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Friday, March 4, 2011

It's all in how you see things

John Harricharan

 “Reality is actually the interpretation of a point of view. If we do not like what seems to be our lot in life, we have but to change the way we look at our life and we'll change outcomes.”       —John Harricharan

Advertainer, Entertainer, Sheriff and Bad Guy

The Skinny: Here's Friday's Charlie Sheen amusement, courtesy of NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." In other Friday news, the NFL and its players are extending talks but still no new labor deal in sight. "Rango" is poised to ride to victory this weekend.
Rango tangle."Rango," the first animated feature from George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic, has earned largely positive reviews from critics and is tracking well with both younger moviegoers and their older parents. The film opens in 28 foreign markets this week. "Rango," the animated western movie about a chameleon sheriff voiced by Johnny Depp, may have more riding on it than just making back its own budget. The film, from Paramount Pictures, may also influence that studio's relationship with DreamWorks Animation. "Rango" is Paramount's first digital-animation effort, and if it works, the studio could have some leverage when it comes time to renew its distribution deal with DreamWorks, which is up in 2012.  The film is only in standard 2D, by choice of the director and the studio, due to its reliance on bright lighting and complex conventional 3D effect. More on what's riding on "Rango" from the Los Angeles TimesTo read or hear the positive review on National Public Radio, click here.
I'm from the government, and I'm here to help. Those are usually pretty scary words. On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission said it wants to help the broadcast and cable industries work better when it comes to negotiating so-called retransmission consent deals. Over the last few years, there have been several high-profile battles between broadcasters and distributors over distribution deals, and on a few occasions consumers have been left in the lurch. Some of the options the FCC is considering from the Los Angeles TimesWall Street Journal and Broadcasting & Cable.
Ben's back. Well, at least according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which devoted a lot of ink to Ben Silverman's Electus, a new production company that wants to blur the lines between advertising and content, as if those lines weren't blurred enough. It's a long article with lots of words and talk about lofty goals, nice quotes from Barry Diller and a rehash of Silverman's antics when he was running NBC Entertainment. Save it for Sunday after breakfast, when you're sitting down for a long time.
Overtime! The NFL and its players union agreed to extend its current agreement by one day in hopes of reaching a new deal. The odds seem unlikely, but an extension at least means there is some hope. In the meantime, the media companies and some analysts continue to try to spin how the networks still shelling out millions of dollars in rights fees but not getting any games in return will not necessarily be a disaster. Reuters and the Wall Street Journal on what a strike could mean for the media industry. The latest on the talks from Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports.
"Rango" to ride to top. It will be another weekend when I won't be at the movies, although I do want to catch "The Adjustment Bureau" soon. That doesn't mean you have to stay home too. Box-office previews on who will make what from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
AdjustlongMaking Adjustments. "The Adjustment Bureau" should be off to a solid start if projections are correct: The film was financed by Media Rights Capital, and Universal Pictures acquired its worldwide distribution rights for $62 million. The movie, which centers around a couple being kept apart by supernatural forces, is appealing to an older audience. It also opens this weekend in 21 foreign territories.
"Adjustment Bureau" is based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, an author whose work has given Hollywood such past hits as "Total Recall" and "Minority Report." But recently, adaptations of his stories haven't resonated as strongly with audiences. Both 2006's "A Scanner Darkly" and 2007's "Next" flopped at the box office.

What were you thinking? Mariah Carey is the latest musician to now realize that maybe, just maybe, playing a party for Moammar Kadafi, even for a seven-figure check, wasn't such a hot idea. Others who sold their souls include Nelly Furtado and Beyonce. Carey apologized and said artists need to be "more aware." Yeah, I guess if you were under a rock for your entire life you might not realize that playing a gig for Kadafi isn't the best idea. More likely is she and the others knew it was wrong but also figured no one would find out. More from the Hollywood Reporter. On a side note, can we reach a decision on the spelling of his last name?
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey on "Rango."  Patrick Goldstein on Charlie Sheen.
-- Joe Flint

Vegas Fringe Theatre

The March edition of Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion has a feature on Las Vegas "fringe" and "alternative theater". Pick it up at Coffee Bean locations or by subscription (or membership in public radio, needed now more than ever. Page 16 to 21.
Your guide to living in Southern Nevada. Spring fashion home and design. Visit the greenest homes in Las Vegas.

Frequent gamblers needed for paid university research

Are you a frequent gambler?

If you answered yes and would be interested in being interviewed for a university- funded project that explores your gambling motivations, read on. We will be conducting interviews the weekend of 19th-21st March in the Gold Coast Hotel, Las Vegas. They should last for about 30 minutes and in return we will pay you $50 for your time and effort.

If you are interested in being interviewed, please contact William at the email address provided. Further information will be provided at that time through email and a preliminary phone call may be scheduled. This research is being conducted by faculty from the University of Alabama and Open University, UK.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Note: from Craigslist, so use appropriate caution.

More on Wisconsin's attack on unions

1. "Walker readies Wis. layoffs; Senate leader orders 14 Dems arrested," USA Today, March 3, 2011

2. "Firefighters denied access to Capitol during emergency call," Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, March 3, 2011

3. "Wisconsin Democrats Launch Recall Effort Against GOP Senators," The Huffington Post, March 2, 2011

4. "Wisconsin state elections, 2008," Wikipedia, February 11, 2011

5. "Billionaire Brothers' Money Plays Role in Wisconsin Dispute," The New York Times, February 21, 2011

SiriusXM to Launch Radio Station Devoted to Charlie Sheen Coverage

Charlie Sheen

"Tiger Blood Radio" will "explore the breaking news, facts, fallout and career implications" of the actor.

Sirius XM will on Saturday launch "Tiger Blood Radio," the company announced Friday.
The station will be totally devoted to "breaking news, facts, fallout and career implications of the Charlie Sheen controversy," according to the statement.
It will broadcast for 24 hours beginning March 5 at 6 a.m. until March 6 at 6 a.m. on Sirius channel 108 and XM channel 139.

iPad targeted by Microsoft, too little too late?

Is Microsoft developing Windows for tablets?
Microsoft reportedly will begin public testing of a version of its Windows operating system for tablet PCs this year for widespread release by the end of summer 2012, a timeline that has prompted some commentators to say such a late arrival to the tablet game could put the company in a poor competitive position. Bloomberg Businessweek