Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nile Flood

Few western reporters understand the emotional volatility of "the Arab street" better than NBC's Richard Engel; a four-year resident of Cairo, and fluent in Arabic language and cultures.

In it's natural state, the Nile River floods each year... Refreshing the banks on either side with the rich life-giving nutrients that made it possible for there to be any Egyptian civilization beyond the nomadic Bedouin herders of the deep desert. The ancients realized it was beyond their control, but learned to live better by having it happen.

Politically, Egypt has suffered a very long dry season. About 2/3 of Egyptians have never known a leader other than Hosni Mubarak; the military strong man who has ruled under a repressive "state of emergency" since the death of Anwar Sadat.

I don't know how to say "Enough!" in Arabic... But the people in the streets of Cairo do... And are saying it at the top of their lungs.
Democracy Delayed or Denied
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle 1/28/11


Stewart Recapped

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Recap - Week of 01/24/11
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Colbert Recapped

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Recap - Week of 01/24/11
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Willie Recapped

Jimmy Redacted

Weak End

Win, Lose or Tie

Chicago car dealership manager flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct - Salesman fired for sartorial statement supporting Green Bay Packers.

Morning After Anthem

He's got a feeling... Actually several; some confusing & painful.

Ted's Rocky Recovery

"Golden voice homeless guy's" Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Commercial.

Toddler Trapped On Tape

Kid follows bait trail of candy straight to confinement in Canada.

Anchor Babes

Fox "news model"/“America Live” anchor Megyn Kelly was featured in the December 2010 issue of GQ showing substantial skin along with whatever else she revealed to interviewer Greg Veis.

Does her appearance gain more or less viewer attention?

Two Indiana University researchers have tested nearly 400 male participants to find out how the attractiveness of a female news anchor affects the response from men in the audience. They found that the men remembered substantially less of the editorial content the “sexier” the anchor was... Diminishing returns after the schwing!

Women watching the same videos, seemed to retain equal amounts of information, but no testing was done with hunky anchor-dudes.

Jill Dobson is a former Miss USA competitor with a masters in Journalism from Michigan State. She's worked for Fox before, and was a current contributor to CNN Headline News and the CBS Early Show when she accepted an acting job to play entertainment correspondent Madison Daly on the Onion News Network which premiered on the Independent Film Channel 1/21/11.

To the Onion, an actual journalist pretending to be a fake one is one of their secret weapons. To Dobson, it's a career move...

As she told the Kalamazoo Gazette:
"I certainly feel it’s a step in the right direction for my career … this fits my personality a little more."
She's not alone. The ONN has hired other TV news vets for their take-off with all the journalists on the new show playing fictionalized characters instead of themselves.

Melissa Theuriau didn't make the choice to become famous as the face that launched a thousand Internet scams... Her screen caps from French TV have been recycled for dubious and/or illicit purposes.

Town Hall Hardliner

Rep. Allen West, a freshman African-American Republican representing a mostly white, affluent Florida district, held his first town meeting this week.

The well-attended event had the feeling of a victory party, though the crowd was largely silent when West called for slashing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security spending... In a state with a heavy concentration of the elderly and where Federal social spending for seniors has been considered sacrosanct.

Will the district with a Congressman, extreme even by Tea Party standards, boil over with buyer's remorse as his agenda is exposed?
Dancing On The Third Rail
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 1/28/11,
Reporter: Greg Allen.

Snow Job

They're used to getting more snow in Canada... Unlike New Yorkers who are starting to call their city "New Buffalo." But nobody's really prepared for a workplace visit from the CBC's Rick Mercer.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Challenger Remembered


A Tribute To The Challenger Astronauts

Francis Richard Scobee: Commander, STS 51-L
Michael Smith: Shuttle Pilot
Judith Resnick: Mission Specialist, Robot Arm Operator
Ronald Mc Nair: Payload Specialist, Satellite Launcher
Gregory Jarvis: Mission Specialist, Satellite Design Study
Ellison Onizuka: Mission Specialist, Comet Photography
Sharon Christa Mc Auliffe: Mission Specialist, Teacher In Space

For Those Who Dare
Steve Crowley, KIIS-FM/AM, Los Angeles (1/28/86)

President Ronald Reagan:
It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery.

Dick Scobee, Challenger Mission Commander:
Space is in their future.

President Reagan:
It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons.

Astronaut Scobee:
And if it's good for the country, then they ought to be flying.

Vice President George Bush:
The great adventure of space travel requires
 men and women of spirit and bravery.

