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Friday, July 30, 2010

In Memory of Daniel Schorr: Help NPR take front and center at White House Briefings

As early as Sunday, the White House Correspondents' Association will decide which news organization will be awarded a recently-vacated front-row center seat in the White House briefing room.

So we're joining our friends at CREDO Action to petition the Correspondents' Association to award the seat to a real, public news organization: NPR. 

Can you sign the petition today? Tell the Correspondents' Association to give the best seat in the briefing room to NPR. 

The petition says, "Give Helen Thomas' former briefing room seat to NPR, which has provided public interest coverage for decades."

Then, please forward this email to your friends and post on Facebook and Twitter so we can spread the news faster. Already 140,000 people have signed onto this call through CREDO Action. Help us get up to 250,000 before the meeting on Sunday!

Note that the link is to a left leaning organization, Move On, but that should not discourage those who value balanced news and the wide scope of reporting of National Public Radio from signing to give the seat to a long established balanced media source that hires qualified journalist and looks in depth at issues, not just shouting heads and headlines.


A mentor teaches you faster than you can teach yourself. The stories, the wisdom, the guidance that they provide gives you the benefit of understanding the world before you've actually lived through it. And the emotional support and reassurance that somebody who has "been there, done that" can offer to a wet-behind-the-ears greenhorn is comforting as you navigate your way through new experiences.

It is important to seek out mentors. It's no accident that Luke Skywalker needs his Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars saga, that Daniel-san learns from Mr. Miyagi in the classic Karate Kid, that Alexander the Great had Aristotle as his teacher and mentor.

-Marc Cenedella, Founder & CEO,

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Historic Looney Toons Censored to be PC

Is it right to censor creative material to meet the politically correct terms of the current audiences?

Do we censor and rewrite history on a regular basis?

How much is lost when we do?

Banned Bugs Bunny "Racist" Scene

Southern Fried Rabbit 1953 Warner Bros. Bugs pretends to be slave and begs Yosemite Sam not to beat him. Censorship: On Cartoon Network, WB!, ABC, and the FOX version of "The Merrie Melodies Show", the entire scene is cut where Bugs impersonates a black slave to get past the Mason-Dixon line, blows his cover by playing "Yankee Doodle", places a whip in Yosemite Sam's hand and begs Sam not to beat him, then comes in as Abraham Lincoln reprimanding Sam for what he supposedly done. While ABC, Cartoon Network, and WB showings deleted the entire part, fox's "The Merrie Melodies Show" showed Bugs crossing the Mason-Dixon line as a slave and singing Yankee Doodle before Sam catches him, but cut the part where Bugs places a whip in Sam's hand, begs Sam not to beat him, then comes in as Abraham Lincoln to reprimand him. The Cartoon Network version also cuts the brief shot of Yosemite Sam coming out of a trench with a Confederate flag waving above it and yelling, "Charge!". EDIT// I had this on another account and it received over a million and a half views before youtube suspended the account.
-Author and Source:

Redbox is giving Blu-ray rentals a green light.

The company, which rents movies for $1 a day through 
its thousands of kiosks across the country, said it will 
start stocking Blu-ray discs in its boxes and make 
the movies available for $1.50 per night.

"The Book of Eli," "Bounty Hunter," "Brooklyn's Finest" and "Green Zone" 
are among the first Blu-ray titles Redbox will offer, 
with the number of films and copies varying per kiosk.

Redbox had been talking about such plans for some time, 
seeking a way to attract a different kind of consumer 
and increase the amount of revenue its machines 
can generate for the company.

It couldn't start charging more for titles unless they were higher quality,
 the company said. Expansion to Blu-ray is just the latest move 
expected from Redbox, which also plans to introduce 
digital downloads or a streaming service in the future.

Redbox couldn't proceed with the rollout of new offerings 
until it wrapped up a series of legal disputes with various studios, 
including Warner Bros., Fox and Universal. 

