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Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Random thought for the day: Lou Dobbs should either shut up or take a fucking Xanax.

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Today’s QOTD from The Daily Show: Matt Groening (creator of the Simpsons) explains why Fox’ head honchos don’t want them to satirise Fox News like they did with that ticker* a couple of years ago:

The Fox viewer might confuse our cartoon with actual news.

*You remember, the one that said ‘Albert Einstein + Brad Pitt = Dick Cheney’, etc.

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I just finished watching the Transformers movie, which was a fun way to spend a few hours, especially when I really should be fixing other people’s code. I used to love the show as a wee lad (I think it was my favourite), but I actually remembered very little. I spent most of the movie trying to remember the different characters (‘Oh yeah, that’s Bumblebee… oh yeah, that’s the police car…’ (although to be fair I still mistook him for an autobot at first)).

I don’t much like many Hollywood movies as I’m rather annoyed by the focus on special effects at the expense of complex plotlines or engaging dialogue, but the effects were nonetheless very impressive. The movie was unfortunately full of drivel on all matters technical and scientific – when the new intern at the DoD argues that the virus that entered the government network is far more complex and difficult to deal with than any other known virus, she says something like ‘We’re way beyond Fourier transfers here, we’ve got to deal with the quantum mechanics!’ This made me want to hurl random objects at the screen. Also, I’m quite sure she said Fourier transfers and not Fourier transforms.

Several parts of the movie were quite touching – no spoilers here, but suffice it to say I pretty much fell in love with Bumblebee by the end.

Oh yes, and a sequel is pretty much guaranteed, with that ending.

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A nice excerpt from Al Gore’s book The Assault on Reason in Time magazine:

In the world of television, the massive flows of information are largely in only one direction, which makes it virtually impossible for individuals to take part in what passes for a national conversation. Individuals receive, but they cannot send. They hear, but they do not speak. The “well-informed citizenry” is in danger of becoming the “well-amused audience.” Moreover, the high capital investment required for the ownership and operation of a television station and the centralized nature of broadcast, cable and satellite networks have led to the increasing concentration of ownership by an ever smaller number of larger corporations that now effectively control the majority of television programming in America.

This is what the internet is supposed to fix, btw. (Via Digg.)

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Update to my previous post about the declining bee population: it appears that the real culprit is a parasitic fungus, and not cell phones:

A fungus that caused widespread loss of bee colonies in Europe and Asia may be playing a crucial role in the mysterious phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder that is wiping out bees across the United States, UC San Francisco researchers said Wednesday.

Since the quality of science reporting in the Independent seems to be something of a fiasco, I promise not to rely it anymore to relay interesting stories.

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Uh, about that UFO…

Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy has a nice post explaining exactly what were those ‘mysterious’ Phoenix lights (military flares), that we’ve known what they were for ages, and wondering why the hell CNN essentially propagated the UFO nonsense in an uncritical piece and why the ex-governor, who really, really, really should know better, somehow felt the need to confess his belief in aliens based on this sighting.

Personally, I think the governments plants these things in the sky to see how stupid some people are. If Symington had gotten into federal politics he would then never have been privy to confidential information relating to national security issues (one hopes) as he’s undeniably too silly to use it responsibly.

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