Tuesday, April 12, 2011

No War is Civil

Civility is a casualty before the first shot.

Just before dawn, 150 years ago today, the Civil War started with a single cannon shot which sailed over Charleston Harbor and exploded above the federal garrison at Fort Sumter, setting the stage for four years of carnage that cost more than 600,000 American lives.

Currier & Ives lithograph of the 1861 bombardment of Fort Sumter, in South Carolina's Charleston Harbor, from the Library of Congress.

You can hear arguments about the name still echoing through the former Confederate States, where some still seriously contend our bloodiest war wasn't really about slavery... America's original sin.

Adam Goodheart’s new book is “1861: The Civil War Awakening.”
Did the Conflict Ever End?
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 4/11/11.
Host: Deborah Becker.

The New York Times series: Disunion- the Civil War’s unfolding.

Ken Burns' treatment of The Civil War repeated on PBS last week.

Meat Market

A sweet, salty, savory scent for real men and women who really want a taste of someone whose essence attracts hordes of other dudes.

Other signs of the Aporkalypse...

9" x 15", periodic table pillow, (non-meat) stuffing included

Can you smell what Victoria's Secret is cooking?

Holy Taco's collection of 50 things made better by bacon.

Banned From Bus Sides

A ban that began with saying no to this bus board, has been expanded to prohibit all forms of "political" advertising on the King County Metro, the Seattle area's largest public transit system.
Censoring Commercial Controversy
Audio Embed: Puget Sound Public Radio 4/11/11,
Reporter: Liz Jones.
In September 2009, the United Nations Human Rights Council's Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict headed by Justice Richard Goldstone found strong evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both Israel and Hamas during the Gaza conflict (during the winter of 2008–2009); urging the international community as a whole to put an end to impunity for violations of international law in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The South African jurist was no novice in the field. He had previously investigated, or prosecuted, similar allegations pertaining to the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. He also didn't come to the task with an anti-Israeli bias... Justice Richard Goldstone is a Jew.

Sex Ed with Julia Sweeney

Discussing birds, bees (and frogs) with her eight-year-old daughter.

Monday, April 11, 2011


In the United States there will be more than 6 billion calls to directory assistance this year... The phone company already has your number.

Lily Tomlin as "Ernestine" from Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1969-73)

Belgium Gets By

As last minute budget theatrics threatened at least a partial shutdown in Washington DC, very little attention has been paid to the fact that already has happened in Brussels, where it's business as usual.

Saturday marked 300 days without a central government for the country of Belgium, surpassing the record formerly held by Iraq. Officials there are in a political stalemate over budget issues and electoral districts, but many Belgians say the absence of a government doesn't make much difference in daily lives. Host Scott Simon talked with Belgian columnist and journalist Gerrit Six.
No Government, No Worries
Audio Embed: Weekend Edition Saturday 4/9/11.

No Toner, No Cry

Snow Ball Fight In Space

Gas giants' ring ripples chronicle evidence of chaotic collisions.
Comets as Cosmic Clocks
Audio Embed: CBS Radio's Osgood File 4/1/11.

Alien Nation

Space invaders aren't a new topic for Steven Spielberg. In the last decade he's turned out the TV mini series Taken (2002) and a full scale action/adventure visualization of War of the Worlds (2005).

And coming in June, a TNT mini series called "Falling Skies."

Wish Fulfillment

The Washington State Lottery is encouraging would-be players to participate in pairs. Their ad campaign, "Play Together, Win Together," positions the Lottery as a social experience and encourages friends to play it together to make dreams come true.

In the spot "Segways at Dawn," two knights solemnly strap on their armour in preparation for a joust. As the contest begins, it's revealed they're in a muddy field on Segways with a group of friends watching.

Slow motion jousting, either mounted on steeds or balanced on Segways, may not be what you had in mind, but isn't there something you and your friends have never done but wish you could try?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Desperate and Distracting

Eva Longoria's Wardrobe Malfunction

David Letterman gets more than a tasty hint of cilantro!

Rickles on Regis

Mr. Warmth probably has a larger cup size.

Long Ball

People who complain about the pace of baseball, calling a nine-inning game an eternity, obviously had never heard of the 33-inning game in 1981 between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings... Dan Barry has. And he wrote the book on the longest ballgame ever.
Bottom of the 33rd
Audio Embed: WBUR & NPR's Only A Game 4/9/11,
Host: Bill Littlefield.

Jon Cryer Will F You Up

"Two and a Half Men" co-star Jon Cryer reveals that he has been spending his post-Charlie free time recording a hip hop album.

Jon Cryer's musical production number will be featured tonight on:
The Comedy Awards - Comedy Central, Sunday 4/10/11, 9pm E/P

Mapping Stereotypes

Some humorous, some hurtful, each with some truth...

Sayin' No to Nevada

Politicians' contradictory excuses for why businesses don’t want to locate in Nevada... Because it's really Mississippi with a desert.

