Sunday, June 12, 2016

2009 NFL Power Rankings: Week 15

The NFL playoffs are just around the corner and it’s time for another edition of my NFL power rankings. These NFL power rankings and my NFL picks are for week 15.

The most controversial NFL power rankings on Associated Content were at it again last week, angering plenty of football fans. I’ll say it for the thousandth time: Records matter more than anything else in the NFL. They won’t completely determine my NFL power rankings this week, but that’s just how things went last week.

Which NFL fan base will be upset with this week’s NFL power rankings? Let us find out.

32. Tampa Bay (1-12): Sure, the Jets are better in December with Sanchez on the bench (I said it), but being blown out by New York at home puts the Bucs in the cellar of my NFL power rankings.

31. St. Louis (1-12): My respect for the Titans in Tennessee keeps the Rams out of last in these NFL power rankings. The race for the number one draft pick is heating up!

30. Kansas City (3-10): The Chiefs could lose to the Bills and Browns in back-to-back weeks. That could be good enough to put the Chiefs below the one win teams in next week’s NFL power rankings.

29. Detroit (2-11): The Lions have to face the roller coaster Cards and it’s Arizona’s week to dominate an opponent.

28. Oakland (4-9): Getting killed by the Redskins is enough to put the Raiders beneath a two-win team in my NFL power rankings.

27. Cleveland (2-11): After beating the Steelers for the first time in what seems like two decades, I almost put the Browns at the top of my NFL power rankings. OK, I’m kidding, but they’ve earned the 27 spot (even though the Steelers are terrible).

26. Seattle (5-8): The Seahawks could ruin Tampa Bay’s bid for the number one pick. This team is no good.

25. Carolina (5-8): Vikings, Giants and Saints are coming up for the Panthers. Things aren’t looking up for Carolina.

24. Washington (4-9): I still can’t take this football team seriously. If they beat the Giants, I’ll move them up in next week’s NFL power rankings. I promise.

23. Chicago (5-8): Time for the weekly question. What will be higher; Cutler’s total interceptions or Chicago’s place in my NFL power rankings?

22. Buffalo (5-8): I really don’t see the Bills winning again this season so they’ll hover around the bottom third of my NFL power rankings for the rest of 2009.

21. Pittsburgh (6-7): The biggest sign that the champs aren’t repeating? They lost to Cleveland.

20. Atlanta (6-7): The Falcons nearly saved the season by knocking off the undefeated Saints on Sunday. Winning out may not be enough to get Atlanta in the playoffs.

19. Houston (6-7): The Texans beat up the Seahawks. Big deal. This 8-8 team to be (maybe) won’t be going too high up in NFL power rankings.

18. San Francisco (6-7): The 49ers were fortunate to catch the roller coaster Cards on one of Arizona’s off weeks. For the second time in 2009. Do you really think this team is finishing above .500?

17. Jacksonville (7-6): Boy did the Jags blow it at home. Goodbye, playoffs.

16. New York Giants (7-6): This defense actually hurts my soul. I’m certain the Giants would give up 30 points to the Browns.

15. Tennessee (6-7): I’ll take “phrases I never thought I’d say for $300, Alex:” Where would the Titans be if Vince Young was the starting QB in September?

14. New York Jets (7-6): Mark Sanchez is probably returning, keeping me from putting the Jets any higher in my NFL power rankings. Still, we’re living in a world where the Jets are better than the Giants. I’m scared, readers. I’m scared.

13. Baltimore (7-6): The Ravens have the Bears, Steelers and Raiders in the next three weeks. Baltimore could very well finish 10-6. Or 8-8. I don’t even know anymore with this football team.

12. Dallas (8-5): NFC East is nothing special outside of Philadelphia and it’s December. Just how low can Dallas fall in these NFL power rankings?

11. Miami (7-6): Too bad for the Dolphins that the Patriots have a cupcake schedule these next three weeks. Miami still has a chance to make the playoffs, though.

10. Denver (8-5): As I said in my week 15 NFL picks, losing to the Colts doesn’t make Denver a bad team. It makes Denver like every other team in the league in 2009.

9. Arizona (8-5): Don’t doubt the roller coaster Cards just yet. They’re winning the division and a playoff game. Mark my words.

8. New England (8-5): I can’t tell if the Patriots aren’t an elite team or if they just don’t care right now. Even still, New England will probably win the division. That’s a shame.

7. Cincinnati (9-4): The Bengals were downed by the third best football team in the league on the road. I can’t put them any lower in my NFL power rankings due to this fact.

6. Green Bay (9-4): The Packers have quite the easy schedule ahead of them. If Minnesota collapses…I’m just sayin’.

5. Philadelphia (9-4): Philadelphia’s complete lack of defense on Sunday night keeps the Eagles out of the top four in my NFL power rankings.

