News: Brooke Astor, Flexible Battery, Jake Gyllenhaal, iPhone

road.jpg New York’s “Aristocrat of the People” Brooke Astor dies at 105: “…it was a changing social order that Brooke Astor oversaw. Hers was a society defined more by balance sheets than bloodline. It opened its doors to entrepreneurs and Wall Street movers and shakers who had bought entree with so many millions that in the 1980s Mrs. Astor declared herself ‘nouveau pauvre.’ Although aristocratic in upbringing, style and social milieu, she never sought to be the arbiter of society that the Astor name might have entitled her to be. She never wanted to rule over a world that she was among the first to recognize was no more.”

Mattdamonbearroad.jpg Matt Damon in with the bear crowd: “Matt Damon got turned into an animated bear for a September 3rd episode of the PBS cartoon, Arthur. Matt is on to promote a feature on the site where kids can submit videos of themselves to be aired on the show.”

road.jpg Jake Gyllenhaal and friend enter 5K race in Massachusetts.

road.jpg It keeps bending, and bending…: Scientists create flexible, biodegradable battery.

road.jpg Little Britain creators become gay icons in Poland: “Apparently gays there are packing their manbags for Britain, inspired by their new hero from Little Britain. The comedy was finally screened for the first time in Poland in April on state broadcaster TVP. It is the campest show to make it on to the nation’s TV and has now become an “inspiration” to homosexuals there. Characters including Matt Lucas’s Dafydd Thomas and, in particular, David’s Prime Minister-adoring Sebastian Love, have been a hit with Polish gays. Mirka Makuchowska, of the Polish Campaign Against Homophobia, said David had become an ‘important’ figure to Polish homosexuals. She said: ‘Little Britain has made a huge impact here. Especially David Walliams when he is playing Sebastian. It has even made many think of moving to Britain.'”

Videoconferenceroad.jpg Developers win award for devising videoconference system for the iPhone.

road.jpg Six-year-old boy drowns after bullies strip him and force him into lake.

road.jpg Rapper Beanie Sigel on Kanye West’s reported feud with Sigel for suggesting he’s gay: “I don’t really dwell on that sh–, man. He called me for songs, so I guess [there are no problems]. I been trying to get beats from that n—a since before I went to jail.”

road.jpg Concerned Roman Catholics of America pickets Knights of Columbus convention in Nashville, demanding that the organization expel 16 “pro-Sodomite” Massachusetts lawmakers: “One of the pols on the group’s hit list, state Rep. Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop), said: ‘I certainly respect the right of those who disagree with my vote on same-sex marriage to do so and to advocate for their point of view. It is my hope that they would also respect my right and responsibility as an elected official to, after listening to all the facts and arguments, decide what I think is the best course of action on issues before the Legislature.’ Another on the list, Rep. Garrett Bradley (D-Hingham), said of the Knights: ‘We don’t agree on every issue, and this one of them. I’m going to vote the way I think is right, regardless of what this group or another group might want me to do.’ The CRCOA Web site has posted the names of those it describes as “pro-Sodomite, pro-abortion Knights of Columbus” on its site, including several Bay State pols.”


  1. Wes says

    The story about the boy drowning is terrible.

    Something about the briefness of the article, and the way it ends, really chilled me.

    “(Adam) never swam before,” Owens said.

  2. xavier says

    Disturbing, the story of the six-year old. Such a sad state of affairs, when bigotry and homphobia start so early. That and the Knights of Columbus being singled out by ‘concerned’ Catholics. Ugh.

  3. peterparker says

    Andy I think you meant to say, of Brooke Astor, “Hers was a society defined more by BLOODLINES than BALANCE SHEETS.”

    I know it is your blog, but frankly, I’m disappointed you gave more column inches to that cowardly selfish old goat Merv Griffin than you gave to Brooke Astor who did so much good for so many people.

  4. 35ffodil says

    I never thought I would see the day where the dinosaur reichwingers that make up the Knights of Columbus were considered the more “liberal” group.

  5. 35ffodil says

    I never thought I would see the day where the dinosaur reichwingers that make up the Knights of Columbus were considered the more “liberal” group.

  6. says

    Peterparker – that was a quote from the New York Times. As much as I’d like to give some things more space, I’m the only person writing this blog aside from a couple guest posts every week, and there’s a ton of material to cover. Unfortunately, I can’t always get to it all or give some things the coverage I’d like.

  7. Chad says

    The story about the little boy drowning really moved me… What a horrible way for someone to die. I’m sure that’s something his tormentors will never forget, until those fateful days in which they themselves finally pass.

  8. peterparker says


    My apologies…I thought you transposed ‘balance sheets’ and ‘bloodlines’, but now that I re-read the NY Times obit I see that was the way they wrote…and now I understand what they were getting at.

    As for the job you do here…you are AMAZING and you have the best blog on the web in my opinion. I just thought I’d wake up to see a big piece here on Towleroad about Brooke Astor’s death (and her fantastic life)…but please know that I do think you do an great job (and I fully realize you aren’t writing this blog expressly for me)… 😉


  9. Jamie says

    Some of you people here are so pathetic! If this kid fought back these bullies and shot one of them you would be posting things like you did last week concerning Eric Hainstock! “It’s alot easier being gay today so there’s no excuse to kill someone, etc etc etc”. This just goes to show, for all you bitchy queens living in urban areas, that bullying is STILL a big and very serious problem in North America today. Why don’t you people do a little research on the subject: the internet is full of parents pleading for help because their schools are doing nothing about bullying. There are many webpages too full of pictures of children who have killed themselves as a result of bullying (called Bullycides). Who do we just sit back and take this shit?

  10. Mike says

    “It made many [Poles] think of moving to Britain”. That’s old news. At current rates of immigration, the Poles are going to outnumber the Welsh in Britain – and not just in Welsh villages. They’re filling huge gaps in the British workforce, doing work that many Brits are too lazy to do. They’re also mostly young and pretty together folks.

  11. Yuri says

    “Some of you people here are so pathetic!”

    Who are you yelling at? No one here is disagreeing with the fact that bullies are a big problem.

  12. Kevin says

    The mere fact that these so called “bullies” will not be treated as criminals is an injustice to the family, community and society as a whole. Children need to learn from a very early age that IT’S NOT OKAY to bully children in such a way to cause injury or death. Bullying is a very strong, prevalent problem that will never go away, but new lessons can be taught.

  13. Johnny says

    Ok, so those kids were under 12 and can’t be held criminal liable. But I do hope their names will be released to the public. Not only so they’ll never be allowed to forget what they’ve done, but also so even if their parents are apathetic slobs, the public humiliation will make them take it out on their brats’ backsides. They should also burn every toy they have and ground them until they moved out.