Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gotcha, Dog!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Apparent Trap 2/11/10
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Men Only? WTF, IOC?

Lindsey Vonn may yet compete in the Vancouver Olympics if she recovers, but Lindsey Van won't... Despite the fact she holds a world record and it was set on the hill where the competition takes place.

It's the 21st century... Make the leap.

Get Crazy

Reacting to yesterday's post entitled "Imagine Her With Cheese" a reader went beyond individually wrapped slices to suggest injured American alpine skier Lindsey Vonn get crazy with the cheez whiz.

Sounds like fun, but of questionable medicinal value.

Not to suggest she's anything but a winner... Beck's "Loser" from the album "Mellow Gold" is where the Cheez Whiz reference came from.

Delegate An Online Date

Wouldn’t it be easier if you could hire someone to help you manage your dating profile and woo or weed out potential matches on your behalf?

Former Hollywood writer Matt Prager hires himself out as a ghostwriter for guys, crafting clients' profiles, and witty banter to encourage a woman with potential to take it (the step) and make it (a real life meeting).

Robin is shocked that using a designated hitter has been added to handle the verbal foreplay in the already dicey dance of deception that is the game of making an online love connection.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 2/12/10, Host: Robin Young.
Matt Prager's blog is called “This or Prozac.”

What A Week!

Super Bowl to Valentines In 7 Days

Kind of like a post-partem experience for dudes.

Creepy and/or Clever

Brits' Lonely Hearts Personal Ads Inspire Second Book

Author David Rose compiles personal ads from the London Review of Books... Has to. It's his job.

His collection titled "Sexually, I'm More Of A Switzerland" is a wealth of mini insights into the British sexual psyche, a strange combination of brash & bawdy, self-deprecation, absurd Monty Pythonesque quirkiness and chronic skin conditions aggravated by England's damp climate.

Audio: NPR's All Things Considered 2/9/10, Host: Melissa Block.

Friday, February 12, 2010

How's Your Heine?

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Celebrate Black History Month With Heineken 2/9/10
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorSkate Expectations

Imagine Her With Cheese

American skier Lindsey Vonn had been scheduled to take a training run on Thursday. She's concerned that a shin injury could keep her out of the Olympic Games all together. The weather didn't cooperate. Training was canceled before Vonn got her chance on the course, though she was able to ski a little. She said her shin was still very painful — but the injury was progressing a bit. Among the things she's applied to the injured area... Cheese, presumably American.

Viewing Vancouver Online

Tivo-like features on Internet video feeds await computer-bound watchers of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Also on tap: higher definition video, and a more social experience.

Snowed Out

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
We're Off to See the Blizzard 2/10/10
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorSkate Expectations

Stupid Cupid

Amy Bloom, best-selling author "Where The God Of Love Hangs Out" looks at various kinds: filial, platonic, and sometimes illicit.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now. Host: Robin Young.
Illustration: Kinds of Love puzzle by

The Revolution, File Shared

Heralded as "a new black poet" with his debut release in the early 70's and blamed since as a forefather of modern rap, Gil Scott Heron was and is a challenging artist to embrace.

The man who famously said "the revolution will not be televised" has just released a new record after many years in trouble and out of the music industry's spotlight.
Audio: NPR's All Things Considered, 2/11/10.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Job

I emailed my nephew in DC to ask if it was really the snow-pocalypse. He replied there were 28 inches piled up in the back yard but from where he sat, looking out over the Atlantic during a flight to Puerto Rico, he couldn't hear the whining back there.

Meanwhile in my little corner of the Mojave, it was raining.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Formidable Opponent - Global Warming With Al Gore 11/4/09
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorEconomy

Bilingual Puns Sell Buns

Creative garnishing, like the crying orange on the book cover, is one way chefs like to let loose. Naming their creations is another.

Juan in a Million, Thai Me Up, and Pho Shizzle are among the restaurants reporter Nina Porzucki visited Austin, Texas, where playing with your food has taken on a whole new meaning because of people who also like to play with words.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WGBH's The World, 2/10/10 Host: Marco Werman.

See more pictures in an illustrated transcript.

