Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Week In Tahrir

Brief slices from a whole week that the whole world watched.

Elementary Explanation of Egypt

Conan O'Brien takes a shot at the complexity of Cairo's crisis.

Anderson Cooper Takes A Beating

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Blame Kathy. But take it out on Snooki... Please!

Mis or Disinformation

When Repeated Once Debunked It's Deadly

Chris Hayes, Washington editor for The Nation: the many factually wrong, wrong-headed, outlandish conspiracy theories spread by Fox News damage America's political & foreign policy discourse & debate.

Keeping Up With Kepler

'It's very likely that life is common in our galaxy,' said William Borucki, chief scientist of the Kepler mission at NASA's Ames Research Center.

The overall haul from just a small slice of sky is amazing the scientists who count extra-solar planets... And one system in particular blows them away.
The Wonder of Kepler 11
Audio Embed: CBS Radio's Osgood File 2/3/11.

Love That Lambeau Leap

Vince Lombardi's Late Show Pep Talk

The late coaching legend appears to encourage Dave, Jay or whoever.

Cheeseheads of the People, for the People

Rachel Maddow: home, history & finance make the Packers unique.

Making The Rich Get Richer

When Sunday's Super Bowl game is over, there will be celebration in Green Bay or Pittsburgh for a while.

Then, thanks to labor uncertainty, football fans all over the NFL will start to worry about withdrawal.
Unsportsmanlike Conduct
Audio Embed: WBUR's Bob Oakes introduces
Only A Game host Bill Littlefield.

Busting Bellagio's Biker Bandit

The sign above the bars promised change & redemption. At best you got your money back, in smaller denominations. You could break a big bill at the same ATM that dispensed it, but for a mix that included coins and quick conversations, Steve preferred the cashier cage.

His favorite teller noticed the moped/scooter helmet he'd worn since an accidental sidewalk face-plant was gone in mid-December and he explained a casino security guard had ordered him to remove it.

It was just a few days after more than a million in high value chips had been stolen at gunpoint a few miles, yet worlds away, on the Vegas Strip. The robber was caught on camera, but not physically, running away while wearing a motorcycle helmet.

Steve explained the guard hadn't seen his cane and leg-brace, or the way he walked, "But you know it only takes about 2 miles an hour."

"2 miles an hour, for what?" Teresa asked.

"For a guy with a badge to catch me, or a woman I like to escape."

A helmeted bandit who escaped the Bellagio with $1.5 million in chips during a daring gunpoint heist returned to the scene of the crime several times before his luck finally ran out, police said Thursday.

Read more.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Turning It All Off

Violence against protesters & international media isn't an inevitable consequence of the demonstrations, but a deliberate tactic by Egypt's government. Stopping the protest & the story are equally important.

Can old school oppression survive in the Internet age?

Platforms abound from tweets to WikiLeaks, and the hunger for freedom seems matched only by a yearning for information about its expression... And in a world where amateur media is democratized beyond its host societies, the pros still run toward the danger.
Tyranny Meets Idiocy at 3G Speeds
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 2/3/11.

Talk about strange timing... Will and/or should the president get more power to turn off the Internet?

That's the United States president we're talking about here. Not the guy in Egypt. There's a big push about to happen on Capitol Hill to give the chief executive power to take over private computer networks in the event of a large scale cyber attack on the nation's infrastructure... But wasn't the whole idea of building it survival?

Finding Fault For Ft. Hood

A U.S. Senate report says the Fort Hood tragedy should have been prevented, slamming the Army & FBI for failure to share information on the shooter, murderous military psychiatrist Nidal Hasan.

Debut of "The Daily"

As the groundhog tested the air this week, so did international media magnate Rupert Murdoch with an iPad only publication: "The Daily."

Techies & journalists weighed in on the old & new media marriage.

First day subscriber/iPad user/online newspaper connoisseur Jeff Prescott says: "Good, but not great," when compared to Murdoch's "Sunday Times of London (which is) unreal." Prospects unsure.

