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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vanity Fair Magazine Print Edition Is Real Thin (Media News)

Vanity Fair is this blogger's favorite print magazine to buy at San Francisco International Airport when traveling. "VF," for all of it's faults, does a great job of presenting a certain way of the good life. While it could be more diverse in it's presentation of what that means, Vanity Fair is always an enjoyable read. The problem today is it's shrinking. Check out my video:

Yep. Vanity Fair's January 2011 print mag edition is a full 50 percent smaller in thickness than past issues. VF fans are used to seeing a thick, heavy, magazine, as was the case as recently as the December 2010 mag.

The one with Cher on the cover, wearing fishnets.

Or the April 2010 issue where Michael Douglas announced the new Wall Street movie, and the David Letterman sex scandal was detailed in all of its glory.

Those issues, two of countless many VF's I own, are all damn thick, heavy magazines.

Then, there's Johnny Depp, or the VF issue with Depp on the cover. There's only two words for it: shockingly small.

Curious, a little cyber walking revealed that Conde Nast, the company that owns Vanity Fair and other publications, embarked on an initiative to have its properties think in a more "business like" way. After losing $1 billion in ad revenue in 2009, it's no surprise to lean Conde Nast has some problems, but then, as it's CEO Chuck Townsend pointed out, so does its competition.

Its print competition.

Much was made of Chuck Townsend announcing how well Conde Nast was doing compared with Hearst Corporation and TIME media properties, but that's print. Magazine ad revenue as a whole barely recovered from the recession, and newspapers are just plain taking on water. Print's seen better days and before the Internet World.

The question is what's the future for Vanity Fair?

I can't see VF lasting as a monthly. Quarterly, yes. Monthly, no. Moreover, it's future is in television and multimedia. And it's got to up its audience grab from Oscar-related content.  Why in heck it doesn't emphasize video and video-blogging is beyond me, but the old heads there better wisen up before it's too late. The VF brand can survive, but it's got to grow out of its print-oriented mentality.

Friday, December 24, 2010

NORAD Santa Tracker - Christmas Eve Santa Tracking

This year, 2010, once again this blogger is following (kinda) the Santa Tracker, but while tree trimming, wine drinking, and talking, and listening to Nat and Frank (Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra).

 But here's my NORAD Santa Tracker Video, because I just had to!

This business of going to the NORAD website to track Santa Claus' trip around the World is rather cool, but I'm in the middle of watching It's A Wonderful Life, so I decided to embed the tracker right here in my blog:

As of 6 PM PST / 9 PM EST, Santa Claus is , well, he's moving really fast! (If the embed doesn't work in your browser, click on the NORAD link.)

Merry Christmas!

Santa Baby 99ers Christmas Unemployment Song

Presenting the Santa Baby 99ers Christmas Unemployment Song, or The Santa Baby 99ers Song, on Christmas Eve.

Donalee King (in photo from Zennie62.com), who goes by Paladinette, at Zennie62.com, created this variation of the classic Christmas Song Santa Baby.

King, a blogger who also has her own blog called Jobless Unite,  is one of the so-called "99ers," those who's unemployment benefits have ran out after the 99-week limit, and seek an extension of benefits, or better yet, a job.

In seeking both, the San Diego resident has become a tireless advocate for the jobless. Her work on this song landed her notice by the LA Times.

The video is below, followed by the lyrics, which are graphic but worth reading and singing...if you dare!

(In fact, if you're in Oakland, California, print out the lyrics, take them down to The Alley at 3325 Grand Avenue, present them to Rod Dibble at the piano, and ask he would accompany you in song. Santa Baby is a song he knows how to play.)

Lyrics to video song Santa Baby - 99ers Style 2010

Congress Baby, the 99ers need a tier 5......to survive
I know you’re HEARTLESS P@#*s But....so what?
My children need some dinner tonight!

