Stories for December 2003

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Wednesday, December 31

Gamer's Voice Awards announced

Who is the big winner? Who got the most awards? Read and find out.

Who is the big winner? Who got the most awards? Click and find out.

Pop culture took wacky diversions in 2003

Girl-on-girl kisses. Talking fish. Weddings announced. Weddings postponed. Weddings broadcast worldwide. Nasty front-line video from Baghdad. Nasty backroom video from Paris.

K.C. restaurant to celebrities closes

The Italian Gardens, a downtown Kansas City restaurant that had been a favorite of local power brokers and visiting celebrities, has closed after 78 years.

Area residents ready to ring in new year

Free Tipsy Taxi rides to be offered for revelers

The end is near for 2003. Get ready to welcome 2004. As one of the biggest party nights of the year, New Year's Eve will find area bars and clubs packed with revelers for music, dancing and drinking -- and some celebrating too much.

Get 'Arrested' with Fox marathon

On a night of movies, marathons and New Year's Eve madness, two specials stand out. Fox offers four opportunities to catch up with its innovative comedy "Arrested Development" (TV-PG). Jason Bateman stars as the harried good son in a completely irresponsible clan of rich folks beset by serious dysfunction and the incarceration of the family patriarch (Jeffrey Tambor).

People

¢ Spears, Aguilera trade barbs ¢ Jackson, Nation of Islam linked ¢ 'Home Improvement' actor dies ¢ Delivery for Paris Hilton?

Tuesday, December 30

'Miniature self-survival festival'

Saxophonist turns to playing on downtown streets

Dan Kozak stood a wooden crate on end, placed a board across it to serve as a countertop, and set out a pitcher with a dollar bill taped to the top. He wrapped a sign that read "Enriching Your Stroll Downtown" around a nearby trash can.

People

¢ Rocker recalls rock bottom ¢ Angelina faces adoption scandal ¢ Back in a big way

Galaxy of stars dimmed greatly in '03

They made the stages and screens of the 20th century shine. Their music burned with the heat of love or plumbed the soul of the common man. Their writings took us to faraway worlds, or deep within our hearts. Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash were country music royalty. Bob Hope made us laugh and warmed the hearts of lonely servicemen. Katharine Hepburn showed us elegance and pride in every role she played. Fred Rogers became a fatherly television friend to generations of youngsters.

Reality shows offer complex, simpleton sides of rich girls

The slice-of-(very highly subsidized)-life series "Rich Girls" (9:30 p.m., MTV) wraps up its first (can there possibly be another?) season. Once you look past the servants, the mansions, the private jets, the expensive restaurants, the trust funds and the endless label name-dropping, "Girls" was really not about money at all. At its core, it followed two very self-conscious women making that painful transition from child to adult.

Top local music releases of 2003

In terms of music, 2003 provided a cash crop of albums that belied Lawrence's reputation for outstanding local music. Veterans like the Appleseed Cast and Mac Lethal reminded us why they're recognized far beyond the Kansas prairie, while upstarts like Conner and Kelpie left us wondering just how long they'd be our little secret.

Monday, December 29

PBS studies Rod Serling's battle with censors

"American Masters" (8 p.m., PBS) repeats a profile of the creator of "The Twilight Zone" and the author of several of the most acclaimed screenplays from the golden age of live television drama.

Tony winner Alan Bates dies at 69

Alan Bates, who first gained fame on the London stage and went on to star in a string of successful 1960s movies, including "Zorba the Greek," has died, his agent said Sunday. He was 69.

People

¢ 'Return of the King' still No. 1 ¢ A grand dame moment ¢ Ferrets for all ¢ 'PTL Club' singer dies

Jackson alleges mistreatment by police after his surrender

Michael Jackson said he was manhandled by authorities when arrested last month on child molestation charges -- and suffered a dislocated shoulder from the way he was handcuffed.

Sunday, December 28

2004 calendar commemorates '150 Years of Lawrence, Kansas'

Most everyone who's called Lawrence home for any length of time knows the story of what happened here on Aug. 21, 1863. Early that morning, William Quantrill and his band of armed ruffians swept through the city on horseback, leaving a wake of death and fiery destruction. A lesser-known fact is what the people of Lawrence were doing the night before the raid.

Review :: Danger Bob as The Mollyphonic Spree

Bottleneck, Dec. 27, 2003

It was audacious, outrageous and preposterous -- and, somehow, it worked. Local rockers Danger Bob and 16 friends pulled off the most elaborate live spectacle of recent memory Saturday at The Bottleneck, performing as The Mollyphonic Spree.

People

¢ Swedes back 'mixed' royal union ¢ Rapper wanted in paternity case ¢ Gospel singer to celebrate King ¢ Miniseries features Indian themes

The arts suffer but show resilience in 2003

It was a year of extremes -- overnight lines for the latest "Harry Potter" book and record art auction sales for Modigliani and Klimt. But Broadway struggled to find a hit. It was a year of stolen antiquities and an exquisite ballerina. The ailing economy continued to threaten opera and dance companies, symphony orchestras and Broadway. But the arts showed their resilience.

Pulitzer Prize winner works on another 'puzzle' of a novel

Shirley Ann Grau sips her gin and recalls the day four decades ago when bumbling Ku Klux Klansmen tried to burn a cross on her front lawn. The men apparently forgot to bring a shovel and couldn't drive the cross into the ground. So it burned lying flat on Grau's yard -- not a terribly intimidating sight.

'Odd Thomas' blends horror with romance

In his new thriller, "Odd Thomas," Dean Koontz tells a story of a cult-driven bloodbath to which he adds some existential eeriness that keeps the reader eagerly anticipating every word.

Bookstore

Poet's showcase

Arts notes

¢ Artist sates memory's sweet tooth with clay cakes ¢ Print show paints picture of Lawrence ¢ Spencer exhibits 18th-century nativity ¢ Auditions scheduled for 'V Henry K' ¢ Illustrated books include KC artist's work

The year of the troubling question

Missing weapons of mass destruction, Bennifer hoopla, California recall and baggy pants prove perplexing

It was the Year of the Troubling Question. The most troubling one was: What the heck happened to all those weapons of mass destruction that were supposed to be in Iraq? Apparently there was an intelligence mix-up. As CIA director George Tenet noted recently, "Our thinking now is that the weapons of mass destruction might actually be in that other one, whaddycallit, Iran. Or Michigan. We're pretty sure the letter 'i' is involved."

