Saturday, March 28, 2009

Test Space For Sale

In Pocatello, Idaho, a high school is so short of money, it taped reminders near light switches to save electricity — and now a teacher has sold advertising space on work sheets, handouts and tests.

Red lettering offers a one-topping pizza for $5.

Audio: NPR's Morning Edition, March 26th.

Sarah on Sentence Structure

Video from

Sarah, seriously?

Each weekday Jack Cafferty asks questions at the beginning of the hour on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.

Recently Jack asked if Alaska Governor and 2008 VP candidate Sarah Palin was still relevant to national dialogue?

His audience isn't shy.

Viewers shared their opinions.

Photo: CNN/Getty Images

Seriously, Sarah

On the presidential campaign trail, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said Alaska was moving forward with a $40 billion pipeline to bring the state’s abundant reserves of natural gas to the lower 48. But this month, Conde Nast Portfolio magazine reports the pipeline is stalled, and both republican and democratic lawmakers in Alaska are blaming their governor. Joe McGinnis talks about his article, “Forget ‘Drill, Baby, Drill.”

Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here and Now, March 26th.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Torches & Pitchforks: AIG Update

AIG Executive Resigns in the NY Times:

CT Attorney General Investigates Death Threats:

Video: MSNBC, March 25-26th.

In the Real World

You've heard the talk... Now hear it all.

From John Rich's 2009 solo album:
Son of a Preacher Man.

Big & Rich resume touring this summer.

2nd Dakota, part 2

After South Dakota got rid of its credit card interest rate limits, financial giants moved to Sioux Falls and brought thousands of jobs to the city. But with defaults soaring, the job market has tanked.


Panda downloads Cheech & Chong album, craves Big Bambu.

Pino Forastiere - Fase 1

Pino Forastiere is Italian.

His guitar is conversant in several languages.

He's among the talented acoustic artists on CandyRat Records.

Suggested by Echoes, an ambient music program.

Oh, wise guys, eh?

In some of the most bizarre casting news to come down the pike, Sean Penn has been set to star in the Farrelly Brothers' "Three Stooges," with Jim Carrey and Benicio del Toro close to committing, according to Variety. Penn will play Larry, Carrey may play Curly.

Can you see the resemblance?

Charlotte Observer, March 26th.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Three Dakotas

North Dakota elected the man who saw it coming:

Video: MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show, March 25th.

South Dakota is to blame for credit card rates:

Dakota Fanning is young, pretty & gifted:

Song: Three Doors Down - Story of a Girl

That's M-A-F-I-A-S (plural)

Italian prosecutors say crime has re-organized in order to cash in on the current small business credit crisis.

Sylvia Poggioli reports loan sharks take a bite out of struggling businesses.

Audio: NPR's Morning Edition.

Humpty Dumpty Horseshoes

Egg Catapult Launches Teen Toward Scholarship.

The target: a frying pan 48 feet away
The device: a homemade contest entry
The result: close enough to win


From: The Lawrence Eagle Tribune & Boston Globe.

Grow Your Own Fresh Air

Kamal Meattle explains how he overcame health problems caused by poor air quality with a specific combination of three common houseplants working together as a natural air freshening system. With extensive indoor planting he created what the Indian government calls the "healthiest building in Delhi."

Productivity up, energy costs down, nature's way.

From: TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference, Long Beach 2009.

THE RUTLES - Back in '64

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


2nd generation TV journalist/humorist.

Willie Geist contributes to MSNBC's Morning Joe, with his take on the "news you cannot use" weekday mornings. His dad, Bill Geist, is a regular on CBS Sunday Morning... Nobody knows about Saturdays.

Nun Better

Does "business ethics" sound like "jumbo shrimp" to you?

An American nun decided to confront the issue, determined to transform the apparent oxymoron -- corporate practices focused solely on short term gain for owners.

To get corporate boards to buy in, she had to buy in as well...
As a stockholder.

Article & Audio: BBC World Service

THE RUTLES - Ouch! (1965)

Wikipedia For Dummies

Good idea... A version of the site with simple words and short sentences.

Anyone can contribute an article. But not everyone can understand some of them.

Sometimes the writer is a professor. They write hard stuff for people without fancy degrees.

It's a wiki... Not a submission for peer review!

Click here to go to Simple English Wikipedia.

Suggested by: Dave Cortright.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dave Caves, Portia Apologizes

The same night he joked about Bruce Willis new marriage, Letterman told the world he did it, too.

Longtime gal pal Regina Lasko, the mother of their 5-year-old son Harry, is Mrs. Dave... Only 23 years after they began dating.

Watch Dave Now

Two Volcanoes

Mt. Redoubt's 1990 eruption
Mount Redoubt, an Alaskan stratovolcano 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, experienced large explosions starting late on Sunday and early Monday. Geologists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory reported a plume of smoke rose up to 50,000ft into the air and issued a red alert, meaning a significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere is likely.

