The Lycos 50 Blog: News from the Pop Culture Fast Lane
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Election 08: Their Cups Runneth Accurately
By Matt Shevin
At 7-Eleven, the 7-Election is back and in full force. Here’s how it works: customers choose between an Obama blue cup and a McCain red cup when they buy a self-serve hot drink, and 7-Eleven keeps an online tally.
While the folks at 7-Eleven HQ are quick to temper their poll as unscientific and unofficial, the results speak for themselves, and apparently Gallup doesn’t hold a candle to coffee, tea and spiced-pumpkin latte. Purchases at the convenience store giant have predicted the last two presidential elections within one percentage point of the actual final results
As of this week, the Obama cup is beating the living daylights out of McCain’s counterpart, leading in 28 of the 30 states in which 7-Elevens are located.
If these stats hold up, and the cups prophesize the outcome once again, Obama will receive 388 of the electoral votes from the 28 states in which he holds a lead. He needs 270 to win.
Safe to say, Barack will drink to that.
Matt Shevin’s New York upbringing is predominantly responsible for his fervent opinions on all things culture, sports and politics. Currently, he’s an actor in L.A., living with a Pit Bull named Petey, and writing a daily blog - http://insidetheactorsstudioapartment.blogspot.com - which chronicles the highs, lows and absurdities of life in Los Angeles. Matt recently completed a film that he wrote, produced and starred in called The Beneficiary.
Live From New York, Its Still Alive
By Matt Shevin
One day, while kicking back in his jammies, an 84-year-old Joe Dimaggio watched the announcement of his death scroll across the bottom of an NBC show he was watching. Joe took his pulse and realized rumors of his death had been greatly exaggerated.
Speaking of eating it and NBC, it seems to be an annual chore for “Saturday Night Live” to prove that the show is still funny and relevant.
If it weren’t, why has it become an obligatory stop on the presidential campaign trail? And why has Tina Fey’s portrayal of Sarah Palin created what has been called the “Tina Fey Effect”, damaging the McCain-Palin ticket?
So stop the nonsense, haters, and start giving SNL its due. That’s change I can believe in.
Matt Shevin’s New York upbringing is predominantly responsible for his fervent opinions on all things culture, sports and politics. Currently, he’s an actor in L.A., living with a Pit Bull named Petey, and writing a daily blog– http://insidetheactorsstudioapartment.blogspot.com/– which chronicles the highs, lows and absurdities of life in the Los Angeles. Matt recently completed a film that he wrote, produced and starred in called The Beneficiary.
International soccer star David Beckham will join the Italian Soccer club AC Milan, on loan, beginning in January for a 4 month stay during Major League Soccer’s off season.The L.A. Galaxy, Beckham’s current team, will end their season on October 26th making him available for play in January.The top Italian soccer league, Serie A, has seen attendance numbers on the decline but AC Milan continues to draw fans since they have signed international stars including Kaka and Ronaldinho.The move to Milan seems to be a perfect fit for both the team and Beckham.Reports indicate that Beckaham hopes to join the English National team for another World Cup and his selection hinges on a strong performance in the Serie A.AC Milan will add Beckham’s skill in time for the UEFA cup, a competition for all European club teams.This will be David Beckham's fifth team after Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid and the L.A. Galaxy where he remains under contract.
Reps for both Madonna (#37 on this week's L50) and Guy Ritchie confirmed the couple will be parting ways after nearly eight years of marriage. Tabloids are reporting that much of the 50-year-old pop star's fortune her 40-year-old soon-to-be ex will receive in the divorce settlement. With London known as the "divorce capital of the world," if the proceedings move forward in England, Ritchie could claim half of the couple's combined fortune. According to Reuters UK, Ritchie may be looking at anywhere from $250 to $260 million.
Even as news of Madonna's divorce was making headlines, the show went on as she took the stage at the TD Bank North Garden in Boston as part of her world tour. The statement issued by reps yesterday read: "Madonna and Guy Ritchie have agreed to divorce after seven and a half years of marriage, their representatives confirmed today. They have both requested that the media maintain respect for their family at this difficult time. A final settlement has not been agreed upon yet."
A group of tenants in Brooklyn, NY learned their landlord planted a bag of dead cats in their building in order to drive them out. “It was so bad, we thought it was a dead body,” said Daisy Terry, who says her landlord left the rotting carcasses in the building for two months to pressure longtime tenants to leave their rent-stabilized apartments. “I had to hold my nose when I came down the stairs,” she said. The tenants claim that after a company called Heskel 1 bought their building last year, workers removed the stairs leading to the basement and vacant units were filled with trash, including the bag of dead cats. The group of tenants is suing the landlord under a new law that lets tenants take legal action for a pattern of harassment. “This case is not the only case of tenant harassment, but if it was the only case, it would be reason enough to have this law on the books,” Quinn said.
