Saturday, February 26, 2011


"Organized Labor" by Paul Szep on the Huffington Post.

Some Fox hosts split, but most echo anti-worker line.

Weak Ends

As Charlie Sheen's public battles continued, Sharon Waxman of characterized his actions as "career suicide by cop."

How Many Producers?

You can't tell who really made the movie from the credits.
Count 'Em All... & Weep
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 2/23/11,
Reporter: Cory Turner.

Oscar Buzz

Heidi the Cross-eyed Opossum Makes Her Picks

Best Actress

Best Actor

Best Picture

Paul the World Cup Picking Octopus died. Heidi is his successor.

Toy Story 3 & True Grit mash-up from Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Oscar Watch Nominee Listen

A Pre-emptive Retrospective
of Oscar-related Interviews

Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 2/25/11,
Host: Robin Young.

Location, Location, Location

The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care reveals that the probability of having one or another type of treatment, including possibly unnecessary surgery, can increase or decrease depending on where you live. CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook reports.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Psychological Warfare


A Rolling Stone report says a top general used psychological warfare on U.S. Senators and the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of staff to boost both money & manpower support for the war in Afghanistan.

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell got the first exclusive interview with reporter Michael Hastings, already on the Pentagon's enemies list.


The Daily Show - Donald Rumsfeld Extended Interview Part 1

The Daily Show - Donald Rumsfeld Extended Interview Part 2

The Daily Show - Donald Rumsfeld Extended Interview Part 3

Sorry Charlie Sheen

CBS & Warner Brothers pull the plug on "2 & 1/2 Men."

Chelsea Handler: No Regrets

Celebrities screwing up make the best writers.

Sick and Tired

New Clues About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Scientists find very real disease indicators in complaining patients.
It's Not Just In Your Head
Audio Embed: CBS Radio's Osgood File 2/24/11.

The Beatles - "I'm So Tired" - The Beatles (White Album 1968)

Autos Go Both Ways

Moving Forward

Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist, talks with Rachel Maddow about the economic conclusions that can be drawn from GM posting a $4.7 billion profit.

Going Back

Toyota has agreed to recall another 2.2 million vehicles in the U.S. to make sure faulty floor mats don't interfere with the gas pedal.

Dark Matter Mysteries

Scientists try to shed some light on the invisible stuff out there.

From Nova Science Now on PBS (2008)

Dark Matter, thought to represent more than 3/4 of the matter in the universe, has never been seen or felt, since it is invisible and doesn't interact with normal matter. Its presence has only been inferred from the gravitation pull it seems to exert.

But does it have anything to do with a glow of radiation at the center of our galaxy?
Dark Matter Detection?
Audio Embed: CBC Radio's Quirks & Quarks 2/12/11,
Host: Bob McDonald.

Alternative Theory

A new study of gaseous galaxies provides evidence for dark matter theory's competitor, which suggests gravity is a changeable force.

Question: If so much of an explanation relies on speculations about the unseen and unprovable, at what point do you cross a boundary between science and superstition?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Making The Koch Connection

Revenge of the Curds

The Daily Show - Crisis in Dairyland - Scott Walker Prank Call

The online newspaper Buffalo Beast was shut down after publishing the prank phone call between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and an editor at site... Most likely due to an overload, as people were flooding the website trying to listen to the prank, but the same result would come up in the event of a deliberate "denial of service" attack.

What is thy bidding, master?

MSNBC's Lawrence O’Donnell talks to Ian Murphy, the blogger who punked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker by posing as billionaire David Koch. Turns out, all you need is Skype and a lie about a maid washing a cell phone... Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and a professor of economics, "analyzes the relationship between Koch, Wisconsin & the entire Republican Party.

Pretending It's About A Fiscal Crisis Is “Malarkey”

Shepard Smith’s conversation Wednesday with commentator Juan Williams would likely surprise loyal viewers of both Fox News and MSNBC. Shep’s repeated assertion that there is no longer a budget crisis in Wisconsin and that the battle in the state is all about politics and union-busting was most shocking because that’s the exact argument many of MSNBC’s commentators continue to suggest.