IDG & MacWorld's "how it works" tour of the new way to deliver news.

Meanwhile Back in the States

Crash The Super Bowl

Part of the plot from John Frankenheimer's "Black Sunday" (1977) became an ongoing yearly promotional contest for Frito-Lay, as independently produced commercials for Pepsi Max and Doritos compete to air in what has become advertising's championship, too.

The votes are in... Nobody hijacked & blew up a Goodyear Blimp.

See other finalists at

Super Bowl Sport Report

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Sport Report - Super Bowl Edition: Stephen won't be satisfied unless the Ronald Reagan tribute takes up the full halftime show and third quarter.
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Superbowl Preview: Close Game Expected

As the Pittsburgh Steelers face off against the Green Bay Packers for Super Bowl XLV, what’s happening inside the helmets might decide it.

Tough teams, fast field, perfect indoor conditions... Could defensive lineman Brett Keisel's formidable facial hair make the difference?
Steelers Hopes Ride On Lucky Beard
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 2/3/11,
Host: Robin Young with Judy Battista (NY Times).

Green Bay's Cheesehead Breeding Program

Video: WBAY-TV 2 / Green Bay, WI

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Breaking News And Heads

Mubarak's thugs catch up with Anderson Cooper's camera crew.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff is in Cairo, where he tweets on the face-off between anti-government protesters and supporters of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Not A Clash; A Crackdown
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 2/2/11,
Host: Robin Young.
Wild In The Street
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 2/2/11.

Egypt Protests Take a Violent Turn as President Hosni Mubarak's words are enraging protestors, igniting violence between his supporters and those who want him removed from power.

What's Your Beef?

Fast? Yup... Food? Close enough for Mike & Jeff.
¡No quiero carne auténtico!
Audio Embed: Berger & Prescott, podcast via Facebook.

PPO Plan

Politics, Paranoia, Opportunism
“Honestly, I can’t tell the difference between extreme leftists and radical Islamists. I don’t. Except I haven’t seen anybody on the left take an airplane and blow up buildings. But they’re both going for a New World Order and they’re both doing it through riots.”
-- Glenn Beck, Fox News Channel (2/1/11)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
We Are the World: Conservatives have turned into political hypochondriacs, and none of them is more neurotic than the Woody Allen of Fox News.
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Rachel Maddow shows how political opportunism has led to some incongruous associations in the news, which, when combined with escalating hysteria about conspiracies and the end of the world, can make it difficult to distinguish opinion from satire... It got her, too.

Big Storm, Big Deal

Where you are, who you are & what you're wearing are important!

Cheesehead Number One

The real Ralph wouldn't have painted his face backwards.
Packer fans across the country are scrambling to get their foam "cheeseheads" before Green Bay and Pittsburgh square off in Sunday's Super Bowl. 25 years ago Ralph Bruno made the first cheese wedge hat by burning holes in his mother's sofa cushion for a baseball game... A thriving business and legend status in football followed.
Hat Has Humble Beginning
Audio Embed: Morning Edition 2/2/11,
Reporter: Erin Toner.

Jerry Stiller

Seinfeld's Other Jerry

The legendary comedian, Ben's dad and Seinfeld character Frank Costanza joined CBC radio's Jian Ghomeshi to chat about his career.

Stiller and Meara's web show.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's Groundhog Day!

Starring Bill Murray & Punxsutawney Phil as Thelma & Louise.

February’s famous forecasting rodent, Punxsutawney Phil, didn’t see his shadow at Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania, a sign that warmer weather is not far away, but "a picture is worth a thousand birds."

The guy who gave me the line grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
So he knows from flipping birds already... What's it to ya?

Snow Job

Snowy Conditions Proving Hazardous For Nation's Idiots

Massive Snowstorm Leaves Thousands Without Access To Porn

FEMA Rushes Supplies To New Orleans In Anticipation Of Light Snow

NFL's Post Season Is Screwed

Getting Laid

Texas authorities are alarmed by a predicted jump in prostitution with the big game in Big D, including child sex trafficking.

