RaaD Movies, News and Technology

Dany's RaaD Roundup

This Week in The Daily Show and The Onion for May 22, 2011

I love how much effort goes into the stories The Onion come up with, whether it is from their Onion videos or their print stories, their stories are hilarious with biting humor. This week, they take on public education funding and being a political junkie myself, it was wonderful reading this article.

I love the juxtaposition between Common and Ted Nugent that Stewart makes. There sometimes is just no way to square the circles that FoxNews creates on a weekly basis.
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Jon Ronson has a book The Psychopath Test (buy it here). After just a couple of years of medical training, I sometimes forget what psychology knowledge isn’t common knowledge for the public. Watching this interview was a lot of fun for me.
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Annie Jacobsen authored a book on the goings on at Area 51 (buy it here) over the years. First off, no aliens, but President Clinton did have to petition for access to their records after being denied access… wait, I forgot, officially, Area 51 does not exist…
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Watching the depth and breadth of Newt Gingrich‘s fall from grace amongst his Republican peers after he pooh poohed Representative Paul Ryan‘s budget and Medicare plans was amazing to watch.  The sheer gall of him trying to blame Meet the Press and then later saying that using that appearance in advertisements against him or Republicans would be considered lies was just stunning.
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After the  extensive interview with David Barton earlier this month, here is an extended interview with Constitutional Scholar Richard Beeman to provide a different perspective on the history of how the Constitution has changed over the years though amendments and legal judgments over the years in America.
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Thanks to Jeff for finding the hilarious Onion article. Thanks to The Onion for the above pic.

Enjoy

Dany

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May 22, 2011 4:56 pm Posted by | books, clips, DC, economy, education, health, Law, medicine, military, politics, Religion, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in the Onion High-Speed Bus Tour and the Daily Show for May 14th, 2011

After listening to No Agenda (subscribe here) this week, where they highlighted this video from The Onion News Network (subscribe here), I had to share it, watch it by clicking here.

I love the comparison between politicians Ron Paul and John McCain here, I just wish more of the media would cover Ron Paul more seriously and on a different note, who had heard of Herman Cain?
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Here is a great clip extravaganza that takes us back, all the way to President Reagan for the Presidential credit mongering for who deserves credit for killing Osama bin Laden.
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Wow, Common and Ice-T have FoxNews and FoxNews.com all tied in knots, the corporation is a mass of mixed emotions when it comes to the music community. I guess it’s OK by FoxNews to have violent lyrics against the police, as long as they are old lyrics, you know, at least as old as from the early 1990’s…
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Here is a very funny interview with Albert Brooks, promoting his new book 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America (buy it here). Just as a side note, if you have never seen his film Defending Your Life, stop right now and get your hands on it ASAP, it is one of the most comedic and well done hilarious movies of all time.
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Please don’t give Asbestos, Canada ANY of your business, they are CRAZY people that want to sell you MORE asbestos even though it causes hundreds of thousands of cases of lung cancer per year.
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Enjoy

Dany

May 14, 2011 12:37 pm Posted by | books, Canada, clips, comedians, DC, health, Islam, medicine, Middle East, music, music videos, podcasts, politics, Religion, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in News and The Daily Show for the week of May 8th, 2010

Last week, I posted President Obama’s official statement, announcing the killing of Osama bin Laden. This week, I have the only interview that President Obama gave on bin Laden’s death, which was released on the most recent 60 Minutes. The entire video piece is in 3 parts here.

Now THIS is the news media I expected, just 3 days after the bin Laden killing announcement, there’s tons of footage of politics as usual again… how fun to be back to normal, it’s great to get the political horse race back.
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Here is a look behind the scenes of the 24-hour media, showing that basically any media event will be debated as to whether it is the defining moment of the presidency… especially if you watch The Ed Show, which explains why I never like watching his show.
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This Jon Meacham interview mixes the history of the Civil War (buy his Civil War Trilogy book set here) with the potential impact of bin Laden’s death (buy Beyond Bin Laden: America and the Future of Terror here) along with the importance of Pakistan in world affairs.
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Is it wrong to LOVE it when religious zealots get caught in a steaming pile of their own propaganda BS? Watching this zealot getting tongue-tied when he can’t believe seeing a New Jersey mosque offering their prayer space up for Christians to pray in was GLORIOUS!
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Here is an interesting extended 5-part-interview of David Barton on American history and the role, along with his view of the role of, religion in the US. I LOVE that they can agree that they both love open conversations that accomplish nothing! That’s how I feel after every political debate I ever have, even with nothing accomplished, I feel that much better after.
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Enjoy

Dany

May 9, 2011 12:20 am Posted by | books, clips, DC, education, Islam, Middle East, military, New England, New Jersey, Pakistan, politics, Religion, tv, Washington, Washington DC | 2 Comments

Breaking News Osama Bin Laden Dead with This Week in the Daily Show and the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner Week of May 1st, 2011


Tonight there was breaking news that President Obama confirmed around 11:45pm on the night of May 1st: US forces have killed Osama Bin Laden in Abbottaban, Pakistan and those forces now have custody of Bin Laden‘s body.

