Thursday, September 30, 2010

Random Pixels experiences a bump from "The U"

Yesterday I tuned into WQAM to listen to Rakontur Film's Billy Corben talk about his latest projects.

I wasn't sure there would be enough material for a post but at the end of the show, Billy dropped a bombshell!

As soon as he was off the air I called him and asked him a few questions. I then posted a short item about him putting his planned sequel to "The U" on hold.

Right after I posted on my blog, I sent Billy the link which he promptly posted to "The U's" Facebook page.

It was only a minute or two before, "The Billy Corben Effect" kicked-in and started ratcheting up my blog's page views.

You can see it in the spike on the right hand side of the graph. The only other sizable jump I've experienced this month happened back on Sept. 14 when one of my posts ended up on Jim Romenesko's blog; a widely-read media news blog. That's the large spike on the left-hand side of the graph.
Click image to enlarge

I'm not sure what kind of traffic Romenesko's blog gets daily but "The U's" Facebook page has almost 100,000 followers. By comparison The Miami Herald's Facebook page has a little over 8,400 followers. Go figure.

Flintstones...50 years later

Today I learned via Rick's South Florida Daily Blog - because SFDB is where I get all my pop culture news - that it's been fifty years since the Flintstones cartoon debuted on TV.

Fifty years. More than half a lifetime. How long is half a lifetime and how much has changed? There are some not-so-subtle clues in the videos below.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Billy Corben puts sequel to "The U" on hold UPDATED

UPDATED: YouTube audio of Corben's appearance on Rosenberg's show below.

"The U's" Billy Corben

Miami filmmaker Billy Corben, producer and director of the highly acclaimed film, "The U," told WQAM's Sid Rosenberg late this afternoon that he is putting a planned sequel to the film on the back burner.

Corben learned earlier this week that the University of Miami is quietly pressuring the distributor of the DVD version of "The U" into removing the "distinctive U logo from the [DVD] box cover."

"There are some really bad people over there," Corben told Rosenberg in an obvious reference to University of Miami higher-ups.

Corben told me by phone after the show that work on the planned sequel had "become more trouble than it's worth."

"The U" premiered late last year.

Corben completed the film despite major interference and roadblocks thrown up by UM officials even before he started filming.

Last February Corben told me of the school's attempts to dissuade him from making "The U."

In 2007, according to Corben, University of Miami Sports Information director Mark Pray told the filmmaker that his project was something the University of Miami did not wish to participate in. Pray went so far as to tell Corben that "you should re-think your project."

Pray was fired from UM earlier this year.

Corben's latest film, "Square Grouper," is set to premiere early next year.

A peek inside the mind of Glenn Beck

New York Times Washington bureau reporter Mark Liebovich has written an 8,100 word piece on Glenn Beck for the New York Times Magazine.

But as one journalist friend of mine likes to say, "When writing about scumbags, you can pretty much get your point across with 1,500 words."

How much more do we really need to know about a guy who has a long history making personal attacks, including making fun of a woman who had a miscarriage?

Or a guy who sees secret "communist and fascist art buried into the exterior design of Rockefeller Center." (see video below)

Given that, why is Beck - who's an admitted pothead and alcoholic - any different than a deranged homeless guy screaming obscenities and gibberish at the top of his lungs on a downtown street corner?

Well, there's one small difference.

The Times article quotes Forbes Magazine as saying that Beck "earned $35 million between June 2009 and June 2010."

So, he's really just another version of a thieving tel-evangelist milking gullible followers charging "$147 for a ticket to see him and Bill O’Reilly perform together at a theater in the round in Westbury, N.Y., on Long Island — part of Beck and O’Reilly’s “Bold and Fresh” tour." Insert quote about no one ever going broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people in this space.

If you don't have time to read all 8,100 words, here are a few paragraphs from the article that sum up Beck his own words:
“I said to someone the other day,” Beck told me, “I am as close today to a complete and total collapse as I was on the first day of recovery.” He calls himself a “recovering dirtbag.” There were many days, he said, when he would avoid the bathroom mirror so he would not have to face himself. He was in therapy with “Dr. Jack Daniels.” He smoked marijuana every day for about 15 years. He fired an underling for bringing him the wrong pen. And, according to a report, he once called the wife of a radio rival to ridicule her — on the air — about her recent miscarriage.

