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.


Moral Roots: The Real Difference between Liberals and Conservatives

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the five moral values that form the basis of our political choices, whether we’re left, right or center. In this eye-opening talk, he pinpoints the moral values that liberals and conservatives tend to honor most.  Haidt suggests these moral roots affect more than politics/religion.  It affects what kind of dog we choose and where we go on vacation
Watch his TED conference talk here.

Jonathan Haidt studies how -- and why -- we evolved to be moral.
Jonathan Haidt studies how -- and why -- we evolved to be moral.

Social Network Profile Costs Woman College Degree

Forget losing your job, apparently your MySpace or Facebook profile and photos can now cause you to lose your degree, reports Sarah Perez on   Perez writes: federal judge has ruled against a former student of Millersville University of Pennsylvania who was denied her college degree because of an unseemly online photo and its accompanying caption found on her social network profile.

Continue reading “Social Network Profile Costs Woman College Degree”

Deja Vu All Over Again?

While searching I came across this dated, but telling, list of media layoffs from 2000-2003.  If you are looking for work, take heart.  Our business is cyclical, times will get better!

Job prospects for journalists have improved in 2003, but some companies are still cutting jobs or leaving some jobs unfilled. Below is a list of layoffs in the past 2 1/2 years, with the news source listed after each item. The list totals about 30,000, and includes editorial and business side cuts. The list only reflects published reports of layoffs.

February 2003

  • Red Herring says March 2003 will be its last issue after publishing for more than 10 years; 31 staffers lost their jobs.
    (San Francisco Chronicle, Feb 28, 2003).
  • San Francisco Examiner fires most of its staff (about 40 staffers); two reporters, three editors and two columnists remain. The paper may become a free city daily.
    (San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 22, 2003).
  • Reuters reports record loss, plans to eliminate 3,000 jobs worldwide. (Reuters, Feb. 16, 2003).
  • Missoula, Montana’s Missoulian, a Lee Enterprises paper, lays off nine workers. (Missoula Independent, Feb. 10, 2003).

    Traditional news outlets turn to social networking Web sites in an effort to build their online audiences.

    Can Facebook and Twitter save the beleaguered mainstream media?

    That is the question posed, and answered, in an American Journalism Review article by Arielle Emmett.

    Maybe not by themselves. But news organizations increasingly are turning to social networking tools in their efforts to compete in a challenging and fast-changing media landscape.

    Vivian Schiller, outgoing senior vice president and general manager of, says social media marketing is one of several essential strategies for disseminating news online – and for surviving.

    “Though the long-term viability of any individual social networking site or technology is completely unproven,” Schiller says, “readers will engage with each other and share stories. That is a given.”

    Can Facebook and Twitter save the beleaguered mainstream media?