Here are the remarks from President Obama for the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, I must say, it has one of the best and most unexpected openings I would ever think a President would have, I felt like I was back watching wrestling back in the 1980’s.  Obama also makes fun of himself and his Vice President, Joe Biden, with a funny movie trailer.

Seth Meyers headlines the same dinner and in his 20 minutes he hits on things like a lack of birth certificate jokes, Arianna Huffington, Jon Hamm and Zach Galifianakis.

If polls of Republican and Democratic candidates 18 months prior to the election are so useless at predicting who will actually win the ultimate election, can we stop referring to them now? I guess we could fill all that dead airtime on all the 24 hour news networks with more footage of crazy cat videos.
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It’s interesting to see how the different protests during the local town hall meetings are shaking out, while some prominent Republicans are getting booed, some democrats have to sit through a protest with people who ultimately sing that they love the President… by the way, I am VERY confused by that last one.
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I heard about this interview with Gigi Ibrahim from No Agenda (subscribe here). I can’t believe that the story isn’t getting more press that Ibrahim was taught to do this from the American University in Cairo!
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Here is a nice tirade over the latest news regarding funding 9/11 first responder health treatments. My only comment is that if we are checking 9/11 responders on this, instead of getting mad about it, just check any group the government gives money or aid to against the terrorist watch list, so that we never get any scandals in the news about terrorists receiving aid money from the US government. Shouldn’t THAT be what we are avoiding?
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Elizabeth Warren comes back to explain again why she feels her new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is necessary and what has been happening since the agency was created. Currently, the agency takes effect this summer. You can track what her agency is doing at ConsumerFincance.gov
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William Cohan chronicles the history behind Goldman Sachs and how they are the best financial company to make money by exploiting everything possible that is legal.
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Thanks to the AP for the above photo.

Enjoy

Dany

May 2, 2011 12:07 am Posted by | clips, college, comedians, DC, economy, education, Egypt, Islam, London, Lybia, Middle East, military, New York, newspaper, NYC, photography, podcasts, politics, Religion, tv, Washington, Washington DC | 1 Comment

Helen Thomas Tells Her Story to Playboy

A little bit of time has passed since Helen Thomas has left the White House Press Corps and recently Playboy wanted to get her side of the story about what happened, along with that though, they got a great retrospective of her time at the White House covering almost 1/4 of the Presidents of the United States (the last 10 Presidents). I don’t know what to think about Helen Thomas, she is a great reporter who said some things that I didn’t agree with, but I still think she should be sitting up front in the White House Press Corps asking the tough questions that no one seems to ask anymore. Sadly, I agree with her view of the current state of journalism in the US.

This is a great in depth interview with her, check out the Playboy interview here (or here).

To get an idea, here are of my favorite exchanges:

PLAYBOY: So is this how you pictured retirement?

THOMAS: I’m not retired! I was fired. In fact, I’ll die with my boots on. I’m still writing and I’ll continue to write and ask hard questions. I will never bow out of journalism.

PLAYBOY: Take us back to the White House courtyard on May 27 when Rabbi David Nesenoff pointed his camera at you and asked for your comments on Israel.

THOMAS: He pulled that thing out like a jackknife. I mean, he started out very nice, introducing me to these two young boys who wanted to be in journalism. He said, “Got any advice? Go for it.” I didn’t know it was Jewish Heritage Month, which is why he was at the White House and also why he asked “So what do you think of Israel?” That’s when I said, “They should get the hell out of Palestine.”

PLAYBOY: Did you realize how controversial those words were as you spoke them?

THOMAS: I knew I’d hit the third rail. You cannot say anything about Israel in this country. But I’ve lived with this cause for many years. Everybody knows my feelings that the Palestinians have been shortchanged in every way. Sure, the Israelis have a right to exist—but where they were born, not to come and take someone else’s home. I’ve had it up to here with the violations against the Palestinians. Why shouldn’t I say it? I knew exactly what I was doing—I was going for broke. I had reached the point of no return. You finally get fed up.

PLAYBOY: What was life like in the immediate aftermath as millions started viewing the video on YouTube?