Senator / Astronaut John Glenn:
We've had fifty-six manned missions so far.

Christa Mc Auliffe, Teacher in Space:
When that shuttle goes there might be one body,
but there's gonna be ten souls that I'm taking with me.

President Reagan:
The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted.
It belongs to the brave.

Greg Lake:
Freedom held as a standard for those who dare
In a world full of madness are those who care
Silence draws no applause for the blood that stains their causes
But there's freedom for those who dare

Vilified by opponents in times of need
Those without true commitment will not succeed
Those who strive for an aim must beware the way is painful
Liberation for those who dare

Hugh Harris, Launch Control, Cape Canaveral:
T-minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 ... We have main engine start… 4, 3, 2, 1,
and lift off. Lift off of the 25th Space Shuttle mission...
And it has cleared the tower.

Steve Nesbitt, Mission Control, Houston:
Mid-roll program confirmed… Challenger now heading down range…
Engines at 65%… Three engines running normally…
Three good fuel cells… Three good A.P.U.s…
Engines throttling up… Three engines now at 104%.

Richard Covey: Capsule Communicator, Mission Control, Houston:
Challenger… "Go" at throttle up.

Mission Commander Scobee, aboard Challenger:
Roger… "Go" at throttle up.


Senator Glenn:
These seven carried the hopes and the dreams of all of us. What we can do now is to make sure we carry their memories in carrying on.

Vice President Bush:
Danger awaits all those who push back the frontier of space.
It reminds us that the great adventure of space travel requires men and women of spirit and bravery. You must try to understand that spirit, bravery and commitment are what make not only the space program, but all of life worthwhile.

Greg Lake:
Hooded eyed, underground from the blades of light
Can't be found, not a sound in the dead of night
Panic grips whitened lips, fortune smiles and fortune trips them
Liberation for those who dare

Those with nerve torn by tension can't hesitate
Eyes ablaze with perfection must cool to slate
Hands are damp, muscles cramp, skill explodes with practiced timing
And there's freedom for those who dare
Liberation for those who care
Victory for those who dare

President Reagan:
The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us
by the manner in which they lived their lives.
We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them,
as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye...
Then slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.

FOR THOSE WHO DARE is derived from the regimental motto of Britain's Special Air Service: "Who dares, wins."

The original song comes from Greg Lake's 1981 self-titled solo album on Chrysalis Records.

Voices of the crew, launch controllers and public officials were videotaped from live news coverage.
This tribute was produced and first broadcast the day of the event, January 28, 1986.

At the time Steve Crowley worked as Director of Creative Services at KIIS-FM/AM, Los Angeles... It was the public pinnacle of his career.

Since he had previously met President Reagan's speechwriter, Peggy Noonan, he sent her a copy... Her boss replied with a hand-written note. But it was the follow-up phone call from Astronaut Gary Payton saying "Thank you for a tribute worthy of my friends," a few weeks later, which Steve recalls as the best private moment in his career.

The Sin Of Omission

Katie Couric discusses a new Internet phenomenon know as "word clouds." Couric examines the word cloud that resulted from the State of the Union address and its lack of the word "gun."

Since the Tucson massacre, no public official has leaned harder on the administration & Congress than New York City's Mayor Bloomberg.

On Wednesday, 2 days after Salt Lake City had celebrated the birthday of Utah-born John Moses Browning, sometimes called the father of automatic weapons, one chamber of the Utah legislature voted to adopt an official state gun: the 45 cal. Browning M1911 semiautomatic pistol... When it comes to guns, Utah has no peer and no shame.
It Converts To A Machine Gun
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 1/27/11,
Reporter: Howard Berkes

Mayan Mistake

2008 Financial Crisis Report

The financial crisis that roiled markets around the world in 2008 did not result from a "perfect storm" of accidents. A new report says it was an "avoidable" disaster that grew directly out of the widespread failures of regulators and the excessive risk-taking by corporations and Wall Street firms.
'It Was Avoidable'... Duh!
Audio Embed: Morning Edition 1/27/11,
Reporter: Chris Arnold.

Neighborhood Gone To CRAP

Industrial buildings off the local route between Nampa & Caldwell, Idaho are few and far between. The area isn't very densely built-up.

But situated adjacent to a residential development where streets all have Old Testament Biblical names, Andy's 2nd Hand & Appliance has become a media sensation... Starting with Channel 6 in nearby Boise.

