Catch Up: On The News
Some interestng tid bits from the past week’s headlines. Take a look. As always click on the links and titles of stories to view the full versions.
BOSTON, Dec. 10 — Harvard University announced on Monday that it would significantly increase the financial aid it offered to middle-class and upper-middle-class students, seeking to allay concerns that elite colleges are becoming too expensive for even relatively well-off families.
Ike Turner, the R&B musician, songwriter, bandleader, producer, talent scout and ex-husband of Tina Turner, died on Wednesday at his home in San Marcos, Calif., a San Diego suburb. He was 76.
A Chapter of ‘Jackass’ as Web Test (translation first movie to debut online)
LOS ANGELES — Paramount Pictures is lurching onto the Web with its “Jackass” franchise,
with what it says will be the first studio-backed feature film to have its premiere online. And the studio hopes the result will
be considerably more pleasurable than the old MTV show’s trademark shot to the groin — perhaps by paving the way for more profit-making Web-only material.
On Dec. 19, the studio will make “Jackass 2.5” available in connection with Blockbuster’s Movielink service. The hour-plus film has original material and previously unseen
outtakes from the second “Jackass” movie in 2006. The new movie, made for less than $2 million, will stream for free but will have 15- or 30-second commercials before and after it plays.
At the same time, the studio’s fellow subsidiary of Viacom, MTV Networks, and the creators of the “Jackass” franchise are using the new film to attract traffic to jackassworld.com, now under construction.
The site is billed as an online community offering blogs, original video content and an archive of the 24 episodes of “Jackass,” which ran on MTV in 2000 and 2001, as well as its longer-running spinoff “Wildboyz.”
Warning that New York has “slipped in stature” and that its once-powerful position in national research has “faded,” a commission set up by Gov. Eliot Spitzer is recommending that the state free its public colleges and universities to raise tuition without the Legislature’s approval and to charge different prices from campus to campus.
“New York State’s public higher education institutions face a chronic problem — they have too little revenue and too little investment,” said the report.
Those changes, sure to face political resistance, are among many broad proposals to reshape the public university system that are outlined in a report to be delivered to the governor on Monday.
The 30-member commission is calling for the state to create its own low-cost student loan program, to clear up a $5 billion backlog in maintenance and construction at its public universities and to hire 2,000 new full-time professors — including 250 academic stars who could bring in research dollars and prestige.
It’s a question that seems all the more pressing during a holiday season when the city is overrun with tourists, traffic is clotted, and during a single car ride from Columbus Circle to Wall Street, a passenger can see many times over a promo for WABC-TV that shows the anchor Bill Ritter striding purposefully through a herd of whirling helicopters.
New York City is at the forefront of cab technology, but cab vision is still in its infancy. At the moment, it’s a dizzying display case for ads and vignettes culled from local newscasts. But passengers are by definition a captive, if captious, audience. It’s not too soon to examine whether cab vision will become home-away-from-home-entertainment, a traveling multimedia emporium that gives riders a broad choice of short programs, or an advertising autocracy where blaring promotional messages are flashed at viewers strapped down by seat belts like Alex undergoing aversion therapy in “A Clockwork Orange.”
More Headlines worth checking out: