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Predicting The Future

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Vulture’s Fantasy Oscar Odds

We've got the odds for the things you really care about, like the speeches, the dresses, and the inexplicable interpretive-dance routines.

By Dan Kois

Giuliani’s First TV Spot: It’s No ‘United 93’

Giuliani ad

It’s a pivotal moment in the 2008 race: The day voters get to see Giuliani's ferrety smile in a softly lit close-up. That's right, the Republican front-runner finally answered the public clamoring for more multimedia Rudy and premiered his first TV campaign spot, which will begin running today in New Hampshire. The ad goes straight to Giuliani’s credentials: eight years running New York City, “the third- or fourth-largest government in the country.” (About that “third or fourth” thing — they couldn’t look it up?) As we know, whenever Giuliani mentions his hometown, he’s forced to perform a complicated two-step of praising it and dumping on it at the same time; this time he does it with, um, pictures.

Jennifer 8. Lee Tackles Fortune Cookies

The galleys for the The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee’s forthcoming book about Chinese food and restaurants, have flooded the city, and people are getting hungry. Since the mysterious, crowded world of Chinese food is something about which we can never get enough intel, a quick chat with Jennifer was in order.

Adam Platt Defends His Ratings

After seeing that our good friend Adam Platt awarded Allen & Delancey, a restaurant we especially admire, a measly two stars, we decided to confront him with his misjudgment, and request – nay, demand! – that he explain and even justify his method of awarding stars to us. We knew it was an argument we couldn't win, and what's more that we shouldn't win, given the fact that Platt is arguably the city's top critic, but we also know he would respond to us like the big baited bear that he is. The debate played out via our favorite medium, Instant Messenger.

Norman Mailer's Self-Penned Obituary

Mailer
Back in 1979, at the height of his curly-haired glory, Norman Mailer composed a witty and sharp obituary for himself for Boston magazine, which has reprinted it on their Website on the occasion of his death this past weekend. "Norman Mailer passed away yesterday after celebrating his fifteenth divorce and sixteenth wedding," it begins:
He was renowned in publishing circles for his blend of fictional journalism and factual fiction, termed by literary critic William Buckley: Contemporaneous Ratiocinative Aesthetical Prolegomena. Buckley was consequentially sued by Mailer for malicious construction of invidious acronyms. “Norman does take himself seriously,” was Mr. Buckley’s reply. “Of course he is the last of those who do.”
In it, he offers up fake eulogies from some of his friends, which in retrospect are surprisingly poignant. “He was always so butch,” “Truman Capote” says. “I thought he’d outlive us all.” Mailer's Death: We Called It [Boston] Earlier Intel's prodigious coverage of the death of Norman Mailer

The City Is Tired of You Getting Your Bike Seat Wet

Bike Station

Behold the city's newest benefit for bicyclists: a sleek public bike-parking shelter that will start rolling out next month. The structures are from the same company that's installing those adorable new bus stops around town. As you can see, they look very similar, except they've removed the side and rear panels for easy access for up to eight bikes. (And their ad panels will show off the city bike map or reminders to pedal safely.) The Art Commission approved the design yesterday, and the contractor will build the first 5 of 37 at commuting hubs. Look for them at 17th and Broadway, DeKalb and Flatbush, Pelham Parkway and White Plains Road, Jackson Avenue at 50th Street in Long Island City, and the St. George Ferry Terminal. "You judge a good street by how you see people going out and using the space," Transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told us. "We're working hard to make sure that the materials we put on the street are high quality and sustainable." And, from the looks of it, pretty. —Alec Appelbaum