Saturday, February 12, 2011

Egypt Rejoices

It was not acts of terror, nor an army's invasion that brought regime change, but the peaceful persistence of great numbers who rejected the examples of both Bush & bin Laden to embrace those of Gandhi and King... Now let's see if they look toward Mandela, not Khomeini.

After 18 days of protests, Hosni Mubarak stepped down from office in Egypt. NBC News' chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel is there.

What's up with the conspiratorial right-wing's psychotic reaction?

Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post talks with Rachel Maddow about the right's radical interpretation of the events in Egypt and the difficulty that will cause for future political discourse on important foreign policy matters.

An Authentic Arab Voice

Bacause the fact the channel is only available in a very limited number of American cable TV markets, Al Jazeera English has now launched a campaign to convince cable providers that there’s a market for the network in the U.S... And they can show the systems that their own broadband subscribers tapped into AJ's stream for resources already in place that no American based network can match, no matter how many big name New Yorkers dropped into a breaking news hot zone.

Lawrence Pintak, author of “The New Arab Journalist: Mission and Identity in a Time of Turmoil,” analyzes the network's impact.
Al Jazeera Seeks Expanded Audience
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 2/11/11,
Host: Robin Young.

NFL's TV Popularity

Are you going through football withdrawal yet?

More people watched the 2011 Super Bowl than ever before, and according to one Nielson researcher this NFL season was "arguably the most successful season that any sports league has ever had."

Are NFL telecasts that good or are the alternatives just really bad?
Pro-Football's TV Competition
Audio Embed: WBUR & NPR's Only A Game 2/12/11,
Commentator: Bill Littlefield.

Week In Rearview

Transsexual Thais

Looking good is close enough for a start up where four "ladyboys," including a former beauty queen, are training as flight attendants.

Jimmy Kimmel Pixilated

Hosni Mubarak Top Ten

Future plans for Egypt's ex leaked to Late Show.

Opposing The Clampdown

Rebellious taxi drivers attempt to give parking enforcement the boot.

Touring Blago's Chicago

Willie Geist visits new landmarks in the Windy City.

Naming The New Ft. Wayne Government Center

Anarchists everywhere are pulling for this to happen. Cue Jimmy!

Spill Painting by Holton Rower

Cool technique! But it's still not much fun to watch it dry.

Drink Up and Die

Funny... Doesn't look like the Jersey Shore.

WHO says we drink too much? The World Health Organization.
Planetary Drinking Problem
Audio Embed: CBS Radio's Osgood File 2/11/11.

Speaking of Snooki...

David Letterman gets footloose in pink clown shoes.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Flashin' for the warriors whose strength is not to fight;
Flashin' for the refugees on their unarmed road of flight.
And for each and every underdog Egyptian in the night
We gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashin'

-- Bob Dylan (slightly updated)
Game over, yes... Now the real work of building a democracy begins.

"I dream of gardens in the desert sand." -- Sting (1999)

Going Nowhere

Thursday was a day of misdirection and continued stalemate. Multiple sources were fooled, including CIA director Leon Panetta (who told Congress). Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak did not step down and may have just repeated old news about transfer of power to his VP.

It sets the stage for the most eventful Friday protests yet.

Meet The New Boss

Same As The Old Boss

Colonel Patrick Lang, a retired US military intelligence officer who has known and worked with new VP Omar Suleiman for two decades. He says Suleiman's intention to provide a strong and orderly transition is genuine, but the time table that Egyptians are hoping for is probably unlikely... And "cant imagine someone who is more moderate and more likely to take the country in a good direction."

So spook to spook he's okay... But that doesn't play in Tahrir Square.
Getting to Know Omar Suleiman
Audio Embed: PRI & WNYC's program The Takeaway 2/10/11,
Hosts: Celeste Headlee & John Hockenberry.

Wont Get Fooled Again

The Who (originals) from The Kids Are Alright rockumentary (1979)

BTW: Activision says it won't make any more Guitar Hero games.

