Obviously I like this:
Obviously I like this:
The Joy of Stats. Here’s a clip of Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes, a BBC 4 show:
A quick scan of the headlines this week reveals that our elected officials are clueless.
Point one. Yes, unemployment is a problem, but extending unemployment benefits doesn’t solve the problem. It punts the problem to the next time those benefits expire because if you haven’t found a job by now, there either isn’t a job available or your skills and work experience are irrelevant. Meanwhile there’s a whole lot of stuff that the government should be doing in the job creation area that they are ignoring because of point two–Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Why has this suddenly become a national fixation? Now? In this economy? See point one. Of course the fact that old white men are freaked out over homosexuality is understandable. They’re freaked out by everything, so what else is new? But old white men have proven to be, over time, out of touch with most things on the planet. Think “The Earth is flat“– and go through the long winding road of history.
So, who starts wars? Old white men. Who fights in wars? Young men. So my only conclusion in this is that old white men want to kill young men by sending them to wars where they’ve alread banned women in combat so they are left with being afraid that those young men may encounter gay sex in combat or something, which must mean that the old white men are just jealous of young men because they might be getting some. It would explain the preoccupation of the old white men security freaks insisting that full naked body scans are an imperative too.
And that whole Viagra is covered by health insurance but birth control isn’t? Frankly with that whole Larry Craig thing in the airport bathrooms tapping his foot maybe the halls of Congress are a little scary to old white men. On the one hand you have all this foot tapping and then there’s all that climate change stuff that really scares them. Imagine, to be told that the air conditioner that you run while you are out playing golf, might, just might, be contributing to those dried out greens which make those little golf balls go faster. Do they think that the greens fees might be going up because the water demands are higher when its hotter? I don’t think so. They are in denial, and I don’t mean the river in Egypt, although that would be a good place for them to hang out.
Then there’s point three. Extending tax cuts. Because extending tax cuts worked out really well in stimulating the economy, right? The economy basically looked okay for years because Wall Street had figured out how they could play monopoly with America’s real estate and sold off all the little red buildings and green houses in one massive ponzi scheme, and all that we got out of it was granite counter tops and big screen plasma tvs and more debt that we the people had to bail the big banks out of. See how that worked out for us? You really want to now give a tax cut to the very same people who caused this whole mess? I don’t think so. Then again, I’m not an old white man. But I guess you’ve figured that out by now.
What if the tea party was balck? Would the media cover it differently? Discuss.
Rush Limbaugh apparently hasn’t learned his lesson about what subjects to veer into. Not so long ago, Limbaugh got into hot water over his “analysis” of quarterbacks in the NFL. This year it’s over dissing Motor Trend magazine and its selection of the 2011 car of the year. In case you missed it, they picked the Chevrolet Volt. This selection upset Limbaugh, who on his radio show had this to say:
“Folks, of all the cars, no offense, General Motors, please, but of all the cars in the world, the Chevrolet Volt is the Car of the Year? Motor Trend magazine, that’s the end of them. How in the world do they have any credibility? Not one has been sold. The Volt is the Car of the Year.”
This quote is what Motor Trend’s Todd Lassa teed up for a beautiful example of a rebutal in the ways most media don’t bother with. It’s what every political reporter should do when anyone, but especially politicians, just make stuff up or play fast and loose with facts.
Motor Trend magazine is one of those car geek magazines that extolls everything from the inner workings of a car to the performance on the road. It’s one of the magazines I check when looking at cars because of they do a great job of detailing the stuff you really want to know before you make a car purchase. Look up your car and see for yourself. Limbaugh’s attack on their car journalistic bonafides was just dumb. As they so efficiently dissected:
Tomorrow is the official-unofficial day of protesting the new full body scans deployed in airports nationwide. More details here. The protest movement at least has people talking about the body scans, and the new more invasive pat downs should you choose to opt-out of the body scans. Unfortunately what is not being talked about is how the terrorists have won. Each time we subject ourselves to a theatrical demonstration of fake security, we concede to terrorism. We have become a nation that is so scared of boarding an airplane that we fear liquids in quantities greater than 3 oz unless they are labeled as saline solution, shoes, nail clippers and butter knives.
Middle Eastern terrorists hijack a U.S. jetliner bound for Italy. A two-week drama ensues in which the plane’s occupants are split into groups and held hostage in secret locations in Lebanon and Syria.
While this drama is unfolding, another group of terrorists detonates a bomb in the luggage hold of a 747 over the North Atlantic, killing more than 300 people.
Not long afterward, terrorists kill 19 people and wound more than a hundred others in coordinated attacks at European airport ticket counters.
The problem when you start banning stuff, is that you don’t know when to stop. So the subject of alcoholic energy drinks is confounding the very serious senate nannies. They want to ban packaged drinks like Four Loko. On Senator Schumer, D-NY’s web site:
“The Food and Drug Administration will rule that caffeine is an unsafe food additive to alcoholic beverages, effectively making products such as Four Loko, Joose and others like them prohibited for sale in the United States. Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission plans to notify manufacturers that they are engaged in the potential illegal marketing of unsafe alcoholic drinks.”
Um, yeah like you can’t drink a Red Bull and a shot of vodka on your own. At a bar. Consecutively or mixed. Morons.
Here’s what happens when a city elects smart tech savvy council people. They raise the bar on transparency in government. Naturally this is not a Connecticut based council, but one in the hinterlands of Canada. Calgary to be precise. Check it out: Gordon McDowell.
Now (if you’re using a computer and not just a smart-phone or iPad), you’ll see that clicking on my indexed time-codes above jumps to the corresponding part of the video. That’s the best I can do for my own web page, but check out the YouTube video landing page, where you’ll see an Interactive Transcript button to the right of the video description. Click on various lines of transcription. Use your browser’s page-search (probably CTRL-F) to search for words or phrases. That’s Machine Transcription text, so it is pretty inaccurate, but it is still quite useful. (And as I describe later, there’s no need to settle for Machine Transcription.)
I believe my video illustrates what citizens are hoping from City Council when improved transparency is called for.
- The complete council session (minus “in-camera” moments meaning periods of private-discussion) is archived for later review.
- Items (a portion for this example) from the session’s minutes are provided as a time-code so the appropriate portion of the video can be quickly found.
- Dialog (a portion for this example) has been transcribed using Machine Transcription so that:
- Any given phrase spoken during the session can be searched for.
- The use of any particular word through out the time line can be searched for.
- These searches can take place on YouTube’s video landing page, right within the browser.
- Close Captioning is available on the YouTube video.
- The transcript can be read as a faster alternative to watching the video (with or without Closed Captioning).
- Machine Translation can then, in turn, offer up alternative language Closed Captions, for non-English speaking Calgarians.
YouTube does not require Windows Media plug-ins to be watched (as the live stream currently requires). This is probably why The City of Calgary has been using YouTube to share videos with citizens for the past 2 years.
Both the Courant and the Advocate have good stories on the timeline of ballot counting in Bridgeport that are worth reading. But no one seems to have addressed the most perplexing of issues. The shortage of ballots was widely spread as news on election night in a kind of holy abacus batman style, the Bridgeport registrars were being pummeled for only ordering 21,000 ballots for a city of a little over 68,000 registered voters.
Banksy the celebrated UK street artist tookover the into to last night’s Simpson’s and the clip is still making waves. A long time ago, animation cells were drawn in the US. But with the Simpson’s now in the 20 year season run, FOX, made the decision based on economics to employ a South Korean company to draw the animation cells. Banksy has a bit to say about that when we get to the classic bit where the Simpsons all gather on the couch for the last gag.