Saturday, August 1, 2009

Willie's Week

Wingnut Weekend

Islamorada is a village comprised of six islands in the Florida Keys. It claims to be "the sport fishing capital of the world." But would you go to a city whose name starts with Islam? The terrorists might be disguised as tarpon!

Tourism & Terrorism are both ISMs! Be afraid...

Moment of Sanity: Separate the name into it's original two words to get "island dwelling" in Spanish... And it looks picture postcard pretty there.

For further de-programming, see CNNs American Morning's irregular Friday feature called "Wingnuts of the Week," in which columnist John Avlon presents his nominations: left and right.Click here for previous "award shows."

If your travels include a trip on Virgin Airways, enjoy the cartoons:

Melissa Etheridge - No Souvenirs

Melissa Etheridge
Music Hall
Köln, Deutschland
June 17, 1993


Did you know his middle name was riddle?

The biggest riddle about Jimmy Hoffa is where he went. But the last time he was seen publicly was near a restaurant in Bloomfield, Michigan on July 30, 1975.

He was declared legally dead in 1982, the same year a band called "Missing Persons" sang "Destination Unknown."

Whether he wound up bullet riddled remains a mystery, as do where his remains remain... I won't say "rest in peace," because in life he wasn't the kind of character who seemed all that inclined to either rest, or peace.

The one time we met was on a Boston television program in 1974. The producers had asked me to sit in the audience and to ask a provocative question when called upon.

So I asked Jimmy Hoffa why the Teamsters had made such an aggressive effort to crowd out the fledgling United Farm Workers union (Remember the grape boycott?) in the vineyards of California. (Not very provocative, so far.)

Hoffa replied that the Teamsters as an establshed union could get the workers more money. Then he asked me, "What more could they want?" (Now!)

"How about a sense of self-determination and integrity in an atmosphere not controlled by a convicted fellon and free from the influence of organized crime?"

That's when the producers got their money shot: a red-faced Jimmy Hoffa rising from his chair to threaten my life... Live on TV.

I know it was a set-up, but looking back, I'm kind of proud.

Missing Persons - Destination Unknown video.

Alive & Well

Kenny & LuLu are ok.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Audacity Of Hops

The Boston Globe editorializes against a Boston cop's incendiary email, which got him suspended pending a termination hearing:

Shatting on Sarah

Want to share the original Shatner clip? See and grab the latest here. Or the reading of her 'goodbye speech' on Monday's Conan.

Roman Candles

Not fireworks -- novelty candles for birthday cakes!

Source: Grand

Diamond In The Rough

Shawn Colvin with Steuart Smith (guitar) and Kevin McCormick (? bass):

From American Public Television's series "Sessions at West 54th" August 23, 1997

I'll Show You How To Walk The Dog

If you don't know how to do it:

Suzuki's GSX-R 1000... 0 - 200km/h in less than 10secs.

Suggested by Dan (I'm already going to Hell, so I don't think it matters if I send this:-) McGrath, whose wife Ellen owns a lapdog, too.

A New Cap

Wearing a Red Sox cap anywhere but metro New York will start a conversation, even with Yankees fans. Out west, on Pacific Time, we have something in common... We miss the AL East, consistently baseball's most competitive division.

My current cap was purchased in Las Vegas... Not quite as authentic as the one from Yawkey Way (adjacent to Fenway Park) I bought during the '86 World Series, but it's held up for 7 years. It was purchased the day I heard Ted Williams had died.

I first noticed the magnetism of the "B" in Seattle, and wondered if a Mariners cap would elicit the same response back in Boston. In 1994 the answer was no.

A gas station attendant in Lynn, MA (Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin) wanted to fight me. At the time the Mariners could have been playoff opponents for the Sox, but that was the year they cancelled the whole thing... Labor dispute.

I suppose I could have asked him why, but wound up asking myself: "What the hell are you doing in Lynn?"

Just visiting. No permanent damage.

But in late July of 2009, at trading deadline, I find myself thinking I need a new cap... Not a new design or a different team. Just one that holds its shape a little better.

One that's blue with a red "B" will do just fine.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rejecting Robot Rule

Robots, like this from Iowa State University -- whose makers hope will be able to learn things similar to the way a child does, are a constant source of material for the Geekologie blog.

Risky Business

Elsewhere on the dial:

Back in the Game?

In the midst of a vacation hajj pilgrimage, Keith Olbermann checks in with breaking news from Cooperstown:

This year Baseball's Hall of Fame inducted ultimate lead-off man Rickey Henderson and pre-steroid MVP slugger Jim Rice, on July 26.

Also see Keith Olbermann's December 14, 2007 appearance on Bill Moyers Journal for a great conversation, including how his agressive skepticism is rooted in sports.

Kristol Blue Persuasion

PBS' Bill Moyers (who served in LBJ's speech writing department) labels neo-(i)con Bill Kristol (former chief of staff to VP Dan Quayle) a "Republican propagandist."

