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Cover Story

No Deal on the Buffalo Casino

by Bruce Jackson

The bottom line on US District Court Judge William M. Skretny’s 51-page January 12 decision in the Buffalo casino case is this: The nine-acre parcel of land in downtown Buffalo on which the Seneca Nation of Indians wants to build a casino never received the kind of examination from the federal government that would determine whether or not it was in the category of Indian land on which gambling could occur. Absent an adequate determination, no casino gambling can occur in Buffalo.

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

Eventually, robots will have to be given legal rights (and accept certain responsibilities) if advances in artificial intelligence (AI) continue to create sensitive quasi-organisms, according to a paper solicited for Sir David King, the UK’s chief scientist. According to one AI researcher, “If (robots are) granted full rights, states will be obligated to provide full social benefits to them including income support, housing and possibly robo-healthcare to fix the machines over time.” A December Financial Times report on the paper noted that robots might also have to pay taxes and be available for military service. (Some of the ideas in the paper track visions described years ago by writer Isaac Asimov.)

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Your body, mind, soul and hairdo have at least temporarily slipped into the kind of alignment that makes you a lightning rod for messages from the future. Want to glimpse a vision of the best three things you can accomplish in the coming year? Sit yourself down in a sanctuary, banish every last shred of fear for 15 minutes and visualize the person you will be on January 20, 2008. Then ask that beautiful character to telepathically communicate his or her rich secrets to you.

Puck Stop

The Stars Come Out in Dallas

by Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

Lindy will be there. So will Ryan, Brian and Danny. Rory won’t be. After a three-year absence from the sports scene, the NHL All Star game is back, and the puck will be dropped next Wednesday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.


David Shire at O'Connell and Harold Pinter at the Irish

by Anthony Chase

Drama critics of my generation were weaned on the work of Harold Pinter. We read and discussed his plays before we had read Chekhov. Our teachers had come of age with Pinter and such contemporary British playwrights as John Osborne, Tom Stoppard and David Storey. The covers of the trade paperback versions of these plays were well familiar to us while we were still in our teens; as familiar as the cover of the original mass paperback edition of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf from the same era. We had yet to see a single production of any of these scripts, but we could recognize the face of Vivien Merchant a mile away. Scenes from these sparse works, the offspring of Eugene Ionesco and T. S. Eliot, were ubiquitous in acting classes. We were entirely comfortable with the prolonged pauses and the ambiguities in these plays, and aware that we were a experiencing a rebellion from a post-war drama in which realism reigned supreme.


by Javier

Happy birthday to the ever fabulous Golden Girl Betty White (pictured above), who turned 85 this week. Always keeping busy, White has recently made guest appearances on TV’s Boston Legal and The Bold and the Beautiful. A well known animal lover and advocate for animal rights, White is also the new spokesperson for PetMed Express. For Golden Girls and trivia fans, Rue McClanahan turns 73 in February. Estelle Getty and Bea Arthur (who played mother and daughter) both turn 84 later this year.

Book Reviews

Against the Day, by Thomas Pynchon

by Todd Natti

House of Meetings, by Martin Amis

by Laura Nathan

You Auto Know

What's New at the Auto Show?

by Jim Corbran

General Motors, currently the number one auto maker by volume worldwide, has a few interesting models making their debuts at the 2007 auto shows. (You can check out the Buffalo Auto Show at the Buffalo-Niagara Convention Center, February 7-11. Look for me at the Buick display—I’ll be the good-looking one.) Here are just a few of GM’s newest:

Film Reviews

Messages from Within the Volcano: Letters from Iwo Jima

by George Sax

The Kids Are Alright: Family Law

by Girish Shambu

Monster in the Closet: The Last King of Scotland

by M. Faust

A Maze Meant: Pan's Labyrinth

by M. Faust

See You There

Spamalot Ticket Sale Event

by Nikki Kozlowski

Tom Toles at the Burchfield-Penney

by Geoff Kelly


Kevin Devine/Jennifer O'Connell

by Eric Boucher

Calendar Spotlight

The Heart Attacks

Queen City Roller Girls Debutante Brawl

by Nikki Kozlowski

Buffalo Gay Men's Chorus

by Caitlin Derose

Heather Mere

by Shaun Smith

Beres Hammond

by Shaun Smith