Even the sign is recycled at Andy's 2nd Hand & Appliance,
3317 Hoffman Ln, Nampa, ID 83651. (208) 899-7852.

The reviews are in:
"Crappiest Small Business Sign Ever"
-- Huffington Post

Thursday, January 27, 2011

January 27th

It's not a memorable date to royalty: like the ascension of Trajan, or the marriage of Henry VI.

It's not a source of pride like the founding of America's first public university in Georgia, or the shame of an act of Congress which began the "Trail of Tears."

It's not like the famous dates in WWII air power, liberation and remembrance; or Cold War balance of terror which saw open air nuclear testing begin in Nevada.

It's not like 1967 when the US, UK & USSR signed a treaty banning deployment of nuclear weapons in space, and limiting use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes... While the crew of Apollo 1 perished in a launch-pad fire on the very same day.

Amidst the run up to the 2003 Iraq War diplomats traded accusations which would later be proven false, the Library of Congress announced its first selections for the National Recording Registry which are acknowledged enduring.

That morning, a guy was having some stiffness in the arm he slept on the previous night after watching the pirate-themed Super Bowl 37 (Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Oakland Raiders, 48–21) and post-game debut of Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC.

He got up, shaved, showered and caught the 5:10 am bus to work. Then made the change to a second bus in the silence typical of Las Vegas' early commuters... At least the black & white ones. The Hispanics kept up a steady stream of Spanglish conversation throughout the trip.

On the way down the stairs of the bus he felt a weakness in what he thought of as his good knee after breaking the opposite in his teens. He crossed the 7 lanes of traffic and walked the final 2,000 feet down the block, through the gate and toward his desk in the cube farm where his work group filled up at staggered start times.

It was only when he didn't recognize the comfortable, confident familiarity of his own voice while trying to solve his first customer's computer problem that he rose shakily to his feet. In his company it was a signal for "I need help."

The first supervisor to recognize larger trouble had himself suffered a heart attack under similar circumstances. "I'm having a stroke," was what the worker struggled to say. "Call 911."

That was eight years ago today.

Life goes on, differently. But I'm still here.

Winning The Center

President Obama halted the rightward drift of American politics by making sense with a centrist message in his State of the Union address. New York Times columnist Frank Rich talks with Rachel Maddow about the political calculation behind the dark tone of the Republican response and their overall message.

More Than Slightly Off

Rep. Michele Bachmann delivered a "Tea Party" rebuttal to President Obama's State of the Union address. What did she accomplish in her speech and recent campaigning in Iowa... Beyond alarming the Tea Party with her spotlight-hogging power grab and the easily-agitated "Hardball" host Chris Matthews with the extent of her ignorance?

Nazi Hunters

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
24 Hour Nazi Party People
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The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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And today, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a group of four hundred rabbis took out a full-page advertisement in the Rupert Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal protesting Glenn Beck for his repeated use of Nazi and Holocaust rhetoric on the Rupert Murdoch owned Fox News Channel.

Invasive Species

Mike's New Car Smell

His daughter got to keep it... But he found that super-profitable after-market add-on crap was the source of dealing's fishy smell.
Beep Beep'm Beep Beep Yeah
Audio Embed: Berger & Prescott, podcast via Facebook.

Snooki vs Sarah

The Odd Couple

Jimmy Kimmel on John McCain's (post-Sarah) Snooki love match.

The Jersey Shore "guidos" will head to Italy for their next season, much to the dismay of image-conscious Italian American groups.

CNBC & Morning Joe's on-air marketing guru interviewed on HLN.

Comedian Louis CK's not much of a Sarah fan, either.

Jimmy Kimmel pitches an alternate reality show for Mama Sizzly.

The ex/half-Governor's response to the State of the Union (as relayed to Fox host Greta Van Sustern by phone, a day later) boiled down to:
As if all the benefits of America's response to the wake-up call of the Soviet space program could somehow be overshadowed by a small business survivor story from a failed franchising operation.

Spudnuts (donuts made from potato flour) were a novel idea... But never achieved the appetite acceptance or investment status of Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme or Tim Hortons.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Where's The Beef?

All America Is Asking

Clara Peller's classic advertising question regurgitated at Taco Bell.

The meat of President Obama's 2011 State of the Union speech.

“Very soft language all the way through. Gene [Robinson] said his language transcended our previous political vocabulary – to me it transcended it so far, that I don’t know what it meant through most of it. What does ‘out-innovate’ mean? There is no government program that’s being discussed there, so his intent is for us to not know what it means.”
-- MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, 1/25/11
Text & Subtext: Assessing Language
Audio Embed: PRI & WNYC's program The Takeaway 1/26/11,
Host: John Hockenberry with Todd Zwillich & Stanley Fish.

