Saturday, October 23, 2010

Another Weak In Review

Videos: ABC & MSNBC

Drilled, Not Thrilled

Deepwater Horizon was so shallow... Chevron plans 7,000 ft site.

Video: MSNBC

We Don't Agree

Chevron's latest ad campaign places their employees and ordinary people side by side to try to portray the interests of a petro-chemical mega corporation as miraculously coinciding with common people.

This is the first one I saw... And it fails Economics 101.

Profits are what's left over after all the expenses that petro-engineer Emily ticks off as having spilled over into the general economy.

It's an apples and oranges argument... Two different things.

Ordinary Joe's suggesting that if Chevron has so much left over after expensing all their alternative energy development, they haven't done nearly enough. If oily Emily were correct and Chevron had "poured every penny and more" into its efforts, the bottom line would show a loss... Not the $10.5 billion 2009 profit made during the recession.

Adam Werbach of the Atlantic blogged that it was if we were seeing "energy companies trying to saddle up to members of the public as if they were a potential date at a Georgetown bar."

The Yes Men, a group of activists who impersonate "leaders, big-time criminals" and "big corporations who put profits ahead of everything else in order to publicly humiliate them," responded:

Werbach continued: "The Yes Men sent out a fake press release hours before the launch of the Chevron campaign and created a fake website at that fooled reporters into thinking their campaign was real."

Glimmer Twin

Anchor Marco Werman spoke with Catlin Moran of The Times newspaper in London about the tensions between Rolling Stones members Keith Richards and Mick Jagger... Richards is about to release his autobiography “Life” on 10/26/10.
The Stones Sibling Rivalry
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WGBH's The World 10/18/10.

It's Official: I'm Too Old

"If it's too loud,
you're too old."

-- Dee Snider, lead singer of
Twisted Sister (circa 1984)

As #2 urged "The Prisoner":
"Go to the rostrum and confess!" Or in this year's popular phrase: "It's time to man up."

OK... I'm Mono, and it's official: I'm too old... Because what vibrated my entire building on the edge of the city's "entertainment district" courtesy of "Rock The Block Las Vegas" was way too loud.

Hours on end... Screams of young rage shredding vocal chords while limited guitar chord changes played in pick-splintering sixteenth notes.

It might've been death metal meets speed metal, or perhaps something else really thrashy, but remember: I'm too old now.
I have an excuse not to know, or care... Nor have I any need to apologize for seeking relief with a Pandora custom mix of sensitive singer-songwriters and acoustic string bands.

In the past I went to a couple of multi-day festivals. And although I missed out on the Beatles & Buffalo Springfield, I've seen Pink Floyd build "The Wall," had Peter Frampton over to the house, shared a headphone splitter with Greg Lake (ELP's middleman) and listened to Eric Burdon explain that if he could make a Hollywood movie it'd be a major celebrity snuff film... That night Eric drank far more from Rabbit Bundrick's wine-filled goatskin flask than he spilled.

I've toured Texas with the Commodores and sat in the courtroom audience while Sammy Hagar's stunt double did a wall-climbing back flip in the "I Can't Drive 55" video. I was in the "tastes great" section as Bruce recreated the Miller Lite debate with the LA Coliseum crowd on his return for a second week-long stand on the Born In The USA tour... Although a year apart, both shows I saw were in "Rocktober."

I stood right under the flyover sound system while leader Mick Jones explained Foreigner's crew used twice the wattage for "no dead spots" stage monitors as they did to make it loud for the crowd... And the morning after seeing Seger rock the sold out Michigan Palace, I was the guy who suggested to manager Punch Andrews that the best way to let America know why Detroit loved Bob Seger so much would be to let them hear him live... My greatest call as an amateur A&R man.

You see as an early stage Baby Boomer, I could surf the radio's giant generational wave of rock-dominated popular music. I pulled off some pretty neat tricks in the process and stretched the ride into a 30 year career in broadcasting in spite of radically changing musical tastes.

Maybe I should just play "Over Now."

Wait that's Alice In Chains... Make it the unplugged version. I'm old.

She's Not A Witch, Either

Look... It's "B" Movies With D-Cups!

She's the campy & vampy "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark," a modern day Morticia with Mae West's wicked cleavage... As the host of "Movie Macabre," a weekly horror movie presentation which began in 1981 Los Angeles, actress Cassandra Peterson found the role of a lifetime and outlet for her quirky, quick-witted personality in the Goth/valley girl she created as a member of LA improv troupe "The Groundlings."

