Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dormitory Conformity - CMU offers mixed-gender housing

Five years since The Tartan, Carnegie Mellon's student newspaper published a story about the possibility of boys and girls living together, the Post-Gazette's Bill "Story? What's a story?" Schackner has caught on.

Carnegie Mellon announced yesterday that it will provide 25 off-campus units in Shady Oak Apartments to men and women who wish to room together (gay, lesbian, et. al).

Back on January 28, 2002 the inimitable Andrew Johnson wrote about the possibility of mixed-gender living at CMU. Here's the link to his original story.

Here's your money quote from David Kaplan, a member of SOHO (CMU's gay advocacy group) talking about freshman room assignments:
"I got paired with a guy from Nebraska who was a football player, and I was scared shitless about moving in with him," he said. "Things worked out and everything, but there's no system of checks and balances�. [to ensure that] I won't get paired with a homophobic guy."

Monday, February 26, 2007

Tom Vilsack's short bus runs out of gas

Proto-Pittsburgher and human cornstalk Tom Vilbayh (D-Heartland) dropped out of the presidential race recently. Vilsack blamed his exit on an inability to raise enough schekels to challenge front-runners Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, or John Hairdo. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that his surname rhymes with ballsack.

Due to lack of motivation, I failed to post my photos before the bastards at Wonkette got a hold of them. Now I'm cursed with inexorable self-loathing.

Photo credit: Capitolman in Des Moines, IA.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Andy Warhol buried in Bethel Park

While perusing the NYT today, a dateline naming "Bethel Park" caught my eye. Why would the New York Times publish a story about a comfortable Pittsburgh suburb?

Because Andy Warhol is buried there. (Aside: I like when newspapers coyly print stories timed with the release of something from popular culture). Factory Girl is a movie about Andy Warhol's coterie and one of his primadonna starlets, Edie Sedgwick (played by semi-famous actress Sienna Miller). This film was as self-indulgent as Warhol's bohemians. The movie lacked a plot and I'm loathe to classify it as a character study. Sedgwick was so shallow as to be unlikable. After 20 minutes of self-indulgence, there was nothing left to study.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cruisin' at the mall

Ross Park Mall has equipped their security guard with the latest and gayest transportation: the segway.

Officer Hardass McNogun says the devices allows to overlook the crowds and respond quickly to teenage holligans and elderly women trapped in restroom stalls.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ultrasound of Pittsburgh Zoo's elephant fetuses

The Pittsburgh Zoo announced that two elephants are pregnant today. Check out the ultrasound and handy digital outline of one of the fetuses at the Post-Gazette.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Gov Rendell to PEMA Director: You're doin' a heckuva job, Brownie

Following closures of interstates in northeastern Pennsylvania that had left thousands of motorists abandoned in freezing temperatures, the Pennsylvania Turnpike was shut down east of Harrisburg this afternoon. A tanker truck carrying flammable liquid overturned near the Lebanon-Lancaster exit around 10 AM. Three hours later, westbound traffic was also detoured.

The closure of the mainline has exacerbated travel through the eastern part of the state, where I-78 and I-81 remain closed between Allentown and Harrisburg. A Wednesday storm left four to six inches of ice on the roadbed and stranded some motorists for more than 20 hours.

Your money quote: "How could you operate a state like this? It's totally disgusting."

Thanks for visiting! Come back real soon now, ya hear? Governor Ed promises an investigation.

Big Ben's New Sweetheart: Missy Peregrym

The Burghospehere is filled with love this morning! Pittsburgh "media" outlets are reporting what the Internets has been reporting for several days: Big Ben Worthlisberger (credit to MacYapper) is dating a Hollywood actress. Sadly, Benny's new sweetheart is not Sarah Spain. The lucky lady is Missy Peregrym!

Missy is gorgeous and foreign. She's exotic like only a French Canadien can be. Ooo, la, la.

You probably remember Missy as Molly on Smallville. No? How about Tina in the television drama Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss? Never heard of it, you say?

