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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

War of the Words

The trenches are dug, the gas and hot air are in full use, rhetorical bombardments are underway and the road to victory seems clear, to both sides, as the country becomes pot holes, schools suffer and the deficit continues to mushroom.

- the state of Washington DC. Spring, 2011
April 21, 2011 first posted


TED Lectures, Exploration

Short public presentations by experts in their field, on just about every topic you can imagine, plus performances by unique artists from around the world. Check out TED for examples and topic ideas.

Study these for structure and content, use of visual aids and extemporaneous speaking styles. Note that they have a strong beginning, body in which they build their points and a conclusion.

Apply these videos to your speech in class.

Next from the World Of Disney, the floating mountains of Avatar!

"Avatar "Theme Parks from Disney (and rides at existing parks)

Disney parks avatar

From the LA Times Company Town blog.
The Walt Disney Co. has struck a deal to bring the fantasy world of "Avatar" to Disney Parks, starting with a multi-attraction themed land at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Fla.
Director James Cameron and his producing partner Jon Landau -- the team behind the 2009 cinematic blockbuster "Avatar" -- will serve as creative consultants, working with Walt Disney Imagineering to bring the fantasy world of Pandora and the broader Avatar universe to Disney's parks throughout the world.
Ground-breaking at Animal Kingdom, the newest of four theme parks at the city-sized Walt Disney World in Orlando, is planned for 2013.
"I'm chomping at the bit to start work with Disney's legendary Imagineers to bring our AVATAR universe to life," Cameron said in a statement announcing the deal Tuesday morning. "Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of AVATAR with an unprecedented sense of reality."
Click on "read more" below to find out more.

2 1/2 Men does well without Charlie, Netlix stumbles, Avatar Theme Parks, FOX under Fire

From the LA Times Company Town Blog (click here).

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Robert Lloyd on Ashton Kutcher's debut on "Two and a Half Men." Ratings for the Emmys tumbled, thanks to the NFL. Alex Pham on where to go when you are sick of over-the-air radio.

Duh, settling. Charlie Sheen and Warner Bros. are near a deal to end their ugly legal battle over the studio's firing of the star of CBS's "Two and a Half Men." Sheen who once had dreams of getting $100 million from his old bosses, will end up with about $25 million, to come from his participation in profits, according to the Los Angeles Times. Guess this explains why Sheen was so contrite on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and on Sunday's Emmy Awards.
Charlie who? Ashton Kutcher's debut on "Two and a Half Men" drew roughly 28 million viewers on Monday. Of course, a big audience for episode one was expected. The real question is how many will stick around in week two. Personally, I would have moved the scene where we first see Kutcher to the end of the episode so people would have a reason to tune in next week. It's called a cliffhanger. Sheen also had a good night as his roast on Comedy Central had big ratings. Not doing so well was NBC's heavily hyped drama "The Playboy Club," which generated about as much heat as a copy of Playboy does these days. NBC News anchor Brian Williams had better get that news magazine he's working on ready because there could be a hole for it real soon. A ratings report from Variety.
Growing pains. Just a couple of months ago it seemed as if Netflix was getting ready to take over the world. Its stock was flying high and analysts hailed the company as the future of entertainment with its streaming service. Now, after a controversial price increase, its stock is tumbling. Furthermore, content is getting tougher to come by as Hollywood starts to rethink its relationship with the company. A look at the woes of Netflix from the Los Angeles TimesWall Street JournalBloombergNew York Post and Hollywood Reporter.
Sorry. News Corp. is offering millions of dollars to one of the victims of phone hacking done by the media giant's now-closed News of the World. The family of Milly Dowler, which has not taken any legal action against the paper for hacking into the murdered teenager's voice mails when she first vanished, would get about $3.1 million. News Corp. would also donate $1.6 million to charity. More fromReuters and News Corp.'s Wall Street Journal.

Riding "Avatar." Walt Disney Co. struck a deal to create rides and other attractions at its theme parks based on the 20th Century Fox hit movie "Avatar." James Cameron, who directed the massive hit, will be very involved in crafting the attractions, which are set to debut in Orlando in five years at a cost of about $500 million. Details on the deal and its significance to Disney from the Los Angeles Times.
What's it pay? Facebook is looking for an executive to build relationships with the entertainment industry as it tries to move past social networking and into being a digital platform. Personally, I've often wondered if Facebook could enter the subscription TV business. Heck, it certainly has a base of potential customers. Of course, I also think Facebook could charge five bucks a month for such a service and a big chunk of its members (including me) would pay it. It's still cheaper than letters and phone calls. More on what Facebook is after from Reuters.
Couldn't they have just called? The Justice Deptartment has sent Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. a letter seeking information about accusations that the media giant's now-closed News of the World tabloid had made payments to police in Britain in return for information. The U.S. government wants to know if any of News Corp.'s legal troubles abroad could be violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. More from Bloomberg. Prediction: News Corp. will be hit with some sort of fine by the U.S. government when all this over.

Sticking around. Universal Pictures Chairman Adam Fogelson has signed a new deal with his bosses at Comcast that will keep him in the driver's seat through 2014. Fogelson will continue to report to Universal Studios chief Ron Meyer, but he also will report to new NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke. Also expected to get a new deal is Donna Langley, Fogelson's co-chairman. Details from Variety.
Slicing the pie. Despite shrinking audiences, commercial time on television continues to be expensive. This may seem like some deep dark mystery, but it is pretty simple to explain. The thinner you slice a pie, the more valuable the big pieces of pie become. Got it? Good. Still confused? Well here's a Wall Street Journal story on what's basically Advertising 101.
Leak plugged? Al Jazeera news director Wadah Khanfar's resignation had to do with disclosures by WikiLeaks that he had altered coverage of the Iraq war after getting some pressure by the United States, according to the New York Times.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Paramount Pictures is planning a $700-million upgrade to its Hollywood lot. A props shop that specializes in death and its related industries finds business is booming. Fox's "The X Factor" premieres Wednesday night and Mary McNamara has a review. 
-- Joe Flint
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Bruce Ramer re-elected CPB chair

Showbiz attorney has served on org's board since 2008

Bruce Ramer, one of showbiz's most prominent attorneys, has been reelected as chairman of the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the nonprofit that allocates government funds to public media.
In a tough budget climate, the CPB has so far fended off congressional calls to eliminate or severely scale back funding for public broadcasting, including an effort by House Republicans to zero out funding for NPR.
Ramer, a partner in Gang, Tyer, Ramer & Brown, is a Republican and was appointed to the board of the CPB by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate in 2008. He was first elected chairman of CPB in November. Terms run for one year.
Elected vice chairman was Patricia Cahill, general manager if KCUR-FM at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Cahill has worked as a producer, program director, news director and general manager at KMUW-FM at Wichita State University. She was appointed to the CPB board by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in August, 2009.
Ramer has been active in public media for more than 20 years and served on the board of KCET in Los Angeles, serving as its chairman from 2001 to 2003.
Contact Ted Johnson at

Four Guys from Zappo's Claim First Friday for profit promotion