CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 2013 |
I was sitting in bed reading Monday night when a hideous and unfamiliar noise jolted me upright. It seemed to be emanating from inside my room. It was a loud, insistent and intermittent, like a test of the emergency broadcast system, but my radio wasn't on. My adrenaline pumping, I finally looked down and realized the noise was coming out of my phone. But why? A text message on my screen seemed to be associated with the noise. It appeared to be an Amber Alert, with some context-free vehicle identification information.
August 6, 2013 |
Like most everyone with a late-model cellphone in the state of California, I was startled Monday night to hear my phone suddenly blaring like a fire alarm shortly after 11. What the…? Scrambling to calm it down, I saw AMBER Alert Boulevard, CA ( Where's that?) LIC/6WCU986 Blue Nissan Versa 4 door… In fact, I got the same text twice. After that, my first thought was: what do I do to stop getting anymore? How do I rejigger my iPhone so this doesn't happen again? That wasn't an unusual response among cellphone users, even to an alert of a child abduction. In this case, the alert was triggered by the suspected kidnapping of one or two children by a man also suspected of killing their mother, whose body was found in the burning rubble of a house in a rural community.
July 23, 2013 |
If ABC Family executives had known their new game show "Spell-Mageddon" would be premiering in the social media vacuum left by "Sharknado," they might have considered throwing a few piranhas into the mix. As it is, the film and the series share little beyond titular portmanteau (blending two words to make one) and the attempt to blend two big ideas into an unexpected hybrid. On the hourlong "Spell-Mageddon," that looks like a group of contestants engaging in a spelling bee while running obstacle courses that are smaller, tamer versions of those on "Wipeout" and enduring the sort of wet 'n' messy interruptions that mark similar competitions on Nickelodeon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 2013 |
Jim Nayder, a longtime fixture on Chicago public radio who was best known as the host and producer of National Public Radio's "Annoying Music Show," was found dead in his Chicago apartment Friday. He was 59. An autopsy was scheduled, but his family said Nayder had a long history of alcoholism and had checked into rehabilitation centers many times. The "Annoying Music Show" - a kind of wry celebration of kitsch, from William Shatner's cover of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" to "Muskrat Love" - ran less than five minutes and began as weekend filler on Chicago's WBEZ-FM in 1995.
June 12, 2013 |
No bombs, so life will go on. Again. As it does. Princeton University exhaled after police determined that a vague phone threat made to multiple buildings on the campus turned out to be an apparent hoax. But before the campus could relax, the people filed out. Sniffer dogs filed in. Then the threat disappeared. Life carried on. As far as tradition goes, bomb threats are like the campaign promises of the crime world: Often cliche; regularly untrue; but never, ever ignorable.
June 8, 2013 |
"Sam & Cat," which premieres Saturday on Nickelodeon, takes the sidekicks from two other Nickelodeon shows - Jennette McCurdy's Sam Puckett, from "iCarly," and Ariana Grande's Cat Valentine, from "Victorious" - and bunks them in together as costarring leads. All these series were created by Dan Schneider, who also created "Zoey 101" and "Drake & Josh" and co-created "What I Like About You," which makes him, like, the Neil Simon of teen sitcoms. For a particular audience, this will be epic - as if, for a different particular audience, Bill Cosby's Alexander Scott and David McCallum's Illya Kuryakin were to ditch Kelly Robinson and Napoleon Solo and team up, or Ed Norton and Ethel Mertz were to run off together into their own show.