“You get to a place where you disgust yourself,” Beck told me. “Where you realize what a weak, pathetic and despicable person you have become.”
And as I write this, there are over 400 comments reacting to the story on the Times' website including these:
Glenn Beck is a classic example of the freedom of hate speech that is reserved for white males. Imagine a woman commentator with such a wide berth to improvise racially charged rhetoric against the President of the United States. It is no coincidence that Beck was empowered to spit whatever he felt like on January 20, 2009.

I look forward to the day when a media network hires an African American male for $2.7 million to incite violence, and then change his mind a few days later to say that he was only kidding.
And this from a conservative in Florida:
Rowe Farms, Paxton, FL September 29th, 2010, 11:04 am I'm an anti-Obama conservative and favor the Republican side of politics. Yet, whenever Glenn Beck shows up on my television, I can't change the channel fast enough. His religious fervor and his animated overly dramatic way of making mountains from mole-hills are more than I can endure. He, even more than Prosaic Palin (AKA Insipid Sarah), has turned me away from the so-called Tea Party. Is there anyone of substance out there who can serve as spokesperson for the majority of "non-flakes" in this country?

Tracking Tropical Storm Nicole

The Miami Herald has the names of six - count 'em - SIX reporters on their weather story today.

Waiting for a storm - by Jeff Weinsier

But this pic posted by Local 10 reporter Jeff Weinsier on his Facebook page pretty much sums up the "storm" as far as we're concerned.

Cracking Sarah Palin's Da Vinci Code

Last night, Jimmy Kimmel probed a little deeper into the mind - what there is of it - of Sarah Palin.

Hint: it's all about the threes.

If you're pressed for time, skip forward to 2:00 on the video.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Can LeBron James save the Miami Herald? Part II

UPDATED: June 13, 2011 - If you're looking for the Miami Herald / Heat championship ad, click here!


If you're a Miami Herald subscriber and a Heat fan, your hometown paper had you covered this morning.

The Three Kings of South Beach graced the front page....again.

But if you suffer from occasional memory lapses, here they are in an almost identical picture on the front page of the sports section!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Proof that water and alcohol don't mix

A couple of incidents from the weekend police blotter prove that water and alcohol don't mix. And that you shouldn't go swimming in your boxer shorts.
DANIA BEACH — After hours of celebrating at his own backyard birthday party, Timothy Jordan offered to bet $50 that he could swim across the broad canal that runs behind his home.

"No one took him up on it," said Eddie Jean King, Jordan's partner of 20 years and one of about 30 people at the party. "But he said, 'Well, I'm going to do it anyway.' "

Jordan stripped down to his boxer shorts, stepped into the water and swam out into the darkness just before 2 a.m. Sunday.

He died two days before his 46th birthday
Sean Cronin

And then there's this item from the Miami Herald.
A Miami federal prosecutor was arrested Sunday afternoon at a local bar after a young girl and her mother accused him of being indecent when he went swimming in his boxers at the establishment's pool overlooking the Miami River and downtown.

Sean Cronin, 35, (above), was charged with two misdemeanors -- lewd and lascivious exhibition and nonviolent obstruction of justice -- by a Miami police officer as he tried to leave Finnegan's River, 401 SW Third Ave., according to an arrest affidavit.

Cronin, a Boston native who was watching the New England Patriots game on the big-screen TV at the outdoor bar, decided to go swimming in his boxer shorts. The girl and her mother were at the pool.

According to the arrest form, the girl and her mother told police that Cronin's genitalia were exposed as he exited the pool. `The victim's mother, who also witnessed the incident, then covered her daughter's eyes,'' the form said.
The Patriots beat Buffalo.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Meet Sharon Waxman

Sharon Waxman is a former New York Times reporter who now runs a website called The Wrap which specializes in covering the business side of Hollywood.

She writes a column for her site called WaxWord.

She apparently spends the rest of her time complaining about her competitors.

She's also one half of a long-running Hollywood cage match with media heavy-hitter Nikki Finke, who has renamed Waxman's site, The Crap.

Last April Waxman used up a good chunk of her 15 minutes when she accused Michael Wolff of the website, of stealing content from her website. "Just give us proper credit and linkage, or don't use our content," Waxman told Wolff.