Getting Lei'd

NFC notches a 55-41 win over the AFC in Honolulu on Sunday, the media questions the relevance. What's the point and who cares?

For those of you scoring at home, congratulations.

Waxy Orange Build-up

Conan O'Brien hits on touring Korean schoolgirls.

Memory Palace #37

The birth of a famous showman... Suckers are born every minute.
A Natural Curiosity
Audio Embed: A story from Nate DiMeo of The Memory Palace.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Whole World's Watching

On the night before a demonstration which might exceed a million participants, the Egyptian Army promised its people that Tahrir, or Liberation, Square, would not resemble the 1989 massacre in China's Tiananmen Square... And the besieged government of Hosni Mubarak shut down the nation's cell phone networks just like its previous clampdown on Internet service providers.

Bucking the trend toward exiting the country, American TV networks sent more resources and air talent in... It's known as "big-footing."

Although its name literally means "island," many Westerners think of Al-Jazeera being more like the flame suggested by its on-screen logo of Arabic calligraphy... Heating the audience it reaches in the Islamic world with the unfiltered rhetoric Of Al-Qaeda and a reporting style the staid New York Times described as "manic," with a "heavy emphasis on Arab suffering and political crisis."

Al-Jazeera's pervasive presence in the Middle East has enabled it to provide the deepest reporting and most immediate video images of events in Egypt. And as events unfold in Cairo, the profile in the U.S. of Al-Jazeera English has risen as a result. Cable news outlets are using Al-Jazeera English feeds from the Mid-East, and relying on their Western-based, but native-born, Arab reporters as commentators.
The Revolution is being Televised
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 1/31/11,
Host Michele Norris with NPR's David Folkenflik
Just as many in the Arab street think US manipulations are behind everything, Arab intellectuals in the West often see Mubarak as arch-conspirator. One blames him for Egypt's recent mass prison escapes.

Fun With Foreign Crisis

SNL Weekend Update: Hosni Mubarak

Mubarak Mu Problems

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Egyptian people should hold a special election to choose between Hosni Mubarak, Hosno McBarak and Hosna Mooburka.
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Mess O'Slightly-to-the-Left O'Potamia

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
America loses credibility with Egyptian protesters when it writes "Made in U.S.A." on its tear gas canisters.
Let's Go Exile! If France is too close to The Hague for Hosni Mubarak's tastes, he might enjoy another exile hot spot, the Arabian Peninsula.
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Secret Summit

Secret "Billionaire Boys Club" backs the "vast right-wing conspiracy."

Guns, Guns, Guns

Caribou Killer Barbie

Alex Wagner: Sarah Palin needs "broader strokes & better jokes."

Bullet The Blue Sky

New York City investigators went undercover at an Arizona gun show.

U2 - "Bullet The Blue Sky" - Rattle And Hum (1988)

A Little Lamb

Jacob Sheep are among the presevation project's embryo storage.
Might Save Them All

A high security farm facility in Rhode Island is working to preserve 25 critically endangered breeds of sheep, goats and cattle. It's a deep frozen biodiversity insurance policy against disease in more common commercial breeds.
Test Tube Baby Farm
Audio Embed: PRI's Living On Earth, 1/21/11,
Reporter: Jessica Ilyse Smith.

Ready For Phase 3?

Charlie's Angels are ready to take flight with TV return.

Genre Bender

Cellist and pianist Dave Eggar appears in the trio DEORO, featuring Chuck Palmer on drums and bassist Tom Pirozzi.

He's also appeared in an Echoes living room concert, and to talk about how a guy who has released albums from new age piano to sublime chamber works wound up exploring Reggae.
Kingston Morning, Eclectic Afternoon
Audio Embed: Echoes, an ambient music program on public radio with extensive archives of subscriber downloads.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Wild Party Animal

Gimme an "L"

Another day, another incident, hospital stay and lame excuse.
Two and a Half Strikes
Audio Embed: Berger & Prescott, podcast via Facebook.