Cellular Damage

Health Buzz: Cell Phones Cause Brain-Activity Changes

Will Your Cell Phone Fry Your Brain?

Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 2/23/11


Cooper Scooper

CNN's Anderson Cooper finds it weird that he causes drama in the world of journalism by calling out liars, particularly on war stuff.
Rock Ribbed Republican

Noted food critic Rush Limbaugh's latest on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Calling Out Crazy

You have to be pretty far out just to stand out from the crowd.

Speaking of Swimsuit Models...

Guillermo's wife will have Swimsuit Issues... Mainly with him.

Talkin' The Dog

B&P stopped licking themselves long enough to watch the show.
B&P Bitchfest
Audio Embed: Berger & Prescott, podcast via Facebook.

Electric Cars 101

Good Magazine's video introduction to electric cars.

Just Add a Vanity Plate

Northwest Electric Car Rollout
Volunteers Get Charging Stations
Audio Embed: Puget Sound Public Radio 2/23/11,
Reporter: Tom Banse.

Musical Chairs

Little River Band - "Lonsome Loser" - First Under the Wire (1979)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Final moments of Somalian yacht hijacking leave 4 Americans dead.

Beer as Gatorade?

A German brewery markets their alcohol-free beer as the perfect post-workout supplement. But how will US consumers stomach the idea?

Roots or Not

It's hard to get a grasp on the numbers. Not because they're beyond understanding, but there's only one window into the process... And it's the smallest & only one allowed. NFL owners veto more public owners.
Millionaires or Billionaires?
Audio Embed: APM & WNYC's Freakonomics Radio Podcast, Hosts: Kai Ryssdal and Stephen J. Dubner

Does skin color matter to an audience more than jersey color?
Might pass... Won't pass.

Butts, Balls & Legalese

There's a lot of negotiation in "show" biz... And relationships.

Sand Castles

She's really a Brazilian sand sculpture, photographed by Jair Ribbeiro.

In Tarragona Spain, this uniquely Catalan tradition requires strength, balance and courage. High School cheerleaders, eat your hearts out.


Grammy Winners

YouTube's "Song a Day" guy Jonathan Mann didn't understand who won what and why any better than you or the frustrated folks on Twitter.

Brain Twister

"Rubik's Brain" sculpture/puzzle/zombie appetizer by Jason Freeny.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mess to the West o Potamia

Qaddafi Unleashes Warplanes on Protesters

As the rage continues in Libya, leader Muammar Qaddafi ordered warplanes and helicopters to halt protesters in the capital Tripoli. Allen Pizzey reports on the continuing crisis, including the ongoing protests on the island Kingdom of Bahrain.

Libyan Colonel Qaddafi's 42-year Reign

As violent anti-government protests continue, Mark Phillips profiles the four-decade reign of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

As repressive regimes teeter and fall across the Middle East, the armed forces in these countries are in a consequential position. The Egyptian military quickly realized that President Mubarak’s hold on power was slipping. As protests erupted in Cairo, most of the armed forces refused to open fire on civilian protesters. However, the situation is radically different in Bahrain and Libya.

What role do militaries play in political change in the Middle East?
Military's Role in Political Change
Audio Embed: PRI & WNYC's program The Takeaway 2/21/11,
Hosts: Todd Zwillich, & Celeste Headlee with David Sanger.

From Libya to Bahrain, Arab leaders are challenged by a new kind of movement: Leaderless, mostly young people, who share many of the same demands. Arab leaders have responded with familiar tactics — from offering concessions to sending in the military.
Force Is Likely A Dated Formula
Audio Embed: Morning Edition 2/21/11,
Reporter: Deborah Amos.