Wolff fired back with this tidbit: "a quick search shows her site doing even more blatantly and systematically what she accuses us of doing—taking a free-ride on other people’s content. There’s something else I turned up: When Waxman was a reporter at the New York Times, she wrote an over-the-top laudatory article about how Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz was making aggressive investments in the entertainment business. Waxman and the Wrap, in surely the appearance of trading the Times’ positive coverage for personal gain, became one of Schultz’s investments."

This week, Waxman's hypocrisy hit close to home when I became a victim of what she has accused Wolff of doing.

While doing a search on Google, I found one of my copyrighted images on The Wrap.

Waxman had lifted an image I licensed to Miami New Times and used it on her site to illustrate a story about Gerald Posner. She never asked asked my permission or gave me a photo credit.

It was an image I shot earlier this year of Miami Beach author Gerald Posner.

I sent her an email demanding she remove the image which she did. I also invoiced her for use of the image. (Google has cached the page here.)

My image is gone from Waxman's aite but what remains is irony so thick you can cut it with a knife: Sharon Waxman, who some have accused of being ethically challenged, accuses others of stealing from her and then illustrates a story about theft with an image she stole.

Now that's chutzpah!
Postscript: Waxman's not the only one who believes it's OK to steal stuff. People Magazine recently got caught with their mitts in the cookie jar.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Glorifying criminal activity

Who among us, as kids on a rainy summer day, didn't vent a little pent up frustration with some crayons?

One day when you were 4, Mom left you alone in your bedroom while she did the laundry. Bored, you did a little redecorating, using every color in a box of Crayolas.

Later, Mom walked in and took a look at the Technicolor walls and hit the ceiling.

You got a lecture on what kind of behavior would be expected of you from that day forward. As an adult, you still tell your friends, "Mom was right." And that applies to about 95% of us.

What happened to the other 5%?

About half of them grew up and became "graffiti artists." Criminals, who cost governments nationwide about $15 billion yearly to clean up their "artwork." In some neighborhoods, graffiti lowers property values.

And the other half of that 5%, got jobs at various newspapers and now write stories that glamorize this criminal behavior. They are accomplices to criminal activity.

This week, Miami New Times writer Gus Garcia-Roberts has penned a loving, posthumous portrait of one former graffiti "artist," he calls a star. Jonathan Corso, alias Ynot, was killed last July after getting in a fight in the parking lot of a sleazy strip club where he was celebrating his 21st birthday. His killer has not been caught.

With florid prose, Garcia-Roberts paints a picture of a loving father with a genius IQ who started on the path to criminal activity early on and as an adult, spent his spare time defacing public property.
At age 16, Jonathan dropped out of Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines. Juvenile judges grew tired of seeing the same scraggly rebel in their courtrooms. They started throwing the book at him: First, 21 days in a detention facility. Then, nine months in an academy for juvenile delinquents, called the Bay Point School, in Cutler Bay.

Jonathan never really seemed to mind the kid-jail stints. He called the nine-month academy "camp." He was on the debate team and became the resident graffiti guru. Administrators let him spray-paint on wooden boards, and when football star Jason Taylor visited Bay Point, Jonathan taught him how to do his name in bubble letters.
Their heavy bombing spree, which lasted from early 2003 to late 2005, has all melted together like a long, surreal dream in Dose's memory. Nearly three years of Ynot and Dose heading out in his "taggin' wagon," an elephantine white 1991 Chevy Caprice, every night — Thanksgiving and Christmas included — and climbing heavens and billboards by ladders and slats, hopping fences, running from cops, getting beatdowns from cops, spending nights in lockup, and then racking more spray-paint cans from supermarkets and hardware stores the next day to do it all again. They carried a notebook full of spots they already hit or had their eye on.

Graffiti writers trade their stories like currency, and Dose has a few good ones. Like the sweltering night when he and Ynot were scaling a billboard off State Road 84 (Miami-Dade sign owners are smart enough to lift the ladders far off the ground, but in Broward, they still haven't figured it out) and a cop happened to stop his cruiser directly underneath them to stake out speeders. The pair barely breathed for two hours, Dose dropping sweat onto Ynot, until the officer finally moved on. They did the billboard anyway. "We had a motto," Dose says. "As long as you get the piece up, it doesn't matter if you're busted afterwards. The job is done."
Garcia-Roberts isn't the only one at Miami New Times who portrays these scumbags as folk heroes.