They Got You Covered

Hospital gowns which bare patients' backsides could be a thing of the past, after new designs for "modesty" gowns were revealed by National Health Service hospitals in Bristol, England, where they are said to be a hit with patient populations.

A spokesperson for the NHS said the old bum-baring robes could be embarrassing and undignified... As well as a bit chilly.

U.S. supporters of single-payer health insurance cited the new gowns as an example of superior coverage... Opponents charged "cover-up!"

Story & photo from NewsLite. Cartoon from Jan 2004.

Trade: A War We Lost

Why Nothing's Made In America Anymore

More than 42,000 U.S. factories have closed since 2001, when China entered the World Trade Organization. But Richard McCormack, editor of Manufacturing and Technology News, says that’s not the only reason why so little is made here anymore.

Then Brian O’Shaughnessy, chairman of Revere Copper Products, also a leading voice in the Coalition for a Prosperous America, explains why that business group wants to change U.S. international tax and trade policy.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 2/10/10, Host: Robin Young.

Chinese factory worker roll call photo from the Daily Mail (UK), 2008.

How Low Can They Go?

While polls show Congress as an institution always ranks poorly, individual members keep getting re-elected... At least until now.

Digital Breakups

Separations are hard. But now when you decide you've had enough of each other, there's a new twist... Who gets the online friends?

What do you do when it comes to the social networking ties you share with your former significant other? To break or not to break? It's a question from real life divorce gone digital as people grapple with life impacting their online personas.

Audio: NPR's All Things Considered, 2/8/10. Host: Michelle Norris

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Late Shift

Oscar Overkill

Ten Oscar nominees for Best Picture! Or should that be a question?

It's as if Hollywood created its own year-end Ten Best list. It sounds radical, but in fact the movie capital used to do just that, routinely.

NPR film critic Bob Mondello recalls that until 1943, there were always somewhere between eight and 12 nominees each year in the Best Picture category, while there were sometimes only a couple of nominees for Best Actor or Best Actress.

Mondello thinks 2009 doesn't deserve ten nominees... But 1962 did!

Audio: NPR's All Things Considered, 2/6/10, Host: Guy Raz.

TEA = The Extremely Angry

No doubt the TEA party phenomenon is interesting, but as political observers try to make sense of it, they continue to pick apart what they saw and heard for clues to its future... And past.

Contemplating The Void

A new experience of New York's Guggenheim Museum, filling Frank Lolyd Wright's cavernous atrium with trampoline netting, is JDS Architects playful proposal... One of many on display February 12 - April 28, 2010 at the unaltered (for now) Guggenheim Museum.

Do It Again

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
-- Carl Bard, Scottish Theologian (1907-1978)

Hulu Hookup

If you could have sex with no strings attached, would you? Could you?

In the movie "Strictly Sexual," two successful women, sick and tired of dating and relationships, decide to keep two young men in their pool house for strictly sexual purposes. It's the most-watched film on, the popular video-streaming Web site. And despite never being shown in theaters, Stevie Long, who wrote and acted in it, says "Strictly Sexual" has made more than 10 times its budget.

In your face James Cameron!

Something to think about as Valentine's Day bears down...

Hosts: Michelle Norris & Melissa Block

"Strictly Sexual" on Hulu.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Season

Used to be the SI Swimsuit Issue came out two weeks after the Super Bowl. This year it's previewed tonight on CNBC and then on sale tomorrow to beat several issues devoted to the Vancouver Olympics.

The Power Of Half

Inspired by a 14-year old’s compassion for a homeless man in her neighborhood, The Salwen family of Atlanta, GA decided to sell their home and give half the money from the sale to charity. Father Kevin, and daughter Hannah wrote about their experience in a new book called “The Power of Half”.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WGBH's The World 2/5/10, Host: Marco Werman.

Party Gras

A Tale Of Twin Moons

Callisto and Ganymede, the two outermost great moons of Jupiter, should be twins. They're the same size, and they formed at the same time, of the same material. They are, however, quite different.

Dr. Amy Barr of the Planetary Science Directorate of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, thinks she knows why.

Audio: CBC Radio's Quirks & Quarks 1/30/10, Host: Bob McDonald.
Illustration by Seraph3D... From the Jovian Fly-By sequence in "Aliens of the Deep," an Imax film directed by James Cameron.

