Saturday, July 24, 2010

One Mess After Another

Video: CNN

Video: MSNBC

Video: MSNBC

Video: Remix the Clips -- Late Night with Jimmy Fallon/NBC

Daniel Schorr 1916-2010

NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr died Friday morning at a hospital in Washington, D.C. He was 93.

Schorr was the last surviving member of the crew known as (Edward R.) "Murrow's Boys" who became the backbone of CBS News.

Schorr broke major stories at home and abroad during the Cold War and Watergate as a member of President Nixon's enemies list. Robert Siegel recounts the long life of NPR's "walking history book."
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 7/23/10.

There will be remembrances amidst the void on today's Weekend Edition Saturday, where we had heard the voice of Dan Schorr's reflections on the week's news... Concise and cogent to the end.

Political Theatre

The Rap on Alvin Greene

The Ads Have It

Crossing the Rubio

Videos: MSNBC

Honored to be Nominated

1960’s Look, But Not Always Language

When Mad Men, AMC's time warp to Madison Avenue of the 1960’s, returns Sunday night, Ben Zimmer, “On Language” columnist for the Sunday New York Times magazine will be watching... For mistakes! He looks at the etymology within the scripts to see which expressions belong to the 60’s and which ones were coined in other decades.
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 7/23/10, Host: Deborah Becker.

Ben Zimmer's Linguistic Blooper Reel

YouTube Video

Christina Hendricks with Jimmy Fallon (7/22/10)

Video: NBC

Look for Fallon & Hendricks 8/29/10 on the Prime Time Emmys... He's hosting, she has one of 17 nominations Mad Men got this year.



No word on whether further notes in the disgustion presented a critique of inappropriate capitalizationism. There, 3 words in Palinese... Right out of the Fictionary... Oops, make that 4!

Guitar Hero: Steve Hackett

In the beginning, he left Genesis.

After six albums in seven years with the progressive rock staples, Steve Hackett literally "sustained" a varied solo career since 1977.
Audio Embed: Echoes, an ambient music program on public radio with an extensive archive of audio for download via subscription.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dumpster Diving

Sometimes It's Fun

Late Night with David Letterman

Sometimes It's Not


But Either Way You're All Wet & Dirty

By the way... Anybody know what happened to financial reform, or extending unemployment benefits, or that oil spill thingy this week?

Political Bloggers Converge

Blogger conventions compete for attention this weekend, with progressives at the Vegas site of the World Series of Poker while conservatives invade the home of the AVN's annual porn awards.

Video: KVBC/Las Vegas. Jeff Gillan's story includes links to mentioned sites.

And in Northern Nevada...

Video: MSNBC

State of Mourning

Former 2-term Nevada Governor, UNLV President & Clark County School Superintendent Kenny Guinn died Thursday at 73... A son of an illiterate farmworker who achieved a PhD in Education and had the rare courage to push for policies that were logical, responsible and often at odds with partisan extremes.

The coroner confirmed Guinn fell off the roof of his Las Vegas home.

Former Nevada Governor Bob Miller summarized: "He was a person who devoted his entire life to making Nevada a better place. He put the interests of the state over partisanship in everything he did."

Computer Kids

Computers Lower Grades, But Boost IQs

Many groups want to bring a computer to every child in the world, on the assumption that the computer will help the child in school and life. But is that assumption true?

Not in Romania, where a new study of lower income families shows that the introduction of a non-internet computer in the home markedly lowered grades in school, but improved the child’s cognitive skills, like spatial relations. Ofer Malamud is an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Chicago and study co-author.
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now. Host: Deborah Becker.

Remedial Instruction

Geekologie suggests Potsdam should have an undergrad course... Early intervention for an already established problem.

Celebrity Adoption

Video: Onion News Network.

No More Gabor

The Paris Hilton of the 1940's busts a move & a hip.

Mike & Jeff send their wishes for a speedy death.
Audio Embed: Berger & Prescott podcast from So Cal. They'd be more than willing to drive north to Oakland's industrial pot farms... But the CHP knows that, too.
L.A. Times | July 23, 2010 | 4:43 pm PT
Zsa Zsa Gabor remains in the hospital in critical condition and unresponsive after hip surgery for a fall in her Bel-Air home.

Daughter Constance Francesca Hilton contradicted that later Friday in a statement to Reuters: "She is not in a coma. She is not on any kind of death watch. She is responsive and on medications. All vital signs are still strong, and she is talking."

Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll

Coming Attractions

Forget Real Housewives...

Video: SCTV

A thriller about nothing.

Video: CollegeHumor.


