Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Decade in Sex Scandals

The Decade on YouTube

Looking for Happiness

In Denmark

By every index, the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world -- sociologist Peter Glindelock explains why.

Audio: PRI's Living On Earth, Host: Steve Curwood.

Or Amherst, MA

A course at Amherst College has students contemplate what and how they consume, and the happiness derived from it.

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

See also: The Happiness Project blog at


"The Mustangs of Las Colinas" is believed to be the largest horse scuplture in the world and consists of nine wild horses in bronze running across a granite stream at Williams Square Plaza in Irving, Texas... Something to see when visiting the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

Blimp Crash

Video by Steve Arenholz

The Year in Celebrity

Sorry, Babs!

San Diego radio friends Berger & Prescott weighed in on the "most fascinating" people of the year.

The truth isn't pretty...

Mike and Jeff checked over the list Barbara Walters came up with for 2009.

The verdict: 2 thumbs down.
People offered more and different selections on their yearly list...

Topped by singer/Kanye West mugging victim Taylor Swift.

"Swift shares year-end 'honors' with PEOPLE's pick of the most unforgettable entertainers, scene-makers and headline-generators of 2009: Hollywood's fabulous philanthropists Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie; Mo'Nique; Barack and Michelle Obama; Sandra Bullock; Neil Patrick Harris; governor gone rogue Sarah Palin; kidnap survivor Jaycee Dugard; Rihanna & more."


See NBC's Top 10 Craziest Celebrity Moments, too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Battle of the Banks

Hacker Heist

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the FBI is investigating a hacker attack, detected over the summer, which they believe is connected to a "cyber gang" of Russian criminals.

The article says they got away with tens of millions of dollars.

The bank's parent company, Citigroup, denied the report, which also alleges two other computer systems, one connected to a U.S. government agency, were also attacked. That prompted the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Homeland Security Department working together to investigate the attack.

Founding Fathers

Let It Fly

As gentlemen may have noticed, flies are turning up in urinals with increased frequency. Not real ones, but lifelike images carefully positioned in the porcelain bowl. It seems the very presence of this insect drastically reduces what's politely called "spillage."

But why flies?

Audio: Weekend Edition Saturday, December 19, Host: Scott Simon,
Reporter: Robert Krulwich

Source: NPR / Maggie Starbard, Dylan Isabell, Jessica Goldstein

Vermont Student Sues Over Co-Ed Bathrooms

Nineteen-year-old Green Mountain College student Jennifer Weiler has filed a lawsuit over the lack of single-sex bathrooms in the her residence hall. All seven of the school's residence halls are co-ed.

According to the lawsuit against the college and the Vermont Department of Public Safety (which enforces building and plumbing codes), Weiler and others are uncomfortable with both facilities: flimsy curtains on the shower doors, and conduct: men using the toilets with open stall doors.

Weiler's father told the Burlington Free Press that school officials at Green Mountain College labeled the bathroom on her floor "female" but males still use it.

Are there any flies? A college spokesman declined to comment.

Mission Comes First

Soldier Sex Under Fire

Horatio's Christmas Treat

Steve Martin's Holiday Wish

Christmas Bellagio Style

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It Takes (Snow) Balls

Don't Bring Your Gun

Pavlov's Dogma

Taking A Stand Against Religious Extremes

Frank Schaeffer has spent his life thinking about religion -- he’s the son of leading figures in the "relgious right" and was a Christian fundamentalist himself for some time.

He is no longer an evangelical, and in his new book, he finds fault not only with them, but also with a group of outspoken atheists; Schaeffer sees both groups as dogmatic.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now. Host: Robin Young.
Patience With God, and the Church of Hopeful Uncertainty.

Holiday Shopping Guide

by Fast Draw

Perhaps the perfect gift is no gift at all! Josh Landis and Mitch Butler explain why your best guess gift is likely a big waste of money.

Scroogenomics by Joel Waldfogel.

Irwin Mainway

Some gift ideas in time for the holidays.

Glengarry Christmas

Elf Motivation

Christmas at Wynn's

The Christmas Tree is the one with fewer lights.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Conning The Pentagon

One man's claims about secret al-Qaida messages embedded within Al Jazeera TV broadcasts led American officials to raise terror-alert levels and cancel a number of flights. But those claims turned out to be bogus.