Neither did we, but Darn News is too sophisticated for broadcast teevee anyway.

Well, surely you paid 15 clams to your local corporate cineplex to see Jeff Bridges in Stick It, a compelling story about the intensity and pressure of high school gymnastics and one girl's triumphant rise above adversity?

Maybe this photo will remind you.

And are these fine ladies Ben's new receiving corps? Missy is pictured center.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

NY Times & Desperate Housewives

What Shamu Taught Me about Love topped the 'most e-mailed' articles on the NY Times for 3 months. Wondering what could have possibly supplanted Maureen Dowd's latest rant at the top of the list, I had to read the article just to see what the hell the buzz was. Answer: How to manipulate your husband using techniques perfected by dolphin trainers. From Cherry Hill NJ to New Haven CT, housewives are luring their spouses to the dishwasher with flanks of raw Whitefish, and longtime readers (like myself) are wondering where went Thomas Friedman.

Answer: Shortly after Times Select drove cheapskates like me to the waiting arms of the Washington Post, Thomas Friedman relinquished his throne to dessert recipies, toddler cartoons and child rearing tips. In an internet age dominated by tons of free material, the Times makes reading its articles difficult, and sharing impossible. Whereas the Washington Post will stroke egos by linking to blogs that post their material, the Times slammed the door on bloggers. By egotistically self-selecting its star columnists out of the internet's global forum, the Times is no longer part of the discussion. Hell, with the booming business in print journalism, who can blame them if they neglect a niche market they've long dominated.
I suppose then, that the result is somewhat predictable. On the eve of a possible war with Iran, this week's Talk of the Times: Women exiled from the kitchen by their alpha-cook husbands. And though the blogged section (predictably) lists all things political, none of the Time's columnists is linked. If the Times keeps driving away its key constituency, who is left. If it isn't nerdy wonks like myself, I guess the Times winds up jostling for readership with Vanity Fair and Jane.
Next week's Times most read: International News Found Dead, smothered by the most comfortable tampons ever and a stunning recipe for chocolate covered marriage-muffins.

You Know the Drill: Black History Cards

No free plugs here. If you want site traffic, Luanga Nuwame, be prepared to absorb the lazy, obvious humor of The Darn News and its hack comedy-writing staff. To wit:

A young entrepreneur named
Luanga Nuwame has released a trading card set featuring famous African-Americans, right in time for Black History Month. The set is called Topps Sports NFL Football '07 and is available in factory- or special-edition boxes, along with hologram-sticker draft picks. Kidding!

You may purchase Mr. Nuwame's products through his Web site while I wash the Blue Collar Comedy smell off me.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Love Stinks.

In addition to obsessing over the swales and drumlins of Sarah Spain’s generous anatomy, this blog also tackles the less important stuff: the nexus between love, commerce, and existential longing, for one. Valentine’s Day is almost here, and The Darn News wishes to expose this pseudo-holiday for the corporate invention it obviously is. You’re welcome, America.

Face it, there is no justifiable rationale for participating in Valentine’s Day and its infantile rituals. Cards; roses; sugar-coated roses with a card stuck inside of them – these so-called expressions of personal fealty merely serve to enrich the fat cats at Hallmark and Hershey's and Consolidated Rosebush of North America Inc. That last one may not be real.

And another thing: love don’t exist. There, I said it. True love is a dirty trick, an idea whose time has passed; the modern individual no longer needs to suppress his or her sexual lust in order to satisfy some fake notion of public morality or private monogamy. “Life ain’t shit but bitches and money.” I think Nietzsche said that.

And so, dear blog reader, I hope you’ll join Darn News in boycotting Valentine’s Day this year. That means no candies for your sweetheart. Cellar that chilled champagne. Throw the Vermont Teddy Bear to the wolves. Rise up! Let The Darn News (plus these folks here) awaken you from your spoon-fed corporate catatonia.