Saturday, December 27

6News video: Screen Scene

Four holiday movies grace the screens this week, and none bigger than "Cold Mountain." Already amassing eight Golden Globe nominations - whatever that means - this Civil War-era epic concerns the romance between a prim preacher's daughter and a rugged Confederate soldier, and their attempts at trying to reunite during wartime.

People

¢ Winslet, husband have baby boy ¢ Mrs. Rogers learning to cope ¢ Aiken delights disabled teen fan ¢ Garner staying on 'Simple Rules'

This effects-driven miniseries is a 'Keeper'

Having tackled Western fairy tales, producer and special effects wizard Robert Halmi ("Alice in Wonderland") offers a visually dazzling series of American Indian myths and stories in the two-part miniseries "Dreamkeeper" (8 p.m. Sunday, ABC, concludes Monday).

Jackson defends sleeping with children

Michael Jackson told CBS' "60 Minutes" that he still believed it was acceptable to sleep with children and that he would "slit my wrists" before he would hurt a child.

Friday, December 26

People

¢ 'Alias' star returns to her roots ¢ Oprah still America's favorite ¢ Costner made romantic moves ¢ Aniston sheds tears for 'Friends'

Bush -- and his posse -- salute entertainers

Caroline Kennedy is host of "The 26th Annual Kennedy Center Honors" (8 p.m., CBS). She was called on to replace original host Walter Cronkite, who came down with laryngitis before this ceremony.

'Peter Pan' finally becomes a real boy

"Peter Pan" is about a boy who never grows up, but usually he's played by women who are old enough to be his mother.

Best bets

'Cold Mountain' is a powerful but chilly epic

The Civil War-era "Cold Mountain" is the quintessential Oscar hopeful. It contains everything a studio could ask for in a Best Picture contender: a lengthy, period epic with big stars, beautiful scenery, frilly costumes and lots of marching extras. It's based on a beloved novel by Charles Frazier that encompasses themes of profound love and brotherly warfare.

'Choral pop train wreck'

'The Mollyphonic Spree' aims for ambitious parody of cult ensemble

Successfully replicating the sound of the 20-plus member Polyphonic Spree, a self-described "choral symphonic pop band" from Texas featuring horns, multiple keyboards and at least five forms of percussion, is a task few bands would attempt. In fact, local artists Danger Bob -- and 17 or so friends -- may be the only member of that select group.

Area venues to rock in 2004

Live music takes center stage during holidays

It's 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31, your glass is topped off with champagne while you're intoxicated and tone-deaf companions prepare to offer you their slovenly rendition of "Auld Lang Syne." Sound familiar?

Thursday, December 25

Christmas spirit visits castle

Security cameras record ghostly image at Henry VIII's palace

Are there ghostly goings-on at Henry VIII's palace, or is that hazy image of a fellow in fancy robes just a bit of Christmas cheer?

People

¢ Jackson upset with best pal Liz ¢ De Niro voted best in history ¢ White Stripes crooner booked ¢ Leno stunt takes with cake

'Idol' goes international for holiday

A famous straight-shooter delivers wince-inducing assessments of friendly foreigners. No, it's not a roundup of Donald Rumsfeld's press conferences, it's Simon Cowell, judging the contestants on "World Idol," (7 p.m., Fox). This international talent contests pits "American Idol" Kelly Clarkson against singers and "Idol" winners from all over the world. In the second half of this competition, airing Jan. 1, the "World Idol" will be crowned.

Wednesday, December 24

People

¢ Roy'll be home for Christmas ¢ Simon, Garfunkel raise money for Children's Health Fund ¢ Pain barre none ¢ Affleck a Red Sox fan, both in fact and film

Christmas Eve fare: James Bond, Judy Garland or reruns

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all over the dial, only reruns are airing. Oh, that fills me with bile!

'A Christmas Story,' an American tale

Holiday favorite turns 20

The phrase "You'll shoot your eye out!" has become as synonymous with the Christmas season as Scrooge's "Bah, humbug!" and Santa's "Ho, ho, ho!"

Cannabis Claus

Hemp humorist doubles as Santa's helper

It's just days before Christmas and Santa's been spotted near Centennial Park. Horns honk and children gawk at the jolly man in the plush red suit as he waves to passing cars. As he saunters along, he passes his sleigh: a beat-up grey pickup truck stickered with slogans like: "It's the duty of every patriot to protect his country from his government."

Tuesday, December 23

Nice gays finishing 1st on TV

It was the year of the man, and the woman, on TV in 2003. It just happens that it was man with man, and woman with woman.

Glamour takes backseat in holiday special

Now in its fifth year, the annual special "A Home for the Holidays" (7 p.m., CBS) celebrates parents and families who have opened their doors to adopt children from orphanages and foster homes. Adopted children and their parents share stories that can't help but bring a lump to your throat. This being television, we also hear from celebrities, including Lauren Holly, an adoptive parent, and Jamie Foxx, who was himself adopted. In between anecdotes, No Doubt, Sheryl Crow, Mary J. Blige, Enrique Iglesias, Vince Gill and Amy Grant, and Pat Monahan (Train) perform musical numbers.

Actor Affleck visits troops

Actor Ben Affleck greeted hundreds of sailors and Marines on Monday aboard the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.

Hope Lang dies at 70

Actress played 'Peyton Place' rape victim

Actress Hope Lange, who earned an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in the 1957 film "Peyton Place" and won two Emmys for playing the lead in TV's "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir," has died at age 70.

Monday, December 22

Television marathons run amok

As the shopping days dwindle down, everybody's throwing a marathon. You get the impression that the programming departments just want to let the shows rip while they sip eggnog and unwrap presents. Who can blame them?

The belly of the beast

K.C.'s biggest rapper Tech N9ne leaves for L.A.

