• The "Buzkashi Boys" boarded their plane Monday and were en route to Los Angeles for the Oscars. Background on their odyssey here.
Update: Word came Wednesday morning that Turkish Airlines has donated the cost of the international plane tickets, and that the U.S. Embassy in
Kabul will cover costs of domestic travel for the boys and all lodging while in America.
• Maureen Dragone, Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. historian, died Feb. 8 at 93.
• The latest in Oscar presenters: Michael Douglas and Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Salma Hayek Pinault, Melissa McCarthy, Liam Neeson and John Travolta.
• Eight-time Oscar writer Dave Boone talked to NPR's Audie Cornish about the doings backstage.
• For you "Lincoln" and Lincoln aficionados, Bob Timmermann's review of Douglas R. Egerton's "Year of Meteors" (at One Through Forty-Two or Forty-Three) captures all the craziness of the 1860 presidential election.
• Pablo Berger's "Blancanieves" won 10 awards, including best film and original screenplay, at Spain's 27th Spanish Academy Goya Awards on Sunday. Juan Antonio Bayona won director honors for "The Impossible." John Hopewell has the report for Variety.
• "Calin Peter Netzer's Romanian social drama 'Child's Pose' won the Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear for best picture Saturday, while David Gordon Green took the Silver Bear for director for 'Prince Avalanche,' the only win for a U.S. pic," reports Ed Meza for Variety. "Two of this year's Oscar nominees, Kim Nguyen's 'War Witch' (repping Canada) and Nikolaj Arcel's 'A Royal Affair' (repping Denmark) won prizes at last year's fest, while Iranian helmer-scribe Asghar Farhadi's 2011 Golden Bear winner 'A Separation' went on to win the Oscar in that category and was also nommed for original screenplay.
• A half-dozen college students won the Oscar Experience College Search contest and will appear live onstage Sunday to deliver Oscar statuettes to ceremony presenters.
• Sherri Shepherd, Cameron Mathison, Rico Rodriquez, Jess Cagle and Peter Castro will, um, do some stuff backstage during the Oscars.