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GRAY MATTERS

News, observations, stray thoughts + medically supervised brain drainings about our city



Would You Like a Blow Torch for that $1,995?



The paper of record has stopped sharing its wealth of entertaining, informative articles with the Internet world, opting instead to charge a fee for anything more than one week old—well, to clarify, by "more than one week old," we mean anything published more than one week ago; news that's merely old news or news the Sun got first or news everybody's already heard about but was merely reported late or wrong doesn't count. "To allow for flexibility," the Review-Journal's new pay archive site says, "we offer week, month and annual passes along with single-article purchasing." For example, you can purchase this credit-card-only payment plan: "1,000 Pack: $1,995, one-year duration," or, for the less masochistic, the "500 Pack: $995, one year duration." All of this adds up to one central, simple, dangerous joy: Las Vegas Sun archives are still free.




Hey, Frank and Lorenzo, You Might Want to School Your Cousin On Gaming's Finer Points—Like Maintaining the Facade that Gamblers Are Going to Win Big




"We're not going to let a player come in and beat us for $9 million."



—Landry's CEO Tillman Fertitta, cousin of the Station Casinos-owning Fertitta brothers, reacting to news that a gambler won $9 million at the Golden Nugget, contributing to an $8.7 million loss for the third quarter. On Friday, the Landry's restaurant chain announced plans to purchase the Downtown property.




Welcome to the Fabulous Las Vegas Strip—the South Central LA of the Business World




"For 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Strip hosts the most violent competition in business in America."



—Casino mogul Steve Wynn in The Chicago Tribune




Overheard



On a flight to Vegas from Houston:


"I hear they've got Barry Manilow as a regular now," said a woman with a thick Mexican accent. "My family, we say he sings like a camel. Have you ever heard an old camel sing? It's not so good."




The One-Minute Advertising Critic




Scott Dickensheets couldn't tune out this radio spot: Shilling the Nevada Ballet's upcoming performance of Romeo and Juliet, an ad I recently heard on KNPR clearly targets men of a non-balletic inclination by suggesting the dance as a romantic Valentine's Day gift. Not a bad idea, frankly. It beat the self-portrait in sculpted chocolate I'd planned to give Mrs. D.


But then the ad tries to seal the deal by slyly suggesting that the dance might get your lady friend a little frisky. "Try something new," the ad advises the male troglodyte, "and maybe she will, too." From Shakespeare to the Kama Sutra in a few toe steps! Still, even if the aphrodisiac effect of dance tights outweighs the story's thematic bummer—both lovers die, after all—some will surely find it a little sad that these days, you have to sell high culture with such broad winks.


Not us.




What Happens in Vegas ... Stays in Your Medical Records



Another entry in the let's-take-a-swipe-at-Vegas-'cause-it's-an-easy-laugh category is this squib from Entertainment Weekly, summarizing an episode of the CBS' sitcom Two and a Half Men: "Alan is worried about his colonoscopy. What would get a guy's mind off a camera going up his sphincter? Vegas, baby! Where that sort of thing is more recreational than medical." Ah, shove it up yer ass.




Restaurants Gone Wild!



Two headlines from the Las Vegas Sun, Feb. 4, 2005:


1.) Landry's to buy Golden Nugget


... Former owners Tim Poster and Tom Breitling: "We're gonna re-energize Fremont Street! We're gonna reinvent the urban casino! We're gonna bring back old Vegas ... eh, screw it."


2.) Hooters Air arrives in Las Vegas


... Sports radio listener: "Oooh, oooh, me needs book flight now."




Our Favorite Line of Movie Dialogue About Las Vegas We'd Never Heard Before Until We Caught It on Cable the Other Night



Alec Baldwin's casino boss, lamenting the loss of Old Vegas: "Then Steve Wynn knocked up Las Vegas and put it in a family way."



—From The Cooler




Not-So Done Deal?



Maybe this is putting the radioactive spent fuel before the trains supposed to cart it to Yucca Mountain, but news that the U.S. Energy Department will likely delay by two years (to 2012) the proposed opening of a nuclear waste dump 90 miles outside of Las Vegas is nothing if not heartening. When President Bush green-lighted the repository three years ago this month, we figured we'd be glowing by 2010.


But thanks to pit-bull tactics by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (ritually gutting the Yucca budget, getting an advisor on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission) and a river of lawsuits, the repository is on shakier ground than ever. As Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., told the Las Vegas Sun: "I think Margaret Chu and the administration can say 2010, 2012, but I suggest they start looking at 20-never. They will never be able to make Yucca Mountain the appropriate site. There is no way to safely store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain."

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