The movement to end “romance” starts today. I’d join you, but I have to get back to my Match.com account. Because it feels miserable to be alone on Valentine’s Day.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Mike Veon, Lobbyist

Mike Veon (right) is now a registered lobbyist. Having lost his ability to sell his vote, he now seeks to sell his clout. Mike Veon & Associates has no associates, excepting Mike Veon. Mike Veon & Associates has no clients, excepting US Tobacco.

Thank you for smokeless smoking, sez Mike Veon & Associates.

In Harrisburg today to sucker people into buying down his campaign debt, Veon held a press conference before a paltry crowd including a few bored reporters, an elderly union hack from Beaver Falls and his mother. Sporting his traditional pinstripe suit and Wolfman Jack beard, Veon had one message for Pennsylvania.

“Ed, if youre listening, don’t stop calling if you don’t get through to me the first time. I’ve been screening my calls for creditors, but I'll get back to you right away.”

Note to State Democrats, conserve water. Don’t flush the toilet until that other mammoth pile of shit, Billy DeWeese, joins his friend in the pot.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Friday Porn: Sumthin 4 Tha Ladies

Brokeback Haggard

Like a rider on a packed elevator trying vainly to silence her cell phone’s “Smack That” ringtone before the third mention of “… till you get sore,” The Darn News can sometimes find itself in, well, embarrassing situations.

Take Reverend Ted Haggard. Please. The former president of the National Association of Evangelicals is “completely heterosexual” after undergoing a grueling, close-to-three-week therapy regimen, and is not, as this blog originally stated, “over-the-rainbow, Oscar-Wilde-in-a-cocktail-dress-and-matching-pumps super-queer.”

Turns out we totally got this one wrong, folks.
The best part of The Rev’s cure? He’s back on the meat market, sisters! (Yeah, yeah: I realize the guy’s married. Not like that made a difference before, right?) And what a catch Haggard will be for the lucky lady who lands this He-Man for modern times. Not only can he cook, but his house is spotless! He also loves antiquing, “The Notebook,” and a good, long cry. Like I said, Ted Haggard is a Robert Bly poem breathed into existence for the vicarious pleasure of all women sturdy enough to look upon this totem of hyper-masculinity without experiencing an orgasm-induced, thousand-year coma.

Godspeed, Rev. Haggard. Now that religion has drained all the gay out of you, it’s nothing but an E-Z Pass to heaven from here. From all your friends at Darn News, we deeply regret the error and wish you the best.

Nota bene: Your chest-waxing has been re-scheduled for Tuesday.

Check out Brokeback Minister at:

ACLU Defends 'Flippin the Bird'

Witold "Vic" Walczak is more than just an ugly little man with a bad tie and a silly name. Walczak is Pittsburgh's own defender of Constitutional Liberties... liberties such as the right for rich white kids to have an International Baccalaureate program, or the right to dress up like a Zombie and bite one's neighbor. But lets not poh poh the critically important mission this man leads for this city... defending one's right to be an inappropriate asshole.

I've recently become a pretty big fan of the thin blue line that stands between me and the thugs in my 'hood. In a densely packed diverse neighborhood, the entire spectrum of humanity walks the streets. 99% comprise a healthy, diverse neighborhood. 1% routinely need their asses kicked. In the 'good old days,' a cop could drag a drunken Irishman out of the bar and beat him until he sobered up. These times have justifiably passed, but what is this cop-phobic society that replaced it. Cop hating has reached such an absurd pitch that apparently no one is allowed to ensure a basic level of decency on the street?

Vic Walczak, self-anointed and self-directed Defender of Freedom, is going to "teach the cops a lesson." He has filed a case against the City of Pittsburgh on behalf of some asshole from Florida who apparently can't parallel park, and expresses his frustration with finger and curse. Likely expressing the general sentiment of all within view of this jerk, the cop told said jerk that he was an asshole. Vic sez the cops ain't Miss Manners, and should keep to enforcing the law. Afterall, isn't the ability to act in blatant disregard of common decency and respect what makes our country great?