When it comes to his career, Tech N9ne's Christmas lists have been pretty short for a long time: 1) Become as well-known around the country as he is in the Midwest and in his hometown Kansas City. 2) Give the finger to the music industry all the way to the top. This year, though, the K.C. rapper has narrowed the list.

'Rings' finale outpaces predecessors

"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" raked in $73.6 million in its first weekend and put up a five-day haul of $125.1 million since its Wednesday debut, according to estimates Sunday.

Talking presidential dolls play to patriotic emotions

If Barbie is attracted to leaders of the free world, Ken may have a rival or two. Toy Presidents Inc., a tiny Houston company, is selling 13-inch-high dolls of President George W. Bush that utter 25 different phrases from the commander in chief. He's the first of a series that will include former Presidents Clinton, Reagan, Kennedy, Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt.

People

¢ 'The saddest holiday ever' ¢ 'Bachelor' breaks the rules ¢ Eminem tracking a thief ¢ A perk of superstardom

Sunday, December 21

Commentary: Christmas tree biology not all that glamorous

Here I go again, not feeling Christmassy. Of course I'd like to feel Christmassy, just like all the other 57-year-old men who finally had an up year in the stock market and whose prostate exams and colonoscopies went well.

Friends gather to support Jackson

Friends and relatives of Michael Jackson descended on his Neverland Ranch on Saturday to show their support for the entertainer who is fighting child molestation charges.

Business forces elf layoffs

Santa's workshop may not be the joyous place it was in years past for the tens of thousands of tourists expected to visit northern Finland this winter.

People

¢ 'Idol' settles clothing lawsuit ¢ Hanukkah gets rock treatment ¢ Janet to perform at Super Bowl ¢ American tries for 'World Idol'

George Washington portrait tours America

America's first president stands tall in understated black, a controlled expression on his face and one arm outstretched as if beckoning to future generations.

To the stars through ambition

Ad astra galleria opens with lofty dream of becoming arts, culture hub

Fixed to the worn wood floor at the old Lawrence School of Ballet is a grid of yellow construction paper stars. Current tenant Joel Bales imagines toe shoe-clad dancers lining up on the stars during rehearsals. But he's not really certain which of the historic building's previous occupants left the stars behind.

Arts notes

¢ Arts center grant to support bilingual play ¢ Design professor honored by national magazine ¢ E.M.U. Theatre to have auditions ¢ Opera audition application deadline approaching

Motivating moves

KU dance professor combats symptoms of Parkinson's with exercise video

To understand the difference between Linda Davis on a good day and Linda Davis on a bad day, envision the contrast between high-flying dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and slow-shuffling TV star Tim Conway of "The Carol Burnett Show" fame.

Signs of Life artist turns to Bible for inspiration

When Signs of Life gallery director James Schaefer was hanging Joan Bohlig's biblical etchings a few weeks ago, they at first seemed so visually quiet compared to the paintings around them.

Stairway to exposure

LHS students featured in first Watkins Museum teen photo exhibit

If Helen Krische Dee has her way, photo exhibitions produced by high school and junior high school students will be a fixture in the stairway gallery at Watkins Community Museum of History.

What are you reading?

Bookstore

Poet's showcase

P.D. James tops herself with 'The Murder Room'

Difficult -- and delightful -- as it is to believe, P.D. James keeps getting better. Her new book, "The Murder Room," might be the best mystery novel of 2003.

'The Man Who Invented Himself'

Biography tells self-made story of photographer Robert Capa

Robert Capa's life story is a classic illustration of a man in charge of his own destiny. By placing himself in harm's way on a regular basis, he became the very best at photographing war, knowing full well that most combat photographers don't die in their sleep. He photographed the Spanish Civil War at 23, and in 1954 at age 40, Capa was killed by mortar fire in Vietnam, his fifth war.

Behind the lens

Pre-conceived vision becomes photo reality

Servants' portrait exhibit strikes chord in class-conscious Britain

On the art-vs.-commerce battleground, the scenario is all too familiar. "The Nutcracker," as nearly everyone knows, is what keeps ballet companies across the country afloat, often providing a fourth or even a third of annual revenue.

Texas museum features Renaissance prayer books

Some of the most ornate paintings from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance eras do not hang in a museum. In fact, they're not even in frames. Books, some smaller than a deck of cards, contain masterpieces from 1250 to 1550 and feature religious scenes with intricate details.

Poetry Magazine struggles to spend $100 million gift

Joe Parisi, who for 20 years ran Poetry Magazine, is a short, sad-eyed man with the kind of low, detached voice that makes all the world seem a droll conspiracy.

Young poet balances idealism, awareness of sales figures

His one published book is a collection of poetry, but when Timothy Donnelly is asked what he does for a living, he often answers, "Writer."

Saturday, December 20

Letter to editor :: Creek name

It's hard for me to believe the Douglas County Commission's recent decision not to recommend naming the creek that runs behind the former home of author and artist William Burroughs in his honor. I'm also quite disappointed with the Dec. 3 Journal-World editorial that stated "The most notable events in Burroughs' life revolved around drugs and mayhem." That's just plain wrong.

People

¢ List rates best-tressed celebs ¢ Split was rough on Kidman ¢ Aiken wins manners honor ¢ Cooper takes act to airwaves

Disney hails Mickey's 75th anniversary

Mickey Mouse is one old rodent. "Mickey Mouse's 75th Anniversary" (7 p.m. today, ABC) special comes more than a month after the real event. Apparently, the suits at Disney didn't mind keeping Mickey waiting -- the cartoon "Steamboat Willie," the first to feature the wily varmint, appeared Nov. 18, 1928, in theaters. Tonight's special will glance back at the mouse's illustrious career and feature numerous plugs for Mickey-related events at Disney-owned theme parks.

Friday, December 19

People

¢ Playboy auction raises $2.75M ¢ Pope: Crucifixion film realistic

Lawrence brothers help bring 'Rings' to the screen

Perhaps no recent movie has transported viewers to another time and place as effectively as "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Part of the project's exotic, untamed visuals stem from the fact it was shot entirely in New Zealand. A small army of actors, craftsmen and technicians were imported to the fertile island on the other side of the world for up to three years while each film was being forged.

