Saturday, November 14, 2009

Willie's Week

TV's Unlikely Ally

As the DVR became more and more popular, many in the TV industry feared that commercial-skipping would destroy the medium. But it turns out many DVR-users still watch commercials. Bill Carter of the New York Times says the numbers are startling and the DVR actually helps ratings.

Audio: WNYC's On The Media Host: Brooke Gladstone.

USA Today: Could this finally be the season for Web TV?

The Future of Noise

Barely Recognizable

Dolores, a bare bear
Vets have been left baffled by the condition of this bear at the zoo in Leipzig, Germany. And she isn't the only one. The sudden hair loss has affected all female bespectacled bears at the zoo. The bears, which originate in South America and don't seem to be suffering from any other affliction, normally have fluffy dark brown fur and by now should have grown a thick fur coat to keep warm during the winter.

Playing With Paper Planes

A design from Hobza's The New Millennium Paper Airplane Book. Photo: Amy C. Elliott, courtesy of Public Art FundWhen Klara Hobza came upon a 40-year-old book of construction designs for paper airplanes, she had an epiphany, and the New Millennium Paper Airplane Contest was born. Now Hobza has her own paper airplane book. Jonathan Mitchell discovers how designs take flight.

Audio: PRI & WNYC's program Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen.

Let There Be Life

Friday, November 13, 2009


What does it mean that this movie comes out on Friday the 13th?

Conspiracy theorists are fixated on the date: December 21, 2012. That’s the day the 5,000-plus year Mayan calendar resets. It’s also the first time in 26,000 years the December solstice sun aligns with the galactic plane.

The Hollywood film 2012 comes out today, portraying in heart-pounding detail the end of the world. Colgate University professor, Anthony Aveni, author of “The End of Time: The Maya Mystery of 2012, looks at the roots of the theories.

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

13 Counts

Accused Ft. Hood gunman Army Major Nadal Malik Hasan has been officially charged with 13 counts of homicide. As Don Teague reports, new clues have emerged about Hasan's troubled past.

None of the charges announced so far include "terrorism"... Conservatives are outraged. Cooler heads remind us there is no such offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Walter Reed Officials Asked: Was Hasan Psychotic?

Audio: NPR's All Things Considered, Host: Melissa Block.
Reporter: Daniel Zwerdling.

The Office Crew

Office Rowing - The top video clips of the week.

Toyota Tundra Tailgater

Are YOU ready for some football?

The Midnight Rider Tundra Tailgater pushes the boundaries of truck bed utility. When you slide out the tailgate, there's a BBQ grill, beer tap, ice chest, 42″ HDTV and massive sound system.

Double Dosing Smokers

Various therapies can get smokers to quit for awhile. But scientists have put lozenges, patches, chewing gum, sprays, and inhalers to the test -- alone or in combination. Their goal: to find a remedy that'd produce the best long term results.

Audio: CBS Radio's Osgood File.

History of Computing

Trillions from MAYAnMAYA on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Men Who Stare At Votes

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Men Who Stare at Votes 11/09/09
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Doctor No

In the Senate it only takes one...


It's a Dam Bridge

A year awayConstruction continues on the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge. These photos were shot in September 2009. The entire project is expected to be completed by September 2010. The $240 million, 2,000-foot bridge is part of a larger project, a 3.5-mile corridor that begins in Clark County, Nevada, and ends in Mohave County, Arizona. For more construction photos check out here.

Jobless, Like Japan

Japan offers a grim lesson for American young people who are trying to find work today. Many who were growing up when Japan’s economic bubble burst in the 1990s (also because of real estate) are still struggling to find permanent jobs. The BBC’s Roland Buerk reports from Tokyo.

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


Architecture from MAYAnMAYA on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remember the Heroes

Sammy Hagar
Remember the Heroes
Three Lock Box (1983)

Deep in the Heart of Texas

As individuals moved past potraits of the fallen displayed at the edge of the stage, two soldiers moved in tandem stopping to slowly salute each with synchronized precision. One stood slightly behind and to the right of the other, and it was only when they'd reached the end of their path that the TV pool camera caught a glimpse of the front soldier's crutch... He'd been among the wounded, and had one last duty to perform... Saluting his comrades, deep in the heart of Texas.

