Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger Dead At 28

Heath Ledger was found in his SoHo, New York, apartment on January 22, 2008. The 28-year-old actor was found naked, sprawled out on the floor, with prescription sleeping pills on the nightstand by his housekeeper at roughly 3:30 p.m.

Heath Ledger, though he had appeared in a number of other quality films, was nominated to receive the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his groundbreaking role as a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain. Other notable roles occupied by Heath Ledger include his first role in Clowning Around (1992), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), The Patriot (2000), A Knight's Tale (2001), Monster's Ball (2001), Four Feathers (2002), Lords of Dogtown (2005), and The Brothers Grimm (2005).

Though Heath Ledger had established himself long ago, and despite the fact that many consider his role in Brokeback Mountain his breakout gig, he was perhaps about to embark on his most exciting ride as an actor to date. The Dark Knight, sequel to 2005's Batman Begins, is set for release in July 2008, and Heath Ledger portrays the infamous Joker. While many critics question Heath Ledger's ability to top Jack Nicholson's Joker, the previews that are available throughout the internet prove Heath's chops.

Heath Ledger's Australian peers have emerged to give condolences to his family, such as Nicole Kidman, who has stated, "What a terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to Heath's family." Early reports that claimed that Heath Ledger was found in Mary-Kate Olsen's New York apartment have been retracted. Though there are no outward signs of suicide, police have not ruled it out as a possibility. Heath's ex-girlfriend and mother to his 2-year-old daughter, Michelle Williams, was reported to have boarded a plane in Utah to fly to New York once she heard the tragic news. Also, Naomi Watts, another Heath Ledger ex, pulled out of a press junket. Family, friends, and acquaintances have said that Heath Ledger appeared healthy and well in the weeks leading up to his death.

Still, not to detract from Heath Ledger's talent, but as with every celebrity death, the press comes out in droves to praise and hail the actor or singer, postmortem. If Heath had disappeared within the next couple of years, would anyone have missed him? Certainly, he didn't have the ability to draw a crowd or cause the media to swoon like other A-listers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rolling Stone Cover to Cover: The First 40 Years

What started in 1967 as an “underground” newspaper that embraced the hippie subculture while maintaining journalistic professionalism, Rolling Stone has long since become the authority on what’s relevant in music, entertainment and left-wing politics. And although Rolling Stone has made its share of mistakes with regards to its cover (read: Zack Efron, Fall Out Boy, King Kong, Borat, Avril Lavigne, The Rock, and the six-cover issue featuring ‘Nsync – and that’s just since 2000), it’s the cover that’s the coveted spot that often tells up-and-comers that they’ve arrived.

In 2007, Rolling Stone issued three unique issues that celebrated its 40 years of existence; and the issues must have been a smash because now the respected publication has released Rolling Stone Cover to Cover: The First 40 Years. Cover to Cover is a simple, easy-to-use DVD-ROM that allows you to search its digital archives from the last 40 years.

You can easily navigate to the issue of your choice using the “cover flow” type of technology or you can narrow your search by selecting a specific year. Once you’ve found the issue you want, call up the table of contents and find the article you’ve been looking for. If Rolling Stone has a particular writer that you like, you can search for every piece he has written for the publication. While reading the article (which appears on your screen as if you had a hardcopy issue spread out in front of you), you can easily zoom in and out to make reading easier.

Essentially, Rolling Stone Cover to Cover: The First 40 Years is your tour guide to the last 40 years of rock, pop, counterculture, and politics. So if you want to read timely articles about the death of John Lennon, Kurt Cobain or Saddam Hussein, or if you want to read about the cultural climate during every presidential campaign year since 1967, or if you just want to look at the charts and read the new release blurbs, then Rolling Stone Cover to Cover: The First 40 Years is a must-have.

So, what else is inside Rolling Stone Cover to Cover: The First 40 Years? Well, you get every issue up to and including 1026 and 98,000 articles appearing as they did when originally published. You also get a 208-page coffee table book that’s filled with photos that tell the tale of Rolling Stone’s history. They even threw in a one-year subscription.