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Monday, October 31, 2011

When Communication Really Works

It’s called communication because it is a two-way street – even when only one person is doing the talking, there is someone or more than one person at the other end who is receiving the message. And for communication to really work, it’s not just enough to send out a clear message, you also have to ensure that the correct meaning of the message has been understood by the recipient(s). 

Good communication skills are hard to find, and before you think that you’re a good communicator, let me remind you that it’s not enough just to be linguistically strong and/or have a good voice. 

To be an effective communicator, you must:

·      Know your subject: If you don’t know what you’re supposed to talk or write about, you’re never going to be able to convey the message clearly. It may be the simple act of giving someone instructions – if you don’t know how to do it yourself, no amount of instructing will do the trick. So before you start to communicate, ensure that you know the subject to be communicated well enough to deliver the message. The level of your knowledge depends on how thorough or deep your communication should be. 

·      Know your audience: It’s not enough to just be knowledgeable about the subject, you also need to know the level of receptiveness of your audience. Some people understand when things are put very simply while others expect you to use a certain standard of language in order to be perceived as an expert. Before you begin to communicate, you must know who you’re going to communicate with in order for the communication to be efficient.

·      Know how to tone up/down your subject according to your audience: And once you know both your subject and your audience, if you know how to tone your subject and choose your words according to your audience, you’re well on the way to being the king of communication. For example, you would explain certain things in one way to children and in a completely different way to adults. Even among adults, you would choose your words based on how well you think your audience is likely to understand them. This personalization and customization for a particular audience is what makes communication really effective.

These are the very basic skills of a good communicator – when you know what your message is supposed to be, when you know who the intended recipient is, and when you’re able to adjust the message according to the person who is supposed to receive it, you know you’ve mastered the fine art of communication.  

This guest post is contributed by Anna Miller, who writes on the topic of degrees online . She welcomes your comments at her email id:

Photo Credit:

Spending up, Amazon gets Disney Reprieve, New AMPTAS head comes from Indy Film, FOX and the Dodgers

Amazon's Kindle FireConsumer spending on entertainment up for the first time since the Recession began in 2008. Spending on home entertainment totaled $3.9 billion in the third quarter of this year, up 5% from a year earlier, marking the first increase since the recession took hold in 2008.

Purchases of recorded movies fell to $1.7 billion in the latest period, down 4% from the third quarter of 2010, a new report from Digital Entertainment Group shows.

The continued drop in consumer purchases of movies came despite the growth in popularity of Blu-ray discs. Sales of films Blu-ray discs, an increasingly popular format, were up 58%, but that wasn't enough to offset a decline in DVD sales.

The video rental market also was soft, staying relatively flat at $1.8 billion. The closing of hundreds of Blockbuster outlets helped push rental revenue from physical stores down 29%. The loss of Blockbuster stores was partially offset by gains in rentals at Redbox kiosks.

Digital revenue, increasingly important for the home entertainment business, showed double-digit percentage gains. Spending on online rentals and purchases jumped 56% to $811 million as subscription streaming services such as those offered by Netflix and gained popularity. The increase also reflects a decision by Netflix to report its revenue from streaming separately from its movies-by-mail revenue.

Disney deal: Like Netflix, Amazon will not get access to current shows in season. In other words, last week's 'Grey's Anatomy' won't show up on Prime Instant until a month after the current television season ends.

Walt Disney Co. has gotten on the Amazon gravy train.
Looking to acquire content for its video streaming service Prime Instant, Amazon has struck a deal with Disney's ABC broadcast network as well as its cable channels including Disney Channel, ABC Family and some older shows made by ABC Studios including "Felicity."

The short-term agreement is much smaller than Disney's current arrangement with Netflix, but the structure is similar. Like Netflix, Amazon will not get access to current shows in season.

The Netflix deal, which was also given a short-term renewal by Disney, is broader in terms of content. Amazon gets access only to past episodes of one current ABC series, "Grey's Anatomy." Netflix gets past episodes of the medical drama, its spinoff "Private Practice" and "Desperate Housewives."
Besides Disney, Amazon has also signed agreements with CBS, Fox, Warner Bros., Sony and NBCUniversal. It is making a big push for content to help boost sales of its new Kindle Fire tablet.
For all the big entertainment companies, Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services have turned into a vital new revenue stream. They need content for their streaming business and are throwing cash for old TV shows.

Learning curve. The New York Times profiles Dawn Hudson, the new chief executive of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. She's ruffled a few feathers in the thankless job, but no one questions her tenacity. “If you don’t want to say yes, don’t take her phone call,” said Michael Donaldson, the general counsel at Film Independent, the nonprofit Hudson ran before joining the academy.

End of cinema. The New Yorker weighs in on the controversy over Universal Pictures' now-aborted attempt to offer "Tower Heist" on video-on-demand just three weeks after its theatrical debut. Writes Anthony Lane: "There’s only one problem with home cinema: It doesn’t exist. The very phrase is an oxymoron. As you pause your film to answer the door or fetch a Coke, the experience ceases to be cinema."

One born every minute. Almost 20 years ago, the telephone companies invaded Hollywood. Money was tossed at executives and producers with dreams of new content giants being created. Other than a few executives getting even richer, nothing really happened. Now Google is coming to Hollywood with an open checkbook in the hopes of turning YouTube into a competing platform to traditional television. Maybe it will work, but if not, some folks will get overpaid trying! Coverage from the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and New York Post.