The NY Daily News 7/20/10: "Russian spy Anna Chapman gets offer to star in porn film by adult video producer Vivid Entertainment."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Media Misinformation

The radio station I used to listen to as a kid played pop music, but it also did hourly news introduced as "first, fast and factual." In other words, they wanted to be correct in what they put on the air. Perhaps it's a lost art, when less responsible broadcasters of today rush to air, or politicos act on, anything provided pre-packaged by someone with a partisan agenda and history of distortion & disinformation, without stopping to check the facts or consider the source.

Video: Jeff Greenfield, CBS News

Videos: MSNBC

Widespread Panic

Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 7/22/10.

Don't Rush It

Sometimes a quick read really is what you need...
But if you want to understand, slow down.

Against a background where Amazon reports they're now selling more e-books than hard covers, comes a contrarian point of view...
Slow reading isn't a problem, it's a movement.

Proponents say slow, close or deep reading encourages people to savor the written word, not on a screen, but on a page and often read aloud. Although there isn’t much formal research on whether it helps students do well in school or later in life, proponents say slow reading makes a world of difference... Particularly for readers in search of an author's voice, or writers in search of their own... Like the students attending the University of New Hampshire's annual summer Writers Academy.

Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 7/21/10, Host: Deborah Becker.

Super Mario Karma

Paying the price for crimes against turtles...

Click for full size!
Cartoon by by Jeremy Vinar and Mike Fahmie

Can and Replicants

Original Stories

Inception and Despicable Me topped the box office this weekend. What's noteworthy about these two films? They were both original ideas in a sea of Hollywood sequels and remakes. Michele Norris talks to former studio head Bill Mechanic. He says Hollywood should make more movies without a number at the end of the title.
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 7/21/10.

And Attack of the Clones

Commentator Andrew Wallenstein, has a few problems with dramas on cable TV's summer season getting too close to what you might see on the broadcast networks.
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 7/21/10.

No Soup For You, Again

"It's so hot the terrorist alert level was raised to Gazpacho!"
-- David Letterman


See a Best of the Soup Nazi collage at YouTube.

Closed Circuit

Let us know how that works out.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Unemployed, Unimpressed

Videos: MSNBC

Groucho Marxist

Like many of my generation, I listened to Firesign Theatre's album proclaiming "All Hail Marx & Lennon" with its cover portraits of Groucho & John above what looked like a May Day parade reviewing stand at the Kremlin.

But the stream of altered consciousness comedy of "How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All" (1969) really had nothing do to with the cover's counter culture sight gag... Firesign Theatre left that aspect of social commentary to Monty Python's Flying Circus.
PRESENTER: The struggle of class against class is a what?
KARL MARX: A political struggle.

-- Communist Quiz, "Another Monty Python Record" (1971)
Or the confrontation within Monty Python & The Holy Grail (1975) in which the questing king encounters a man who vociferously objects to the very concept of monarchy.
ARTHUR: Shut up, will you. Shut up!
DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help! I'm being repressed!
ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!
DENNIS: Oh, what a give-away.
In my experience, most Americans have little or no understanding of Communism, Capitalism, or any economics... In theory or practice.

Academics will tell you voters are frequently convinced to support candidates, parties and policies which undermine their own well being... At least when it comes to the "middle class," you know... The segment of America the people who own it would be more than willing to live without, and so are actively butchering & cannibalizing.

The media mostly falls prey to, and then perpetuates, the same deceptions, distractions and distortions that afflict the electorate. Nothing like stoking racial resentment to take everybody's minds off the politics of class, and why there's a need for struggle.

On MSNBC, they've been running a promo (for just about as long as Tea-baggers have been screaming about Obama's alleged socialist agenda) in which Joe Scarborough says "This class warfare approach never works."

While you can presume that as a smarmy Gingrich-era Republican former Congressman from the "Redneck Riviera" of Florida's panhandle, his straw man is a self-described progressive, the real class warfare is ongoing and works all too well... The one where an economic oligarchy pushes the United States toward a third-world economy where the fabulously rich dictate to the vilified permanently poor whose future and potential for social mobility have been stolen.

Class Warfare is real & happening now... Just not the way Joe thinks.
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 7/21/10.

Read: Poor Little CEOs -- The government's giving them everything they want, yet still they whine.

Race To The Bottom

Tea Party Bags Leader

Video analysis by

Out Foxed, Again

Videos: MSNBC

Currying Disfavor

Video analysis by

National Insecurity Blanket

The Washington Post has published a three-part series about the sprawling national security apparatus created since 9/11. The paper’s two year investigation found that national security grew to include more than 1,200 government organizations, nearly 2,000 private contractors and more than a million people with top-secret security clearance. Co-author Bill Arkin responds to concerns that the report reveals too much about America’s intelligence industry.
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 7/20/10,
Host: Deborah Becker.

Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 7/20/10.

The Post's investigation is the product of a big city newspaper...
No other kind of media outlet would ever take the time or trouble.