THOMAS: I went into self-imposed house arrest for two weeks. It was a case of “know thyself.” Isn’t that what Socrates said? I wanted to see if I was remorseful—and I wasn’t.

PLAYBOY: Did the phone ring off the hook?

THOMAS: No. Nobody called. But I still have some friends in the White House press pool, who reached out to me. I understand they formed Jews for Helen Thomas at one point.

PLAYBOY: That’s interesting.

THOMAS: I also heard from Jimmy Carter. He called a few weeks later.

PLAYBOY: Has there ever been an honest press secretary?

THOMAS: Jerry terHorst. He lasted one month. He was President Ford’s press secretary. He had covered Ford in Washington. He had been here for 29 years as a reporter from the Grand Rapids paper and then The Detroit News. He understood the press. But he was incapable of lying, and he quit when Ford pardoned Nixon, on the very day. He couldn’t take it. Poor Jerry Ford. He just wasn’t ready to be president. He had prepared himself to be Speaker of the House and stepped into those shoes okay, but he just wasn’t equipped for the big job. We saw that Betty Ford struggled too, of course.”

Thanks to Playboy for the above pic, to Firetown for the pic below of Helen Thomas Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS and to No Agenda (subscribe here) for informing me about this interview.

Enjoy

Dany

March 21, 2011 12:45 pm Posted by | DC, Iraq, Israel, magazines, Middle East, military, newspaper, Palestine, photography, podcasts, politics, Religion, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show for March 5th, 2011 and the New Dead Island Game Trailer

Here is a great find by the Daily Show team of how when the issue is people making over $250K/year in business with giant benefits packages, 24 hour news pundits feel one way, but once you knock more than $150k/year off their yearly earnings and call them teachers, they are now treated as scum.
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When it comes to unions, any deal where it becomes virtually impossible to fire workers is bad, just look at the NY teacher rubber rooms where bad teachers just sit in rooms away from students all day and wait years before their disciplinary hearings… but that doesn’t mean that unions are bad and should be abolished and if you can’t reneg on Wall Street bonus contracts, why is it rational to do just that with union contracts? If you want to join a union, you should have that option. Unions for the public sector though are a bit tricky because the government can’t really fold and the money the workers get paid are not the politician’s money, it belongs to the constituents of the state, so any deal an official makes to increase longterm benefits only comes into play years after they are no longer on the hook for making the deal, while in the private sector, the owners that agree to these contracts are on the hook if they make a bad deal because the business could fail and have to close its doors.
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Here is an interesting interview with the Jordanian Ambassador Prince Zeid Ra’ad. King Abdullah has already dismantled the previous government, but I don’t think anyone yet knows what will come of his changes. The prince brings up some interesting possibilities, like what happens if the region unfolds into a battle between the Sunni‘s and Shia‘s on top of between the middle eastern countries that have already modernized vs the more conservative countries.
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Here’s just a bit of the absurdity what’s going on in Libya. With Muammar Gaddafi seeming to have lost his mind, although I don’t know how recent an event that actually is.
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Allison Stanger tries to explain just how much money is flowing from the US government to military contractors for her new book One Nation Under Contract. One point she brings up is that because there was no military draft, that changed the political discussion over going into Iraq and how we probably would not have gone into Iraq like we did if a draft was a possibility.
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Diane Ravitch talks about how complicated the issue of education is. How we stack up worldwide and what poverty does to education. Her book is The Death and Life of the Great American School System. I still think there needs to be a better way in a lot of these school districts to get rid of bad teachers, but it’s hard to put all the blame on them without dealing with the issues behind why the kids are doing badly in school. Teachers can’t make kids go to school and they can’t make them do their homework, sometimes the blame for why children do poorly in school is because of their family or their family situation.
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Lastly on a different note, thanks to the 404 episode465 (subscribe here) for letting me know about the new Dead Island video game trailer. I know the game won’t end up looking like this ultimately, but it certainly has piqued my interest.

