Dethroner:

Hold the comically oversized mobile phone: this video of men recording their profiles for a video dating service in what appears to be the early ’80s is too good to be true. I know I haven’t gotten into fashion much yet this week, but consider this a primer on what taking a risk will net you in two decades: lots of young jerks laughing at your mistakes.

Here.

J. Garner Photography:

GUYS, THIS IS A JOKE! Please don’t take these episodes literally. “Image” is NOT everything. For JGP, humility, character & professionalism are the real virtues. We’re just simple wedding photographers, having a GREAT time!

Here.

LA Weekly:

The lead homicide detective of LAPD’s deadly Southeast Division found the list odd. “I can’t imagine that those are the worst gangs in the city,” said Detective Sal LaBarbera. “I think they were trying to spread it out over the whole city, because we’ve got five gangs alone in Southeast — the PJs, Grape Street, the Bounty Hunters, Hoover and Main Street — that could be on that list.”

Southeast Division and neighboring 77th Street Division suffered 136 homicides in 2006, representing more than 28 percent of all killings in Los Angeles. Yet only two gangs from Southeast and 77th got onto the apparently geographically and politically correct list — Grape Street Crips and Rollin’ 60s Crips.

The list does contain some truly dangerous gangs. But it also leaves out very powerful gangs: the Hoover Street Criminals, East Coast Crips, Bounty Hunters, Florencia 13 and Quarto Flats — the old-time Boyle Heights gang with close ties to Mexican cartels.

“It’s a bunch of bullshit,” said Antony “Set Trip” Johnson, 17, a gang member with the Five Deuce Hoover, a subset of the notorious Hoover Criminals. “We should be on that list. Fuck it. We the most hated gang in Los Angeles.”

Johnson, who was very familiar with the list, scoffed at some of the gangs on it. “204th Street? That’s bullshit. That ain’t a rough neighborhood. What they got, 10, 20 members? And Canoga Park Alabama? You gotta be kidding me. That ain’t a gang hood. La Mirada Locos? Never in my life have I heard of them.”

Here.

SF Gate:

Fritz the Cat will be there. Mr. Natural will be there. The Snoid will be there.
But R. Crumb will not.
“Robert wears his nerves on the outside of his body,” explains Crumb’s wife, Aline, as they swap the Sheraton room telephone back and forth. “He appreciates the fact that all these people love him. He wants that love. But he doesn’t know what to do with it. And when he shows up to these things, it takes him a while to recover and get back to work. The only reason he’s in New York City now is because it’s a Valentine’s Day present for me. I eat it up. That’s why I can’t wait to get to San Francisco.”
To call Robert and Aline Kominsky Crumb eccentrics would be too simple a way to describe a very complicated but content couple, who met and started drawing comics together in the 1970s in San Francisco.

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SF Gate Daily Dish:

Rocker Eddie Van Halen has revealed his supergroup’s reunion plans have stalled because he needs to check into rehab.

In a message to fans, the rocker admits he put a planned reunion tour on hold because he felt he wouldn’t be able to perform at his best until he sorted out a few personal demons.

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Boing Boing:

Three people were awarded TED prizes today: Bill Clinton, sociobiologist E.O. Wilson, and photographer James Nachtwey, who specializes in capturing startling and disturbing, yet moving and beautiful images of people whose lives have been destroyed by the hatred and greed of other people. As Nachtwey spoke, his photographs were displayed on a large screen behind him. No one made a sound as the images of maimed, starved, tortured, and slaughtered people were put on display. The final photo he showed stunned everyone — a skeletal man, crawling past a dilapidated hut. (Here’s the image, be warned that it’s very powerful.)

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Westword, via DIGG:

“A Rough Go” opens with a band of characters milling around inside an ominous dungeon. Over the computer voice-chat system, the players plan in nasally über-geek detail how to tackle the baby dragons nearby: “Um, I will use Intimidating Shout to kinda scatter them,” “We’re gonna need Divine Intervention on our mages,” “I’m coming up with 32.33, repeating of course, percentage of survival.” Just when it seems they will be forever mired in painful, Kafkaesque planning, a character sitting silently off to the side leaps to his feet. “All right chums, let’s do this!” he declares in a deep, slightly insane voice. He charges headfirst and alone into the fray, hollering his name as a battle cry: “LEEROOOOOY JEEEEENKINS!” The others are stunned. “Oh, my God, he just ran in!” one gasps. “Save him! Oh, jeez, stick to the plan! Oh, jeez, let’s go, let’s go!” Cursing and confused, they dash after Leeroy — and the dragons start ripping them to shreds. Soon bodies litter the floor; all the characters are dead. “Great job! For Christ’s sake!” the players whine. “Leeroy, you are just stupid as hell!” To which Leeroy responds, “At least I have chicken.” End scene.