Agreements call for Redbox to wait until a film has
 been available on homevideo for 28 days before 
it can stock those pics in its kiosks. The Blu-rays 
offered fit that waiting period.

Rival rental service Netflix had already been 
offering Blu-rays through its mail service and HD movies for streaming.

Read more:
Visit to become a Variety subscriber. 

Nevada leans Democrat

Nevada has moved from the "toss-up" category to "leans Democrat", according to a Rasmussen Poll. Senator Harry Reid now is above the margin of error in his lead over Sharon Angle. The poll also shows that six out of ten Nevadans find Angles views to be "extreme", and fewer than 30%, in keeping with national numbers, agree with her "Tea Party" platform.

SAG Actor: On Camera Acting Class Starts Friday

SAG Actor: On Camera Acting Class Starts Friday: "Auditions are on-camera. Your craft is on-camera. Shouldn't you learn and practice the skills needed for auditioning and performing on-cam..."

The Danger of People's Reporters and Social Media

Anti-Social Media

I heard a frightening story this week. A firefighter did not report for his shift. His fellow firefighters stopped by his apartment, where they found his body. The co-workers called 911, bringing out paramedics and later the fire chief, all devastated by the loss.

Other firefighters who weren’t on scene learned of the death via text message. The texts and cell phone calls quickly spread and eventually, news of the firefighter’s death appeared on Facebook. While en route to notify the firefighter’s estranged wife, the fire chief started receiving instant messages and texts asking about the death.

“We were so afraid his wife would hear it from a text or phone call before we could tell her in person,” the chief told me.

Fortunately, the wife was late getting home and doesn’t answer her cell while driving, so the chief was able to break the news to her in person. He added that a couple hours later, the wife started to compose a list of people to notify —family, friends and military buddies.

“Of the 10 names on that list, five had called because they saw it on Facebook,” he said.

Last month, my family learned of the sudden death of a young friend of my daughters’ via Facebook. The news itself was shocking, but it became quickly obvious that the family and close friends were not prepared for the deluge of phone calls of concern.

While newspapers and television news will hold the name of victims pending notification of family members, smartphones put the grapevine or phone tree on steroids.

There are plusses and minuses with today’s instant news delivery. For instance, departments can mass-deliver tornado warnings or evacuation-route update via texts. But can you imagine what would happen if tragic or incorrect information was sent out?

I’m just finishing the book, The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick, the story of the origins of Facebook and its role in changing how people communicate. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s idea not only connected college students and high-school students, it opened up the world. Adults have found a new way to connect with family, friends and reconnect with people from the past, witnessed by Facebook’s announcement that it had reached 500 million users.

A couple years ago, I cautioned about first responders taking photos and posting them on Web sites, but how do you set rules or etiquette for texting or posts on Facebook, Twitter or whatever comes next?

How do you manage this new breed of social media reporters?

Low Price Kindle to booste on-line book sales

The new Kindle e-reader will come in two flavors: one with Wi-Fi and 3G Internet connections selling for $189, the other with Wi-Fi only for $139. Inc. plans to release a cheaper Kindle e-reader next month, said Chief ExecutiveJeff Bezos, laying out a strategy to go "mass market" with an inexpensive gadget designed to do just one thing: sell digital books from Amazon, according to a Wall Street Journal report, quoted below:

The new Kindle features a screen with increased gray-scale contrast, a battery that lasts for a month, and a slightly smaller size. It will come in two flavors: one with Wi-Fi and 3G Internet connections selling for $189, the other with Wi-Fi only for $139. The latter will be among the cheapest wireless-equipped e-readers on the market, at least for now.
"We developed this device for serious readers. At these price points, it may be much broader than that," said Mr. Bezos in an interview. "People will buy them for their kids. People won't share Kindles any more."
Amazon will begin taking orders Thursday and the new models will begin shipping Aug. 27 to customers in 140 countries.

