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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hoover Dam after the bridge opens

The Hoover Dam may become even more of a tourist site than it is already as traffic shifts to the new bridge, where views will be blocked by walls to hold down on sound and keep traffic moving instead of slowing to a tourist crawl. This change, when it happens, will leave Boulder City bottle-necked by traffic now routed through Laughlin, and may reduce that city's tourism income by large amounts. Visitors will still be able to drive across the top of the dam, but the existing highway will be closed just beyond the last parking area at the top of the hill on the Arizona side. The only route between Phoenix and Las Vegas, this side of the Laughlin crossing, will be the new bridge. While routing traffic on an alternative four or more lane route has been discussed since the early 1950's, due to congestion, it took 9-11 to put a bridge on the fast track. National security could be endangered with "log jams" at the dam, or by a terrorist act to block the road or, much less likely, damage the dam itself. A promised bypass road around Boulder City appears to be on the slow track, leaving BC facing heavy traffic slitting the two side of the city in half. The bridge itself, joins the dam, as an engineering wonder.

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports on expected traffic changes.

For photos, details and links, see previous feature on the Hoover Dam Bridge.

Saturday Night Live Presidential Reunion

Presidential Reunion

Barack Obama gets a surprise visit in the night from ex-Presidents Bush Sr., Bush Jr., Clinton, Ford, Reagan and Carter to get a few pointers about the Consumer Financial Protection Agency and why it's so important.

Director Ron Howard produced this short in 14 hours, using Saturday Night alum who have portrayed presidents over the years. Since the actor who spoofed Ronald Reagan has passed on, another celebrity from 'In Living Color' stars in that role.

Entertaiment Unions prepare for 2011

The "next" contract "fight"

Summer 2011: 

A Perfect Storm for Hollywood's Labor Unions

By next summer the battle lines will be drawn, the ground rule set and compromise or Congress-like stagnation may determine the future of labor in the entertainment industry. "The Wrap' provides one of many summaries what four major unions facing contract renewal at the same time may mean for Hollywood and the industry. The summary is informative for those who may not be hanging on every political word (meaning 99.9% of the membership and most of the general public). The best line in the story linked to the headline above is the final line...

"“We are going to make joint bargaining work...The only question is, how logistically does it happen.”

The illustration above is from The Wrap.

Neither a Borrower not a Lender Be

"I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution... an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing."


~ Thomas Jefferson

Monkey See: Color

I was asked for the source on the story about a type of monkeys whose are naturally color blind, now seeing color. Here is one source, National Public Radio:

The student who voiced an interest wrote:

"I looked at the CSN library section and was actually able to find the New York Times on one of the article databases. I attempted to look up an article about the color-blind monkeys (or in this case, no longer color-blind monkeys) in yesterdays edition but couldn't find anything. However, I read an article from National Georaphic and discovered something interesting. The article said that after initial tests, they injected viruses containing cone cells behind the monkeys retinas, and WITHIN A WEEK (wow) two monkeys were able to distinguish red and green. Also in the article, the scientists are pretty convinced that this simple "gene intervention" could be the easy answer or easy fix to human colorblindness. But I doubt its thats easy. Science is never that easy. And I believe more that it took five months than a week for it to work on the monkeys."

 First Posted 9-6-2009

Weekend Producer job at Fox 5

Week-End News Producer KVVU
Meredith - Henderson, NV
See original job posting at »
Job Title: Week-End News Producer KVVURequisition #: KVVU1138Department: KVVU NewsJob Summary: The Week end News Producer creates, coordinates, and executes newscasts. This position provides editorial and production direction to Associate Producers and field crews regarding content, coordination and newscast execution. In addition, the News Producer:* Coordinates efforts of Anchors, Reporters, Editors and other staff toward crafting a compelling newscast.*

Behind the Story: the Post-Journalistic Age

“With journalists being laid off in droves, ideologues have stepped forward to provide the “reporting” that feeds the 24-hour news cycle. The collapse of journalism means that the quest for information has been superseded by the quest for ammunition. A case-study of our post-journalistic age.”

So begins a feature in this month’s Atlantic Monthly, or “The Atlantic” as the magazine is now known. The premise is simple, that we no longer hear and read news or journalism, but the product of professional spin-doctors and mudslingers who have stories, slogans and out of context video ready for most any situation that they can turn in their favor.

“This process—political activists supplying material for TV news broadcasts—is not new, of course. It has largely replaced the work of on-the-scene reporters…. In our exhausting 24/7 news cycle, demand for timely information and analysis is greater than ever. With journalists being laid off in droves, savvy political operatives have stepped eagerly into the breach. What’s most troubling is not that TV-news producers mistake their work for journalism, which is bad enough, but that young people drawn to journalism increasingly see no distinction between disinterested reporting and hit-jobbery.”

The story by Mark Bowden goes on to talk about how amateurs, part timers, students, volunteers and other untrained but skilled individuals are increasingly filling the void of professional journalist. Unfortunately in this universe of citizens Internet journalism, the training, fact checking and responsibility to the public that is the core of professional journalism has given way to speed, sensation, ratings and the most damage that can be done in a short period of time.

Read the story linked below and then let me know what your feelings are, as representatives of the new generation and the future of communication in America.

First posted 9-16-2009

Senator Ensign says no to jobless benifit extension

John Ensign votes against jobless benefits extension

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 | 10:40 a.m.
Click to enlarge photo
John Ensign
WASHINGTON -- The congressional stalemate over extending unemployment benefits ended late Tuesday without the support of Republican Sen. John Ensign, who voted against additional jobless benefits for out-of-work Nevadans.

Ensign joined a minority of Republicans who supported fellow Republican Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky in opposing an extension of the popular program at a time when the nation’s jobless rate is 9.7 percent – and 13 percent in Nevada.

The bill overwhelmingly passed, 78-19, and President Barack Obama quickly signed it into law.
Ensign’s office declined to comment on his vote.

Bunning brought the Senate to a days-long standstill, arguing that the $10 billion, 30-day extension of unemployment benefits, Cobra subsidies and other measures should be paid for by either using untapped recovery funds or closing a biofuels tax credit loophole. But he could not win support from his colleagues for what many argued was an emergency measure and not subject to pay-as-you-go rule.