Sunday, December 31, 2006

Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, and Whitney Houston on "Flying Titanic" for New Year's?

Hired to entertain Russian oligarchs?

Posted By on Sun, Dec 31, 2006 at 4:00 AM

This report comes from Pravda, so take it with a grain of beluga. We certainly find it hard to believe.

The paper details the planned New Year's Day activities of Russian leaders, including Boris Yeltsin, Mikhail Ghorbachev, and Vladimier Putin. Then it gets weird: "Russian oligarchs plan to repeat last year’s festivities. In the very beginning of 2006 they joined an Arab sheikh on board his luxurious plane. They traveled to the Antarctic in a company of US singer Tina Turner. For 2007 they are to board the “Flying Titanic” too to enjoy a pool, a game of bowling and super first-class dinner in a plane restaurant. Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Justin Timberlake will be entertaining the VIPs during the flight. The powers-that-be will land in Iceland where they will be comfortably accommodated in a castle of ice surrounded by the scenery from The Lord of the Rings movie. The luxury plane will be carrying 160 passengers in total. The cheapest ticket for only three days costs 125,000 euros. The most expensive one is evaluated at 700,000 euros."

So if we are to believe Pravda, our own JT is going be flying to Iceland on a Russian plane in the company of crackhead Whitney Houston and nutso Mariah Carey, and while on the plane, they'll be entertaining Russian gangsters?

We're not making this up, but maybe Pravda is.

Vigil in Memphis Monday to Honor 3,000 Iraq War Dead

Posted By on Sun, Dec 31, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Concerned Memphians will hold a vigil on New Year's Day to mourn the 3,000 American soldiers who have died in Iraq. The names of those killed in Iraq will be read aloud starting at noon, Monday, and will continue until the vigil at 6:15 p.m.

The event will take place outside the Federal Plaza, 167 N Main St.

“How many more soldiers do we have to lose from Tennessee before we have an exit strategy with a timeline that starts now?” said Jacob Flowers, director of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center. "People will gather at the vigil holding signs that say 'How Many More?' and 'Support Our Troops. Bring Them Home.'

For more information, contact Flowers at jacob@midsouthpeace.org.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Year's Resolutions are for Suckers ...

So go out and party like it's, well, 2007.

Posted By on Sat, Dec 30, 2006 at 4:00 AM

For millions of earth's citizens, the changing of years is a time to critique the past, to fiddle with one's formula and come up with a new plan of action and, on January 1st, declare to the world, "I resolve to ... !"

Well, screw those people. I say New Year's resolutions are for suckers who don't have the intestinal fortitude to self-edit on any day of the year that isn't January 1st. And let's not kid ourselves: January Firsters never keep their resolutions anyway. Just like Bono said: "Nothing changes on New Year's day."

But New Year's Eve embraces our human failings and rewards those who don't kid themselves. It's the Dionysian celebration of all that is good and sincere about not making resolutions. It's a parade of vices; even if your only vice is not getting to bed at a reasonable hour, you're already guilty. It's the indulging in behaviors that polite society says should be given up or performed in moderation the next day.

So this New Year's Eve, resolve to give up resolutions. Luckily, there's plenty of folks in the Mid-South prepared to help you do so. ...

Looking for something to do for New Year's? Read the rest of Greg Akers' cover story, "Breaking With Tradition."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The 20 Dumbest People in 2006?

Posted By on Wed, Dec 27, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Every year Mad Magazine puts out a list of the "20 Dumbest People, Events, and Things of the Year." (And yes, that is a dumb name for a list, if you ask us.)

At any rate, the Iraq War came in at number one. No surprise there. But at number 14? Memphis' own Isaac Hayes, who Mad thinks was dumb for quitting South Park.

Right. Because before South Park, Isaac Hayes was, like, nothing. Except for those gold records, that Oscar, all those songs he wrote, his humanitarian efforts, etc.

Read Mad's entire list here.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Going to the Movies for Christmas?

Posted By on Mon, Dec 25, 2006 at 4:00 AM

The holidays send a lot of people to the movies. Whether it's to escape noisy inlaws or just get away from the ever-present smell of turkey, we can't say. We can say that before you head off to see the latest flicks, you should check the Flyer's reviews, just to make sure you don't get another turkey.