Enjoy

Dany

March 5, 2011 9:39 pm Posted by | books, clips, commercials, economy, education, food, Iraq, Law, Lybia, Middle East, military, New Jersey, podcasts, politics, Religion, tv, video games, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for February 6, 2010

Texas seems to be a mass of mixed emotion in regards to religion in government. I can think of at least one devout Texan who would be interested in this story.
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It took the Obama administration the weekend to decide how to handle the situation in Egypt. Before the weekend, it looked loose support for the government structure, but after the weekend, once numerous reports came out about violence against the protesters, the rhetoric shifted.
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I am not sure sure, but I think that Jon Stewart was channeling Glenn Beck by mock insinuating that Sarah Palin may be a Russian spy sleeper agent, but whatever he was doing, it was a funny game of connect the dots. I think what is more important about that clip is that most Republicans try and claim that it was President Reagan who beat the Soviet Union, but this is the first I have heard them claim that they just spent themselves into bankruptcy. That is usually the argument made by Democrats.
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Bill Gates comes on to promote the eradication of polio from India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the four countries that humanitarian aid has never been able to erradicate polio from.
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Michael Steele is a great sport, after numerous episodes with Stewart and Wyatt Cenac making fun with a mini-puppet, he came on this week to talk about the current situation the Republican party is in.
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Who knew there was rape and then there was rape-rape? Thanks Kristen Schaal for clearing that one up! Republicans are trying to draw a line in the sand between what types of rape the federal government would help fund abortions for.
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The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, explains just how close a relationship the US government and military has had with Egypt over the past 30 years.
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Paul Offit, MD talks with Stephen Colbert about his new book, Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All, where he talks about how important vaccinations are and about the half million Americans who medically can’t get vaccines that depend on everyone else to get vaccinated to protect them.
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These government approved wingless wynz seem very scary, even if they are just white meat wyngz.
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Here is another segment in Bill O’Reilly‘s sayings that don’t make any scientific sense.
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Enjoy

Dany

February 6, 2011 7:55 pm Posted by | Alaska, astronomy, books, clips, DC, Egypt, food, health, Islam, Law, medicine, Middle East, politics, Religion, science, Texas, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for January 16th, 2010

Never forget, advancing age does not decrease intellect or sexual desire, it may increase refractory time, but enjoy this piece about sex amongst Florida’s elderly population.
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I have never seen anyone promote a book like Denis Leary and I have also never seen an interviewer hilariously insult the book and the author as much as with this interview. You can check out Suck on This Year here.
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Here is an interesting look at history and I would not want to read any version of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that took out “the N word.” What would happen if we took all the Martin Luther King Jr. speeches where he used the word “negro” and replaced it with “African American?” There would be an uproar. I have also never heard of anyone publishing any of Thomas Jefferson‘s writings with his language white-washed either. Please just read the entire uncensored version here or get it from Amazon.
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All hail stupid, hastily put together and poorly thought through law proposals following a tragic event! Is it really good to know that a government for the people, by the people can end us up with officially that are just as stupid as some of the rest of us?
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Watch this extended interview with former governor (and most likely Republican Presidential candidate in 2014) Tim Pawlenty. He and Jon have an interesting discussion about the role of the federal government. He has a new book out called Courage to Stand.
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Now it’s time to make fun of how politics crept into the Obama Tucson mourning speech criticism a meer few minutes after the speech ended on most of the 24hr news organizations.
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Now you too can become a member of Congress, it’s easy, just watch this entire clip with your right hand raised in the air, just like 2 of our officially elected Congressmen did (story here)!
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When I heard Lithuania had it’s own perfume, it instantly reminded me of the old Snickers Gheorghe Mureşan commercial.
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Former Facebook programmer and Obama campaign worker Chris Hughes promotes his site jumo.com, where you can find charities  that interest you, follow them and donate.
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Using sarcasm, The Word is just good for you… also, you gotta love the blood libel reference that keeps Sarah Palin in the news cycle almost indefinitely.
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French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, co-author of Public Enemies, talks about God, debate and the inescapable black hole of political rhetoric.
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Who knew that snackrifice would enter  the lexicon? May the power of Dorito-Christ compell you!… or at least absolve you of your sins, or at worst, be offended by it.
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Lastly, after the Christmas weekend blizzard here on the east coast of the US, I found this lovely time lapse video documenting the snowfall with one shot every 5 minutes from a Canon DSLR.
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Enjoy

Dany

January 17, 2011 12:02 pm Posted by | Arizona, books, censorship, clips, crazy celebs, DC, Florida, food, guns, health, Law, Minnesota, photography, Religion, sex, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

President Barack Obama’s Speech in Arizona after the Tuscon Shooting

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There is little I can say about the recent tragic shooting in Arizona, other than that I feel for the family and friends of those that died and those who were injured (currently 14 injured and 6 died). Above I posted the speech that President Obama delivered, or you can read the transcript, in case you have not seen it yet, watch it, it is a wonderful speech that is heartfelt and takes the politics out of the story and just tells the story, unlike most of the 24-hour news media has done since the shooting.

Enjoy

Dany

January 14, 2011 5:48 pm Posted by | Arizona, clips, college, DC, guns, health, politics, Religion, 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