A star is born
Tire and wheel maker Titan International Inc. plans to sponsor a series of six or so TV programs featuring-who else?-the company's outspoken CEO and chairman, Maurice Taylor Jr.
The 30-minute segments will showcase Taylor giving his opinions and outlooks not only on the tire and wheel markets, but on a variety of subjects. These include politics, trade, education, business and the military, said Taylor, who in 1996 ran for the Republican presidential nomination.
Taylor also may have a guest or two, but nothing is set in stone yet, including the air dates. He probably would tape the shows in Quincy, Ill., where Titan is based, but they might be available to TV stations throughout the Midwest, he said.
One of Taylor's goals is to give citizens some advice on how to ``raise hell'' if there's a particular issue out there that's impacting them. Plant workers, for example, ``should go to their city councilman or county official and rap them,'' as opposed to the more traditional writing their congressman. Why? ``Because whatever is happening nationally, it ends up affecting people locally.''
Taylor said he has an opinion on just about anything and understands there might be people out there who disagree with his takes on, well, just about anything.
``They might not like it,'' he said, ``but I will definitely give them something to think about.'' Count on it.
The devil made her do it
When tire manufacturer Pirelli & C. S.p.A. made its film debut in Rome recently, it was hoping to draw the right fanfare.
It got that-and a little more than it expected.
Pirelli unveiled the first of several short films, ``The Call,'' a thriller shot in Rome. The movie runs 8 minutes and 45 seconds and depicts the battle between good and evil.
Its message, ``Power is nothing without control,'' is a Pirelli advertising theme and interpretations of the ad message will be the center of several upcoming Pirelli films. In each case, it will be interpreted differently by international stars.
``The Call'' started off on the right foot. Antoine Fuqua-who directed ``Training Day'' and ``King Arthur''-was brought on board as the director, as were actor John Malkovich and supermodel-turned-actress Naomi Campbell. It was quietly shot last fall to prevent the project and the names of its stars from being revealed in advance of the release.
The movie relies on photography that plays with contrasting light and shadows to create a variety of colors and moods, according to the company. It took five days to complete the shoot at various locations, with about 120 working non-stop on the set and four months of post-production work.
Malkovich plays a mysterious man, who in the dead of night is challenged by a menacing black car possessed by the devil (Campbell). The car depicts evil; Malkovich's character represents good.
The film was released in late March, drew some good publicity and can be viewed at www.pirellifilm.com.
Shortly after it was released, however, Campbell, reputed to be hot-tempered, drew some unwanted publicity. She was arrested at her Park Avenue apartment in New York for allegedly drilling a maid with a crystal-encrusted Blackberry mobile phone. News reports said the housekeeper couldn't find a pair of the model's $200 jeans, which led to the alleged tirade.
Campbell was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, which is a felony.
Can I get a menu?
Apparently the Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo., will serve just about anybody-human or not.
The famous hotel recently hosted the annual NAHAD convention for hose distributors and manufacturers, and one of the highlights of being at the Broadmoor is having lunch on the back patio, right at the foot of the picturesque Rocky Mountains.
The patio lounge is not only popular with guests, it's also a big hit with some of the locals- the four-legged kind.
The squirrels, in particular, were quite courageous in trying to find some food. Some, like the pesky little critter shown here, weren't even satisfied with scraps on the ground. This one took a much more proactive approach, hopping up on an unoccupied table to eat nuts right out of the bowl.
The freeloader didn't even leave a tip.
Compiled and edited by Mike McNulty. Send items to [email protected]