Dylan sold out. I'm burning all of his albums. Lol, no I'm not.

Written by Scott Mervis on .


dylanSorry, but I’m beyond freaking out at Bob Dylan for doing a commercial.

He already did Victoria’s Secret and Cadillac, and let Apple use his image, so why get bent out of shape that Super Bowl night had him pitching Chrysler and Chobani yogurt?

Both commercials were entertaining in different ways. The Chobani ad used “I Want You” in the background as a bear ransacked a small-town convenience store for yogurt. It doesn’t make the song any less great and should it evoke the image of grizzly bear in the future, so be it.

The Chrysler ad was a cinematic two-minute production with Dylan waxing poetic on American-made cars. He’s stood up for the American worker, he’s from the Midwest, so this was not that much of a reach. The backlash has included Chrysler being owned by Fiat (although they make the cars here) and Dylan suggesting that we should buy our phones from Asia and our beer from Germany, as if America doesn’t have quality breweries.

It’s hard to imagine Dylan needs the money, given the royalties that must stream in monthly, so his incentive here must be to get his (botoxed?) mug and his music into prime-time.

Actually, that was a welcome sight and sound, given that we generally only see Dylan on network television when he’s doing a bizarro Grammy appearance.

Of course, the comment sections today are filled with cries of “sell out!,” as if Dylan has never confused and confounded us before this.

Here’s the deal: If you love Dylan like I do, and a lot of people I know do, this is barely a blip.

What am I going to do: Burn my copies of “Blonde in Blonde” and “Highway 61 Revisited” on the front lawn in a sacrificial rite? (OK, maybe “Down in the Groove.”) Haul all the Dylan records and books up to the attic? Delete him from iTunes?

No, I’m not throwing Dylan out with the bathwater. His stuff is too good, and basically, he’s ascended to that realm where he can do whatever he wants to do — short of rape and pedophilia — and my opinion’s not changing at this point.

Having watched the commercial a few times, I wasn’t concerned with Fiat or German beer or why his face looked unwrinkled. I wanna know who engineered these commercials, because Dylan’s voice sounded better than it has in ages. It was like “Oh Mercy” good. Warm, sonorous, comprehensible.

Whoever it was, let that person produce his next album!


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About the Senators - 02-03-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

When and where: 7 p.m. EST. Consol Energy Center.

TV: Root Sports, TSN, RDS.

Record: 24-21-10, 58 points. The Senators is in sixth place in the Atlantic Division.

Leading Scorer: Erik Karlsson, 51 points (13 goals, 38 assists).

Last Game: 6-3 road loss to the Maple Leafs, Saturday. Chris Neil had two goals and an assist for the Senators.

Last Game against the Penguins: 5-0 home win, Dec. 23. Craig Anderson (right) made 27 saves for the Senators.

Senators Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Bobby Ryan. In six career games against the Penguins, he has six points.

Ex-Penguins on the Senators: None.

Ex-Senators on the Penguins: Jacques Martin, head coach; Ray Shero, general manager.

Useless Senators Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Senators left winger Chris Neil has 2,115 career penalty minutes, most of any player selected in the 1998 draft. Former Penguins/Senators left winger Jarkko Ruutu is second with 1,078.

Best Senators Video We Could Find: This! Is! ... a terrible ripoff of "300:"

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (29-13-1, 2.228 GAA, .917 SV%) for the Penguins. Craig Anderson (18-11-7, 3.07 GAA, .906 SV%) for the Senators.

Injuries: For the Penguins, defenseman Kris Letang (illness) is out. Right wingers Beau Bennett (hand/wrist), Chris Conner (hand), Pascal Dupuis (knee), center Joe Vitale ("upper body") and goaltender Tomas Vokoun (blood clots) are on injured reserve. For the Senators, defenseman Chris Phillips ("lower body") is out. Right winger Mark Stone ("upper body") is on injured reserve.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins did not have normal line and defensive pairing rushes at today's morning skate. Consider this a guess based on Saturday's game against the Coyotes:

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 49 Brian Gibbons
36 Jussi Jokinen - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 18 James Neal
15 Tanner Glass - 16 Brandon Sutter - 59 Jayson Megna
17 Taylor Pyatt - 27 Craig Adams - 5 Deryk Engelland

