Saturday, December 5, 2009


Tiger's Tale

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Alphabet Soup

It's the season, so Sabine Ehrefeld is putiing the "O" back in XMAS.

She first graced TV touting the effects of Special K.

Then she moved on to the letter O.

German-born model/actress Ehrenfeld has had only a few modest roles in America. Her accent is the limiting factor. Both the Overstock song and Special K narration are voiced by others...
But she actually has fans for her work in commercials.

Public pressure brought her back after a brief period when somebody else's O was featured on screen... Letters of protest, you might say.

International Meat of Mystery

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We Did It! - Artificial Meat 12/2/09
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A Score Without a Film

Brian Setzer at home in Minneapolis (AP)
Former Stray Cats front man, Brian Setzer, is out with a new album inspired by the Film Noir genre of the 1940s and 50s. Brian Setzer says he approached “Songs from Lonely Avenue” as if he were writing a film score. Now, he’s just waiting to see if someone will write a movie around the songs. Brian Setzer talks about his new album as well as his now annual Holiday music tour.

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

12 Days of Christmas

Straight No Chaser.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Looking For A Leader

Zombie Reagan Raised From Grave To Lead GOP

It's a dead man's party! Who could ask for more?
Everybody's comin', leave your body at the door...
Leave your body and soul at the door. -- Oingo Boingo (1985)

Franken Sense

Crafty comedian outwits nitwits.

Rape itself, is no laughing matter.

One White Whale

Composer and performer Laurie Anderson was so taken with Moby-Dick, she composed a strange, cool, modern opera called Songs and Stories from Moby-Dick. Anderson tells how Melville hooked her in the first few pages, and compares Moby-Dick to another great American saga: "Star Trek."

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

Geek Gifts: Not Loaded

Suggested by: Just whatever blog.

Leaving the MAPLEs

MAPLE stands for Multipurpose Applied Physics Lattice Experiment, which resulted in two completely new nuclear reactors, the only ones in the world built specifically to produce medical isotopes.

A single MAPLE reactor can supply all the isotopes the world currently needs; with the second MAPLE as a backup. There's just one problem: the MAPLEs have never been given the official go-ahead. And chances are, they never will. Instead, it looks like these two nuclear reactors, which cost Canadian taxpayers over $500 million, will just be left in the bush to rot.

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

More Tiger Animation

Of future harbinger in this he sees.

It will be black and white in the dead of night...
Eyes flashing in the clear moonlight.
I want to ride, ride the tiger. -- Jefferson Starship (1974)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chain of Command

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U.S. Army Chain of Command 12/1/09
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Into The Rough

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Tiger Woods Newzak 12/1/09
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Caddyshacking Up.

Not My Job: Jimmy Fallon

Audio: Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.
Host: Peter Sagal
Judge & Scorekeeper: Carl Kasell

Geek Gifts: Molecule

Suggested by: Just whatever blog.

Light Pollution Solutions

I know the night sky in the desert is amazing, but I haven't seen it in years.

On my first coast-to-coast move, the Milky Way alone provided enough light to navigate Interstate 25 through New Mexico on a moonless night. But now I live in Las Vegas, NV...
Light pollution capital of the world.

Urban residents elsewhere are urging their city governments to turn down the lights. Quincy Campbell reports how to stop streetlights from trespassing into the night sky and your bedroom.

Audio: PRI's Living On Earth, Host: Jeff Young.

A World Safe for Google

Digitized relics preserved from the cradle of civilization.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Defining Moment?

CBS Chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer said that President Obama's speech on the Afghan war will be looked back at as the "defining moment of the Obama presidency."

Some nondescript sense of dread makes me think: "Hope not."

Although Americans make an easy target, Afghan xenophobia runs so deep that locals would meet someone from an adjacent province as an interloper... There really is no nation there at all except in the presence of a foreign occupation.

What About the Check?

Estimates put the cost of post 9-11 campaigns at $1 trillion... Cost of Afghan escalation at 1.3 million per soldier a year.

Not My Job: Robert Earl Keen

Audio: Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.
Host: Peter Sagal
Judge & Scorekeeper: Carl Kasell

Geek Gifts: Circuit Boards

Suggested by: Just whatever blog.

Biofuel Bugs

Genetically modified microbes are the new big thing in biofuels. Some university labs and high-tech startups say they’ve engineered organisms that can make fuels like ethanol and diesel from just sunlight and CO2. They’re called direct solar liquid fuels, and the potential for these tiny fuel pumps is already firing up the biofuels business.

Audio: PRI's Living On Earth, Host: Jeff Young.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tiger's Tale

So far it doesn't ad up. If he wrote this kind of stuff on his scorecard, he'd be DQ'd... But the world's best golfer claims to have had a 25 yard drive into the hydrant that doglegged into a tree.

Public Relations types say it's probably the worst lie of his career.

Update: Tuesday afternoon, the Florida Highway Patrol announced their attempt at an investigation would cease. Woods would be cited for failing to maintain control of his vehicle, but his stonewalling police questions has limited his legal exposure to a single ticket.

Eater's Remorse

Think maintaining a healthy lifestyle is hard to swallow? Mo Rocca has "the real skinny" on the right (non bulimic) way to stay on track with your diet.

Not My Job: Philippe Petit

Audio: Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.
Host: Peter Sagal
Judge & Scorekeeper: Carl Kasell

Geek Gifts: Pixelated Pendant

Suggested by: Just whatever blog.

Pixelated Portraits

Anyone who's ever seen a mosaic, stained glass window, or worked with digital photography knows about pixelation... But it's truly astonishing that the large portraits are done in only 5 colors!

More from the Grand Rapids arts competition.