Online E-vil Twins

Psychiatrist & author Dr. Elias Aboujaoude says your online "e-personality" could be a lot more likely to pick fights, or to act impulsively and be even more of a troublemaker and jerk than the real you... MTV "Real World" you is still an incurable A-hole.
You & E-U Not the Same
Audio Embed: APM's Marketplace Tech Report 2/10/11,
Host: John Moe.

Concrete Toboggan Ride

Rick Mercer visited Edmonton for The Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race hosted this year by the University of Alberta.

What Do You See?

A question of perception from fanboyz.


This 11:42 video claims to be the biggest NOOOO! compilation ever.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stalemate Hardenng Positions

The two sides in the political crisis in Egypt seemed to harden their positions Wednesday, as protesters maintained their demonstration in the center of Cairo shock waves spread through their society.
Egyptians Hang On, Hold Out
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 2/9/11,
Reporter: Corey Flintoff.

Evolution of a Revolution

Anti-Mubarak protests in Egypt evolve as movement grows & spreads.

The Best Sky In Boston

Stupendous Show, Serious Science

A major renovation is set to debut soon, with a constantly updating NASA database fueling the projector at the center of what appears overhead on the inside of Boston's Hayden Planetarium dome.
Planetarium Powered by "Death Star"
Audio Embed: WBUR FM, Boston 2/9/11, Reporter: Andrea Shea introduced by Bob Oakes. Click above for more.
Cloud reflections mirrored on Boston Back Bay's Hancock Tower.

Super Bowl XLV Highlight Reel

All 61 commercials in 2 minutes

AdFreak's easily digestible highlight reel for those who want to see all the 2011 Super Bowl ads again, but don't have a free half hour.

Embarrassing Anatomy

I don't know this model. But when I walk past "Loosey's" promo posters (both inside and outside a nearby downtown Vegas casino), as an ex ad-guy, I can't help but cringe.

We spend a lot of time, effort and sometimes money trying not only to be understood, but also to avoid being misunderstood, which can be a big problem in a city so distorted by drugs, delusions and drink...

Then I heard Morena Baccarin's actress/producer mom bragged about the huge opening of her vagina... Potentially "scarred for life" stuff.

Other than making a living as an alien lizard queen from outer space who wants to take over the world, Morena seems pretty well adjusted.

Maybe "Loosey" is, too.

The Key's In Your Colon

Sports plays through pain. Politics denies it... Then someone with a fancy degree & some kind of plumber's snake gets all up your butt.
Connecting Monetary & Medical Pain
Audio Embed: APM & WNYC's Freakonomics Radio Podcast, Hosts: Kai Ryssdal and Stephen J. Dubner

Sore Thumbs Up!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Jane McGonigal: 10 years of scientific research show that playing video games is actually the most productive thing we can do... So there!
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive
Sorry, cigarettes, fried foods and candy bars are still bad for you.

Flute, Float, Flip

You're never far from playtime when orbiting high above the earth.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Detroit's New Direction

One Suggestion That Was Declined...

C'mon Mayor Dave... If you build it they will come.

Black History Month

One Step Forward: Doctor

Cornell West wants "everyday people" at the center of attention.

Three Steps Back: Dumbass
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Affirmative Reaction: Ohio Gov. John Kasich wants an all-white cabinet.
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Three Steps Back: Drop

(Black) Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Three Steps Back: Duck

Broadway's All-Time Worst?

Spider-Man: Turn Out The Lights

The often-delayed $65 million Broadway musical, “Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark,” doesn’t officially open until March 15th, in part due to injuries to performers doing stunts. But theater critics decided to review one of the preview shows instead of waiting... It's ugly.
It's Over... Before Opening Night
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 2/8/11,
Host Robin Young with Chris Jones, of the Chicago Tribune.

Moments of Geek

Max Page, I am your father

Once unmasked, the family resemblance to the tiny Darth Vader of Volkswagen's "The Force" Super Bowl commercial became obvious.

Max even got to ask James Earl Jones, "What is thy bidding, master?"

Lego Death Star

The Empire Is Starbucks

Rubik's Mug

Great gift idea for the genius who has solved the puzzle about making a perfect cup of coffee exactly to your taste, £9 from Spinning Hat.

Star Mangled Boners

Christina Aguilera's Super Bowl mistake is still drawing criticism from folks who couldn't get the words right, either... But not Dave!

