What was the biggest media blunder of 2008?

Politico has compiled a list of the top 10 media blunders of 2008 (although, media — you still have 10 more days to add to the list). “There was great reporting, with journalists breaking news and penning terrific profiles of the candidates and the campaigns,” writes Michael Calderone. “TV ratings and Web traffic were through the roof, evidence of huge voter interest. But there were plenty of missteps on the way.”

From “fist jab” to “pimped out,” from the New Yorker cover to the media coverage of the Enquirer’s Edwards story, cast your vote below:

Another milestone for Twitter

A passenger tweets a plane crash (after getting out, one hopes) — including a consumer relations moment (Continental won’t give the survivors a drink). Twitter log is hilarious!

From alleyinsider.com: A Continental airlines 737 slid off the runway in Denver last night. The engine on the right side burst into flames. Passengers escaped out the left side on slides. 38 people were hurt. Fortunately no one was killed.

In another first for Twitter, passenger Mike Wilson tweeted his miraculous escape. Click this link.
Read from the bottom up. And then buy this man (and everyone else on the plane) a vodka tonic!

Web Revenue exceeds Newsroom Expenses at LA Times

I love the LA Times Digital Edition and its mobile apps are fantastic, but I was stunned to learn how far the paper has come.

David Westphal reports an important and historic crossing of the Rubicon for a major newspaper, recounting a discussion with LA Times editor Russ Stanton at USC: “Stanton said the Times’ Web site revenue now exceeds its editorial payroll costs.”

I’ve long been asked by newspaper people – as a challenge – when the web will cover the costs of the newsroom as it exists. I’ve said it won’t, that the scale of the business is just different.

But if what Westphal reports is true – and I confirmed via email that I was reading him correctly (and it does make sense since both edit costs and web revenue run at about 10-15% of newspaper budgets) – then it means the Times could support its newsroom as it stands – after cutbacks aplenty – from the web. That’s momentous.

Read Entire post Here.

Thom Mayne on creativity and vision

mayne“No matter what I ve done what I ve tried to do everybody says it can t be done.”
Architect Thom Mayne talks about the job of an architect — or any creative person — as a negotiation between one s internal world the world of aspiration and vision and the exterior world of limits. Finding creative ways to balance these two worlds involves remaining true to a vision while generating something useful and new.

Biography ofThom Mayne.
See a slideshow of Thom Mayne’s work up to 2005 the year he won the Pritzker Prize for Architecture at NYTimes.com.
TED | TEDBlog: Friday’s hidden gem: Thom Mayne on creativity and vision.

Sarah Palin Calendar 2009.. Seriously?

Here’s a gift for that “special” someone. Sarah Palin 2009 Wall Calendar includes photos from Campaign trail governorship and family.

2009 Palin Calendar
2009 Palin Calendar
This high quality 13 month wall calendar features:
Over 50 photographs of Gov Sarah Palin and her family
Never before seen photos
13 pages of high quality gloss paper
Closed dimensions: 9″x12″
Pre-drilled hole for hanging
Cellophane wrapped
Produced and printed in the USA

The calendar costs $15.95 and has an initial 30,000 print run. It’s available through her Web site, http://www.sarahcalendar.com, and she is also working out a deal with Barnes & Noble to sell the calendar either in stores or online.
-Here’s more from WSJ.com:>

What makes a genius a genius: Another theory from Malcolm Gladwell

CocktailTalk.net :: Elevate Conversation » Blog Archive » What makes a genius a genius: Another theory from Malcolm Gladwell.

Ali Scott delivers a powerful critique on Gladwell’s thoughts on genius.

Strong. Unique. Innovative. Creative. These are all adjectives used within the definition of a genius.  These characteristics are identified at the individual level across all major research on the subject, but what if an individual genius was only a product of a genius group—does the individual genius even exist? I realize that this sounds absurd and abstract but after reading Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, Outliers, several book reviews and literature blogs, I have successfully decoded his complicated rhetoric. You can’t be a genius unless you come from a genius group.  Genius is entirely the result of your environment—very little has to do with the individual. Basically, if you are a poor kid from the ghetto your probability of becoming a genius is nearly impossible—that is unless you get adopted by the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie pack and use nepotism and the opportunity for advanced education as a catalyst to genius.

