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Thursday, August 2, 2012

On Government Medical Care

I have 10 more years before I can be on this fine program, but, my husband just turned 65 and went on it last month. Thankfully. The Medicare with his secondary Mail Handlers Benefit Plan are covering all but a small copay of the very new, very expensive ($40,000 monthly) chemo pills that may save his life. That is just the one drug, not counting all the MRI's, CT Scans, PET Scans and labs, or the daily brain radiation treatments that Medicare is covering. Not everyone is this fortunate, not everyone is at least 65! We need Obama Care for the rest of us, and we need the Congress to keep their hands off of Medicare, swallow their bipartisan egos and do what is right for Americans! Ask any of your friends or relatives 65 or older if they want to get rid of Medicare or let Congress privatize it. I have family that are both registered Republicans, as well as Democrats and "None" of them want Congress to mess with their Medicare! 
- Peggy Kelly Durfey

Can Video games treat ADHD?

Next in Tech: Games to Help ADHD

New start-ups are aiming to target attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder with a slew of brain games. Brian Gormley reports on digits. Photo: Akili Interactive.!81197A6C-E9DC-48DE-BDAC-449EB32410EF

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan resigning as U.N. envoy to Syria

Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan meets with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, unseen, at the Great Hall of People in Beijing March 27, 2012.
Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan meets with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, unseen, at the Great Hall of People in Beijing March 27, 2012. (AP Photo)

 Source: CBS News

Kofi Annan abruptly announced his resignation Thursday as the Arab League and United Nations envoy for the conflict in Syria, to take effect Aug. 31. In talks with reporters, Annan laid much of the blame for his departure on the U.N. Security Council."When the Syrian people desperately need action, there continues to be finger pointing and name calling in the Security Council," Annan said.

"It is impossible for me or anyone to compel the Syrian government and also the opposition to take the steps to bring about the political process. As an envoy, I can't want peace more than the protagonists, more than Security Council or the international community, for that matter."

Click on "read more" below or click here to continue reading.

Student Peter Vanderkaay Wins Bronze

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DeVry University’s very own Olympic student athlete, Peter Vanderkaay, won the bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle this past Saturday.  In speaking with the Detroit Free Press, Peter had the following to say after his medal-winning race:

“I warmed up and felt ready to go.  I was surprisingly not too nervous heading into the race, even though I was sandwiched between the two favorites in the race.   My strategy was to be out strong but controlled and really proud of the second half of the race.  I’m glad I executed because if I had jumped out with the guys who beat me, I probably wouldn’t have gotten a medal.  I was able to finish strong and secure the bronze. 

It felt like a huge relief to get a medal in the 400 because I’ve had more fourth-places in that event than I want to think about.  Although it would have been perfect to win, I’m extremely happy with the bronze.  I feel like it justifies all the work I’ve put in the past few years. 

I’m very proud to represent the USA!  Thanks everyone for the support!!!”

Congratulations Peter!

Peter is currently working toward a graduate certificate in entrepreneurship from DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management.

(NOTE: I now teach at Carrington College, a division of DeVry, as well as CSN and the University of Phoenix- Art Lynch)

Barbara Knighten RIP

Does anyone remember the 1990 "Total Recall" (producers hope you never saw it).Bader jumps from ABC to NBC. Grading Seacrest.

Ryan Seacrest with Lia Neel
Ryan Seacrest, shown with U.S. swimmer Lia Neel, isn't getting high marks from all the critics for his Olympic work. (NBC / August 2, 2012)
Bronze but no gold. NBC parent Comcast Corp. said it could break even on its coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Given that most industry analysts and even Comcast had been anticipating a big loss, this is good news for the media giant. "We are way ahead of where we thought we would be," said NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke. More on NBC's financial performance from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and Associated Press
After the coffee. Before seeing if there is a gold medal for tweeting. 

'Total Recall'

Jessica Biel and Colin Farrell star in "Total Recall." (Michael Gibson / Columbia Pictures)

Reboot or remake? Hollywood may lack creativity when it comes to new movies or TV shows, but it sure is good at coming up with new words to hide that fact. The latest phrase being used in tinseltown is "reboot." What's a reboot? Well, a marketing executive will tell you its a new take on an old property. A normal person will tell you its regurgitating something because there were no new ideas. The producers say that people do not remember the origional film and will take to this new modern sensability version. Producer Neal Moritz and director Len Wiseman tried to give the sci-fi reboot a less corny feel with more realistic action and dialogue. A look at the "reboot" of "Total Recall" from the Los Angeles Times.

The Skinny: I'm trying watch the commercials on NBC but the Olympics keep getting in the way. Thursday's headlines include a big hire by NBC, a big deal by CBS and a critique of Ryan Seacrest's Olympic performance.

Daily Dose: TV stations in the top 50 markets are now required to start posting online detailed information about what politicians are spending during election season. Already public information, now the FCC is keeping all that information on its own website. However, while the spending information is supposed to be up as of Thursday, many stations are still trying to figure out how to upload the dirt and are complaining that the FCC's support system to help with the process has been less than, well, helpful.

Jumping ship. Jeff Bader, the longtime head of scheduling for ABC, is heading to rival NBC to become its president of programming planning, strategy. The scheduler is a key role at any network even in the age of digital video recorders and online streaming. The move puts a cloud over the future of NBC's current scheduler, Lisa Vebber. While NBC has struggled lately, a scheduler is only as good as the shows he or she is scheduling. No word on who will succeed Bader at ABC yet. More on the move from Variety, Deadline Hollywood and Los Angeles Times.

