Thursday, March 16, 2006

Non-NCAA Thread

This will be updated freqently after I get back from class and an advising session. Of course, all updates will be at commercial breaks.

Barry Welsh is organizing a Democratic Party Volunteer Rally '06 Training Event from 1 to 4 p.m. on March 25, 2006, in New Castle, Indiana. You will find it at the Democratic Party headquarters located at 1401 Broad Street. Reminds me, I need to see Give My Regards to Broad Street with Paul McCartney eventually.

Ah, behold the power of music. Graham Nash and David Crosby are performing a concert the benefit the Grace Center for battered women. The center is in Pasadena.

Matt Gallant, former host of "The Planet's Funniest Animals, is now set to host a show that will not be named here. It's bad enough that I decided to link to it. I HATE reality TV with a passion. Gallant is a former of The Groundlings.
Born in Syracuse, New York and raised in Westport, Connecticut, Gallant opted for sports rather than performing. He attended the University of Rhode Island, where he majored in communications, studied theatre and envisioned a career as a sportscaster. He soon began work, however, as a page for NBC in New York City, which ultimately ushered him in to the world of show business. Gallant hired an agent and immediately began landing roles in a string of successful commercials. His big break soon followed in the form of not one but two jobs for MTV -- hosting both the live show Hangin' with MTV, and a magazine-style program for teens entitled Like We Care.
Will Ferrell studied to be a sportscaster. Craig Kilborn became a sportscaster. Who knows? I almost went into sportscasting but that field is so hard to succeed in because of all the talent out there.

Just to make sure you know, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner is not purple.

H.R. 4681 is the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act. This was text from an email I rceieved.
This legislation, introduced by Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Tom Lantos (D-CA), Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Gary Ackerman (D-NY), will prohibit any direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) as long as members of a terrorist group control or take part in the Palestinian government. It stipulates that until the PA meets a series of conditions, including dismantling the terrorist infrastructure and recognizing Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, they will not receive any aid from the United States. The legislation includes exceptions for humanitarian assistance and special projects that can only be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Three of the 141 members to co-sponsor are from Kentucky. Those are Ben Chandler, Anne Northup, and Geoff Davis.

Sen. Joe Lieberman should take care of his competition this year no matter what party they belong to.

Does comedy run in the family for some?

The House of Representatives passes sanctions against Iran in a committee.
The Iran Freedom Support Act passed 37-3 Wednesday in the International Relations Committee and now goes to the full House — where, with more than 340 sponsors, it’s virtually guaranteed passage. A similar bill is circulating in the Senate.

The bill expands existing sanctions against Iran by targeting foreign companies and countries doing more than $20 million worth of business in Iran.

Sponsors say the penalties are in response to Iran’s apparent efforts to build a nuclear bomb, as well as its continued support for terrorism.
First they go after KFC, now they go after the Orthodox Union? And you wonder why I don't like PETA? If they weren't so extreme in how they act, then maybe they wouldn't have such a bad reputation. Once you threaten to desecrate a gravesite, that's the last time you get respect from me and they will never gain my trust or respect again. That said, I am an animal lover and I eat kosher as much as possible.
The release of the report reignited an issue that created controversy in the kosher world. Some Jews accused PETA of launching a veiled anti-Semitic campaign intended to suppress religious freedom, while others saw the gruesome video that PETA ran on its Web site as evidence that the plant had violated the humane aspects of kosher slaughter.[...]

But Thomas said Agriprocessors has no plans to talk to PETA, let alone comply with any of its demands.

"We view PETA’s efforts as an attack on kosher slaughter. They put their political interests before the right to the free practice of religion," Thomas said.

When the news initially made headlines, some members of the kosher community were upset that slaughter at Agriprocessors appeared less humane than they expected.

But that hasn’t affected sales, Thomas said — and since the PETA video was made, Agriprocessors has opened another plant, in Nebraska.
Interesting article on how Natalie Portman started Scarlett Johansson's career.
You knew from the first, watching her steal hearts and seduce the camera in The Professional (1994), that Natalie Portman was not just another child star. And not since Jodie Foster has an adolescent actress made such a smooth transition to adult roles, or impressed so mightily as she matured.

One should dismiss the Israeli-born, vaguely exotic-looking Portman's throwaway performances in the Star Wars films as merely a lucrative marking of time, albeit romantically, and focus instead on the genuinely outstanding work she has done: very believable in Anywhere But Here (1999) opposite Susan Sarandon, blowing everyone away in Cold Mountain (2003), appealingly quirky in writer-director-star Zach Braff's indy feature Garden State (2004), and turning caustic in Mike Nichols Closer (2004).

Scarlett Johansson can thank Portman for helping get her career on track. The latter turned down the major role in Robert Redford's The Horse Whisperer (1998) that made Johansson a star because, at 17, she could no longer relate to playing a 13-year-old. Wisely, Portman also turned down the title role in schlockmeister director Adrian Lyne's remake of Lolita, in part due to her dad's counsel not to do things on screen she had not yet experienced in real life. If only every young actor was so prudent.

On stage, she was a natural to top the bill for the Broadway revival (actually a revision) of The Diary of Anne Frank, in which Frank is portrayed as something more fully fleshed than a staunch, angelic martyr.

But the 25-year-old Portman's permanent home will be the big screen, where she has the power to captivate. With good material, that is.

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