Listen... It's Auto-Tuned "D" Grades With B-Cups!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Juan Is Gone... To The Bank

Juan Williams comments about uncomfortable air travel feelings at one job led to his firing at the other... It started a media firestorm.

Can anyone working for Fox News and NPR maintain their credibility with both audiences? It's not something that was in question with outlets with more traditional journalistic standards in common... For example: Cokie Roberts appeared on both ABC TV and NPR for years.

O'Reilly Lowers The Boom: Fire Boss, Defund NPR

Williams speaks out about NPR on Fox

On Thursday, Williams signed a $2 million/3-year contract with Fox.

Media critic Mark Jurkowitz is associate director of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, He spoke on WBUR, an NPR affiliate, although this program is distributed nationally by PRI.
Identity, Ideology & Islamophobia
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 10/21/10,
Host: Robin Young.
Watch what happens next with Fox News Sunday panelist Mara Liasson. She joined NPR in 1985, is currently a national political correspondent and her tenure also includes a stint as NPR's White House correspondent during all eight years of the Clinton administration. As a reporter she's likely to be held to a higher standard than Williams (a commentator in both venues).

Although she's also appeared on Fox since 1997, she avoids the prime time partisan polemics of the network.

Mortgage Mess

All 50 state Attorney's General are investigating the industry's lax standard operating procedures for evidence of widespread fraud in cost & corner-cutting robo-signed foreclosures... Smell the lawsuits?
Piles Of Paperwork
Back To Business As Usual
Audio Embed: CBS Radio's Osgood File 10/21/10.
Time's Stephen Gandel: Will Bankers go to Jail for Foreclosure-gate?

Chamber of Horrors

Conspiracy Theorist's Dream

Keith's Crusade Continues

Videos: MSNBC


Director Clint Eastwood & Matt Damon bring the big star power for a drama about three people who are touched by death in different ways.

Current TV supplies the Rotten Tomatoes

Hereafter: in theaters 10/22/10.

Colonel of Truth

Grams of Fat

At 540 calories, KFC's Double Down is still 90 calories lighter than McDonald's Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich. But with a whopping 1,380 milligrams worth of salt (more than a half-teaspoon), it chews up almost all of the American Heart Association's maximum recommended adult intake of less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.

When released in the US, an NPR intern was asked to try it. Maybe they felt she was healthy enough to survive unscathed. After taking her first bite, the avowed fried chicken lover needed a minute to clear her throat and gather her thoughts: "The cheese is freaking me out. There's nothing holding this together! This is not a sandwich."

And that's part of the pitch. The only buns associated with the Double Down are the ones inside the promotional pants the company paid college co-eds to wear as on-campus “human billboards”... Sweat pants, not hot pants: all the better to hide the freshmen fifteen.

The controversial concoction's reputation reached Canada before the sandwich itself, which first went on sale Monday 10/18/10.

Ontario's Health Promotion Minister caused a stir when she said the province may review the sale of the Double Down, a position she quickly reversed when it became the political hot potato of the week at Ontario's legislature... Three Conservative members stood outside their chamber, sharing a Double Down in a stunt to protest what they said is the Liberals' "obsession with managing people's lives."

Premier Dalton McGuinty said he wants to assure people "there is not a colonel of truth" to reports the government planned to investigate the Double Down... Which was either a Canadian Press mistake for a "kernel of truth" (a core accuracy at the heart of a claim or narrative which also contains dubious or fictitious elements) or evidence of a healthy sense of humor by the politician, the reporter, or both.

Rethinking The Rules

Rutger’s University football player Eric LeGrand is paralyzed from the neck down after a violent concussion, leading some to question NCAA and NFL football rules on helmet to helmet hits.

Videos: & ABC/Jimmy Kimmel Live

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Edge Of The Universe

A Long Time Ago, A Galaxy Far Away

Video: ITN

Too Damn High

New York candidate Jimmy McMillan breaks down the key issue.

Videos: MSNBC & Fox Business Network

Too Damn Stupid

Video: ABC/Jimmy Kimmel Live

Too Damn Mean

Forget about "compassionate conservative"... That was so last decade; not that it was ever anything more than campaign BuSh.

Acerbic New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd characterized candidates from Queen Bee Sarah to wannabe Christine as Republican Mean Girls... Jan, Meg, Carly, Sharron, Linda, and Michele are all just grown-up versions of those teenage tormentors who would steal your boyfriend, spray-paint your locker and, just for good measure, spread rumors that you were pregnant... Maureen can be a real meanie, too.