4. San Diego (10-3): The Chargers could be in the top three of my NFL power rankings by beating Cincinnati and Tennessee in the next two weeks.

3. Minnesota (11-2): The Vikings are going to score 65 points against the Giants in a few weeks.

2. New Orleans (13-0)

1. Indianapolis (13-0): No change at the top of the NFL power rankings this week as the Colts won by double digits while the Saints were pushed to the brink by the Falcons. Both teams should be challenged in week 15 of the NFL season.

For more: Read last week’s NFL power rankings and my week 15 NFL picks

Tags:2009 NFL Power Rankings: Week 15

2009 NFL Playoff Preview - Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo certainly did not cause the long drought of Dallas Cowboys playoff futility, but he sure seems to get all the credit. He has certainly contributed to the continuation of this problem, but he is not the sole cause of it by a long shot. Still, when you look at the potential for success in the 2009 NFL football playoffs for Dallas, all eyes go directly to Tony Romo.

Romo is the engine that makes the Cowboys purr. When he is on, he makes the Cowboys a much better football team. With a new favorite target in 2009 named Miles Austin, the Cowboy quarterback now has a second security blanket to throw to along with Jason Witten. In years past, Romo has fallen back into throwing to Witten every time. In 2009, he has been spreading the wealth. This has largely been thanks to Austin.

Miles Austin has simply come from out of nowhere to become one of the best young receivers in the game. He has a smooth stride in and out of his cuts, and has hands that seem to catch every ball thrown his way. Look for Miles Austin to make a serious impact towards helping Dallas get off the playoff slide they have suffered through for well over a decade.

The biggest concern for Dallas is actually their defense. Though they have been rather impressive recently, the secondary has been a major sore point for the majority of the year. A strong linebacking corp has done wonders to patch those holes, and the defense has come together nicely. Against some of the quality passing teams such as the Saints, however, the Cowboys could struggle.

All in all, the Cowboys are ripe to win at least one game this season in the NFL Playoffs, but do not expect them to continue much further. They simply have too many question marks to make a serious impact on the NFC Playoff picture. The only way that Dallas will move past the first round is if Tony Romo suddenly gets hot and plays way over his head. If past experiences count for much, this is not likely to happen.

The Dallas Cowboys will win one and then take an exit after that in all probability.

Tags:2009 NFL Playoff Preview - Dallas Cowboys

2009 New Orleans Jazz Festival Announces Schedule, Musical Guests

The 2009 New Orleans Jazz Festival has released its schedule, as well as a list of the performers for the two weekend festival. This will be the 40th anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and will showcase some of the best names in the music business. The festival is scheduled to take place over two weekends, starting on April 24th-26 and ending on the weekend of April 30-May 3 in 2009. Ticket have gone on sale for the festival now, which can be purchased as single weekends, or for the entire festival if you are a really big fan of jazz music.

The New Orleans Jazz Festival will feature some huge names in the music business, including musical greats Wynton Marsalis, James Taylor, Earth Wind & Fire, and Aretha Franklin just to name a few. The acts will differ for each weekend, but it will be a big chance for any fan of music to really enjoy one of the best concerts of their lifetime. There are basically hundreds of artists that are scheduled to appear at the festival, in what is sure to go down as one very historic concert. It will be one of those once-in-a-lifetime concerts, and if there is a fan of jazz out there, they should be attending this festival.

As the festival begins to draw closer, they will release an exact schedule grid of who will be performing at what time, as well as what locations they will be doing their performances. The main web-site (below in sources) will be the primary location of this schedule, and a great place to figure out when favorite artists may be participating. Ticket prices are also very affordable, selling for only $40.00 in advance for either weekend, which makes it well worth the price to see all of these artists performing. Those prices will go up to $50.00 on the day of the events.

For a couple of great weekends of enjoyable music, there is going to be none better than the 40th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Taking place in what many people consider the best jazz city in the world, New Orleans is going to be hopping as all of these great musical artists as well as numerous legends descend upon the area at the end of April. This is going to be a historic moment in not only jazz music, but for the United States, and something that music lovers are sure to enjoy talking about for many years.