Read more from CocktailTalk.net

Screen Actor’s Guild Award Nominees

The nominees for the SAG awards were announced this morning. Send your picks to comments-below.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
RICHARD JENKINS / Walter Vale – “THE VISITOR” (Overture Films)
FRANK LANGELLA / Richard Nixon – “FROST/NIXON” (Universal Pictures)
SEAN PENN / Harvey Milk – “MILK” (Focus Features)
BRAD PITT / Benjamin Button – “THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON” (Paramount Pictures)
MICKEY ROURKE / Randy – “THE WRESTLER” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

– click for complete list>

SNL Skit Torques NY Governor

New York governor David Paterson is not so great at taking a joke and is ticked off about being portrayed as “blind and bumbling” in a SNL sketch last Saturday. Link to entire SNL skit

A spokesman for Paterson, who became governor of New York last spring after then-Gov Eliot Spitzer was forced to resign amid a sex scandal, suggested the skit was offensive to all people with physical disabilities.

“The governor engages in humor all the time, and he can certainly take a joke,” said Risa Heller, Paterson’s communications director. “However, this particular Saturday Night Live skit unfortunately chose to ridicule people with physical disabilities and imply that disabled people are incapable of having jobs with serious responsibilities.
Also during the skit, Amy Poehler said her goodbyes:

“This is my last show,” Poehler announced from her “Weekend Update” anchor desk. “I love you,” she told the audience, “and I will miss all of you very much.”

Video Shows Every Flight on Earth in 72 Seconds

Aspiring scientists from the Zurich School of Applied Sciences have built a video simulation that displays the flight path of every commercial flight in the world over a 24-hour period. There isn’t much of an application for it, but it sure is cool to look at.

While the map may look complex, Dr. Karl Rege tells us he and his team found it surprisingly simple to assemble using data readily available on the internet.

“We used a commercial website called FlightStats to gather global flight and schedule information,” he says. “So there was no need to contact the different airlines.”

The team mined FlightStats for the departure and arrival times of every commercial flight in the world, then plugged it all into a computer to assemble their simulation. For the sake of simplicity, they assumed every plane traveled at the same speed and every flight took the most direct route to its destination. Then every flight was assigned a position on a Miller cylindrical projection, which is similar to a Mercator Projection but doesn’t distort the poles so much.

“After that we drew it, that was it,” Rege says. “It was that easy. We are astonished that nobody did it beforehand.”

Well, others have done it, but on a much smaller scale…

Below: Twenty four hours of air traffic above the United States. Notice that around :10 the sky is dark except for red-eyes from the west coast, and then at :15 the east coast explodes with morning flights.

Below: This one shows traffic into and out of Atlanta. Keep in mind that Delta operates the world’s largest hub here.

Below: Flight activity for all U.S. FedEx flights

Below: Flight activity over Europe. This one takes a minute or two to load, but it’s worth the wait.

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Newport Aquarium – Awesome!

havana RhumbaThis weekend, my work/life balance tilted towards life and celebrating Margaret Anna’s Birthday. We spent Friday night in Louisvile. Dinner was incredible at the cuban-themed Havana Rumba. They Cuban Pork is to die for.(Directions here) If you ever get the chance, visit them. They sang Happy Birthday in Spanish and gave MA a delicious flan with a candle in it.

Saturday we drove up to Cincinnati. I spent a year there as 10pm Producer at WLWT with Charley Luken and Norma Rashid. George Vogel was doing sports and a young Solomon Wilcox, now with CBS Sports, was learning the ropes.

Anyway, we stopped by Newport on the Levee. It was delightfully decorated for the holidays. The Aquarium was so much better than I would have expected. We touched starfish, crabs, and sharks. The staff was very helpful. Here are some pictures.