To Jon Stewart, he's prey to be toyed with before the kill:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bill Kristol from 7/27/09

Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorJoke of the Day

Live at the Bitter End, NYC (2005):

Secret Starbucks

Camouflaged Coffee Giant Has Some Steaming Mad:

Starbucks made about $150 million in the most recent quarter, not by improving sales and customer traffic, but by corporate cost cutting through lay-offs and shutting down hundreds of shops.

The Dead - Friend of the Devil

From May 11, 2009: Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and Warren Haynes tackle a song from 1970's "American Beauty" album, most often remembered in the late Jerry Garcia's voice.

The Dead - "Friend of the Devil" from KFOG on Vimeo.

On the day Jerry's death was announced in 1995, a brokenhearted and world-weary Bob Weir took the stage at New Hampshire's Hampton Beach Casino.

He sang his heart out.

And when he couldn't sing any more, the crowd sang back to him.
"Not Fade Away"... For over an hour.

KFOG is an adult rock station in San Francisco, CA. with many videos of acoustic performances on YouTube, and more recently Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Conversation Starter

When the policeman & the professor join the president at cocktail time on Thursday, July 30, they'll try to establish common ground.

How about this?

They're related!

Niall O'Dowd, of explains.

BTW: Subsequent release of the 911 tapes reveals the caller did not identify the men involved as black. Responding officers (including black & latino cops) would not have been primed to confront African-American suspects.

That Little Old Winemaker

Willie Geist has a new program on MSNBC: "Way Too Early," weekdays at 5:30 am ET

Con(servative)spiracy Theories

Born In The USA:

Put To Death:

Trash & Garbage

Photo: uberreview.comResearchers in Seattle will be tagging thousands of pieces of trash with special sensors and tracking their movements through the waste stream, in an attempt to find out where our garbage really goes. Assaf Biderman, Associate Director of the SENSEable City Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explains how they'll trace all that trash.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now, July 28. Host: Robin Young.

Singer Shirley Manson is Scottish and a redhead. She'll be featured as a playable character in the upcoming release of Guitar Hero 5.

Redhead Rumor

Speading falsehoods at Parent DishCommenting on Like The New Look, DMZ asked if redheads were going extinct.

Simple answer: No.

Complicating factor: Google auto-complete drop downs.

I ran across this poster of actress Alyson Hannigan (below) while researching DMZ's disappearing hair color question:

Postergirl: actress Alyson Hannigan
And in looking for the poster's source, I found a posting of the original publicity photo from which the poster was created. But the Google search for "redheads" produced a drop-down list of suggestions including "redheads going extinct."

Something doesn't have to be true to be included in the suggestions, just present on the internet, and previously captured & indexed by Google's own search robot computer program.

In 2005, a news release suggesting a scientific basis for redhead extinction was circulated and published in many reputable publications and sites, including the Seattle Times.

The release cited research by the "Oxford Hair Foundation," which is really a partnership between Oxford Dermatology and the Proctor & Gamble Corporation’s Hair Research division. Proctor & Gamble are manufacturers of the Clairol & Wella brands of hair coloring products. Their best selling color? Red.

Real red hair occurs most frequently (up to 13%) in Scotland and Ireland, and most often worldwide among people with some Celtic ancestry.

It results from both parents (regardless of their own hair color) having the recessive gene that causes red hair. If non redheads do, there's a 25% chance any one of their offspring will be a redhead, and a 50% chance the redhead gene will be passed along in the bloodline of their non redheaded children, waiting to emerge in future generations.

Having one redheaded parent and a second carrier increases the odds of redheaded offspring to 50% and 100% of carrying the gene.

Having one redheaded parent and a second without the gene means none of the kids will be redheaded and odds of carrying the gene are reduced to 50%.

Having two redheaded parents ensures the same in their children.

So genetically speaking, the trait may hide awhile, but not die off.

Genetics plus Statistics equals Headache

An article at Hairfinder explains the same rumor has surfaced regarding natural blondes, and that it was previously debunked.

Why is red the most popular die color? Read more.

Red Scare

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Say Goodbye, Sarah

Further Interpretation:

Try this if you have problems.

We'll Never Forget You

Stairway To Cleveland

Whatcha gonna do about healthcare?

Cleveland Clinic's Miller Family Pavillion

Cleveland Clinic has been cited as an example of cutting edge care at cut-rate cost. Vanessa Fuhrmans of The Wall Street Journal explains the facility consistently spends less than comparable hospitals, without sacrificing quality.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now, July 23. Host: Deborah Becker.

Whatcha gonna do about crazy crazy?

Yoo Got Punked

Fire Lines

Only you!Should Smokey Bear get fired?

The character created for what has become America’s longest running public service ad campaign's reached retirement age.

Wilderness Society wildfire expert John McCarthy says it’s time for Smokey to retire... Or at minimum, modify a misunderstood message that's done more harm than good.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now, July 27. Host: Robin Young.

Comic Con Relief

Monday, July 27, 2009

Porn Pro

An excerpt from CNBC's Porn: Business of Pleasure.

