Barbara Walters turns 80 years old today. Let's hope the View girls all remembered to get her a present. Others celebrating today: Will Smith is 41. Designer Thakoon Panichgul is turning 35. Catherine Zeta-Jones is 40. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is 66. Heather Locklear is turning 48. Actress Aida Turturro is 47. Filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar is turning 58. Tate Donovan is 46. Cheryl Tiegs is 62. And Bridget Marquardt of the Girls Next Door is turning 36. A handful of weekend birthdays below.
Serena Williams is 27 today. Others celebrating: Music exec Andre Harrell is 48, Christina Milian is 27, former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman is 62, Olivia Newton-John is 60, and Linda Hamilton turns 52. Two figures on the New York web scene will be blowing out candles this evening: Gothamist co-founder Jen Chung is 32. And Nerve.com founder Rufus Griscom is 41. Weekend birthdays after the jump!
With nary a crotch-covering laptop shot among them, the latest hot blogger list distinguishes itself by rounding up ten guys. My sweaterbear editor insists this is the most important list ever — probably because it features ursine crush object Alex Blagg from VH1's Best Week Ever. I'm just waiting for when the nudity gets as gratuitous — Jason Kottke! — as the linking.
Old-school blogger Jason Kottke only got to the third paragraph of this week's New Yorker profile of Donatella Versace (which, ridiculously, is not online). This was what stopped him: "The trouble began when, between appointments, Donatella repaired to an outdoor terrace to smoke. Seated at a wrought-iron table, she thumbed open a pack of 'special DV Marlboro Reds' (so called because her staff in Milan is instructed to cover the customary 'Smoking Kills' label on every pack with a sticker bearing a DV monogram in medieval script)." Writes Jason: "That's as far as I read before deciding that reading yet another article about someone wealthy enough to have a staff helping them opt out of reality is a waste of my time, no matter how well written the article."
Thank goodness Ollie Kottke is a newborn and not a Harry Potter-obsessed preteen. If he were, then his father Jason Kottke would have had a real problem on his hands when UPS lied to him about its delivery of Kottke's copy of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" on Saturday. As it was, he was just inconvenienced. As was I. Here's my story — and to my mind, proof that Kottke's missing copy was not an isolated incident, and instead, a big problem for UPS and Amazon.com.
I never intended for the blogger-baby story, which began with the birth of Ollie Kottke to A-list bloggers Jason Kottke and Meg Hourihan, to become quite such a saga, but news has a way of happening. Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield are no longer expecting a baby — they have a daughter, Sonnet Beatrice Butterfield, according to fellow Yahoo executive Bradley Horowitz. Here's the rundown on the rest of the couples mentioned in yesterday's baby poll, which — well done, readers — you guessed correctly.
Last week, the birth of a son (and future blogger) to Jason Kottke and Meg Hourihan reminded us of another famous Web personality who
triedhad a colleague try, bizarrely, to claim that the mom-to-be's pregnancy was "off the record." (Memo to other would-be secret-keepers: "Off the record" is always a matter of mutual agreement between reporter and source, not something you can declare unilaterally.) We asked for guesses on who it was, and you had lots of good ones. Now it's time to vote, picking out the baby-hiders from among these glamorous A-list bloggers. Pictures of the people you've speculated about, and a poll, after the jump.
Jason Kottke, who was blogging long before anyone called it that, and Meg Hourihan, the cofounder of Pyra Labs, maker of Blogger, are the proud parents of Ollie Kottke. Mazel tov to the new mom and dad! We can't wait until Ollie starts IMing us tips about his A-list blogger parents. For those of you as thrilled as I am by news of the next generation of bloggers, here's a question: Which other famous A-list blogger couple is set to have a baby very soon — but who are going around telling people, absurdly, that the mom-to-be's very obvious bump is "off the record"? (Photo by jkottke)
Last night John Johnson's Eyebeam Institute celebrated 10 years of cutting some major edge with a benefit at their Chelsea warehouse. We were
forced on pain of death cheerfully volunteered to partake in "tabloid karaoke." Somewhat sadly we found out that that meant being put in a little box with a dude from the Onion and some hot girl from Buzzfeed without food nor drink and writing headlines about the sundry blogebrities and artists who came. Suck! Though the event was meant to honor Arianna Huffington the so-called Queen of the Blogosphere (Take that Denton!), Lady Huff was stuck in California with a bizarre eye injury. (Another eye injury?)
Two non-Silicon Valley bloggers speak at SXSW today — Heather Armstrong of Dooce and Jason Kottke of kottke.org, who rule the blogosphere, Valley and off-Valley, from basement desks in Salt Lake City and NYC. Jason funded his blog through reader contributions; Heather through advertising. They're doing an overstuffed-chair interview (so Oprah!) now. Choppy highlights follow.
Blogger and architecture junkie Jason Kottke on the Metropolitan Opera House: "What were architects and interior designers thinking back in the 60s? Everything is fine when the house lights are down and the stage is alive with color and song, but as soon as the lights go on, I feel as though I'm sitting in the opera house equivalent of a 60s suburban living room. No sense of grandeur, no awe, just a design that didn't age well at all and a big spiky chandelier that looks like the spaceship that Jor-El stuffed Superman into just before Krypton exploded."
A night at the opera [Kottke.org]
Elizabeth Spiers is the Editor of Gawker.com, a Manhattan weblog magazine designed by Jason Kottke, and published by Nick Denton. Current obsessions/topics of interest include but are not limited to, urban dating rituals, Cond Nastiness, celebutantes, Hamptons gauche, real estate porn, ironic hipster couture, fantasy skyscrapers, downwardly mobile i-bankers, Eurotrash infestations, loathesome literati, no-ropes social climbing, pomp, circumstance, and other matters of serious import. Gawker was named to Entertainment Weekly's 2003 "IT list", one of Time magazine's "Top 50 Websites" for 2003, a "Best Media Blog" (2003) by Forbes, and a "Best of Breed" online news site by the New York New Media Association. Spiers is also a freelance journalist and has written for Salon.com, Radar magazine, Black Book magazine, The Face, The New York Times, and Page Six. Prior to Gawker, Spiers was a buy-side financial analyst focusing on small cap tech equities and early stage venture capital. Spiers earned a BA in Political Science and Public Policy from Duke University.