44 Brooks Orpik - 7 Paul Martin
3 Olli Maatta - 2 Matt Niskanen
4 Rob Scuderi - 41 Robert Bortuzzo

The Senators' lines and defensive pairings at today's morning skate were:

9 Milan Michalek - 19 Jason Spezza - 93 Mika Zibanejad
16 Clarke MacArthur - 7 Kyle Turris - 6 Bobby Ryan
14 Colin Greening - 15 Zack Smith - 25 Chris Neil
89 Cory Conacher - 24 Stephane Da Costa - 22 Erik Condra

2 Jared Cowen - 65 Erik Karlsson
3 Marc Méthot - 62 Eric Gryba
46 Patrick Wiercioch - 5 Cody Ceci


-The last time the Penguins played the Senators, this happened:

-Kunitz has 199 career goals.

-Jokinen has 397 career points.

-Ryan needs three more points to tie former Islanders/Sabres/Maple Leafs/Stars left winger Randy Wood for the most career points by a New Jersey-born NHLer at 334.

-The referees are Chris Lee and Rob Martell. The linesmen are Derek Arnell and Tony Sericolo.

-Our live blog begins at approximately 6 p.m. Please tune in.

(Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Divergent first look tonight on Kimmel with Shailene Woodley and Theo James

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .


The new trailer for the futuristic action-adventure film “Divergent” will make its world premiere on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” tonight (Feb. 3) at 11:35 p.m.
Shailene Woodley and Theo James will appear on the show to give fans a first look at the new preview with a surprise stunt in store. Additionally, recent Grammy winner and multi-platinum DJ/producer Zedd will perform his new single “Find You” featuring Matthew Koma and Miriam Bryant from the movie’s soundtrack.
Following the premiere of the first-look, the full trailer will launch online Feb. 4 at 11 a.m. via BuzzFeed.
The movie, based on the novel of the same name by Veronica Roth,  will be released in theaters and on IMAX screens nationwide  March 21.
Photo of Maggie Q and Shailene Woodley in “Divergent.” By Jaap Buitendijk


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Lenten rose emerges, and so the season begins

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog heleborus winterThe lenten rose will be in full bloom in consort with crocus flowers, but sends some buds up waiting for another thaw. Photos by Doug Oster

While filling the bird feeder, I glanced down to see the flower buds of Helleborus orientalis  pushing through matted, brown oak leaves. My heart was filled with joy, which was hard to contain. Once something emerges from the frozen soil, it's the announcement of the beginning of another wonderful gardening season. Mother Nature will cover us with snow and chill us to the bone, but now there is hope.

Usually it's snowdrops which appear first, but not this year. This plant is close to the house and it benefiting from the warm brick exterior.

On my hands an knees, I gently brushed the snow away and to my surprise a tiny insect flew onto a leaf close by. It was barely below freezing, but this bug flew onto the leaf for an instant and then was gone as quickly as it appeared.

The lenten rose blooms in many wonderful colors, but often the flowers look downward. I love to cut them, flip them over and display them in a fancy crystal bowl filled with water inside. There's something about those intricate patterns floating around which make me smile.

They remind me spring is within reach and the end of another winter is inevitable.

blog insect winterIt was quite a surprise to see this insect fly up when disturbed. Check out the droplet of water from the snow in its leg.



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9 celebrities you didn't know had Pittsburgh roots

Written by Nicole Martin on .



Pittsburgh is no stranger to big budget film-making. Just recently it served as a primary location for "The Dark Knight Rises," "Jack Reacher" and "Out of the Furnace." To many celebrities, Pittsburgh may have been a temporary home during the movie-making, but there are quite a few celebrities who once lived here; David Conrad, for example, still lives here and recently talked about his affinity to Pittsburgh on WQED. But there are other, perhaps more surprising names you may have never associated with Pittsburgh.

1. Julie Benz

Benz is most recognizable from her roles as Darla in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.” In 2006, she won Best Supporting Actress at the Satellite Awards for her role of Rita Bennett in “Dexter.”

