Thursday, June 21, 2007

Track Star in Mop Duel in the Streets!

It's not just Paris Hilton and Britney Spears who are acting odd in public. This week a star runner at Utah's Brigham Young University got himself arrested for getting out of his car and striking a pedestrian with a mop.

Kyle Perry was driving down a street in Provo and it seems he got a tad too close to a man who was pushing a bucket of mops across a street on June 14, according to police. As often happens, words were exchanged (like, "Your mother uses a Swiffer!," I wonder?) and things went downhill from there.

Police say Perry got out of his car, grabbed a mop from the guy's bucket, and started hitting the man. Naturally, the mop-pushing man grabbed a mop himself, to defend himself. It's dueling mops in downtown Provo, Utah!

Mr. Mop Man lost the duel when he was shoved over a planter box and fell on his back. Did Cyrano de Bergerac ever get upstaged by planter box?!

Mr. Mop Man (no name mentioned by the cops) blocked Perry's car until the police came and nabbed the track star and charged him with aggravated assault.

Perry won the conference title in the 1,500 meters, and came in #12 in the NCAA track championship in that event. You think he might have been better off just running away from the mop fight?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Free Alan Johnston, BBC Reporter!

Posts on this blog often take a humorous view at the silly goings-on of celebrities in crisis, but this time there's a totally serious issue I want to address... literally, a matter of life and death.

Alan Johnston is a BBC reporter from Scotland. Nothing remarkable about that, except for his "beat" -- the Gaza strip, which is the Middle East, in Palestinian territory. Johnston is the only full-time reporter in Gaza, or rather he was, until he was kidnapped more than three months ago. A shadowy group has said it is holding him, demanding the release of a number of prisoners (including at least one held in Britain) as conditions for Johnston's safe return.

The Hamas authorities who recently took over Gaza had promised they will try to obtain the release of Johnston. It hasn't happened yet, but this is the most hopeful sign in this kidnapping episode since the kidnappers released a video of Johnston, which showed that he was still alive and apparently being treated well.

Regular readers of this blog (yes, I know there must be some!) may have noticed the button in the right column with Johnston's photo. This is a campaign the BBC is conducting to help raise awareness of the reporter's plight and put pressure on those holding him. Click on the button (or here) and you'll find out how to put it on your own blog or Web site, to help spread the word. There's also a petition calling for Johnston's release and a place where you can add your own message of support.

The last few years have been some of the deadliest of all time for reporters working in war zones and other conflict areas. In the case of Alan Johnston, the good news is that he is still alive and that pressure is being brought to bear to get him freed. I encourage everyone to add their efforts toward this goal. Thanks!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Name Britney's Next CD (If You're Willing to Pay, That Is)

With all the problems Britney Spears has had play out in the public eye recently, you'd think she'd want to keep a lower profile. You'd be wrong.

The pop tart, who seems to be having a contest with Lindsay Lohan to see who can cause themsleves the most public embarassment, has has posted a message on her Web site seeking input in another kind of competition: she's asking her "most die-hard fans" to help name her forthcoming album (read: only fans who have paid to join her fan club).

Speaking of Lohan, one of the possible titles mentioned is a joke about the red-headed time bomb: "Omg Is Like Lindsay Lohan Like Okay Like." Ironically, Spears and Lohan have the same spokeswoman, Leslie Sloane Zelnik, who, according to the Yahoo article, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. (If I was her I'd be drowning my sorrows in a bottle of bathtub gin.)

My suggestion for Britney's new CD: "I'm an Insane Panty-Less Addict with a Habit of Dropping My Kids." Yeah, I know, it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but at least it's truth in advertising.