Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weak In Review

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Recap - Week of 8/16/10
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Lurking Below

Oil, That Is

Floating Oil near Orange Beach, AL 6/18/10 (Goodnough/Bloomberg)
A 22-mile-long invisible mist of oil is meandering far below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, where it will probably loiter for months or more, scientists reported in the first conclusive evidence of an underwater plume from BP’s oil gusher. Marine microbiologist John Paul says a look beyond appearances, like the research from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, contradicts reports from the government that 75 percent of the oil had dispersed.
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 8/20/10,
Host: Monica Brady-Meyerov.

Videos: CNN & MSNBC

Mosquing Tape

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Extremist Makeover - Homeland Edition 8/19/10
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party


"Ebru" is a word that means "marbling" in Turkey, the home of painting on water.

Kindles For Kids

Video: CNN

Who Is Number 1?

And for how long?

China surpassed Japan as #2. Is the US next? Does it matter?

If China were to replace the U.S. as the largest economy on Earth, it could mean big changes for America. Right now, the U.S. economy is three times bigger than China's -- $15 trillion compared to $5 trillion. But China is catching up fast. NPR's Planet Money team has a story today from the near future -- on what life would be like for the U.S. if it were to become No. 2.
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 8/19/10,
Reporters: Chana Joffe-Walt and David Kestenbaum.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dangerously Disinformed

In a time when many conflate the words Muslim and terrorist, what does it mean that so many have bought a big lie about the President.

Videos: MSNBC & CNN

Hall of Shamer

"To think, the best pitcher and hitter of my generation are loathsome frauds. God Bless Baseball, a true American sport."

-- Anonymous Post Author at SAWXBlOG, a fan site that provides totally biased, fun, smart, and unique views on the Boston Red Sox.
Six Counts... Three Strikes

Photoshopped screen cap from SAWXBLOG
A federal grand jury indicted former Major League pitcher Roger Clemens on three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury, and one count of obstruction of Congress. Robert Siegel talks to NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman about Thursday's indictment, which stems from Clemens' 2008 testimony about his use of performance enhancing drugs.
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 8/19/10.
USA Today's Daily Pitch detailed the charges

Count one: Obstruction of Congress

The indictment alleges Clemens knowingly made false or misleading statements 15 times in the congressional deposition or hearing, including:

  • Clemens never used HGH.

  • He never spoke to Brian McNamee (identified as "Strength Coach #1) about HGH.

  • He testified regarding HGH, "I couldn't tell you the first thing about it."

  • He never used steroids.

  • McNamee injected him with vitamin B12 and lidocaine.

  • He said a Yankees teammate (Andy Pettitte) "misheard" or "misremember(ed)" when he told the player said Clemens admitted to taking HGH in 1999 or 2000.

  • He didn't know that McNamee had injected Clemens' wife, Debbie, with HGH in 2003.

  • He had "no idea" former senator George Mitchell wanted to interview him for his investigation.

    Count two: False statements

    On three occasions Clemens gave false testimony denying his use of HGH.

    Count three: False statements

    On three occasions Clemens gave false testimony denying his use of steroids.

    Count four: False statements

    On three occasions Clemens gave false testimony regarding his use of vitamin B12.

    Count five: Perjury

    On two occasions Clemens gave false testimony denying his use of HGH. He said McNamee "has never given me growth hormone."

    Count six: Perjury

    On one occasion Clemens gave false testimony denying his use of steroids. "I have never taken steroids."
  • Vodka-Fueled Fiestas

    Jennifer Aniston was booked to promote "The Switch," opening today.

    Chelsea Lately on E!

    Review: Aniston's knocked up, but no knockout

    Constance Droganes, entertainment writer, | 8/20/10

    Who knew that swapping bodily fluids could be such a bore?

    Five minutes into "The Switch" and one thing is certain: Jennifer Aniston's new baby romcom won't deliver any big surprises -- especially from the perennially quirky, single woman "Friends" star.

    That said there are still two good reasons not to ditch "The Switch" –and neither one includes leading lady Aniston.

    Reason No. 1: Lovable loser Jason Bateman

    Bateman doesn't get top billing in this tale of artificial insemination gone wrong. But Bateman steals the show here, giving "The Switch" its only real moments of poignancy or heart.

    Cast as a nebbish Wall Street investment guru, Bateman seems to be nothing but a grumpy sidekick for Aniston's 40-ish heroine, Kassie Larson, as the film opens.