The Mums craft new sound in absence of founding member

The genealogy of Lawrence jazz quartet The Mums follows a twisted path not unlike the capricious nature of a John Coltrane performance. Originally a trio organized by jazz drummer Don Mumford, a veteran player whose resume included a stint with the Sun Ra Arkestra, the band took on a life of its own after Mumford skipped town this past spring, three days prior to a big gig at the Coleman Hawkins Neighborhood Festival in Topeka.

Best bets

100 years ago, 'Train Robbery' launched film industry

A fierce-looking outlaw aims his six-shooter at a cluster of law-abiding citizens sitting in the darkness. He pulls the trigger and smoke pours out of the gun barrel. Men shriek. Women faint.

Movie franchises can take on own life -- for better or worse

With the arrival in theaters of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," the final filmic chapter of the J.R.R. Tolkien saga is a wrap.

'Cold' tale a hot pick for Golden Globes

"Cold Mountain," director Anthony Minghella's sweeping Civil War love story based on the best-selling novel, may have captured eight Golden Globe nominations Thursday, but an underdog racehorse and two strikingly mature teenage actresses also captured the heart of the Hollywood foreign press as the movie awards season shifted into high gear.

Writers rehash a 'wonderful' but tired idea

All I want for Christmas is to review a show based on an original idea. How many times do we have to watch shows resort to the same tired variation on "It's A Wonderful Life"?

Jackson charged with molestation

Michael Jackson was formally charged Thursday with repeatedly molesting a cancer-stricken boy invited to his Neverland Ranch, setting the stage for what could become one of the most sensational celebrity cases this Internet-wired, 24-hour-cable world has seen.

Whole lotta love

Be/Non takes flight as 'Zeppelin V'

Fronting a Led Zeppelin cover band requires three very important skills: talent, motivation and absolutely no fear of completely embarrassing yourself. As Brodie Rush can testify, the third skill may be the most important.

Research Report for Stakeholders in Projects Related to the William S. Burroughs Legacy in Lawrence, Kansas, and City Improvements

There is no gainsaying the significance of Burroughs in the history of postwar American literature and its international impact. Clearly, his long late-life residence here represents a valuable and important asset for the future of Lawrence as a destination both for visitors and for new residents of our community.

2003 Video Game Buyer's Guide

They're still bigger than Hollywood, and they're set to break last year's impressive sales record. Video games increasingly appear on everyone's holiday gift lists. From kids to adults, portable to home console, there are many options for every type of gamer. Your decision on which system to buy should hinge purely on this question: "Does it have great games that are extremely fun to play?" No matter which system you choose this year, the answer is a resounding "yes."

Thursday, December 18

Classic films added to registry

The Western outlaw romp "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and the more obscure "The Chechahcos," with its frenzied dogsled pursuits in Alaska, have been added to the National Film Registry.

Portrait sparks quest for a 'Ventura Code'

Chalk it up to "The Da Vinci Code," but folks in Minnesota's Capitol are squinting for hidden meanings in a new portrait of ex-Gov. Jesse Ventura.

Review: Armed & Dangerous - Xbox

It's games like these that afford critics the time to just step back, smile, laugh and enjoy the lighter side of gaming, despite some gameplay flaws along the way.

It's games like these that afford critics the time to just step back, smile, laugh and enjoy the lighter side of gaming, despite some gameplay flaws along the way.

'Grinch' a gift tonight

Holiday-themed programming abounds one week before Christmas and the night before the beginning of Hanukkah: Boris Karloff narrates the 1966 animated special "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (7 p.m., WB). adapted from the writer-illustrator's classic children's book.

People

¢ Diddy to star in 'Raisin' ¢ Dreyfuss cast as Bialystock ¢ Affleck to entertain troops ¢ 'Seabiscuit' a fast role

Wednesday, December 17

Spotlight shines on older women

Diane Keaton recalled her skepticism over lunch a few years back with writer-director Nancy Meyers, who was pitching a romantic comedy centered on a woman in her 50s and a man in his 60s.

PBS presents Dickens of a documentary

Had the contemporary notion of celebrity existed in the 19th century, Charles Dickens would certainly have topped the list. Like Mark Twain, Victor Hugo and Leo Tolstoy, Dickens blazed the trail of literary celebrity by becoming more famous than his best-selling books. The superior three-hour profile "Dickens" (7 p.m., PBS, check local listings) combines documentary narration, dramatic re-enactment, and clips from "Masterpiece Theatre" presentations of Dickens' many novels to offer a surprising psychobiography of the novelist most closely associated with the vast and often cruel changes of the Victorian era. It also emphasizes the biographical roots of his most beloved characters, including David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Tiny Tim and many more.

Bingoholics

Charitable gambling still popular despite aging players and competing diversions

Hail to the king

'Return of the King' towers over trilogy

People

¢ Soldiers get comic relief ¢ Manson inquiry dropped ¢ Connery battles hunger ¢ Supermodel expecting baby

Tuesday, December 16

Critics acclaim 'Rings' as top film

Normally a champion of arty, independent fare, the New York Film Critics Circle on Monday chose "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" as the top film of 2003.

Letter to the Lawrence Journal-World from the Burroughs estate

Burroughs is not widely known -- or "notorious" -- for having been a famous (because self-confessed) victim of drug addiction, nor for having killed his wife in 1951 in a reckless, horrible, stupid accident. That's not why he's famous. William Burroughs is known to us because he is almost universally acknowledged as one of the most influential American writers of the twentieth century.

Cinemax documentary casts a spell

Films don't come much sweeter or more inspiring than "Spellbound" (7 p.m., Cinemax), the Oscar-nominated 2002 documentary about the long road to the 1999 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. "Spellbound" offers mini profiles of eight contestants who couldn't be from more diverse backgrounds.

