Sorting left from right, the mailbag, the new-car smell is to die for, gifts to the weak-ice gods, and tipping baristas.
A CBS affiliate in Washington recently set out to prove that there's a youth alcohol problem in the District. What it didn't expect to uncover is that it has a "parenting" problem too.
Reporter Andrea McCarren was forced off the air in the backlash against the reports she aired.
"At first I was frightened and then I became angry," McCarren told CBS News this morning. "It felt like an orchestrated Facebook and Twitter campaign of hate. People put my home address on the internet. There were calls for revenge and retaliation against my family. I'm now in about my 27th year as a reporter and I have never seen anything like this. It seems like these suburban, affluent kids have simply never been told 'no.' They have an inflated sense of entitlement. They feel entitled to cell phones, computers, cars, and in this case, they appear to feel entitled to doing something illegal, which is drink underage of 21."
"One of the most memorable things, was at an underage drinking party that was busted by police, one of the parents showed up to collect his son and he said right in front of police, 'Why didn't you run?'"(10 Comments)
There are still far too many people who think Twitter is all about telling people what you had for breakfast, but an Argentine firm has it right: Twitter is a broadcast medium.
The firm has released an Android app (take that, iPhoners!) for Social Radio for Twitter, which makes programming based on the music on your device and the tweets in your timeline.
Ad Freak reports:
You can filter your Twitter stream via hashtags, lists, trending topics and such, and choose the interval to check for tweets (music fills the empty spaces). This might appeal to folks who feel they need to be connected while driving (keep your hands on the wheel!) or jogging (watch out for that tree!). Still, I wonder: Isn't postmodern existence noisy enough? Do we really want to jam our brains with more information, saturate our nervous systems with nonstop streams of multimedia input?
Yes, as a matter of fact, we do. Twitter is increasingly becoming the "as it happens" medium upon which radio itself prospered for years when it sold itself as a source for immediate information, while recognize you'd go somewhere else, later, for details.
As Twitter continues to evolve, it continues to shine as the premier source of information, minutes or hours before traditional (or even "new") media.(2 Comments)
Over the last several days, climate change-related blogs have provided information on a series of "leaked" memos from the Heartland Institute, purporting to show a concerted effort to create a K-12 curriculum that is intended to dismiss the science of climate change.
The organization, while acknowledging that documents were inadvertently mailed to an anonymous person, says the document on the curriculum is a fake. Megan McArdle at The Atlantic says there good reason to believe it is:
1. All of the documents are high-quality PDFs generated from original electronic files . . . except for the "Climate Strategy" memo. (Hereinafter, "the memo"). That appears to have been printed out and scanned, though it may also have been faxed.
Either way, why? After they wrote up their Top Secret Here's All the Bad Stuff We're Gonna Do This Year memo, did the author hand it to his secretary and say "Now scan this in for the Board"? Or did he fax it across the hall to his buddy?
This seems a strange and ponderous way to go about it--especially since the other documents illustrate that the Heartland Institute has fully mastered the Print to PDF command.
It is, however, exactly what I would do if I were trying to make sure that the document had no potentially incriminating metadata in the pdf.
2. The date on the memo file is different from the other documents. And indeed, when you look at the information on the PDFs that Heartland acknowledges, almost all of them were created by printing to PDF on January 16th, the day before Heartland's board meeting. There is a Board Directory that was created on the 25th of January, also by printing to PDF. And then there is the memo, which was created via an Epson scanner at 3:41 PM on February 13th.
That seems to be just about 24 hours before this broke on the climate blogs. The timing seems odd, and somewhat suspicious. The fact that this document, and it alone, was scanned rather than printed to PDF or emailed as a word document, is even more so.
2. Every single verifiable fact that's in the memo is found in another one of the documents, or available in a public source; in fact, many of the sentences are cut and paste jobs from the fundraising document, the binder insert, or the budget.
She has a half dozen or so other questions about the document, concluding by asking, "why is this memo super-secret, when there's nothing in it that isn't also in the materials distributed to the entire board?"
The textual analysis alone would make me suspicious--but the fact that the document was created much later, using a different method, with different formatting--makes me fairly sure that while the other documents are real, this was written after the fact, by an author outside of Heartland. If there were any way to get conclusive proof, I'd bet heavily against this document being real.
That said, I think it's impossible to prove -- at least with my forensic skill levels. People do write crazy memos sometimes--there are lunatics in every movement, and most organizations. While this just doesn't feel like the right kind of crazy to me, it's possible I'm wrong.(14 Comments)
He thought the Internet had no future. Merely a fad. A passing fancy.
We were reminded of scientist Clifford Stoll yesterday when we posted a photo from when the Internet first came to NPR. MPR News reporter Curtis Gilbert recently stumbled upon a gem from the MPR archives, a 1995 interview with Stoll by MPR host Paula Schroeder. Stoll was promoting his book Silicon Snake Oil (at the same time he also published a Newsweek article titled, "The Internet? Bah!")