    Career-woman Kassie wants a baby. The demanding New York TV producer also wants her BFF Wally (Bateman) to help find the perfect sperm donor.

    "Hey, why not me?" Wally wonders. Frankly, we do, too. Wally's smart, loyal and secretly pines for the shallow beauty.

    But superficial Kassie wants a modern-day Viking hunk (Patrick Wilson), not some moping Wall Street hypochondriac, to seed her baby.

    Does she care that she wounds Wally deeply when she overlooks Wally as a potential? Not a bit.

    But that decision, and Wally's accidental sperm switcheroo that follows, gives Bateman all the room he needs to leap from childish second banana to scene-stealing hero.

    Unlike Aniston's heroine, Bateman's Wally is fearlessly dark. He's subtle and sobering, as the years move along and Kassie goes through with her plan.

    Wally isn't easy to like. But Bateman's performance makes us care for this loser, warts and all.

    Reason No. 2: Newcomer Thomas Robinson

    Hollywood has been searching for that next big child star ever since Dakota Fanning grew up. That quest may have ended thanks to half-pint cutie Thomas Robinson.

    As Kassie's neurotic six-year-old son, Sebastian, Robinson fires off big words and burdensome worries that would spin the heads off older actors.

    "Do you worry that you have Parkinson's disease?" the wimpy pessimist asks his Uncle Wally, not realizing that this man is his father.

    This kid agonizes about everything under the sun: bizarre illnesses, school bullies who could beat the crap out of him, the failing environment, even rescuing homeless animals from shelters.

    Yet like Wally, this scene-stealer's heart and acting abilities override all other annoyances.

    Aniston delivers no surprises

    Loosely based as it is on Jeffrey Eugenides' 1996 short story, "Baster," "The Switch" certainly had potential.

    Much like Jennifer Lopez's film "The Back-up Plan" and "The Kids Are All Right," "The Switch" tries to showcase the many reasons that drive women to single motherhood.

    For all its good intentions, Aniston just can't make us buy the real emotional torment that goes into making a huge, life-altering decision like this.

    I've seen that emotional turmoil. Last year I sat across a table from a family member who nervously announced that she was going the artificial insemination route.

    Like Kassie, she was tired of waiting for Mr. Right.

    Unlike Kassie, however, this woman's eyes registered all the subtle emotional gradations that went with her announcement: fear, joy, uncertainty, and hope.

    Without that, Aniston's bid for parenthood in "The Switch" comes off as nothing more than an unlikeable, bumbling baby race in Jimmy Choo shoes.

    Two stars out of four.

    Jerry MaGoogle

    Some random Googling

    Dynamic Duo

    On Fillmore is a duo of audio landscapers who use tuned percussion, acoustic bass, and assorted odds and ends to create soundscapes that are sometimes enveloping and sometimes discordant.
    Audio Embed: Echoes, an ambient music program on public radio with extensive archives of subscriber downloads.

    "Master Moon" by On Fillmore from Secretly Jag on Vimeo.

    Perseids at Joshua Tree

    Desert sky
    Dream beneath a desert sky
    The rivers run but soon run dry
    We need new dreams tonight

    Joshua Tree Under the Milky Way from Henry Jun Wah Lee on Vimeo.

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Peace, Out

    Video: CNN, MSNBC

    Mouthing Off

    Laura Schlessinger does have a doctorate, but it's in physiology, not psychology or psychiatry. Her dealing with all types of emotional problems and offering counseling is as a yenta... A Yiddish word for busybody who inserts herself into other peoples' personal lives.

    Having a show that "preaches, teaches, and nags about morals, values and ethics" as a talk radio host and socially conservative commentator places her in the company of other public moralists such as Dennis Prager and Michael Medved.

    Another fail... Goodbye, good riddance!

    Videos: CNN &

    Simple Pleasurses

    When it comes to buying happiness, turns out more is rarely more. Elizabeth Dunn studies consumer happiness for the University of British Columbia and joins host Liane Hansen to explain why buying a single chocolate truffle is more likely to make you happy than buying a box of 10 chocolates.
    Audio Embed: Weekend Edition Sunday 8/15/10.

    Sue Those Clowns!

    Jimmy Kimmel Live/ABC

    Deaf Jams



    Photo via Cloud Ave
    Like premature reports of Mark Twain's demise, Wired Magazine's "The Web is Dead" headline on the September issue is premature... And hard to believe, given how much time people spend online. But Chris Anderson, the magazine's editor-in-chief, tells Steve Inskeep that the world wide web's percentage share of traffic on the Internet is shrinking as more functions move online.
    Audio Embed: Morning Edition 8/18/10.
    The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    Internet Exploiter
    Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Freedom Under Fire

    This year's weapon of mass distraction comes within a call to prayer.

