Friday, May 27, 2005

Arnold's Potemkin Pothole

That's what Cory at BoingBoing is calling it. Governor Schwarzenegger apparently had a road crew dig a hole in a San Jose street, which he later filled while being filmed by news crews. Witnesses say a large group of workers showed up early, put on their fresh new vests, and proceeded to dig up a section of the street, which the actor/politician later filled during the staged press event.

The City of San Jose reportedly paid for the work. The mayor's director of communications is quoted as saying the governor's event involved "not exactly filling a pothole, but it represented the pothole aspect". Got that? It wasn't a pot hole, but a representation of one.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Minister Fired for Pro-Gay Column

"Gay and lesbian Christians are no different than the rest of us. They deserve full equality in the church and in society, for they are my brothers and sisters, people for whom Christ died." So wrote the Reverend Jeff Falter in a Feb. 26 article for the Inter-Mountain, a local Elkins, W.Va paper.

Last Sunday members of his church voted 100-72 requesting that the Presbytery of West Virginia dismiss Falter. The Reverend and his family will have until the end of the year to move out of the manse next to the church, where they currently live.

Masks and Hoods Illegal in W. Virginia

A 42 year old man was arrested on Tuesday for wearing a Grinch mask while walking along a street in Wheeling, W. Virginia. Officers saw and stopped Norman Eugene Gray just before 9am and ordered him to remove the mask and not put it back on. Mr. Gray said wearing a mask isn't illegal and put it back on. He was arrested and the mask was confiscated. Wearing a mask or hood in public by individuals over the age of 16 is a misdemeanors under W. Virginia state law and is punishable by a fine of up to $500 or up to a year in jail, or both.

NewsFlash: Advertisers Influence Content!!

A newspaper in Norfolk Virginia has pulled the "Click and Clack Talk Cars" column by Tom and Ray Magliozzi because of complaints from local auto dealers, who apparently fund the automotive section in which the column had appeared. No explaination was given as to why the popular column wasn't moved to another part of the paper.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Burt Reynolds Slaps Newsman

Burt Reynolds slapped a CBS assistant producer at the premeire of "The Longest Yard" when the newsman asked the actor to "Tell us a little about the movie and your part in it". After hitting him, Mr. Reynold said "what the hell kind of guy are you" and attempted to belittle the man by saying "he's standing here in a shirt that needs ironing, I'm just embarrassed". The actor's publist says it was a "playful" tap. Viacom, which is distributing the film, is also owner of CBS. Defamer is seeing if they can take it to the next level.

"News is what's happened..."

"...not somebody's idea of what's going to happen." So says Harry Shearer in today's spot-on post about the media's modus operandi of writing about things that haven't yet happened.

Hong Kong Disney to Serve Shark Fin Soup

Burbank's own Walt Disney Corporation has decided that it's okay to serve Shark Fin Soup at their park in Hong Kong. The company reportedly says that, while it takes the environment very seriously, it is also sensitive to local cultures where the dish is a key part of banquets.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

And Keep Them Off!!

Media Matters has launched its Hands Off Public Broadcasting website. This in response to CPB chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson's expressed desire to bring more right-wing programming to the airwaves.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Can They Keep Their Tinfoil Hats?

The D'Souza family of Sacramento's south Natomas neighborhood will probably have to remove sheet metal covering their home. Sarah D'Souza is quoted as saying the metal is "a shield to protect against radiation". The D'Souzas claim unknown neighbors have been bombarding the family with radio waves, making them sick. The family is said to be gathering evidence of the problem to show city officials.

UPDATE: BoingBoing's on the story. We're saved!!

Another Voice Booted at KCRW

After eleven years, Cindi Burkey is the latest in a long line of talent to get booted by KCRW leader Ruth Seymour.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

An Ear to the Sky

Thanks to Bruce for pointing me to this Sound Mirrors and Acoustic Location site. Fantastic photos and descriptions of acoustic location detectors from the last century.

Monday, May 16, 2005

No Hugging Allowed

When I was in junior high school at Laurel Hall, one of the stupidest incidents I witnessed was the school principal using the public address system to reprimand a student who was hugging his girlfriend. It was after school and I couldn't believe the principal thought it was somehow within his right to limit this display of affection. The pair wasn't making out, the boy simply had his arms around her while she opened her locker.

Well, it's a few decades later and apparently this no-hugging rule has become widespread. The story today is of Sky View Middle School in Bend, Oregon. Its detention of 14-year-old Cazz Altomare for hugging her boyfriend has "infuriated" her mother, Leslee Swanson.

Sky View Principal Bill Wurtz justifies the no-touch policy because "Two eighth-graders walking down the hall holding hands might make some sixth-graders feel embarrassed". So there you go, individual freedom is sacrificed so younger kids aren't embarrassed. Once again we hear the for the kids mantra.

"The more people blindly accept these fundamental rights being taken away from them, the easier it becomes for them to be taken away" Swanson said.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Free Spin Zone

The Houston Chronicle is the latest to point out how fast and loose Bill O'Reilly can be with the facts. This one's a real hoot, given that Mr. O'Reilly apparently "confused someone else's commentary with the Chronicle's." Bill O'Reilly is a terrific humorist, but from the little I've seen, Drudge is a better journalist.