The Yellow Line

Whether you ride the Red, Blue, Green, Silver or Orange lines... The most important line is the yellow one at the edge of the platform...

The scene is double death defying, because the drunken woman not only fell into the pit and almost got crushed, but also came close to being electrocuted by the third rail.

Alien Autopsy

Alien Autopsy T-shirt by Chris Rowson.
The Alien Autopsy T-shirt($18) by Chris Rowson.

In the Blender

Blended Nation by Mike Tauber and Pamela SinghThe 2000 U.S. census was the first to give Americans the option to check more than one box for race. Nearly 7 million people declared themselves to be multiracial, a number that's expected to shoot up in the 2010 count.

In the book Blended Nation, the husband & wife tean of photographer Mike Tauber and producer Pamela Singh combine portraits of mixed-race Americans with stories of living beyond the sometimes rigid notions of race... Americans' ideas of racial identity are in for a challenge.

Audio: NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday, . Host: Liane Hansen.


Information from MAYAnMAYA on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

1 Alone

A look at the sole House Republican to vote "aye" on health care.

There's A Crowd...

Illustration: Elijah Mountain Gem Mine
Lookin' to strike it rich in them thar hills...

Tough times drove up the price of gold, and drive both resident and tourists alike back ino the mode of the old 49ers... Staking out their spots on the riverbanks to see what pans out.

Audio: CBS Radio's Osgood File.

Sharpie on Styrofoam

Styrofoam cup artist Cheeming Boey of Newport Beach, California, creates intricate designs using Sharpie pens. His flickr set includes images of noodle shops, faceless diners, scaly fish & Japanese gods.

Via Damn Cool Pics blog.


On October 16th, inspectors closed down the Crown Point Bridge that spans Lake Champlain and connects New York to Vermont, saying the structure was in danger of collapsing. The bridge carried more than 3,000 vehicles a day and its closure has thrown the region’s economy into a state of chaos. Lisa Cloutier, owner of the Bridge Restaurant in West Addison, Vermont is witnessing neglected infrastructure's impact on Northland businesses firsthand.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now. Host: Meghna Chakrabarti.

Later...The governors of New York and Vermont said the Crown Point Bridge has deteriorated so badly that it can't be repaired. So it will be demolished as soon as possible.

Report from Vermont Public Radio.

November 12: BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A report prepared for the New York Department of Transportation says the cost of replacing a now-closed bridge over Lake Champlain will cost $67 million and take 22 months to build.

Was ist Freiheit?

Verschiedene Dinge, die vielen verschiedenen Menschen.

When the wall fell 20 years ago, Chris Matthews was Washington Bureau Chief for The San Francisco Examiner... "Was bedeutet Freiheit?" is a better way to ask a German what freedom means.

Sesame Street at 40

Google has marked the occasion for days...

And they've posted hi-res versions of their commemorative anniversary logos for download.

The Man Behind the Bird

Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer-creator of two of that street’s most famous residents: Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch dropped by to chat with Robin (the host, not the bird) in 2004.

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

Monday, November 9, 2009

November 9, 1989

Journalist Peter Turnley remembers, in a showcase of photos, the history and the long road the demise and fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. All photographs by Peter Turnley/CORBIS via CBS, Thanks.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Fall Of The Wall

20 years ago...

AP Photo: 'The Power of a Single Hammer' by John Gap 11/12/89
Sabina Casagrande of Deutsche Welle Radio recounts the events that led to November 9, 1989 — the day the Berlin Wall fell.

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

Time Magazine: The Berin Wall -- A Pictorial History

November 9, 2009

November 9 is a different kind of excitement here in Las Vegas... It's not so much a date in history, but the title given to the finalists at the World Series of Poker.