    Who Wins and/or Loses?

    Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 8/17/10.

    Videos: MSNBC

    Alien In-Gay-sion

    The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    Invasion of the Country Snatchers
    Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

    Republican News Channel

    As if you didn't know who they were rooting for...

    Video: MSNBC

    Double Down Deja Vu

    Las Vegas just added a bit more bling to its famed Strip with the unveiling of a new marquee for The Cosmopolitan -- a resort-casino opening at the end of the year. There already are questions about how the city will absorb another 3,000 hotel rooms. Las Vegas has been hit hard by the down economy and is struggling with a glut of rooms. David Schwartz of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas talks about the city's fortunes.
    The Next Big Last Thing We Need
    Audio Embed: Morning Edition 8/17/10, Host: Steve Inskeep.

    Online Life After Death

    A friend who knew he was dying last year left this goodbye on his Facebook site... Completely in character with the good natured great guy I remember over the course of 20 plus years as sometime collaborators, colleagues and/or competitors.

    Now social media sites are coping with questions arising from their subscribers' mortality.
    Audio Embed: APM's Future Tense 8/16/10, Host: John Moe.

    Dishonorable Diagnosis


    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    Location, Location, Location

    Videos: MSNBC
    Now Hamas Jumps In

    Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 8/16/10.

    Hallowed Ground?

    Neighborhood photos by Daryl Lang
    Daryl Lang wrote:

    What’s my point? A month ago, I wrote about my support for a group of Muslim New Yorkers -— whom I consider my neighbors -— and their right to put a religious building on a piece of private property in Lower Manhattan. Since then, the debate over the Park51 community center, inaccurately nicknamed the “Ground Zero Mosque,” has jumped from talk radio to mainstream conversation, and turned nasty in the process. Sarah Palin wrote that, “it would be an intolerable and tragic mistake to allow such a project sponsored by such an individual to go forward on such hallowed ground.”

    Look at the photos. This neighborhood is not hallowed. The people who live and work here are not obsessed with 9/11. The blocks around Ground Zero are like every other hard-working neighborhood in New York, where Muslims are just another thread of the city fabric.

    At this point the only argument against this project is fear, specifically fear of Muslims, and that’s a bigoted, cowardly and completely indefensible position.

    Self Inflicted Death Penalty

    Maria Cramer has been covering the “Craigslist Killer" case for the Boston Globe. The accused, former Boston University medical student Philip Markoff, was found dead in his Boston cell Sunday morning... A year after he had been scheduled to be married and seven months before he was scheduled to go on trial for murdering an outcall masseuse/sex worker in a robbery gone bad at a Boston hotel.

    Authorities point to Markoff's medical knowledge as critical in his method, but although the apparent jail cell suicide of the alleged “Craigslist Killer” seems clear cut, the death raises questions about the rate of inmate suicides in Massachusetts, which is eight times the national average.
    Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 8/16/10, Host: Robin Young.

    Cupid's Computer

    A new survey says online dating may soon overtake friends as the most common way to find a romantic partner. Web dating searches are increasingly used to save time, take some of the sting out of rejection and -- most importantly, perhaps -- zero in on the qualities that identify Mr. or Ms. Right.
    Audio Embed: All Things Considered 8/16/10, Reporter: Jennifer Ludden.

    Off-Road Race Kills Eight


    California Cheese

    How fitting... California covered with cheese.

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Mosque Hysteria

    Videos: MSNBC &

    Professional Leftovers

    Getting In The Game

    Women athletes & Banana Slug from UC Santa Cruz
    University of Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake's new book Getting in the Game examines the history of Title IX, a law that is much discussed but often misunderstood. She says Title IX has succeeded in encouraging women and girls to become more involved in athletics over the last 40 years, but there is still work to do to achieve the goals lawmakers desired when they wrote the law in 1972.
    Audio Embed: WBUR & NPR's Only A Game 8/14/10, Host: Bill Littlefield.

    Convertible Smart Car

    Chessboard Gender Gap

    Women have been competing with men at top chess events since the late '80s, but there's still a big performance gap. Some say women-only titles are part of the problem and fully unisex competition would force women to jump to the next level.
    Audio Embed: All Things Considered 8/15/10, Reporter: Sean Phillips.