Continental U.S.

The "Dark (Perspective) Continent"

Eye Can See Clearly Now

Education spending question: What if a $10 purchase could buy you a 50% increase in how much a child learned in a school year?

Paul Glewwe (rhymes with ‘heavy’) and Albert Park did it by giving away $10 eyeglasses to schoolchildren with poor eyesight in China.
Eyesight, Education & Economics
Audio Embed: APM & WNYC's Freakonomics Radio Podcast 4/5/11, Host: Stephen J. Dubner

Glamour Photo Shoot

The Real Housewives of Late Night

See more continuing drama from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

In The Midnight Hour

A great Memphis soul song, but one crazy way to fund a government.

Wilson Pickett - "In The Midnight Hour" - The Exciting Wilson Pickett
Radio Audizioni Italiane TV (c.1966)

The Huffington Post collected a slide show of 25 (mostly) semi-humorous #govtshutdownpickuplines. It's a wonder wonks breed.

Tweak Your Week

Morning Joe

Meatloaf's massive meltdown, April Fool's anchor prank & budget.

Daily Show: Recap - Week of 4/4/11

Billy Crystal's first tweet, and confronting Middle East sexism.

Colbert Report: Recap - Week of 4/4/11

James Franco debates art and Stephen prepares for royal wedding.

Late Night

Jimmy Fallon reads his favorite tweets, hashtag = #worstspringbreak

This Week in Unnecessary Censorship

from Jimmy Kimmel Live

Who's Gone Too Far This Week?

The Onion Review

Type Casting

Jessica Biel is rumored to be in the remake of Total Recall... But in which part do you see her?

Click through for Slash Film's discussion.

Thanks, Left Out Un-History

"Then Everything Changed"
Audio Embed: Audio Embed: CBS Radio's Osgood File 4/8/11.

Speed Kills

But Far Too Slowly For Texas

The Lone Star state already has the fastest speed limits in the nation at 80 mph... But now has raised them to 85. An oil industry stimulus?

Video analysis by Newsy.com

Efficient Child Abuse

Fact Check That Fool

As blowhard reality show tycoon Donald Trump flirts with running for president in 2012 and spreads birther claims no more believable than his hair, NBC's Lisa Myers reports what truth she learned in Hawaii.

Conan Coaxes Truth From Trump

The Donald Is Dangerous
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 4/8/11.
Jimmy Kimmel Live - Donald Trump for President

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dump Trump!

I've previously referred to Donald Trump (Birther-NY) as a "publicity whore" and "egomaniacal entrepreneur." His latest stupid and self-aggrandizing spew as a political poser hasn't changed that opinion.

Donald Trump told Meredith Vieira he has people on the ground in Hawaii investigating the president's birth certificate. It works for Republican polls & TV ratings, but the argument is phony as the hair.

The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart went after the facts.

Back in Black, Deserves A Rerun

Lewis Black thinks publicity whore/political poser Donald Trump has what it takes to be the crazy third-world dictator that America needs.

Mad Ads

Clothes to the Edge

Calvin Klein's "ck" initials are prominent, the "F.U." is more subtle.

Tyne Stecklein was one of 10 backup dancers chosen from a pool of 5,000 hopefuls for Michael Jackson's "This Is It" tour, which was canceled following his death in June 2009. She nails her moves for Old Navy with a precision that makes her quick change edits possible.

New Zealand clothing retailer Hallensteins failed twice by incurring the wrath of the country's ad watchdog because its song lyrics include the phrase "dumb whore" & aired on TV during G-rated Princess Diaries 2.

Udderly Amazing!

Chinese Franken-cows Produce "Human" Milk

Chinese scientists say they've combined human genes with cows that can now produce mass quantities of milk that mimics Mom's own.

Video analysis by Newsy.com

Mel Yells

More Colorful Language from Mr. Gibson


The Greatest TED Talk Ever Sold

Film maker Morgan Spurlock put the naming rights to his 2011 TED speech up for bid on eBay, and got a company to pay $7100 for them.

Wash Your Winkie

Serena Altschul took a ride on the wild side with English bad boy comedian Russell Brand at Universal Studios while filming the remake of the 1981 Academy Award winning comedy "Arthur," which opens today... "Hop" debuted last weekend atop box office receipts.

Mouth Organ Lesson

"One Tree Hill" star/reluctant harmonica player Sophia Bush.

CBS Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson... Innuendo & out the other.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Shut Down

President Obama: "Politics should not create a government shutdown."

And mindless knee jerk opposition to anything Barack backs continues to be the operational stance, if not publicly declared rationale, of the Republicans' Tea Party federal budget insurgency.

The deadline looms large.
"The price you paid for your riches and fame,
Was it all a strange game? You're a little insane."
-- The Byrds, "So You Want to be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" (1967)
Budget Negotiations Process Viewed as Political Game Theory
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 4/6/11,
Reporter: Ari Shapiro.

