Saturday, May 15, 2010

Good, Bad & Sensational

Ideas of what's the worst change over time. 30 years ago Michael Medved (now a moralistic conservative radio talker, then an aspiring film critic) named "Plan 9 from Outer Space" as the all time stinker in his book "Golden Turkeys."

But that was before "Troll 2," which came 20 years ago, and was widely "praised" as the worst of all time. Now, in the documentary Best Worst Movie, Michael Stephenson chronicles what it's like to be involved in a cult hit so excruciatingly awful that it becomes a surprise smash.
Audio: NPR's All Things Considered 5/14/10.

Why Only Two?

In Great Britain's recent Parliamentary election, a third political party — the Liberal Democrats — played the power broker, teaming up with new PM David Cameron's Conservative Party to create the first coalition government in Britain in 70 years. Could a third party ever play kingmaker here, in the United States?

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll suggests that many people wouldn't object: More than 80 percent see problems with America's two-party system, and nearly one third of the country believes that America needs a third party.

Micah Sifry, author of "Spoiling for a Fight: Third-Party Politics in America," and editor of the Personal Democracy Forum, looks at why third parties have mostly failed in the American political landscape, whether that's likely to change, and if there's a single type of third party on which Americans could ever agree.
Audio: PRI & WNYC's program The Takeaway 5/13/10,
Host: John Hockenberry.

Million Dollar Quartet

A Tony-nominated play on Broadway recalls founding fathers of rock 'n' roll; Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins; at a 1956 meeting in Memphis for a legendary jam session at the legendary Sun Studios... Jeff Glor reports.

Say Goodbye Lala

Apple's decision to end Lala, its online streaming music service that undercut the pricing of co-owned download-only iTunes, will reverberate across many music websites, including those of several leading publications, blogs, venues and artists.

So what will the online community do without the site and songs?

And what impact will Apple's buy the business to put it out of business tactic have on Apple's own image?
Audio: NPR's Morning Edition 5/14/10, Reporter: Lara Pellegrinelli.

Going Down

A Korean comic.

Short Stories

Readings from the great James Thurber...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Drill Baby Still?

It's A Gas

The "Aban Pearl" natural-gas platform (AP photo, right), operated by state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. sank off the coast Venezuela on Thursday after its crew disconnected a tube leading from the gas fields to the Aban Pearl platform, preventing any leak or harm to marine life.

Alarms went off three hours before the sinking, giving the crew of 95 time to evacuate. Most went directly to the lifeboats, but the captain and two assistants stayed behind until the platform was badly tilting and about to collapse, and then hurled themselves into the Caribbean Sea.

Marco Werman got more from the BBC's Will Grant in Caracas.
Audio: BBC, PRI & WGBH's The World 5/13/10.
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Controlled Burn of a Natural Gas
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News


May is national running month, but don't reach for those sneakers just yet. Thousands of athletes across the country have discovered the joys of barefoot running, and you're more than welcome to join them! Only A Game's Karen Given has the story.
Audio: WBUR & NPR's Only A Game 5/7/10.

On A Roll

The Skateboard of Your Wildest Dreams



Jazz guitarist Ralph Towner from the group Oregon and Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu talk about their intuitive interplay and improvisation on the ECM album, Chiaroscuro... A term from visual arts describing the use of light and dark to achieve a heightened sense of depth and dimension.
Audio: PRI's Echoes, an ambient music program on public radio with an extensive archive of audio for download via subscription.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

There Can Be Only One

Cool it... Only Adolf was really Hitler!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Back in Black - Glenn Beck's Nazi Tourette's - 5/12/10
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Young Drivers Study

If you are easily distracted, and change lanes as recklessly as these guys change the subject, your car insurance rates will skyrocket!
Audio: Berger & Prescott publish podcasts on Facebook... They have to, since they have no more future in any type of broadcasting after insulting Oprah.


What Makes an Internet Phenomenon Go Viral?

MIT recently hosted the second ROFLCon - a conference dedicated to viral memes on the Internet. Radio producer Benjamin Walker attended the conference and explains what happens when creators of the Internet's most viral videos get together.
Audio: WNYC's On The Media 5/7/10, Host: Brooke Gladstone.
Links: Keyboard Cat, Three Wolf Moon Shirt & David After Dentist.

