Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weak In Review

Marketplace Minute for 7/16 from Marketplace on Vimeo.

Analysis with critical mispronunciation by Saying the name of the genus "macaca" as an insult killed George Allen's political career, but macaque (pronounced muh-KACK) is the name for old world monkeys with long tails.

Video: CNN

Taxed & Regulated Enough

Another perceived Boehner Boner is met with glee...

Lowering tax rates for the wealthiest Americans has long been a staple of Republican rhetoric. In the era following what 1980 Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush described as eventual winner Ronald Reagan's "Voodoo Economics," the belief that benefits would "trickle down" to lower economic levels became an unquestioned part of the party's orthodoxy... Somehow tax cuts would both directly increase tax revenues and create jobs in the process, as opposed to inflating stock prices and brokers' income.

Sounds good... Until you do the math.

If the chart had stuck, it'd look like this:

Videos & chart: MSNBC

So, with the current pace of job growth indicating it would take more than 12 years to recover all the jobs lost since the 2008 financial sector meltdown, are the rich ready to lay it on the line to test whether there's any truth to the claim tax cuts (rather than increased demand for products & services) produce jobs.

Time to put up or shut up, Mr. Moneybags!
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 7/16/10.

Four Chan Cookies

Cookie Monster Pac Man by Tang Yongfa

Mile-High Hummers

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants one.

Maybe you do, too... But they'll spend giga-bucks to get it.

Texas-based AVX Aircraft released mockups of a dual-rotor, ducted-fan driven aircraft and its concept looks pretty close to DARPA's spec - a four-person, vertical takeoff and landing-capable vehicle that can deal with (Afghan-like) off road conditions then take to the skies.

This design carries 1,040 pounds 250 miles on a single tank of gas, and can travel 80 mph while in the air at 10,000ft altitude at max gross weight and up to 140 mph on land... Presuming there are any safe, secure, straight and paved roads.

Unfolding the dual rotor blades (which turn in opposite directions to eliminate the need for a noisy tail rotor) for flight should convert the vehicle from road mode to aircraft in just 60 seconds.

From Automotto

B2 + Predator Drone = Skynet?

Video analysis by

Laurie Anderson's Homeland

You may have caught her on Letterman 7/15, but for someone so incredibly active, it's been a long time between album releases for experimental performance artist Laurie Anderson. Her latest, called Homeland, debuted on June 22nd.
Audio Embed: Echoes, an ambient music program on public radio with an extensive archive of audio for download via subscription.

Friday, July 16, 2010

It Works, For Now

Video: CNN & MSNBC


Shahram Amiri, the Iranian nuclear scientist who went home this week, after seeking refuge in the Pakistani Embassy, left a lot of unanswered questions behind.

Vahid Salemi/AP

While Iran staged a hero's welcome for Shahram Amiri, who they claim was kidnapped by the CIA about a year ago while in Saudi Arabia, a report in The Washington Post claims Amiri defected to the U.S. and was paid $5 million by the CIA.

Multi-source video analysis by

The Christian Science Monitor offered possible scenarios to explain the twists & turns of Amiri’s tale, which sound like a spy thriller.

Indeed the story has haunting parallels to The Increment, a recent novel by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who explains the all too human reasons why defections don't always work out.
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WGBH's The World 7/15/10, Host: Marco Werman.

Non-Iranian Nukes

Video: MSNBC

Trick Shots

Video from Jimmy Kimmel Live/ABC

Video from CollegeHumor.

Alien Nation

Video: MSNBC

One weird position for a Tea-bagger...
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 7/15/10.

Pretzel Logic

One leftover from British control of Hong Kong until 1997 is that cars drive on the left side of the road. But on the mainland, Chinese drivers keep right, like traffic in North America.

So what do you do on a bridge between the two?

The Pearl River Necklace bridge is a clever solution to the very real and obvious problem of how to connect Hong Kong & the mainland.

The bridge is part of Dutch architects' proposal to solve the problem by constructing a "road flipper" that physically twists the roads over each other to change the traffic flow without changing lanes.

From Gizmodo

No Worries

Video: CNN

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tea Party Poopers

Do they brew up racial hatred, or just provide a cover for it?

Multi-source video analysis by

Video: MSNBC


Backup Plan

In case of Fail Whale.

The Past Tense of Tweet is What?

CBS Late Show 7/13/10.

To Infinity Pool & Beyond!

Swimmers would be forgiven for being a bit nervous diving into this pool... They're at the top of a 55 floor hotel and it looks like they could swim off the edge.

The 150 meter infinity pool sits 800 feet above the ground and is the highlight of the multi-billion dollar Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Parts Department

Calling it "unconstitutionally vague", the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York struck down the FCC's prohibition against patently offensive references to sex, sexual organs and excretion in broadcast television and radio on Tuesday 7/13/10.

