Man in the laser

Smooth criminals: A hologram of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop who died in 2009, performed “Slave to the Rhythm,” a song from Jackson’s new posthumous album at the Billboard Music Awards.

The performance by Jackson’s hologram was met with an emotional response from the crowd, particularly from music executives shedding delighted tears over the thought of releasing music by stars they don’t have to pay.

Channel-surfing the vast cultural wasteland: With the TV season winding down, several reality shows are getting ready to crown their winners this week, including “Dancing with the Stars,” “The Voice,” “American Idol” and “Survivor: Cagayan.” Depending on the show, winners get trophies, recording contracts, money and 15 minutes of fame.

Winners also are contractually obligated to sign away their rights to any money made by their holograms.

Don’t know much about history: On this day in 1964 the State Department disclosed that 40 hidden microphones had been found in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

A spokesman for the Soviet Union explained: “Is just equipment left over when building was glorious recording studio for our own lovable moptops: Vladimir Putin and His Cossacks.”

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