The car got repo’d and the rent is awfully late...but wait
You only care for the rich that’s a B*@#H
there’s millions of us dying out here

We can’t afford a Christmas tree
While you’re all buying Cartier at Tiffany
You bailed out banks Greece and Haiti too
I think it’s time the 99ers heard from you

Obama baby, just help the 99ers please
and... don’t tease
Been a really tough year
Out here
I Hope Your change is comin’ tonight

Obama honey, you sold 99ers flat out
no doubt
and now it’s snowing out,
My stomach’s growling
I need some food and shelter tonight

Sherrod honey, Schumer and that Stabenow too
Were through we all trusted you
but senate baby your lies have left us hurtn’ out here

We’re not rich - guess we don’t count
The dirty little secret you won’t talk about
There’ll be no jobs again next Year
It’s time you kicked your senate’s butts into high gear

Congress baby just pretend to care for us poor
once more - come on it’s just a check - so what the heck?
there’s millions of us dying out here!

That’s right I’d rather work than fight
Hurry Congress there’s 99ers dying TONIGHT

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Oscars News: 248 Films Eligible for Best Picture Oscar

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS building pictured) reports that 248 feature films are eligible for the Best Picture Oscar for the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011.

While large, the list is not a record number for the category; in the past more than 300 films were eligible for the award.

Oscar Front Runners.

From the Golden Globes we have The King's Speech, and The Social Network, the movie about the founding of Facebook.com.  But the sleeper candidate looks like True Grit, the Coen Brothers' remake of the classic 1969 movie with the late John Wayne.    The list also includes animated films like Despicable Me and Toy Story 3.  And science fiction films like Inception and Tron 3 are on the list as well.

What Films Qualify?

According to AMPAS, films that are "feature-length motion picture must have a running time of more than 40 minutes and must have been exhibited theatrically on 35mm or 70mm film, or in a qualifying digital format." And movies that, say, appear in a film festival rather than at a movie theater are not eligible for an Academy Award "in any category."

Stay tuned.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Academy News: Live Shorts, Academy on Twitter, Countdown to Oscars

In this latest installment of Academy News, news from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 10 "Live Action Shorts" have advanced in the Oscar review period, AMPAS has a Twitter account, and this weeks starts the "Countdown to Oscar Night In America."

Live Action Shorts

Out of 76 pictures, 10 have moved to what could be called the semi-final round before between three and five are selected as nominees for the "Live Action Short Film" category at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards.

The next step is for The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee, which looked at all 76 movies  during special screenings in New York and LA, to have their branches in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco hold their screenings. That will happen in January 2011, with the nominees to be named January 25th, with the other Academy Awards nominations at 5:30 AM. Here are the films:

Ana's Playground, Eric D. Howell, director (StoryForge, LLC)
The Confession, Tanel Toom, director (National Film and Television School)
The Crush, Michael Creagh, director (Purdy Pictures)
God of Love, Luke Matheny, director (Luke Matheny)
Na Wewe, Ivan Goldschmidt, director-producer (CUT!)
Seeds of the Fall, Patrik Eklund, director, and Mathias Fjellstrom, producer (Direktorn & Fabrikorn)
Shoe, Nick Kelly, director, and Seamus Byrne, producer (Zanita Films)
The Six Dollar Fifty Man, Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland, directors (Sticky Pictures Ltd.)
Sma Barn, Stora Ord (Little Children, Big Words), Lisa James Larsson, director and Andreas Emanuelsson, producer (Bob Film Sweden AB)
Wish 143, Ian Barnes, director, and Samantha Waite, producer (Swing and Shift Films/Union Pictures)
Academy On Twitter

After this blogger's badgering last year, AMPAS is finally on Twitter!  Hooray!  The Academy is at @TheAcademy and needs more followers!  As of this writing it has just 2,607 Twitter followers.  This is where stars like  with massive Twitter followers and who should be named hosts should chip in, like Ellen DeGeneres @TheEllenShow and Lady Gaga @ladygaga, as well as the Oscar Hosts Anne Hathaway @hathaway_anne and Janes Franco, who needs a new Twitter page.

Countdown to Oscars

Finally, it's just 80 days to the 83rd Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, February 27th, and 50 cities will host special charity events.  While there are a number of events held in a given area, only one will be selected as the official "Oscar Night In America" party for that metropolitan area.

Stay tuned.

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