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Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's gonna be May!

OK, so it's really only gonna be April, but I'll probably forget to post this next month:

(via THD)

Yea. You love it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Media Bias and your Political Quotient

The Freakonomics blog (yes, from the guys with the book of the same name) recently had a post/audiocast on the subject of Media Bias.

On it, they featured some interesting stats:

Here’s how 20 major media outlets rank on Groseclose and Milyo’s slant scale, with 100 representing the most liberal and zero the most conservative

ABC Good Morning America

ABC World News Tonight

CBS Early Show

CBS Evening News

CNN NewsNight with Aaron Brown

Drudge Report

Fox News Spec. Rept. w/ Brit Hume

Los Angeles Times

NBC Nightly News

NBC Today Show

New York Times

Newshour with Jim Lehrer


NPR Morning Edition

Time Magazine

U.S. News and World Report

USA Today

Wall Street Journal

Washington Post

Washington Times
And here’s a chart of some well-known Congressmembers’ “Political Quotients,” based on their voting records. Again, 100 represents the most liberal, zero is the most conservative. (In the episode, you’ll hear where Levitt, Groseclose, and I rank on this “PQ” scale. You can take a quiz to find out your own PQ here.)

There's lots more if you follow the links and be sure to get your own Political Quotient (PQ)!

I got a 30. With Ron Paul at 31.8, I don't feel too bad.
That said, a majority of questions were related to economic policy and restrictions to freedom-of-choice. Because of that, I we skewed greatly to the right, but I believe if there were more social issues, I would be similarly skewed to the left.

P.S. It was interesting to see some of the common phrases from both sides:

If all this interests you, be sure to listen to the Freakonomics audiocast and read more on the blog.

Chinese Rip-Offs: Poster-style

A complete re-post from /Film, but I thought it was good enough to share:
"The Chinese Film Industry is notorious for taking inspiration (or… ripping off) movie poster designs from Hollywood and UK. Wenxuecity.com has compiled a large compilation of some of the many examples from over the years. After the jump you’ll find a gallery containing the posters we thought were by far the worst."

Check out more at /Film.

New Update!

Enough informational stuff... here's more random crap we all love!


(thanks to my bro, Kuong)

Zoolander IRL
Hansel and the Prime Minister of Malaysia:
Sadly, no martial arts or 'Relax'.
(via TDW)



Only the second day of the workweek, but at least it's not Monday, and at least you're not this poor guy:

Learning things!

I didn't want to call this another ItN since it's not all news, but still informational and interesting nonetheless!

Now Obama Wants To Build A $5 Billion Bullet Train From Las Vegas To Nowhere

"On a dusty, rock-strewn expanse at the edge of the Mojave Desert, a company linked to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to build a bullet train that would rocket tourists from the middle of nowhere to the gambling palaces of Las Vegas.

Privately held DesertXpress is on the verge of landing a $4.9 billion loan from the Obama administration to build the 150 mph train, which could be a lifeline for a region devastated by the housing crash or a crap shoot for taxpayers weary of Washington spending.

The vast park-and-ride project hinges on the untested idea that car-loving Californians will drive about 100 miles from the Los Angeles area, pull off busy Interstate 15 and board a train for the final leg to the famous Strip.

Planners imagine that millions of travelers a year will one day flock to a station outside down-on-its-luck Victorville, a small city where shuttered storefronts pock the historic downtown.

"Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has publicly blessed the train - it means jobs, he says - and it's cleared several regulatory hurdles in Washington.

Yet even as the Federal Railroad Administration considers awarding what would be, by far, the largest loan of its type, its own research warns it's difficult to predict how many people will ride the train, a critical measure of financial survival, an Associated Press review found.

There are other skeptics, as well.

"It's insanity," says Thomas Finkbiner of the Intermodal Transportation Institute at the University of Denver. "People won't drive to a train to go someplace. If you are going to drive, why not drive all the way and leave when you want?"

Construction cost projections have soared to as much as $6.5 billion, not including interest on the loan. Some fear taxpayer subsidies are inevitable.

Reid and other supporters point to research that shows 80,000 new jobs, but FRA documents show virtually all those would be temporary - no more than 722 would be permanent.
(Business Insider)

WTF: New Study Finds Young Moviegoers Want Theaters to Allow Texting

"A recent study by The Hollywood Reporter uncovered a bunch of interesting facts about the modern moviegoer. For example, did you know that 88% of people think Twitter and Facebook now count as a form of entertainment? Or how about the fact that 80% of Facebook users check the site while watching television? Also, they found that over half of people ages 18-34 think using social media in a movie theater enhances the experience and would patronize a theater that allowed them to do that.

Wait, WHAT??!?!?!

Yup, it’s true.