Gail Sheehy, journalist and author, describes the new brand of aggressive female politicians "Republican insurrectionists" in an article for The Daily Beast, which includes Meg Whitman firing her immigrant housekeeper, Carly Fiorina getting caught mocking her opponent's hair, Sharron Angle attacking Harry Reid, and Linda McMahon trumpeting her success in the brutal world of professional wrestling. They're conservative women who have earned a reputation as mean girls with cutthroat personalities who play by their own rules.
Republican Mean Girls
Audio Embed: The Takeaway 10/20/10,
Hosts: John Hockenberry & Celeste Headlee

Broadcasting Without A Net

Bye-bye Big Bird, farewell Frontline.
Southern California's PBS fans were shocked when local station KCET announced plans to cut its ties with the public television powerhouse. KCET says dues to PBS were too expensive, so it will drop the affiliation and switch to independent programming in 2011.
Dangerous Move, Say Members
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 10/18/10,
Reporter: Alex Cohen

Hollywood & Vine

Johnny Sheffield, who played "Boy" in the Tarzan movies of the '30s & '40s, died Monday after falling from a ladder... Not a greased vine.

Tarzan Boy" is the 1985 debut single by Italian one hit wonders Baltimora.

Honest Movie Titles

Jackass 3D lives up to it's title... Other posters need a rewrite.

Revised Movie Poster Slide Show from

Dishonest Movie Pictures

New Software Reshapes Actors

A German IT company's program, "MovieReshape," has critics are buzzing about what it will do to the TV and movie business.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

No Shortage Of Material

Video: MSNBC

Native-born v Newcomers

Merkel: Multiculturalism in Germany a Failure

20 years after reunification, the country hasn't even been able to completely integrate ethnically identical former East Germans, let alone an influx of Islam from multiple generations of Turkish "guest workers."

Andrew Nagorski, vice president and director of public policy at the EastWest Institute, says that for all our problems here in the U.S. with immigration, we have coped with it better than many European societies. Baha Gungor, head of the Turkish language section of Deutsche Welle radio, has lived in Germany for 50 years and think Merkel's comments are misguided.
Ein Land, nicht ein Volk
The Takeaway 10/19/10,
Hosts: John Hockenberry & Celeste Headlee

In Canada, whose population of non-immigrants is already bifurcated along English/French linguistic lines, a panel assembled by the nationally distributed Toronto Globe and Mail discussed whether multiculturalism enriches Canada's mosaic or is a mistake?

In a 10/8/10 editorial, the paper said Canada needs to refocus the debate, and have the courage to build a successful society around the concept of citizenship and purge the word multiculturalism from the nation's vocabulary.

Financial Fraud Finders

Beware superlatives!
Stamford researchers find company executives' public exuberance often camouflages corporate cover-ups & problems lurking within cooked books.
After study, the academics think they know how to gauge senior executives' truthfulness.
Decoding Deception
Audio Embed: Morning Edition 10/18/10,
Reporter: Jim Zarroli

Parenting Crisis

Cartoon: Geek and Poke

Monster Mashup

Video: Norwegian Recycling

Can you spot all the samples in the mix?
  • Bruno Mars - Just The Way You Are
  • B.O.B. feat. Bruno Mars - Nothing On You
  • Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
  • Britney Spears - Hit Me, Baby, One More Time
  • Jason Derulo - In My Head
  • Justin Timberlake - My Love
  • Lady Gaga - Just Dance
  • Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love
  • Ne-Yo - So Sick
  • Michael Jackson - Black Or White
  • Snoop Dogg - Sexual Eruption
  • Survivor - Eye Of The Tiger
  • Taylor Swift - Fifteen
  • Taylor Swift - Fearless
  • Savage Garden - The Animal Song
  • Snoop Dogg feat. Justin Timberlake - Signs

Ultimate Wedding Gift

Divorce Insurance

It exists. People are buying it... Even when already married.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Forked Tongues

Videos: MSNBC

Making Bad Ideas Movies


Making Good Ideas Happen

Pre-Starbucks coffeehouse culture & stacked platforms figure into "Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation."
Cafes and Collaboration
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 10/17/10,
Host: Guy Raz interviews Steven Johnson.
See an 18 minute TED Talk by the author.