Too Fat To Fight

An excerpt from "Le Show" 5/9/10.
The military is considering a new medal for restraint... But will not award it to any soldier for meritorious conduct at the dinner table.
Photo source: C Slacker.

More Wasilliness

Another Book

Another Run

Ray Stevens can still do satire... If that's really what this is.

Nuts To You

It wouldn't hurt to come out of your shell once in a while.
Audio: CBS Radio's Osgood File 5/11/10.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oily Bastards

As executives of British Petroleum, Halliburton and Transocean tried to shift responsibility to (read: blame) each other in testimony at Senate committee hearings, an Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter dropped airlifted sandbags in efforts to dam off part of the marsh on Elmer's Island in Grand Isle, Louisiana. (AP photo)

The people of Lafourche Parish are racing to build a barrier to protect their estuary, and bracing for the Gulf oil-spill to hit shore, the National Marine Fisheries Service has shut down most of the area to commercial and charter fishing.

Meanwhile, state regulators fined the BP oil refinery near Bellingham, Washington for 13 serious workplace safety violations. The move came a month after an explosion at another company's refinery in Anacortes killed seven workers.
Audio: Puget Sound Public Radio 5/6/10.

BP’s safety record suggests they put cost-cutting ahead of safety on the Deepwater Horizon rig. Investigative journalist Tom Bower examined BP as part of his forthcoming book, “Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century.”
Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 5/11/10, Host: Robin Young.
Read an excerpt from Tom Bower’s Oil.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Oil Containment Solution Randomizer - 5/10/10
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

A Nightmare on Wall Street

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
A Nightmare on Wall Street - 5/10/10
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Audit The Fed

Reign In the Renegades

Hostile Takover

When the owner of Fox News & the tabloid NY Post bought the Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch was declaring war!

Dramatic Conflict

Are Sheldon & Penny headed toward a big bang of their own?

Cancer Costs

A new study done at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that cancer only accounts for five percent of medical care in this country, but even with insurance it can bankrupt its victims.
Audio: CBS Radio's Osgood File 5/10/10.

Joe Jackson - Cancer
Night And Day (1982)

Super Size It

You can grill your way into the Guinness Book of World Records if you can beat a 590 pound burger. Just don't drip on the pages if you try.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Let The Games Begin

Shortest Candidate From Obama's "Short List"
Selected To Replace Retiring Justice Stevens

Unhinged, Unhung

She won't let go...

He will, gladly...

Only one of these politicians has dignity... The other is Sue Lowden.

Going Mobile

Cable, phone and satellite companies compete feverishly to deliver high-speed Internet and HDTV to American homes via wires and dishes. But some consumers remain well connected without traditional services, having severed ties to traditional providers.
Audio: NPR's All Things Considered 5/10/10, Reported by: Joshua Brockman.

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Should doctors take part in state ordered criminal executions?

The American Board of Anesthesiologists says no, and they'll back their stand by revoking certification for any member who does. Since most hospitals demand that credential, assisting with any aspect of lethal injection could be a career killer.
Audio: CBS Radio's Osgood File 5/3/10.

All Sizzle

Iron Man 2 had a $133 million opening weekend... Paltrow didn't die, but has declared she'd love to punch out The Onion.

Lost In The Story

Are you engrossed, angered, or just confused?

ABC provided this primer on the first five seasons:

As the series winds down with only two remaining Tuesday chapters before its May 23rd series end, Nancy Miller has written a spread on “Lost” for Wired Magazine, which supposedly has embedded clues about the final episode.

So, what's up with that crazy island? Where and when is it? Why are the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815's crash so important to its future? Who are Jacob and the Man in Black? What’s with the parallel reality where everyone’s life seems to be better? And why is Jack “the one?”
Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 5/7/10, Host: Jane Clayson.

Although the series has wrapped, none of the actors know which of the alternative endings that were shot is creator J.J. Abrams' real choice.. "three alternative final scenes" will air in a post show special of Jimmy Kimmel Live: Aloha to LOST, set to air after the finale of LOST on May 23. Kimmel has aired parody scenes that poked fun at the mystery series, often featuring the real actors.

Last week he went all Glenn Beck on the mystery...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bad Dream

Is home ownership THE American Dream?

In better markets it seemed a good dream... Lately a nightmare.

But aside from an infinitely expanding universe, anything else that inflates eventually bursts. That's why they're called bubbles.