Sources: Scheduled Musicians and Tickets

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Music Guests Scheduled for 40th Jazz Festival:

Weekend 1:

PRESENTED BY SHELL

APRIL 24 – 26 (1st WEEKEND)

Wynton Marsalis, Dave Matthews Band, James Taylor, Joe Cocker, Earth Wind & Fire, Wilco, Spoon, Erykah Badu, Irma Thomas, Orishas, Third World, Robert Cray, Etta James & the Roots Band, Mavis Staples, Drive-By Truckers feat. Booker T. Jones, Johnny Winter, Pete Seeger, Hugh Masekela, Better Than Ezra, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Galactic, Roy Haynes, Pete Fountain, Avett Brothers, Kinky, Roy Rogers, Del McCoury Band, Terence Blanchard, Marc Broussard, DJ Jubilee with 5th Ward Weebie and Ms. Tee, Buckwheat Zydeco’s 30th Anniversary feat. The Hitchhikers, Tab Benoit, Locos por Juana, Trombone Shorty, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Yacub Addy and Odadaa of Ghana, Rebirth Brass Band Reunion with Kermit Ruffins, Ivan Neville & Dumpstaphunk, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience, Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys, Donald Harrison, The Anointed Jackson Sisters, Tribute to Mahalia Jackson featuring Irma Thomas, Mavis Staples, and Pamela Landrum, Chris Smither, Henry Butler, Papa Grows Funk, Robert Mirabal, Harlem Blues & Jazz Band, Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters, Sonny Landreth, Benjy Davis Project, The Vettes, Mem Shannon & the Membership, Stephanie Jordan, Warren Storm, Willie Tee and Cypress feat. Tommy McLain and T K Hulin, Astral Project, Ladysmith Redlions of South Africa, Don Vappie & the Creole Jazz Serenaders, Amammereso Agofomma of Ghana, The Dixie Cups, Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, Germaine Bazzle, John Mooney & Bluesiana, Marlon Jordan, Tabby Thomas, Spencer Bohren, Savoy Music Center of Eunice Saturday Cajun Jam, Dew Drop Inn Revisited hosted by Deacon John feat. Wanda Rouzan, Eddie Bo, Allen Toussaint, Robert Parker, and Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Paul Sanchez & the Rolling Road Show, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun, Leroy Jones presents the Fairview Brass Band Reunion Tribute to Danny Barker, Bruce Daigrepont, Vivaz!, Pfister Sisters’ 30th Anniversary, Gringo do Choro, Dr. Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band, Thais Clark, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indians, Henry Gray & the Cats, Joe Krown, Walter “Wolfman” Washington & Russell Batiste, Jr., Lil’ Buck Sinegal Blues Band, EOE, Ebony Hillbillies, Crescent City Allstars feat. James Andrews, Hot 8 Brass Band, Schatzy, Jake Smith, 19th Street Red Blues Band, Brasilliance!, Mighty Chariots of Fire, Sharde Thomas & the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, Chris Owens, Topsy Chapman, New Bumpers’ Revival Jazz Band of France, Zulu Male Ensemble, Jo “Cool” Davis, Leah Chase, Herlin Riley, Roderick Paulin, Mahogany Brass Band, Ingrid Lucia, MyNameisJonMichael, Texas Johnny Brown & the Quality Blues Band, Rockie Charles & the Stax of Love, AsheSon, Jim McCormick, Lil’ Malcolm & the House Rockers, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, Thomas “Big Hat” Fields & his Foot Stompin’ Zydeco Band, Guitar Slim, Jr., Storyville Stompers Brass Band, Willis Prudhomme & Zydeco Express, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Waterseed, Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians, DJ Hektik & the New Orleans Society of Dance with Freedia and Nobi, Tipsy Chicks, Jonno Frishberg & Bayou DeVille, Christian Serpas & Ghost Town, Kumbuka African Drum and Dance Collective, NewBirth Brass Band, High Ground Drifters Bluegrass Band, New Orleans Night Crawlers Brass Band, Hadley Castille & the Sharecropper Band, Carrollton Hunters and Cherokee Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Big Steppers, Furious Five, and Untouchables SAPCs, Patrice Fisher & Arpa feat. special guests from Brazil, Clive Wilson’s New Orleans Serenaders feat. Butch Thompson, Young Tuxedo Brass Band, Betty Winn & One A-Chord, McDonogh #35 High School Gospel Choir, Sophisticated Ladies feat. Barbara Shorts, Leslie Smith, Cindy Scott, and Judy Spellman, Golden Comanche and Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians, N.O.C.C.A. Jazz Ensemble, Real Untouchables Brass Band, Olympia Aid, New Look & First Division SAPCs, New Orleans Jazz Vipers, Tommy Sancton, Society Brass Band, Connie Jones, St. Joseph the Worker Music Ministry, UNO Jazz Combo, June Gardner & the Fellas, New Orleans Spiritualettes, Smitty Dee’s Brass Band, Kid Simmons’ Local International Allstars, Semolian Warriors, Comanche Hunters, and Golden Star Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble, Tyronne Foster & the Arc Singers, Loyola University Jazz Ensemble, Franklin Avenue B.C. Mass Choir, Small Souljas Brass Band, Val & the Love Alive Fellowship Choir, Single Ladies, Family Ties, Big Nine, and Keep N It Real SAPCs, Second Mount Carmel Gospel Choir, Xavier University Jazz Ensemble, Heritage School of Music Band, Gospel Soul Children, Nine Times Men, Single Men, Dumaine Gang, Divine Ladies, and Lady Jetsetters SAPCs, Red, White & Blue and Wild Mohican Mardi Gras Indians, Reverend Charles Jackson & the Jackson Travelers, Nineveh B.C. Mass Choir, Kid Simmon’s Local International Allstars, Voices of St. Peter Claver, David & Roselyn, Grayhawk, Washboard Leo, Red Hot Brass Band, Kayla Woodson & Louisiana Lightnin’….