Last year New Times editor Chuck Strouse wrote of some I-95 graffiti perpetrated by Ynot and his crew, Buk Fifty: "Now, El Jefe is no fan of graffiti generally, and we know it takes a lot to clean up, but this is very cool. Get on the highway to see it before it's gone. And we salute you, Buk Fifty.

Strouse and Garcia-Robert employ the same kind of topsy-turvy logic the friends of Ynot are guilty of using.

His friends, we learn, are mourning Ynot's death by "painting tributes throughout South Florida," according to the Sun-Sentinel. And in what has to be the ultimate tribute to convoluted thinking, Ynot's friends "say they hope their work — which is mostly done illegally — puts added pressure on police to make an arrest in the case."

But the boys at New Times aren't alone in singing the praises of this crap.

Last year, the Miami Herald headlined a story about a book on the graffiti sub-culture, calling graffiti artists "misunderstood."

And in another Herald story last year on the death of one graffiti "writer" who "lost his footing while attempting to tag a traffic sign overhanging the Palmetto Expressway near Bird Road," writer Andrea Torres told readers that some graffiti artists are getting an early start. Some parents are apparently breeding new graffiti writers like so many cockroaches.
Keli Schneider, 25, a former writer who tagged using the name KELS, likes to take her 7-year-old son, Christian, to hip-hop parties. Christian's graffiti tag is KID KAOS.

''Crayons are boring. Spray painting is better,'' he said at a recent party in Little River. ``I am going to get good.''

''He paints [on legal surfaces] with his uncles and some of my friends,'' Schneider said. ``I know there are risks when you do graffiti, and I will warn him about them when he gets older.''
''I can't control if my son one day decides to take risks like him,'' Schneider said. ``I am not going to stop my son from doing it. Maybe one day, he will be famous. The sky is the limit.''
Yeah, right!

Torres balances her piece with some sobering facts: "Miami-Dade spends about $122,000 covering up graffiti on public property. Hialeah spent about $50,000, and the state Department of Transportation about $80,000."

But you wont find any of that in Garcia-Roberts' story. Garcia-Roberts, who says he finds graffiti writers "fascinating," told me by phone that he didn't want to write a story "from a judgmental perspective."

Sadly, graffiti isn't going to disappear anytime soon. One graffiti writer says, (in the video below), that she doesn't care if it takes taxpayer money to clean up graffiti: "I'm a taxpayer, too"

But, why would anyone want to quit? Especially when they have the crew at Miami New Times watching their backs.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why we love lawyers: Reason #45

Who knew divorce could be so easy? Or fun?

Don't "give thousands of dollars to some piece of crap three-piece suit downtowm." Call this guy, who of course, is a piece of crap Florida lawyer!

-via Gawker

Random Pixels recognizes...

....WSVN's 7 Sky Force photographer Ralph Rayburn for some excellent chase video, the likes of which we haven't seen here in South Florida in quite a while!

Miami Herald story here.

CBS4 also has video here.

Stuff we like

Jon Stewart in a minute twenty-five.

While you were at work yesterday, Jon Stewart appeared on Oprah.

The Daily Beast has boiled down his half-hour appearance to a very tidy 1:25.

We like how he describes Fox News Channel's bat-shit crazy Glenn Beck at about 1:16.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday night with Diana Krall

"Popsicle Toes" ... are always froze.

...and a beautiful rendition of "Fly Me to the Moon"

Discontent at One Herald Plaza

"There are people walking around the newsroom who look like they're about to throw up." -Miami Herald staffer in an email last Thursday after the paper announced yet another round of staff cuts and furloughs.

A few months ago, I started a little feature on this blog called "Anders Watch."

It was my way of highlighting what I saw as the continued dumbing down by Miami Herald executive editor Anders Gyllenhaal, of Miami's last remaining, reliable information source. There may be others responsible, but Gyllenhaal's in charge.

It now appears that I'm not alone in that opinion.

Broward New Times blogger Bob Norman has posted the contents of an email  that was written and signed by some of the Herald's most respected and gifted staffers.
We're hoping to start a discussion about the quality of our front page, and the newspaper in general, by being blunt: We barely recognize it these days.

Local news does not have to be shallow and cheesy. The readers who still buy our product aren't buying it because they care what [reader] 'Gordon Geck' has to say.