We advise listening to the full interview (it's short) because Stoll's self-assured tone is at least half of the fun. A partial transcript is posted below for your reading pleasure.
Now the transcript...
STOLL: It's (the Internet) a place for people to post both useful information and vicious, nasty messages. And they exist side by side. As a result, I expect the value of the Internet for communications in general isn't very high. I don't think it will ever replace face to face meetings and real rallies - things that get commitment and involvement from people. Rather, it induces a very shallow, ethereal and ephemeral involvement and as such, I think it's grossly over-promoted and there's a great deal of hyperbole surrounding it.
SCHROEDER: So you think, like, Newsweek magazine now has a page called "the virtual page" or something, and many newspapers as well, have a separate section devoted to technology and exchanging of information on the Internet. You think that it's really not that important?
STOLL: I'd say it's not that important. I think it's grossly oversold and within two or three years people will shrug and say, '"Uh yep, it was a fad of the early 90's and now, oh yeah, it still exists but hey, I've got a life to lead and work to do. I don't have time to waste online." Or, "I'll collect my email, I'll read it, why should I bother prowling around the Worldwide Web or reading the Usenet" simply because there's so little of value there.
SCHROEDER: Well Clifford Stoll, there's gotta be something of value. I know that we use it quite a bit for research here in our newsroom.
STOLL: Really? I'm sorry to hear that.
In 1995 Stoll had a lot to say about the future of the Internet. But in a highly energetic TED talk from 2006 (think Doc Brown from Back to the Future - only more scattered and frantic) he said:
"Asking me to talk about the future is bizarre...If you really want to know about the future, don't ask a technologist, a scientist, a physicist. No! Don't ask somebody who's writing code. No, if you want to know what society's going to be like in 20 years, ask a kindergarten teacher."
Note: all research for this post was conducted on the Internet.
"The 48-year-old singer had struggled for years with cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her behavior had become erratic."
That's a paragraph from a recent Star Tribune. Except for slight differences, it might have been from a review of "End of the Rainbow," a show that opened at the Guthrie two weeks ago. Performed with skill and vigor by Tracie Bennett, "Rainbow" is the story of Judy Garland's march toward death from a drug overdose.
But no. The paragraph comes from one of this week's articles about the death of Whitney Houston. The comparisons between Garland and Houston are easy: Both had been young stars, blessed from an early age with talent, looks and charm. Both had wildly successful careers in music and decent careers in films. Both developed problems with bad husbands and hard drugs. They were about the same age - Garland 47, Houston 48 - when they died, alone, in the bathroom. Just how similar those deaths were, we won't know until toxicology results come in.
"End of the Rainbow" has played to great success in London, and it's scheduled to go to Broadway this spring. Houston's tour ends in Newark on Saturday.
Bennett has said she isn't trying to do an impression of Garland, and that's just as well, because (to my mind) she doesn't look or sound all that much like her. (She evokes Garland approximately as well as Frank Langella did Richard Nixon in "Frost/Nixon.")
What Bennett does chillingly well is give us a glimpse into the heart of an addict. And not just any addict, but one with enough celebrity to steamroll those who would keep her from getting what she wants. As my friend Graydon Royce put it in the Star Tribune, "By December 1968, Garland could no longer spit out the hook, and whether she acknowledged it or not, she was drowning in chemicals." Bennett's performance is all about the drowning.
In that way, the play's about more than Garland. It's about Jim Morrison, too, and Michael Jackson. And now Whitney Houston.
One more strange little connecting thread: Most of us first learned Judy Garland's name from "The Wizard of Oz," the movie she starred in at age 16. Many people first learned Whitney Houston's name in 1985, when, at age 19, she appeared on Merv Griffin's television show - singing "Home," from "The Wiz."
Posted at 3:30 PM on February 16, 2012
by Paul Tosto
It's a weird statistic, we'll admit. But North Dakota and Minnesota are tops in the nation when it comes to states where people are the least pessimistic about the state of the economy.
That's according to the Gallup organization's Economic Confidence Index for 2011.
Here's a look at the nation.
The index is based on the answers to survey questions on how people view current conditions and if they believe the economy is getting better or worse, Gallup adds::
Americans overall and in every state remain more negative than positive about the economy, creating a challenge for President Obama as he seeks re-election this year, given the strong relationship between economic conditions and an incumbent's re-election success.On a near-term basis, however, economic confidence picked up in January of this year, perhaps foretelling a more positive uptick to come in 2012. Americans are also substantially more confident about the economy now than they were in the year Obama was elected.
Demographer and researcher Richard Florida dove into the Gallup data recently and found states with higher average incomes and higher education levels were the least pessimistic.
He also reasoned that, "States with greater concentrations of knowledge, professional, and creative workers had higher levels of economic confidence than those with larger blue-collar workforces."
Being among the least pessimistic, of course, does mean Minnesotans are optimistic. But given where we've been in this recession, we'll take it.(2 Comments)