August 2006

I’d be remiss in my duties as a blogger if I didn’t mention the recent gaff at CNN. While president Bush was speaking about the anniversary of Katrina, CNN’s Kyra Phillips went for a bathroom break. Somehow her mic got switched back on and you hear her talking over Bush about her husband and brother. “He’s married, three kids, and his wife is just a control freak,” she was heard saying. CNN has since issued an apology.


I should probably start off by conceding that I did not actually watch the entire Emmy’s show. That’s right I’m going to criticize something I know nothing about. (I know you’d think I was a talk radio host.) Be that as it may, I can’t imagine the folks at NBC slept well that night. I’m sure they had nightmares about being in a plane crash.

Every year at every awards show the goal is to create an opening skit that is better than the year before. The skit typically parodies some of the more popular shows. This year was no exception. The skit began with Emmy Host Conan O’Brien getting ready for the show. He is shown boarding a plane. As the flight attendant asks if he is nervous about the show, he responds with “Nervous? What could possibly go wrong?” The plane then begins to shake as if it is going down. The next shot is O’Brien emerging on a deserted
Island similar to the one from the TV show Lost. The skit was funny, yes, but lacked taste. The problem was that skit took place on the same day that 49 people died in a plane crash in

Now, I understand that months of planning (I would assume) go into the opening sketch. I will even grant them the fact that they probably took out the part where you actually see the plane go down, although the skit may have always lacked the actual crash. (Emmy producer Ken Ehrlich wouldn’t comment about the skit). But at the very least they could have informed the local
Kentucky affiliates about the skit so they could have made a decision about whether they wanted to air it (we’ll get to that in a second). Instead WLEX staff was caught off guard and were left “completely helpless” GM Tim Gilbert told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “By the time we began to react, it was over. At the station, we were as horrified as they were at home,” he said. (Click here for the full story.)

But I wonder just what would WLEX have done had they known about the skit. Had they made the decision not to air it, what would they put in its place? If you go to a promo or commercials how do you transition back?

And one last note about the Emmy’s that was pointed out in Lost Remote. Apparently they could rack up $1.95 million in fines. Click here to find out why.

A blog “More Willie” has a great post about Crucial Mac software for students. My favorite application is iAlertU. It’s an alarm for your laptop. You arm the alarm with your IR remote and it beeps just like a car alarm. Using the built in motion sensor it can detect if someone moves or tries to use your computer. If they do an alarm sounds and the screen starts flashing. It also snaps a picture with the built in iSight camera. Click here for the Crucial Mac Software: College Edition.

Maybe I’m just one for the underdog, but today when I learned that Pluto is no longer a planet I was a little upset. Too often in our society we ostracize the little guy. I joked about starting a campaign to allow Pluto to regain its status. Well, I was beaten to the punch. There is now a “Honk if Pluto is still a planet” bumper sticker. But then there are those who like to rub salt in the wound (probably the same kids I remember from middle school). They created a T-shirt that says, “Will all planets please step forward? Not so fast Pluto.” And I wouldn’t be a real journalist if I didn’t ask, “How does this make you feel?” No, seriously that’s the poll. Yes I did answer, “My world is shattered, I always thought there were nine planets in the solar system!” and so did 70% of those that have voted so far. Granted it’s “not a scientific survey.”

UPDATE: I wrote a guest column for the Maneater about this. A copy of the column is after the jump.


Over 50 years after Rosa Parks’ famous refusal to give up her seat to a white person…could the battle still not be over. The Shreveport Times is reporting that nine black students were told last to t move to the back of the bus because the front was reserved for white children. The parents complained so the driver was asked to create seating assignments. So the bus driver did so and placed the nine black students in the back of the bus. Another complaint and now a black bus driver is picking the students up. The NAACP is involved and the superintendent is investigating. Click here for more news stories on the topic. has a good summary of the recent photo fraud in Lebanon. It will definitely make you think twice about your reaction to news photos. Why are we seeing so many photogs staging and enhancing photos? Here is the link. (Thanks Jeff for the link)

Anyone who lives in a hurricane prone area probably knows the name Max Mayfield he is the Director of the National Hurricane Center (or maybe you just have to be a dork like me). Mayfield typically is in the news making predictions about the hurricane season or a specific hurricane.

Well today that was not the case he was making a prediction that the worst is yet to come. “People think we have seen the worst. We haven’t,” he said. So I am assuming that he is basing that on science. The story ran on the websites of many major news outlets across the country.

At first glance you may think he is suggesting that there will be a bigger hurricane than Katrina coming. No, what he is saying is that because we keep building on the coast and more people populate that some point within the next one hundred years when a hurricane hits there will be more damage and more lives lost than in Katrina or Andrew.

While he is absolutely correct why is it that this is making the front page of so many websites? I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure it’s because the headline on most of the stories is “Worst is yet to come, US hurricane chief says.” The reality is this story is done time and tie again it’s just that now they can attribute it to science even though it’s still common sense.

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