Editorial Cartoonist Scott Stantis is a member of one endangered species, employed by another. Although he found a new home at the Chicago Tribune in 2009, he was very fortunate.

The paper had taken 9 years to replace the late great Jeff MacNelly and had even been taken into bankruptcy by new owners intent on slashing costs (Read: "take it out of workers' hides.")

Despite all the doom saying about the fate of newspapers in general over the last couple of years, they appear to be soldiering on, and some are even turning a profit.

Audio Embed: WNYC's On The Media 7/16/10,
Host: Brooke Gladstone.

Another Day, Another Plan

With the pressure continuously rising in the well, Kelly Cobiella reports on BP's request to turn their temporary solution into a permanent one by filling the cap and the well with mud to kill it.

Video: CBS News, 7/20/10

Despite big media's kaleidoscopic short attention span, don't use BP comparisons as your environmental excuse.
Audio Embed: My Big Yap with Yukon Jack, from CFBR-FM/Edmonton 7/14/10.

Updating The Pyramid

Full size source.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Top Secret America

Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and William M. Arkin spent two years investigating the government's response to 9/11.

Top Secret America explores what they found.

In the first of a multi-part series taking a look at the growth of the Intelligence establishment in the name of counter-terrorism after 9/11, The Washington Post reports there are now over 850,000 people with top secret clearances generating 50,000 reports a year.

Are we safer, or wasting time & money? How many spies are wise?

Videos: Washington Post/Frontline-PBS & MSNBC

Too Fast, Too Soon

Last year's auto industry bakruptcies took a severe toll on the overall number of car dealers. Here in Las Vegas, Chrysler shrank from 5 to 2 outlets amidst a nation-wide wave of franchisee complaints that didn't stop the closures but did prompt an after action investigation

Forcing GM and Chrysler to reduce the number of dealerships the companies had helped the companies become stronger, but had negative impacts where dealerships were major employers.

Marketplace reporter Alisa Roth & host Kai Ryssdal speak to auto-indusrty analysts and the former owner of a Chrysler dealership, about the TARP Inspector General's report on the closures. (Monday, 7/19/10)

Jabbed & Jobbed

Late To The Fight

The Nation's Chris Hayes said the White House doesn't come out swinging until they're sure they've already won. The appointment of a replacement for the late West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd made sure the President could smell victory before he could smell the rose garden on Monday.

Voodoo Child: George W. Bush

Videos: MSNBC

Gotham City + Van Gogh

“The Dark Starry Knight” by James Hance.

Mama Grizzly-Speak

Language is slippery, too.

Photo via Fun Cage

What happens when bears get the net?

Cartoon from Peter Wut

Farm Fresh Food

It was the theme for the "Chef on a Shoestring" segment on Saturday's Early Show as Cathal Armstrong served up an heirloom tomato salad, garlic chicken with grilled corn and a desert tart.

One way to ensure farm freshness is to eat locally... A theme of what has become known as the "local food" movement.

The town of Hardwick, Vermont, population 3,200, adopted the growing part of the theory... But as the town became a Mecca for foodies, celebrity chefs and writers for the New York Times food section, most residents can’t afford the local food despite the economic gains "agri-preneurs" made.

Vermont farmer and freelance journalist Ben Hewitt, documented the Hardwick story in his new book, “The Town Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality In Local Food.”
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 7/19/10, Host: Jane Clayson.

See a slideshow of Hardwick, Vermont, farming from Here & Now and read an excerpt from Ben Hewitt's book.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Who would have guessed such an old brand would produce one of the most successful Internet marketing campaigns ever created? But in addition to TV, Old Spice has unveiled even more popular ads on YouTube featuring former NFL player Isaiah Mustaffa's towel. Michelle Miller reports.

Video: CBS News, 7/16/10.

Nelson Mandela

At age 92

At the ESPYs

Tracy Morgan with Twilight's Ashley Greene.
Sometimes you make great strides forward... Other times some dumbass drags you down.

Good thing it was the ESPYs and nobody saw it happen. But as 27 year old white South African golfer Louis Oosthuizen, was awarded the claret jug that symbolizes winning the more widely viewed 2010 British Open, he stopped to say happy birthday to Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, his country's first black president and author of the reconciliation that made the RSA's multiracial democracy possible.

A Song In Search of Justice

The BBC documents the evolution of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" from the very roots of Ladysmith Black Mambazo's South African Zulu choral music style to American pop and Broadway theater.
(23 minutes)

Backstage with Kirk & Spock

Spock: "I have been and always shall be your friend, bike-stealer."

What's Next For The Final Frontier?

Cassini Imaging Team/JPL/NASA

The robots will be ready to rock... Once we decide where.
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 7/16/10, Reporter: Geoff Brumfiel.