They buy it because they can read about what their city and county governments are doing in thoughtful prose by Matt and Martha, and Chuck; because they want to know something about the lives of their neighbors in obits by Ellie; because they care deeply about their children's schools; because they want David Smiley to tell them about the happenings at Miami Beach City Hall in a lively tone; because they can find out about their relatives' welfare in Haiti from Jacqueline Charles; and because they can't put down those features by Audra and Robert Samuels.
We wish to make clear at the outset that we are not, in any way, attacking our colleagues, whose work and dedication we value. The direction this paper is taking has been dictated at the highest levels. Of course, we respect the authority of management to make vital decisions on the paper's content and direction.

We simply want a place at the table, because we, too, care deeply about The Miami Herald.
Some of the points made by the staffers in their email echo points that I've tried to raise here on my blog.

"Earlier this summer," [says the memo] "we printed several letters from readers who said ... one verbatim ... "enough is enough'' with the front-page obsession over where LeBron James lives, eats, socializes and is seen. We are told such sentiments have become commonplace in the Letters to the Editor basket."

I wrote about Herald's fascination with LeBron back in July.

But much of the staffers' ire is directed at the person at the paper who made the decision last Sunday to
"devote... the week's most desirable newspaper real estate to a series of tweets from our readers about 9/11.

Click here to enlarge.

We know almost nothing about these people. The names could be real, but maybe not. It doesn't really matter in Twitter world. So, in a story that begins on the top of our front page, we have 'geomens' and 'Karl B Gordon Geck' and 'Neko-do' and 'Miami Herald user' and 'Afro-Cheez' offering such trenchant and profound observations as: 'I was sleeping,' and 'In my car...Coming home from the gym,' and 'Standing at my kitchen sink.' "

"Is there any reason why our dwindling pool of readers would care about any of this?
Speaking of dumb front page story placement...I wonder why they didn't mention this?

Just a bit of inside baseball from someone who has friends at the Herald. It's extraordinary that this email was leaked in the first place. While many at the paper are frustrated, it's rare that their frustration gets aired so publicly.

Norman posted the email late on Friday, so there hasn't been much discussion in the blogosphere....yet.

(Take the time to read the entire email here.)

"Rick" at the South Florida Daily Blog offers his thoughts: in a post titled "But Will They Listen?
Probably one of the most distressing things to watch in a workplace is a group of talented, motivated workers who want to do better and who are willing to give it their all, battle a management staff who just doesn't get it as they continue to steer the company down a dead end road.

This is where the Herald and many major newspapers are at today. There are a lot of accomplished writers out there who are ready to work hard if it means that they can keep writing for a living. Unfortunately, they are being led by inept and incompetent managers and owners who either don't have the tools or, as in the Sun-Sentinel's case, the inclination, to fix whatever is ailing their newspaper.

I applaud those Herald writers that laid it on the table in this letter. But considering the lack of energy that the Herald bigwigs have shown us thus far, I hold little hope that anything of substance will come of it
Rick's sentiments are backed up by one Herald employee who has told me in the past that staffers have been complaining to management for years about the issues raised in the email.

They haven't listened in the past, so why would anyone expect things to change now?

Brooklyn has a 'possum problem!

So there I was, on the website of the New York Post...which is where I go to get all my Urban Wildlife Running Amok stories.

And they've got a great one today!

Seems like Brooklyn is overrun with 'possums!
In a bizarre attempt to outwit Mother Nature, city officials introduced beady-eyed opossums in Brooklyn years ago to scarf down rats running amok in the borough, according to local officials.

Surprise: Operation opossum didn't work.

Not only do wily rats continue to thrive, but the opossums have become their own epidemic, with bands of the conniving creatures sauntering through yards, plundering garbage cans and noshing on fruit trees.

The opossums were set free in local parks and underneath the Coney Island boardwalk, with the theory being they would die off once the rats were gobbled up, said Councilman Domenic Recchia (D-Brooklyn).
I guess Domenic forgot about the fact that 'possums - like just about all mammals - love to screw!

My friend Todd Hardwick at Pesky Critters is South Florida's preeminent Urban Wildlife Expert. He can attest to the screwing part!

