RaaD Movies, News and Technology

Dany's RaaD Roundup

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for January 23rd, 2010

It’s the end of Michael Steele‘s time heading the RNC, his tenure brought poor election results during the presidential election in 2008, but good election results in 2010, but at the same time massive debt for the RNC. I am not sure if overall that is so good for the RNC, it looks like it’s up to Reince Priebus to bring in massive fundraising to pay off that debt and he needs to bring back integrity to the organization, which isn’t hard to do as long as he doesn’t spend any money at gentlemen’s clubs like Michael Steele did previously.
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Peter Bergen has a new book, The Longest War, about the war in Afghanistan. He has an interesting view of al Qaeda and the Afghanistan War. I don’t know if I agree with his logic, but he is interesting nonetheless.
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I hate defending Sarah Palin, especially when she’s complaining about and insulting people LIKE ME, even going so far as calling people like me, people with almost no standards. I will say this, there is no evidence that Sarah Palin, her crosshair imagery and colorful language about being “up in arms” or anything else she has done in any way lead to or contributed to the Tucson shooting, but that doesn’t mean I have to like her. Every time I have to defend her though, it makes me mad, because she would just as well consider me a left leaning loon and dismiss my opinions and morals at the drop of a hat. Watch the video below of her if you don’t believe me.
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If you like science, exploration and the bleeding edge of new research, you will probably enjoy Neil deGrasse Tyson‘s new PBS series Nova Science Now, on exploring the pressing questions of current scientific research.
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It looks like ailing states and cities are going broke, with cuts to public services like the police department, fire department, public schools and the addition of legalized gambling and bringing us that much closer to THUNDERDOME… sounds like a good time to ask the federal government for a bail out since only state and local governments have to balance their budgets each year, while the federal government does not have this responsibility yearly. I doubt it would go very far any time soon with a Republican controlled House of Representatives and the head of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke squelching rumors of a Fed bailout of states and local governments, but it might open the door to some interesting solutions proposed. Also the 2nd video is Stephen talking with Christine Todd Whitman about the state budget crisis around the US.
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How long will it take for politicians speaking out for bringing people from different parties together based on how similar we all are to make a complete U-turn? I guess if you are Rep. Steve Cohen… about 1 week before pulling out the Nazi card.
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Kambiz Hosseini & Saman Arbabi from the underground Iranian satirical show Parazit. Watch it here if you are interested in Iranian politics.
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It sounds like Dan Burton wants Congressmen lavished with pope-mobile stylish dome protection… this is so sad.
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I spent a lot of my limited patience defending Sarah Palin above, but THIS is how you deal with Palin fatigue Mika Brzezinski!
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Disintegration of schools is a very odd issue, but I don’t know how good or bad an idea it is just from polling of parental satisfaction of the system. I would want to see some test score data to see how well these school children are performing, but the idea of disintegrating the schools, just based on the idea that social engineering of public schools is a bad idea is just more social engineering to solve what may not even be a problem.
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Forever Lazy looks like the next step down the road to America completely losing all touch with style, effort and a lean body shape.
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Ron Reagan, the son of former President Ronald Reagan talked about his father as president and how they engaged in political discussions, the book is Ron Reagan My Father at 100.
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Chris Matthews talks about how JFK impacted him growing up and how he is in the process of writing a book about former President Kennedy.
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Enjoy

Dany

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January 24, 2011 3:00 am Posted by | astronomy, books, censorship, clips, DC, economy, health, Law, Middle East, nature, politics, science, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for January 9th, 2011

Hmm, we now have birds falling from the sky and dead fish washing ashore in Arkansas. Here are a few links to recent articles about this thanks to No Agenda episodes 266-268
(story1, story2, story3, story4, subscribe to No Agenda here)
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I love the metaphor of Barack Obama as Luke Skywalker, it’s geektastic!
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I am guessing that San Francisco is going to get sued over forcing McDonald’s to change the food they serve to healthier Happy Meals in order to serve it with a toy, it seems like government overreach into the private sector to me and councilman Eric Mar does not seem to do a good job explaining how they have the authority for this law to be legal. I wish McDonald’s would offer healthier options for their Happy Meals when they give out toys, diabetes has already become a major problem and it is only getting worse for more and more children and adults in the US and worldwide, but this type of government law does not seem to be the way to go about fixing this problem.
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Here are some choice segments from the debate over who will run the Republican National Committee and I was also surprised that anyone on Fox News would point out that everyone hates Michael Steele. Stephen Colbert also gets some ribbing in at Reince Priebus‘ expense.
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Here is Jon’s interview with NY senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, after listening to her, I am glad she’s one of my senators from NY, I don’t usually get to hear from her, she generally does her work behind the scenes.
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Goldman Sachs is investing $450 million into Facebook and it will allow it to seem like a single investor as they then sell these shares to their own clients, thus delaying when Facebook has to file with the SEC, as there is an SEC rule for revealing a company’s financial information once they have 500 shareholders or more. Ahh, I love breaking the spirit of the law by only following it to the letter… Facebook will instead release their financial information to the public at latest in April, 2012.
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The idea of gold and silver as legal tender has been making a comeback and now with new committee subchair Ron Paul, we may see some interesting ways where he tries to weaken or at least make more transparent, the Federal Reserve. Stephen even interviews Congressman Ron Paul and David Leonhardt about this in the second clip.
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Dr. Atul Gawande’s book, The Checklist Manifesto, is now out in paperback. He is a very interesting doctor who also periodically writes for The New Yorker, you can read his articles here.
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It’s sad when Bill O’Reilly’s argument for God’s existence can be debunked by an elementary science lesson, thanks Neil deGrasse Tyson!
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As of right now, when we try and manipulate telomerase to reverse aging, we end up causing cancers to form. New research in mice may help us better understand when to manipulate telomerase to increase vitality, hopefully without increasing the risk of cancer. Stephen interviews Dr. Ronald DePinho about this after some of his new research on this issue has garnered the media spotlight.
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Enjoy