Photo: J. Warren, US Geological Survey -- Mt. Redoubt Volcano, AK, April 21, 1990

Yucca Mountain in Nevada was the proposed site for a national nuclear waste repository from 1987 to early 2009. It's the creation of a caldera volcano.

The only recent eruption is cheering from those who wished to make the plans for Yucca politically extinct.

Las Vegas City Life managing editor Andrew Kiraly also comments on KNPR.

Find the Cost of Freedom...

In full dress uniform, beneath the stars and stripes.

John McDermott captures the essence of war for the fallen, their families and fellow soldiers.

Performed live on "A Prairie Home Companion" from American Public Media.

March 21, 2009.

Into Small Cars?

The Nano — the Indian-made car that was unveiled early last year to huge fanfare, was launched Monday, six months later than planned.

Its manufacturer, Tata Motors, advertises it as the cheapest car in the world... or as the fastest & best handling giant jellybean.

Audio: NPR's All Things Considered, March 23rd.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Meet me in the middle

Two starts, One big finish.

Like other great feats of transport engineering...

The transcontinental railway or the "Chunnel," building the US’ first concrete-steel composite arch bridge across the Colorado River is a delicate task.

When it’s finished, the 1,900-foot-long, 88-foot-wide bridge will carry 17,000 cars a day between Arizona & Nevada, replacing a 2-lane roadway atop the Hoover Dam.

Article: Las Vegas Weekly

Darkness, Darkness

Blending a love for traditional Celtic music & sense of adventure, Solas show respect while expanding their creative vision.

On 2002's album
The Edge of Silence
Solas recorded this

Jesse Colin Young's
"Darkness, Darkness."

It first appeared on the Youngbloods' 1969 album Elephant Mountain.

Suggested by Fiona Ritchie

Pronounced: solace

Roll Me Away

Root for the Rich?

Institutions which benefit many need donations from the few who are wealthy.

New products & technologies need early adopters... People who pay higher prices before the effects of mass production bring them down.

The Rich are part of an ecology.

As much as their well-heeled lives, sense of privilege and conspicuous consumption offend, the rich do some things worthwhile.

Photo: High-performance electric sports car Tesla Roadster (

One Lonesome Cowboy

I didn't catch his name, but he's the gutsiest guy I'd ever seen on stage.

There's a small performance venue in the center courtyard of Neonopolis. It's at the base of the central elevator tower decorated with the electric signs that give the complex its name. Since it opened in May, 2002 the $100 million retail & entertainment complex adjacent to downtown & the former "Glitter Gulch" has lost all but a handful of tenants and of the thousands who walk by daily, only a few walk in.

But there he stood, singing and playing guitar accompanied by karaoke tracks patched into his p.a... Pretty good versions of songs ranging from George Strait to the Georgia Satellites. And all sung with good cheer an engaging manner to an audience that could be tallied on two hands.

A family of 8 Mexicans walked by, doubling the audience for around thirty seconds, and then walked on. The cowboy smiled and kept on.

Even if he wound up totally alone, he'd come to sing.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Look to the Skies

Photo: Tamas Ladanyi captured moon rise above Veszprem, Hungary, March 11, 2009 for The World at Night, part of IYA - the International Year of Astronomy, celebrating the 400th anniversary of Galileo's telescope.

House of Cards

The author of "House of Cards" explores the root causes of why investment banking giant Bear Stearns collapsed in 2008.

Click on the segment labeled: "Author Traces Bear Stearns Demise"
once the show lineup appears.

Video: PBS NewsHour March 20th.

London Lacks Loos

London has lots of things to see and places to be, but not places to "go."

Mayor Boris Johnson has a plan to fix that, by requiring the city's businesses to provide access to their facilities... Supplementing public toilets with those previously private.

Alex Gallafent sampled reaction among Londoners:

Audio: BBC, PRI & WGBH's The World, Host: Lisa Mullins.

A Time to Sow

I knew 3 Weathermen.
Two from TV & Radio. The third an academic...

He's the only weatherman who was actually my pal... A neighborhood kid whose interest in the subject led to a doctorate in Meteorology from Florida State and a teaching career in another place where it doesn't feel like spring yet. (Where we grew up you couldn't be sure a hard freeze was not in the forecast until May 3rd... his birthday.)

Can't plant yet? Chris Jansing says it's never too early to plan:

Video: NBC's Nightly News, March 20th.

Life Leans Left

It's the acid man!

Left-handed acids...
From space.

Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins. In nature, all amino acids exist as one of two possible mirror-image forms, kind of like our hands. However, the ones life uses are all left-handed.

Dr. Daniel Glavin, an astrobiologist with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, asked why and found meteorites suggest early Earth was bombarded with asteroids which may have tipped the balance towards life choosing to lean left rather than right.

Audio: CBC Radio's Quirks & Quarks, March 21st. Host: Bob McDonald.
News release: (
Goddard Space Flight Center.
Dr. Glavin's web page.
Illustration: Chiral molecules - NASA/Mary Pat Hrybyk-Keith.