Saturday, September 25, 2010

Week In Rearview

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Recap - Week of 9/20/10
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Recap - Week of 9/20/10
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Stephen Colbert testifies before Congress on immigration

Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images

All Politics Is Maddening

Manipulative and All About The Money

Videos: MSNBC

Shaking The Phone Tree

An employee takes a break in a New Delhi area call center. (AP)
In “Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us: Customer Service and What It Reveals About Our World and Our Lives,” journalist Emily Yellin writes about businesses who view customer service as something to get cheap losing out to those who realize they need to get customer service right. Americans make 43 billion customer service calls a year... And nearly as many complaints.
Please Hold
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 9/24/10,
Host: Robin Young

Golf Tips (NSFW)

Video: The Onion

Free Chicken Strips

From Pleated Jeans via Like Cool

CSI: Baghdad

The US has collected a massive amount of biometric data on Iraqis since the Iraq war began. And as American soldiers trained Iraqi police, they introduced them to Western technologies and procedures that spawned the famous TV crime drama franchise.

Some say that data the US will leave behind is dangerous in the hands of a post-occupation society likely to be rampant in tribal and sectarian conflict.
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WGBH's The World 9/10/10,
Reporter: Clark Boyd

Video: soldiersmediacenter on YouTube

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lemon Pledge

The Hill (newspaper) looked over the words in the Republicans' "Pledge To America" and their plan for fiscal responsibility. They couldn't find a single reference to "earmarks." Pork barrel pet projects are safe if Boehner & Co. wrest control of the Federal checkbook.

The House GOP's "Pledge to America" as seen by Wordle

Déjà Voodoo Economics
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 9/23/10.


Moon lamps by in-es.artdesign

Seeking A Younger Demo

Video: ABC/Jimmy Kimmel Live

Mixing Up Words

"Norm Crosby Syndrome" by Lynn Snowden Pickett, from the book "What Was I Thinking? 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories" edited by Barbara Davilman and Liz Dubelman.

Do you mix-up, mispronounce or mangle words, too? The editors of the American Heritage dictionaries can help. They’ve put out guides like “100 Words Almost Everyone Mixes Up Or Mangles,” “100 Words Almost Everyone Mispronounces” and “100 Words Almost Everyone Confuses And Misuses.” Steve Kleinedler is one of the editors.
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 9/23/10
Host: Robin Young.

A film from Will Hoffman and Daniel Mercadante that accompanied Radiolab's Words episode, with an original score by Keith Kenniff... More on him below.

Piano, Played Softly

Goldmund is the name of a high end Swiss audio manufacturer, as well as a Herman Hesse literary character searching for meaning in his own life. To keyboardist Keith Kenniff, recording under the name "Goldmund" combines elements of both... Other musical expression comes under different personas: "Helios" and "Mint Julep."
Audio Embed: Echoes, an ambient music program on public radio with extensive archives of subscriber downloads.

Pinocchio's Gender Issues

CollegeHumor says: Beware the Blue Fairy!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Let's Get Small

Here's why talking points need to be closely examined...

Videos: MSNBC

Woodward 's War Within

Bob Woodward’s latest book – Obama’s Wars – is sending shock waves through Washington – and it hasn’t even hit shelves yet.


Meet Mr. Google

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Eric Schmidt
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Jeff Does Jury Duty

Armed Robberies, Kidnapping,
Comedy & Festival Seating

Audio Embed: Berger & Prescott, podcast via Facebook.


The "fish out of water" is a classic setup technique for potentially comic misunderstandings, but can NBC find ratings in a show grounded in racial stereotypes and a topic that isn't funny at all to America's depleted and struggling workforce?

In Ohio, an executive order by Governor Ted Strickland prohibits sending any IT or back office jobs overseas... India is upset by a trend toward protectionism.
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WGBH's The World 9/10/10,
Host: Marco Werman

Outsourced debuts on NBC TV tonight (9/23/10) at 9:30.

15 Minutes of Minor

An occasional feature in memory of free form FM rock radio.

Jackson Browne
Casino Nation
The Naked Ride Home (2002)

Dire Straits
Follow Me Home
Communiqué (1979)

Shawn Mullins
And On A Rainy Night
Soul's Core (1998)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Don't Debate, Don't Vote

Videos: MSNBC

Witch Hunting

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Christine O'Donnell Witch Test
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Videos: Comedy Central & MSNBC

Wall Street Crime Scene

'Griftopia' Author Matt Taibbi on what goes on behind-the-scenes on Wall Street and why it matters for the economy.

Videos: Fox Business Channel & HLN

Former Presidents

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Jimmy Carter
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Two Thumbs, Used Liberally

NPR's David Greene talks to Alexis Madrigal, senior editor and lead technology writer for The Atlantic, about what drives "serial raters" -- people who compulsively rate things like movies and music.
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 9/20/10.
This fall, Apple TV and Google will begin competing to provide subscription television shows and movies streamed directly from the internet “cloud” to your computer. It’s leading some consumers to ask, “who needs cable?” That has cable companies worried, and they’re taking their fight to Washington where they’re trying to write rules that enable them to maintain control of the broadband pipelines that they built. Sam Gustin, covers the business of media and technology for AOL’s Daily Finance blog.
Living Room As Battlefield
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 9/21/10,
Host: Robin Young.

Who's That Girl?

On YouTube you'll find Annie Lennox, Eve, Robyn, Hillary Duff and Madonna asking the question. And sometimes I wonder, too.

I can't go the drug store without spending at least a moment in the women's hair coloring section... Not because I'm buying. Maybe window shopping is a good analogy or admiring beautiful flowers, but it's a nice place to soak up a quick dose of pretty.