The Bachelor is "So, Like, Amazing"

SNL Wayne & Garth

Wayne & Garth make Oscar picks... They like the title 'Winter's Bone.'

Thrilled To Be Nominated

Shot on a tight budget in southwest Missouri, Winter's Bone has earned four Oscar nominations, including a nod for Best Picture.

The success of the small independent film is a source of pride throughout the Ozarks, even though the central story revolves around illegal meth use. Residents are enthused that the film made use of local actors, musicians and jackets.
Dirt Poor, Drug Trade, Drama
Audio Embed: Morning Edition 2/8/11,
Reporter: Missy Shelton, KMSU - Mankato, MN

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Vacation Nations

US Congress Aborted Schedule

You can feel the "do nothing Congress" ads taking shape with a glance at the House calendar, but there's still plenty of time to obsess.

Canada's Conservative Party Animals

Rick Mercer: The consolation prize is that if Parliament only sits for 131 days of the year, that's 234 days they aren't screwing things up.

Exercise In Futility

Although the Supreme Court might have given them some privileges associated with personhood, it's a mistake for a President to expect humanity from large corporations... And certainly not citizenship.

The US Chamber of Commerce spent tens of millions of dollars against Democrats in last year's election — and opposed his policies on health care, energy and financial reform. Now, the president wants to see if he can find common ground with the business lobby on this year's agenda of deficit cutting, tax reform and trade.

David Chavern, chief operating officer of the Chamber of Commerce, reacted to the President's comments.
No Patriots In The Board Room
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 2/8/11,
Host: Robert Siegel.

Super Bowl Ads & Analysis

Back in the days when it was a Super Bore, the monster audience size guaranteed that the ads would be top notch, even if the game wasn't.

AdWeek's AdFreak blog said:
In the Super Bowl ad race, it was clearly the year of the car. Volkswagen, Audi, Chrysler and Chevrolet cranked out what were arguably the best spots of the night, with clever work also coming from Bridgestone and CarMax... All told, it wasn't a bad year for entertaining ads, and everyone in the auto-advertising field deserves credit for raising the bar.
Among the best: Chrysler's ad for Detroit, itself.

See all the 2011 commercials here.

Doritos' "Pug Attack" tied as the best commercial of Super Bowl XLV, according to USA Today's annual ad meter poll. It was also part of Doritos' "Crash the Super Bowl" contest, which means its creators, semi-amateurs J.R. Burningham & Tess Ortbals, win $1 million.

Humanity In Jeopardy

Before the Man vs Machine Showdown...

Alex Trebek called the Super Bowl winner and also shared a warning with ABC's Jimmy Kimmel... IBM's Watson takes on Jeopardy's all time consecutive game and money winners, starting Monday 2/14/11.

And Later On CBS

Mad Love, a comedy about a quartet of single friends in New York City - two who are falling in love and their two best friends who despise each other (at least for now) premieres after How I Met Your Mother... It's like CBS is going for a relationship comedy theme night.

Friendly Faces Everywhere

Humble Folks Without Temptation

Come on down to South Park, and meet some friends of mine.

Public Broadcasting Roundup

BBC'ya London

The BBC has implemented a forced relocation of programs and staffs to sites scattered around the United Kingdom.
The quest for "geographical correctness" has come under blistering criticism from London-based national newspapers who estimate the huge bill for the exodus will exceed £1 billion.

Further, the moves are being orchestrated by a consultant who is based in the US state of Kentucky, and limits his UK presence to less than half the year... Which the press has characterized as a tax evasion scheme.

Casualties of the Culture War

In the US, although fact-averse conservative attempts to cut off funding to "liberal" news coverage on NPR and PBS is the motivation, local station managers point out that eliminating the budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is more likely to damage music programming.

For a big city station like LA's KCRW it'd impact their exposure of indie rock acts and its substantial impact on the record industry... Culture warriors wouldn't care and might even enjoy the effect.

But 70% of the $1.39 per American the feds spend on public broadcasting goes to local stations to purchase the shows they run. And on many smaller stations "culturally significant" (some say "elite") jazz and/or classical music programming blocks may disappear... While the news programs under political attack survive due to a greater level of local listener donations and business "underwriting."