Anthony Weiner (D-NY) talks about the ongoing negotiations and the disingenuousness of Republicans who claim not to want a shutdown.

So who IS essential?
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 4/6/11.

And maybe what was the last widely popular "shut down"...

The Beach Boys - "Shut Down" - Surfin' USA (1963)

Fine, Just Fine

Hitting the balance sheet is really the only tool a government has to enforce violations of law or regulations by corporations... However much it might be deserved, there's no corporate death penalty.

Do fines make a difference in changing behavior, or do they just get written off eventually as another cost of doing business as usual?
Does The Money Really Matter?
Audio Embed: CBS Radio's Osgood File 4/6/11.

Southwest Airlines Top Ten

CBS / Late Night with David Letterman, 4/5/11

Looney Tunes

Is Beck Too Crazy... Even For Fox?

As news broke that Fox News and Glenn Beck will be parting ways, at least in terms of his daily FNC show, mid day anchor Megyn Kelly slyly joked to Bret Baier: ‘I hear there may be a chalkboard becoming available.’

On Tuesday, Beck repeated his familiar mantra (the “Insurrection” is coming, his viewers need to prepare for dark times). He blamed the same groups (unions, Communists, Socialists, Islamists). He showed clips from the same people (Frances Fox Piven, Van Jones). And then, he tied it all to an arch-villain (liberal campaign funder George Soros).

After that, he asked his audience, “It's really getting boring, isn’t it?”

Fox executives Roger Ailes and/or Rupert Murdoch answered: "Yes."
"(This) is a great moment for the collective intelligence of American discourse."
-- Keth Olbermann, former cable competitor, 4/6/11

Now who will urge the paranoid to hoard guns, gold and groceries?

Let's Go Mental

British designer Patrick Smith brainstormed an as yet unsponsored series of minimalist posters of the theme of mental health disorders.

In the United States, National Mental Health Month for 2011 is May.

Dana Delany, Night & Day

TV's latest crusading medical examiner has a long list of showbiz credits, a wild streak, strong stomach and no shortage of stories.

Birthday Boycott

The Beauty of Brains, Blood and Guts

ABC /Jimmy Kimmel Live

Bitchiness, Body of Proof, Bruce Willis & Moonlighting

CBS / The Talk

Polish That Turd

Flying, Nuclear Waste & Deadly Protests

Daily Show Correspondents Olivia Munn, Wyatt Cenac, Samantha Bee and John Oliver look for the bright side of news about failing planes, leaking radioactive waste and deadly protests in Afghanistan.

Masters & Manners (NSFW)

You may not ever watch a TV golf match the same way again.
Speaking of Turds...
Audio Embed: Berger & Prescott, podcast via Facebook.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Every Vote Counts

The job is not as powerful as you might think:
  • Most of "Las Vegas" is outside city limits
  • A manager runs the city, not the elected mayor
  • The mayor chairs, not controls, a city council
  • There aren't that many ribbons to cut anymore
But it had fringe benefits for former mob lawyer Oscar Goodman.

Often pictured with showgirls on each arm, or a martini in hand, his 12 year administration is ending because of mandatory term limits.

If voters had their choice, the self proclaimed "world's happiest mayor" might well have the job for life. But Tuesday's preliminary election narrowed the field of 18 candidates down to 2, guaranteeing the next mayor would be one of two women with the same initials.

Carolyn Goodman: vivacious wife of the outgoing Oscar, short on substantive political positions, long on name recognition.Chris Giunchigliani (say June-killy-Annie): former teacher, union leader & state legislator, current Clark County commissioner.

But the more interesting story belongs to two of the also-rans... Candidates whose campaigns could not have been more different.

County commissioner Larry Brown went door to door in an old fashioned grass roots effort. Although his reputation is that of a budget hawk, he was derided as a big spending liberal in the sole big budget TV campaign, for immigrant businessman Victor Chaltiel.

Commissioner Brown fell short of making the final ballot by 15 votes.

Victor, who spent more than a million of his own money in his vanity campaign, finished 4th @ 14%... But many are left wonderring how many votes his mischaracterization cost Larry Brown in the end.

Off year/off season voting almost guarantees the lowest turnouts of any electoral process, but magnifies the importance of each individual participant... Making it never more true: Every vote counts.

More McJobs

McDonald's Announces Plan to Add 50,000 Employees... If the hair-net fits, wear it.

On April 19th McDonald's US plans to hire 50,000 new employees for a variety of positions in 14,000 restaurants around the country.

All the Better to Supersize Me, 24/7!

I Want My iPadTV

Should you be able to watch cable TV channels you subscribe to on your iPad at no extra cost? Providers say yes, networks say no.
It's war!
Audio Embed: APM's Marketplace Tech Report 4/5/11,
Host: John Moe.