People

¢ Ozzy off ventilator ¢ Judge lauds Ryder's progress ¢ Vandross hopes for Grammys trip ¢ Something completely different

2003 Gamer's Voice Award nominations announced

Project Gotham 2 leads the way with a staggering seven nominations followed by Deus Ex: Invisible War, Prince of Persia, Soul Calibur 2, Viewtiful Joe and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker all with

Project Gotham 2 leads the way with a staggering seven nominations followed by Deus Ex: Invisible War, Prince of Persia, Soul Calibur 2, Viewtiful Joe and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker all with four each

Nintendo announces customer loyalty program

New rewards program starts with free Zelda pack to those who register two holiday games

New rewards program starts with free Zelda pack to those who register two holiday games

Hitman: Contracts announced

New Hitman game coming to PC, PS2 and Xbox

New Hitman game coming to PC, PS2 and Xbox

Monday, December 15

Review :: Eric Hurst, "goodbye, welcome, thank you"

Never expect too much from an album with some dude's name on it. These days, any singer/songwriters hack with a four-track and a Mexican stratocaster can push "record," slap together some over-filtered Photoshop artwork and pay some distant entrepreneur to press a thousand CDs. That's why Eric Hurst's "goodbye, welcome, thank you" is such an abberation: it's pretty damn good.

Review: Max Payne 2 - Xbox

The only console version you should play

This is the only console version you should touch.

People

¢ 'Something's Gotta Give' rules box office with $17 million debut ¢ Lauryn Hill slams Church ¢ A million-book milestone ¢ Sandra Diaz-Twine wins $1 million as final 'Survivor'

AFI names year's top films

The animated fish tale "Finding Nemo" and the fantasy epic "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" are among the American Film Institute's top 10 movie picks for 2003.

Girl power: Hollywood banks on young stars

It's not easy being a girl: Grades. Boys. Peer pressure. Parents. International concert tours. Personal clothing lines. Big-budget pirate movies.

J. Lo bling-blings in holidays

Do your holiday tastes run more to bling-bling than Kris Kringle? Then "Jingle Ball Rock" (7 p.m., Fox) may be your hot cup of eggnog. Jennifer Lopez is host of the special, featuring performances by Beyonce Knowles, Jessica Simpson, Kelly Clarkson and Disney actress turned singer Hilary Duff. Simpson and Clarkson recently performed on NBC's Rockefeller Center tree-lighting ceremony special. In the Christmas spirit of charity, I won't comment on their performances.

Sunday, December 14

Objectively speaking

Sculptor crafts lifelong communion with objects

John Hachmeister doesn't raise theoretical chickens. He keeps the real things in a spacious pen a few dozen feet from the back door of his rural Jefferson County farmhouse.

Arts notes

¢ Lawrence High School photos to be on display ¢ Spencer Museum to celebrate holidays ¢ JGladman opens gallery in Olathe ¢ KU professor wraps up exhibition in Germany ¢ KU students advance in MTNA competitions ¢ KU textiles student wins scholarship ¢ Deerfield School calls for recipes ¢ Spencer Consort to play carols, noels

Visions of grandeur

Area designers reveal ideas that didn't make the WTC memorial cut

It's a safe bet most of the entrants in the World Trade Center memorial design competition had never attempted a project of such immensely thrilling yet morose magnitude.

Poet's showcase

Bookstore

Cheer your heart out

Professor's book chronicles history of cheerleading

Behold the cheerleader: definition of popularity, goddess of the school and object of desire. But it wasn't always so.

'Big Bad Wolf' lives up to name

About two-thirds into James Patterson's "The Big Bad Wolf," his new Alex Cross thriller, readers might begin to fear that the villain won't be caught. If that turned out to be so, it would be disappointing, since we want Cross to catch the Wolf.

Illiteracy book to raise funds for organization

Half Price Books has released the ninth edition of its "Say Good Night to Illiteracy" children's story book, which promotes family literacy, encourages creative writing and raises funds for literacy organizations, including the Metropolitan Alliance of Adult Learning in Kansas City, Kan.

Review: 'Kansas Nutcracker' a must-see

On opening night of the Lawrence Arts Center's production of "A Kansas Nutcracker," the cast took its final bows to a standing ovation -- a much-deserved standing ovation. Directed by Ric Averill and Deb Bettinger, the musical ballet is topnotch from start to finish.

First edition Harry Potter books auctioned

Four first edition copies of Harry Potter books inscribed by author J.K. Rowling to her father have been sold for nearly $90,000.

White walls suffice for masters exhibition

The technique for showing the exhibition "El Greco to Picasso From the Phillips Collection" is the equivalent of putting speed bumps in a parking lot. And it works.

People

¢ Pavarotti marries in Italy ¢ Queen recovering after surgery ¢ Preacher objects to Hef ads

Workers band together to save Paradise

Employees of embattled eatery try to raise money to buy downtown cafe's shut-down restaurant operations

Paradise may not be lost, after all. Employees of the beloved-but-troubled downtown eatery are banding together to save the restaurant operations of Paradise Cafe, 728 Mass.

Return of the 'Rings'

Frodo and friends are feeling sentimental as the release of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" approaches.

Director saying goodbye to Tolkien trilogy

A shaggy-haired, wooly-bearded Kiwi filmmaker is at the end of his epic journey.

We last saw them...

Cuban artist reflects on intersection of Communism, faith

In 1994, amid economic turmoil and public uprising, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro removed exit restrictions for people wanting to flee the Communist country. Thousands upon thousands of refugees took to the rough waters separating the island from the United States in search of better conditions.

Saturday, December 13

Kutcher pulls plug on 'Punk'd'

Ashton Kutcher says the joke is no longer on him -- he announced Friday that he was pulling out of the MTV prank show, "Punk'd," after two seasons.

Rolling Stone dubbed Sir Mick

An icon of rock rebelliousness officially joined the British establishment Friday -- and hardly anyone objected.

People

¢ Pavarotti plans starry wedding ¢ NBA rookie deemed 'fascinating' ¢ Nicholson touts co-star ¢ Depp named entertainer of year

Holiday lessons from NBC -- or is it CBS?