Hey Vic, by pouncing on minutiae such as this, it might be time to ask yourself if its time to quit. If the greatest threat to my Civil Liberties comes about only when I act like a jackass or am accosted by a creche on the steps of a courthouse, I'm fairly confident that I'll be safe. Mission Accomplished!

Frankly, the police shouldn't have to deal with this shit.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Keira Knightley (Photo) Quits Hollywood To Pursue Life Of Bisexual Nymphomania, According To My Version

British movie starlet Keira Knightley, whose acting credits include "The Hole" and something or other related to the Caribbean and its pirates, is mulling a "holiday" from the movie business. (That's a vacation to us Americans. [I mean, that's my best guess; my family watched a lot of "Dr. Who" on PBS when I was growing up so my English-to-American is pretty top-drawer.])

Anywho, she's earned it. I say take that hiatus, Ms. Knightley. This business has worked you to the bones. That, or maybe it was the steady diet of Grey Goose vodka, cocaine, and bathetic self-importance. (Call me.)

Anna Nicole Dead, World Awaits Variously Insincere Condolences From Entertainment Tonight, TMZ.com, Others

Former Playboy Playmate, Anna Nicole Smith, has died. She was 39. Sorry, no joke here ...

More Sarah Spain Train (photo)

Sarah Spain appears in Trace Adkins video (who the hell is Trace Adkins?); uses her fun-guns to sell crap no one wants

Writing about Ron Cook and the collapse of a brand-spankin' new public building just doesn't get me excited. That's why Darn News must hitch one more ride on the Sarah Spain Train.

So what's going on in Sarah's world?
In this video, she describes her Super Bowl experience.

With Leather met Sarah in Miami and said she was a perfectly nice girl. His buddy, White Dade disagrees. White Dade does mention that the med school student, who was Spain-Train's date pawed her like a drunked-up, disoriented CapitolMan searching for a light switch. At With Leather you can watch Sarah in a Trace Adkins video (she's in a white top, red belt. Check it at the 1:50 mark). It's really not that interesting. Who knew Sarah was an unknown Hollywood actress?

And your last piece of Spain-Train news, Sarah Spain visited a poker tourney as a guest of Fun Friends, the maker of queer cell phone covers that have middle-school girls and Mario Lopez going ga-ga for garbage. That's it, people. The Spain-Train has come to a complete stop. Please exit.

Ron Cook leaves desk, writes two decent stories

The oft-maligned Ron Cook has written two solid columns in the last week about Pitt basketball. I give props to the Cookie-Monster. He not only eschewed his ridiculous rhetorical questionnaire, but weaved player-interviews into a compelling narrative. His story about Antonio Graves wasn't the typical adversity-maturity hokum. Cook's column made me think about how basketball is one of the only sport in which you have not a second to second-guess yourself. It's to fast-paced for regret.

I still do not understand why Graves played 20+ minutes in previous contests, but this season he's earned the playing time. Graves' defense has been reminiscent of Julius Page. And since he's unselfish, fans don't have to worry about Graves launching 20 awkward three-pointers a game.

Cook's second column was an ode to Levance Fields and the recent legacy of Pitt point guards. Pretty nifty.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Our Daily Bread: Pittsburgh will down five-year old convention center, taxpayers will fund new one

Mario Lemieux said to be "royally pissed"

Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center has collapsed. Well, not entirely but it appears there are some problems. During setup for the Pittsburgh Auto Show, a concrete slab collapsed under the weight of a tractor trailer. Although no convention center official has offered anything more substantive than a shoulder shrug, the Post-Gazette's Patricia Lowry highlights some possibilities in a very good interview with Matthys Levy, an engineer and author of "Why Buildings Fall Down." (not found on the NYT best-seller list).

These reasons fall into two categories:
1. Design flaw - unlikely
2. Material deficiency - more likely

Lowry offers this tidbit sure to raise eyebrows amongst investigators:
Cracks in the concrete, however, could be cause for concern. In November 2002, dozens of cracks were reported in parts of the center's concrete floors, including several in a large exhibit hall on the second floor and many more in service corridors on the third level. The cracks varied in width from hairlines in many places to as much as a quarter-inch or three-eighths of an inch in a few spots. Some were up to half an inch deep. All were considered to be cosmetic, not structural.