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Little People:

ps. Got a couple of exhibitions coming up this month. The first is in a completely unofficial capacity… I will be placing some little people around The Leonard Street Gallery for the opening night of their new show Eleven on Thursday 8th March. Eleven features, unsurprisingly, eleven artists who “…question the nature of the street art/fine art divide” (or make pretty pictures anyway) and includes Blek Le Rat, SWOON, D*Face, EINE and Elbow Toe amongst others. I am not sure if my little people will survive the opening night, but if they do you might be able to find them if you go and see the exhibition (which you should because it will be cool and you will be the coolest in the class for going). It runs from 9th March to 18th April at The Leonard Street Gallery, 73a Leonard Street, London.
More news about the second exhibition in a week or so!

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Wired:

A suite of photo-authentication tools under development by Adobe Systems could make it possible to match a digital photo to the camera that shot it, and to detect some improper manipulation of images, Wired News has learned.

Adobe plans to start rolling out the technology in a number of photo-authentication plug-ins for its Photoshop product beginning as early as 2008. The company is working with a leading digital forgery specialist at Dartmouth College, who met with the Associated Press last month.

The push follows a media scandal over a doctored war photograph published by Reuters last year. The news agency has since announced that it’s working with both Adobe and Canon to come up with ways to prevent a recurrence of the incident.

“Fundamentally, our values as a company requires us to build tools to detect tampering, not just create tampering,” said Dave Story, vice president of product engineering at Adobe.

Here.

NYT:

In December 1989, one month after the fall of the Berlin Wall, President George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev met in Malta and, in the words of a Soviet spokesman, “buried the cold war at the bottom of the Mediterranean.”

The Russian transcript of that momentous summit was published in Moscow in 1993. Fourteen years later American historians are still waiting for their own government to release a transcript.

Now lawmakers and scholars are hoping to pry open the gateway to such archival documents by lifting what they say has been a major obstacle to historical research: a directive issued by the current Bush White House in 2001 that has severely slowed or prevented the release of important presidential papers.

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Washington Post:

Shortly before he was inaugurated for his second term, President Bush was asked why no one was held responsible for the mistakes of the first. “We had an accountability moment,” he replied, “and that’s called the 2004 elections.”

Two years and a stinging midterm election later, Bush is having another accountability moment, but this one isn’t working out as well. The conviction of former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby has coincided with a string of investigations into the mistreatment of injured soldiers and the purge of federal prosecutors, putting the operations of his administration into harsh relief.The timing may be coincidental, but the confluence of events has revived a pattern largely missing through the six years of Bush’s presidency, in which high-level officials accused of wrongdoing are grilled, fired and sometimes even jailed. For an administration that has been unusually opaque and mostly insulated from aggressive congressional oversight and prosecutorial investigation, it may seem like a gut-churning harbinger.

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Wired:

Like everyone else, compulsive hoarders have gone digital. Infohoarding may be the first psychiatric dysfunction born of digital age.

“Jim” is an infohoarder like few others. In the last four years, this 37-year-old Brooklyn native has downloaded and burned every piece of broadcast and print media that’s been digitized. Or so it seems. His apartment is filled with DVDs and CDs packed with bootleg anime, comic books, books, e-books, television programs, movies and, of course, music. He’s a completionist who must have every episode, every issue, every track.

Using Jim’s stacks and drives — which contain 2,500 GB of data — aliens could recreate a low-res version of human civilization from 1990 to the present day.

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MacWorld:

The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.
The council chose an unfortunate anniversary to publish its decision approving the law, which came exactly 16 years after Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney King were filmed by amateur videographer George Holliday on the night of March 3, 1991. The officers’ acquittal at the end on April 29, 1992 sparked riots in Los Angeles.

Here.

Jonestown Apologists Alert:

Director Stanley Nelson’s editing tricks in his “Jonestown: The Life and Death of People’s Temple” easily sent nearly every movie critic swooning, yet another reminder about film’s power over those ignorant of history.

