Saturday, March 14, 2009
Most people can picture the dollar ($), pound (£), yen (¥) or the euro symbol (€) - but what about the Indian rupee?
That's harder... because it doesn't have one. You just put an 'Rs' for rupees alongside a currency amount.
India wants to change that, and their government has launched a public contest to design a new symbol, which in turn is designed to establish an idenity for the currency of the world's largest democracy, 2nd most populous nation a burgeoning economic power. The problem: India’s many languages could make choosing a symbol difficult. In graphic terms, typeface designer Erik Spiekermann explained why to presenter Claire Bolderson.
From the BBC World Service March, 10th.
From MSNBC's Countdown, March 11th.
For a definition of SCREED go here.
People who sleep less than six hours a night are more prone to abnormal blood sugar levels, possibly putting themselves at risk for Type 2 Diabetes.
A six-year study of the relationship between sleep deprivation and illness by the University of Buffalo (NY), suggests people who sleep less than six hours a night are headed toward major health problems, and possibly more restless nights.
Illustration: HESS DESIGN WORKS - the work of Mark Hess
Friday, March 13, 2009
In other words, he wasn't anywhere near as boring, profound, prescient, stuffy, classy or original as perceived in high school English classes.
Fast forward to the present, dragging the tragedy "King Lear" along: Author Christopher Moore has turned it into a modern comedy called "Fool."
Do Not Collect $200.
The man who made off with billions was told to forget the penthouse and report to the big house for swindling thousands out of billions.
Formal sentencing happens in June. The effective penalty: life without parole.
Madoff's victims commiserate with Katie Couric:
From the CBS Evening News, March 12th
Meanwhile in Iraq, the perp got 3 years for this:
Creat idea, Dog!
But don't you chew
on my blue suede shoes.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
NBC & Fox joint venture Hulu.com celebrates one-year of streaming full length TV shows March 12th. It has attracted lots of viewers and some big competition since it started. Jeremy Hobson looks into Hulu's future plans.
David Walker, a family physician from Lanarkshire, says chocolate should have a vice tax, like alcohol and cigarettes, because people are eating so much it's contributing to obesity-related health problems. It should be made more expensive, to encourage them to eat less of it. And since the U.K. has universal national healthcare at government expense, his argument makes this political issue, not just a dietary one.
Dr Walker says consumers can buy chocolate with enough calories to match the total daily recommended intake for men and women for just £2.50 ($3.45 USD). And he's worried that people think nothing of eating a £1 ($1.38 USD) box of chocolates containing 2,000 calories in one sitting.
Photo: Mike Myers as Fat Bastard from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Jessica Gollohor reports a battle of the vodkas in Russia was no contest, and really about political perceptions & power struggles.
The two brands vying for market share are named after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev.
Za Vas! (To you!)
From PRI's The World, March 11th
It's the term is generally used for the phenomenon of people discriminating on the basis of skin color variations within their own ethnic groups. And while colorism has diminished since the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S., pigmentocracy (a socioeconomic hierarchy based on colorism) still exists, here and elsewhere.
As part of a continuing series produced by The Color Initiative , reporter Philip Martin says Skin Whitening Is Big Business in Asia.
From PRI's The World, March 11th
The FDA calls them ADE's (Adverse Drug Experiences) including:
1) an undesired side effect like those you hear in disclaimers at the end of commercials
2) the lack of a desired effect, i.e. the drug fails to do what it’s supposed to do, and
3) paradoxical effects where a drug may actually aggravate the condition it was supposed to treat.
You'd expect the Food & Drug Administration would want to know about ADE's, and they do... for animals. If you Google "ADE drugs" (without the quotes) the first site that comes up is that of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine Adverse Drug Experience Reporting program.
Fortunately, humans reading this can go to PharmaSURVEYOR, a site which allows you to examine the side effects of commonly prescribed drugs, to search for the likely culprits for ADE's you experience, or to examine interactions of drugs you take.
Create a safety survey of your own drug regimen.
It's Free. No log in required.
Dutch Dismay Dominicans
From NPR's Day To Day, March 12
Where was A-Rod's cousin when his country was getting shot up by the Dutch?
"Who thought Holland had so many talented baseball players?
I thought they were famous for their dikes."