Maybe The Beef Is Off-Camera, Stage Right

Did a "Tea Party" response deserve airtime on CNN?

Across The Great Divide

State Capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
With all the talk of which lawmakers of opposing parties sit where...

Oregon's legislature opens February 1st with an unusual power-sharing arrangement. Since the House is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, members have elected co-speakers.

The agreement is not as strange as it sounds. Since 1984 power sharing has been the outcome in at least one state legislative body in every general election.
Sitting In The Same Seat, Separately
Audio Embed: Morning Edition 1/25/11,
Reporter: Chris Lehman

Sweet Spot

Too Much Skin on Skins?

There's a new show on MTV called "Skins." It shows a lot of skin, and a lot of that skin belongs to real teen aged actors playing characters who are real teenagers doing things teens sometimes do & survive.

It's almost like the 1980's MTV marketing slogan "too much is never enough" became a mantra for the entire family of Viacom-owned cable channels... Too much is an individual variable. Realizing how much is too much for you is a huge part of growing into adulthood.

The perennially uptight Parents Television Council calls the teen drama, “Skins,” the most dangerous show on television for kids... Who by most reports indulged in all kinds of irresponsible substance use and sexual conduct before the show ever aired; which are the same things that fuel the post-production assembled plots on many "reality" shows that are programming staples on MTV's channels.

Bob Thompson, founding director of Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University explains the fear factors of pressure group(s), programmers and potential advertisers.
Why Is Anyone Surprised?
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 1/25/11,
Host: Robin Young.

What Do You Want?

"We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness...
We are monkeys with money and guns."
-- Tom Waits, American musician (born December 7, 1949)
Illustration: "The Piano Has Been Drinking" (from Small Change)

What Do You Want from Life? from The Tubes debut (1975).

Serious Science Lessons

The Science of Lasting Love

CBS: A study claims brain responses prove love can be long-lasting.

Carl Carlton one of many to have a hit with "Everlasting Love" (1974)

The Science of Kissing

Sheril Kirshenbaum is pretty. Want to kiss her?
She's also a research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin. And as she explores the neuroscience, anthropology, and biology of osculation you might momentarily lose the mood... Until she gives some practical tips for the perfect smooch. Then it's back on!
Grad Level Smooching
Audio Embed: CBC Radio's Quirks & Quarks 1/22/11,
Host: Bob McDonald.

Vonda K. Shepard... The musical star of Ally McBeal

Money and Marriage

When most people think of “cheating” in a relationship they think of physical or even emotional unfaithfulness.

However, when financial infidelity is the problem it's money that matters. And those couples find out that being financially unfaithful can be just as destructive to relationships.
Are you a financial cheater?
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 1/21/11

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Familiar Faces at New Times

MSNBC's daytime lineup had nothing at all to say about the the topic that the channel's lineup of nighttime hosts couldn't possibly avoid.

Lawrence O’Donnell talks about "The Last Word" now at 8 pm, a timeslot occupied for years by "Countdown with Keith Olbermann."

Rachel Maddow salutes her former colleague & embraces the "L" word.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Stephen Rejects Sucking Up Keith Olbermann's Power & Thesaurus
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Dance On The Hill

Who sits where, pairs off with whom, rises or sits on their hands and when adds to the symbolism of the annual State of the Union address... As the high school lunch room transforms into prom.
Found A Date Yet?
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 1/24/11,
Reporter: Andrea Seabrook.

The Real Biggest Loser

A Shake Weight is even funnier seen next to real workout gear.

The guys at the gym all want to check out Steve Kardynal's equipment.

The Bachelor Drinking Game

Jimmy Kimmel brings back an old "Bachelor/Bachelorette" favorite, the "Amazing" drinking game, while his crew watches the new season.

John Leguizamo

His latest one man show, 'Ghetto Klown,' brought him to CBC Toronto for an interview segment on Radio 1 & Q TV with Jian Ghomeshi.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Time Passages

Is Time Travel Possible?
Maybe... One Day At A Time

Australian scientists claim to have discovered an unusual future-only "quantum leap" effect of uni-directional "time teleportation."

The Passage of Time by ToniVC.