This year they include some names and faces very familiar to poker followers on ESPN and very late nights on NBC-TV. And one complete wild card.

As ten time winner Doyle Brunson gave the command to "shuffle up and deal" for the tournament's final table this weekend, first-timer Darvin Moon had the most chips and stood to win $8.5 million. Moon, who owns a logging operation in Maryland, had never been to Las Vegas or played poker online before entering the tournament.

Audio: NPR's All Things Considered, November 7. Host: Guy Raz.

At 3am Sunday, twelve hours after the conversation was first broadcast, there were only 4 players remaining. Antoine Saout of France was the chip leader with 62.925 million. Darvin Moon had slipped to 4th place with 31.575 million, only half the leader's stack. But in the pre-dawn hours as play continued to determine the final matchup, there was a stunning reversal of fortune.

Joseph Cada and Darvin Moon will play for the championship of the World Series of Poker’s Main Event on Monday night after Antoine Saout was eliminated from play in third place at 5:51 a.m. Sunday. Saout takes home $3.48 million.

Cada, 21, from Shelby Township, MI, is the chip leader with 135.95 million going into Monday’s head-up final at the Rio, starting at 10 pm... Moon, 46, from Oakland, MD has 58.85 million in chips.

The winner takes home $8.5 million while runner-up collects $5.18 million. The pair outlasted a field of nine over more than 14 hours of poker action Saturday and Sunday inside the Rio Casino’s Penn & Teller Theater, the longest final table for a Main Event.

Power Players

Click for more on 'Poker & Critical Thinking'American history is filled with powerful men who have have honed their competitive strategies around the card table. In Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker, author James McManus details how the game's logic is reflected in our history of battles and business.

Audio: NPR's All Things Considered, November 7. Host: Guy Raz
Read more on: Poker & Critical Thinking.

Endless Evening

Photo: Sandris Grivins

Imposter Tweets

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Prisoner, Past & Present

The 1960’s cult television series, “The Prisoner” has been remade and premieres next Sunday, November 15 on the AMC cable channel. Jim Caviezel stars as 6 and Ian McKellen as 2.

Meanwhile, the 17-episode original series starring Patrick McGoohan as No. 6 has been re-released on DVD and is airing on the Independent Film Channel. Here and Now critic-at-large Ed Siegel compares “The Prisoner” past and present.

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

Table For One

Photo: 'Table For One' by: Baerbel Kavanaugh
Judith Jones would have prefered not to be able to write "The Pleasures of Cooking for One”. But widowed after 45 years of marriage, she found herself among the 28 million Americans who live and eat alone.

Her book of recipes and techniques for cooking small-scale, eating better, and saving money is informed by her late husband's career as a noted food writer, and her own career editing authors from Julia Child to John Updike.

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

Pearblossom Highway

Pearblossom Hwy., 11 - 18th April 1986, #2
It's an image made of other images. David Hockney's iconic portrayal of a California desert intersection is among a class of works he calls "joiners," photocollages made first of Polaroids, then later of 35mm color prints.

The original work measures 78 by 111 inches. It's owned by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where Hockney lived and worked from 1963 to 2005. Currently his quest for vivid landscapes has taken him back to the English countryside where he grew up. But a few years ago Getty used Hockney to promote Hockney at Getty:

Internet Isolation

No link between Internet, social isolation

A new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project finds that the Internet and mobile phones do not lead to social isolation, as some previous research suggested. In fact, there's plenty of evidence that people who spend a lot of time online have fuller social lives.

Audio: APM's Future Tense, November 5. Host: Jon Gordon.

Clunkers For Cash

Ford Unveils New Car For Cash-Strapped Buyers: The 1993 Taurus

Heavenly Harps

Recently, Lonny Shavelson attended a gathering of some 40 international harpists and groups of harpists gathered in Oakland, California. The idea behind this Festival of Harps was to move harp music beyond traditional conventions of European classical music.

That wasn’t hard to do, given that the harps included folk instruments from Africa to Paraguay.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WGBH's The World, October 26. Host: Jeb Sharp.