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Thursday, January 12, 2012

I saw Muddy jam with the Stones

I saw Muddy Waters and the Stones jam while I was in college. I went to a small club to see Muddy and sat through the night for 6 hours of jamming with the Stones (minus Jagger). The Chicago blues at its best!

Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones - Mannish Boy Live

George Lucas on difficult of making a movie about African Americans and why he did it
George Lucas pays tribute to the heroes that comprised the Tuskegee Airmen, and discusses how difficult is was to market an action film about African Americans.

CCHR: Psychiatry—Labeling Kids with Bogus 'Mental Disorders'

To Do Well In Life, You Have To 'Read Well'

"To do well in life you have to read."

Author Walter Dean Myers is the nation's latest ambassador for young people's literature. The two-year post is something like a youth version of poet laureate. As a young man in Harlem, Myers hid his books so no one would know he liked to read.

"Jobs that do not require you to be literate are gone or will be in five to ten years. Reading is a required if you wish to go anywhere in life."

"In some areas reading proficiency is down to fifteen percent of children."

More on NPR's Morning edition (click here).

The World Map of Our Literary Dreams

'Channelization' of the Web

News Corp. digital chief Jon MillerNews Corp. chief digital officer Jon Miller. Credit: Jamie Rector / Bloomberg News
From the LA Times Company Town Blog (click here)

We've seen the future of the Web at the Consumer Electronics Show -- and it looks remarkably like TV. Jon Miller, chief digital officer for News Corp., predicted that a major trend of 2012 will be what he called the "channelization" of the Web.

Online video has been characterized by short bursts of entertainment, lasting just a few minutes. Miller said Google Inc.'s YouTube site is pushing a more programmed approach that more closely resembles TV channels.

"Clearly, YouTube is trying to drive that in a big way.... Essentially, it means programming that is sequential that you can keep viewing. You have a passive viewing experience," Miller said Wednesday at Variety's Entertainment Summit at CES. "You turn it on and it runs. It has continuity, as opposed to watching a three-minute video. It stops, and you sit there."

YouTube has begun bolstering its video offerings with 100 channels of original programming created by established TV production companies, as well as celebrities such as Madonna and former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal.

Robert Kyncl, vice president of global head of content partnerships at YouTube, will deliver a keynote Thursday, in which he is expected to talk about the opportunity of the Web as a distribution vehicle.
Kyncl's expected remarks come as consumer electronics manufacturers introduced a new generation of Internet-connected TVs powered by Google TV, software that allows viewers to search for and watch Web video on the big screen in the living room.

From the LA Times Company Town Blog (click here)

Romney and the Bailout

Like a lot of people, I was fairly startled by Mitt Romney’s new defense of his work at Bain: it was just like the auto bailout!
“In the general election, I’ll be pointing out that the president took the reins of General Motors and Chrysler, closed factories, closed dealerships, laid off thousands and thousands of workers. He did it to try to save the business,” Romney said on “CBS This Morning.” “We … had, on occasion, to do things that are tough to try to save a business.”
The first thought is, didn’t Romney write an op-ed titled Let Detroit Go Bankrupt? Yes, he did. But the title was misleading. What he actually called for was a “managed bankruptcy”, with government support — not too different from what actually happened.
So can Romney claim that he was for this successful policy all along? No, he can’t — because when the actual policy was proposed, he trashed it:
What is proposed is even worse than bankruptcy–it would make GM the living dead.
So what the story of Romney and the auto bailout actually shows is something we already knew from health care: he’s a smart guy who is also a moral coward. His original proposal for the auto industry, like his health reform, bore considerable resemblance to what Obama actually did. But when the deed took place, Romney — rather than having the courage to say that the president was actually doing something reasonable — joined the rest of his party in whining and denouncing the plan.
And now he wants to claim credit for the very policy he trashed when it hung in the balance.

Source: New York Times Op Ed

Thesis and Critical Thinking help from fellow professors

This link provides an overview of how a thesis can be constructed. I have actually provided this link to students as an aid in getting them to construct better arguments (although I don't think any of them have ever used it). I like this site because 1) it's short (so students won't be discouraged from reading it based on length alone) and 2) it provides an incremental path to constructing a thesis.

The Critical Thinking Community is an online resource for research related to critical thinking applicable to nearly every discipline.  There are free article, thesis, and dissertation downloads that can be a great supplement to resources we already have available in our materials.

Mind Tools is an excellent source for effective decision making and critical thinking resources. It primarily functions as a collection of articles but the user can join and sign up for regular decision making tips and advice.