Static on the satellite dish. Satellite broadcaster DirecTV reported net income of $711 million for the second quarter, a slight gain from a year earlier. However, the service posted a net loss of more than 50,000 subscribers for the period, the first time in the company's history it has reported a decline in customers. DirecTV chief Mike White has said his focus is on retaining current customers vs. spending heavily to add new ones. Hmmm, then what's with all those funny ads I see telling me all the bad things that will happen if I don't switch to DirecTV from cable? More on the numbers from Bloomberg.

The eye gets bigger. CBS is expanding its partnership with Liberty Global's Chellomedia to launch channels in more than 80 territories in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. CBS will have a 30% stake in the venture. Coverage from World Screen. Meanwhile NBC-Universal is selling European channels and cable networks to reposition in undisclosed ways.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mary McNamara on Ryan Seacrest's performance at the Olympics, which she says is less than gold medal worthy.

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Charges mulled against News Corp.'s British publishing unit

Rebekah Brooks
Rebekah Brooks, former head of News Corp.'s U.K. publishing unit News International, leaves after appearing at Southwark Crown Court in London. (June 22, 2012)
British prosecutors are evaluating whether to bring charges against News Corp.'s  London-based publishing unit in connection with the phone hacking scandal, according to a person familiar with the investigation who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The Crown Prosecution Service is looking into what's known as a corporate prosecution, in which the company would be named as a defendant in a criminal case. News International, publisher of the now-defunct News of the World tabloid at the center of the scandal, is likely to be the target, should charges be filed, according to the knowledgeable person.

News Corp. declined to comment on any possible legal action.

"The police are still looking at all the evidence, including the extent of any alleged cover-up and the roles of those directing the company at the relevant time," said attorney Mark Lewis, a Manchester lawyer who has represented victims of phone hacking.

Sue Akers, the deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, hinted at the prospect in remarks made July 23 to a panel investigating media ethics in Britain. She said that Scotland Yard has sought legal advice "in respect of both individual and corporate offenses."

Fifteen current and former journalists have been arrested in connection with the alleged interception of voice-mail messages, including former News International Chief Executive Rebekah Brooks and one-time News of the World editor Andy Coulson.

The police investigation has gone beyond the initial allegations that journalists from News of the World had listened to the private messages left for athletes, celebrities and crime victims.

Akers told Lord Justice Brian Leveson that Scotland Yard is probing allegations of computer hacking and reporters gaining improper access to medical, banking and other personal records. She said police are culling through 8 to 12 terabytes of records. If published in paperback form and piled one on top of the other, Akers said, the material "amounts to three and a half times the height of [Mt.] Everest."
Police have notified about 2,615 people that they had likely been subjected to phone hacking, Akers said.

Akers described News Corp.'s management and standards committee as co-operating with the investigation, "despite challenges, quite correct and proper challenges, the co-operation continues and we have recently received a substantial amount of material."

Britain charges 8 in phone hacking scandal
British police widen phone-hacking inquiry with new arrests 
Report questions Rupert Murdoch's fitness to lead News Corp.

NBC hires top ABC executive Jeff Bader

Jeff Bader, one of ABC's most respected programming executives, is leaving his professional home of 24 years to join NBC.

Late Wednesday, NBC shocked industry observers by naming Bader to a newly created role of president of program planning, strategy and research for NBC Entertainment. NBC executives had aggressively recruited Bader to become a prime architect of NBC's programming strategy for prime-time, daytime and late-night blocks.

NBC, which has been struggling to lift itself out of the prime-time ratings cellar, faces an array of challenges and has several big programming holes to fill.

The decision to leave his longtime home was a difficult one, Bader said. He was a trusted lieutenant during numerous ABC regimes, and survived several tumultuous management shake-ups.

He will take charge of NBC's scheduling department and research team, and of the company's strategy for prime-time and late-night programming across NBCUniversal platforms -- an increasingly important role as networks embrace digital distribution.

Bader also will serve as a liaison with NBC News and NBC Sports, working closely with the network's East Coast division, managed by NBC Broadcasting Chairman Ted Harbert, with whom Bader worked during the 1990s when Harbert was at ABC.  (Harbert spent the first 20 years of his career at ABC.)

NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said Bader would help with "the rebuilding of NBC."
"He has deep experience in so many key areas of running a network in today's challenging environment that he will instantly prove to be invaluable to us as we look to the future," Greenblatt said in a statement. Bader will report to Greenblatt.

For more than two decades, Bader quietly worked his way up the ladder at the network owned by Walt Disney Co. He was most recently ABC's executive vice president of planning, scheduling and distribution.

"It's a great opportunity for Jeff, and we wish him well," an ABC spokesperson said Wednesday.
The 49-year-old Massachusetts native joined ABC in 1988 as a supervisor for audience analysis. Before ABC, Bader worked in research at the MTM Distribution Group. His first job in TV was at NBC Entertainment.
He received a master of arts degree with distinction from the Annenberg School of Communications at USC. He graduated with honors from Williams College in Massachusetts.

Why did you go to college?

Colleges is not longer a needed experience, a way of coming of age and of exploring options. Three years ago one in three Americans said they would send their children to college for the experience and its benefits. Today, according to a study by Sally Mae, only 19% respond that way. Today college is a method of finding a profession to make more money. The results is that the benefit to society of the arts, most social sciences and all Liberal Arts curriculum are suffering. Students will increasingly come out of school less rounded and less qualified to be full citizens with all the responsibility and general knowledge needed. We are educating generations of workers who are money centered, instead of a culture of growth reliant on full social values and fulfillment.