Benz grew up in Murrysville, Pa., and graduated from Franklin Regional High School. “I remember the teacher telling me I should not even try acting,” she told TV Guide. “I still have the report card where she was like, ‘You will never be an actor. Your voice is horrible.’ That was the best thing that ever happened to me because I was like, ‘I’ll show you’.”

2. Joe Manganiello

Best known for his character, Alcide Herveaux, on “True Blood”, Manganiello is a heart throb to all “truebies.” Manganiello graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School, and he attended Carnegie Mellon's acting program before moving to Hollywood. As many actors with ties to Pittsburgh, Manganiello hasn’t forgotten his roots: he remains a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and in 2007 produced and directed a short documentary “DieHardz,” about Steelers fans that meet at bars in Los Angeles. He also stays involved with UPMC Children’s Hospital charity events.

3. Zachary Quinto

Another CMU grad, Quinto started his acting career in the Pittsburgh Theater. Quinto grew up in Green Tree and graduated from Central Catholic High School. He landed a role on the hit show “Heroes” before getting his big break as Spock in the very successful remake of “Star Trek” alongside Chris Pine. Quinto is currently working on a 10-part TV series based in Pittsburgh about college students returning home on their first break.

4. Jeff Goldblum

Just a simple boy from West Homestead grew up to be a big star. Goldblum starred in the box office hits, “Jurassic Park” and “Independence Day.” In 2007, Goldblum played in “Pittsburgh,” a witty variation on a Christopher Guest mockumentary that combines fiction, reality and an irregular cast including Goldblum, Ed Begley Jr., Illeana Douglas, Moby, Conan O’Brien and many unsuspecting Pittsburghers.

5. Cherie Johnson

Born right in the heart of Pittsburgh, she is best known for her role as Cherie on “Punky Brewster” and Maxine on the long-running TV series, “Family Matters.”

6. Dennis Miller

With a resume ranging from a stand-up comedian and talk show host, to sports commentator, actor and more, Miller is a curious Pittsburgher. Miller grew up in the South Hills and graduated from Keystone Oaks High School. He then attended Point Park College — now Point Park University — where he majored in journalism. “When I went to college, I lived on campus, and the guys I hung out with made me do some things I’m not proud of, although they made the characters in Revenge of the Nerds look like the Rat Pack in 1962. I myself made that kid Booger look like Remington Steele,” Miller wrote in his book, "I Rant, Therefore I Am."

7. iJustine

Justine Ezarik grew up in Scenery Hill and graduated from Bentworth High School. She started her career from a YouTube video about a 300-page iPhone bill and quickly became an online sensation. Since then she has been an Internet celebrity and made many guest appearances on popular network television shows such as “Law & Order,” “Criminal Minds,” “The Vampire Diaries,” and was a guest host of “E! News.” Ezarik graduated from the Pittsburgh Technical Institute in 2004 and started her own business that she ran out of Pittsburgh until 2008, the year she moved to Los Angeles. While living in Pittsburgh, Ezarik also worked as a spokeswoman for Bill Peduto, then a city councilman.

8. Christina Aguilera

Though originally from Rochester, Pa., Aguilera moved to Wexford after her family received threats stemming from jealousy of her talent; it was obvious even then. She attended Marshall Middle School and North Allegheny High School. Aguilera was discovered when she sang at a Pittsburgh charity banquet and started receiving offers to sing the National Anthem for the Pirates, Penguins and the Steelers. She got her break on the “Mickey Mouse Club” along with other stars of the 1990s like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Her singing career took off from there. In her song, “I Will Be,” she says, “all the things that you never expected to see from little old me, this Pittsburgh girl.”

9. Melina Kanakaredes

Kanakaredes was not born in Pittsburgh, though she moved here to pursue acting after high school. She attended Point Park and earned a bachelor’s degree in theater arts. It was in Pittsburgh where Kanakaredes began her acting career in the professional theater scene. One of her earlier roles included Mary Magdalene in “Jesus Christ Superstar” at Pittsburgh Musical Theater. She eventually got her break as recurring characters on popular shows like “CSI,” “NYPD Blue,” “Guiding Light,” and, prominently, as Dr. Sydney Hansen on “Providence.”

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