Mobs and Jobs

Uncle Vito Wants You

A sudden rash of openings in major East Coast family-run business.
Leave The Resume, Take The Cannoli
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 1/21/11

Career Taking Off


Onion News Network: This Day In History: Invention Of The Handjob

Fall Forward

Been There, Done That... Big Headache

While many stateside are asking why or pointing the finger at MSNBC execs in ass-covering mode in anticipation of a wave of conservative corporation-wide changes accompanying the inevitable austerity of new ownership... From Taiwan, it looked like a lost opportunity.

Lean Back, Survivors

Paint Chip Cookies

Instead of her usual holiday gift of chocolate chip cookies, graphic designer Kim Neill thanked her clients with a freshly-baked batch of Pantone Chip Cookies!

The company's color matching system is a commonly used standard in printing, manufacturing colored paint, fabric, & plastics.

Coffee Break

Andy is really into coffee & ordered a giant Starbucks drink.

At Home With Headphones

San Francisco-based Tim Arndt: melodic piano & moody atmospheres.
Near The Parenthesis
Audio Embed: Echoes, an ambient music program on public radio with extensive archives of subscriber downloads.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Steelers 24, Jets 19

It was a game with two distinct halves, as the teams took turns posting unanswered points. The Steelers scored enough in the part they won to deny the Jets the overall victory... But they were hanging on by their fingernails by the end.

But for a successful goal-line stand, the Jets would've won... Sweet revenge for the Steelers week 15 home loss to the brash New Yorkers.

The Steelers return to the Super Bowl for a record-tying 8th time, 3rd in the era of Ben Roethlisberger, who is only 28, and began this year suspended for the first four games of the season amidst an embarrassing sex scandal.

Packers 21, Bears 14

For the first time, a 6-seed takes the NFC title and the George S, Halas trophy... Which has to hurt the Bears since it's named after their founder and long-time GM & coach.

Speaking of hurt; Chicago QB Jay Cutler took early hits that left his throwing arm elbow bloodied, but it was a knee injury that benched him before any Bears points went on the board and then his backup, Todd Collins, departed after two subsequent ineffective series.

Chicago's fate was then in the hands of unknown third stringer Caleb Hanie, an undrafted free agent from Colorado State (2008)... Who did put points on the board, but also put the ball into the hands of the Packers with two interceptions, including a pick-6 to nose tackle BJ Raji, who dropped into the path of a slant route, held on to the rock for an 18-yard touchdown and put the winning points on the board with 6:04 to go in the game.

If Aaron Rogers is truly ready to join the ranks of NFL elite quarterbacks, it will be in spite of this game, not because of it... He blew earlier opportunities to put the game away and then had to watch from the sidelines while the Bears' third-string quarterback drove down the field and almost stole the win.

Bus and Bad Weather

Bare Head & Boiling Water

At -30 degrees (Celsius) in Yellowknife, NWT Canada, even boiling water disappears into a cloud before it hits the ground.

Snow Man, Not Sand Man

Overnight air freight, a super insulated box and oil money to burn brought Frosty to die a cruel death in captivity by kids in Bahrain.

Gimme Shelter - Warm

No snow inside this Minneapolis bus stop shelter where the breakfast menu at Caribou Coffee isn't real, but the bun-warming coils are.

Gimme Shelter - Cool

20 ad panels for Yahoo! inside San Francisco Muni shelters are really 72 inch touch screens with video games to play against passengers waiting at other stops in a competition between neighborhoods.

Show Stealers

Martin Short's Musical Number

Martin Short pays tribute to Charlie Sheen, Robert Downey, Jr., and many other Hollywood stars who've gone to rehab on the Late Show.

Larry King's Seat Switch

Larry King returns to form, and the host chair, when he and the Late Late Show's Craig Ferguson trade places for a few moments.

Nice Knokkers

Everybody Into The Pool... Should enjoy this game provided they're also at least casual bowlers.

Steve Wienecke's brainchild of lawn bowling meets billiards,
via Geekologie

White Punk On Dope?

Cyclist Lance Armstrong is facing a federal investigation examining allegations that he organized blood doping on the US Postal Service team between 1999 and 2004... Years in which he was under constant scrutiny by skeptics doubting the cancer survivor could achieve his miraculous victories without cheating.

Armstrong has vehemently denied ever using any performance enhancers.

In their article in the current issue of Sports Illustrated, reporters David Epstein and Selena Roberts examine the gangster-style accusations leveled against the seven-time Tour de France winner.
The Case Against Lance Armstrong
Audio Embed: WBUR & NPR's Only A Game 1/22/11,
Host: Bill Littlefield.