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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Annals of Improbable Research

Forthcoming from James Fowler in PS: Political Science and Politics

Stephen Colbert, the host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, claims that politicians who appear on his show will become more popular and are more likely to win elections. Although online discussions cite anecdotal evidence in support of his claim, it has never been scrutinized scientifically. In this article I use “facts” (sorry, Stephen) provided by the Federal Election Commission to create a matched control group of candidates who have never appeared on The Colbert Report. I then compare the personal campaign donations they receive to those received by candidates who have appeared on the program’s segment “Better Know a District.” The results show that Democratic candidates who appear on the Report receive a statistically significant “Colbert bump” in campaign donations, raising 44% more money in a 30-day period after appearing on the show. However, there is no evidence of a similar boost for Republicans. These results constitute the first scientific evidence of Stephen Colbert’s influence on political campaigns.

Original here

Charles Manson Releases Record Under Creative Commons

charlesmanson.jpgCelebrity endorsements aren't always a good thing. Take, for example, Lawrence Lessing's opensource copyright organization, Creative Commons. Sure everyone was excited when Trent Reznor moved a trillion copies of the new Nine Inch Nails record using the license, but the same doesn't seem to apply to Charles Manson.

Perhaps it's the whole brainwashing/cult/murder thing that trips people up. But people seem to forget that before Chuck was carving swastikas into his forehead, he was keeping himself busy as an struggling songwriter--even managing at one point to land a composition on a Beach Boys album.

Thanks in part to an abundance of spare time, Manson has managed to record another record, this time out bearing the typically ominous title, One Mind. The album is licensed under Creative Commons, meaning that anyone can share and remix the thing for non-commercial purposes.

The full record is available for free download via Limewire for the morbidly curious.

Original here

Uwe Boll Will Quit Making Movies with One Million Signatures

Ladies and Gentleman, we finally have a chance to rid the cinematic world of a cancer. Uwe Boll, the German director behind such horrid video game adaptations as House of the Dead, BloodRayne, Dungeon Siege and Postal, has recently admitted that he would retire from making movies if enough people want him to stop. When FearNet mentioned to Boll a petition online signed by 18,000 people requesting that he cease making films, Boll responded that “18,000 is not enough to convince me.” So how much would be enough?

Indeed, now we have a goal. All we need is 980,000 more signatures on this petition and we can rid the world of future Boll-directed/produced cinematic atrocities. as my friend Scott Weinberg on Cinematical points out, Tunnel Rats, Far Cry, Zombie Massacre and BloodRayne 3 are already in production. So we might not be able to stop those productions. Be we just might have the ability to prevent a BloodRayne 4 or House of the Dead 3. So sign now!

Original here

Statement by the Family of Charlton Heston

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., April 5, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Legendary actor, civil rights leader and political activist Charlton Heston passed away today, at the age of 84. He died at his home with Lydia, his wife of 64 years, at his side. Mr. Heston was loved by his two children, Fraser Clarke Heston and Holly Heston Rochell, and his three grandchildren, Jack Alexander Heston, Ridley Rochell and Charlie Rochell.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080405/CLSA013 )

Source: Mercury Group

· Charlton Heston.
· Click Here to Download Image

The Heston family issued the following statement:

"To his loving friends, colleagues and fans, we appreciate your heartfelt prayers and support. Charlton Heston was seen by the world as larger than life. He was known for his chiseled jaw, broad shoulders and resonating voice, and, of course, for the roles he played. Indeed, he committed himself to every role with passion, and pursued every cause with unmatched enthusiasm and integrity.

We knew him as an adoring husband, a kind and devoted father, and a gentle grandfather, with an infectious sense of humor. He served these far greater roles with tremendous faith, courage and dignity. He loved deeply, and he was deeply loved.

No one could ask for a fuller life than his. No man could have given more to his family, to his profession, and to his country. In his own words, "I have lived such a wonderful life! I've lived enough for two people."

A private memorial service will be held. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Motion Picture and Television Fund:

    MPTF
22212 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 300
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

www.mptvfund.org

Original here