Weekend 2:

PRESENTED BY SHELL

APRIL 30 – MAY 3 (2nd WEEKEND)

Aretha Franklin, Sugarland, Ben Harper and Relentless7, Tony Bennett, Kings of Leon, The Neville Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Common, Emmylou Harris, Dr. John, Buddy Guy, Los Lobos, The O’Jays, Toots & the Maytals, Allen Toussaint, John Mayall, Solomon Burke, Doc Watson, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, The Whispers, Jakob Dylan, Chuck Brown, Meter Men: Zig, George, and Leo, Kurt Elling, Rance Allen, Cowboy Mouth, Guy Clark, Radiators Aaron Neville, Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, Tab Benoit & the Wetland Allstars, Marcia Ball, Ellis Marsalis, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band, Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Frankie Ford, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, Mississippi Mass Choir, Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters, Anders Osborne, the subdudes, Esperanza Spalding, Patty Griffin, Deacon John, Chris Thomas King, Kind of Blue @ 50 Tribute to Miles Davis feat. Jimmy Cobb, Wallace Roney, Larry Willis, and Buster Williams, John Scofield & the Piety Street Band, George Wein & the Newport Allstars feat. Randy Brecker, VaShawn Mitchell & Friends, Nicholas Payton, Linda Tillery & the Cultural Heritage Choir, Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Bonerama, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Genius of Sidney Bechet: A Tribute feat. Bob Wilber, Dr. Michael White, and Brian “Breeze” Cayolle, Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas, Theresa Andersson, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm, Bobby Lounge feat. Sarah Quintana, Chieck Hamala Diabate of Mali, The Iguanas, Treme Brass Band, Lars Edegran & the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, Lionel Ferbos & the Palm Court Jazz Band, Fredy Omar con su Banda, Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys, Big Chief Bo Dollis & the Wild Magnolias, Soul Rebels, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Luther Kent & Trickbag, Banu Gibson’s Hot Jazz with Bucky Pizzarelli, Mark Braud, Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots, Marva Wright & the BMWs, Kenny Bill Stinson & the Ark-LA-Mystics, Gregg Stafford’s Jazz Hounds’ Tribute to Danny Barker feat. Juanita Brooks, Eric Lindell, C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Rumba Buena, Roddie Romero & the Hub City Allstars, Charmaine Neville Band, Eddie Bo, Ori Danse Club of Benin, Crocodile Gumboot Dancers of South Africa, Rotary Downs, George French & the New Orleans Storyville Jazz Band, Walter Payton & Filé Gumbo, Dash Rip Rock, John Boutté, Sonny Bourg & the Bayou Blues Band, Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes, Sherman Robertson, Honey Island Swamp Band, The Revealers, I’Voire Spectacle feat. Seguenon Kone, Alex McMurray, 101 Runners, Midnite Disturbers, Paulin Brothers Brass Band, Big Chief Peppy & the Golden Arrows Mardi Gras Indians, D.L. Menard & the Louisiana Aces, James Rivers Movement, Otra, Tony Green’s Gypsy Jazz, New Orleans Klezmer Allstars, John Rankin, Betsy McGovern & the Poor Clares, Kenny Neal, Lil’ Brian & the Travelers, Jeremy Davenport, Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band, Jamal Batiste & the Jam-Allstars, Ensemble Fatien feat. Seguenon Kone, Dr. Michael White, and Jason Marsalis, Sharon Martin, St. Louis Slim, Bryan Lee & the Blues Power Band, TBC Brass Band, Lady Rollers, Original C.T.C., and Nine Times Ladies SAPCs, Feufollet, War Chief Juan & Young Fire and White Cloud Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleans Bingo! Show, David Egan, Kidd Jordan-Al Fielder & the IAQ, Drew Landry Band, Driskill Mountain Boys, Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone, Washboard Chaz, Bamboula 2000, Danza, Marisa y Mariachi Agave, J. Monque’D Blues Band, Cedric Watson, Twangorama, Higher Heights, Tim Laughlin, Elysian Fieldz, Percussion Inc., Pinettes Brass Band, Scene Boosters, Old N Nu Fellas, Secondline Jammers, and Ladies of Unity SAPCs, Little Freddie King Blues Band, Glen David Andrews, Po’ Henry & Tookie, Sherman Washington & the Zion Harmonizers, Culu Children’s Traditional African Dance Ensemble, Paky Saavedra’s Bandido, New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Rhythm Section, Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, Shamarr Allen, Free Agents Brass Band, Jambalaya Cajun Band, Benny Grunch & the Bunch, Javier Tobar & Elegant Gypsy, Creole Zydeco Farmers, Bonsoir Catin, Corey Ledet, Gina Brown, Reggie Hall & the Twilighters feat. Lady Bee, Forgotten Souls Brass Band, Young Magnolias, Golden Sioux, and Black Feathers Mardi Gras Indians, New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra, Westbank Steppers, Valley of Silent Men, and Pigeon Town Steppers SAPCs, Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans, Truth Universal & Jimi Clever, Shades of Praise Gospel Singers, Brother Tyrone, Lazarus, Berard Family Band, New Orleans Jazz Ramblers, Courtney Bryan Trio, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, DJ Captain Charles, Blodie’s Jazz Jam, New Orleans Helsinki Project, Original Last Straws, Chris Clifton, Panorama Jazz Band, Mario Abney, John Lee & the Heralds of Christ, Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Hot Club of New Orleans, The Moonshiners, Clarinet Woodshed feat. Evan Christopher and Gregory Agid, SUBR Jazz Ensemble, Michael Ward, DJ Soul Sister, The Johnson Extension, Black Eagles, Geronimo Hunters, Wild Tchoupitoulas, and Wild Apaches Mardi Gras Indians, Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries, Tulane University Jazz Ensemble, First Emmanuel Baptist Church Choir, Louis Ford & his New Orleans Flairs, Fi Yi Yi & the Mandingo Warriors, Red Hawk, and Black Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians, Leviticus Gospel Choir, Dillard University Jazz Ensemble, Bester Singers and the Dynamic Smooth Family Gospel Singers, Bon Temps Roulez, New Generation, and Undefeated Divas SAPCs, The Electrifying Crownseekers, Pinstripe Brass Band, Ebenezer Baptist Church Mass Choir, Trouble Nation and Ninth Ward Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Famous Rocks of Harmony, Highsteppers Brass Band, McMain High School Gospel Choir, Voices of Distinction, Gal Holiday, Lyle Henderson & Emmanuel, Coolie Family Gospel Singers, Original Big 7 and Original 4 SAPCs, Tornado Brass Band, Eddie “Chops” Paris, Golden Blade, Wild Red Flame, and Mohawk Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Morning Star B.C. Mass Choir, New Wave Brass Band, Julio y Cesar Band, First Emmanuel Church Gospel Choir, Greater Antioch Full Gospel B.C. Mass Choir, Roderick Paulin, N’Kafu African Dance Ensemble, Original Prince of Wales and the Original Lady Buckjumpers SAPCs, Johnette Downing, Young Guardians of the Flame, Eric McAllister, N’Fungola Sibo West African Dance Company, Mt. Hermon B.C. Mass Choir ….