Dany

January 10, 2011 3:17 am Posted by | Arkansas, books, California, clips, DC, health, Law, medicine, movies, nature, newspaper, podcasts, politics, Religion, science, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Temple Grandin Movie Review

I rarely review movies that aren’t currently in theaters, but after I heard about the HBO film Temple Grandin from my psychiatry professor and watched the film, I had to change that. For anyone who wants to understand what autism means to someone who actually found her way through the disorder and with a lot of work made a big difference in the fields of science, animal husbandry and general medical understanding. Autism used to be considered a disorder that was the fault of the mother, this stigma easily could have ruined a family, but this movie tells the story of one person, with her struggles and her ability to persevere. This is an excellent film. Buy a copy, rent it, just watch it. Claire Danes gives a stellar performance, easily the best movie I have ever seen her in (even though I loved Stardust) with this true story, Julia Ormond gives a heart wrenching performance, David Strathairn and Catherine O’Hara wonderfully support this world of discovery.

The movie is based on the book written by Dr. Grandin: My Life in Pictures. Thanks to Vulture NYmag for the above image.

Enjoy

Dany

November 23, 2010 11:43 pm Posted by | books, brain, dvd, health, medicine, movie reviews, movies, nature, science, tv | Leave a comment

The Daily Show Roundup for the week of June 20th, 2010

The most impressive clip of the week comes after what must have been a TON of work by The Daily Show staff to dig up clips from every US President from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama talking the talk and oh how similar that talk has been over the years about American energy independence. Thanks to No Agenda 209 (subscribe here) for bringing this segment to my attention.
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Virtual unknown Alvin Greene wins the Democratic primary for the Senate race, he will go up against incumbent Republican, Jim DeMint, now nobody is happy. The whole thing seems quite comical, but no one except political pundits probably care.
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The media is starting to realize that there is a definate difference between campaign promise Obama and President Obama and that once a person gets into the Oval Office they realize the job isn’t so easy as they thought it would be during the campaign. I again hope everyone would visit the Politifact Obameter that grades the President on each of the 500+ campaign promises he’s made.
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The No Agenda show has been talking about Afghanistan’s vast mineral resources since the 2007 report came out, too bad it has taken until now, 2010, for the mainstream media to notice this finding.
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I just have one question, why is Joe Barton, a Texas Representative, apologizing to the head of BP?
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Enjoy

Dany

June 21, 2010 12:11 am Posted by | clips, DC, nature, podcasts, politics, South Carolina, Texas, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

The Immortal Jellyfish – Turritopsis nutricula

I have heard TED talks about the science of humans potentially living for 1000 years (video below) from Aubrey de Grey (subscribe to TED talks here), but this is the first story I have seen where we have actually found a species on Earth that we think has managed to do what our science has been striving for, everlasting life. The Turritopsis nutricula seems to start as a sexually immature polyp form then transdifferentiates into a sexually mature form. For most creatures, that is just about the end of their major transformations until death, but the Turritopsis nutricula transdifferentiates again, this time back into its immature form again, it will then just repeat this cycle ad infinitum.

Sadly, as of now, us humans are not very good at this quite yet, transdifferentiation is a specific type of metaplasia and as all you medical folks know, when human cells go into metaplasia, that’s not always a good sign. Just think about Barrett’s esophagus metaplasia, which has a high risk of becoming cancerous.

Here is the original research article the story came from.

Thanks to Katrina for sharing this link and thanks to 14bikeco’s Blog for the images!

Enjoy

Dany

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Turritopsis nutricula

April 15, 2010 3:23 pm Posted by | clips, lectures, medicine, nature, photography, podcasts, science | 1 Comment

Tech Roundup for the Week, Roger Ebert’s New Voice, US National Broadband Internet, Apple vs Google and even Nanomicrochips Inside Living Cells

There were a few interesting technology related stories I came across while sifting through Engadget recently, so I thought I would share what I found.