Republicans block small business lending bill

Senate Republicans blocked a bill to increase small business lending Thursday, dealing a setback to President Barack Obama's jobs agenda.

The bill would create a $30 billion government fund to help community banks increase lending to small businesses, combining it with about $12 billion in tax breaks aimed at small businesses. Democrats say banks should be able to use the lending fund to leverage up to $300 billion in loans to small businesses, helping to loosen tight credit markets.
The fund would be available only to banks with less than $10 billion in assets.

From the Las Vegas Review read entire story and for other news click here.

CSN Fun Fest Vendors Needed

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sister Strikes Again, Late Night Stand Up Catechism Comedy

This is a fundraiser show for Christ the King Catholic Community. Christ the King is very active in the local community, especially in providing food and monetary support to the needy on a daily basis. Like everyone else, our ability to help others has decreased due to the current economic climate. Please consider attending this show, so that we may continue our good works in the community.

Sister's Back, and that is very, very good!
Declare the critics about Sister Strikes Again!: Late Nite Catechism 2

Where: Christ the King Catholic Community
When: Friday,August 27,2010 - 7:30pm
Tickets: $25 at office, gift shop, or 871-1904

The Los Angeles Times declares Sister Strikes Again!: Late Nite Catechism 2 is funnier than the original! This time around Sister tackles sin and is the undisputed conqueror! Armed with banners, filmstrips, mimeographed handouts, historical facts and hysterical insights, she conducts her class into convulsions of laughter. Picking up where she left off in the original, Sister begins with an affectionate look at women's religious orders which leads to her own confession about the goal of every nun to get herself into heaven first and then bring along as many of the faithful as possible, thereby securing her own wings and possibly the salvation of countless others.

Now, in Sister Strikes Again!: Late Nite Catechism 2, it's up to Sister to save the souls of those assembled, AKA the audience! Beginning with an overview of heaven and hell as a Catholic version of Chutes and Ladders, she is soon offering her own suggestions for celebrities who might end up sharing digs with the devil, as well as a list of new sins for the new millennium. (Needless to say bobble head dolls of the holy family is right near the top). Maripat Donovan's Sister Strikes Again!: Late Nite Catechism 2 is blessed with all the wit, wisdom and wackiness that made the original an international hit. Who knew damnation could be so much fun!?! (LA Times). Join the flock; see Sister Strikes Again!: Late Nite Catechism 2.

URL:Christ the King Catholic Church

Google heats up Social Networking

Google Me rival for Facebook?

"Google Inc. is in talks with several makers of popular online games as it seeks to develop a broader social-networking service that could compete with Facebook Inc. Google has been in discussions with top developers to offer their games on a new service it is building, these people said. Those developers include Playdom Inc., Electronic Arts Inc.'s Playfish and Zynga Game Network Inc.—a company in which Google recently took a financial stake."
The report from the Wall Street Journal indicates an interests by Google to include all of the features that make Facebook popular, plus both business and gaming applications with high quality graphics and live multi-player interface. The site, tentatively titled "Google Me" would interface with the search engine, google phone, google maps and all current google services. It would offer full cloud computing services, including functions traditionally limited to desktop or laptop computers. Many features similar to Apple's "Mobile Me" will be included, including cross device and computer access and synchronization. 
Social games and social networking sites are rapidly growing on-line advertising and user functions. Interface with Google's free product using an advertiser based model, data mining and interfacing of all computing functions, the new product will be a logical step for the company.
Google has not confirmed the new social platform but has made indications that it does exist in the development and testing phase.