In Nelson’s 90-minute window dressing, this group of brainwashed people that burned little children with cattle prods – for years, in California, while the “crusading media” did nothing has a whole lot more than “vibrant” attached to it.

Here are some of Nelson’s sweetened-up interview samplings: „”..People’s Temple truly had the potential to be something big – something powerful” “As soon as I walked in (the Temple), I was home””…Every single person felt like they had a role there.” Everyone felt like they were exceptionally special…” “There were many reasons to love, admire, overlook, and excuse the things Jim did.”

Yes. Of  course. while a gang of your fellow cultists are electro-shocking your five year-old for being “naughty, you just keep countin’ ALL the heart-wrenching reasons to admire the great social activist, “Father” Jones. This wasn’t a big problem, though, because this early version of the rainbow coalition was a product of mind control and outright terror by Jones’ “Angels of Death” (his gun-toting enforcers).

Here.

LA Weekly:

On the night of August 22, 2003, Billy Cottrell would later testify, he had only intended to tour around Southern California with his friends Tyler Johnson and Michie Oe, plastering SUVs with bumper stickers. Going in, the plan was so innocuous, rising only to the level of a graffiti prank, that even Cottrell’s mom, Heidi, was involved.

An attractive blonde in her 50s, with big blue eyes and a curly bob haircut, Schwiebert is a horsewoman, although that’s where her interest in environmentalism ends. But she was fed up enough with polluting road hogs that she volunteered to print up bumper stickers for the three young people that would say “SUV = TERRORISM.” “I told the printer I didn’t particularly agree with the slogan myself, but I supported their right to free speech,” she recalled. At the printer’s, another “I” slipped in, and the stickers came out condemning “TERRIORISM.”

In the defense account of that night, Tyler Johnson, angry about the misspelling, demanded that Cottrell pay him back the $200 he’d spent on materials. Johnson offered to forgo the $200 if Cottrell would use his own car to chauffeur Johnson and his girlfriend, Michie Oe, around town while they spray-painted the offending gas-guzzlers.

Here.

LA Times:

Arriving home, Kartofelnikov noticed a car parked near the entryway. Someone had written “62,” the auto license code for Ryazan, and taped it over part of the license plate. Underneath, he saw “77,” the Moscow code. Suspicious, he called police.

The car was gone by the time police arrived. But in the basement, officers discovered what appeared to be a bomb made from three sacks of white powder, a detonator and a timer set for 5:30 a.m. The powder tested positive for hexogen, an explosive used in the bombings.

The next morning, Russia launched its second war in Chechnya, bombing the airport in the republic’s capital, Grozny, in what Moscow said was a counterattack against terrorists. The separatist southern region had exercised de facto independence after defeating Russian forces in a 1994-1996 war.

Here.

NYT:

Dave Anderson says the photographs in the book, published in October by Dewi Lewis, came out of the affection he developed for the small town; he considers them largely sympathetic portrayals of the beauty he sees in life “close to the bone,” as he put it.

But many residents have responded with rancor, to Mr. Anderson directly, in online forums, and with phone calls to his Houston gallery. On her MySpace page Ashley Hammonds posted an essay she had written in response to the book. Some residents began using the title of the book as an epithet. On Kim McGriff’s MySpace page, Jessica Jaeger, 20, left a comment, part of which read: “Face it! You just aren’t that smeart! You should have been featured in the Rough Beauty book!” James McCullar, a 25-year-old Vidor resident, started a thread on the MySpace “Vidorians” group, where he referred to Mr. Anderson as “a joke just trying to make a dollar off our past.”

Here.

Washington Post:

Several thousand people chanted “Shame!” as they marched down St. Petersburg’s main avenue to protest what they said was Russia’s rollback from democracy. The demonstration, called the “march of those who disagree,” was a rare gathering of the country’s often fractious opposition.

Mayor Valentina Matviyenko, a close ally of Putin’s, called the protesters “guest stars from Moscow” and “youths of extremist persuasion,” accusing them of stirring turmoil ahead of elections for the city legislature this month.

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Netflix:

In this comedic action movie, a martial arts master teaches his secrets to a gorilla, who is then dispatched to America to show off the best Chinese fighting techniques. The ape, known as King Kung Fu, escapes from his handlers and eventually seeks refuge atop the tallest building in Wichita, Kan., a Holiday Inn. Pursued by bumbling reporters and blundering cops, will King Kung Fu find peace with the love of his life, Rae Fay?
Releases on DVD Mar 06, 2007

Here.

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