Oklahoma housewife Cindy Taylor has something more in mind than being a "star" in her field. Alter ego "Jesse Jane" sounds very business like:

Fox Business Channel countered with moral indignation and bikinis:

Screen Cap from Business Insider'

Meanwhile, unintentional amateur Erin Andrews never had this kind of exposure in mind: Nude Video of ESPN Reporter Hits Web

CNN reports guilt by association is alive and well in Florida:

Read more.

CNBC's site for the show, first broadcast July 22
CNBC's "Porn: The Business of Pleasure" also streams on Hulu. (18+ only)

Don't Do It, Don't View It

Shelley Lubben, a former porn actress turned Christian missionary, frequents porn conventions like the annual "Adult Video News" exhibition (in more ways than one) in Las Vegas. Her message starts with a roll call:

Not every death depicted can definitely be pinned on porn, but like the Mexican drug war, America's demand for more takes a toll.

In Los Angeles, porn tends to pick off girls with troubled backgrounds and unstable lifestyles.

In Rhode Island, there is actually a loophole in the law that makes it legal for 16-year-old girls to dance in strip clubs... but only up to 11:30pm:

Shelly Lubben's site

Olympics (with a big 'O')

I look just like those mudflapsEven the legal brothels in Germany are having a tough time because of the recession. One such establishment in Berlin came up with a prostitution promotion plan that seems to fit the spirit of the times economically & environmentaly... It offers a 5 percent discount to customers who arrive by bike or public transportation. (NPR: July 14)

Paddy Painting

Paul Revere planted in a rice paddy

In recent years, a growing number of local governments around Japan have started organizing rice paddy art projects as a way to attract tourists and educate people about rice farming. The effect is created by planting different colors of rice in the fields.

See more examples at: Just Whatever blog

Sales Fade, Memories Linger

Kodak Retires Kodachrome After 74 Years

They concede it's always been both expensive to produce and tricky to process. But now that it represents only 1 percent of company sales, the roll has run out on Kodachrome. The first commercially successful color film will fade away, Paul Simon or no.

Audio: NPR's All Things Considered, June 23

Pioneering Perspective

As we look back at the first moon landing (on average approximately 238,855 miles from Earth) 40 years ago , think back 60 more years to the first aerial crossing of the English Channel (only 24 miles between Calais, France and Dover, England). It happened 100 years ago this week, in a plane like this:

Louis Bleriot, the 37-year old French inventor, aircraft designer, and self-trained pilot, flew across the treacherous English Channel (from Les Barraques, France, to Dover, England) early on July 25, 1909, in an aircraft he designed himself.

Video: CBS News
Details on Bleriot's Historic Flight

Sunday, July 26, 2009

At Least The Book Deal Is Real

Designing Women

Computer composite of Ford Fiesta's target market

She's a fake! Ford has designed this woman for their latest-generation Fiesta. Named Antonella, she's a virtual model, created from demographic research about the Fiesta's target customer.

See/Read more at: Like Cool

See/Hear: The Tubes - She's A Beauty video.

Too Good To Be True

Photo Editors at the UK's Daily Mail practiced their Photoshop skills by combining the face of Izabella Miko, Alexis Bledel's eyes, Gemma Ward's nose and Kate Bosworth's lips to create "Gembella Bosdel."

Read more: Hollywood's 'perfect woman'

Body Dismorphic Disorder

Photo: Getty ImagesNot so long ago Mischa Barton was criticized for having a disturbingly low BMI (body mass index). Something changed by the time she attended the London premiere of "Homecoming," her latest movie.

She was set to star in "The Beautiful Life," a hotties-with-issues drama on the CW network. She was cast as a supermodel struggling to stay on top of her game in the face of fierce competition. Production is now delayed. It turns out her own issues landed her in the hospital... Under an involuntary psychiatric hold. Los Angeles police confirmed they were called and removed the 23-year-old actress from her home.

Current appearance
Mischa Barton rose to fame as Marissa Cooper on "The OC," based around a group of teenagers living in a wealthy Orange County, California suburb. That character had issues, too.

A source who spoke to Barton just hours before she was hospitalized tells E! News that the starlet was acting increasingly erratic. Theories on what's ailing her have ranged from self-esteem issues to an eating disorder to substance abuse. In December 2007 she was arrested and later pleaded no contest to a drunken driving charge.

The good old daze -- Photos: People Magazine

Photo: Getty ImagesIf you were cast for your supermodel appearance, you'd be in trouble as a production deadline loomed and your appearance ---> had substantially changed. You'd lose the job, be liable for the expense of production delays... And the subject of lots of snarky blog posts, like this.

Like The New Look?

Jessica Biel


Jessica Simpson

Lindsay Lohan

Photo Montages: People Magazine (Time Life, inc.)

Ladies, Please -- Have A Seat

The iBum Chair by Tomomi Sayuda is a photocopier built into a chair. It goes to work when you sit in it, and automatically prints the scan...

Source: Like Cool