Oh, and Happy Holidays!

Cadillac Likes Justin Timberlake's "Gift in a Box"

Posted By on Mon, Dec 25, 2006 at 4:00 AM

One of the sponsors of NBC.com’s uncensored version of Saturday Night Live’s “D**k in a Box” with Justin Timberlake is Cadillac.

Autophile Web site Jalopnik has a screen shot of the pairing here, and expressed surprise that the prestige automaker would choose this, uh, product to attach its name to:

“That’s right, they’re going for life, liberty, and the pursuit of kids looking to catch a glimpse of JT’s banana in a box — and with a very peculiar vehicle. As you can see from the picture above, it’s the DTS — the biggest of the big sedans Caddy sells. Maybe the text under the video about giving ‘the biggest gift of all’ doesn’t mean anything in a box, but rather giving someone a Cadillac style gift?”

Either that, or it has something to do with Joe Cooper. (One commenter notes that Hummer is also a sponsor of the clip. Write your own joke here.)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Johnny Cash's Guide To Memphis — Not

Posted By on Sat, Dec 23, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Some numbnuts at South Carolina's leading newspaper, The State, have created possibly the dumbest headline typo of all time. It reads "Johnny Cash's Guide to Memphis" and it's next to a photo of the Man in Black standing in front of the Nashville skyline (though the image is credited to the MEMPHIS CONVENTION and VISITORS BUREAU!)

The article then goes on to point out some of the highlights of "Memphis," including the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Cooter's Place, a "Dukes of Hazzard" museum.

It's all too stupid to be missed. So go here and learn about a side of Memphis you never knew existed. And to learn more about what Johnny was really like, read this week's Flyer cover story.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Have You Been Naughty or Nice? Find Out Now.

Posted By on Fri, Dec 22, 2006 at 4:00 AM

What’s in Your Stocking? A new Playstation 3? An iPod? A Versace handbag? Or a lump of coal?

Don’t wait until Christmas Day to find out! Take the “Naughty or Nice?” quiz designed by local PR firm Carpeter|Sullivan|Sossaman to find out just how darling or devilish you’ve been this year.

John Ford was United American Health Care's rainmaker.

Posted By on Fri, Dec 22, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Back in 2000-2001, the Detroit-based company that manages health care for Medicaid patients was in the ditch. Its publicly traded stock (symbol: UAHC) was selling for around $1. Business was lousy. It was about to lose its management contract with the state of Michigan. Then the company found financial salvation via a lifeline to Memphis and Nashville through Ford.

Using the time-tested Memphis practices of cronyism, strong-arming the state Senate, turning low-income Ford voters into revenue-generating customers, and -- according to a new federal indictment -- corruption, Ford helped turn UAHC around.

By 2002, UAHC was enrolling thousands of new members, most of them coming from Tennessee's TennCare plan. Its headquarters was still in Detroit, but its business was in Memphis and West Tennessee. Operating as OmniCare, the CEO was Ford's friend Osbie Howard, who was city of Memphis treasurer from 1992 to 1995 under Mayor Willie Herenton and Herenton's campaign treasurer in 1999. Another key executive was Stephanie Mebane Dowell, formerly Herenton's administrative assistant and later legislative director for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare until 2001. ...

Read the rest of Branston's City Beat column.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Memphis Grizzlies Make "The Onion"

Posted By on Thu, Dec 21, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Most athletes probably enjoy publicity, but most players, we think, would prefer NOT being mentioned in The Onion, the satirical newsweekly.

No such luck for our local NBA team.

“Memphis Grizzlies Ask for Two Weeks Off To Practice” reads a recent headline in The Onion’s online edition. The story begins, “In order to improve their 3-10 record, the last-place Memphis Grizzlies requested permission from NBA officials yesterday to take two weeks off so that they may practice their ball-handling skills, lay-ups, and passing.”