O Canada

CBC & Radio Canada have ambitious expansion plans. CEO Hubert T. Lacroix outlines goals with greater production value than detail.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Space Is The Place

Gifford's Husband Aboard Endeavour's Final Flight

Mark Kelly will lead the upcoming NASA space mission in April, leaving his recovering wife Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in good hands on Earth.

Russians' Mars Mission 'Arrives' at the Red Planet

The first full time-length Mars simulation in Moscow has reached the Mars landing and exploration portion of their non-distance "trip."

Jenny Meckles for

Sun Sun Sun... Here It Comes

Pair of NASA satellites allows first-ever wrap-around view of the sun.

Real Fans, Fake Jerseys

There's no more aggressive pro sports league than the NFL... And not just on the field. When it comes to marketing, the game gets real.

Agents patrol cities looking for bar promotions. They screen local advertising to ensure sponsor sales tied into "the big game" don't use the words "Super Bowl." And most of all they're on the lookout for non-licensed lookalikes that siphon sales away from official NFL gear.

One brand protection company estimates 800,000 counterfeit sports jerseys are sold online each year. Experts say it's a lucrative business that's hard to shut down. They say gear can look authentic on a website, but dedicated jersey collectors say they aren't fooled.
Love The Game, Buy The Gear
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 2/6/11,
Reporter: Nathan Rott.

Mean Joe Green's Was Real

2011 USA TODAY Super Bowl Ad Meter

Olbertunity Knocks

Rage, ego wit, scholarship and bombast... Jon wants it all!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Olbertunity Knocks -- Raising a Keith Olbermann replacement from scratch at Olberclone Farm is an experiment that is as diabolical as it is genius.
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Keith's sole post-MSNBC TV appearance to date was a show-closing shot standing beside stage manager Biff Henderson, peeking in from the wings of "The Late Show with David Letterman," where he was a frequent substitute for guests who had cancelled on short notice.

Covens & Convents

More In Common Than You'd Suspect

Can of Cannabis

Dope-a Cola Coming Soon

Got a medical marijuana card? Down the drink that contains THC.


Serious scientists work toward a theory of why humans smile.
What Is It & Why Do We?
Audio Embed: PRI & WNYC's program The Takeaway 1/25/11,
Host: John Hockenberry.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Packers 31-25, BTW

Ken would never rack up frequent flyer miles at the barber shop. Most of the time his hairdo was a don't. He'd leave it alone for awhile and then lop off whatever seemed to stick out too far for more than a few days in a row. Whatever you'd call the result, it was self-inflicted.

Born in the NW corner of Indiana to a family with several generations of mill workers and not enough vowels in their last name, he rooted for "da Bears." Nobody else... Not even other steel makers.

When they made the playoffs this season, Ken showed his solidarity with a rare trip to the barber... And came back with a "full Urlacher." It didn't help his team, and he didn't like the eventual match up for Super Bowl XLV.

"It's like Rae Dawn Chong (Steeler DB Troy Polamalu) is playing against Fabio (Packers LB Clay Matthews)... I can't watch."

I saw Ken a few times during the run-up to the game, in which he'd rebounded from "cue ball bald" to something in the Bob Hoskins - Phil Collins range. Then right after it ended, I ran into him at the elevator and asked if he knew who won the game.

"Probably Suave, or whoever sells the most conditioner," he mumbled.

Too soon... It's still about the hair.

Fighting For The Bones

About 10,000 people gathering this weekend at his Presidential Library in California to honor what would have been the 100th birthday of the patron saint of conservatives. They include Dick Cheney, the Beach Boys and Sarah Palin... Authors from historian Douglas Brinkley to his biographer/son Ron Reagan, say many who would claim his legacy misunderstand and/or misrepresent it.

Outgoing President Ronald Reagan looked back at his desk one last time before leaving the Oval Office for the last time on 1/20/1989. (Jose R. Lopez/The New York Times)
The President From Central Casting
Audio Embed: CBS Radio's Osgood File 2/3/11.

Outward amiability camouflaged the man's enormous inner ambition.

Reporters Recall Reagan