is also the date Ms. Tinker shouted out, "Oh no they di-n't!"

3/17 - The WHS Jazz Ensemble celebrates St. Patty's Day by going to Boston and getting hammered. Unfortunately, our drunkenness hurt our performance at the Berklee Jazz Festival, especially when drummer Brian Hickey passed out right in the middle of his solo, and I threw up all over the piano during mine.
4/12 - On this date, Don Imus lost his job because he said something really, really stupid (see above).

4/16 - What do you call the removal of a student from his poetry class by the professor because of disturbing writing and behavior? How about when someone never speaks, and puts down a question mark as his name? These are called warnings.

5/19 - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End comes out, and I still have yet to see it, because, again, I am an idiot.

5/23 - Jordin Sparks wins American Idol. However, since the live finale ran long, anyone who Tivo'd it missed the announcement of her victory. But hey, at least they still got to watch the previous winners (plus Sanjaya!) butcher songs from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

6/14 - Tony Parker leads the Spurs to another championship. Three in four years? For a French guy, he's had a lot of victories. With help from Americans.

6/29 - The iPhone hits stores. The stores should really hit back.

Happy birthday, USA!

Can you believe this great nation of ours is 231 years old? She looks great for her age. Look for her on the cover of this month's Shape.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

AU focuses on Darfur and Somalia

The conflicts in Somalia and Darfur have come under discussion at the African Union (AU) summit underway in Accra.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha Rose Migiro said, "Pockets of instability in Africa cannot be left for Africa alone. Somalia is of international concern."

Clinton Country

The force dubbed "Billary" -- the combination of former President Clinton and his wife -- hit Iowa in earnest Tuesday, focusing on lifting her candidacy in an early voting state that one aide has described as her weakest.

Billary?!? These celebrity couple portmanteau nicknames are getting out of hand.

Cook-out at the senior center! Woo!

THE SENIORS at the Dutton Center were treated to a cook-out Monday as Sue Morton, assistant director; head chef Steve Brennan; director; Lianne Barrett, meal services; and Jeanne McCorry, activities director, are doing the cooking.

You were a few days too early.