Actually, the Grizzlies’ record right now is 6-20, so we’ve actually done TWICE as well (or twice as bad, depending on how you look at it) as The Onion reports. If you want to read the whole story — which might have more truth to it than Grizzlies fans want to admit — go here:

Sing a Duet With Justin Timberlake at the Grammys

Posted By on Thu, Dec 21, 2006 at 4:00 AM

The Grammy organization is sponsoring a contest to find a singer to croon with JT at the Grammy awards in February. All you have to do is submit the winning video here. And even if you don't feel like submitting a video, it's fun to watch the ones that have already been sent in. It's like American Idol, only, well, worse. But you can vote without having to listen to Paula Abdul, so you got that goin' for ya.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Memphis Magazine Wants Your Downtown Fire Photos

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Calling all photograpers! Alright, not all photographers, only ones with photos of the downtown fires that destroyed the United Methodist church and damaged two other buildings in October.

Memphis magazine is looking for images to use in an upcoming issue, and is asking local shutterbugs to submit their wok for consideration. Photographers whose images are chosen will be paid and their work will appear in the February issue of the magazine.

Here are the requirements: All images must be high resolution (minimum of 300 dpi) and must be owned by the person submitting them, or with written consent by the photographer. Film photos will be returned after scanning. To submit images, send a lo-res version here. If your photos are selected, you will be notified by e-mail. No calls please, and good luck!

Elvis Dentistry For Sale

Posted on Wed, Dec 20, 2006 at 4:00 AM

From the UPI: The family of a local dentist is selling a model of Elvis' mouth and porcelain crown. According to the story, Dr. Henry Weiss, who was Elvis' dentist until 1971, always kept a replacement crown on hand in case the singer needed it. The crown and model come with a letter of authenticity signed by Joe Esposito.

The crown and model will be put up for auction on eBay on January 8, 2007, to coincide with Elvis' birthday.

For those who don't want this particular crown, there are other dental options, such as having Elvis' image tattooed onto your own crown.

Joe Cooper May Have Overplayed His Hand

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Did Joe Cooper blow his cover and force the FBI to wrap up their latest political sting operation prematurely?

It seems possible, based on the indictments of Edmund Ford and Rickey Peete released late Tuesday afternoon as they sat in the Memphis City Council chambers voting on measures and doing business as usual.

The indictments include new information not included in the federal criminal complaint that was made public on November 30th. That was the same day, according to the indictments, that Cooper – wired up as usual – met separately with Ford and Peete.

"Rickey Peete met Cooper at Peete's office," the indictment says. "Peete told Cooper that he had been warned that Cooper was cooperating with the authorities and that he did not believe this."

Cooper left $2,500 in the bathroom for Peete anyway, but the FBI pulled the plug later that day. A criminal complaint, according to former United States attorney Hickman Ewing Jr., is used when the government fears that evidence will be destroyed or someone will flee. Given Peete's suspicions, that seems likely in this case. For at least four months, Peete and Cooper had been dealing carefully with each, passing notes and making veiled references to "tips" and "pictures" when discussing payoffs. On top of that, Cooper's reputation for sleazy behavior was well established from his 30-year career in politics, mostly on the fringe. He is cooperating with the FBI in hopes of getting lenience after being arrested for money laundering for drug dealers in his job as a salesman at Bud Davis Cadillac.

The new information involves payments to get Peete and Ford to use their influence to remove John Shepherd as chairman of the board of adjustment, an important zoning board followed closely by developers.

Shepherd, a real estate appraiser who lives in Collierville, said he learned of the scheme to try to replace him this week. The board of adjustment was scheduled to meet Wednesday. — John Branston

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Justin Timberlake's Gift to You

Posted By on Tue, Dec 19, 2006 at 4:00 AM

In his continuing quest to bring sexy back and stop the tacky trend of regifting, Justin Timberlake has a present for you this Christmas: his "dick in a box."

You heard us right. Timberlake hosted Saturday Night Live over the weekend, and in an amazing display of holiday spirit, teamed up with Andy Samberg for another one of SNL's digital shorts. Not quite as funny as our other hometown boy Chris parnell's SNL digi-short "Lazy Sunday", but still quite inspired.

But we'll take what JT's wrapping over Parnell's rapping any day. You'll understand what we mean after watching it here.

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