Illusionist and daredevil David Blaine began a 60-hour stint on September 22 hanging upside down over New York's Central Park. Blaine, 35, was hoisted by his heels over the park's Wollmann ice rink, and will stay there, dangling from a wire, until late on September 24. Reports claim the magician looks at ease while dangling upside down, attached at the torso and at two steel clips linking his boots to the wire. The trick is inspired by Blaine's great hero Harry Houdini who amazed New York crowds by hanging upside down from skyscrapers and cranes. Blaine has set his goal at 60-hours, which professionals have expressed concerned about the effect of stress on Blaine’s internal organs and blood circulation. Hanging upside down for a long time increases blood pressure in the head, especially in the eyes, this could lead to blindness. He is not eating, but is taking liquid through a straw, and is able to urinate through a catheter. He regularly frees one leg, so that he is hanging only by the other, then uses that limb to help rebalance, briefly raising his head a little nearer to a horizontal position. “This is the most difficult for sure. The others, you could get into them soon after the start, but this one is tough from the get-go,” Blaine said after being lowered to head level for an interview.
Guinness Book of World Records ? Longest Legs and Shortest Man
The new Guinness Book of World Records 2009 hits stands September 17 and features participants such as the women with the longest legs and the smallest man in the world. Standing at just 2’5’’ high, He Pingping, from China, has officially been named the smallest man in the world. Meanwhile, Svetlana Pankratova, has a pair of the longest legs in the world, which stretch 4’3.9’’ long. Mr. Pingping barely reached Ms. Pankratova's knees at a bizarre photo shoot held to mark the release of the new Guinness Book of World Records 2009. The Guinness Book of world records began in 1955 and was known as Guinness Book of records before it changed its name in 2000 since the book has worldwide recognition.
Lance Armstrong has announced he will be returning to the Tour de France in 2009. After 3 years in retirement the 36-year-old cancer survivor states he will return to compete. In a formal video statement, Lance calls his comeback an attempt to raise global awareness for the fight against cancer. "This kind of obscure bike race, totally kick-started my engine," he told Vanity Fair, referring to the lung-searing 100-mile mountain bike race through the Colorado Rockies. “I'm going to try and win an eighth Tour de France.”
Armstrong dominated the Tour with a record seven titles from 1999-2005 while dodging allegations of steroid use. This year he's hired a video crew to chronicle his training for 2009, as well as ongoing drug tests for a possible documentary. “There's this perception in cycling that this generation is now the cleanest generation we've had in decades, if not forever,” said Armstrong, who's never tested positive. “And the generation that I raced with was the dirty generation. ... So there is a nice element here where I can come with really a completely comprehensive program and there will be no way to cheat.”
Armstrong was diagnosed in 1996 with testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain; doctors gave Armstrong less than a 50% chance of survival. Surgery and brutal cycles of chemotherapy gave him chance, from there, it was determination and powerful self-discipline that led him back to the bike and his stunning 1999 Tour win.
Dave Freeman, the man who co-wrote the best selling adventure travel guide, 100 Things To Do Before You Die has passed away at the age of 47. Freeman tragically died after falling over and hitting his head at his home in Venice, California. The advertising agency executive wrote the book in 1999 with his friend, Neil Teplica, after collecting odd locations on a travel website they ran. The bold travel guide suggested the world’s craziest places to visit, including nude night surfing in Australia and taking part in the loudest yelling competition in North Carolina. The self proclaimed bachelor like to travel alone, believing he met more interesting people and ended up at stranger,better places that way. In the book he states, “This life is a short journey. How can you make sure you fill it with the most fun and that you visit all the coolest places on earth before you pack those bags for the very last time?”
Judge Rules Copyright Owners Must Consider 'Fair Use'
When a Pennsylvania woman posted a clip in 2007 of her toddler dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” on YouTube, Universal Music Corporation forced her to take it down due to copyright issues. Since then, a federal judged ruled music companies and other copyright holders must consider “fair use” of their materials before demanding YouTube and other video-sharing websites remove content. On August 20 the ruling by U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel was the first in the nation to require the owner of a creative work to consider whether the product is significant enough to have an affect on the market share before ordering the web host to remove it.