I was on the bus yesterday, and this young man sitting across the aisle, 13 to 15 years old, I gather, was telling his friend about his school's basketball team. "They're 4 and 2. I think that's .500". I waited a couple seconds, hoping his friend would correct him, but since that was not forthcoming, I said ".667". He looked at me, confused. "Your team won 4 out of 6 games. 4 over 6 is the same as 2 over 3. 2/3s, .667." Nothing - wish I had the time and the paper to show him long division. "If the team has the same number of wins and losses, THAT'S .500". Maybe I should have gotten into percentages and moving decimal points, but he got off before then. [Sigh]
From friend Don: "In short, it was all about money, cultural arrogance, and ignorance, in no particular order. (Or, alternatively, perhaps it's all about GE Schenectady steam-turbine manufacturing; see the bottom.) Surprisingly intelligent reflections by former NBC Dateline correspondent John Hockenberry, culled from an unlikely source -- MIT Technology Review.
Full story. There's stuff about dreadful coverage of the early days of the Iraq war, inane non-use of a videotape and other nonsense. If you decide to wade into it, check the last page, where JH discusses his aborted story about the shadowy figures behind the Nigerian e-mail scams, how he filmed them fleecing a mark in their Montreal hotel room, "To Catch a Predator"-style. A passing reference to this story came up on The Media Project, a local radio program, last week, and one of the panelists opined that perhaps Hockenberry had an "axe to grind", as he was let go by NBC. That person clearly hadn't read the piece.
"You Don't Understand Our Audience": What I learned about network television at Dateline NBC.
ADD rants about Spider-Man. I haven't read the character regularly in nearly a decade and a half, but I'm inclined to accept this analysis, based on the source.
The personal rantings against ethanol by a friend of mine.
101 Dumbest Moments in Business from Fortune magazine.
I don't even live in Buffalo, but I can get behind this one, suggested by Jaquandor, which is to let people know that Joe Cecconi Chrysler sucks, apparently. My favorite part of the narrative was after a frustrated Buffalo Geek sought help from a higher power:
I decide to call Chrysler Customer Service to see if they could help influence the process in some way. After calmly and rationally detailing the situation to the agent, I was put on hold as she attempted to contact the dealership and broker a truce. I sat immediately outside the dealership in my vehicle, from which I had a direct view of Clyde and Mike yukking it up in the office. Moments later, the agent came back on the phone to inform me that the dealership receptionist said that both of them had left for the day and they would call back next week. To wit, I informed the phone agent that I was staring right at them and they were sitting in their office. I instructed her to call back and let them know the customer is sitting outside, has visual lock on them, and that she would like to speak with them. They refused again. Classy. But Joe is hardly alone.
My goodness, this should be called January Rantin'. Won't even talk about the last Republican "debate"; let a child do it instead. But it's not as though somebody named Rush Limbaugh Person of the Year or something. Oh wait: someone did.
On a more pleasant note - not that I'm going myself:
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will be revived in a STRICTLY LIMITED ENGAGEMENT from FEBRUARY 12 to MARCH 13, with...what the press release say?
This explosive new production of TENNESSEE WILLIAMS’ Pulitzer Prize-winning classic features a dynamite cast led by Academy Award® nominee TERRENCE HOWARD, Tony Award® winners PHYLICIA RASHAD and ANIKA NONI ROSE, and Academy Award nominee and two-time Tony winner JAMES EARL JONES. Directing is Emmy Award® winner and Tony nominee DEBBIE ALLEN.
Performance Schedule: Tues at 7, Wed-Sat at 8, Wed & Sat at 2, Sun at 3
FOR MORE INFO, visit Cat2008OnBroadway.com.
I have an e-mail with a code that'll get you 30% off on the show, so e-mail me if you're interested.
G is for Dick Gregory: activist, comedian, writer
17 hours ago