Wither the mogul. Rupert Murdoch is under siege and other media toppers are in hiding. That's the take from Variety columnist Peter Bart. I might argue that other than Murdoch, there are no other chief executives of media giants with nearly the personality to speak without requiring three focus group assessments first. Also, his family history is tied to that company. Not true for most everyone else.

The blame game.So Hilary Swank takes a ton of cash to show up at Chechnya President Ramzan Kadyrov's birthday and then there is a backlash against her for it since he's not exactly on the Nobel Peace Prize shortlist. Her next move? Fire her advisors of course! That's the word from The Independent. Swank was clearly a believer in the W.C. Field's line "it's only a crime if you get caught."

Inside the Los Angeles Times: NBC News anchor Brian Williams starts his second job as host of "Rock Center," the network's new news magazine. OWN Presidents Erik Logan and Sheri Salata are prepared to take the long road to success. Why Fox is fighting so hard with Dodgers owner Frank  McCourt.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. Stop denying yourself.

With the Mob Museum Opening soon...I felt I should share a mob memory involving the Halloween's of my Youth!

Halloween, Mobster Memories.

When I was a kid I use to change costumes and return to the same house many times. We all did. A nice old man gave out full boxes of Cracker Jack, and in every few boxes there was slipped in a two dollar bill! Lots of money back then. 

The nice old man was Sam Giancanna!

Use the link and you will know why this story is not just some boring Halloween story. 

There is a scary aspect to it when you find out who he was.

Blu-ray disc sales set the pace for home entertainment growth

The Digital Entertainment Group reports that consumer spending on home entertainment increased 5% in the third quarter, to $3.9 billion from $3.7 billion in the year-earlier quarter. Pacing the growth were sales of Blu-ray discs, which jumped more than 20% in the first nine months of this year compared with the same period in 2010, reaching $1.23 billion. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)

Labor Dept. ‘Friends’ Facebook to Help Job Seekers

Share with those who need a helping hand

From the AFL-CIO Blog (click here)

by Mike Hall, Oct 30, 2011

The U.S. Department of Labor is joining forces with Facebook and education and employer organizations to provide crucial employment resources to job seekers through the use of social networks.

A new Facebook Social Jobs Partnership page (click here) highlights available training programs, educational opportunities and job search resources. Also Facebook has made a commitment to drive traffic to the page through targeted online public service announcements that will appear to users in geographic areas experiencing high unemployment.
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis says:
Linking American job seekers with the resources they need to get back to work is a top priority of the Obama administration and my department. By leveraging the power of the social Web, this initiative will provide immediate, meaningful and ready-to-use information for job seekers and employers, and a modern platform to better connect them.

Other partners in the initiative are the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, DirectEmployers Association and the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Those groups will conduct in-depth survey research about how job seekers, college career centers and workforce recruiters are using the social Web effectively; explore how job postings can be shared on Facebook and through other social websites at no charge; and distribute educational materials to recruiters, government agencies and job seekers about the utility of the social Web.
Marne Levine, Facebook’s vice president of global public policy, says:
Facebook is about connecting people, so that they can share what’s important to them, and that is the driving force behind the social jobs partnership. We’ve brought employers, recruiters, college career services and government agencies together to help the millions of Americans who use Facebook to find jobs.

Guest Commentary: Teaching Communication

There are many sources for information on communication, careers, getting over your fears, getting your message through, being open to the messages in our lives and world, filtering fact from fiction, understanding the world around you and understanding how to prosper in, be healthy despite, and a contributing part of the world we live in. A large amount of information is out there. From time to time I will share guest commentary, links to other sites and suggestions on places to go to find additional inforamation. 

There is no reason to not do well in any Communication course or project. If you do not understand something there are many places to seek out explanation, information and clarification.

The article below is the first by  Adrienne Carlson, whose contact information and credentials can be found at links below.

Additional Teaching Options in Communication
There’s no doubting the fact that good communication skills are essential for success in any aspect of life; we may be smart and intelligent, but unless we’re able to show people our abilities, they are in vain. Communication is not just limited to the oral version; it can take on many forms from body language to sign language. Some people are able to transcend the limitations imposed by language and communicate effectively using their eyes and hands alone while others struggle when they don’t speak or understand the local lingo. Any way you look at it, being able to communicate effectively and according to the situation is important.
If you’re a good communicator, you would probably do well as an educator in this subject too, and if you’re interested in exploring teaching opportunities, here are a few options you could try:
·      Teaching in schools and colleges: Most schools and colleges have separate courses that teach communication skills. Some combine it with their English lessons, but this is really not the most effective way to teach communication because to be able to communicate well, you need to cross language barriers. Teaching communication skills is all about getting your students to understand the verbal and non verbal aspects of communication, and being able to get their message across without being ambiguous or vague. Good communication teachers are able to work with students individually and help them overcome their weaknesses and play to their strengths. 

·      Instructing at academies: Some people prefer to set up their own communication skills academies and are involved in conducting lectures and workshops across the country. They work with a select set of students for a while before moving on to the next batch. They have standard procedures and routines that they follow and are usually available on a consultancy basis. You could explore this avenue once you have gained a few years of experience teaching communication skills at a school or college.