Tags:2009 New Orleans Jazz Festival Announces Schedule, Musical Guests

2009 Oscar Nominations List; "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" Leads the Way with 13 Oscar Nominations

The 2009 Oscar nominations list came out with very few surprises Thursday morning. Among the 2009 Oscar nominations, Brad Pitt’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button received 13 Academy Award nominations. The 5 films nominated for best motion picture of the year are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader, and Slumdog Millionaire. There were no real surprises in the list, as all 5 films had been receiving a lot of buzz, but one of the big stories had been whether or not The Dark Knight would be nominated for best film. (Full 2009 Oscar nominations list follows below.)

The Dark Knight received eight Oscar nominations, with the performance of Heath Ledger leading the way with a nomination for performance by an actor in a supporting role. The Dark Knight also received nominations for achievement in art direction, best cinematography, best makeup, and best visual effects just to name a few of the categories. It was a good haul for a film based on a comic book, and the best showing ever at an Academy Awards nomination ceremony by such a film. Despite not getting the nod for a nomination in the categories of best film or best actor, it seems that The Dark Knight has indeed still held its own.

Some of the other more notable 2009 Academy Award Nominations included Robert Downey Jr. for best supporting actor in Tropic Thunder, Angelina Jolie for best actress in Changeling, and Amy Adams for best supporting actress in Doubt. Missing from the list were the much hyped roles of Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Revolutionary Road. The big winner on this day was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which received nominations for best film, best actor, and best supporting actress just to name a few.

