- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Black magic woman

San Francisco Chronicle

Friends close to teen rocker Kelly Osbourne fear her feud with Christina Aguilera is getting out of hand — after she revealed that she tortures a voodoo doll of the singer.

The daughter of Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne reportedly told pals she keeps the Aguilera effigy in her bedroom and regularly sticks pins in it, signaling that her distaste for the singer is escalating.

Stern fears change

Nydailynews.com

Shock jock Howard Stern Tuesday warned listeners that the departure of Viacom President Mel Karmazin may leave him more vulnerable to anti-indecency crusaders.

Yet whatever happens with Infinity Broadcasting, he added, it’s unlikely he’s going away.

“Mel’s the one who has kept the corporate [suits] off me,” Mr. Stern said on the air. “He said, ‘I’ll back you 100 percent,’ and he always did. These new guys, I don’t know if they will.”

Mr. Stern has been cited often by the FCC for indecency, most recently this spring. Under Mr. Karmazin, Infinity has challenged each citation, though the company made a $1.7 million payment to the FCC in 1989 in lieu of a pending fine.

When rumors heated up last week about Mr. Karmazin’s possible departure, Mr. Stern suggested, “If Mel goes, I go.” But he said his contract has 18 months to run, “and I have to honor it. I couldn’t walk out. The question is whether they will fire me.”

Mr. Stern said if that happens or if he doesn’t sign a new deal with Infinity, he could surface on satellite radio or television or at another radio company.

Note worthy

Associated Press

Grammy-winning composer John Adams has been named the first recipient of a new award in classical music composition established by Northwestern University.

The biennial Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Musical Composition includes a $100,000 cash award. Mr. Adams’ selection was announced Tuesday at the school in Evanston, Ill.

Mr. Adams is known for “Nixon in China,” a modern opera based on President Nixon’s historic 1972 visit, and “The Death of Klinghoffer,” which debuted in 1991, six years after American tourist Leon Klinghoffer was shot by Palestinian terrorists on a hijacked cruise ship and hurled overboard.

The 57-year-old composer was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music in 2003 for “On the Transmigration of Souls,” a composition commemorating the victims of the September 11 terror attacks.

“It comes as both a surprise and a delight to know that my music is so highly regarded,” Mr. Adams said in a statement. A native of Worcester, Mass., he is a composer in residence at Carnegie Hall in New York.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will perform one of Mr. Adams’ works, and he’ll spend four weeks on Northwestern’s campus to meet students and faculty members.

“He’s one of the major composers of our time,” Northwestern music school Dean Toni-Marie Montgomery said. “It’s unusual that composers of a certain era will make some type of social commentary about events in their own lives, and Mr. Adams has done that. He’s also a great example that music is a universal language.”

An artist’s malady

Agence France-Presse

Renaissance-era artistic genius Michelangelo might have had Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism that causes sufferers to have difficulties with social interaction, according to experts on the condition.

A byproduct of Asperger’s — also known as high-functioning autism — can be a special talent in a particular area, such as art, music or mathematics.

The research, by British and Irish experts in autism and published in the British publication the Journal of Medical Biography, argues that Michelangelo met a number of the criteria for Asperger’s.

“Michelangelo was aloof and a loner,” said Dr. Muhammad Arshad, a psychiatrist at the Five Boroughs Partnership in Warrington in northwestern England, and professor Michael Fitzgerald of Trinity College Dublin in their paper.

The scientists also described Michelangelo as “strange, without affect, and isolated” and “preoccupied with his own private reality,” adding that his father and grandfather and one of his brothers all displayed autistic tendencies.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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