Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ishinomaki Tune

"I don't know a soul who's not been battered
Don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
or driven to its knees
But it's all right, it's all right
We've lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road
we're traveling on
I wonder what went wrong
Can't help but wonder what went wrong"
Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture (Chris Mcgrath, 3/15/11)
"And I dreamed I was dying
and that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high up above my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying"

Paul Simon: "American Tune" - There Goes Rhymin' Simon (1973)

A replica of the Statue of Liberty stands alone amongst rubble in Ishinomaki, northeastern Japan. The one time tourist attraction is now one of the only features left standing in the port city, once home to one of the Eastern Hemisphere's largest fish markets.

When entire towns are washed away or turned into debris, how do you begin cleaning up and re-building? That’s the question facing Japanese authorities, who have to start the cleanup amid uncertainty over the fate of the country’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex, disabled by last week’s earthquake and tsunami.

Yossi Sheffi, of MIT’s Engineering Systems Division, sees potential.
From The Ground Up
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 3/18/11,
Host: Robin Young.

Nukes by Numbers

104 current nuclear plants in the U.S.

20 percent of U.S. electricity produced

9 Major cities with 50 miles of a nuke

1 long time critic of Fukushima style design

Do the Math
Audio Embed: CBS Radio's Osgood File 3/18/11.

Insider's Perspective

Perhaps THE most unusual first person perspective yet.

Flip Your Wiig

SNL's a repeat this week, so Kristen's in L.A. on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Don't Fight The Feeling

New York Times columnist David Brooks spent a lot of time thinking about emotion in writing his new book “The Social Animal.” He found emotions at the center of our thinking, at the foundation of reason and behind all the important decisions of life; subconsciously molding feelings about our environment as far back as childhood.

Bradley Cooper Does DeNiro

Sometimes your co-star's mannerisms can be contagious.

Late Night with David Letterman

Friday, March 18, 2011

One Week On

Restored power at plant represents progress as radiation spreads.

Physicist & author Michio Kaku on the science behind the news.

Meanwhile... Back In The States
Non-Nuclear Disaster
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 3/17/11

Is It A War Yet?

Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, General Wes Clark was among those predicting that without intervention, the end appears near for Libya’s rebellion... But don't count him among the hawks.

By a vote of 10-0, the U.N. belatedly took sides.

The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution that would authorize "all necessary measures" to protect civilians from Muammar Qaddafi's forces as Qaddafi loyalists took control of all of western Libya and vowed to re-take the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in the east.

But Then... War? What War?
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 3/18/11

Brother Marvin's Message

Marvin Gaye - "Mercy, Mercy Me" - What's Going On (1971)

Surf's Up

Rick Mercer hangin' 10 with gnarly gals in Tofino, British Columbia.

Leave The Beaver

Jodie Foster chose the script from the 2008 Black List (a list of the hottest unproduced screenplays of the year) as a way to rehabilitate the career of her old friend, former Maverick co-star and more recent vilified anti-Semitic raving mad man Mel Gibson... Reviews are in.

Health & Wealth

While economists at the University of Chicago are concerned about the wealth of nations, law school professor, philosopher and author Martha Nussbaum is more concerned about the health of nations.

It's not always easy to enumerate, but her new book, "Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach," suggests we should listen less to economists and look at all the things that GDP fails to capture in measuring living standards — like what sort of opportunities are available; “What are people really able to do & be?”

Her admittedly imperfect scale is the Human Development Index.
Building a Better Yardstick
Audio Embed: APM & WNYC's Freakonomics Podcast,
Host: Stephen Dubner (24:31)

The Beatles - "Baby, You're a Rich Man" - Magical Mystery Tour (1967)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Conflicting Reports on Crisis

Mixed messages unsettle, confuse and alarm across the Pacific.

Say What About Work?

However perceptive and well stated, cutting online remarks about where you work, go to school or the people you meet there can cost you far more than an Internet "friend."
Antisocial Media Monitoring
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 3/16/11,
Host: Robin Young.

Steve Martin tells David Letterman about the fine points of Twitter.

New Duck City

The Aflac insurance company fired Gilbert Gottfried, the voice of the company’s iconic duck since 2000, because of "too much, too soon" Tweets about the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan...
"What do the Japanese have in common with @howardstern? They're both radio active."
-- Tweet by comedian/now-former AFLAC duck, Gilbert Gottfried
Aflac will conduct a nationwide casting call to find a new duck voice.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

1-800 Flowers Fail

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Spuds

Someecards spotted this flower basket option on 1-800 Flowers that features pretty green flowers, a nice shamrock ribbon & potatoes.

