Category Archives: Events

Alice Waters Is Having a Yard Sale

Alice Waters, Master Chef, founder of Chez Panisse, and all-around National Treasure, is having a yard sale.

Alice Waters and her daughter, Fanny Singer, are hosting the sale on Sunday, 31 March 2019, from 10 AM to 3 PM, in the car park at Chez Panisse at 1517 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, California.

Chez Panisse

The yard sale will offer “vintage and designer clothes, antiques, crafts, ephemera, and more…decades’ worth of treasures, from the high to the low… plus bargains and Alice’s hats.”

Waters will be there, to sign books, posters, and those famous hats.

Alice and Friends


Alien: The Play — High School Theatre at Its Best


What happened in North Bergen, New Jersey, last weekend was like a real-life version of one of those high school musical movies from the 1930s, where Mickey and Judy need money to save the old folks’ home, and somebody comes up with a great idea: “Let’s put on a show! We can have it in my uncle’s barn!”

Except that nobody sang show tunes in the North Bergen High School Drama Club’s production of Alien: The Play, and a Xenomorph killed off most of the characters.

The Xenomorph

The Xenomorph

Working with costumes and scenery made largely with recycled materials, the club brought its own version of the classic 1979 horror movie to the high school stage. And the critics raved.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tweeted this:

A non-profit founded by the mayor of North Bergen funded extra performances of the play.

And then things got heavy. Ridley Scott, director of the original film, gave “Thumbs Up To High Schoolers Who Adapted His Sci-Fi Classic: ‘Do Gladiator Next!’”

Ridley Scott

But the absolute topper was this:

It looks like the North Bergen production diverged from the original movie by including a scene that comes from the sequel, Aliens, rather than from Alien itself, but there’s no way in this or any other world that they could have resisted including one of the greatest lines in film history. With just six little words, Sigourney Weaver’s has been bringing cheering audiences to their feet for more than three decades.

Berlin, 1945. How It Really Ended

I was randomly clicking old Reddit bookmarks last night, and rediscovered my all-time favourite posting from the site’s fakehistoryporn subreddit. The title explains what’s happening in this recently unearthed photo.

“Adolf Hitler, along with an unknown German child, tries to flee the ruins of Berlin. Unfortunately for the Führer, Josef Stalin has been personally sent to Berlin and has other ideas.”

Originally posted to Reddit by iScottish.

Four Weddings and a Funeral and a Red Nose

The immensely likable Four Weddings and a Funeral was released 25 years ago this week, and to celebrate, the surviving cast members have come together again on a new project for Comic Relief’s annual Red Nose Day fundraiser.

One Red Nose Day and a Wedding will premiere during Red Nose Day 2019 on BBC One on Friday, 15  March 2019.

Here’s the teaser:

It’s Here! Game of Thrones Season 8 — Official Trailer

The end is near.

Game of Thrones returns for its eighth and final season in 40 days.*

A confession. When I first learned that HBO was planning a series based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels, I was sure it would be a disaster. With my goldfish-like attention span, I’d never been tempted to read the books, but I knew they were intricately plotted, minutely detailed, and written from the viewpoints of dozens—hundreds!—of key characters, all with strangely misspelled names. And they were long.

No way could they be filmed, I thought.

And now here I am, eagerly awaiting the final episodes of the world’s most popular television series, and wondering what I’ll watch once it’s gone.

*If anyone is looking for a way to keep busy during those 40 days and 40 nights, I hear that fasting in the desert has its merits. Me, I’ll be bingeing on the 67 episodes that have already been screened.

The Panda Cams Are Back!

A government shutdown. A polar vortex. An Academy Award Best Picture nomination for Bohemian Rhapsody.

The year is off to a terrible start, but here’s a bit of good news.

Since the federal government has re-opened, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Panda Cams, which feed live, 24/7 coverage of the zoo’s three giant pandas, are back in service. Now you can once again watch America’s favourite (rented) pets—like the one pictured above, in warmer, happier days—without leaving the comforts of your expensively heated home.


Panda from the National Zoo, as He Eats Shoots and Leaves.

Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, and Bei Bei,  the Zoo’s resident giant pandas, don’t seem to mind the cold.

Renoir Painting Stolen in Vienna! (I Have an Alibi.)

As longtime readers may recall, I’m a loyal supporter of the Renoir Sucks at Painting movement, which calls on museums and galleries to remove and banish the works of that loathsome French hack, Pierre-Auguste Renoir. That’s why I had mixed emotions when I saw this headline on the Artdaily website:

I was happy because yet another insipid piece of Renoir-created eye-torment had been taken out of circulation, removing a blotch on the art world, and on Western civilization as a whole.* At the same time, I was a little afraid, because I was in Vienna when the theft occurred, and Interpol’s International Art Theft Squad: Renoir Subset: Potential Thieves Division almost certainly has me in its database.

Fortunately, I have an alibi: At the time of the theft, I was at an exhibition of the works of a much more talented and original painter. When the police show up to interrogate me, I’ll show them my ticket to “The Life and Works of Thomas Kinkade”.

The Onion reports on the earlier liberation of another public nuisance.

*You know who owns a Renoir? Donald Trump.

Except it turns out that his is probably a fake, and another con artist apparently took him for $10,000,000. See Donald Trump’s Fake Renoir: The Untold Story.