On set..with Charlie Murphy in L.A

Flame throwing was fun..

A BlackBerry That's Easy On Your Thumbs

People who use smart phones with physical keyboards are well aware that they don't look as cool as someone who touches glass to type and flicks a finger to scroll through emails, Web pages and photos. But for many, physical keyboards are easier to use than touch screens, and this fact, alone, cures even the worst case of touch-screen envy.

In two weeks, Research in Motion Inc. and T-Mobile will make available the latest version of the BlackBerry: the Curve 8900. This device works as a basic BlackBerry and doesn't have a sleek touch screen or completely overhauled operating system, nor is it meant to compete with the likes of Apple's iPhone. But it has a physical keyboard and still manages to look stylish -- and that's no small feat.

[BlackBerry Curve]T-Mobile USA

The $200 Curve 8900

The Curve 8900 costs $200 after a $100 mail-in rebate and with a two-year T-Mobile contract. In the BlackBerry family, this model falls into the Goldilocks category of not too big, not too small -- just right. RIM's $300 BlackBerry Bold came out in November, but its large size and high price were turn-offs for some. click for the rest of the story


In an inaugural tradition, the Bushes welcomed the Obamas to the White House for tea. Michelle Obama’s outfit was designed by Isabel Toledo. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)

Thousands have filled the streets of Washington to witness the swearing-in of President-elect Barack Obama. You can follow along here as the spectacle unfolds today.

A Historical Perspective | 10:29 a.m. Doris Kearns Goodwin is talking on MSNBC about the historic nature of the gathering taking place behind her at the Capitol.

She notes that in 1861, when Lincoln first took the oath, there was “a sense of a great haunting moment in history,” as there was with F.D.R. in 1933. “Most generations don’t have that,” she said, but predicted that this was such a moment because of the combination of Mr. Obama’s “inspirational character,” the crises the country is facing and the fact that he is the first African-American president. As an historian, she said, “It’s pretty exciting to be living in it rather than just reading about it 100 years later.”

This huge outpouring of citizens who want to be active, she says, could help Mr. Obama build his political capital.

Qtip on the Conan Obrian show

Johnny Cake cutting Qtip


PORN MONEY: They want to get some bailout money.

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ShareAtlantic asks, "Is porn recession proof?" According to porn magnate Larry Flynt and "Girls Gone Wild" king Joe Francis, the answer is no.

TMZ reports that the pornographer pair is heading to Washington to ask for a $5 billion porn bailout:

"With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind," Flynt says. "It's time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America."

Francis sees his industry like the big three automakers, only BIGGER: "Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation's most important businesses; we feel we deserve the same consideration."

In the Atlantic article, Tom Johansmeyer reportsthat AdultVest, a hedge fund run by Francis Koenig that invests in porn-related assets, was up 50% in 2008 (a number that Joe Wiesenthal at ClusterStock says ought to be taken with a grain of salt). Johansmeyer goes on to discuss the recession effect on the porn industry:

Relatively small, fragmented, and unaccustomed to outside investment, the U.S. porn industry (which generated roughly $12 billion in 2007) is some what buffered from today's credit crunch, but it has its own problems. Video sales have been falling by 15 percent a year since 2005, and online content doesn't deliver the returns it used to, now that Web sites such as RedTube and PornHub basically give it away. Struggling companies need investors to help right their operations, and those that are thriving in a brutal market need funding for growth.

Enter Koenig and AdultVest. He sees the porn downturn as temporary and believes that technological improvements will trigger a turnaround. One example: iPorn, a start-up in AdultVest's portfolio that is developing an application to deliver porn to the Apple iPod. "The industry's not going anywhere," Koenig says. "You've got 6 billion people on the planet," he laughs, "and they're all horny."


The Shop's Movie Review

Reminiscing of the film City of God, SlumDog Millionaire is another out-the-slums story based in India. It depicts the story of how the protagonist, Jamal, a "slumdog" that is supposed to never make it out the 
ghetto does so by winning the Hindi version of "Who wants to be a millionaire. The interesting part is how he came to know all the answers to win the game albeit through life experiences and not education. Slumdog Millionaire gets The Shop's seal of approval, Money Back Guaranteed (not really). Go see it and post your comments below.