And sometimes I ask who's that girl when I'm watching TV.

The answer: Emily Caillon, 5'9+", French, slinky, burned into my brain by the Olay Regenerist campaign... And representative of ideals completely out of reach since I've outlived the audacity of my youth.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Until Next Time

Video: NBC



Story Time

Of Gods & Men on Vanuatu
Audio Embed: A story from Nate DiMeo of The Memory Palace.

Witchy Woman

Video: MSNBC

"Witchcraft" by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh -- A Sinatra single from 1957.

Rock of Ages

Stand Up from Tim Hawkins

Cathy Calls It Quits

When Cathy Guisewite launched the comic strip “Cathy” in 1976, she was caught between two worlds: the one where women traditionally settled down and got married, and the one where women pursued careers and displayed much more independence. The conflict was often apparent in her strip, where Cathy the character suffered constant anxiety about dating, her parents, her job, and of course, bathing suits. Cathy Guisewite talks about how the parallels between her life and that of her cartoon namesake, and her ultimate decision to end the strip this coming October.
Angst As A Way Of Life
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 9/20/10,
Host: Robin Young.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ready To Rumble

Videos: CNN, Fox & MSNBC

Sugarcoating Name Games

The Corn Refiners Association petitioned the FDA last week for permission to re-label "high fructose corn syrup" as "corn sugar," which got Mitch Butler and Josh Landis of "The Fast Draw" to thinking, what's in a name?


For The Articles

Suzi Hanks' main claim to fame is a DJ at a classic radio station in Houston, Texas... And lesser known as a volunteer with Taping for the Blind, an organization that makes audio recordings of popular books and magazines.

But what makes her 2nd job unique is that she's the first woman to handle the assignment of not only reading the articles, but describing the centerfold to her audience.

"What guy would want a man to read Playboy to him?" she said. "That would be a little strange. Doesn't that just give much more dimension if a woman is actually doing it? It's not a lurid lecherous guy slobbering all over it.

"It's a lurid lecherous woman," she laughed.
Full Frontal Radio
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 9/19/10,
Reporter: Brent Baughman.

Futile Future

Tough love from The Next Web

Detroit Breakdown

John Rich - "Shuttin' Detroit Down" - Son of a Preacher Man (2009)
And, yes, that's Kris Kristofferson.

As the American auto industry was swerving to avoid a disastrous crash, President Obama handed the steering to wheel wealthy investment banker Steven Rattner, who held little knowledge of the business he was in charge of saving. Anthony Mason reports.

Detroit's silver lining
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 9/17/10.


Survey Says: 71% of Couples Argue In Cars

"New Seat Belt" by Larry Pope on
A study of 3,000 motorists by sporty Spanish car maker SEAT revealed 71% of people have argued with their partner while driving, argue more while in a car together than anywhere else, and that these fights can be more aggressive than most. On average, an in-car argument starts just 22 minutes into a journey, 52% result in spending the remainder of the trip sitting in silence... But 20% claim they have pulled the car over and refused to drive any further until their partner got out of the car.

Common driving arguments:
  • Directions / getting lost (44%)
  • Where to park (37%)
  • Driving too quickly (34%)
  • Driving too close to other cars (24%)
  • Backseat driving (20%)
  • Music / radio station choice (20%)
  • Aggressive driving / road rage (17%)
  • Taking corners too quickly (15%)
  • Heating too high (15%)
  • Air-conditioning too low (14%)
Perhaps it's the confined space, but a spokesperson for SEAT, which commissioned the study, said: "Many journeys can be stressful if you get caught up in traffic or can’t find your way. But it seems much of the stress is caused by our own partner when we are behind the wheel. If something about your partner’s driving annoys you, it can be hard to bite your lip. However, as a passenger, you really should... An agitated driver is much more likely to lose concentration and have (an accident). And then you’ll really have something to argue about!"

Fine Young Cannibals - She Drives Me Crazy - The Raw and the Cooked (1988)

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Two Party System Failure

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Lawrence O'Donnell -- 9/17/10
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News
Lawrence (no relation) O'Donnell's "Last Word" debuts Mon 9/27/10 on MSNBC

So Who's Rich?

With tax policy debates showing that most (poorer) people are in favor of letting tax rates return to their Clinton era levels for people earning more than a quarter million yearly from work, The Takeaway asked listeners: What does it mean to be poor or rich in America?

Allan from Woonsocket, Rhode Island responded:
"I feel rich by knowing that rich or poor is a state of mind."

But is there a more concrete dividing line between feeling rich and feeling poor in our country, and if so... what is it?

Larry Samuel, the author of "Rich: The Rise and Fall of American Wealth Culture" says it's relative and not related to feeling happy.
Plutocrats & Politics
Audio Embed: PRI & WNYC's program The Takeaway 9/17/10,
Hosts: Celeste Headlee & John Hockenberry.

Young and Rich is the title cut from the second album by The Tubes (1976).

Zapping Censorship

Today is “Frank Zappa Day” in Baltimore, the city where he was born. Zappa is being honored for his music and, on the 25th anniversary of his testimony in Congress against music censorship, for his defense of musicians' First Amendment rights.

It's a legacy the whole Zappa family continues.
Great Googly Moogly
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 9/17/10,
Host: Jane Clayson.

Rauchen Verboten

Video: ITN

Silencing Social Media

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania became the butt of late-night jokes this week with its one-week blackout of instant messaging, Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. Students will be required to write a reflective essay about the experiment... Pavithra Vaideeswaran, a senior who will be graduating this December with a degree in computer science information, finds the experiment valuable.
Temporarily Tweetless
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 9/17/10,
Host: Jane Clayson. Illustration: Matt Hamm/Flickr