News for 01/15/2008

Let’s see just how fast I can crank out the news today!

Have you seen those UPS “whiteboard” commercials? You know, the ones with the smug lookin’ guy drawing stuff on a whiteboard? (If not, click here) Anyway, am I the only one that’s amused by the background music… which was done by a band called (wait for it…) The Postal Service??

Speaking of music, the Coachella Festival is rumored to be adding a second event this year… on the east coast! The festival – full name: The Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival – has been a fixture on the Left Coast for some time now, and it’s about time that people on the Right Coast got in on the goodness! According to rumors, the Coachella Festival will take place in April, while the east coast version will take place in New York or New Jersey in August or September. Cool!

You know who took the stage at last year’s Coachella Festival? Scarlett Johansson. She went onstage with The Jesus And Mary Chain to sing “Just Like Honey” (you know…’cos of the film Lost In Translation). By all accounts, she did pretty well… well enough for someone to let her record an album of Tom Waits covers, which is due to be released on May 6, 2008.

Four major Hollywood studios canceled dozens of writer’s contracts today. This is a sign that 20th Century Fox Television, CBS Paramount Network Television, NBC Universal and Warner Bros. Television think that the current TV season is over, so the earliest we’ll see new (non-reality) TV is next September. This move is also a bad sign for next season, however: normally at this time, the TV studios are looking at pilots for shows they want to run in September. With the strike on, nothing’s been produced… so the strike is now starting to cut into next season. And, for what it’s worth, the entire city of Los Angeles is beginning to feel the pinch: not only are the people involved in TV directly starting to feel the pinch, but so are caterers, party planners, florists, and more. The cancellation of the Golden Globe Awards alone meant that dozens of parties were canceled, and some people in those industries are facing layoffs.

Anthony Bourdain has a new blog.

Brain scans have proven that people enjoy wine more if they think it’s expensive.

Renting a car? Watch out: Dollar is now charging a $2 “top-off fee”, even if you bring the car back with a full tank!

A man dressed as a Brinks employee walked in to a Wachovia bank in Washington, DC. He was handed $100,000 by bank employees, then left. The real Brinks employee came in an hour later and was told that Brinks had already shown up. Rather that report it to his home office, the employee just went about his business and didn’t bother telling anyone until he’d gotten back to the office. By the time anyone figured out what had happened, 11 hours had passed.

Lastly… what’s with Wegman’s? The upscale grocery chain recently decided to stop selling all tobacco-related products… and now they’ve put in a policy where children that want to order sandwiches from the deli must have an adult present! Wegman’s says the move is to prevent children with food allergies from ordering something that can hurt them. I think Wegman’s lawyers simply don’t have any balls.

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