RaaD Movies, News and Technology

Dany's RaaD Roundup

This Week in The Daily Show and Medicine

This week, there did not seem to be that many interesting, funny and entertaining clips from The Daily Show, so I am also including a couple of clips from a recent episode of 60 Minutes.

The Kanzius Cancer Machine, using radio waves and metal injected into tumors to fight cancer
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Jon Stewart is flabbergasted to hear that John Kerry is involved in international news
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Steven Levitt, the author of Freakonomics has a new book SuperFreakonomics
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Fox News releases a statement that 9 of its 24 hours of daily programming is actual news content, Jon Stewart gives his opinion on this as well as on MSNBC
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Michael Bloomberg is revealed as a hypocrite for changing his mind on term limits just because he now wants to get re-elected, I still feel he should have the right to run again (I hate term limits), but I still want him to lose
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60 Minutes‘ reporting on the H1N1 Swine Flu
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The Kanzius Cancer Machine

October 31, 2009 8:05 pm Posted by | clips, medicine, New York, NYC, politics, science, technology, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Uncomfortable Plot Summaries of Famous Films – by Postmodern Barney

I was listening to episode 90 of the screenwriting podcast, On the Page (subscribe here) and they mentioned the very funny page, Uncomfortable Plot Summaries by Postmodern Barney. It’s a very funny interpretation of many famous Hollywood films and it also shows just how important a one line movie summary is to how we perceive movies. Some of these entries are down right hilarious, describing movies you might have grown up with.

Here are a handful of my favorite examples:

BATMAN: Wealthy man assaults the mentally ill.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Peasant girl develops Stockholm Syndrome.
CHINATOWN: Father desires closer relationship with his children.
FRANKENSTEIN: Scientific advancement proves unpopular with general public.
GROUNDHOG DAY: Misanthropic creep exploits space/time anomaly to stalk coworker.
HARRY POTTER: Celebrity Jock thinks rules don’t apply to him, is right.
JUNO: Teen fails to get abortion, ruins lives.
JURASSIC PARK: Theme park’s grand opening pushed back.
PREDATOR: American military-industrial complex ruins first contact with alien life.
SE7EN: Homicide detectives unable to prevent even a single murder by admitted serial killer, killer gives cop head.
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS: Layabout stepdaughter shacks up with seven miners.
STAR WARS – A NEW HOPE: Religious extremist terrorists destroy government installation, killing thousands.
STAR WARS – THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: Boy is abused by midget, kisses sister, attempts patricide.
STAR WARS – RETURN OF THE JEDI: Handicapped mass murderer kills septugenarian, is lauded.

Thanks to Dork Shelf for the above pic.



October 26, 2009 10:09 am Posted by | movies, podcasts | Leave a comment

Is Optogenetics the Key to Solving Disorders of the Brain and Prosthetics?

I found this story though Engadget, but it’s a story coming from Wired, where it goes through the fledgling history of a relatively new field of neuroscience, Optogenetics. Its is the study of using light and modified genes (inserted using modified viruses) to try and alter the brain to cure disorders like Depression and Parkinson’s! The trials from Stanford haven’t gotten past the animal stages yet, but they have started working on rhesus monkeys (which have very similar brains to humans) and already got Parkinson’s mice literally up and running again. The whole thing is very new, but very cool, especially if we can start using blue light to activate brain cells, yellow light to quiet them and green light to send response signals by activating different forms of rhodopsin (Channelrhodopsin-1, Channelrhodopsin-2 and Halorhodopsin).

Check out the article here to get the details, this could be very cool for diseased brains very soon.

Thanks to Wired for the above pic.



October 21, 2009 6:44 pm Posted by | college, magazines, medicine, science, technology | Leave a comment

The Birdmen Come Close to Flying Off Norway’s Fjords

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60 Minutes had an interesting segment recently about a group of thrill seeking daredevils that have been named Birdmen and after watching this video, it’s not surprising how they got this moniker. They don wing suits (fully explained here) and have basically been jumping off of Norway‘s most famous and beautiful mountains into fjords. You can’t actually call it flying because once they jump, they never gain any air, but they do attain forward speeds of 140 miles per hour before they have to pull their parachute. The video is quite spectacular between the views from the mountains and the cameras set up on the Birdmen themselves.



October 18, 2009 11:23 pm Posted by | clips, Norway, technology, tv | Leave a comment

President Obama Wishes a Happy Diwali

This week, President Obama sent out this message acknowledging and observing Diwali, the festival of lights. This was a great way for the President to reach out to followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism. I didn’t realize it, but former President, George W. Bush was the first President to start acknowledging Diwai, so I say this is much of a change with the new administration, but personally I had never heard of the Diwali holiday, so I then decided to do a bit of research.

Thanks to Nilesh for sending me this video.