-- Craig Ferguson, The Late Late Show, March 12th
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
That's the question residents of New York Mills, MN ask in this year’s "Great American Think-Off” philosophy competition.
Whether amateur, professional or philosopher king, the town’s residents want to hear from you... before the deadline: April 1st.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Is that proof that you can have a personal relationship with Jesus?
Not so fast!
The same study suggests our capacity for religion is relatively recent and developed as the human brain evolved its capacity for complex social interactions. Score one for Darwin.
Reach out, touch faith.
From NPR's All Things Considered, March 9th.
Entertainment writer Marc Hirsh noticed that, too.
One pervasive sequence he labels the "Sensitive Female Chord Progression," lets you sing Joan Osborne's "What if God was one of us?" over the music of Sarah McLachlan’s “Building a Mystery” and many other tunes by potential Lilith Fair headliners.
Everybody sing as Hirsh and host Robin Young prove they have no future in musical theatre.
He's not paranoid, he's found a sinister baroque plot!
Thanks to Rob Paravonian.
Monday, March 9, 2009
"Where Were The Media As Wall Street Imploded?" Good Question.
David Folkenflik asks, looks for answers and raises more questions.
From NPR's Morning Edition, March 9th.
News Dissector Danny Schechter gets in CNBC's face.Danny blogs too. Prolifically.
THAT'S NOT ALL
From MSNBC's Countdown, March 9th
From MSNBC's Countdown, March 10th with guest host David Schuster
From WNYC's Radio Lab & NPR's Morning Edition, March 9th.
From the mind of Joss Whedon.
His current TV series "Doll House" airs Friday at 9 ET/PT on Fox.
Yeah, we know. We have to live with all the consequences even after you go home.
But having spent years and megabucks to create that party all the time image, the same people and politicians behind the ad promotion are shocked, appalled and all self righteous about President Obama's comment that this isn't a proper junket destination for companies being bailed out by taxpayers.
Andrew Kiraly was born and raised in Las Vegas, and in the words of one critic "he's still recovering." He writes columns in his capacity as managing editor of alt-weekly Las Vegas CityLife, audio commentaries on Nevada Public Radio, and "life.sentences" on his own site.
Here's Andrew's take on what Vegas should do next.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
It was the first bus I took when I got here many more years ago than I ever intended to stay. And on that first ride, I noticed a school to train casino card dealers was all boarded up... but the sign that proclaimed "Your Future Starts Here" was still intact.
It's Vegas, baby... a town with a lot of mixed messages.
A normal run on the 107 makes you wonder whether fellow passengers have more teeth or tatoos. This run wasn't normal.
She stumbled a little while cramming everything back into the oversize purse from which she'd just scavenged exact change and plopped down next to me. Looking a little dishelved and frustrated, she went back to her bag and pulled out a netbook.
"Those are very popular," I said.
"You mean Acer?" Her face still directed toward the screen.
"Don't know about the brand. I mean the class of computer, netbooks. All over the world."
She made a quick calculation, and decided I probably had more teeth... or a least if the tatoo count were greater, not all of them were applied in prison. And as she turned to face me, the late winter sun shone on her face, and through her eyes.
"You must get this all the time, but you having amazing..." She was waiting for the obvious, but I threw a change up "... eyes."
"Huh?" They weren't an ordinary brown, more of a burnt orange tone. "What do you mean?"
"The color... Not really amber. It's kind of an aged whisky or licquer. Something you'd serve from a cut glass decanter."
"Thanks," she smiled. (Good teeth, too.) "You are the first person to ever compliment my eyes." Her face lit up a little brighter, this time from the inside. "Usually I hear I have a great chest."
"They've never seen you in this light, or as a whole person."
We had a nice conversation on the rest our ride. She went on to the terminal. She watched me get off a few stops before, a fat guy twice her age who hadn't shaved in four days, wearing a hoodie with a few bleached out spots and a crumpled baseball cap with clown hair sticking out at odd angles.
Not exactly shining armor. But you always remember your first.
Like I said: It's Vegas, baby... a town with a lot of mixed messages.
And if you meet Dee Saronno, tell her a knight said hi.
No joke. Listen to a feminine perspective on all the hoopla that grew out of what began as a pretty straightforward 48 minutes of professional basketball.
Robin Young & Shira Springer talk smack 'bout the show biz behind the new "total fan experience" that is 21st century pro sports.