Who does CNN think is going to die next? TheSmokinggun.com found out through sample obits, which were housed for a short time on a publicly accessible server. It's no surprise that a news organization writes obits ahead of time, since the research and writing is a big job. Let's just hope Ronald Reagan, Dick Cheney, Fidel Castro, John Paul II, Gerald Ford and Nelson Mandela don't take it personally.
Best protest of the week: Surrealist artworks (including paintings by Magritte and Miró) collected by poet André Breton were auctioned in Paris and brought a record 46 million euros. According to reports, "Intellectuals protested against the auction, accusing collectors of picking over the bones of Breton, who died in 1966. Stink bombs were let off and fake euro notes handed out with the legend 'your money stinks of the corpse of the poet that you never dared to become.'" Now that's a protest slogan! (BBC)
P.R. rumors are that Jay Leno will get up early and Katie Couric will be on late on May 12 when th two hosts switch jobs for a day. They want us to think that it was cute Katie's idea, but has anyone heard of sweeps weeks? (Washington Post)
Where will Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's old notebooks come to rest? Not at a journalism school or the Library of Congress. Nope, Woodstein sold their Watergate research materials to the University of Texas for $5 million. We think it's a good neighborhood to be in -- after all, the Ransom Center (as it's so wonderfully named) at the university also houses a Gutenberg Bible and manuscripts by Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce. And nearby all those handwritten notes about presidential cynicism will lie one of 11 copies of William Blake's hand-colored "Songs of Innocence." Now that's poetic justice. (Wall Street Journal)
Remember Furio on "The Sopranos"? He was the hit man Tony brought over from Sicily who developed a crush on Carmela. The actor who plays Furio, Federico Castelluccio, is not only a thespian, he's also a painter. And now for the low, low price of 700 smackers you can be the proud owner of a premium quality Castelluccio (suitable for framing) of the "Duke and Duchess of North Caldwell" -- a hilarous take-off on the "Duke and Duchess of Urbino" by Piero della Francesca -- with Tony and Carm's profiles in place of the royals. A perfect addition to any mobster's den. (Steiner Sports)
From the We Love the Brits File: The Germans captured the World Marbles Championship last week -- perhaps because the tournament was held in a West Essex pub. British team spokeswoman Julia McCarthy-Fox said: "The British players have lost their marbles altogether. It was too much alcohol and not enough practise. They have had so much to drink they are not even too bothered at the moment. They are vowing to practise and win next year." (Ananova)
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