Pros and Cons

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Comedy Tour

Saturday Night Live, 3/12/11

Remake: 127 Hours

Wile E. Coyote stars in a classic Warner Bros. cartoon style version.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Could It Happen Here?

While thousands moved further away from the troubled Fukushima Nuclear Plant, 170 miles north of Tokyo, about 50 heroic workers put their lives on the line to stay at the center of the nuclear crisis.

Until today... As conditions worsened, they were evacuated, too.

Chris Wragge talked to nuclear energy expert Cham Dallas and Dr. Jennifer Ashton about radiation fears spreading to the U.S. mainland.

We have the same kind of technical hazards, but a different people.
Conspicuous Collective Character
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 3/15/11

What is spent nuclear fuel, besides burning?

Beyond what's "active" at any moment spent nuclear reactor fuel rods also pose dangers inherent in their storage. Frank Von Hippel, nuclear physicist and co-director of the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University, discusses the peril in Japan.

Stimulus and Response

Drain Stopper?

About half the viewers of this blog get here with Internet Explorer, but the percentage using the Windows operating system is over 80%.

Firefox, Chrome and Safari browsers have taken enough market share that Microsoft's IE9 has a simpler interface, more speed, and some new exclusive features designed to compete with newer upstarts.

Party At Charlie's

Porn actress, AVN Best New Starlet (2008), live-in "goddess" Rachel Oberlin (aka Bree Olson) is "on the bus" for a (NSFW but non-nude) porn-site sponsored pro-condom public service ad called "Get Rubber!" says she's also set to appear caught cheating with another woman in a film called "Mancation"... Not a big stretch.

Oh, Mrs. Partridge!

Shirley Jones talks about getting naked on-screen years ago & getting rejected by Hugh Hefner and Playboy for not getting naked enough.

A Look at the Lockout

Charger fans lose the only way they're sure it's fall in a city with the same weather forecast 10 months a year... Same thing for Seattle.
B&P Report for Spring Drills
Audio Embed: Berger & Prescott, podcast via Facebook.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Insight & Outrage

He never became a famous name like Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor or George Carlin. Shame on us... Seventeen years after his early death from pancreatic cancer in 1994, "American: The Bill Hicks Story" tells of a comic, commentator and cultural critic whose rants still ring true today... Here’s a full version of the (NSFW) rant in the trailer:

Bachelor Post Mortem


Always something to anticipate between dramatic rose ceremonies.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ongoing Aftermath

And Then There Were Four

Japan's Prime Minister announced a fire and 19 mile evacuation zone within minutes of Rachel's report on the first three cracked reactors.

The Japanese government has called a nuclear power emergency and evacuated nearly 200,000 people near the Fukushima Daiichi reactor complex as excessive radiation levels have been reported in the wake of a breakdown following Friday's earthquake. Japan has 55 reactors, which provide about one third of its total electricity, making it the world's third largest atomic energy user. This is the third time an earthquake has led to an accident at one of the country's nuclear plants in the past five years. The country had planned to increase its nuclear energy generation to 50 percent in the next six years.

Frank N. Von Hippel, co-director of the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University and former adviser to the Clinton administration on nuclear arms and nuclear energy, looks at the current state of emergency.
Scientist With Fingers Crossed
Audio Embed: PRI & WNYC's program The Takeaway 3/14/11,
Hosts: John Hockenberry & Celeste Headlee.

Earthquake + Tsunami + Meltdown = Armageddon?

In another era supernatural sources were blamed and/or credited for what science can now explain, but can't stop... Planetary power.
Nukes vs. Nature
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 3/14/11.

Abandoned gas masks at Chernobyl (photographer: Rory Carnegie)

Henry Shukman recently visited Chernobyl, Ukraine — site of the world’s worst nuclear accident — 25 years after the disaster.

Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone is one of the most toxic sites on earth and yet is teeming with people and wildlife living within.
Irradiated Eden
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 3/14/11,
Host: Robin Young.
Read Henry Shukman's Outside Magazine visit to Chernobyl.

What the Duck, Gilbert?
“Japan is really advanced. They don’t go
to the beach. The beach comes to them.”

-- Tweet by comedian/now-former AFLAC duck, Gilbert Gottfried
Japan is 75% of Aflac's business and likely the source of major losses
from these disasters... They'll be casting a replacement duck soon.

Ring of Fire

In Three Different Contexts

Pacific Rim
Audio Embed: CBS Radio's Osgood File 3/14/11.

Country Legend

Johnny Cash - "Ring Of Fire" - "Live At Montreux (1994)

And It Burns, Burns, Burns

It came down to a choice between Emily Maynard, the sweet single mom from the South with a back story so heart-rending one contestant quit... And spunky Seattle daddy's girl-divorcee Chantal O'Brien, whose first impression was a slap to the face.