Mediocre holiday movies can be so instructive. What can we learn from "Secret Santa" (8 p.m. Sunday, NBC)? Well, for one thing, when up against a "Survivor" finale, NBC will slavishly imitate CBS to pick up the ratings scraps. "Secret" has all the earmarks of an Eye Network saccharine-fest. Spunky reporter Rebecca Chandler (Jennie Garth) goes to a picture-postcard Indiana town to expose the Secret Santa, a stranger who bestows life-altering holiday gifts. When there's no room at the local inn, she even bunks at an old-folks home -- a CBS touch if ever there was one.

Friday, December 12

Airport to be named for Hope

On the 100th anniversary next Wednesday of the Wright Brothers' first flight, Burbank Airport will be renamed Bob Hope Airport for the late comedian, centenarian and frequent flier.

Actor, rapper has more in store

Nick Cannon fancies himself a Renaissance Man.

Best bets

Viewers won't get too attached to 'Stuck On You'

A Farrelly brothers movie with a PG-13 rating should be a red flag to audiences. The filmmaking team of Bobby and Peter Farrelly epitomized the gross-out humor of the past decade with standouts such as "There's Something About Mary," which ushered in a new critical and commercial appreciation for the cinematically vulgar.

Mysterious Rhodes takes stab at holiday cheer

He dresses in red and white. He has a full beard. He only shows up around Christmas time. And his very existence is shrouded in mystery. No, he's not Santa ... nor Bad Santa, for that matter.

Deck the Hall

Americana Music Academy celebrates two years with Christmas show at historic Turne Hall

One day, Lawrence will be host to the most spectacular Christmas show known to mankind. Folk music diehards ages 8 to 80 will pack the rafters of Liberty Hall, dancing in the aisles while David Grisman and Doc Watson pick out the most fantastic "Jingle Bells" ever heard. Spontaneous jam sessions will spill out onto Mass. Street, filling each corner with a cornucopia of sound.

People

¢ George Clinton pleads not guilty ¢ Jackson's parents defend son ¢ Sundance Awards set for Jan. 24 ¢ Hillbillies casino hits roadblock

Cartoon Network offers Puffed-up special

The Powerpuff Girls get their own holiday special. The hour-long adventure "'Twas the Fight Before Christmas" (8 p.m., Cartoon Network) features the dazzling animation and sophisticated graphic design that has made this series a delight for kids and grown-ups. Truth be told, "Fight" seems pretty padded at an hour. The wags at the Cartoon Network should know that the best holiday specials ("Charlie Brown" and "The Grinch") clock in at 30 minutes.

Thursday, December 11

Review: NCAA March Madness 2004 - PS2, Xbox

It won't make you mad like last year's edition, but it won't excite you like ESPN College Hoops either

It won't make you mad like last year's edition, but it won't excite you like ESPN College Hoops either

People

¢ Costello, Krall wed ¢ More wedding bells ¢ Diggs gets 'Wicked' ¢ Kressley pens fashion book

'Survivor' kicks into final four mode

Only two nights and five finalists remain on "Survivor: Pearl Islands" (7 p.m., CBS). Five will become four tonight before Sunday's two-hour finale. One could go broke trying to predict the outcome of these contrived shenanigans, but it's a safe bet that Jon, the obnoxious art consultant, will not be eliminated tonight. Everybody wants him to face the jury of his ticked-off peers when it comes down to the big vote.

Beyonce wins 4 Billboard Music Awards

R&B and hip-hop dominated Wednesday's 2003 Billboard Music Awards with sultry singer Beyonce Knowles and R. Kelly each earning four awards.

Wednesday, December 10

Review: Beyond Good & Evil - PS2, Xbox, Gamecube

With more content, this could've been a solid front-runner for Game of the Year

With more content, this could've been a solid front-runner for Game of the Year

People

¢ Campbell pleads not guilty to aggravated assault charge ¢ Eminem lyrics get Secret Service's notice ¢ Osbourne recovering from surgery ¢ First a baby, maybe a wedding

Don't miss final Trista-Ryan wedding circus

ABC has done a workmanlike job of squeezing four additional hours of programming out of the Trista and Ryan affair. They promise that after tonight's two-hour special, "Trista and Ryan's Wedding" (8 p.m., ABC), the torture will end.

Memo cleared Jackson of abuse

Child welfare found no wrongdoing

Child welfare investigators earlier this year found there was no basis for allegations that Michael Jackson had abused the boy now accusing him of molestation, according to a confidential memo.

Tuesday, December 9

"The Death of Joan Vollmer: What Really Happened?"

Editor's note :: Whatever one might think of William S. Burroughs, he was one of the most widely known residents of Lawrence. Before his death in 1997, Burroughs -- whose work included 'Naked Lunch' and 'Junky' -- lived in a modest house on Learnard Street in east Lawrence. The well-traveled author lived more years in Lawrence, Kansas than in any other location in the United States or abroad.

Editorial :: 1229 words about something I don't really care about

So there's a nameless ditch out there to which various pinkos want to attach the name of William S. Burroughs. Can I assume that the reasoning behind this is that the creek, like its proposed namesake, is frequently loaded with junk? Sorry. Too easy.

Review: Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne - PS2

What happened?!?

For Rockstar's sake, bum a good PC or Xbox from a friend and play one of those versions so you can appreciate the good work Rockstar did on the sequel; you won't be able to on the PS2.

Review: Spawn: Armageddon - PS2, Xbox, Gamecube

Can a comic book game actually be good?

The game can have spots of fun while it lasts and shows promise for future Spawn games. There is still no clear victor in the long line of comic book leavers though.

Paradise lost

Downtown cafe to focus on bar, entertainment

It's the end of an era for Paradise Cafe, a downtown Lawrence landmark. The restaurant at 728 Mass. is no longer serving food, Schuyler Lister, an investor and manager of daily operations, said Monday. The focus now will be on the bar and entertainment aspect of the business, he said.

'Peanuts' gang, Rudolph grace tonight's holiday offerings

Two networks square off with Christmas specials old and new. For more than 35 years, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" has been among the most beloved of TV traditions. ABC tempts fate with a brand-new Peanuts holiday offering, "I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown" (7 p.m., ABC).