·      Authoring self-help books: Once you become an expert in this line of work, you could sell your knowledge by writing self-help articles, e-books and books. You could set up your own blog and use your social networks to promote your articles and get more people to read them. Once you gain the reputation of being an expert, it’s easy to promote and sell your books and e-books.
To be a good communications teacher, you must first know how to sell your skills to others.
This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of accelerated online degree . Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

In the Spirit of Halloween.

Frankenstein's Monster comes to life in time for Halloween

Listen to a new Frankenstein Radio Drama, Sunday 3:30 Pacific and 6:30 Eastern

Next to last reminder! Frankenstein's Demon is close to being brought to life in stunning cranial technicolor. The radio play, almost 10 years in the making, airs tomorrow at 6:30 pm (Eastern) on 101.5 LITE FM. It can be heard - wherever you are - at and will be available afterward free, on demand at The LITE FM Players have outdone themselves!
Editors Note: Last Year's War of the Worlds was well worth the listen, even in far away Las Vegas. Dave Corey and his team are talented writer, audio masters and voice actors. Corey is also the National Board of Directors Representative from Florida and a friend. This version is based directly on the book, not movies or television, so expect a different sort of Frankenstein's Monster. 
PS: Even through it is radio, Corey, who is taller than my 6 foot four frame, does play the monster....

Animated Films Score in the US and Europe: Tintin and Puss!

Company Town

The business behind the show

Spielberg's 'Tintin' off to a solid start at European box office

The Adventures of Tintin got off to a solid start overseas this weekend
 From the LA Times Company Town here for the latest entertainment news

"The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" doesn't open in U.S. theaters for nearly two months, but the Steven Spielberg-directed film already has the makings of a hit overseas.

This weekend, the animated 3-D film opened in 19 foreign markets and collected $55.8 million, according to an estimate from international distributors Sony Pictures and Paramount Pictures.

The studios decided to launch the Peter Jackson-produced film so far ahead of its U.S. debut on Dec. 21 in part to boost ticket sales in Europe, where the 82-year-old Belgian comic book series is a beloved part of the cultural history. If the film is successful abroad, the studios are hopeful that it will fare well domestically, where the cartoon character is foreign to most moviegoers.

This weekend, the film about a young reporter seeking hidden treasure was No. 1 in 17 of the 19 markets in which it opened. The movie had the strongest debut in France, where it grossed $21.5 million, marking the second biggest debut of the year behind the eighth and final "Harry Potter" film.

It also did solid business in Britain, Spain and "Tintin's" native Belgium, where the movie grossed $2.1 million.

Despite its respectable start abroad, the movie still has a long way to go before it can be considered a success. The picture cost its financial backers between $150 million and $175 million after tax credits, according to people close to the production. The studios will also spend more than $100 million to market and release the movie worldwide, and about 30% of "Tintin" revenue will go directly to Spielberg and Jackson.

'Tintin': Steven Spielberg animates an Oscar debate
Spielberg's 'Tintin' will open in Europe two months before U.S.
Box Office: 'Puss in Boots' wins weekend by more than a whisker
-- Amy Kaufman
Photo: A scene from "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn." Credit: Paramount Pictures

Box Office: 'Puss in Boots' wins weekend by more than a whisker

Puss in Boots won the weekend at the box office
From the LA Times Company Town here for the latest entertainment news

"Puss in Boots" pounced on the competition at the box office this weekend. But even though the 3-D film easily took first place, the family flick had the softest debut in five years for a movie from DreamWorks Animation.

The film grossed $34 million on its domestic opening weekend, according to an estimate from distributor Paramount Pictures. That was far more than either of the two other new films in wide release collected. "In Time," a sci-fi action movie starring Justin Timberlake started off with a so-so $12 million. And "The Rum Diary," featuring Johnny Depp and based on a Hunter S. Thompson novel, collected a weak $5 million.

In recent years, most DreamWorks Animation films have opened with at least $40 million in ticket sales. About a year ago, for example, the studio's "Megamind" had a $46-million debut.

This weekend's so-so performance by "Puss in Boots" was blamed in part on snowy weather on the East Coast, which a studio executive said probably cost at least $2 million in sales. Still, DreamWorks has not had this low of a debut since 2006's "Flushed Away."

The film's animated protagonist — a cat burglar voiced by Antonio Banderas — was first seen as a sidekick to the title-character ogre in the studio's hit franchise "Shrek." DreamWorks spent about $130 million to produce "Puss in Boots."

The good news for the movie's financial backers is that audiences seemed to like the film -- those who saw it gave it an average grade of A-, according to market research firm CinemaScore.

Spielberg's 'Tintin' off to a solid start at European box office

The Adventures of Tintin got off to a solid start overseas this weekend
From the LA Times Company Town Blog, click here for the latest news.

"The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" doesn't open in U.S. theaters for nearly two months, but the Steven Spielberg-directed film already has the makings of a hit overseas.

This weekend, the animated 3-D film opened in 19 foreign markets and collected $55.8 million, according to an estimate from international distributors Sony Pictures and Paramount Pictures.
The studios decided to launch the Peter Jackson-produced film so far ahead of its U.S. debut on Dec. 21 in part to boost ticket sales in Europe, where the 82-year-old Belgian comic book series is a beloved part of the cultural history. If the film is successful abroad, the studios are hopeful that it will fare well domestically, where the cartoon character is foreign to most moviegoers.