Before the building opened, a steel truss collapsed and killed a construction worker. And prior to that problem, caissons, which are the underground steel and concrete columns used to support the building had to straightened.

This story is hilarious. The floor of a brand-spankin' new convention center has collapsed! This new building has been an atrocity. Remember when Stephen Leeper promised that a new building would lure huge conventions - and mega-bucks - into the city? The convention center cannot even pay their bills.
Let's watch these jackasses sweat their jobs. Fire 'em all, I say!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

PA Legislature Still Corrupt as Hell

Ed Rendell released his $27.3 billion budget today, calling for a privatized turnpike, a higher sales tax, and indirect taxes on oil profits. This in the wake of news that Billy DeWeese and Mike Veon used tax dollars to pay for staff campaign work, Vince "the Prince" Fumo announces his indictment by a federal grand jury on corruption charges, and the entire legislature gets caught feasting at the trough.

That DeWeese and Veon would pay staffers bonuses for campaign work ain't no shocker. Afterall, millions in 'Public Service' announcements (Hey Gramma, get your gimp plates at my district office), 'Public Service' mailers (FYI Mom, enroll in CHIPs, complements of Billy DeWeese) during election season are nothing new. That 'Public Service' announcements were aired only for the favored Representatives of DeWeese and Veon emphasizes that 'Public Service' translated into 'Political Hammer' on the floor of the House. So if advertisements & mailers that function as political capital can be chalked up as 'Public Service,' why the hell can't blatant political activities be as well. Why not pay that favorite staffer, who took on 'special assignments' (like running a re-election campaign) an extra $30k. Got lots to read (political or otherwise), why not get yourself a chauffeured limo to the tune of $35k, conveniently in the same year you're running for office? Afterall, its all about 'Public Service.'

Fumo was fond of shaking down Philly based industries for his 'charities,' which then contributed to favored constituencies. South Philly being South Philly, getting on the good side of "the Prince" ain't bad business if your target market happens to be in Fumo's fiefdom. But just like DeWeese, Fumo claims he was working in the interest of the people.

Somewhere along the line, Fumo, DeWeese and Veon's began to regard their very existence as 'Public Service,' and thus any activity in furtherance of their power, prestige or position became 'Public Service.' This perverse rationale permeated everything: political muscle vis a vis direct mailers, re-election vis a vis tax dollars, and self-enrichment vis a vis legislation.

As Rendell unveils yet another stunningly aggressive budget for FY '07, expect a legislature of vultures, gorging themselves on the rotting corpse, Pennsylvania. DeWeese vis a vis Pennsylvania: "L'Etat c'est Moi."

Monday, February 05, 2007


Chef Claudio Masci, culinary virtuoso and master of Italian cuisine, will soon launch his own website teaching good Italian cooking to the starved masses.

www.ChefClaudio.com will feature video tutorials of Chef Claudio cooking up the best damned food you've ever eaten. Claudio's decades of experience include not only his family's award-winning restaurants (including Abruzzis on the Southside), but also serving as chef laureate for the discerning pallets at darnnews.com.

Endear yourself to your starving bachelor friends, romance that beautiful girl with a candlelight dinner, or make up for your lackluster personality and that "honest" mug of yours! www.chefclaudio.com.

NOT YET! Wait damnit, but check back. His food is truly amazing.

Our Daily Bread: Give Me Coffee and TV, and Boobs; Sexy Coffee Shop Opens in Seattle

This blog breaks for three things: coffee, Howard Dean's neck fat, and luscious, fabric-straining breastses. Two down.

From the LA Times:
Coffee, with sugar
If Hooters opened a coffee shop, it would likely resemble the Sweet Spot Cafe, a drive-thru espresso stand in the Seattle suburbs.

Check out their web site to read up on the coffee-wenches. My favorite buxom barista is 24-year old Tamsyn (sic). She's just like the girl next-door. Her ideal man is a clean-shaven bartender covered in tats, wears expensive shoes, and enjoys necrophilia.