I found this very pertinent article in the Harvard Business Review blog.  In my case, this particular statement rang a bell:  “Critical thinking has always been a prized attribute of leadership, but over the years, especially as business schools have emphasized quantitative skills over qualitative ones, critical thinking dropped by the wayside. Now as the rate of complexity rises, the need for critical thinking resurfaces”. 

This link leads to a sample of the book “Critical Thinking – A Concise Guide”.  Although this is not a full copy of the book (just the first 18 pages), the material provided is a starter that contains good definitions and examples for non-specialists in the subject matter.

Fox lawyer says radio, TV should have different indecency rules

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito questioned whether radio and TV should have separate content regulation rules
 Photo: Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. Credit: Charles Dharapak / Associated Press.

From the LA Times Company Town Blog, click here for the latest industry news.

So much for one for all and all for one.

The broadcasting industry usually tries to stick to together when it comes to fights with the government. That seemed to change during the U.S. Supreme Court hearing Tuesday on the constitutionality of the government's rules regarding indecent programming when a lawyer for Fox suggested broadcast television should be free of content regulation -- but not over-the-air radio.

While being questioned by Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., Fox's outside counsel, Carter Phillips, suggested radio didn't deserve the same 1st Amendment protections as broadcast television.
"Absolutely, they are fundamentally different media,” Phillips said after Alito asked whether radio should have to play by the current rules but not television. "The court has recognized that media has to be evaluated individually."

 Fox does not own radio stations.

A few minutes after throwing radio under the bus, Phillips contradicted himself when he suggested that it was wrong for cable television -- which does not have to comply with the FCC's rules regarding indecent content because it does not use the public airwaves -- to get one playbook and broadcasters another.

"First of all, the notion that one medium operates in a certain way in the exercise of its 1st Amendment rights can be used as an explanation for taking away or for restricting the 1st Amendment rights of another medium is flatly inconsistent with what this court has said across the board in the 1st Amendment context," Phillips said. "You don't balance off one speaker against another and give one favored status and give another unfavored status."

Unless, apparently, it's radio.

Broadcasters fight to gut FCC indecency rules
 Broadcasters to take on FCC in high court showdown
Court tosses out indecency case against ABC's 'NYPD Blue'

-- Joe Flint

From the LA Times Company Town Blog, click here for the latest industry news.

Spec Script Market Hot. Oscar may find new home.

Mark Wahlberg keeps busy
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mark Wahlbeg holds court at the Polo Lounge.

Not so fast. It seems there is no shortage of potential owners for the Dodgers. Now another has surfaced that has big blue fans (at least the ones who tweet at me) nervous. There is speculation that News Corp.'s Fox, which used to own the Dodgers and famously got rid of fan favorite Mike Piazza, has interest in a minority stake in the team. One thing that some people may have forgotten: Fox already owns a chunk of the Colorado Rockies and can't have stakes in two teams at the same time. Fox would take a piece of the Dodgers in return for cable TV rights to the team. A more likely scenario  (to me anyway) is a new owner selling TV rights to Fox in return for part of one of their sports cable channels.

Hope the parking is better. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences is looking for a new home for the Oscars and may move the show from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre to downtown's Nokia Theatre, which is about twice as big. Conflicts with Cirque du Soleil, now in residence at the Kodak ten months a year, may also have contributed to the search. On the downside, folks going to the Oscars will have a longer drive to the post-show parties. More from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.

Hot market. The Wrap says spec scripts -- written without a deal in place, kind of like my stories -- are hotter than usual. So pull out that half-finished murder mystery or sexy comedy you've got stuffed under the mattress and get cranking.

New money. USA Today looks at some of the early projects that YouTube is backing as part of its $100-million plan to make the video site into another place for commercial content. YouTube, still best known as the place to find dancing cats and kids doing goofy things, wants more professional content to boost ad revenue. One new program, a talk show, actually operates full time out of Beverly Hills' Four Seasons Hotel.

Let the negotiations begin. While ratings have dropped since the September premier, CBS's "Two and a Half Men" still remains a strong show with Ashton Kutcher on board and Charlie Sheen gone. Now CBS and the show's producer have to cut a new deal with Kutcher to bring him back next season. Wonder who has the upper hand in this one? More from Variety.

So much for friendly drinks. Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera posted a recap of a get-together he had recently with former "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman, who often does work for PBS. Turns out, per Rivera, Bergman is working with PBS and nonprofit news outfit Pro Publica on a probe of Fox News parent News Corp. Rivera seemed less than amused. More from TV Newser and Rivera himself from his Facebook page.

-- Joe Flint

From the LA Times Company Town Blog, click here for industry news.