Tell Me Why

You Cry and Smoke

You Cried and Lied

The Beatles from "A Hard Day's Night" (1964)

Truth and Lies

Something YouTuber kristinekreations cooked up outta "Weird Al."

Something Josh Landis and Mitch Butler of "The Fast Draw" cooked up for CBS to prove why plenty of things most people believe are crap.

Something director James Cameron cooked up before Titantic.

Something Nils Lofgren cooked up before he joined Team E Street:
Grin - "White Lies" - From the album 1+1 (1971)

Wierd Science

A Real Time Repeat: Climate Change & Evolution

One topic was dismissed as "politicized" by science skeptic Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) and Will Cain of the National Review online. Taking host Bill Maher’s "it's real" side on the climate were comedian D.L. Hughley & ex-Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell... Then two guests seemed to change teams unexpectedly with the subject shift.

Reality University... Too Much Math

Brian Greene says math is the gateway to reality and calls Stephen Colbert a bag of particles governed by the laws of physics... Just like "evil Spock."
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Gorillas Walk Upright

At an animal park in Kent, England, Ambam the gorilla has achieved fame for standing & walking, upright on his hind legs like a human.

Do you think Ambam would go ape over the Four Seasons' music?

Mahali at Australia's Taronga Zoo in Sydney made the news, too.

Having What You Want

Or Is Wanting What You Have Better?

If David & I were both to die later today, who would win? By his own standards, David would... He has more toys.

If Dick & I were to both die later today, who would win? Dick would, by his standards. The woman he loved because he wanted her became the woman he wanted because he loved her, in a marriage of more than 45 years.

I don't have what they have. But then again, I don't have a problem with losing anyone else's comparison... "The Dude Abides."
What Makes You Happy
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 1/17/11,
Host: Robin Young.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Heilemann's Hunch

The buzzy new book "O: A Presidential Novel" imagines Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, but its insider author is staying anonymous. Kurt Andersen was hot on the trail of who it might be, but was able to identify a prime suspect with help from New York magazine political writer John Heilemann, now working on the sequel to his own (nonfiction) campaign book "Game Change."

Hot on the Trail of Anonymous
Audio Embed: Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen 1/29/10.

Don't Mess With The Best

Despite assurances to the contrary, media watchers wonder whether the NBC-Comcast merger will hit NBC News, among other operations.

Having been through three such giant media takeovers, my previous experience informs me that there will be substantial change:
  • Corporate culture clash will trigger executive dominance displays resulting in visible on-air personnel shifts, and
  • Inevitable austerity by new owners with buyers remorse.
It's what happens when smaller companies, like Comcast, pay too much to own an acquisition, like NBC/Universal, and then later feel they can't afford to operate in the way that made them want to buy it.

World's Biggest Markets

Emily Lambert, of Forbes Magazine and the author of "The Futures: The Rise of the Speculator and the Origins of the World's Biggest Markets," explains the reasons why it was in the city of Chicago that trading commodities futures began and flourished... For everything other than onions.
Built By Bad Weather
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 1/29/11,
Host: Guy Raz.

Soccer Sexism

Offside, Out Of Bounds, Off The Air

It wasn't a sexy side of lasses in lingerie causing the controversy.
Sky Sportscaster Sacked
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WGBH's The World, 1/28/11,
Reporter: Andrea Crossan.

Ultimate Slam Dunk

Fans at the Phoenix Suns game against Charlotte (Wednesday 1/26/11) got some unexpected thrills in their standard half-time entertainment, as Sol Patrol member Nick Corrales went for a trick shot, made the basket, and then managed to dunk his entire body.

The Suns lost to the Bobcats 114-107... But long after the game is forgotten, everybody will remember Nick's one of a kind shot!

Piano Bar

An installation by aspiring teen artist Nicholas Harrington.

Biscayne Baby Grand
Audio Embed: CBS Radio's Osgood File 1/28/11.
Salvage Operation Complete

A Final Note

Bill Joel's duet with Ray Charles, from "The Bridge" (1986).