Henderson Space and Science Center Events. 2 Comments Share Tweet Print E-mail Share Board advances plans for Henderson Space and Science Center

In an effort to continue to promote the Henderson Space and Science Center years before its completion, the center's board is advancing its design plans and organizing a speaker series at local libraries.
Board member Jim Frey also announced Tuesday that the first speaker, Henry Sun, assistant research professor at the Desert Research Institute, will present at Galleria at Sunset Mall, outside the library on the first floor, he said. The event is free to the public and will begin at 7 p.m.
Sun will speak on the topic, “The Search for Life on Mars,” Frey said. The speech is expected to last about 40 minutes, plus a question and answer session. Frey said the center’s board hopes to host quarterly speakers until the museum opens, although no other speakers have yet been scheduled.
Frey said that Sun’s speaking engagement won't cost the board anything. But he didn’t rule out the fact that some money might be spend on speakers in the future.
The space and science center board already has an exhibit at Galleria at Sunset Mall: “Ends of the Earth: From Polar Bears to Penguins.”

Education as campaign issue for Senate

If Sharron Angle had her way in eliminating the Department of Education, Nevada would get no federal funding for education and accountability standards would be thrown out the window. Angle opposes the $445 million in education money Reid has brought to Nevada and the hundreds of teachers' jobs he's saved through the Recovery Act.  When it comes to strengthening Nevada's classrooms and building a competitive workforce in our state, Sharron Angle just doesn't get it.

"By eliminating the Department of Education, Sharron Angle would eliminate the Pell Grants I need to go to school," said Sebring Frehner, a student at the Nevada State College.

"Her ideas about killing the Department of Education are not only extreme, but deeply personal to people like me.  This is not a game. This is my life and my future.  Sharron Angle doesn't have the right to put that in jeopardy."

"In Sharron Angle's Nevada, I'm out of a job," said Bridget Zick, a Nevada Kindergarten teacher who spoke at the rally and is featured in the new ad.  "She opposes the Economic Recovery Act and wants to kill the Department of Education, two of the reasons I'm not unemployed right now.  She is simply out of touch with Nevada's teachers and our students.  Instead of working to improve our education system, she's just making it worse."

"While Senator Reid is fighting to build up Nevada's education system, Sharron Angle seems determined to tear it down, leaving thousands of Nevada students without the resources they were counting on to get a quality education," said Dr. Brian Cram, former Clark County Superintendent.

"Eliminating the Department of Education means terminating programs like Pell Grants and Perkins Loans, ending Fulbright Scholarships, pulling the funding for early reading programs, and eliminating Title IX.  In Sharron Angle's Nevada, all of these opportunities are gone for Nevada's students."

"Senator Reid has made exceptional contributions: over $400 milion in stimulus money prevent teachers from being laid off and over $250 million for research and development for colleges and universities," said Eugen Paslov, former state superintendant.

-From Megan Jones
Friends for Harry Reid

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Governor Guinn Mourned

The  Las Vegas Sun reports a somber and appropriate mood at the funeral of Former Governor Kenny Guinn. The body of former Governor Kenny Guinn is carried into St. Joseph, Husband of Mary Roman Catholic Church before the start of funeral services, Tuesday, July 27, 2010. Guinn passed away last Thursday while working on the roof of his Las Vegas home. Photo SAM MORRIS / LAS VEGAS SUN.  A Photo essay is available at

Rick Harwood blogs about Las Vegas as a Community

Posted by Rich Harwood

Jul 27, 2010
Last week I was in Las Vegas where I discovered a community once on top of the world fighting to come back in the wake of the Great Recession. What people in Las Vegas are doing offers a vision of what it will take for communities across the country to rebound from this tough economic and social time. It’s not a mere roll of the dice that’s bringing Vegas back, but intentional actions to create real change and community.

Today things are different in Vegas. For starters, the area ranks near the top in the nation in home foreclosures, school dropouts, unemployment and lost jobs, while philanthropic dollars have dried up. And yet, something genuinely hopeful is happening there, something worth paying attention to.

My speech last week was to about 100 political and civic leaders, including heads of major organizations, funders, the state senate majority leader, and public broadcasters. In 2004, it might have been hard to gather such leaders for a similar event, and especially one where they so openly engaged one another. But now, despite the Great Recession – or maybe because of it – folks are creating new groups and relationships to get things done.