Blind Allegiance

Remember in 2009 when Sarah Palin resigned as Governor of Alaska and in her mess of a speech, never really gave a reason why? According to the leaked manuscript of a new tell-all, it's because she already knew of the millions waiting for her in book and speaking deals as a political celebrity; beyond being the latest in a long list of failed Vice-Presidential candidate who'd never be elected President.

Best And Worst Presidents

Mount Assmore, the other side of Presidential fame.
Those who love Ronald Reagan are eager to remodel Mt. Rushmore. Those who hate W want to put a dunce cap on every future statue.

Both perspectives will change over time. Most extremes do.

Princeton University’s Julian Zelizer says poll rankings we hear about around Presidents Day tell us very little about the quality or impact of U.S. Presidents. Time distorts perspective for both good and bad.
Does Ranking Matter
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 2/21/11,
Host: Robin Young.

What Would Teddy Do?

Author Nick Ragone talks about momentous presidential decisions, including those of Mt. Rushmore's newest face, Teddy Roosevelt.

Obama Denies Accusations He Does Not Love His Dog

Model vs Model

Nissan wanted to see how the "Juke" stacked up in competition.




Curb Appeal

Human Model: Amber Smith.

Name Change Demanded

The roughly 1600 generally conservative, pious Amish residents apparently don't seem to be bothered by the name, but some upset representatives of the Christian Coalition and the American Family Association (based in Alabama), are organizing a multi-state march on the tiny Pennsylvania village , demanding an immediate change.

Good Thing They Don't Get Australian TV

Fresh on the heels of "Ten News at Five" co-anchor size smack down, the 9 Network's "Today Show" crew trips over it's own innuendo.

Stifle Yourself, Edith

Self-Silence Detrimental or Deadly?

Following a recent CBS Early Show appearance, relationship experts
(l-r) Cooper Lawrence & Heidi Banks with sex therapist Ian Kerner debate why women self-silence, whether they should, and the best way to handle conflict within a relationship, at far greater length.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Goodbye American Dream

Housing Crisis Spreads Beyond "Sand States"

John Blackstone reports on the decline of the formerly stable housing market in Seattle, Washington, where home prices continue to drop.

Supply Side Meets Low or No Demand

Fewer Americans now own homes than at any time in the past 13 years. Skittish banks are tightening the purse strings and requiring larger down payments. That means many people are putting off or abandoning the idea of owning a home. Could that be a good thing?
An ARM & a Leg
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 2/20/11,
Host: Linda Wertheimer.

Stagflation In Sight?

Ben Stein was a speechwriter for American presidents Richard Nixon & Gerald Ford before notoriety as an actor, humorist & commentator.

When you think like a trader, housing is just another non-agricultural commodity. "Under water" home owners are the speculators stuck on the losing side of an "all-in" bet that home prices would always rise... It's part of why Wall Street fat cats feel no responsibility or shame.

Allah in the Family

Sitcoms... Solving America's Ongoing Problem with those Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Allah in the Family, 2/17/11 -- Aasif Mandvi hopes to change average Americans' perceptions of Muslims by starring in the Qu'osby Show.
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

See the full length "pilot" video that was played to the "focus group."

Man's First Best Friend

Does the idea of living with a petite redhead with amber eyes sound good to you?

It did to ancient Jordanians.

Archaeologists believe several millennia before any "farm animals" were domesticated, humans may have been making an early attempt to keep pets.
Might Have Been A Real Fox
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 2/19/11,
Host: Linda Wertheimer.

Girl Walks Into a Bar

No joke... It used to be that a movie that went "straight to video" was a signal that the studio lacked confidence in its commercial potential. So what does it mean when it goes straight to YouTube?

You’ll be able to view the film at no cost on YouTube on March 11th, the same day it premieres at the South by Southwest Film Festival. Interestingly, that’s the same date that Elektra Luxx, director Sebastian Gutierrez’s other current film, opens in theaters.