US Politics Influences UK

The influence isn't good regardless of party girls' preferences.

Spin Control

If no amount of spin can overcome a poor performance, is the reverse also true, or can spin overcome good performance by distorting perception.

One botched crisis can make a huge difference in the public's view of a president. As President Obama juggles two acute crises, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a terrorism plot in Times Square. Whether the country approves of his actions could color the rest of his term.
Audio: NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday 5/8/10, Ari Shapiro.

Rotten Apple?

Betty White

Worth Staying Up For

Prmitive Urges

Inspired by the ways early man ate and exercised, an interesting experiment turns the clock back to prehistoric as modern apartment dwellers adopt aspects of a Paleolithic era lifestyle.
Audio: WBUR FM, Boston 5/6/10, Reporter: Andrea Shea.

Extinct for 30,000 years, Neanderthals have been believed to be the closest relative to modern humans, but an evolutionary dead end.

Not so fast says the Neanderthal Genome Project, which is sequencing their genes... In part to determine whether interbreeding merged them with later migrations of modern humans who are now, at least in part, Neanderthal.

The first draft of Neanderthals' genetic code was released this past week, and scientists are surprised by comparisons to humans.
Audio: CBC Radio's Quirks & Quarks 5/8/10, Host: Bob McDonald.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers Day

The Mothers Of Invention - In The Sky - 1968
from Colour Me Pop on BBC TV

It wasn't all classic, but the bombs had a purpose, too.

Top Ten with Dave's Mom

Dorothy Letterman's Advice For Being a Good Mother, 5/7/10.

Turning Point

Whether you mark it as the beginning of an era, or a major change of direction, Kind of Blue remains iconic.

There's a good chance that if you own just one jazz record, it's Miles Davis' modal masterpiece. Richard Williams thinks there's something to that: He's written The Blue Moment, a new book on the legacy of the 1959 album.
Audio: NPR's All Things Considered 5/8/10, host: Guy Raz.
Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

36 Clues

About six weeks after this blog began, a teen-aged girl named Sophie, from somewhere in the Midlands of England, started blogging too. She was very open in introducing herself: The "I's" are hers...

1) I am an artist.
2) I have very strong right brain dominance.
3) I wish I could sing like Laura Marling.
4) I love retro / vintage things.
5) I love travelling.
6) I don't think twice about what I eat.
7) I am insupressibly messy.
8) I am an only child.

9) I cannot cook, or make nice cups of tea :(
10) I leave everything until the last minute.
11) I am generous and I like to help people.
12) Usually, if I just let things roll, everything seems to work out.
13) I have a lot of lucid dreams.
14) I would love a retro VW campervan.
15) I think I was born a few decades too late.
16) I speak French, but I should practice more often.

17) I don't watch much TV.
19) I am awful at saving money.
20) I believe in soul mates.
21) I am lazy.
22) I love the Summer.
23) I never plan things.
24) I should read more classic novels.
25) I walk or run when I'm angry or sad.
26) I never let people know when I'm angry or sad.
27) I have seen the pyramids.
28) I have been to Aushwitz.

29) I love to dance.
30) I secretly love to be tickled.
31) I don't have a big family.
32) I like other peoples homes & how loud they are compared to mine.
33) I can never keep a diary.
34) I love flowers.
35) I find other people laughing hilarious.
36) I really REALLY want a kitten.
37) I beleive in Karma.

After a total of only 20 posts, Sophie stopped... Leaving her blog behind, and becoming a young woman of mystery.

Maybe clue #33 is the place to start... A self revelatory blog is a diary. But I wonder whatever happened to clue #18?

At A Loss For Words

Scientists uncover clues to aging, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia when they treat written words like data. Diagnosticians include MDs and an English Professor who solved a mystery writer's own mystery.
Audio: NPR & WNYC's program Radio Lab, Hosts Robert Krulwich & Jad Abumrad.

Hall of Fame Ads

Epic commercials that aren't called '1984'

Leo Burnett once said great advertising could be boiled down into three simple messages: "Here's what we've got. Here's what it will do for you. Here's how to get it." Maybe, but where's the fun in that? Sometimes it's best to just go big. AdFreak celebrates the advertising pros who sacrificed simplicity and frugality on the altar of awesomeness to make something downright epic.
Click & get started. —Posted by David Griner of AdWeek