Many people came up to me during my time there to say that our work some 5-10 years ago had helped to seed the growth of new groups and strengthen existing ones. They told me we had helped them to see why it is so critical to turn outward and to think about change differently. One person even asked how I felt being back in town given that so much current activity can be traced back to our work. What I told her is that the real credit goes to people in Vegas – those individuals and groups that chose to step forward and use our work to innovate, experiment, and are now connecting their efforts to others. And it is an amazing collection of groups, which includes:
  • Three Square, a national model for collecting donated and rescued food that is distributed by more than 260 partners in the community; the group is not only fighting hunger, but helping their partners build networks among themselves to work on other concerns;
  • Community We Will, an initiative that focuses on vulnerable children and families, and which was sparked by an effort to fight homelessness, which also used our work to get going;
  • Southern Regional Nevada Planning Coalition, which, doesn’t run any programs, but serves as a space for those who do to come together, learn from one another, join forces, and leverage each others’ efforts;
  • KNPR and Vegas PBS, the local public broadcasters, who have rooted their work deeply in the community, and whose greatest impact may be in the things they do off air;
  • Nevada Gives, a group that is helping to cultivate an ethos of giving in the region, and which brings people to together to figure out how they can have a true impact.

What’s so promising in Vegas is that public innovators are creating a new civic foundation. Each group has its own promising story, and together they represent a major shift in the community. Now, all this movement is still just emerging, but the trajectory is clear.
These groups are boundary spanners, network builders, engagers of the community, and most importantly action oriented. It is this very foundation that is essential for a community to move forward.
We all know the Vegas line, “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.” Well, I want to add a new line today: “What Happens in Vegas, Spreads beyond Vegas.”

Monday, July 26, 2010

Exposed: The Last Roll Of Kodachrome


Steve McCurry's "Afghan Girl," photographed in Peshawar, Pakistan, in 1984 on Kodachrome film
Full Slide Show and Audio Story on NPR:

In 1984, photojournalist Steve McCurry was in an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan. He followed the sound of voices to a tent where he found a group of girls. "I noticed this one little girl off to the side that had his incredible set of eyes that seemed almost haunted — or very piercing," he tells NPR's Audie Cornish.
McCurry snapped a picture that ended up on the cover ofNational Geographic's June 1985 issue. "The Afghan Girl" became one of the magazine's most widely recognized photographs — and one of the century's most iconic. To get that shot, McCurry used a type of film that has become iconic in its own right: Kodachrome.
Photographer Steve McCurry, 2002The film, known for its rich saturation and archival durability of its slides, was discontinued last year to the dismay of photographers worldwide. But Kodak gave the last roll ever produced to McCurry. He has just processed that coveted roll at Dwayne's Photo Service in Parsons, Kan. — the last remaining location that processes the once-popular slide film.
Ahmet Sel
Photographer Steve McCurry, 2002
What's on that landmark roll of film is still under wraps. It will be the subject of an upcoming documentary by National Geographic. What is known is that the first and last images are in New York City, McCurry's home base. And between those frames are photographs from India, where McCurry established his career as a master of color photography.
Although he has almost a million images spanning 35 years in his Kodachrome library, he still felt the pressure of this assignment. Every one of the 36 frames on that final roll was precious. "Am I getting the right moment?" he wonders. "Is it in focus? Is the exposure right?"
So before he took one of those shots, he used a digital camera to hone in on the perfect exposure. "To have that reinforcement, to be able to see that on a two-dimensional screen ... it was a big help," he says.
And he's got a piece of advice for amateur photographers with unused Kodachrome film lying around: Get it to Dwayne's! The Kansas photo shop will stop processing Kodachrome rolls on Dec. 30. And while that will mark the end of an era of photography, the memories created with Kodachrome — like that Afghan girl's green eyes — will live on.