The official plot synopsis describes a group of apparent strangers over one night across ten bars throughout Los Angeles. A dentist's plan to kill his wife unknowingly sets off a chain of events through lounges, bars, strip clubs & even a nudist ping pong club... It's L.A.!

Whether the ten interconnected vignettes can build to a cohesive finish is one provocative question. The meaning of an Internet debut and what happens after the initial online exposure are two more.

Hidden Costs Of Coal

Extraction, processing, transportation and combustion of coal create large tolls on the environment and human health. Poet and farmer Wendell Berry slept in the Kentucky governor's office to protest mountaintop removal. Dr. Paul Epstein from Harvard University's Medical School conducted a study measuring the true costs of coal.
Out of the Black, Into the Red
Audio Embed: PRI's Living On Earth 2/19/11,
Host: Bruce Gellerman.

Weezer Sings Manilow

They got the original full-length State Farm song, written by Barry Manilow, out of mothballs so they could record a cover of it. Manilow was desperate for money when he wrote jingles back in the 1970's. Weezer's rationale remains mysterious. So is why State Farm asked.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Evidence of Apocalypse?

Non-Fox News watchers get a Cliffs Notes version of how the right is being taught to believe that current international events are part of the lead-up to the end of the world and that President Obama is the literal anti-Christ of Biblical Armageddon fame... Make that infamy.

Fox Arch Enemy George Soros On Glenn Beck:
‘I Would Be Amused If People Saw The Joke In It’

Snubbing Harrison Ford

As awards season brings many celebrity photo opportunities, David Spade recalls when he rebuffed a personal request from a film idol.

Still Looking For Answers

IBM's super computer Jeopardy winner made this week's news quiz.
Decipher Carl's Quotes
Audio Embed: Wait Wait Don't Tell Me 2/19/11,
Host: Peter Sagal; Judge & Scorekeeper: Carl Kasell
Panelists: Luke Burbank, Roxanne Roberts and Charlie Pierce

IBM's Watson supercomputer can beat you at Jeopardy! and might even tell you that the chicken crossed the road to get to the other side. But only a human being can tell you why that's funny.
New Computer Overlords' For $1,000
Audio Embed: Weekend Edition Saturday 2/19/11,
Commentator: Scott Simon.

Natural Language


Writer James Geary shows how metaphors ooze into all corners of our everyday life — mostly without us even realizing it. In his new book, "I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World," Geary reveals how metaphor influences everything from our politics to our health.
Metaphorically, That Is
Audio Embed: Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen 2/19/11.


Seal - "Dreaming In Metaphors" - from Seal (1994 album).

On-Air Scare

The viral video of KCBS reporter Serene Branson having what many speculated to be a stroke, turned out to be a compound migraine. Branson spoke with Rebecca Jarvis on what she has learned since that frightening night... Not the way she wanted to make a national debut.

"Stroke" describes two kinds of interruptions to brain blood flow:
  1. Hemorrhagic, a bleed from a broken blood vessel, or
  2. Ischemic, a blockage... Like those in the following studies.
One study (published 11/2/10 in the journal Neurology) found that people with stroke admitted to the hospital on a weekend are more likely to die than their counterparts who are admitted on a weekday, even after adjustment for stroke severity and other complicating factors. Author Jiming Fang was puzzled: "We did not find any significant differences in stroke care on weekends compared to weekdays." A similar study from 2007 found similar outcomes, which is problematic because another study from 1996 documented an increased risk for young women on weekends and holidays.

Accidental Seizure

Feds mistakenly kill 84,000 domains in kiddie porn clamp down.

Remember this story the next time you need to explain an accidental click and subsequent dicey web site to anyone who can ruin your life.

Nashville Cat in Camouflage

It took a while for William Tyler to reconcile his country capital roots with wider & wilder influences from far beyond the 615 area code.
Ambient Acoustic Americana
Audio Embed: Echoes, an ambient music program on public radio with extensive archives of subscriber downloads.
Photo by Rebecca Gillespie