Talking Down Medical Costs

It would never occur to most people, but it turns out that doctors, labs and hospitals are willing to negotiate. And in fact, surveys show that when people try to bring down their out-of-pocket medical costs, they are successful 70 percent of the time.
Dr. Jeff Rice helps companies negotiate healthcare costs and has also launched the healthcare bluebook, which lets consumers get an idea of how much a medical procedure could cost. In one case, Dr. Rice was able to bring a $37,000 fee for a hospital down to just $1,500.
He tells how he did it and offers advice to others on how to negotiate.
Healthcare Haggling
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 10/19/10,
Host: Robin Young.

Ready For Anything

It's Samurai Salaryman!

Samurai sword umbrella available in two sizes at Amazon.

Radioactive Robots

Video: NNSS

Most Las Vegas visitors have no idea the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) exists, let alone that it has robot security patrols in remote portions of the facility which was the site of Cold War atomic weapons testing and currently stores "tens of millions of cubic feet of radioactive waste."

The robot is designed to perform random patrols autonomously until onboard sensors detect intruders or suspicious activity. An operator can then assess situations with real-time video.

Kraftwerk - Die Roboter (The Robots) in concert

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Future Is Dicey

With High Suckage Potential

A futuristc city imagined by Benedict Campbell
In the 80's, writer Douglas Coupland coined the term "Generation X" with his novel subtitled "Tales for an Accelerated Culture"...
He shares some dark but fearless predictions from his recent online article "A Radical Pessimist's Guide to the Next 10 Years."
A Guide To The Next Decade
Audio Essay: All Things Considered 10/17/10

Look Who's Talking, Too

A (mostly) Pre-Menopausal View

Videos: CBS

Weed Gone Potty

Is California's Prop 19 Dead on Arrival?


El Coco Loco

¡Conando es mas macho!

RIP June Cleaver

Barbara Billingsley, best known for her role as June Cleaver on the seminal 1950's sitcom Leave it to Beaver, has passed away at the age of 94, on Saturday in Santa Monica, CA.
The Beaver Remembers Mom
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 10/16/10,
Host: Guy Raz with Jerry Mathers

Movie Clip: Airplane (1980)

Your Move, Old Spice!

Axe fires back at Old Spice and Isaiah Mustafa, but according to the NY Daily News, the journeyman actor and former NFL player, best known as "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" in Old Spice's Emmy-nominated ad campaign, has landed a movie gig opposite Jennifer Aniston in "Horrible Bosses," a comedy, which also co-stars Jason Bateman and Colin Farrell.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Special Interest Spending

The Best Government Big Money Can Buy

You may never find where the money comes from... But you can figure out who gets the biggest benefits from bankrolling a side.

America Under Attack (Ads)

What should we call attack ads funders?

Bullshit Slinging Bastards
Audio Embed: Weekend Edition Saturday 10/16/10,
Reporter: Andrea Seabrook
Tony Auth / Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer's analysis of more than 30 claims made in TV attack ads from 3rd-party interest groups shows that the vast majority "earned a 'half true' or lower rating." Just two were rated "true."
Fact Free Pants On Fire
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 10/14/10,
Host: Melissa Block with Bill Adair (Editor,

Clampdown On Comedy

News Bosses Ban Staff from Stewart-Colbert Rally


Qick Read: Dracula

Grim & Grimy’s semi-erudite valley girl summarizes Bram Stoker’s Dracula (who so does not glitter) in just under two minutes...
With a few detours into NetFlix territory.

Dracula in Under 2 Minutes from DECLAN MORAN on Vimeo.

Everyday Electric Cars

Stan Honda / AFP
Both the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf are on cross-country tours designed to introduce the high-mileage sedan to a curious public amid controversy about whether the Volt's really electric or a hybrid.

Never mind, say consumers... They want one. And as GM announced advanced orders for Volts were strong enough that they were ramping up pre-rollout production, NPR offered this series on cars with (electrical) potential.
Living Within Limits

Charge It

Selling to Silicon Valley

Audio Embed: Morning Edition 10/11-13/10,
Reporter: Andrea Kissack KQED/San Francisco

Smurfs Meth Connection

CVS has been fined $75 million after admitting their mishandling of Federally required record keeping allowed 'Smurfers' to buy illegally large amounts of crystal meth ingredients. The US drugstore giant blamed flawed implementation of an electronic monitoring system designed to stop excessive purchases of cold, allergy medications.

Video: Fox News
See the story from an independent Canadian point of view at CTV, where ad buys don't sandbag coverage with corporate shills on scene.