Journalist Aram Roston wrote a Playboy article about Dennis Montgomery, "The Man Who Conned the Pentagon."

Audio: NPR's All Things Considered, December 19. Host: Guy Raz.

More from Monday night...

Be A Fraud, Be Very A Fraud

Techno Claus

High Tech Gift Advice

'Tis The Season for electronic gift-giving, and David Pogue of The New York Times presents some suggestions, in verse, for those who fear they might give someone a high-tech lemon.

Buzzwords of 2009

Illustrations by Valero Doval
Catchphrases and buzzwords can tell us much about a year past — what resonated, what stuck, what the year revealed about the sensibility of the nation, whether you’re a wise Latina woman, a mini-Madoff, a teabagger or Balloon Boy.

But if ever there were a year to put buzzwords before a death panel, this would be it, before the aporkalypse comes.
Article: The Buzzwords of 2009 compiled by the New York Times.


Photo by Angela Kohler
You've seen Annie Little... Alot!

Usually on TV in the Amazon commercial called "Kindlicious."

Over the summer, Amazon launched a campaign called, "Your Amazon Ad Contest," where participants submitted 30 second pieces advertising utilizing completely original content (music, video, etc.). Photographer Angela Kohler created the visuals in "Kindlicious." And beyond appearing as the model in the cute, catchy, and memorable photo collage, Annie Little wrote & sang, too.

Season's Greetings

from Tarzan, Tonto & Frankenstein

Christmas at Caesar's

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Vegas Biggest Bet

MGM Mirage Goes "All In" with High-End Hotels

There's no doubt it's big. The neighborhood has its own fire station.

There's no doubt it employs a lot of people. But not all of them came off the unemployment roles. Many were transfered from within MGM's already massive holdings, or hired away from competitors who are not at all inclined to hire replacements yet... Or maybe not at all. And most of the new jobs are closer to $6 per hour than six figures a year... No accident that CNN's report features a greeter & a busboy.

There's lots of doubt about the project's overall impact... Because it was designed in an era of a very long winning streak, when eveything new seemed to grow the entire market. And builders who caught the fever raised the stakes, betting it always would.

But in an era of long-lasting recession, newer shinier properties tend to canibalize older ones. What passed for cutting edge in the days of the "Rat Pack," was a step up from downtown saloons with cowboy themes... This past week one of that generation's best, the Sahara, closed two of three hotel towers, and Binion's, the former downtown home of the World Series of Poker, closed all its hotel rooms and a coffee shop that figured into decades of local legend.

And like the game, the number of chips on the table didn't change... It's just that fewer players held them as the blinds got bigger.

Christmas Chronicles

How does Santa travel the entire world in one night? Can reindeer really fly? And if the weather's bad, does Rudolph’s red, shiny nose lead Santa’s sleigh?

Kids want to know!

It's a season of wonder... In lots of ways.

Tim Slover set out to answer the questions his children asked while growing up, and now he’s turned those stories into a radio drama called “The Christmas Chronicles.” Slover, an associate professor in the Theater Deparment at the University of Utah, brought his stories to life on KBYU public radio in Provo, Utah.

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

KBYU will replay the series over 4 days this week & you can listen to all eight episodes on demand.

Bought Off

For the Amazingly Low Price of Nebraska's Poor

For once the Republicans are right. Nelson's principles had a price.

Sending Out an SOS

John Mayer - Message in a Bottle by The Police in Birmingham, AL.

Bike Into Buildings

Bike commuting is more popular than ever, and many cities are taking steps to accommodate two-wheelers. In New York City, a new law will allow people to bring their bikes inside.

But some cyclists will be left out in the cold with incomplete access, because there isn't a similar requirement to let the bikes into offices, or to provide secure storage.

It's a different story in Europe.

Climate Change Conference attendees in Copenhagen were visiting one of the top bicycling cities in the world. Living on Earth pedaled through the city center with a guide to find out why.

Audio: PRI's Living On Earth, Host: Steve Curwood, Reporter: Eileen Bolinsky.

Christmas, Baby