This weekend, the film about a young reporter seeking hidden treasure was No. 1 in 17 of the 19 markets in which it opened. The movie had the strongest debut in France, where it grossed $21.5 million, marking the second biggest debut of the year behind the eighth and final "Harry Potter" film. It also did solid business in Britain, Spain and "Tintin's" native Belgium, where the movie grossed $2.1 million.

Despite its respectable start abroad, the movie still has a long way to go before it can be considered a success. The picture cost its financial backers between $150 million and $175 million after tax credits, according to people close to the production. The studios will also spend more than $100 million to market and release the movie worldwide, and about 30% of "Tintin" revenue will go directly to Spielberg and Jackson.

'Tintin': Steven Spielberg animates an Oscar debate
Spielberg's 'Tintin' will open in Europe two months before U.S.
Box Office: 'Puss in Boots' wins weekend by more than a whisker

-- Amy Kaufman
From the LA Times Company Town Blog, click here for the latest news. 

Photo: A scene from "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn." Credit: Paramount Pictures

US Senate Race for Ensign's former seat a Dead Heat in Nevada

(D) Shelley Berkley    45%
(R) Dean Heller         45%

+/- 3.5 %

Sunday Morning News and Views, Part 2

Thousands of people turned out Saturday to celebrate the 147th anniversary of Nevada's statehood at the
annual Nevada Day Parade in Carson City. Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong says sunny, mild weather drew
a crowd equal or better than last year's estimated crowd of 15,000. A group of Wall Street protesters wearing "99 Percent" shirts watched the parade outside the Capitol with other spectators. The parade is the highlight of annual festivities celebrating October 31st 1864 when President Abraham Lincoln signed Nevada's declaration of statehood. Against the will of traditional born and bread Nevadans, Statehood day was moved from October 31st through a referendum  ratified by a vote of the state legislature seven years ago. The vote changed the holiday from the actual day of October 31st to create a three day weekend in its place.  This year's parade drew more than 200 entries and featured Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy as grand marshal. The parade's theme was "The Great Outdoors." Friday was state holiday, with all local and state governments closed.

Think Halloween, and not far behind pumpkins and ghosts, you may find yourself craving a very specific sweet. Candy Corn is a uniquely American candy, dating back to the 1880's, created by the Wonderlin Candy Company, which is now part of  Jelly Belly. In the 1880's the candy was hand made and required skilled crafters who poured the three layers. The name and popularity comes from  Corn, which goes through stages or comes in varieties of orange, yellow and white. Remember that in the 1880's our nation was primarily Agrarian and corn was a major product Americans could identity with. In fact, if you line up Candycorn between your fingers, top up, it looks more than a bit like corn on the cob.

He is the Willie Wonka of Covina, Calif., joyfully leading anyone who drops by on a tour of his tiny candy
company. It's here that David Klein produces mounds of chewy, crunchy, sugary confections with names like Sandy Candy, Zombie Heart and Gummy Bacon. But it's what he used to sell that once made him famous. In the 1970s, Klein was Mr. Jelly Belly. It was Klein who helped launch a gourmet candy craze by envisioning a smaller, tastier jelly bean. Then, in 1980, he sold his interest in Jelly Belly. The move, he says, was something that left him with a bitter, unfulfilled taste in his mouth.So he's back with a new bean, Dave's Signature Beyond Gourmet. And he's looking to reclaim his title as jelly bean genius.

Climate Change and Global Warming are Real! A prominent physicist and skeptic of global warming spent two years trying to find out if mainstream climate scientists were wrong. In the end, he determined they were right: Temperatures really are rising rapidly. The study of the world's surface temperatures by Richard Muller was partially bankrolled by a foundation connected to global warming deniers. He pursued long-held skeptic theories in analyzing the data. Yet he found that the land is 1.6 degrees warmer than in the 1950s. His finding of a warming world is no different from what mainstream climate scientists have been saying for decades. What's different and why many are paying attention is that some research money came from the Charles Koch Foundation, whose founder is a big backer of skeptic groups and the tea party.

President Barack Obama's top political adviser is defending the administration's handling of the economy and
blaming Congress for not pushing through more sweeping changes. David Axelrod says Obama's strategy has been to do whatever he can to help the middle class, whereas Congress has been focused on "obstruction and delay." Axelrod suggests that Republicans are "willing to tear down the economy in order to tear down the president." Obama has pitched a $447 billion jobs plan that would be paid for with an added tax on people who make at least $1 million a year. Senate Republicans have blocked action on the bill because they oppose much of the increased spending and the tax increase. Axelrod spoke on CNN's "State of the Union."

Don't believe the campaign rhetoric and "facts" that keep being repeated in conversations and over the Internet. Here's one campaign outrageous tale. The federal government spends one out of every $10 in
transportation aid on wasteful projects such as refurbishing a giant roadside coffee pot and constructing turtle tunnels. That's what Republican lawmakers have said repeatedly in recent weeks in the Senate, in public appearances and in news releases. They want to eliminate a requirement that states use a portion
of their highway aid for "transportation enhancements" - 12 categories of projects ranging from bike and walking paths to scenic overlooks and landscaping. But the claims aren't exactly true. To make their case, lawmakers have exaggerated and misrepresented some projects that have received aid.