Source: Academy Awards Nominations

Complete 2009 Academy Awards Nominations List

Performance by an actor in a leading role

* Richard Jenkins in “The Visitor” (Overture Films)

* Frank Langella in “Frost/Nixon” (Universal)

* Sean Penn in “Milk” (Focus Features)

* Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)

* Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

* Josh Brolin in “Milk” (Focus Features)

* Robert Downey Jr. in “Tropic Thunder” (DreamWorks, Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)

* Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Doubt” (Miramax)

* Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.)

* Michael Shannon in “Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage)

Performance by an actress in a leading role

* Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married” (Sony Pictures Classics)

* Angelina Jolie in “Changeling” (Universal)

* Melissa Leo in “Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics)

* Meryl Streep in “Doubt” (Miramax)

* Kate Winslet in “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

* Amy Adams in “Doubt” (Miramax)

* Penélope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (The Weinstein Company)

* Viola Davis in “Doubt” (Miramax)

* Taraji P. Henson in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)

* Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)

Best animated feature film of the year

* “Bolt” (Walt Disney), Chris Williams and Byron Howard

* “Kung Fu Panda” (DreamWorks Animation, Distributed by Paramount), John Stevenson and Mark Osborne

* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Andrew Stanton

Achievement in art direction

* “Changeling” (Universal), Art Direction: James J. Murakami, Set Decoration: Gary Fettis

* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt, Set Decoration: Victor J. Zolfo

* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Nathan Crowley, Set Decoration: Peter Lando

* “The Duchess” (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Art Direction: Michael Carlin, Set Decoration: Rebecca Alleway

* “Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage), Art Direction: Kristi Zea, Set Decoration: Debra Schutt

Achievement in cinematography

* “Changeling” (Universal), Tom Stern

* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Claudio Miranda

* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Wally Pfister

* “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Chris Menges and Roger Deakins

* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Anthony Dod Mantle

Achievement in costume design

* “Australia” (20th Century Fox), Catherine Martin

* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Jacqueline West

* “The Duchess” (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Michael O’Connor

* “Milk” (Focus Features), Danny Glicker

* “Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage), Albert Wolsky

Achievement in directing

* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), David Fincher

* “Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Ron Howard

* “Milk” (Focus Features), Gus Van Sant

* “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Stephen Daldry

* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Danny Boyle

Best documentary feature

* “The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)” (Cinema Guild), A Pandinlao Films Production, Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath

* “Encounters at the End of the World” (THINKFilm and Image Entertainment), A Creative Differences Production, Werner Herzog and Henry Kaiser

* “The Garden” A Black Valley Films Production, Scott Hamilton Kennedy

* “Man on Wire” (Magnolia Pictures), A Wall to Wall Production, James Marsh and Simon Chinn

* “Trouble the Water” (Zeitgeist Films), An Elsewhere Films Production, Tia Lessin and Carl Deal

Best documentary short subject

* “The Conscience of Nhem En” A Farallon Films Production, Steven Okazaki

* “The Final Inch” A Vermilion Films Production, Irene Taylor Brodsky and Tom Grant

* “Smile Pinki” A Principe Production, Megan Mylan

* “The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 306” A Rock Paper Scissors Production, Adam Pertofsky and Margaret Hyde

Achievement in film editing

* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Lee Smith

* “Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Mike Hill and Dan Hanley

* “Milk” (Focus Features), Elliot Graham

* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Chris Dickens

Best foreign language film of the year

* “The Baader Meinhof Complex” A Constantin Film Production, Germany

* “The Class” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Haut et Court Production, France

* “Departures” (Regent Releasing), A Departures Film Partners Production, Japan

* “Revanche” (Janus Films), A Prisma Film/Fernseh Production, Austria

* “Waltz with Bashir” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Bridgit Folman Film Gang Production, Israel

Achievement in makeup

* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Greg Cannom

* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), John Caglione, Jr. and Conor O’Sullivan

* “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” (Universal), Mike Elizalde and Thom Floutz

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.),Alexandre Desplat

* “Defiance” (Paramount Vantage), James Newton Howard

* “Milk” (Focus Features), Danny Elfman

* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), A.R. Rahman

* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

* “Down to Earth” from “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, Lyric by Peter Gabriel

* “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Gulzar

* “O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Music and Lyric by A.R. Rahman andMaya Arulpragasam

Best motion picture of the year

* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), A Kennedy/Marshall Production, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Ceán Chaffin, Producers

* “Frost/Nixon” (Universal), A Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment and Working Title Production,Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Eric Fellner, Producers

* “Milk” (Focus Features), A Groundswell and Jinks/Cohen Company Production, Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, Producers

