Afternoon Links of Awesomeness: Feb. 8, 2012

By Cathleen Falsani 2-08-2012

The Fray frontman Isaac Slade says he recently learned some important lessons while traveling the world working on the band's new album, Scars & Stories — which dropped Tuesday. While visiting war-torn Rwanda (including stops at a genocide memorial and mass grave where 250,000 bodies were buried), Slade says he had a conversation with Rwandan President Paul Kagame about "loneliness of being in the spotlight." And while touring with U2 last year, Bono taught him that even the biggest band in the world has good nights and bad nights. [Hitfix]

Speaking of Bono ... yer man turned up as a surprise guest at the Festival au Desert in Timbuktu, Mali a few weeks back, where he jammed on stage with African musicians Tinariwen and Bassekou Kouyate. Watch the video (where he's singing mostly in French):


Good news for news junkies: Apparently spending all those hours glued to the tube (watching C-SPAN and the PBS Newshour, of course) are not necessarily a bad thing. New research shows that, when used to gain information, watching TV can lead to more healthful eating choices. [The Atlantic]

Continuing her quest for total Late Night Olympics domination: First Lady Michelle Obama + Jimmy Fallon + Potato Sack Race = Awesomeness:


Be careful what you Tweet! CNN announced today the suspension of on-air commentator Roland Martin for tweets he posted during the Super Bowl that were deemed offensive, particularly to members of the gay community. Among the more troublesome tweets was this gem: "If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl" [HuffPo]

Awkward! Here's a vintage clip of Steve Carrell making his first appearance on The Daily Show after leaving the show as a correspondent and making it big on The Office:


Who's your favorite on-screen Jesus? Hippie Jesus in Godspell? WKRP-in-Cincinnati Jesus in Jesus Christ, Superstar? Jesus of Montreal? King of Kings? It's time to make a profession of cinematic faith and out your voting brackets! [HuffPoReligion]

Caucasian Christian Music? "CCM" otherwise known as Contemporary Christian Music, has often been criticized by believers and non-believers alike for it's epic terribleness. But the author of this article raises an interesting point:  Maybe not all CCM is terrible — just the "safe" music that white-catering Christian radio stations choose to play. [Burnside Writers Collective]

The Lorax movie trailer from the Super Bowl:

In the wake of Tuesday's court decision ruling California's Propsition 8 unconstitutional, Huffington Post has assembled a collection of the "Funniest Anti-Gay Counter-Protests." [HuffPoComedy]

That star-studded "Prop 8: The Musical!" from FunnyOrDie (with Jack Black as Jesus) is making the rounds again. As Prop 8 (not the musical) inches closer toward the U.S. Supreme Court, the cult favorite is fast becoming a viral evergreen. []

While we're on the subject of the Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor recently dropped by to settle a dispute on Sesame Street:

Hot on the heels of her much talked about (but not particularly controversial) half-time performance at the Super Bowl,  Madonna announced plans to kick off her upcoming world tour in Israel — at Tel Aviv's Ramat Gan Stadium, May 29. Tickets for the Tel Aviv show go on sale at 10 a.m. (local time) Feb. 10 and tickets for most of her autumn U.S. gig are on sale 10 a.m. Feb. 13. ([]

Madge gets a little verklempt at one of her last shows in Israel:

Cathleen Falsani is Web Editor and Director of New Media for Sojourners. She's pinch-hitting Awesomeness today for Joshua Witchger, who's in NYC hanging out with Jimmy Fallon. Follow Cathleen on Twitter @GodGrrl.


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