First, Roger Ebert, one of the most profound and prolific film reviewers in history has had many medical problems of late, thankfully he is still with us and reviewing films again, the problem is after all his health ordeals, he was left without a lower jaw and unable to speak… until now with some interesting help from CereProc. Here is the Engadget article, but just watch the video below, it’s hard to deny that this is an amazing step forward in science:

Recently, the FCC submitted its National Broadband Plan (download the pdf) to Congress, which includes a laundry list of goals for the next decade, essentially to provide access for “every American” to “robust broadband services,” meaning 100 million US homes with “affordable” access with 100MBps download and 50Mbps upload speeds, which sounds wonderful, but let’s see what their definition of affordable turns out to be. Here is the Engadget story with the reactions from Time Warner Cable, Verizon, Google and Comcast executives.

The above illustration is from Daniel Adel of the New York Times and it adds to the hyperbole around the idea that Google and Apple chief executives that were once close are now at war, iPhone/iPad vs Android. Here is the Endadget article that goes into the details.

Lastly, it looks like we’re on the road to implanting microprocessors… or in this case even smaller nanoprocessors into living cells. At this point, current research has been able to obtain 90% cell survival after such a dramatic procedure. It will be interesting to see where this ultimately takes us in the coming decades. Here is the Engadget story along with the original research article by Gómez-Martínez R.

Enjoy

Dany

March 18, 2010 9:43 pm Posted by | apple, art, cartoons, clips, crazy celebs, DC, economy, Law, movies, nature, newspaper, politics, science, software, technology, vaporware, Verizon, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Optical Illusion Saturday – Faces

I’ve got to give credit to Mystery Can Dave for passing along these clips which really blew me away. It was one thing to read about how our brains interpret faces in psychology class, but it’s so much more powerful to SEE these illusions in action. The weird thing is that for the first clip, I only saw the illusion after the Chaplin head rotated the second time around, but once I saw it, it was something I couldn’t unsee.

Enjoy

Dany

November 29, 2008 9:10 pm Posted by | clips, nature, science | Leave a comment

Religulous Film Review

Religion is very complicated. There are a lot of connections between the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Isam), both historical and geographical and Bill Maher‘s Religulous looks into some of these issues.

In this documentary, Maher goes around the world, visiting various places in Europe, America and the Middle East (He doesn’t touch on Asia or Africa). Maher is known for his angry/cynical comedy, but in this movie, he is in search of answers, usually “why?”.

Going into this film, I was concerned that he would be spending the entire movie making fun most aspects of religion. I was glad to be wrong in the end though, this film was HILARIOUS. The only people that Maher makes fun of throughout the film are people who genuinely seemed deserving of being made fun of, but I think that only ended up being 2-4 specific people, he did make fun of aspects of different religions though (ex: Mormonism‘s magical underwear). He spends most of the film though going around to different groups of people of a variety of faiths, asking them questions about what he feels is the absurdity of the underpinnings of their faith.

I think the most important aspect of this film is that Maher points out that 16% of the American public tells pollsters that they are athiests/agnostic/non-religious, making them an extremely large minority that is vastly underrepresented in politics and public life today. Being a member of this group myself, I didn’t realize just how large a group this is in the USA.

He doesn’t make too many friends during this journey and if you’re a religious person, you might not enjoy it when he starts poking holes in your beliefs, but I enjoyed this film, especially his interviews of the Vatican Astronomer and Vatican Priest (which I was not expecting in the slightest). I felt that these two people had the most answers to give Maher and were his intelectual equal, if not superior. If I could re-edit this film, I would have downplayed things like the Truck Stop Church and the Amsterdam pot smoking believer and added in more from the two Vatican interviews.

Thanks to Meet in the Lobby for the above pic.

Dany

October 8, 2008 1:50 am Posted by | Angels, astronomy, comedians, movie reviews, movies, nature, science, travel | Leave a comment

No More Styrofoam!

If you have a ton of Styrofoam that you don’t just want to throw out, maybe from packing peanuts or just some disposable plates or cups, you can melt them into seeming nothingness with just a bit of acetone (available at any hardware/paint/walmartesque store) or some nail polish remover… but I’d recommend going strait for the acetone, you get a much cooler (and faster) reaction.

I was reminded of this from, of all places, Attack of the Show (subscribe here), check out their video here to see just how fast you can get rid of that polystyrene.

Thanks to Alibaba for the above pic.

Dany

July 2, 2008 1:07 am Posted by | clips, nature, podcasts, science, technology, tv | Leave a comment

Ant Whisperer – Nova

If you want to watch an interesting short video that explains how ants are able to communicate with one another, check out this Nova (subscribe here) video called The Ant Whisperer.

It is an interesting view of how these extremely intelligent creatures interact using chemicals and even ignoring what’s visually apparent. If you like this short video, check out the full production (Lord of the Ants) from PBS Nova‘s site here.

Enjoy

Dany

May 23, 2008 4:19 pm Posted by | clips, nature, podcasts, tv | Leave a comment