In his more than 30 years as a trapper, he's tangled with backyard 'possums and raccoons, errant alligators and crocodiles, foxes living on golf courses and snakes living under houses, just to name a few. And while Todd does a great job; as far as I can tell - despite his best efforts - we still got plenty of critters here in South Florida.

I called Todd today to get his reaction to Brooklyn's 'possum problem. Said Todd, "Don't mess with Mother Nature!"

So for my friends in Brooklyn; there's bad news and good news.

The bad news? Given the fact that Todd hasn't made any kind of dent in our 'possum population here in South Florida in 30 years, it looks like you and your furry new friends are going to have to learn to coexist.

The good news? You can always eat more 'possum!

Here's a great recipe for 'possum and fixins.

1 fat possum
Salt & pepper
2 cloves garlic
2 c. water
5 strips bacon
2 lg. onions
1 tbsp. celery leaves
1 lg. can mushrooms
5 lg. sweet taters, cut in halves
3 tbsp. lard
1 tbsp. chopped parsley

Nail head of possum to a board, just a little larger than the possum. Skin it. Make paste of lard, salt, pepper and rub over entire possum. Fill cavity with onions, garlic, chopped parsley and celery leaves. Place possum and board on rack in roasting pan. Lay 5 strips of bacon across breast. Add water and mushrooms. Add water as needed. Surround the possum with sweet taters. Leave uncovered.

Bake in oven (300 to 350 degrees) until tender. Baste every 15 minutes. To determine when done, pull leg away from body.

When done, throw away the possum and taters and eat the board.

Random Pixels recognizes...

...The Miami Herald's Marc Caputo and Scott Hiaasen for their excellent report in today's paper on Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott's time as head of Columbia/HCA.

Their report examines Scott's continuing denials that he had no idea his company was committing Medicare fraud.
Rick Scott has said he would have immediately stopped his former hospital company from committing Medicare fraud — if only "somebody told me something was wrong."

But he was cautioned year after year that the financial incentives Columbia/HCA offered doctors could run afoul of a federal anti-kickback law that seeks to limit conflicts of interest in Medicare and Medicaid.

Scott says he didn't do anything wrong and wanted to fight the charges long before the hospital board settled the case without trial. "I believed we were doing the right things," he said, though Scott has acknowledged he was focused more on buying hospitals and performance than compliance.

In responding to questions about Columbia/HCA, Scott often notes how the hospital chain reduced national health care inflation and costs, and increased patient satisfaction. As for any wrongdoing, he often says "I'm responsible. … I should have hired more auditors."

It's unclear how hiring more auditors would have persuaded Scott that some of the doctor payments were not legal — especially when he either discounted or didn't receive the warnings of company attorneys and the stockholder reports.

In June, he told a Times/Herald reporter that he never met with Jerre Frazier, a company attorney, who said he warned Scott of potential compliance issues.

"I don't believe that ever happened," Scott said. "If somebody told me something was wrong, I would have done everything to fix it."

Frazier insists the meeting took place, albeit toward the end of Scott's reign at HCA.

Scott has said that he was never interviewed by the FBI, nor was he criminally charged.

Yet Scott was scheduled to be interviewed by investigators, according to media reports at the time. During a July 27, 2000, deposition in a civil lawsuit involving an unrelated contract dispute, Scott refused to answer questions by invoking his right to Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination 75 times — a maneuver that can be legally applied only when the witness suspects he is the target of criminal investigation.
Read the story here on the Herald's website or at the St. Petersburg Times.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Coming Monday!

Coming Monday!

Everyone knows that Carl Fisher was the genius behind Miami Beach. But almost no one remembers Steve Hannagan.

On Monday, my story of how Steve Hannagan helped Carl Fisher put Miami Beach on the map will appear on

I don't want to reveal too much about the story but I will say that the word "sex" appears in the story more than a dozen times. You've been warned!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The way we were

click image to enlarge

from the Miami News, June 15, 1984

Ahhh, South Beach in the 80's!

Grace Jones hurts ankle at Club Z.

Luckily for her, the club's PR director, Wendy Doherty, just happened to be close by and administered first aid using a time-honored home remedy of an ice pack and soothing champagne bath!

(Doherty is now a Realtor Associate on South Beach.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

The search is over

Miami Herald photographer Tim Chapman

A years-long search by Miami Herald photographer Tim Chapman may be coming to a happy and poignant end.