* “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), A Mirage Enterprises and Neunte Babelsberg Film GmbH Production, Nominees to be determined

* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), A Celador Films Production,Christian Colson, Producer

Best animated short film

* “La Maison en Petits Cubes” A Robot Communications Production, Kunio Kato

* “Lavatory – Lovestory” A Melnitsa Animation Studio and CTB Film Company Production, Konstantin Bronzit

* “Oktapodi” (Talantis Films) A Gobelins, L’école de l’image Production, Emud Mokhberi and Thierry Marchand

* “Presto” (Walt Disney) A Pixar Animation Studios Production, Doug Sweetland

* “This Way Up”, A Nexus Production, Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes

Best live action short film

* “Auf der Strecke (On the Line)” (Hamburg Shortfilmagency), An Academy of Media Arts Cologne Production, Reto Caffi

* “Manon on the Asphalt” (La Luna Productions), A La Luna Production, Elizabeth Marre and Olivier Pont

* “New Boy” (Network Ireland Television), A Zanzibar Films Production, Steph Green and Tamara Anghie

* “The Pig” An M & M Production, Tivi Magnusson and Dorte Høgh

* “Spielzeugland (Toyland)” A Mephisto Film Production, Jochen Alexander Freydank

Achievement in sound editing

* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Richard King

* “Iron Man” (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment), Frank Eulner and Christopher Boyes

* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Tom Sayers

* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood

* “Wanted” (Universal),Wylie Stateman

Achievement in sound mixing

* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Mark Weingarten

* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick

* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty

* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney),Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt

* “Wanted” (Universal), Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montaño and Petr Forejt

Achievement in visual effects

* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron

* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul Franklin

* “Iron Man” (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment), John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick and Shane Mahan

Adapted screenplay

* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Screenplay by Eric Roth, Screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord

* “Doubt” (Miramax), Written by John Patrick Shanley

* “Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Screenplay by Peter Morgan

* “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Hare

* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

Original screenplay

* “Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Courtney Hunt

* “Happy-Go-Lucky” (Miramax), Written by Mike Leigh

* “In Bruges” (Focus Features), Written by Martin McDonagh

* “Milk” (Focus Features), Written by Dustin Lance Black

* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter

Tags:2009 Oscar Nominations List; “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” Leads the Way with 13 Oscar Nominations

2009 Oregon Endangered Species Act Grant

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 has been regarded as “the strongest and most effective wildlife conservation law” in the world. This act was put in place by Congress with only one goal to be met, “to reverse the alarming trend of human-caused extinctions that threaten the ecosystem we all share. Section 6 of this Endangered Species Act authorizes the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, which has a budget for 2009 of $75.5 million. This funding covers the Endangered Species Grant program.

The Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund provides Endangered Species grants to States and Territories to be used on non-Federal lands for species and habitat conservation. Before States and Territories are eligible to receive funding from these grants they must enter into an agreement with the Secretary of Interior. Also, the States and Territories who receive an Endangered Species Federal Grant are required to contribute at least a 25% non-Federal match of the estimated cost of the all approved projects to be covered by the program. Joint projects implemented by 2 or more states or territories require only a 10% non-Federal match.

There are three types of Endangered Species Grants. These are Recovery Land Acquisition Grants, Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants and Habitat Conservation Plans Land Acquisition Grants. Recovery Land Acquisition Grants fund the acquisition of lands where endangered or threatened species habitats are located. Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants fund Habitat Conservation Plans. Habitat Conservation Plans Land Acquisition Grants fund the acquisition of land that is associated with approved Habitat Conservation Plans.

The State of Oregon received seven 2009 Endangered Species Grants that total $88,440. These seven grants are the FY 2008 Oregon Silverspot Butterfly-Captive Rearing for Population Augmentation Grant, FY 2008 Fender’s Blue Butterfly – Census an Assessment in the Willamette Valley Grant, the FY 2008 Taylor’s Checkerspot – Population Estimates at Two Sites Grant, the FY 2008 Survey to determine the Status of the Suislaw Hairy-necked Tiger Beetle in the Sand Dunes of the Oregon Coast Grant, the FY 2008 Surveys for Leona’s Little Blue on Public Lands in Central Oregon Grant, the FY 2008 Fenders Blue Butterfly – Influence of Restoration Efforts at Willow Corner on the Willow corner Creek Population Grant and the FY 2008 Surveys for Undocumented Populations of “Coastal” Greenish Blue.

The FY 2008 Oregon Silverspot Butterfly – Captive Rearing for Population augmentation Grant is $24,000 and extends from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. This grant provides funding for supporting the tenth year of rearing an releasing Oregon Silverspot butterflies from up to 30 adult females that have been reared at Oregon’s Washington Park zoo an at Washington’s Woodland Park zoo.