Key proposals from the Republican presidential candidates might make for good campaign fodder. But independent analyses raise serious questions about those plans and their ability to cure the nation's economic and housing woes. The candidates are pushing lower taxes and less regulation in the name of job creation. But employers say poor consumer demand is a far bigger obstacle to new hires. Mainstream economic theory says governments can spur demand, at least somewhat, through stimulus spending. But the 2012 contenders have labeled President Barack Obama's 2009 stimulus efforts a failure. Instead, most of the candidates
are calling for tax cuts that would primarily benefit high-income people, who are seen as the likeliest job creators.

A White House adviser say Mitt Romney has "moved all over the place" on issues from abortion to gay marriage over his career and might not have firm enough convictions to make the tough decisions as president. David PlouffePlouffe, who was Barack Obama's 2008 campaign manager, notes a new Iowa poll showing Herman Cain leading with 23 percent support, and Romney next at 22 percent. Plouffe tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that Cain "seems to have tapped into something." Plouffe says lots of voters still are
"looking somewhere else" beyond Romney and he wonders whether the early front-runner can turn that around.

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry says he may not be the best debater, but he's confident he can draw clear distinctions with President Barack Obama onstage next year. The Texas governor is trying to reassure Republican primary voters in the wide-open nominating contest.  He says he may skip some debates with the other GOP hopefuls between now and the end of January. But he says he's "not worried a bit" about his ability to contrast his plans on the economy and foreign policy with the president's during scheduled debates in the 2012 elections.Perry's campaign has said he'll participate in at least five more debates against his GOP rivals, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Perry tells "Fox News Sunday" that he prefers other types of campaigning.

GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry says President Barack Obama hasn't listened to his commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that's cost him credibility as commander in chief. Obama has announced that U.S troops would leave Iraq by the end of the year, effectively ending the war that began under the administration of President George W. Bush. Perry tells "Fox News Sunday" that making those plans public endangers troops still in Iraq. The Texas governor says Obama has "lost his standing" as a commander in chief.  The president has said the death of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi and the end of the Iraq war are reminders of America's renewed leadership in the world.

A new ad showing Herman Cain's smoking campaign manager is the latest political video to become an overnight Internet sensation. The ad has had nearly a million clicks on Cain's website since its debut last week. It's also been aired repeatedly on cable news shows and has become the subject of countless parodies. Online viral videos have become a staple of American politics. Not long ago, pricey paid television ads were the only way for candidates to be noticed. But one expert whose company tracks political advertising says that while online videos have the power to influence a race, paid television advertising still carries more impact overall.

Emmy Award-winning television personality and Las  Vegas resident Montel Williams says Israel is at the forefront of providing patient access to medical marijuana.Williams was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999. He has since been an outspoken advocate of medical marijuana to relieve pain caused by disease. The former host of the popular long-running talk show "The Montel Williams Show" is meeting legislators, scientists and physicians in Israel on a fact-finding mission. He believes the United States could
learn from Israel how to treat marijuana just "like any other medication that a doctor uses in their arsenal." Williams, who is 55, says he takes cannabis on a daily basis and that "for me, there is nothing else that can do what it does."

James Brown's charitable trust had just $14,000 in it and his estate was saddled with more than $20 million
in debt as it languished in a court battle three years after his death in 2006. But a complex settlement in 2009 took management of Brown's assets from its trustees and turned it over to a professional money
 manager. The professional cut deals that put the Godfather of Soul's music on national and international commercials, making enough money to wipe out the crushing debt and open the way to thousands of college scholarships for needy students. The settlement might be in jeopardy, though. The South Carolina Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday from two former trustees, who want the whole thing thrown out.

Wildlife officials in the Northern Rockies want to sharpen their grizzly bear safety message after two hikers were fatally mauled over the summer in Yellowstone National Park.  The Yellowstone region's grizzly population has expanded in recent years to about 600 bears. Those animals are pushing into new areas of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho - forcing wildlife agencies to broaden the public safety side of their "bear awareness" message. Also growing is the size of the crowd that message needs to reach: Yellowstone National Park last year hosted a record 3.6 million visitors. Chief Ranger Tim Reid says the park has done well instructing ikersh who camp overnight about the dangers of traveling in bear country. He says the park has been less successful reaching day-hikers such as the two mauling victims.


Sunday Morning News and Views, Part 1


Nevada Governor. Brian Sandoval and First Lady Kathleen Sandoval are planning to open their mansion doors for trick-or-treaters on Halloween. The governor and his wife are welcoming families to the historic
property between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday. The Halloween festivities will also feature musical
entertainment. The Nevada Governor's Mansion is located at 606 Mountain Street,
in Carson City's historic district.

In Las Vegas former Lt. Governor and Neurosurgeon Dr. Lonnie Hamergrin will open his "homes" to visitors for the first time in three years, with tours available of the sizable and colorful Hammergrin collection. Everything from shrunken heads to an actual Apollo Training capsule, classic signs from historic Las Vegas hotels to a replica of the Thomas and Mac, war canoes to gondolas can be found on the must see tour from 1 to 5 this afternoon. Details and the location of his home off Sandhill between Flamingo and Harmon can be found elsewhere on this blog.

Bring Out Your Dead, or at least those whose loss is being investigated by the Clark County Cornor's Office, and a select few will have the cause of their demise investigated on television. A producer and Clark County have inked a deal to bring stories about life and death in the Sin City coroner's office to cable TV. Coroner Michael Murphy says the goal is to show how the choices people make when they're alive can affect when and how they die. Most deaths aren't violent. Murphy says diabetes, heart disease and prescription drug abuse top the list of cases his office sees. The Clark County Commission approved the deal with Discovery Studios LLC after a promise that the county will get $5,000 per episode. County officials will screen edits to avoid showing personally identifiable characteristics. A project executive calls the science, forensics and problem-solving the interesting part. The deal also lets Murphy feature one unidentified death case each episode.

