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Your friend from high school, now on Twitter. Funnier than it has a right to be.
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His best work was with the E Street Band, of course; I listened to Born to Run on the way to a family reunion today with tears in my eyes. But he also worked with artists from Aretha Franklin to Lady GaGa. Here's something from a solo album, done with Jackson Browne:


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Update: crisis averted! (h/t [livejournal.com profile] spyderqueen )

So: "Weird Al" Yankovic wanted to cover Lady GaGa's "Born This Way" for his next album. He sent her people his lyrics; they wanted to hear him performing the song itself. He went into the studio, recorded the song, sent it to them... and they rejected it. 

So he posted it on YouTube anyway.



Here's his blog post where he describes the process more thoroughly. He's also asking people to donate to the Human Rights Campaign if they like it.
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It's always good to see young people making the right choices early in life.
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Classic albums reimagined as book covers--everything from the plain and the abstract to lurid pulp and horror.  I especially like those from D.R. Jones and P. Rogers Nelson. 
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...I have a Dreamwidth code if anyone wants/needs one.
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 Sooo.... Gilbert Gottfried tweeted some tasteless jokes about Japan ("I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, 'There'll be another one floating by any minute now'”). Gottfried has been the voice of the Aflac duck for about a decade. Aflac does 75% of its business in Japan. Guess what happened next. 
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Update: Mission accomplished, and then some.

 Reposted from [livejournal.com profile] paulpogue :

Calling out the nerds for a good cause
Some of you know me, some don’t. My name’s Paul Pogue, Indianapolis, Indiana, lifelong nerd, father to three-year-old cancer survivor Armand Zefram Pogue.

A couple of years ago, Armand was diagnosed with just about the worst case of cancer imaginable – a stage-four neuroblastoma that put a tumor the size of a cabbage in his stomach and left him with survival odds in the low double digits.

Armand is doing great now, two years later, and is cancer-free. But recently our circle of friends was hit with the cruel hammer of irony. One of my close friends these many years is Sarah Rogers. Last week her 12-year-old daughter Patty was diagnosed with stage-four neuroblastoma – exactly the same kind Armand had, and possibly an even worse case, with a tumor wrapped around her spine and another in her lung.

Right now she’s at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, getting the finest care available – as it happens, in one of the very same rooms in which my son spent so many days fighting for his life.

My goal is to help Patty stay a little more sane. If there’s one thing my family knows after 240 long days of inpatient treatment, it is that the days can go on endlessly. Armand got lucky – he had a DVD player and later an iPod to while away the days. And for a cancer patient who can barely even sit up, there is nothing better in the world than an iPod.

Unless, of course, it’s two years later and the world now has the iPad.

Patty Rogers doesn’t have her own computer, and even a laptop would be kind of hard to work with in the hard days ahead when she might be flat on her back for a long time. But an iPad? Perfect. So I want to help get Patty an iPad ASAP and help her stay just a little bit more sane. But I can’t do it alone. I’m putting up $50 to start a fund, and Apple’s already agreed to give her a discount. I’d like to ask the nerds of the world to lend a hand – 50 cents, five bucks, ten bucks, anything you can give. (And if this missive has somehow made its way to you and you're not a nerd, rest assured your contribution is equally welcome :). )

If we go over the limit needed, I’ll just throw in an iTunes store card to fill her up. If we go a lot more, I’m handing it straight over to the family for gas, food or whatever they need. Cancer is EXPENSIVE, and not just the medical treatment.

For convenience’s sake, we’re taking the online donations via Paypal. Send it to paulpogue1@hotmail.com and put “For Patty’s iPad” or something similar in the header.

One other request: If you have a blog or anyplace online where people listen to what you have to say, please repost this and see if anyone else is up for helping. Think of it as an all-nerd alert!

I know it’s asking a lot. But I also know that my family and I wouldn’t have made it through the last two horrible years without the enormous support of everyone around us, and I want to do everything I can to help Patty Rogers get the same help.

Want to know more about her? Check out http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/patriciarogers/. If you have any questions or want more confirmation that this is on the up-and-up, drop me a line at poguesrun@gmail.com and we’ll talk.

Thanks a lot, everyone!

Paul F. P. Pogue
Veteran of the cancer wars
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Think that the Gawker blogs' new look sucks like an Electrolux? Alarmed at the catastrophic plunge in page views? Worried that they might start to drop off like flies?

There's an easy fix for a return to the old look: simply paste "ca." in front of the URL. For example:

io9.com

becomes

ca.io9.com

Until they either come to their senses or decide to ruin it for everybody, it's an adequate workaround.
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Britain has severely cut funding for libraries, and a number of people have rallied to support restoration of that funding. Including an authentic sorcerer from Northampton:



Not sure who his friend is. [/joke]
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Kid does own Christmas pageant at home. Forget Spider-Man: Turn Off The Damn Flying Rigs Before Someone Gets Hurt (Again), I'd pay cash money to see this.
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The last time I saw a "blood moon" (the part of a partial or total lunar eclipse where the moon is red) was when I was in Memphis, so I thought I might set my alarm so as to see it anew in the new millenium, as it were.

The sky is completely overcast. Just as it was when I was a kid and had my only chance to see a total solar eclipse where I lived.

Curse the heavens! Curse them!
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The above is the punchline to a joke about a wallet made of foreskins, but here's what actually happens to them. Saves lives and makes you pretty--now that's recycling!
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Windowless rooms are safer. No cell phones; they can be tracked from space. Only landlines. They stayed in hotels here at first, keeping on the move, but the hotels began calling each other. Doors were closed to the Quaids. One hotel, a five-star palace downtown, granted them entry, but they were put in room 911. "Come on," Evi says. "That was just mean." They've since relocated. "A secret hotel apartment bunker thing," she says.

Whom the Star Whackers would destroy, they first make out-of-control substance abusers; they're currently working on Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen. Their tentacles extend to the Dairy Queen in Marfa, Texas.

I'm not finding this at all funny. It's really sad.
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Via io9, here's a letter from Gene Roddenberry reacting to the rejection of Star Trek's first pilot. (For those of you who aren't that familiar with Star Trek's origins, Roddenberry made a pilot, "The Cage", which was rejected by NBC because it was "too cerebral", among other reasons; they did fund a second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", which was accepted. In an inspired bit of recycling, the first pilot was turned into a two-part episode, "The Menagerie", with the events of the first pilot being a flashback to the earlier years of the Enterprise, a logical move since the only character that was retained from the first pilot was Spock.) Although Roddenberry graciously accepts that he may have been partially at fault for the rejection, he's quite passionate about defending his show:

For the first time I think I see our particular and peculiar medium exactly for what it is. It has been and can be very good -- and if someone proves to me they want me to try for that level, I gladly will. On the other hand, without that proof, I intend to aim for safe copies and parallels of existing successes -- settle for doing it just two or three percent better than the next guy so that job and profits are always there, and I eat dinner every night at 6:00 p.m. with the children and have two days at home out of every seven to play horseshoes and putter in the garden. And do everything possible to move on into another medium.
 

Preach it, Gene.
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Jimmy Fallon as Neil Young does Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair":Back and forth )
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How adorable is this? Part kid, part machine, all cop!
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I remember the print ad that Bill Gates participated in during the introduction of the Macintosh (he and the other two were wearing the same color polo shirts), but I had no idea about this.

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