Still Talking Ads

Making Good Teachers

We all probably had a favorite teacher or two growing up, but what was it about those teachers that made them great? Are certifications or credentials predictive of success? And how do teachers improve their skills to most effectively help students learn?

A two-part podcast preview of a coming documentary.

Audio: APM's American Radio Works, Host: Stephen Smith. Reporter: Emily Hanford.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Stupid Bowl

Turning Nashville into Gnash Your Teeth Ville

So how come nobody at Opryland knew how to ground out hum?

And how come the ultra-patriots had no flags?

A bit more than the P.A. sounded hollow.

Hold Up Man

How can a single Republican stop the majority of Democrats from confirming President Obama's appointees? Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, is doing just that.

Mute As A Button

The "Mute Button Pacifier," from Psycho Baby... Found on Style Hive.

Is Anybody In There?

Coloring In The Dinosaurs

Modern birds come in a wide variety of colors. And since we now think some species of dinosaur had feathers like modern birds, there has been speculation that perhaps dinosaur feathers came in a vivid assortment of hues, too.

Now researchers, including Dr. Patrick Orr, from the School of Geological Sciences at University College Dublin, think they may have found clues which suggest dinosaurs had black, grey, brown & orange feathers and may have dressed in colors beyond earth tones.

Audio: CBC Radio's Quirks & Quarks 1/30/10, Host: Bob McDonald.

It's Our Secret Space

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Your Brain On Football

Researchers study the effects of CTE, a brain disorder resulting from head trauma that is more and more common in football players. It can have lifelong repercussions, including dementia

Read more: The Problem With Football.

Your Brain On Google

Roz Chast created this New Yorker cartoon which depicts an imaginary "Google Magazine" with story titles like "Capitol Nebraska What" and "Parakeet Molasses Safe." The Takeaway talked with Roz about how she came up with her cartoon, and how Google has become a regular part of her life. And with Dr. Gary Small, author of "iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind," about what's happening in our brains when we're using Google.

Audio: PRI & WNYC's program The Takeaway 2/4/10, Host John Hockenberry.

The Password Is Huh?

During a recent password audit, a company found that one blonde employee was using the following password:


When asked why she had such a long password, she said she was told that it had to be at least 8 characters long and include at least one capital.

Relayed from by Ken Morgan

Top 50 Oxymorons

50. Act naturally
49. Found missing
48. Resident alien
47. Advanced BASIC
46. Genuine imitation
45. Airline food
44. Good grief
43. Same difference
42. Almost exactly
41. Government organization
40. Sanitary landfill
39. Alone together
38. Legally drunk
37. Silent scream
36. British fashion
35. Living dead
34. Small crowd
33. Business ethics
32. Soft rock
31. Butt head
30. Military intelligence
29. Software documentation
28. New York culture
27. Extinct life
26. Sweet sorrow
25. Childproof
24. “Now, then…”
23. Synthetic natural gas
22. Christian scientists
21. Passive aggression
20. Taped live
19. Clearly misunderstood
18. Peace force
17. New classic
16. Temporary tax increase
15. French bravery
14. Plastic glasses
13. Terribly pleased
12. Computer security
11. Political science
10. Tight slacks
9. Definite maybe
8. Pretty ugly
7. Twelve-ounce pound cake
6. Diet ice cream
5. Rap music
4. Working vacation
3. Exact estimate
2. Religious tolerance

And the NUMBER ONE top Oxymoron

1. Microsoft Works

List by: Gary White

No Success Like Failure

A few words from Harry Potter's mom, 2008.

From "No Direction Home"

Animal Mindreaders

Can an animal know what’s in our heads so well that they can manipulate and deceive us? To answer that question, reporter Ben Calhoun went back to the 1960s to tell the story of a showdown between zookeeper Jerry Stones and a wily old orangutan.

Then, to get a grip on the science behind animals and deception, Ben talks to primatologist and orangutan expert Rob Shumaker of the Great Ape Trust.

Audio: NPR & WNYC's program Radio Lab, Hosts Robert Krulwich & Jad Abumrad.