How could I make this up?

This also gives us a chance to remind you, dear reader, to patronize Pittsburgh's only drive-thru strip club, Climax. It's only 20 miles from downtown on route 22! They don't serve coffee, however.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Birthday Wishes For a Total Bitch

What do you get for the radical individualist who has everything?

Ayn Rand -- novelist, screenwriter, (a-) moral philosopher -- was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on this date in 1905. Rand, nee Alissa Rosenbaum, wrote several important works during her lifetime, but instead I'll just blog about "The Fountainhead." The novel's main character, a genius architect named Howard Roark, is Rand's Ideal Man, an artist who destroys his own creation rather than compromise his vision for some artificial notion of societal "good." It's said that Rand based Roark's character on the real-life architect Frank Lloyd Wright, a personal hero of the writer for his brash, non-conformist style. It probably helped that Wright was also a huge jerk, according to the authors of this book. (Side note: Peter "Robocop" Weller is currently portraying Wright in a mightily incoherent stage version of the Fallingwater creator's life. No shit.)

So happy birthday, Ayn Rand. Your Objectivist philosophy esteemed hyper-capitalism, the virtue of selfishness, and the triumph of "me" over "we" -- pretty neat stuff if you happen to hate humanity or spend any time in Los Angeles.

Catchin' Up With Long Island's Dumbest Teens

Long Islanders love fence plowing. (BTW, is it "fence plowing" or "fence-plowing"? Somebody call Lynn Truss.) With any luck, Suffolk County's latest contribution to the extreme-sports world will replace Long Island's other favorite pastimes, watching shitty hockey and mall construction.

Watch the video here.

Sarah Spain Update (photo): Med school student hitches ride to Miami on the Sarah Spain Train

You remember Sarah Spain, the buxom Bears beauty who auctioned herself as an escort on eBay for Super Bowl tickets? Although eBay scuttled her plan, the makers of Axe body "cologne" gave Spain four tickets provided she took along a random bloke.
With her 15 minutes set to expire, we have an update! There were thousands of randy young men who wrote to Sarah Spain, pleading and begging for the rights to accompany her. The lucky winner is Alan Shahtaji, a 26-year old med student from Chicago.
Sorry, losers. Your tale of disappointment in your career and lovelife must continue. Your future earnings are a pittance besides those of Doctor Shahtaji. Perhaps you should have went to college for something other than fantasy league statistics.

Hat tip to With Leather. See more Sarah Spain pics at there.

Bill Murray in Groundhog Day (Movie): A Moral Philosophy

Happy Groundhog Day, webizens!


...no, smart ass. I'm not talking about Al Roker, but Punxy Phil! The furry, little rodent predicts spring is right around the corner, despite weekend temperatures in western PA that are expected to be in the single digits.

Gov't Issue is too lazy to post, but he doesn't mind emailing his only two friends about this pressing matter. The responsibility falls to me to copy his email and publish it. On several occasions Gov't Issue has told me he appreciates Bill Murray's Groundhog Day because of its moral seriousness. Personally, I'm a bitter cynic who likes uplifting tales.

I'll spare you the Gov't Issue treatise on why Groundhog Day is a modern allegory about the reinventing one's wicked id and satisfying the innate human desire to be loved, redeemed, etc. Let's pass that responsibility onto Jonah Goldberg, the great conservative philosopher at the National Review.

Govt Issue writes:
Somebody's gotta post about the day which inspired one of the best comedies ever.
Money quote: Phil Conners: "This is pitiful. A thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat. What a hype. Well, it used to mean something in this town. They used to pull the hog out, and they used to eat it. You're hypocrites, all of you!"

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Spanking Pitt basketball (West Virginia coach share secrets of beating Pitt)

Either West Virginia basketball coach John Beilein will be sharing his secrets of success against the Panthers, or Pitt fans will get to punish Aron Gray for missing his foul shots against Marquette.