Friday, July 13, 2007

More blog for the money

News from Oakland
The trash collectors are on strike here. The Environmental Protection Agency claims that America generated more than 245 million tons of trash in 2005. Much of that now gathers dust on the streets of Oakland.

From a press release
“As part of an extensive branding initiative that will also include a new look, new logo and expanded line-up, Court TV is about to become truTV. This new name reflects the network's popular line-up of series that offer first-person access to exciting, real- life stories…. Through a dynamic original programming line-up that has been providing the network with strong and consistent audience growth, truTV will target a highly coveted psychographic known as ‘Real Engagers.’”

After much research, I discovered that the “coveted psychographic known as ‘Real Engagers’” is an invention by the folks at Court TV – excuse me – truTV. It means members of the television audience who like to watch reality television.

This was a new one on me. What does Wikipedia say!

“In marketing, demographics, opinion research, and social research in general, psychographic variables are any attributes relating to personality, values, attitudes, interests, or lifestyles. They are also called IAO variables (for Interests, Attitudes, and Opinions). They can be contrasted with demographic variables (such as age and gender), and behavioral variables (such as usage rate or loyalty).”

In the New America, we spend all of our efforts determining the various gleaming facets that glitter on consumers’ surfaces. It is no longer, “We have a screwdriver for sale.” It is now “What kind of person would buy this screwdriver? Are you that person?”

I recently read an article noting that Facebook attracts a more upscale person, while myspace has more of a lower class demographic. So much for “On the Internet nobody knows you’re a dog.” Everybody knows exactly who you are. Because you tell everybody exactly who you are.

…This is one of those "please don't eat the daisies" instructions that one hopes wouldn't be needed, but you hear a lot of advice over a lifetime and you're bound to forget some. So here's your booster shot, straight from the New England Journal of Medicine. First, if there's lightning in the air, don't stand around outside. (Lightning safety experts have been pushing the slogan "When thunder roars, go indoors," but it's hard to see that catching on.) Second, if you insist on being outside, for heaven's sake, do not wear your iPod or similar device, including cell phones and pagers. These items will not attract lightning, but if you're unlucky enough to be hit, the wires and metal components will sizzle their imprint into your skin and, if you're wearing earphones, blow out your auditory inputs.

Just ask the 18-year-old Colorado guy who was mowing his lawn while a storm passed in the distance, happily listening to Metallica on his iPod. Lightning hit a nearby tree, veered off, and hit him, rupturing both eardrums and leaving burns that traced his earbud wires down his face and body and culminated in a charred spot on the hip where he carried the device. Same deal for a 39-year-old Vancouver area man who was jogging in a thunderstorm (you see how following the first rule avoids all this) and wearing his iPod. Not only was he burned and deafened, but his jaw was broken in four places.

Religious news
A boy with the last name Hell has been barred from enrolling in a Catholic school in Australia.

And the Pope…?

Why do the texts of the Council and those of the Magisterium since the Council not use the title of “Church” with regard to those Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century?


According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called “Churches” in the proper sense.

So take that, Baptists and Unitarians. He must be right. He’s the Pope. He’s infallible.

In other news…
Estonians took gold and silver at the world wife-carrying championships in Finland on Saturday, defying rain and exhaustion to stumble along a path with women clinging upside-down to their backs.

Whole Foods: Caring About Our Communities & Our Environment
From AP: “The chief executive of Whole Foods Market Inc. wrote anonymous online attacks against a smaller rival and questioned why anyone would buy its stock, before Whole Foods announced an offer to buy the other company this year.

“The postings on Internet financial forums, made under the name ‘rahodeb,’ said Wild Oats Markets Inc. stock was overpriced. The statements predicted the company would fall into bankruptcy and then be sold after its stock fell below $5 per share.”

From a blog, Infowisps
“Many creatures are averse to mirrors and reflections in windows. Some believe the reflection is a rival, while others recognise themselves and are disturbed by this. The most fearful is the lobster. In 1976, marine biologists in California set loose 30 male lobsters in a funfair hall of mirrors. All but two had died within three minutes, either of sheer fright or in a frantic battle with their own specular images!”

Doctor doctor give me the news
NYT: Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona told a Congressional panel Tuesday that top Bush administration officials repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations.

The administration, Dr. Carmona said, would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues. Top officials delayed for years and tried to “water down” a landmark report on secondhand smoke, he said. Released last year, the report concluded that even brief exposure to cigarette smoke could cause immediate harm.”

And administration officials even discouraged him from attending the Special Olympics because, he said, of that charitable organization’s longtime ties to a “prominent family” that he refused to name.

“I was specifically told by a senior person, ‘Why would you want to help those people?’ ” Dr. Carmona said.

The Special Olympics is one of the nation’s premier charitable organizations to benefit disabled people, and the Kennedys have long been deeply involved in it.

News from Germany, via Reuters
German police broke into a darkened flat fearing they would find a dead body after neighbours complained of a nasty smell seeping out onto the staircase.

The shutters of the apartment had been closed for more than a week and the post-box was filled with uncollected mail.

But instead of a corpse police found a tenant with badly smelling feet asleep in bed next to a pile of foul-smelling laundry, police in the south-western town of Kaiserslautern said on Sunday.

Dahlia Lithwick in Slate
“In April 2005, Gonzales testified before the Senate that ‘there has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse’ as a consequence of expanded FBI powers under the Patriot Act. We now learn that at the time, he was in possession of at least six FBI reports detailing unlawful surveillance, searches, and improper use of national security letters.”

Sorry, ma’am
The Daily Mail: “The BBC was forced to offer a humiliating apology to the Queen over claims that she stormed out of a photo shoot.

“She is said to be livid at the way documentary footage was manipulated to make it appear she had flounced out of a portrait sitting with American photographer Annie Leibovitz.

“The corporation has admitted that the footage of her alleged exit was in fact filmed as she arrived for the session.”

The following did occur, allegedly:

“During the photo shoot in March Miss Leibovitz tells the Queen, who is wearing the Queen Mary Tiara: ‘I think it will look better without the crown - less dressy - because the garter robe is so extraordinary.’

"The Queen gives her an icy stare and replies: ‘Less dressy? What do you think this is?’, pointing to what she is wearing.

“The trailer then shows the Queen telling one of her assistants: ‘I'm not changing anything - I've done enough dressing like this thank you very much.’”

Well, if the Queen can’t act like a Queen, who can?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Odoriferous Dwellings
But instead of a corpse police found a tenant with badly smelling feet asleep in bed next to a pile of foul-smelling laundry, police in the south-western town of Kaiserslautern said on Sunday.

This explains that housecleaning scene in "Snow White"! Except there you had SEVEN sets of smelly feet.

Re: The Queen
“The corporation has admitted that the footage of her alleged exit was in fact filmed as she arrived for the session.”,

So, they ran the footage backward?


2:10 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

I recently read an article noting that Facebook attracts a more upscale person, while myspace has more of a lower class demographic.

1:46 AM  

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