Archives: May 2009
Natasha Vargas-Cooper is following the murder trial of Jesse James Hollywood, whose alleged murder of San Fernando teen Nick Markowitz nine years ago was the basis for Nick Cassavetes‘ film “Alpha Dog.” Vargas-Cooper is covering the proceedings with a unique perspective:
I grew up with Nick Markowitz. We had a three-day hand-holding affair the summer of 7th grade. He was a part of my tight circle of goofy theater kid friends who were transformed into a traumatized fraternity after his murder.
In the summer of 2000, Nick’s older brother Ben owed a $1,200 drug debt to Hollywood. Ben and Jesse- who had played in Little League together- were now feuding.
In a haphazard plan to exact revenge and ransom, Hollywood and his friends kidnapped Nick, who was 15. The boys took Nick to Santa Barbara, where they partied, hung out with girls. Hollywood consulted a retired attorney about the circumstances. Instead of possibly facing a life-sentence for aggravated kidnapping, it was decided that they would kill Nick and make it look as though he disappeared. Ryan Hoyt, also in debt to Hollywood, and now on death row, volunteered to fire the gun.
This is the first article in a short series Vargas-Cooper is writing for The Awl, with the next installment coming in about 10 days time.
From their site:
I’m a Blogger… Get Me Out of Here! is a competition based on NBC and Granada USA’s “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here”. We pit bloggers against each other in a contest to see who can survive to the final round, and win a trip to live blog behind the scenes at the I’m a Celebrity set in Costa Rica!
The sadist in us really wants to see New Jersey native, Krakauer in a Central American jungle. So vote him up here. Good times.
Previously on FBLA: TVNewser Comes to LA
While so called “friends” head for the hills when we whip out our screenplay, our dog patiently sits through every impromptu reading. And our pooch is not the only good listener of the canine persuasion. Neon Tommy has an adorable report on educational program Beach Animals Reading with Kids, or B.A.R.K.
Awful Library Books is a marvelous little blog by a couple of frustrated librarians. The blog features books currently on the shelves of libraries that “are so old, obsolete, awful or just plain stupid that we are horrified that people might be actually checking these items out and depending on the information.”
A particularly inspiring find: Careers in a Library, published in 1978.
The latest issue of alternative newsweekly New Haven Advocate has been written almost entirely by freelance writers in India. The experiment was inspired by the online newspaper Pasadena Now, which a couple years back outsourced Pasadena City Hall coverage to writers in India, as well as the slash-and-burn cost-cutting efforts taking place in the newspaper industry as a whole. Their verdict:
If our owners want to replace us with Indians, all we can say is good luck! If they find locating, hiring and keeping after these writers half the challenge we did, they might think twice about replacing us. Far from giving us a week off, it took the staffs of all three Advocate/Weekly papers to assign, edit, manage and assemble this project.
Stylebook marketing manager Colleen Newvine tweets answers to questions about grammar on – wait for it – Twitter. It was the grammar dead zone – but now Newvine is there and well – she really classes up the joint.
In response to the most common question: Web site remains two words. Also, e-mail keeps the hyphen.
Uhm. Ok. Err ‘okay’.
Previously on FBLA: Twitter and ‘Working on My Novel’
The video is here.
David Wright tries to explain,”The answer has something to do with irony and the internet.”