Getting people to pay for news online isn't easy. But back in March, the New York Times gave it a shot. Their online subscription model lets readers access 20 articles a month, and then you have to pay fee to see more. The pay wall was seen as a risky move at the time, but the Gray Lady's third quarter profit reports are in ... and the results are better than expected. It seems that acceptance of paying for news among news consumers is declining. Two fears. First is that we will see a new class society in which most Americans will no longer be fully informed as they cast their votes or make major decisions. The other is the potential loss of print subscribers, and with it the entire print base advertising model newspapers and magazines rely on.

Unemployment remains at a level not sustained since the Great Depression, with a blue collar to white collar, professional to day laborer range, also not seen since the Great Depression. In a fast moving society, those who have been unemployed for long periods of time, regardless of skills or education, find themselves unemployable because of prolonged periods out of their professional workforce fields. Older Americans are hit hardest, followed by the very young, two extremes while the middle hangs on to the fantasy that all is well or that things are better than "the media" paints them to be. The callas attitude of many Americans toward their neighbors in need is concerning charities and politicians, and driving a "bootstrap" campaign mode for many Republicans and some Democrats that economist and many Americans say no longer exists. One percent of the population controls 99% of the nations wealth, a level not found in over 100 years, the same level that led to the birth of labor unions and a major shift toward progressives and eventually war, excess and the Great Depression. For the first time in the nation's history manufacturing and high paying jobs are leaving the country, with a brain drain to other nations and parts of the world. The nation is in denial, while individuals suffer.

Las Vegas leads the nation in underwater homes, quick sales and foreclosures. But we are not alone.  Month in and month out, Idahos foreclosure rate remains one of the highest in the nation. For many, losing a home is the definition of hitting bottom. But some former homeowners are finding themselves in an even tighter spot than they thought was possible. They've lost their homes and wrecked their credit ratings'. And even if you choose the only way many have to maintain their home when time get tight, bankruptcy chapter 13, creditors treat you as if you have the plague. So when you are the most down you keep getting kicked. Now high risk and therefore dangerous lending is entering the Idaho market, taking advantage of the at-risk status and those who are desperate to keep their lives together. Will we see another bank related usury crisis?

Do politicians know what our everyday lives are like? Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says Mitt Romney's recent comments about the foreclosure crisis show he's out of touch with middle-class Americans. Romney told the Las Vegas Review-Journal's editorial board that he wants to allow home foreclosures to "hit the bottom" to help the housing industry recover. In a speech to Washoe County Democrats in Reno on Friday night, Villaraigosa said Romney's remarks show he does not want to help "responsible homeowners who have been scammed by lenders" or "middle-class families who - through no fault of their own - have hit hard times."

 We are not out of the woods on a potential world wide depression. Europe's plan to deal with its protracted debt crisis sparked an impressive market rally, but the deal's lack of specifics has many observers concerned. Some complain the approach hammered out in Brussels focuses on symptoms rather than the root causes of the crisis. The world economy cannot be floated by the relative boom in the far East, India and China, as those relatively newly booming economies have their own major crisis and potential stumbling block scenarios. Later this week, President Barack Obama will travel to France for an economic summit with world leaders. 

When the world's seven billionth person is born sometime tomorrow, there is a good chance that he or she will be born in India. That's because India adds 51 new births to its population every minute. World population growth has slowed but is still at what scientist and economist alike say is an unsustainable rate of growth. Famine, economic depression, war and disease are all in the future population as our population head toward six billion.

Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan has helped boost him to the top of the Republican presidential field. But talking taxes in New Hampshire -- the nation's first primary state and one with no sales or income tax -- has long been considered a "no-no."For the most part merchants and customers alike are resisting a potential national sales tax, but those who have moved into the state or lived in other states do represent a significant number of Republican voters who are less resistant to the tax redistribution plan. One question asked, however, is that if this is a redistribution and none of us will suffer more than we already do, where is the gain in such a major overhaul,other than for the rich, who will see honest pre-loophole taxes go down?

Occupy Wall Street has off shoots nation wide. In Portland overnight Police arrested about 30 demonstrators early this morning with the Occupy Portland movement after they refused to leave a park in an affluent district after a midnight curfew. Police pulled vans up to a group of about 27-30 protesters
sitting in a circle at Jamison Square and began arresting the protesters one-by-one. Most of the protesters went limp and police carried or dragged them away. There was no violence during the 90-minute period of arrests. The protesters - all appearing to be in their 20s and 30s - were handcuffed before they were driven off. One continued to chant "we are the 99 percent." Dozens of other protesters remained on the edges of the park in a show of support, but the crowd thinned out around 3:30 a.m. as the last arrests were made. 

Anti-Wall Street protests in Los Angeles have spread north to the San Fernando Valley, but police say that unlike the ones downtown at City Hall, these demonstrators won't be setting up camp. About 20 protesters calling themselves Occupy San Fernando Valley were marching at Van Nuys Civic Center last night, chanting "They got bailed out, we got sold out," a refrain heard at similar protests in Manhattan and around the country

Tensions between Kenya and lawless neighboring Somalia are rising. Two weeks ago, Kenya sent forces across the border to chase down Al Shabaab militants blamed for a string of kidnappings as well as attacks on Kenyan soil. The rising hostilities comes as the region is dealing with a crippling drought and famine.  