The FY 2008 Fenders Blue Butterfly – Census and Assessment in the Williamette Valley Grant is $10,500 and extends from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. This grant provides funding for gathering information for two Fenders blue butterfly populations in south Williamette Valley an for six Fenders blue butterfly populations in mi Williamette Valley. The population information gathered fro this project aids in the monitoring of the health of the prairie system that is dependent on by many species of plants and animals.

The FY 2008 – Taylor’s Checkerspot – Population Estimates at Two Sites Grant is $4,712 and extends from January 1, 2009 though December 31, 2009. This grant provide funding for gathering and estimate for one year on two population in Oregon of the Taylor’s Checkerspot at the Beazell Memorial Forest location an the Felton Green Natural Area Location in Benton County.

The FY 2008 Surveys to Determine the Status of the Suislaw Hairy-necked Tiger Beetle in the Sand Dunes of the Oregon Coast Grant is $6,500 and extends from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. This grant provides funding for conducting surveys of the population of the hairy-necked tiger beetle locate in habitat suitable for the species along the Oregon Coast from April through June and from August through September.

The FY 2008 – Surveys for Leona’s Little Blue on Public Lands in Central Oregon Grant is $5,000 and extends from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. This grant provides funding for gathering information on Leona’s little blue found on public lands in the Antelope Desert located east of Crater Lake National Park.

The FY 2008 – Fenders Blue Butterfly – Influence of Restoration Efforts at Willow Corner on the Willow Corner Creek Population Grant is $30,728 and extends from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. This grant provides funding for analyzing data from investigations related to the dispersal behavior of Fenders blue butterfly population on intact and restore locations an for recommending any future restoration efforts.

The FY 2008 surveys for Undocumented Populations of ‘Coastal Greenish Blue Grant is $7,000 and extends from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. This grant provides funding for estimating the populations of two populations of greenish blue in Oregon. This information gathering will occur at the mouth of the Coquille River located in Coos County Oregon as well as Cape Blanco, Curry County, Oregon.

Protecting and restoring the population of endangered species is an important aspect of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Projects that are funded by the Endangered Species Grant program are one way that the USFWS combines with the states and territories to accomplish what needs to be done to assure a future for these particular species of wildlife, plants and fish.

Tags:2009 Oregon Endangered Species Act Grant

2009 NFL Season: Oakland Raiders Vs. San Diego Chargers Preview

While some teams are still moving their chips around, the San Diego Chargers will enter this 2009 NFL season with pretty much the same roster that ended up with an 8-8 record, after a perfect month of December in 2008. The Chargers will begin their defense of the AFC West title when the visit their division rivals Oakland Raiders.

With the healthy returns of Shawne Merriman and LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers will make a visit to Oakland on Monday Night Football. Tomlinson, who inspired much trade speculations by the media, and much talk about him being done, did finish last season with over 1000 rushing yards, 1110 to be more precise, along with 11 touchdowns. It might not have been his usual production, but still a decent one. If he manages to stay healthy, there is no reason for him not to amass the numbers he has everyone used to.

The Raiders, who seemingly fell on a Black Hole and have disappeared from the NFL map, will try to improve last season’s performance. Darren McFadden enters his second season and has been announced as the starting running back. Russell has yet to prove he deserved the number 1 overall pick two years ago. Yet, the Raiders found a way to slow down every bit of process they may have made. First, they drafted Darrius Heyward-Bey with their first round pick, and a few days ago acquired veteran lineman Richard Seymour from the New England Patriots. The price? A first round pick in the 2011 draft. the way things look right now, that could perfectly be a top five pick. Making things worse, Seymour has not reported to Oakland as of September 11th. Also, one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL, Nnamdi Asomugha, will play with a soft cast on his left wrist to protect a chip fracture.

On paper, and in reality, this should be an easy win for San Diego. Philip Rivers, threw for 4009 yards and 34 touchdowns last season and, even though the Raiders ranked 10th against the pass last season, they were not able to bring much pressure on opposing quarterbacks and lost team co-leader in sacks, Kalimba Edwards, during the offseason. Tomlinson and Sproles will face the second worst run defense in 2008; McFadden, Michael Bush, and Justin Fargas will face the talented San Diego linebackers with a healthy Merriman, plus first round pick Larry English who could get extensive playing time in passing situations even with Merriman being healthy.

Hopefully, for the sake of a historic franchise, the NFL, and some of the league’s craziest fans, Oakland can straighten its path. It just seem like that won’t happen anytime soon.

Tags:2009 NFL Season: Oakland Raiders Vs. San Diego Chargers Preview

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