Saturday, April 11, 2009

Homeless In Vegas

Even in good times, it was said about 2/3 of Las Vegas was only two paychecks away from being homeless.

In 2009, leading the nation in foreclosures, with double digit unemployment, a 30% decline in tourism and gaming revenues that fuel Nevada's tax system and (near) bankruptcy a reality for most casino corporations burdened with massive debts incurred to fuel massive expansion in the belief the streak would never end... Las Vegas, and surrounding Clark County, finds itself with 2000 (17%) more homeless than it found in the 2007 mid-winter count.

The cheese previously available here has passed its shelf life.

Mayor Oscar Goodman, who has led many failed campaigns to rid the streets of those living there, is exploring a legal strategy that would effectively declare everyone without a home legally incompetent to manage their own lives...

The cheese previously available here has passed its shelf life.

Video: KVBC-TV, April 9th.

Fruit Stripe

Apple, Orange, Lemon, Lime, Pear…

From: Design You Trust blog.


Monday's platter featured a demo reel by designer/director Joseph Kosinski which began and ended with segments with live actors running through a totally artificial computer-generated environment.

That prompted Geo to ask: "Can we see the whole commercial?"

Yes. Here's Djarum Mezzo - Race:

Cathy didn't post a comment but emailed: "Four people go through the doors at the same time. We follow two. Where are the others?"

In a different commercial. Kosinski used the same live shoot and computer-generated environment to create a second commercial, Djarum Mezzo - Leap:

And for everyone who fell in love a little at the end of Race:

Joseph Kosinski's web site.

Computer Kitty

Maukie - the virtual cat (creator unknown)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dissed by Ditto-head

A Republican man who called into Rush Limbaugh’s radio show expressed his distaste not for President Barack Obama but for Limbaugh, resulting in a fiery exchange of words between the two.

Video: MSNBC's Countdown, April 8th.

Cashing In On Sin

Lawmakers seeking to balance their budgets may remember that the Boston Tea Party was a protest over taxation.

So-called sin taxes, on things like alcohol and cigarettes, are supposed to be politically safe. But nobody told the sinners. Kentucky protesters poured bourbon on the capitol steps. People in Pittsburgh dumped beer in a river. In Nevada, the governor's office gave a cool reception to a proposed five-dollar tax on prostitution.

The Feds go after smokers...

Audio: CBS Radio's Osgood File, April 1st.

Zeitgeist: International Edition

MSNBC, April 8th.

Internet Updates

Computer chip maker Intel will continue investing in technology development despite the recession causing a 30% drop in sales. CEO Paul Otelini says the multi-billion dollar program will result in a new generation of chips made in the USA.

Audio: APM's Marketplace,April 7th - Host: Kai Ryssdal.

Broadband Plans at the FCC

Article: Washington Post, April 9th.

Formerly Free Sites implement Fees

Audio: APM's Marketplace, April 7th & 8th.

Mountaintop Removal

Coal mining is recognized as a dangerous occupation, but in parts of West Virginia & Kentucky they're taking the mine out of the equation by literally taking the top off mountains to expose the coal underneath.

With a change of power in Washington comes a change of attitude at EPA. They're taking a closer look at water quality and environmental issues associated with mining coal by blasting off mountain tops.

Audio: Living On Earth, March 27th.
Photo: Vivian Stockman

'Clean Coal' debate

No such thing or Coming Soon?

Seltzer Sequestration

Carbon capture and storage - taking CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels at power plants and burying them underground in geological traps - has been proposed a a possible solution to our greenhouse gas problems.

But proponents haven't had an understanding of what might happen to carbon dioxide trapped underground over long periods of time.

Now Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar, a geologist at the University of Toronto, offers evidence. She, and her colleagues, found natural CO2 traps, and discovered that the gas mostly dissolves in underground water.

Audio: CBC Radio's Quirks & Quarks. Host: Bob McDonald.

Everybody Dance Now!

You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about!

CNN, April 6th.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

You like fish sticks? You must be a gay fish!

Every episode of South Park, including 1305. No bleeping kidding!

The South Park Studios web site has them all... Crude humor and animation with excellent social commentary.

Call Any Vegetable

The Royal Horticultural Society is testing the effects of human voices on plant growth. Scott Simon interviewed Colin Crosbie about the auditions.

Audio: NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, April 4th.

Big Love

Photo from: Just Whatever blog, April 2009.

Canada Sad

Canada Sad is an original song by Craig D'Andrea (at left in cover thumbnail & video below).

It's the lead track from his 2007 album Crazy is Catching, and played here as a duet with CandyRat Records label mate Antoine Dufour.

CandyRat Records

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Vegas Weekend

The Girls Next Door star in a remake of Weekend at Bernie's:

Rigor Mortis is the new Viagra!TMZ followed Hef & friends to Vegas to celebrate his 83rd birthday. And the answer to "How does he keep up with 'girlfriends' young enough to be his grand daughters?" is HE CAN'T!

The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce was elated to have CBS in town for the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday Night.

When it came to 60 Minutes coverage of the budget crisis at LV's University Medical Center... Not so much.

Photo:, April 4th.
Article:, April 5th.
Video: CBS News, April 5th.