Chapman, and Herald reporter Luisa Yanez, have been searching for at least five years for a baby that was part of the Mariel boatlift.

Says Chapman, "I've always wondered what happened to that kid."

Mariel refugees /Miami Herald photo by Tim Chapman

Chapman photographed the baby, (above) at Eglin Air Force base in May 1980.

On Sunday, Yanez wrote that efforts to find the boy had failed.

But today, according to my sources, a relative of the boy - who's now a young man in his 30's - called the paper and gave Yanez his name and contact information.

Chapman is scheduled to meet the young man on Thursday and have his picture taken with him.

Keep checking the Miami Herald for updates, on what will no doubt be, the "feel-good" story of the year.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Florida Republicans get political on the 9th Anniversary of 9/11

from the St. Petersburg Times political blog, The Buzz
Thousands of Republicans turned out to a political rally in Sarasota featuring Marco Rubio and Rick Scott today. The timing, on Sept. 11, drew criticism from the two unions supporting Alex Sink for governor, The Florida Professional Firefighers, and the Police Belevolent Association.

PBA President John Rivera: “Floridians are gathering together today to honor the sacrifices Americans made during the unthinkable tragedy of 9/11. On this day, we call upon Rick Scott to put aside his negative and partisan attacks and instead show respect to the American lives lost and strength we have all shown to carry on. Today is about honoring every American and our prevailing spirit which unites us and makes our country great.”
From CNN:
The overtly partisan rally, at which campaign stickers were handed out alongside barbecue sandwiches and $3 beers, was called “offensive” by the state’s firefighters union.

"On a day that should be spent remembering those we lost nine years ago today, including 343 FDNY members, and commemorating the brave service of our firefighters, police and first responders, it is disappointing that instead Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, and Pam Bondi are spending their day in a show of partisan attacks and name calling," said Gary Rainey, president of the Florida Professional Firefighters.

While each candidate took time to honor the dead, none shied away from outright attacks against the opposing party.

Asked about the criticism from the firefighters union before he took the stage, GOP gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott told CNN that the 9/11 anniversary “is a day to respect the individuals who lost their lives that day.” Pressed a second time about the political nature of the event, Scott repeated his answer.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stuff we like

We like Nissan's new polar bear ad, despite the fact that it's getting mixed reviews.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Random Pixels Quote of the Day

Last week, USA Today, announced it was cutting about 9% of its workforce.

For years, many large hotel chains dropped a free copy of the paper outside guests' rooms. But no more.

Seems hotels are cutting back on a paper that guests weren't bothering to read anyway.


"Not surprisingly, the newspaper ritual became less prevalent as hotels began rolling out another, more modern amenity: high-speed Internet access," writes Adam Hochberg. Hochberg quotes writer Tim Winship:
"I usually just kick it [the paper] inside when I go out in the morning," Winship said. "Then, when I come back, I bend over and put it in the trash can."

A Random Pixels random thought

Just wondering how the Miami Herald justifies keeping a dance critic on staff - that apparently no one reads - when what it really needs are a few good editors.

Then maybe, just maybe, incomprehensible crap like this wouldn't make it into print.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Save the date

Autumn in South Florida; there's a nip in the air, the leaves are changing color to brilliant yellows and oranges and the squirrels are stocking up on acorns.

OK, so this is Florida and I made all that up.

But fall is approaching and that can only mean one thing.

The Miami Beach Outdoor Antique Market on Lincoln Road is back.

The organizers of the event have released the 2010-2011 dates. I've posted them in the right-hand column.

The first show is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 10..

And you know what that means.

For starters, some of the best people watching in South Florida.

People watching outside the Victoria's Secret store

And lunch at some of Lincoln Road's fine restaurants like The Cafe at Books & Books; a long-time Random Pixels supporter.

Miami favs tells you what else to expect.

As for the antique show itself, more than 100 vendors offer everything from vintage one-of-a-kind clothing items to old, hard-to-find magazines and books, jewelry, bric-a-brac, tchotchkes and, of course, antiques.

So, save the date, come early, find a good parking spot...and have fun.

And don't forget to bring the dog!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Miami Herald celebrates 40 years of animal cruelty

The Miami Herald, which executive editor Anders Gyllenhaal has single-handedly destroyed in his short tenure, printed one of its most shameful puff pieces ever today, and in the process gave the Miami Seaquarium tens of thousands of dollars worth of free advertising.