 A memorial to Cold War Warriors was dedicated this weekend at a ground-breaking on the road to Lee Canyon and Mt Charleston. The head of a southern Nevada nonprofit group has released an architect's design for a black granite memorial to commemorate a Mount Charleston airplane crash that killed 14 during a Cold War-era flight to the secret Area 51 site in Nevada. Steve Ririe is chairman of Silent Heroes of the Cold War Corp. He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal the memorial on Mount Charleston will be erected by the U.S. Forest Service as part of a Silent Heroes of the Cold War National Memorial Ririe says he's raised about $45,000 in donations. That's about half the $90,000 cost. Plans call for a groundbreaking next summer for the memorial in the Kyle Canyon area about 40 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Major changes could be in store for a tiny town on the road to the Grand Canyon's South Rim. The Tusayan Town Council is set to vote Wednesday on plans by an Italian developer to build high-end boutiques, a dude ranch, a spa resort and a high-density shopping area just off the main highway. Mayor Greg Bryan says it would set the character of Tusayan for years to come. Residents voted last year to incorporate the town, paving the way for local development decisions. Stilo Development Group USA has proposed hundreds of housing units and more than 3 million square feet of commercial space on three properties. Critics worry about a danger to the quality of life, the nature of the Grand Canyon experience, and say the plan lacks specifics, particularly on how developers would assure a water source.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Jack Black and Will Ferrell "Get Off the Stage" Oscar® song

Doris Day to Receive Career Achievement Award From Los Angeles Film Critics Association

The group will next meet Dec. 11 to vote on its annual awards.

by Gregg Kilday
Doris Day Circa 1966 - P 2011Getty Images
Doris Day circa 1966
Doris Day has been named the recipient of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's Career Achievement Award.

Although the actress has not appeared on fim since the late '60s, throughout the '50s and early '60s she was one of Hollywood's reigning boxoffice stars. Although she is best known as the virginal heroine of such frothy comedies as Pillow Talk and That Touch of MInk, she appeared in a wide range of films from thrillers like Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much to musical dramas like Charles Vidor's Love Me or Leave Me.

STORY: Doris Day Interviews With Sir Paul McCartney Before Album Drops

During the course of her career, she received one Academy Award nomination as best actress for 1959's Pillow Talk. Over the years, her fans supporters have also urged the Academy to pay tribute to her with an honorary award, although it has yet to do so.

LAFCA also announced that it will meet to vote on its choice for the year's best films Dec. 11.

  • Doris Day
  • The Hollywood Reporter: More on this and other entertainment news stories, click here.

Lonnie's Open House for Nevada Day is on! Visit "the" collection October 30th

Happy Hammergrin Halloween/ Nevada Days Open House is on this year

SAG actors who have been here for a few years remember the parties Lonnie use to throw for branch members who hit 25 years in the union (some as high as 70 years). My wife and I had the joy of handling Lonnies marketing and advertising (of course Lonnie was his own marketing) on his successful run for Lt Governor in 1994. It was a fun and wild ride! A campaign unlike any other!

As for his house: sharks, subs, Apollo text capsule, bikes, shrunken heads, musical instruments, a working planetarium, an authentic gondola, neon Las Vegas history, the desks from the old state legislature and a world of other surprises are to be had when touring this "back yard" overlooking Sandhill. The Liberace staircase, his traveling piano, the dome from the old Dunes, a roller coaster from the Stratosphere, a scale model of Leonardo daVinci's flying machine, the Nevada Brothel Bar, a plane owned by Howard Hughes and much much more...

Will there be an annual Halloween at Lt. Governor Lonnie Hammegrin's house?

The ANSWER THIS YEAR IS YES..Open House on October 30th for Nevada Day (costumes optional). More in today's Las Vegas Review Journal.

Click on "read more" below for additional information on the Hammergrin Estate.

Dark Music with Beautiful Chorus

Apathy, not voting and not speaking out? YOU ARE TAKING SIDES!

Why The Haves Have So Much

Sheets of $100 bills wait to be cut into singles at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C. In recent decades, the gap between rich and poor has widened in the United States.
Enlarge Mark Wilson/Getty Images Sheets of $100 bills wait to be cut into singles at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C. In recent decades, the gap between rich and poor has widened in the United States.

The Congressional Budget Office released a report this week showing that the gap between wealthy and poor Americans has become much wider than it once was.

What's behind that expanding income gap?

Federal tax policy is part of the story. Those at the top of the income ladder have been the biggest beneficiaries of tax cuts over the last three decades.

But the biggest change has come in the shape of the economy itself.

The United States is becoming more and more of a winner-take-all society. Cornell University economist Robert Frank co-wrote a book with that name. It describes how technological change allows top performers to claim an ever-larger slice of the economic pie.

"The most vivid example we had for a long time was the tax advice industry," he says. People who once might have gone to a local accountant to have their taxes done can now use mass-produced software instead. That puts a crimp on the income of local accountants. But the CEO behind TurboTax made more than $4 million last year.

Superstars in sports and entertainment have long enjoyed that kind of outsized gain. But Frank says the winner-take-all pattern of concentrated rewards is spreading to one field after another.