People

¢ Ozzy Osbourne has surgery for ATV accident injuries ¢ George Clinton charged with cocaine possession ¢ Author Frame has cancer ¢ No plans to visit Dave

Cause celeb: Famous expect 'gifts' for charitable appearances

Almost any night of the week around Los Angeles, one charity or another has a glitzy fund-raising benefit, backed by a Hollywood star. But many celebrities appear at these events not solely out of the goodness of their hearts. They come to line their pockets.

Monday, December 8

'Godfather of Soul' feted at Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center -- usually home to opera, symphony and theater -- got on the good foot Sunday night, as stars from the R&B charts paid tribute to "Godfather of Soul" James Brown.

Review: 1080 Avalanche - Gamecube

Can it compete with the SSX series? Find out here.

It's really hard to recommend 1080 over SSX purely on its better sense of speed and navigation upgrades when SSX 3 is an extremely robust experience.

Letter to the editor :: Gifted Burroughs

Once again, I am wondering if certain members of our local government and our local media are literate. William S. Burroughs is considered by many, including his alma mater, Columbia University, to be one of the most influential and important popular writers of the past century.

Al Sharpton performs on 'SNL'

Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton portrayed lawyer Johnnie Cochran, a sushi salesman and one of the three wise men searching for Jesus during his host stint on "Saturday Night Live."

Sunday, December 7

Collegium Musicum prepares 'A Holiday Salad'

The Kansas University Collegium Musicum will present "A Holiday Salad" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Bales Organ Recital Hall.

Debussy tribute to coal merchant to make U.S. performance debut today

A year before he died in 1918, French composer Claude Debussy wrote a piece for his coal merchant, who in exchange kept him well-supplied in the freezing winter months during World War I.

Jackson venue decided

Trial will take place in Santa Maria, Calif.

All future legal proceedings in the Michael Jackson child molestation case, including any future trial, will take place in the city of Santa Maria, Calif., in the northern part of Santa Barbara County, court and law enforcement officials said Friday.

Sold! When the gavel drops, critics say art auctions often sell out the very artists who support them

Nancy Ness opened the Carmesi Gallery in 1999. She carried artwork by area artists and funneled all her resources into the downtown Lawrence business. Despite her best efforts, the gallery folded two years later. Sept. 11 knocked part of the wind out of the venture. But Ness says art auctions -- yes, art auctions -- were the biggest barrier to sending customers home with original artwork.

Bookstore

Mary Tyler Moore withdraws from role in Neil Simon play

Mary Tyler Moore has withdrawn from "Rose's Dilemma," the new Neil Simon play, scheduled to open off-Broadway in two weeks. Moore missed both the matinee and evening performances Wednesday, and her understudy, Patricia Hodges, went on, Jim Byk, a spokesman for Manhattan Theatre Club, said Thursday. Hodges will continue in the role.

'Shipwreck' more about storytelling than sex

Novel could use a more vulnerable narrator

John North has something to get off his chest. He needs a stranger with a friendly ear. You won't like him much when he's through talking. He understands -- he doesn't like himself all that much, either.

Review: Acting keeps 'Lulu' alive

Despite a few technical downfalls, Kansas University's production of "Lulu" at the Inge Theatre is worth the price of admission. The five-act play by Frank Wedekind tells the story of the title character. Abused and prostituted by her father, Lulu wanders through life using her sexuality as a means to control and discard both men and women alike until meeting an untimely demise at the hands of a notorious serial killer.

Home Harmonies lifts voices to help housing charity

Even the grinches of Lawrence stand to have their hearts warmed this holiday season by the old-fashioned Christmas spirit and traditional carols of Home Harmonies.

'A Kansas Nutcracker' ready for stage

Clara and her visions reawaken for second year of prairie-tinged performance

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, creatures were stirring, even grasshoppers and a mouse. Visions of Delaware Indians, abolitionists and border ruffians will be dancing through the prairie on Thursday when the Lawrence Arts Center opens "A Kansas Nutcracker" to celebrate the holiday season.

Carving out identity

KU librarian chronicles link between books on the frontier and America's self-image

Richard W. Clement was researching books and publishing on the American frontier, but one particular character kept capturing his imagination.

Evening to feature 'elusive' artform

Roger Shimomura guides his last-ever KU performance students to public show

Shocking people is easy. Getting them to stop, watch what might seem like an outlandish spectacle and then walk away thinking about what it means is not.

Saturday, December 6

People

¢ The Boss helps the marching band ¢ King remains hospitalized ¢ Finally, Rimes feels in control

'Angels' transcends TV formula

"Angels in America" (7 p.m. Sunday, HBO) is a television event. And, like any milestone, one approaches it with both happy anticipation and sober obligation.

Presidential race may get 'real'

Showtime considers mock political campaign series

Reality television has made stars of barely dressed people competing for $1 million, singers competing for recording contracts, bachelors and bachelorettes competing for love. So why not political candidates stumping for viewer votes?

Judge lifts film screener ban

A federal judge Friday freed movie distributors to send copies of films to awards voters -- a decision seen as a victory for independent film producers as awards season approaches.

Friday, December 5

Crooners, cavemen continue holiday fare

Christmas may be 20 days away, but the holiday-special season is in full swing. A&E presents the first-ever Christmas-themed "Live by Request" (7 p.m.) concert, featuring Barry Manilow.

Rap, R&B dominate Grammy nominees

Rap and R&B have been consistent chart-toppers for the past few years, but in 2003 they took over pop music -- and on Thursday the Grammy nominations.

Arthur Dodge and the Horsefeathers blaze a new trail

If you mix ginger ale with bourbon and bitters you will get a cocktail known as horsefeathers.

Best bets

'Last Samurai' explores East-West culture clash

It's interesting to examine how Hollywood has viewed Japan recently. Within the past few months, three high-profile films were released that all hinge on a Westerner's perception of the Land of the Rising Sun.

People

¢ Manilow goes live with carols ¢ 'King Kong' could claim Watts ¢ 'Queer Eye' may trigger shopping ¢ Was Limbaugh 'doctor shopping'?

