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February 13, 2008

Pencils up


The 100-day writers strike is officially over (and there was much rejoicing!) though it's tough to say that pencils ever really were down, if you count all the blogging, essays and op-ed pieces that appeared regularly on the Interwebs, in magazines, fliers, skits, wild postings, newspapers and any other available real estate.

Not that these will be the last such dispatches from the front line -- also known as, what we did on our winter "vacation" -- but a crop of first-person stories that ran in this morning's editorial section of the L.A. Times recount tales of vacuum-packed premium beef delivered by mail, infections (of all types) from the rigors of picketing, and semi-naked "Guitar Hero III" thrashing. And a haiku!

Worth a look.


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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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