"All that's to the good in one sense. I mean, we get to buy from the best now in a way that we didn't," he says. "But it's created an enormous increase in income inequality."

'Class Warfare'?

None of this is exactly news to people who've been paying attention for the last three decades. Ten days after he took office, President Obama set up a task force on the issue, to be chaired by Vice President Biden.

"The measure of our success will be whether the middle class once again shares in the economic success and prosperity of the nation," Biden said.

Republicans generally don't like to talk about the widening income gap. Instead, they stress that with hard work anyone can make it into the top 1 percent. In a speech this week at the Heritage Foundation, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan argued that focusing on the distribution of income amounts to misguided class warfare.

"This just won't work in America," Ryan said. "Class is not a fixed designation in this country. We are an upwardly mobile society with a lot of income movement between income groups."
In fact, studies show there's less upward mobility now than there used to be, and less movement between income groups in the United States than in Germany, France, Canada or the Scandinavian countries.

Economist Jared Bernstein, who used to staff the Middle Class Task Force at the White House, argues the Republican budget drafted by Ryan would worsen inequality, because it would cut government programs that benefit the poor and middle class, while cutting taxes for the wealthy.
"I think it was Warren Buffett who said, 'If there's class warfare out there, my class is winning,'" Bernstein says. "It's not that you want your tax system to totally offset the inequality in market outcomes. I don't. But you certainly don't want them to make it worse. And plans like those of Paul Ryan do. And that to me sounds a lot like class warfare."

What Could Narrow The Gap?

But even liberal economists like Bernstein don't believe tax policy alone can correct for the nation's mounting inequality.

"That's where we have to look for policy solutions to increase the earnings power, the bargaining power, the basic ability of middle-class families to claim their fair share of the productivity growth that they themselves are helping to create," he says.

We're probably not going to outlaw TurboTax. And the administration's efforts to strengthen unions' bargaining power have so far borne little fruit. The White House is trying to encourage manufacturing — where rewards tend to be more evenly distributed. And economist Frank says it wouldn't hurt to make the financial industry, with its conspicuous winner-take-all bonuses, a little less attractive.
"In 2007, I think it was 44 percent of the graduating class from Princeton took jobs in the financial services industry. Really talented kids who could be doing useful things — instead they're competing to see who can forecast what the asset price will be 10 seconds sooner than the next quickest forecast," Frank says. "We don't need that many people seeking those positions."

Finally, any steps that improve the job market could help. The 1990s, when employers had to compete for workers, produced some of the biggest gains for people in the middle of the income ladder. Bernstein says the best recipe for giving working people a bigger slice of the economic pie is full employment.

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CW to stream shows on Hulu

CW's Hart of Dixie
Continuing the evolution of its digital strategy, the CW television network said Friday it would offer online streams of new episodes through Hulu and the Hulu Plus subscription service.
The five-year deal with Hulu comes just two weeks after the CW, a joint venture between CBS Corp. and Warner Bros. Entertainment, announced a similar partnership with Netflix. Netflix will make available episodes of past seasons of CW shows, including "Gossip Girl" and "Vampire Diaries," to its subscribers.
The Hulu deal is different because the service, owned by media giants News Corp., NBCUniversal and the Walt Disney Co., will have the exclusive right to stream episodes of such new CW shows as "Ringer" and "Hart of Dixie" as well as returning series. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The two deals mark a major switch in strategy for the small broadcast network, which until now had tightly held the digital rights to its shows. In a bid to protect its TV ratings, the network delayed the online availability of its episodes and steered viewers to its own advertising-supported CW website.
But by striking deals with such major players as Netflix and Hulu, CW is carving out a new revenue stream, which should eventually allow the network -- launched in 2006 -- to finally become profitable.  Episodes will continue to be available on the CW's ad-supported website.

Film Incentives at work: Ironman lands in North Carolina

In a blow to Los Angeles' below-the-line community, Marvel Studios will take its next "Iron Man" movie to Wilmington, N.C.

After weeks of speculation about where the movie would land, EUE/Screen Gems co-owner and Chief Operating Officer Chris Cooney confirmed Thursday that Manhattan Beach-based Marvel will shoot its next "Iron Man" movie at his studio in North Carolina.

“We aggressively pursued this piece of business,” Cooney said at a press conference held at the studio. “We negotiated hard and it paid off.”

Marvel also had been considering Michigan, but uncertainty surrounding the future of that state's tax credit took it out of the running.  Marvel executives also weighed filming in Los Angeles -- where the first two films in the superhero franchise were shot -- and New Mexico, but executives were ultimately wooed by North Carolina’s 25% film tax credit, in addition to the large Wilmington studio. California offers a film credit of up to 25% but it excludes big-budget movies like "Iron Man 3."

“We have a massive film facility and the third-largest film and television based crew in the country,” EUE/Screen Gems Executive President Bill Vassar said.

Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Spoktacular Tonight

So here we are! We are just one day away from the biggest event in Las Vegas this Halloween season, and that is THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, starring the cast of Frankie's Favorite Obsession! We're ready to thrill you, chill you, and fulfill you! It's this Saturday at Midnight (Come around 11-11:30 if you want good seats; we expect to sell out) only at Regency Tropicana Cinemas (3330 E. Tropicana Avenue at Pecos)! So don't dream it, BE IT
Saturday, October 29 at 11:30pm, Tropicana Cinema Inc