Prince covers Radiohead – blocks web clip

The real deal

It may have seemed like an unusual artistic union: Prince covering Radiohead’s angst-ridden classic Creep. But when fans, including Radiohead, flocked to YouTube for a glimpse of the Purple One’s unique rendition of the song, they found the video, recorded by a fan at a music festival in California, had been taken down at the behest of Prince’s litigious record label.

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke said he was told of the performance by text message and thought it “hilarious”. But when he was informed he could not see the song, for which his band owns the copyright, he was baffled.

“Really? He’s blocked it?” Yorke was reported to have said. “Surely we should block it. Hang on a moment … well tell him to unblock it, it’s our song.”

The Prince video, filmed by fans at the Coachella Valley festival in Indio, California on April 26, was last night reposted on YouTube.

Prince is like the RIAA. Think they own the fracking planet!

Harass a Hoodie with a camera

The police surveillance team had spotted their target: a 12-year-old boy with freckles and ginger hair. He was known to police for nuisance behaviour. They watched as he walked along a path with friends in the distance, before disappearing down a side street.

When the four boys emerged from the estate’s maze of alleyways, the patrol car was waiting. “Is this that operation, sir?” said one boy. “I don’t want to be on camera.” He already was…

Officers target a hit list of individuals who are “known to police”, and subject them to repeated surveillance. Last week the Guardian was given unprecedented access to the latest operation on the Five Links estate in Laindon, near Basildon.

For civil rights groups, the operation is an Orwellian technique that persecutes individuals who have committed no crime. But for police, the “in your face” approach works and, unlike covert surveillance, it requires no special authorisation.

Essex police claim there has been a “100%” drop in crime on target estates during recent operations. Their surveys indicate the so-called “harass a youth” strategy is popular in the community.

Some of the clever kids on the hit list have started filming the coppers – who are filming them. Which pisses them off pretty much the same as the kids.

Who knows where this all will end up, eh?

Bearing Witness: Five years of the Iraq War

Through half a decade of war, a team of 100 Reuters correspondents, photographers, cameramen and support staff have strived to bring the world news from the most dangerous country for the press.

This is their testimony – bearing witness to ensure the story of Iraq is not lost.

Click on the photo to get to the slideshow.

Terrorism trials rushed to influence election

Defense lawyers for five suspected al Qaeda members have asked a military appeals court to delay their clients’ arraignments because several of the attorneys have not received security clearances that would allow them to participate in the hearing.

Lawyers for five September 11 suspects at Guantanamo Bay say the cases are being rushed for political reasons.

“I’ve never seen a military judge hold a hearing when all detailed counsel are not present,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer, an attorney representing accused al Qaeda figure Ali Abdul Aziz Ali. “It is offensive to me the government would seek to proceed in a death penalty case without all detailed counsel present.”

Remember when “justice for all” was more than a song title?

Kissing Bug used to suck blood samples

A bloodsucking insect is being used to collect blood samples from animals at zoos, London Zoo has said. Kissing bugs crawl onto the animal and release a pain-reducing enzyme as they bite and suck the blood from veins.

The “stress-free” method simplifies collecting blood from animals, who do not have to be sedated, the zoo said…

“The process is non-invasive and painless for the animal…

The bugs are humanely killed after the blood samples are collected.

Guaranteed someone complains about killing the bugs.

Rupert Murdoch predicts Election Day landslide for Democrats

News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch predicts a Democratic landslide in the U.S. presidential election. Murdoch has yet to endorse a U.S. presidential candidate but considers Barack Obama very promising.

“You have got the Obama phenomenon. You have got, undoubtedly, a recession … The average American is really getting hurt financially and that all bodes well for him (Obama), Murdoch said…

Murdoch said Obama and John McCain, the expected nominee of the Republican Party, both have a lot of problems, but McCain will be hurt by his party and his close ties to Washington. Race will be an issue for Obama, who would be the first black U.S. president, but “it looks like he overcomes that, overcomes that totally.”

Murdoch is associated with conservative political views but has a reputation for a pragmatic streak in major national races where he has shown a willingness to switch sides when he detects major political changes afoot.

Ain’t nothing like good old-fashioned opportunism when it comes to landing on the winning side of an election.

Savory Bread

At last, Campbell’s secret of savory bread is revealed!

OK. I’ve promised this, before. Here’s my secret to savory breads. In this case, my recipe for Focaccia.

I tend to start with a quick Biga, rather than the traditional, slower, overnight rising. If you wish to develop the yeast, more slowly, and acquire more flavor — only add about a 1/4 teaspoon of yeast and don’t even use the light bulb to heat the oven. Let it talk to itself 12-24 hours.