"Lolita's greatest feat may be surviving at Miami Seaquarium for 40 years," read the headline on Saturday's story about the Miami Seaquarium's killer whale Lolita.

For the record, Lolita swims "in the smallest killer whale tank in North America." A tank that's "about one-tenth the size of those at SeaWorld [animal parks."]

But Herald writer Robert Samuels barely touches on that issue in his story; an issue that has angered animal rights activists for years.

Instead he quotes Seaquarium curator Robert Rose: ``This is her home. It's the only home she's known for 40 years.''

Well, that makes it alright, I guess.

Back in February, it was Rose who insisted that Lolita was "happy."

Samuels does try to balance his piece with quotes from those who say that Lolita should be released, but the overall tone of his story pushes the notion is that the animal is "happy." "

"Lolita swims still, in this same tank, never giving a clue that she'd want anything else," writes Samuels, who like curator Rose, is apparently able to read Lolita's mind.

And Samuels never mentions that the Miami Seaquarium is one of the lowest rated tourist attractions in South Florida.

To be fair, the Herald has addressed Lolita's captivity over the years.

But until someone at the Seaquarium decides that it's time to end the cruelty, Lolita will continue to be exploited. And the Miami Herald - until it gets a new editor with a spine - will continue to be the Seaquarium's most enthusiastic and willing accomplice in perpetuating that cruelty.

Saturday night with Paul Simon

Two of my faves from The Rhythm of the Saints

Thursday, September 02, 2010

A Random Pixels random thought

The Marlins shouldn't have any trouble filling up that new stadium if they can make this happen every other game.

["Nyger] Morgan mixed it up with the Marlins in a bench-clearing brawl on Wednesday night that featured actual fighting — a rarity in the majors — along with enough flying punches, clotheslines and post-fight posturing to satisfy the pro wrestling crowd.

"Honestly, it looked like something straight out of Mortal Kombat."

All Sarah, all the time

Some good news this morning for those of you who get sick to your stomach at the suggestion that Sarah Palin might run for president.

New York magazine makes "The Case for Why Sarah Palin Won’t Run for President."
“I don't think she's going to run for anything,” added another adviser. “My reasoning is as follows: She hated what was happening in public office. She was getting pilloried, she was going broke, she really didn't like it — it's why she left. She hated her life. She hated it. Now she has the world by the tail. She's speaking to adoring crowds. Maybe only 20 percent of the people like her, but they adore her. I would be stunned if she does it. I would give it 90 percent probability she doesn't run. ... She's smart enough to know the chances of getting elected is very, very slim. And she will get pilloried in the process. She likes her life up there, now she has the money she needs. She has the best of both worlds.”
But for those of you who just can't get enough of Sarah, there's a great read in the October issue of Vanity Fair that delves into Palin's Jekyll/Hyde personality.
On the 2008 campaign trail, one close aide recalls, it was practically impossible to persuade Palin to take a moment to thank the kitchen workers at fund-raising dinners. During the campaign, Palin lashed out at the slightest provocation, sometimes screaming at staff members and throwing objects. Witnessing such behavior, one aide asked Todd Palin if it was typical of his wife. He answered, “You just got to let her go through it… Half the stuff that comes out of her mouth she doesn’t even mean.” When a campaign aide gingerly asked Todd whether Sarah should consider taking psychiatric medication to control her moods, Todd responded that she “just needed to run and work out more.” Her anger kept boiling over, however, and eventually the fits of rage came every day. Then, just as suddenly, her temper would be gone. Palin would apologize and promise to be nicer. Within hours, she would be screaming again. At the end of one long day, when Palin was mid-tirade, a campaign aide remembers thinking, “You were an angel all night. Now you’re a devil. Where did this come from?”
It's obvious that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe that Sarah Palin is unqualified to be president. So, why all the fascination with her?

I think this comment left on New York mag's story explains it best: "People are 'fascinated' by her in the way the people are fascinated by the homeless man [on the street] who screams out answers to the voices inside his head."

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Stuff we like

Nothing much impresses the kids at the blog Gawker.

But they call this short film - which was put together by a group of German filmmakers - "the best home movie of a New York visit you'll ever see."

-via Gawker

THE BEAT OF NEW YORK from tim hahne on Vimeo.