Friday, June 16

Most Awkward Book Signing EVAR

So there are people who desperately pine for CNN's Anderson Cooper.

Who knew?

Via Metafilter

Thursday, June 15

My Hometown

Ann Arbor, Michigan -- onetime counter-culture mecca, birthplace of Iggy Pop and Bob Seger, and home to matrimonial nudist shootings. Huh? The Ann Arbor News reports:
A man who ran naked through his neighborhood to persuade his girlfriend to marry him got more than he bargained for when he was chased and shot at, police said.

Seems logical to me -- what better way to convince a woman that you're marriage material than strip, jump out of a window and get shot at!
A tip of the hat to my lovely wife for locating this breaking news item. And no, I'm pretty sure it wasn't my brother.

The Camera Shutter, Car Alarm, Chainsaw BIrd

Australia's Lyrebird impersonates every sound he hears in the jungle in order to impress potential mates. Must be seen and heard to be believed! via Waxy

Tuesday, June 13

While You Were Out

I've been out of pocket for a week or so -- part of my "work as little as possible" Summer of Naught Six -- and boy have the Interwebs been busy in my absence!

Body modders give themselves the sixth sense of magnetism by ... inserting incredibly strong magnets into their fingertips.

Crackpot 'Lost' theories compiled for your conspiracy-minded pleasure.

Jon Stewart wields his rhetorical bitch-slapping stick against slot machine loving social conservative Bill Bennet.

How the "Twin Peaks" set dresser became one of the all-time most disturbing TV villains, Bob. (Where's Annie? Where's Annie?)

Crazy for Star Wars

A tuxedoed Stephen Colbert, taking a break from welcoming new entrants to the work force, gets reacquainted with guest No. 1 (and 100) Stone Philips. "If it were me, I'd say, 'Hey Couric! Don't the door hit ya where the Good Lord splits ya!' But as she is joining the Viacom family, I'd like to say, 'Katie, welcome."

Thursday, June 1

Dani California's Last Dance

The blogosphere and Page Six are abuzzin about the uncanny similarities between the Red Hot Chili Pepper's recent chart-topper "Dani California" and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' "Mary Jane's Last Dance."

The songs have the exact same chord structure, tempo, and (at the beginning at least) a "girl from rural locale with a mama" lyrical formula.

Let's take a listen:

Mary Jane's Last Dance
She grew up in an Indiana town
Had a good lookin mama, never was around
So she grew up tall and she grew up right
With them Indiana boys on them Indiana nights

Dani California
Gettin born in the state of Mississippi
Papa was a copper and Mama was a hippie
In Alabama she was swinging hammer
Price that you pay when you break the panorama (??)

A bit of closer inspection reveals that the common bond between the songs: freakishly bearded super-producer Rick Rubin.

Now, are the songs similar? Of course. Can you copyright chord changes? No, you cannot. And this is not like the famous hip-hop sampling lawsuits against De La Soul or the Beastie Boys -- no one is arguing that the Chili Peppers cut and pasted the actual audio from the Heartbreakers.

What it most closely resembles is the lengthy legal battle over the similarities between George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" and the Chiffons' "He's So Fine." A judge found Harrison guilty of copyright infringement and he never saw a penny from "My Sweet Lord," which was the first solo Beatles album to reach the top of the charts.

"I still don't understand how the courts aren't filled with similar cases -- as 99 percent of the popular music that can be heard is reminiscent of something or other," Harrison wrote in his autobiography.

And amid today's hyper-vigilant copyright environment, perhaps they will be...

UPDATE - Some radio DJs in Delaware have a lengthy segment on Dani vs Mary Jane