Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Was van Gogh murdered? Mexican drug cartels recruit children in Texas, and McDonalds’s new TV channel

gty vincent van gogh self portrait thg 111017 wblog Vincent van Gogh Murdered? New Book Presents Different Account of Artists Death

   Good Morning Humboldt County!

This great weather we’re having is really spoiling me. Every day seems nicer than the last one. C’mon in and celebrate another day in paradise with me over a cup of hot coffee and a trio of stories to get. Enjoy:


Vincent van Gogh Murdered? New Book Presents Different Account of Artist’s Death

Experts have said for more than 100 years that post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh walked to a wheat field on July 27, 1890, shot himself in the chest with a pistol, then died two days later in his room at the age of 37. But a new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith — who were honored in 1991 for a biography about American painter Jackson Pollockargues the troubled artist might have been murdered.

Mexican drug cartels recruiting Texas children

Texas law enforcement officials say several Mexican drug cartels are luring youngsters as young as 11 to work in their smuggling operations.

Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told Reuters the drug gangs have a chilling name for the young Texans lured into their operations. "They call them 'the expendables,'" he said.

McCraw said his investigators have evidence six Mexican drug gangs -- including the violent Zetas -- have "command and control centers" in Texas actively recruiting children for their operations, attracting them with what appears to be "easy money" for doing simple tasks.

McDonald's new TV channel: The wisecracks

The Golden Arches pairs fattening food and slothful entertainment with a new network just for burger-scarfing Americans

McDonald's has long tried to smooth the rough, garish plastic edges of its restaurants to make them nicer places to hang out. The burger giant's latest gambit to get customers to while the day away under the Golden Arches? A new television network that will be beamed to widescreen HD screens visible to almost all dine-in customers. Reality TV mogul Mark Burnett, BBC America, and ABC are on board to provide locally tailored news and entertainment programming. The McDonald's Channel is being tested in California, with a national rollout in the works. Of course, the idea of mixing unhealthy Big Macs and brain-numbing TV hasn't escaped the notice of the commentariat. Here, some of the best zingers:

First Oprah, now Ronald?
Between this and the Oprah Winfrey Network, "the reprogramming of America just keeps getting scarier," says Amy Scattergood at LA Weekly. "Maybe soon we can simultaneously watch television and eat fast food every single waking moment."

Speaking of odd bedfellows
McDonald's TV is the brainchild of "the man who brought us Survivor and the people responsible for the Chicken McNugget"? says Tim Kenneally at The Wrap. "I'm watchin' it"!

Call it suicidal synergy!
Arguably, "anyone who is in a McDonald's has already given up on life, so they might as well be forced to watch more company propaganda," says Chris O'Shea at Mediabistro. Maybe they'll have a show called Guess What? I'm Stupid! where contestants explain to their loved ones why "eating three Filet-O-Fishes for lunch is fine even if their hearts do stop beating 'sometimes.'"

What else will be on McTV?
"You know, besides Super Size Me"? says Aly Semigran at Entertainment Weekly. How about a crime-buster show starring the Hamburgler, or "campaign commercials with Mayor McCheese against Herman Cain. Pizza vs. cheeseburgers: Make your vote count!"

Time to walk on down the road….

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