Thursday, December 4

Review: Spy Hunter 2 - PS2, Xbox

Still can't capture that old-time fun...or new-time for that matter

Still can't capture that old-time fun...or new-time for that matter

Review: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Game Boy Advance

Nintendo shows once again it has immense RPG talent

All in all, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga breaks away from the tedious battle commands of most RPG's and uniquely blends action, humor and simultaneous control of both brothers in a great addition to everyone's GBA library.

Review: XIII (thirteen) - PS2, Xbox, Gamecube

After the novel style, it's a lose-lose situation.

Multiplayer maps are uninspired, barren and mostly claustrophobic, leaving much to be desired. You won't encounter any guns you haven't seen before, plotlines you haven't read before or gameplay elements that haven't become stale in the genre. After the novel style, it's a lose-lose situation.

Review: Wrestlemania XIX - Gamecube

As a WWE game, it definitely stands its ground among the best the consoles have to offer.

As a WWE game, it definitely stands its ground among the best the consoles have to offer. I recommend anyone interested in the fighting genre to pick it up as it will please beyond the WWE fanbase.

Holiday comes early for soon-to-be-late sitcom

"The Tracy Morgan Show" (7:30 p.m., NBC) debuted only two nights ago, but will air its Christmas episode tonight. This has got to be some kind of primetime record. Do you get the feeling NBC is trying to burn through this show as quickly as possible?

'Mystic River' named top film of year

National Board of Review also chooses film's star, Sean Penn, as best actor

"Mystic River" wound its way to the top of the National Board of Review's list of the best films of 2003.

People

¢ Paltrow expecting first baby ¢ A glimmer of discontent ¢ Wedding deal brings lawsuit ¢ Happy to be underfoot

Wednesday, December 3

Superscientific

Kansas City's dumpster-diving designers earn corporate, cult clientele

Anyone who caught the MTV Video Music Awards last August might remember a brief animation of a British schoolboy performing this brilliant little rap with a hydraulic-driven Power Wheels truck bouncing in the background. The 15-second ditty introduced the award for Best Rap Video, subjecting an audience of millions to the crooked humor of Kansas City's MK12 motion graphics company.

Elvis to shake up Broadway

Always eager to keep Elvis Presley working, managers of his estate have turned their sights on Broadway. "All Shook Up," a musical commissioned by the Elvis Presley estate and featuring a string of Presley's hit songs, is scheduled to open on Broadway in spring 2005.

People

¢ Geena Davis expecting twins ¢ A date for knighthood ¢ King Center to salute Bono ¢ Rap gets bad rap

Shows plugged with advertising

This column was written on an Apple iMac computer using Microsoft Word. How dumb does that sound? If there's anything that annoys me more than the sound of Trista Rehn's voice it's the cancerous growth of product placement on primetime shows. Not satisfied to saddle us with regular commercials, we now must endure plugs within the programs themselves. Did you ever notice how often Jack hops into a Ford F150 truck on "24," the show brought to you by the Ford F150 truck? "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" offers an hour-long celebration of name-brand skin creams, hair products and even tea shops.

Sundance announces part of 2004 festival lineup

Kevin Bacon and Courtney Cox Arquette are among actors whose films are entered in the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, an annual 11-day movie party staged in Utah.

PS2, Xbox bow to Gamecube

Nintendo announced that its next-gen console stole the show over the holiday weekend

Nintendo announced that its next-gen console stole the show over the holiday weekend

Tuesday, December 2

Burroughs Creek plan reveals county divide

Commission to stay silent on tribute to '60s beat icon

When it comes to naming a creek after beat-generation icon William Burroughs, Douglas County commissioners have a lot of opinions about having no opinion. Monday morning, commissioners failed to reach a decisive conclusion about whether to support efforts to name the creek after Burroughs.

New ABC mob series has 'Fire' in its belly

Fans who like their mob dramas cool, gritty and relatively judgment-free might warm to the atmospheric new series "Line of Fire" (9 p.m., ABC). Produced by Rod Lurie, writer and director of "The Contender," "Fire" unfolds under an eerie eternal twilight, the exhausted light you might find in Stockholm in December.

New Zealand hails 'Return of the King'

New Zealand's usually sleepy capital came awake in a roar of celebration Monday as stars returned for the premiere of the final film in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, parading through the city in open cars flanked by black-shrouded horsemen, orcs and hobbits that inhabit the beloved novels by JRR Tolkien.

People

¢ Recovery slow but sure ¢ Lynch to christen cruise ship ¢ Cultural exchanges urged ¢ Punk icon honored

Monday, December 1

Comedy Central to honor world's funniest with awards

Yet another awards show. It sounds like something the folks at Comedy Central would rather mock than be responsible for.

'Wonderful Life' weakens on stage

Responsibility. Loyalty. Money. Family. Dreams deferred. These are just a few of the recurring themes in the holiday classic "It's a Wonderful Life." The Frank Capra film, nominated for five Academy Awards, tells a story about making do and realizing what truly makes a man rich. The Lawrence Community Theatre opened its musical rendition of the tale Friday and will continue performances for the next two weekends.

'Sex' offers fab, but it's fiction

HBO's "Sex and the City" -- with its hilarious romps through pricey shoes, great sex and numerous Mr. Rights -- has created not just millions of fans throughout the world, but an extravagant image of single life in New York. And an inaccurate one, reports ABC News.

'Wonderful Life' imitation simply scary

Pale imitations of "It's a Wonderful Life" only serve to point up the superiority of the original film. Nancy McKeon ("The Division") stars in the cable fantasy "Comfort and Joy" (7 p.m., Lifetime) as Jane Berry, an ambitious advertising executive. She's a harried, unmarried corporate workaholic, attached to a vain Peter Pan boyfriend who conducts business on his cell phone headset during their Christmas Eve lunch. Suddenly, on the way to an office Christmas party that she's really dreading, she crashes her Jaguar.

Review - Project Gotham 2 - Xbox

This game shines from inside and out and should exist in every Xbox owner's collection. And although I am looking forward to Gran Turismo 4's deep customization, I think Project Gotham 2 has given So

This game shines from inside and out and should exist in every Xbox owner's collection. And although I am looking forward to Gran Turismo 4's deep customization, I think Project Gotham 2 has given Sony a lot to think about.