October 17, 2009 3:27 pm Posted by | clips, DC, Indians, politics, Religion, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

The Daily Show Weekly Roundup

In my constant attempt to keep up with the week’s absurd news, it’s time again for my Daily Show roundup for the week of October 12th, 2009:

CNN‘s constant lack of actually digging deep into any issues or arguments, but instead, just leaving it there.
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A DC protest is only as good as who is actually protesting and apparently none of the major cable news networks (CNN, MSNBC and Fox News) found a gay rights march on Washington, DC worthy of as much airtime as the tea party protests.
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John Oliver spends over 10% of The Daily Show‘s airtime (over 3 minutes of a 30 minute show) covering the gay rights protest in DC.
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Giant baby gets denied health insurance and apparently Senator Olympia Snowe is the savior of Health Care?
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When both Republicans and Democrats were outraged at ACORN with their latest 2009 undercover video scandal and passed a bill to defund them, the reaction from 30 Republican Senators to further clean up government contracts with Senator Al Franken‘s bill against keeping contracts with companies that squelch lawsuits by victims of rape is the worst show of hypocrisy, but I am glad the bill ultimately passed.
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H1N1 Swine Flu, what’s more dangerous this year, getting sick with the flu, getting the flu vaccine, that there might not be enough flu vaccine for everyone this year or should we just FEAR EVERYTHING for fear’s (or cable news’) sake?
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As the RNC Chairman, Michael Steele, attempts to revamp the image of his party, he not only inadvertently condescends to the black community, youth and a tech savvy generation, he ends up turning himself into the much maligned Microsoft Clippy and reveals that the RNC has no unified focus or message to build on.
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October 17, 2009 3:12 pm Posted by | clips, DC, medicine, newspaper, politics, science, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

The George Washington University, The Top Twittering College… Also THE Most Expensive College (Update: NOT the most expensive anymore!)

Well, not only has my alma matter, The George Washington University, remained the MOST EXPENSIVE college/university in the USA, according to CNN Money, but it’s now the #1 Twittering college/university. The coolest part though is the Washington Post article points out that this was a trait noticed by our current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates during lectures they gave to GWU students! I loved my time at GWU, I miss Washington, DC now.

Thanks to Brian for sending this article, he didn’t even GO to GWU! Also, thanks to Wikimedia Commons for the above pic.



*Update 10/15/2009 – Here is the official event details that brought both Hilary Clinton and Robert M. Gates to GWU, along with the video:

*Update 1/11/2010 – I’m happy to announce that The George Washington University is NO LONGER the most expensive college in the USA! Thanks must go to Sarah Lawrence College, Georgetown University and New York University for being $200-4000 dollars more expensive than The George Washington University!… sadly, Washington DC college students leave school with the highest level of debt in the USA! Which is reported by the Project on Student Debt.

October 13, 2009 10:45 pm Posted by | college, DC, lectures, New York, newspaper, NYC, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Another Week of The Daily Show

It’s been another week of The Daily Show, so I’ve rounded up the best segments from the week of October 5th, 2009.

Here is the United States Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus
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Apparently the US President Obama is snubbing the Dali Lama and Tibet to appease China, most likely because we want them to side with us against Iran… oh yeah, also because we owe them a TON of money so that we can keep buying their goods
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Here is a great story about William Kamkwamba, a boy who created a windmill in his back yard in Malawi, who wrote a book about it, spoke about it at TED and will get to go to college because of this
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October 12, 2009 12:00 am Posted by | China, clips, college, economy, politics, Tibet, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

President Obama Wins the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

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Well, color me confused when I found out that Barack Obama was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize. I had no idea that the new President of the United States had achieved enough to warrant winning such a prestigious award. After looking up the credentials though, that the prize should be awarded:

to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.

Well, President Obama has done quite a bit to strive for the reduction in nuclear weapons and to work to forward efforts of international diplomatic relations of all sorts, I am starting to understand how he was ultimately chosen. This video from The Rachel Maddow Show, also puts some things into perspective.

I must admit, I gave President George W. Bush a hard time for a great many things that he did while he was in office, but I’m pretty sure that I never berated him for winning anything, especially if it included a prize purse of over $1 million. I know President Obama raised more money than any candidate for President in history, but that money didn’t go into his own pocket, this is just the start of a lot of money that he will have to play with after he leaves office.

I hope that this award does not go to waste and the President’s initiatives get off the ground and become successful and bring America into a safer and stronger world… but only time will tell.

Thanks to the lovely and smart Jessica for pointing out this video.



*Update 10/11/2009 – President Obama announced that he will be donating the Nobel Prize money to charity.*

**Update 10/13/2009 – I can’t believe that I was initially farther to the right of Bill O’Reilly (from 10/9/2009) on this issue (subscribe here to O’Reilly’s Talking Points Memo).**

October 10, 2009 2:03 am Posted by | clips, DC, podcasts, politics, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Dove Evolution – Perfect Beauty of a Photoshoot After Some Photoshop Magic

It was been a dirty little secret for years that magazines and advertisers were digitally editing their photos for touching up the finished product, to make the beautiful, ravishing. This is nothing new, for years the movie industry was using trickery like placing Vasoline and stockings over lenses to “soften” the look of their female stars, but it feels like this practice has been placed into overdrive

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, well, this Dove Evolution is 75 second video that is worth millions, putting these dirty little secrets of “the industry” into the bright light of day.

For an even better concrete example, take a look at photos from a 2008 Campari ad campaign with raven haired beauty Jessica Alba (below), the image on the left is before Photoshop, on the right the post-Photoshop version. If the industry thinks this gorgeous celebrity needs all these massive photo touch-ups, what chance do regular girls around the world have to build their self esteem?

Thanks to Skinny vs Curvy for the above pics.



*Update 10/7/2009* Thanks to the talented Dave, I got another good example of how much goes into the Photoshopping of already beautiful women from the Washington Post:

Aisha Tyler Before:

Aisha Tyler After:

**Update 2009-1-29 – Here is another story from Boing Boing on this issue and here is what happened when Rachel Maddow saw that same story. Here’s the pic:

October 7, 2009 10:33 am Posted by | clips, magazines, movies, photography, software, technology, tv | Leave a comment