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Congratulations to Andy Murray, whose victory at Wimbledon has brought glory to Scotland, regardless of what a headline writer at the New York Times thinks…

Congratulations to Andy Murray, whose victory at Wimbledon has brought glory to Scotland, regardless of what a headline writer at the New York Times thinks…

Just stumbled across this video on YouTube. Always loved this song but never saw this particular clip. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell just radiate charisma.

I’ll never forget the very first time I popped Bobby Bland’s album “Two Steps from the Blues" into my CD player. I was completely blown away. The whole thing was so staggeringly beautiful — the songs, the arrangements and, most of all, Bland's aching, contemplative, dignified voice. It was as if the man existed on some sort of elevated emotional plane that the rest of us weren't privy to. I know that sounds corny, but that's how I really felt. Still do. Rest in peace, sir.

"OK, one more time Vlad. As you leave the ballet, a reporter will approach you and your wife. The reporter will pretend to make the off-hand observation that it’s rare to see the two of you out together. After that, the reporter will claim there are rumors that the two of you don’t live together. Then you will pretend to be mildly surprised by the question and turn to your wife. Then the two of you will break the news together. Just act natural. Any questions?"

A TV news report previewing the George Zimmerman trial said the judge presiding over the case is a ‘no-nonsense judge.’ I wonder if anyone has ever reported that a judge is a big fan of nonsense.
A friend on Facebook

When I was a little kid, I always figured that actors were just being exaggerated versions of themselves in front of the camera. Like, say, Jean Stapleton on “All in the Family” — she might not have actually been from Queens herself, but that was basically who she was in real life, I thought to myself. Then I saw a TV interview with the person I’d only known as Edith Bunker and got the shock of my life. R.I.P. Ms. Stapleton and thank you.

Merely doing your job does not make you ‘an American hero’

The New York Times has an interesting story about Peter Butler, head of the endocrinology department at UCLA. Butler was hired by pharma giant Merck to test the company’s new diabetes drug. But rather than provide clinical evidence of the drug’s effectiveness, his studies raised questions about whether the drug might heighten the risk of pancreatic cancer, much to the chagrin of Merck.
It’s an important story given that diabetes drugs generate $9 billion in annual sales.

But the tone of the story annoys me to no end. It makes Butler out to be a figure of towering integrity and even quotes someone describing him as “an American hero” and “a rugged individualist.” For doing his job? Don’t we expect that of people anymore? To paraphrase Chris Rock, you’re not supposed to be corrupt, you low-expectation-having motherf*cker.

Stumbled across this interview with Michael Penn at Comic Con. The kid conducting the interview sounds terrified but Penn gives him one thoughtful answer after another. I’ve always been a big fan of his music. Seems like he’s a nice guy too.

We were out for a walk and happened to find ourselves near the Brooklyn Museum, so we decided to stop in about an hour before closing. So glad we did, because we wound up seeing an exhibition devoted to the works of El Anatsui. The Nigeria-based Ghanaian artist takes scrap material (the tops of tin cans, copper wire, bottle caps, etc.) and uses them to create amazing pieces of abstract art. Every one of his works feels like it’s in motion. “Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui" will be at the museum through Aug. 4.

Sure, this was probably staged. But hell, it’s still funny.

Neil Finn has made brilliant music throughout his entire career — with Split Enz, Crowded House, the Finn Brothers and Pajama Club. But I always felt that his 2001 solo album “One Nil" (reconfigured and released in the U.S. as "One All”) was the best work he’s ever done. This video shows Neil, Wendy & Lisa and the rest of his band performing “Don’t Ask Why” around the time of the recording sessions. And there’s more to come: he’s working on his next solo album.

Johnny Marr was on Fallon the other night. For a web exclusive, they got him to perform the Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now.” Words fail.

I’ve long thought that George Jones did his best singing on all those records he made with producer Billy Sherrill. Always loved this song. Rest in peace, sir.