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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

95 year old College Grad

Do You Have to Stop Living, Growing Because You Are Old?

Seattle Times:

A Kansas woman who at age 95 became the world's oldest person to graduate college is about to top that accomplishment three years later.
Ninety-eight-year-old Nola Ochs (Oaks) will receive a master's degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas on Saturday.
Ochs, of Jetmore, set a short-lived record in 2007 when she graduated from Fort Hays with a bachelor's degree. A 96-year-old man in Taiwan broke the record last year.
The Hays Daily News reports that Ochs will reclaim top honors when she receives a master's in liberal studies with a history concentration on Saturday.
Ochs says she intends to apply for a graduate teaching assistantship in Fort Hays' history department for next spring.
Additional coverage on the BBC, NPR and Yahoo news---
and from The Hays Daily News,

More Americans Are Paying for Television

Tired of costly cable bills, many Americans have 
talked about “cutting the cord” and 
relying on the Internet’s patchwork of 
streaming television and movie services. 
Decoder admits it’s a tantalizing proposition. 
But a new report reminds us that 
more people than ever are forking 
over monthly payments for TV.
The so-called “multichannel video market”
 counted nearly 100 million subscribers 
at the end of 2009, up three percent 
from the prior year, the research firm 
SNL Kagan said Monday.

If you see something, say something

The Times Square street vendors who alerted the police to a smoking Nissan Pathfinder on May 1 seemed to be acting on a combination of their streetwise instincts, their sense of civic duty, their military training and the advice of Allen Kay, chairman and chief executive of the Manhattan advertising agency Korey Kay & Partners. Kay came up with a slogan for the Metropolitan Transit Authority that is now being used by New Yorkers, sold on T Shirts (including by the vendors who headed off a possible Time Square disaster) and printed on posters, in ways similar to "loose lips sinks ships."

The message is simply "if you see something, say something".

Apparently, as this past week proved, the slogan works.

Story and photo from New York Times.

Frank Frazetta Defined Comic Book Heroes

Illustration: L Frazetta Properties. LLC  Frank Frazetta's defining cover for “Conan the Adventurer.” New York Times.
Frank Frazetta, an illustrator of comic books, movie posters and paperback book covers whose visions of musclebound men fighting with swords and axes to defend scantily dressed women helped define fantasy heroes like Conan, Tarzan and John Carter of Mars, died on Monday in Fort Myers, Fla. He was 82.

His work ranged from "Al Capp's Li'l Abner" to "Buck Rodgers", "Conan the Barbarian" to "Tarzan". He crafted comic books and graphic novels, movie posters and book covers, fine art and advertising.  

“Paperback publishers have been known to buy one of his paintings for use as a cover, then commission a writer to turn out a novel to go with it,” The New York Times reported in 1977, the same year that a collection of his drawings, “The Fantastic Art of Frank Frazetta,” sold more than 300,000 copies.

For more on Frank Frazetta, and his official New York Times obituary go to

Mapping Ancient Civilization, in a Matter of Days

For a quarter of a century, two archaeologists and their team slogged through wild tropical vegetation to investigate and map the remains of one of the largest Maya cities, in Central America. Slow, sweaty hacking with machetes seemed to be the only way to discover the breadth of an ancient urban landscape now hidden beneath a dense forest canopy. 

Even the new remote-sensing technologies, so effective in recent decades at surveying other archaeological sites, were no help. Imaging radar and multispectral surveys by air and from space could not “see” through the trees.

Then, in the dry spring season a year ago, the husband-and-wife team of Arlen F. Chase and Diane Z. Chase tried a new approach using airborne laser signals that penetrate the jungle cover and are reflected from the ground below. They yielded 3-D images of the site of ancient Caracol, in Belize, one of the great cities of the Maya lowlands.

In only four days, a twin-engine aircraft equipped with an advanced version of lidar (light detection and ranging) flew back and forth over the jungle and collected data surpassing the results of two and a half decades of on-the-ground mapping, the archaeologists said. After three weeks of laboratory processing, the almost 10 hours of laser measurements showed topographic detail over an area of 80 square miles, notably settlement patterns of grand architecture and modest house mounds, roadways and agricultural terraces.

The above is from the New York Times. The story continues at

3D attracts big franchises: MIB III

Will Smith is ready to again don a pair of black shades, this time of the 3D variety. Sony announced Friday that "Men in Black III" will get the 3D treatment, with a release set for May 25, 2012, click for full story

Regulating Broadband


By Diane Mermigas
editor-at-large at MediaPost.

Is FCC's Broadband Compromise Too Risky?

The Federal Communication Commission's proposed regulation of broadband as a commodity aims squarely at achieving Net neutrality -- but at what cost?

It will be years before we know whether the FCC's controversial decision to conditionally reclassify broadband (like telephone) as a Title II service is worth risking what some say could be billions in Internet-related investment and revenues (at cable, teleco and likely wireless companies) lost to regulatory uncertainty and compliance.  Meanwhile, consumers will continue to demand, and pay more for, rich video services that require more bandwidth.

This so-called "nuclear" option is the fastest, surest way for the FCC to pursue its quest for open access, which is at the heart of its proposed National Broadband Plan and an Obama campaign promise. Clearly, the FCC is asserting the broadband regulatory authority that the DC Court of Appeals recently ruled it does not have to prohibit Comcast from blocking Bit Torrent's voracious bandwidth consumption.

This latest FCC twist is as personal as it is political.