Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Soprano

Death looms over Harry and Tony

By JOCELYN NOVECK, AP National Writer Fri Jul 20, 9:35 AM ET

NEW YORK - How could any two people (OK, they're fictional, but still) be more different than Harry Potter and Tony Soprano?

One's scrawny, clever, good-hearted, steadfast. The other's hefty, menacing, philandering, morally unsound. Yet by a quirk of timing that has both their final chapters unfolding within a month and change, they're linked as 2007's icons of pop culture. Last month we agitated, cogitated, speculated over whether Tony would live or die. (Some are still wondering, but let's not go THERE again.) Now, Internet spoilers aside, we're desperately waiting to see what happens to Harry, beloved of millions, in J.K. Rowling's final tome.

But is that all they share? Come to think of it, maybe these two characters do have a few things in common worth exploring. (After all, what else is there to do before Friday at midnight?)



Harry: Seven books.

Tony: Six seasons.


Harry: The Chosen One, the Boy Who Lived, the Seeker.

Tony: Skip (by Silvio), Chief, Boss (by Paulie), $%&% (by Carmela, sometimes), Waste Management Consultant (on his tax returns).


Harry: Lord Voldemort, aka Tom Riddle, the Dark Lord, You Know Who, or He Who Must Not Be Named.

Tony: Phil Leotardo, aka New York, or He Who Got Crushed By His SUV.


Harry: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Muggles and Magic realms.

Tony: The Bada Bing, the Pork Store.


Harry: Longs for his dead mother and father.

Tony: Longed for his mother to be dead.


Harry: Lives with wicked mortal Uncle Vernon Dursley.

Tony: Got shot by senile mortal Uncle "Junior" Soprano.


Harry: Stays tight with cute, rascally Ron Weasley; sweet, brainy Hermione Granger.

Tony: Stayed tight with stoic henchman Silvio Dante, mercurial Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri, softie brother-in-law Bobby Bacala, self-absorbed nephew Christopher Molti... um, scratch that last one.


Harry: Sought guidance from his beloved headmaster, Dumbledore, before he was killed.

Tony: Sought guidance from his shrink, Dr. Jennifer Melfi, before she dumped him.


Harry: Discovers romantic feelings for Ginny Weasley, but can't act on them for her protection.

Tony: Discovered carnal feelings for unstable car saleswoman Gloria, and did act on them, along with many others. Flirted unsuccessfully with above-mentioned Dr. Melfi.


Harry: Pursues an epic fight against Voldemort, the dark wizard, whose soul is sometimes separated into pieces.

Tony: Pursued rival Mob figures or rats from his own side, whose bodies were then separated into pieces.


Harry: Does he win the ultimate confrontation with Voldemort? Does good triumph over evil in Rowling's massive world of wizards? Fans are counting on some clarity from the author, unlike what happened with ...

Tony: Did that guy kill him on the way back from the john? Did the cholesterol from the onion rings eventually get him? Alas, our chance for closure is over, and we'll never know where Tony ended up, making series creator David Chase a hero to some, and to others their own personal Voldemort. (Ms. Rowling, please don't cut to black.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The King of Reeses

Reese's Banana Creme?
There have been 3 comments posted
Posted: 5:26 PM Jul 17, 2007
Last Updated: 5:26 PM Jul 17, 2007

Are you kidding? Reese's Peanut Butter cups are a family tradition for many Americans. So are you ready for Reese's Peanut Butter and Banana Creme Cups, featuring Elvis Presley?

Well get ready....the Hershey, Pennsylvania company launches the Banana Creme Cups with Elvis....and from now till December 31, the company is handing out more than 10,000 prizes in the "Live Like the King Program."

While we decide if we can adapt to Banana Creme Cups, you can go to the Reese's web site for full details.

Gore Gone Gobbler

Gore's message loses bite

By Rebecca Keeble

July 18, 2007 12:00am

ONLY one week after Live Earth, Al Gore's green credentials slipped while hosting his daughter's wedding in Beverly Hills.

Gore and his guests at the weekend ceremony dined on Chilean sea bass - arguably one of the world's most threatened fish species.

Also known as Patagonian toothfish, the species is under pressure from illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activities in the Southern Ocean, jeopardising the sustainability of remaining stocks.

The species is currently managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Living Marine Resources, the body which introduced a catch and trade documentation scheme as an attempt to tackle illegal poaching of this species.

Working with non-government organisations, the Humane Society International's focus is now on pursuit of illegal fishing operators who, in the rush to cash in on the highly valued species, plunder stocks with no regard for sustainability.

It has been estimated that more than 50 per cent of toothfish traded is illegally caught, and includes juveniles vital to the ongoing toothfish population.

For many years HSI has expressed concern over the huge numbers of seabirds that die each year on the hooks of illegally set demersal longlines, threatening the long-term viability of those populations.

Yet, while legal operators in the Southern Ocean are obliged to follow strict environmental rules, illegal operators undermine the sustainability of their fishing operations.

Recently, HSI petitioned the US Government asking that they certify and sanction Spain for allowing Spanish nationals known to engage in pirate fishing operations to continue to harvest toothfish in a declared conservation area.

Success would allow the US Government to embargo Spanish toothfish imports until such time as Spain demonstrates compliance of its nationals with international law and agreements.

As we await a response from the US, thousands of endangered seabirds die, while the sustainability of the Patagonian toothfish and the legal fishing industry inches closer to the brink of extinction.

A strong and concerted effort by Governments, the fishing industry, the conservation community and by the public which drives consumer demand, is required to put an end to pirate fishing operations in the Southern Ocean - otherwise the ecological sustainability of the toothfish is at risk.

And Al Gore could choose something else to eat.

* Rebecca Keeble is program manager for Humane Society International.