Specific cases involved Bono's uncensored f-ing award show appearance and Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction, but enforcing the same policy is what caused Howard Stern to abandon free media in favor of satellite.

Later the same day, Berger & Prescott published a podcast on the subject of damaging penises... Coincidence?
Audio Embed: Berger & Prescott, podcast via Facebook. Had they ever aired, some episodes might have been fined under the FCC's old policy.

Monty Python's Meaning of Life (1983)

Video: CNN



Multi-source video analysis by


Natural Roots

Christopher Ryan, co-author of "Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality," finds biological evidence that humans evolved in a highly sex-charged environment, and sexuality became a recreational activity and form of social interaction.

Not only can you find links to Bonobo "chimps" behavior, but modern ideas about fidelity seem to be completely wrapped up in property rights and inheritance. Most of what is condemned as immoral is hardwired into us. Ryan says of human beings in our natural state:

"We are not monogamous."
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 7/14/10. (Interview -- 20:24)

Making Music

Birds On the Wires

Birds on the Wires from Jarbas Agnelli on Vimeo.

Nerd Pop

Brett Domino and Steven Peavis perform a medley of 2010 chart toppers.

Making Music Pay

Cancelled shows and entire cancelled tours plague the summer concert season and call into question the entire business model of the concert promotion industry Ticketmaster & Live Nation sought to monopolize through merger.
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 7/13/10, Reporter: Jacob Ganz.

Making File Sharers Pay

In a major setback for the recording industry, a Boston judge slashed a $675,000 damage award by 90 percent last week.

Four major record labels had sued a Boston University graduate student for illegally downloading 30 songs and then sharing them online for additional downloads.

Multi-source analysis by

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One Bad Apple

Video CBS.

Video demonstration by CNN


Multisource video analysis by


Movie opens Friday, 7/16/10.


From Cyanide & Happiness

Boss From Hell Dies

George Steinbrenner redefined winning ball... Not just in New York.
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 7/13/10.

The Daily Beast compiled 8 classic Steinbrenner moments.

Videos: MSNBC

Dennis Hopper Lives

Video: CNN

Lobster Tale

From Pittsburgh to Portland ME, one crustacean's journey to freedom began with a woman's protective impulse and a market manager's instinct for even greater publicity.

Trevor Corson, author of the bestselling The Secret Life of Lobsters, assists the real life lobster liberators in telling Nick the lobster's tale.
Audio Embed: NPR & WNYC's Radio Lab, Hosts: Robert Krulwich & Jad Abumrad.

See also: the Lobstersquad blog.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

No Cap On Weirdness

Video: MSNBC

The Food Bubble

Food Is A Commodity. Commodities Have Markets.
Markets Draw Speculators, Who Manipulate Prices.

Hey look, it's Goldman Sachs, again!

Frederick Kaufman is a professor at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He describes himself as an "anti-foodie"... Someone who confronts the orthodoxies and insanities of American food. Among the insanities, a 500% price rise in wheat between 2005 & 2008 which had nothing at all to do with supply and demand.

Kaufman points the finger at Wall Street in "The Food Bubble," July's cover story in Harper's Magazine.
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 7/12/10, Host: Robin Young.

The Man Who Knew Too Much

Probably Worked in I.T.

A survey uncovers the uncomfortable truth about I.T. types.

Audio Embed: APM's Future Tense 7/12/10, Host: Jeff Horwich.

Stamp of Disapproval

Bainbridge Island

His love for the basic sound of electric guitar on the radio launched multi-instrumentalist and song-writer Dave Bainbridge on a career that includes co-founding the Celtic progressive rock group, Iona
and music that expresses spirituality sung in both English & Gaelic.
Audio Embed: Echoes, an ambient music program on public radio with an extensive archive of audio for download via subscription.

Mess Age

Ads by Kotex go against expectations.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bahamas Bag Barefoot Bandit

After evading authorities for more than two years, police arrested Colton Harris-Moore, the fugitive known as the "Barefoot Bandit," on Harbour Island, Bahamas.

Video: CBS & NBC News

Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 7/12/10.

Maori's Morning

Sometimes it's a battle just to get out the door on a Monday.

Memory Palace: Looking Up

Waiting for the end of the world.
Audio Embed: A story from Nate DiMeo of The Memory Palace.

Modern Day Fish Story

Gary Varvel / Indianapolis Star

Whale Fish

The world's largest fish, the whale shark, feeds in the Gulf of Mexico. Host Jeff Young speaks with Bob Hueter, Mote Marine Lab's Director for Shark Research, about the fate of the gentle giant and whether they've been avoiding, or swimming through crude oil.
Audio Embed: PRI's Living On Earth 7/9/10.

Mr. Scruff (Andrew Carthy)
Shanty Town
Keep It Unreal (1999)