Friday, May 04, 2007

Junk News: Edition 1

From the world of junk and nonsense and silliness and things that have no real impact on our daily lives come these stories:

    A judge sentenced Paris Hilton to 45 days in jail Friday for violating her probation, putting the brakes on the hotel heiress' famous high life.

    Hilton, who parlayed her name and relentless partying into worldwide notoriety, must go to jail on June 5 and she will not be allowed any work release, furloughs, use of an alternative jail or any electronic monitoring in lieu of jail, Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer ruled after a hearing.

    The judge ruled that she was in violation of the terms of her probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case.

    "I'm very sorry and from now on I'm going to pay complete attention to everything. I'm sorry and I did not do it on purpose at all," she told the judge before announced the sentence.
Well, at least she's sorry...that's what really matters, isn't it?

How about this gem of a career:

    As cartography projects go, Christian Nold's approach to charting the peaks and valleys of urban landscapes is decidedly unconventional.

    First, he outfits volunteers with global positioning system devices and the sensors used in lie detector tests. Then, he sends his subjects out to wander their neighborhoods. When they return, Nold asks them to recount what they saw and felt when the polygraph recorded a quickened heartbeat or an elevated blood pressure.

    "Tried to stomp on some pigeons," one tester recalled after a stroll through the chic bohemian Mission District of San Francisco, California.

    "House right here, it reminded me of flowers at a funeral," another said of what he saw a few blocks south.

    "Security guard at a business giving lollipops to kids. I think I wanted one," still another volunteer observed.

    Nold, a London-based artist, calls his work "emotional mapping." Having mapped settings as varied as industrial areas of Bangladesh and the red light district of Brussels, Belgium, he recently arrived in San Francisco for his first U.S. project.

    He's the first to acknowledge that the intimate portraits that result from his endeavors won't help a confused tourist get from Fisherman's Wharf to Golden Gate Park. Instead, by taking polygraph technology out of the criminal realm, his goal is to offer a commentary on the subjective nature of reality.
So, when people say they left their heart in San Francisco, they might actually be right?

And let's cap it off with this one, thought some of you might disagree with its inclusion in "Junk News" this week:

    Queen Elizabeth II strolled Friday through a replica of a fortress built four centuries ago at what would become America's first permanent English settlement, then saw remains of the actual structure.

    The queen, flanked by Vice President Dick Cheney and Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, strolled through Jamestown's tourist village of thatch-roofed buildings to commemorate the settlement's 400th anniversary.

    The queen was greeted by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who said American law derived from Great Britain "is the great and lasting achievement we celebrate today."

    Large crowds waited amid tight security to see the queen, lining her path through Jamestown Settlement.

    The queen toured a replica of an armory, and she smiled as she touched a gloved hand to a 17th century breastplate.

    She walked to the James River, where replicas of the three ships that the settlers arrived in were docked. A cannon was fired from one of the ships in tribute to her.
Here's why I call the queen's visit Junk News. Isn't this just another form of celebrity watching? We don't have royals in the U.S. like they do in the U.K., so we're left to admire and adore our singers and athletes and authors and talk show hosts and drug addicts and ... hmmm, nvm.

But every now and then, a "true" royal sets foot on our shores and we go all goo-goo for him or her. Just seems a bit odd to me. We fought a war to free ourselves from these peeps and now we love 'em to death? Weird.

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