In an poll last week, 66% of readers said that O'Brien was the better choice for Texas hunk and repeat Bachelor Brad Womack... But Emily got the ring, while Chatal's hopes were cast into the flames.

All American Panel

Panel Of Caged Average Americans Weigh In On Issues

MacGyver Makes Dessert

Think of "suklaamousse" as Finnish instant pudding with more power!

March Madness

Selection Sunday, as seen on Saturday Night Live, 3/12/11

Sir Charles' Masters Thesis

Charles Barkley on what's wrong with NCAA college sports and telling David Letterman the real reason he's not going back to school.

Going Postal

On April 1st, exactly 160 years after issuing its first stamps, Post Danmark begins offering a mobile alternative.

Customers can send a one-word text message (porto) for the cost of mailing a standard letter (8 DKK) and get back a return text of a code to write on the envelope in the area where the stamp would normally go.
Going Mobile
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WGBH's The World 3/11/11,
Host: Marco Werman.

Going Retro

Fear not philatelists! The UK’s Royal Mail has released a stamp set of collectible fantasy-franchise inspired stamps, featuring “the world’s most famous wizards, witches and enchanters.”

Monday, March 14, 2011

Can Anyone Play Defense?

When Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, both of Public Television, joined together in a Huffington Post article to defend NPR against “another assault from the right-wing machine,” their use of the word "nemesis" may have hurt more than helped; because it seemed to bolster the “us versus them” scenario of conservatives' complaints.

So, is there on-air evidence that NPR is liberal leaning?

Are public radio employees broadcasting leftist propaganda?

This American Life host Ira Glass issues a challenge.
Uncover The Bias Basis, Media Critics
Audio Embed: WNYC's On The Media 3/12/11,
Hosts: Brooke Gladstone & Bob Garfield.
170 Million / Support Campaign

Education For The Futurama

... Or At Least Headgear

Next Generation Apps

Looking beyond SXSW, Seattle & Silicon Valley, Daniel Sieberg traveled to the Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona, Spain to visit the App Planet, the center of the apps universe, to find next best thing in computer applications.

All Aboard

The #1 way to travel the San Fernando Valley!
-- Tosh 2.0, Comedy Central
The German newspaper "Bild" explains this sight from the Baltic lowlands. The sightseeing bus from "Pommern" (Pomerania in English) belongs to Pommerntourist. An open door hides the "MME."

Tickle Me, Astro

An astronaut's report of tingling feet during weightlessness has prompted an experiment during space shuttle flights to see how reduced skin sensitivity in seniors affects balance control.
Questions of Balance
Audio Embed: CBC Radio's Quirks & Quarks 3/5/11,
Host: Bob McDonald.

Parker & Stone: Playwrights

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone use "The Book of Mormon" as the theme and inspiration for a new Broadway musical.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

All In The Family

If Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi stays in power, one of his sons is expected to one day take his place. Stephen Kinzer, who teaches journalism and international relations at Boston University, wrote about the families of dictators and what makes them behave the way they do for the Daily Beast.
Problem Sons of Strongmen
Audio Embed: Morning Edition 3/11/11,
Host: Ari Shapiro.

Bill Maher's Ridiculist

Few Good Things to Say About 2012 Prospects

Bill Maher's analysis of conservative columnist George Will’s field of "realistic" Republican prospective 2012 presidential candidates.

Man Becomes GOP Frontrunner After Showing No Interest In Running

Mike Brant has become a favorite among Republicans for his complete apathy towards government and overt unwillingness to serve.

So Long Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh helped launch the independent film movement with Sex, Lies, and Videotape. Box office success followed with the Ocean's Eleven franchise, Traffic, and Erin Brockovich... But the filmmaker says he's ready to retire from movie-directing.
Directing His Own Dramatic Exit
Audio Embed: Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen 3/12/11.

Billy Joel - "Say Goodbye to Hollywood" - Radio Bremen TV 3/15/78

Angry Birdsky

Angry Birds Land on Facebook

Angry Birdsky

It's Only A Game

Maybe his show's name says it all... Bill Littlefield's been monitoring the NFL labor negotiations and has reached two conclusions. 1.) The world will not end if the 2011 season doesn't start on time. 2.) At least one party at the table is overstating its need for more money.
NFL's Not-Quite-Doomsday Scenario
Audio Embed: WBUR & NPR's Only A Game 3/12/11.


What is South by Southwest?

Annual pop-culture-buzz Interactive, Film & Music Festival, Austin TX.