Bikini-clad baristas have locals foaming in Bellevue, WA.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Tom Petty has kept his fans and made countless new ones over the 30 years he's been in rock and roll and Anthony Mason spends a little time with the musician... Type A, Gainesville style.


It's that time of year again. PBS programming stunts/begathons...

IU's Jacobs School of Music has a lot of quality perfomers... And fun.

Data Deception?

Meanwhile, climate change denier Nick Griffin, leader of the far-right British National Party, who believes climate change activists are 'cranks', will be member of European parliament's delegation in the coming summit at Copenhagen.

He says climate change believers have reached "an Orwellian consensus" that was "based not on scientific agreement, but on bullying, censorship and fraudulent statistics".

Geek Gifts: Space Invaders

Suggested by: Just Whatever blog.

Turkey Drop Now

Washington University junior Carly MacLeod writes the romance column for the student newspaper. She says Thanksgiving weekend is the time for burdensome long-distance relationships to go splat.

You're not safe from the turkey drop if you're out of college, either, according to relationship and sex advice guru Dan Savage. "For grown-ups," he says, "it's the anticipation of being stuck for three or four more months."

Audio: NPR's All Things Considered, Host: Robert Smith.

Turkey Drop Then

WKRP's "Turkey's Away" episode ranks #2 on TV Land's list of all time great memorable TV holiday moments.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Under the Influence

A woman was at her hairdresser's getting her hair styled for a trip to Rome with her husband. She mentioned the trip to the hairdresser, who responded:

"Rome? Why would anyone want to go there? It's crowded and dirty. You're crazy to go to Rome! So, how are you getting there?"

"We're taking Continental," was the reply. "We got a great rate!"

"Continental?" exclaimed the hairdresser. "That's a terrible airline. Their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly, and they're always late. So, where are you staying in Rome?"

"We'll be at this exclusive little place over on Rome's Tiber River called Teste."

"Don't go any further. I know that place. Everybody thinks its gonna be something special and exclusive, but it's really a dump."

"We're going to go to see the Vatican and maybe get to see the Pope."

"That's rich," laughed the hairdresser. "You and a million other people trying to see him. He'll look the size of an ant. Boy, good luck on this lousy trip of yours. You're going to need it."

A month later, the woman again came in for a hairdo. The hairdresser asked her about her trip to Rome.

"It was wonderful," explained the woman, "not only were we on time in one of Continental's brand new planes, but it was overbooked, and they bumped us up to first class. The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a handsome 28-year-old steward who waited on me hand and foot.

"And the hotel was great! They'd just finished a $5 million remodeling job, and now it's a jewel, the finest hotel in the city. They, too, were overbooked, so they apologized and gave us their owner's suite at no extra charge!"

"Well," muttered the hairdresser, "that's all well and good, but I know you didn't get to see the Pope."

"Actually, we were quite lucky, because as we toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder, and explained that the Pope likes to meet some of the visitors, and if I'd be so kind as to step into a private room and wait, the Pope would personally greet me.

"Sure enough, five minutes later, the Pope walked through the door and shook my hand! I knelt down and he spoke a few words to me."

"Oh, really! What'd he say?"

"He asked: 'Who fucked up your hair?'"

Via contributor Ken Morgan.

Up In The Air

A new film, ‘Up In The Air,’ tells the story of a corporate hatchet man who is hired by companies to come in and lay-off workers.

Jason Reitman, of 'Juno' & 'Thank You for Smoking' fame, directed the film which stars George Clooney as the high-flying employee executioner.

The film also features non-actors — people who had recently lost their jobs.

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

Dubai: Debt Desert Disaster

(Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)
Wall Street stumbled on worries about Dubai’s debt problems, with the Dow Jones ending down 154 points on Friday. The half-day session was the US markets’ first chance to react to news that state-owned Dubai World had asked for more time to repay its $60 billion debt. American markets were closed for Thanksgiving when other world markets all suffered steep losses. Alex Gallafent reports.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WGBH's The World, Host: Marco Werman.

Meanwhile, in the Mojave...

"CityCenter is fully funded, on schedule and ready to begin welcoming guests starting next week," MGM PR flack Yvette Monet said in a statement that the joint venture is unaffected by Dubai World's announcement.

CityCenter is an $8.5 billion gamble made before Las Vegas, too, became a zone of highly concentrated partially complete, or completed (yet empty) construction. It's half-owned by MGM Mirage. The other half is owned by (creditors of) Dubai World.

So far local media is dormant. And the all-in bet that the high end market bubble would never burst: A 67-acre development of plush resorts, condominiums, a retail mall and one casino on the Las Vegas Strip will start opening in phases on December 1.

Is Dubai too big too fail? Maybe to Abu Dabi.

Earlier this week, officials in the Gulf state announced they needed more time to repay $60 billion in money borrowed to build lavish hotels, manmade islands and the world's tallest skyscraper. World markets slumped because of the news. Economist Simon Johnson, former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund, and Christopher Davidson, author of Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success, discuss the big impact made by the tiny emirate.

Audio: NPR's All Things Considered, Host: Robert Smith.

Sun-baked Senator

Details continue to dribble out about Senator John Ensign (R-NV). So far the sexual improprieties haven't been enough to sink him, so the wronged husband keeps firing with violations of lobbying/ethics laws.

Read: Jon Ralston at the Las Vegas Sun.

The Big Louie

Here's the entire conversation from 11/18/09.

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Exclusive - Lou Dobbs Extended Interview Pt. 1
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Exclusive - Lou Dobbs Extended Interview Pt. 2
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Enter an exhibit honoring the work of film director Tim Burton at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City through April 2010.