Electric Face Music

Daito Manabe is wired! Electrodes on his head and face stimulate muscles to produce Electric Face Music. It's a little creepy:

In your face all you run of the mill Japanese robot inventors!

Cheese Factory contributor: Rob Rosenthal from the AirMedia list.

Spinal Tap: Unwigged & Unplugged

MSNBC, April 7th.

Getting Out or Deeper In

Time says Obama borrowed a page from the Bush playbook in visiting troops in Baghdad instead of returning directly from G-20/NATO talks.

They also have a piece on the reality of trying to do anything in the AF/PAK theatre.

Time Magazine, April 1 - 7.
Photo: Jim Young / Reuters

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Beginning of the Big Innings

With the possible exception of NASCAR at Daytona, no other sport celebrates the start of a new season like Major League Baseball!

MLB.COM calls the AL East baseball's toughest division once again this year. And there's nothing like a clash of contenders to lead off. Schedule makers had Rays vs. Red Sox on opening day, but the match up became the season's first rain out.

Article & Video: April 5th

At the new Yankee Stadium, it's a whole new era. Not only for those who occupy the $2,000+ box seats, but for the "Bleacher Creatures" as the Yankees end prohibition for those in the raucous cheap seats.

Video: ABC News, April 5th.

There's A New Taste In Town

Loyalty within Red Sox Nation extends far beyond the ball park. New Englanders have made the "Fenway Frank" a supermarket staple and "top dog" in sales. But this year's hot stove league has produced a new formula, said to be spicier, maybe even reminiscent of the late lamented "Yaz Kielbasa," a Hall of Fame hot dog of days past.

As opening day arrives, the faithful wonder if this will be the year their favorite goes away, or all the way.

Article & Taste Test Video: The Boston Globe, April 1st.

Make Mine A 'Schmitter'

It's baseball's opening day, and Phillies fans are headed to the ballpark to take in the game and Philadelphia's unique culinary offerings. Robert Pie from Philadelphia talks to host Robert Smith about a sandwich called "The Schmitter..." oddly enough not named after the Phillies' Hall of Famer.

Audio: NPR's All Things Considered. April 5th.

Topps Company To Offer Madoff Trading Card

If it was an April Fool's prank, it was a day early. But National Public Radio's Morning Edition reported the Topps Company, famous for baseball cards and bubblegum is issuing a new set of cards featuring the "world's biggest hoaxes, hoodwinks and bamboozles."

Baseball card collectors could find some major league scoundrels in their packs this summer. The lineup of villains reportedly includes Bernard Madoff, Enron, D.B. Cooper and Charles Ponzi.

Source: NPR's Morning Edition, March 31st.

The Runners Are Real

But that's about all...

This demo reel illustrates the work of award wining designer/director Joseph Kosinski, a man who clearly loves architecture... Both real and imagined.

The live actors at the beginning and end are part of an Asian TV commercial shot physically in Los Angeles, but placed within a totally artificial environment created via computer graphics.

American Cinematographer tells how this virtual world came together.

Article: The American Society of Cinematographers Magazine, April 2006.
Joseph Kosinski's web site.
Music: Cut Copy

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New Hope for the Homeless

Video: NBC Nightly News, April 3rd.

Pop Up Porsche

Pop up parking spaces: the new must-have home-improvement.

For £40,000 (~$59,000) Cardok builds pop up parking spots which can be hidden beneath a flowerbed, lawn, or even another parking space. Press a button on a keyring to raise or lower the lift. There is already a four month waiting list to get a sci-fi parking space installed.

Video: Porsche Garden, Hampton Court Flower Show, July 2008

Driving Solo

Last year the CEOs of Detroit's Big Three went to Congress seeking financial assistance. When it became clear that Congress was only offering short-term loans with a lot of strings attached, Ford walked away without making the deal.

Since then, as GM and Chrysler struggle to survive in the economy, Ford has been going it alone. To survive they've had to sell off brands such as Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and are talking about putting Volvo up on the auction block.

John Hockenberry talked to Ford CEO Alan Mulally.

Audio: PRI & WNYC's program The Takeaway, April 3rd.

Comedy Done Right

Video: MSNBC's Countdown, April 3rd.

Subway Race

The Chinese city of Guangzhou is set to double the size of its subway system by 2010, with 83 new miles of track at a cost of about $100 million a mile.

In New York City, construction of a 1.7-mile tunnel for the Second Avenue subway line, first proposed in 1929, could be completed eight years from now, at a cost of $2.4 billion a mile. The Second Avenue line was stalled by the Great Depression and then by budget crises in the 1950’s and 1970’s before ground was broken again in 2007.

Elsewhere, subways are being built at a cost of five dollars per foot.

What Makes Wiki Tick

Wikipedia now has more than 2 million articles in more than 250 languages. What makes this online encyclopedia tick?

Anchor Lisa Mullins finds out from The World's Clark Boyd and author Andrew Lih.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WGBH's The World, March 30th.

Alaskan Wildlife

Sarah Palin's Sister-in-Law Arrested for Burglary

Bristol's Baby Daddy talks sex life on Tyra

Article: People Magazine, April 4th.