The Hollywood Reporter hired a firm called Penn Schoen Berland to survey 750 social network users ages 13 to 49. Their primary goal was to find out how social media, specifically Twitter and Facebook, effect people’s viewing habits. It turned out they’re both quite important. You can read the full results here but one in three people has decided to see a movie based on a post on Facebook or Twitter and those numbers get even bigger looking at television and music.

But the most disturbing finding is the one mentioned above. Over 50% of people ages 18-34 like to use their phones in a theater and just under 50% would seek out a theater that allowed them to do that.

What the survey also found, though, was that overall, not just that smaller segment, 75% of total people think using a phone in a theater is distracting and ruins the expeirence. So it’s just the younger kids who disagree.


Friday, March 23, 2012

New blog format

So I just noticed, the header for my blog has changed to an ugly brown... No idea when or how this happened, but it needs to go.
Rather than play around with the crappy standard formats, does anyone want to redesign my blog for me?
You'll get to see your lovely design work every day and I'll write a nice post about how great you are.

Any takers?

Here's a snoring hummingbird:

(via TDW)


My friend has been nagging me to post this:

What do you think?

In case that didn't do it for you, here are a couple others:

Jimmy Kimmel celebrates Twitter's 6th anniversary

Will the Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In the News: March 21, 2012

As opposed to last time, these are all from this month!

This day in history:
How the world's first rock concert ended in chaos

"Sixty years ago the world's first rock concert was staged in Cleveland by two men whose passion for music bridged the racial divide in a segregated US.

Jimmy Sutphin was playing poker and drinking beer in a hotel room with some hockey team pals when they heard the commotion outside.

Peering out of the fifth-floor window, they saw thousands of people besieging the indoor arena across the road.

The 20-year-old student and his friends abandoned their card game and piled downstairs to investigate.

It was Friday evening, 21 March 1952, in Cleveland, Ohio, and they were about to witness history being made.

The crowd was angrily demanding entry to a performance featuring a radical new music movement that was about to sweep the nation.

The world's first ever rock concert - the Moondog Coronation Ball - was about to end in turmoil after it had barely begun.

"Gatecrashers had stormed the 9,950-seat venue and it was dangerously overcrowded.

The musicians, who are thought to have only performed several songs, were ordered to stop playing as police waded into the mob. A man was stabbed in the melee.

"Less well known is the reason why the Moondog Coronation Ball ended in disaster: a minor printing error.

The mistake was caused by someone forgetting to add the date to tickets issued for a follow-up ball, which Mintz had set about organising immediately after the initial one sold out.

As a result, an estimated 20,000 people showed up on the same night for the first concert - at a venue which could hold half that number.

Study: Eat White Rice, Up Your Risk Of Suffering Type 2 Diabetes
Avid Coke drinker and Asian-American... I think I'm screwed.

Mmmmmm... No way I'm taking that out of my diet.

"If you're concerned about contracting type 2 diabetes, you may want to consider laying off white rice. That's according to Harvard School of Public Health researchers, who released a study that collected data from loads of other research to posit that people whose diets rely on white rice tend to be more at risk of being diagnosed with the condition.

The analysis, released in the British Medical Journal, rounded up studies from China, Japan, Australia and the United States to come to its conclusions, the most damning of which says that each white rice serving you eat per day ups your risk by 10 percent.

Authors of the study recommend sticking with brown rice and other whole grains rather than processed white rice, which is rich in refined carbohydrates.
(via The Consumerist)

Postal Service: We need more junk mail
Yup, just another bloated and inefficient government agency adding value to the American public.

"The U.S. Postal Service wants small businesses to send more direct mail, a.k.a. junk mail, to help the beleaguered agency expand its revenue stream by hundreds of millions of dollars.

In a campaign called "Every Door Direct Mail," the Postal Service is touting a year-old online tool to help small businesses micro-target direct mail. The Web tool allows firms to tap customers by neighborhood or zip code without names or addresses.

The cost to small businesses is 14.5 cents per mail piece. The Postal Service spent virtually nothing to create the online service, tapping existing staff and resources to pull it together, said Paul Vogel, president and chief marketing officer for the Postal Service, at a presentation Tuesday

"We believe it could be a billion-dollar product for the Postal Service by 2016," Vogel said.

The online direct mail program has been in existence since last April, generating $153 million in revenue through December. The Postal Service estimates the direct mail program will bring the struggling agency some $750 to $800 million in 2012.

The Postal Service reported a $5.1 billion loss for the year ended Sept. 30. The loss was caused by an ongoing decline in its core revenue driver, regular letters and bills known as first-class mail, as well as a legal mandate that the agency prefund health care benefits for a legion of future retirees.

The Postal Service has made headlines recently with cost-cutting moves to get out of the red over the next few years. The agency is working to close more than 200 postal plants that may cost 32,000 jobs, to cut Saturday service,and to delay delivery of some first-class mail .Separately, officials may also consider a hike in the price of a first-class stamp by a nickel to 50 cents.