12 oz very warm water + 9 oz. all-purpose, unbleached flour + 1 level tsp dry active yeast + pinch of ascorbic acid powder [vitamin C]. I only use King Arthur flour. I use SAF Red Label dry active yeast. Mix thoroughly into batter consistency, nice and smooth. I stick the container [covered with plastic film to retain water] in our kitchen’s lower oven with the bulb turned on — stays around 90 degrees in there — and let it rise till it starts to collapse on its own. Typically, about 2 hours at our altitude. Then, I add another 5 oz. flour, mix it, still using the paddle on my Kitchenaid and put it back in the rising oven. Check it about a half-hour to an hour later — and add the final 2 oz. of flour along with a level tsp. of salt.

This gives me 75% water by weight in the dough. It’s pretty ragged and wet. After a wee bit of mixing and hand-kneading, I put the ball of dough into an oiled bowl, roll it to coat with olive oil and cover it with plastic film. I usually preheat the bowl with hot water before I put the dough into it.

Three or four risings [depends on how patient you are], punched down each time and back into the rising oven. At our altitude [6500’] with the self-generated yeast throughout the dough, this doubles in size in 25-30 minutes. Here’s the sneaky bit. Regardless of toppings of herbs and other flavorings I might knead into the dough before the final rise, I knead a couple of very finely chopped shallots into the dough before that last bowl-rise. I’ve experimented with several aliums; but, this is the one that works. Bread baking temperatures and time seems to cook the shallot to perfection and still leave just the hint of texture. The aroma this adds is a delight.

Use your own preferences for other additions. Sometimes, I will add oregano to the dough. Sometimes, I brush the finished product with egg white and water, halfway through baking, and sprinkle chopped rosemary or fennel seeds, whatever.

Now, practically “pouring” the dough from the rising bowl onto a piece of parchment paper on an open end baking sheet, I shape it with firm fingertip pressure into a round focaccia. I usually sprinkle the top with a little coarse-ground corn meal and cover it with a dish towel and put it back into the rising oven for a minimum hour-and-a-half rise — often as much as three hours.

I put a full-width pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees for at least a half-hour at temperature — and switch over to 450 degrees convection just as I put the loaf in. I slide the loaf on the parchment paper onto a peel and, then, both, onto the pizza stone. After about 6 minutes, I use the peel to slide it back out, rotate 180 degrees, and slide the focaccia back in directly onto the stone — to crisp and brown the bottom a bit more. This is baked through in 12-14 minutes total. Remove and set on a rack to cool.

Yes, I’m one of those people who won’t let you get into freshly-baked bread for 25 minutes minimum. Try this when you have a day at home. I think you’ll love it.

Tex/Mex take on the “Body of Christ”

Federal agents have arrested a man on charges of drug trafficking after finding a statue of Jesus made of cocaine at a Texas border crossing…

According to the criminal report filed by U.S. officials Tuesday, Bernardino Garcia-Cordova offered a woman $80 to transport two religious statues across the border and deliver them to him at a bus station in Laredo, Texas.

A drug-sniffing dog alerted Border Patrol agents of the presence of drugs in a box that contained two religious figurines. One of those statues, a Jesus figure weighing 3 kilograms, was found to be made of cocaine.

Worth more than a cheese sandwich, I’ll bet.

Dunkin’ Donuts yanks advert over threats from Malkin and the usual PC nutballs

This flap is so chock full of objects of Internet scorn that it’s hard not to get a little dizzy: Right-wing nutcase Michelle Malkin has won a victory over baby-talking Food Network personality Rachael Ray, who was hawking obesity-causing products for fast-food company Dunkin’ Donuts while wearing what appeared to be a kaffiyeh, the cotton scarf that most Americans associate with Palestinian nationalists, especially the much reviled late Yasser Arafat.

Malkin called out Ray and Dunkin’ Donuts on the faux kaffiyeh being visible in the online ads and got the conservative blogosphere buzzing about a potential boycott of the donut chain. And guess what: Dunkin’ Donuts caved and yanked the ads.

It’s probably hard for many people to decide who deserves the lion’s share of their wrath: Malkin for ignorant (and, as always, borderline racist) demagoguery, the insipid Rachael Ray for aggressively embracing the role of foodie icon while shamelessly peddling nutritional nightmares, or Dunkin’ Donuts for manufacturing said fare in the first place and for backing down in the face of Malkin’s toothless swagger.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ official response? “In a recent online ad, Rachael Ray is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design. It was selected by her stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, given the possibility of misperception, we are no longer using the commercial.”

Media cowards intimidated by the politically-correct, ethnic-cleansing clothing police.