Daily Archives: 03/24/2005

Meanwhile…

As our nation turns its myopic gaze upon a poor vegetable’s final hours, the rest of the world is busy redefining itself. I just sat through 45 minutes of Fox News’ fair and balanced hysteria over the Schiavo case. Nonstop coverage, inciting hysteria and a dogmatic political agenda. When I could stand no more, I turned to CNN to find that a coup d’etat just occurred in Asia. Thank goodness Fox News doesn’t bother to report news during its fair and balanced fear mongering. After all, who gives a damn about Kyrgyzstan anyway? Obviously not Fox’s target demographic. I think the term for their brand of reporting was once called yellow journalism.

For The Record

Let me state here and now: I don’t want to live as a vegetable. If I am ever reduced to a ‘persistent vegetative state’ that requires interminable life support or feeding tubes, let me die. Put a bullet through my head, suffocate me with a pillow, something quick and final. Then harvest my organs for transplants and donate the rest to science. I certainly don’t want to linger as a brain dead vegetable, warehoused in some rehabilitation facility for decades, envying the dead. That’s all I have to say about that.

Bobby Fischer Released From Japanese Jail

Chess legend Bobby Fischer is finally free from a Japanese prison, were he has been held since last July. Fischer was released after Japanese authorities verified paperwork showing Fischer was granted citizenship in Iceland earlier this week. Fischer immediately left Japan for Iceland, via Copenhagen. The United States wants Fischer for violating economic sanctions against Yugoslavia. Many believe the charges are part of a U.S. vendetta against the chess icon for remarks made on September 11th supporting the attacks and making paranoid anti-Semitic statements.

Bobby Fischer Leaving JapanI listened to some of those recordings from Philippine radio. They were nasty, vile racist comments from a person well known to harbor deep anti-Semitic feelings. But look at the guy. He’s bats. He actually resembles the crazy coot who spends his time torturing the postal clerks in Hagåtña and believe me, that is not a favorable comparison. The last thing he needs is to freak out, or a chance to grandstand, and that is exactly what this whole episode has done. Let Iceland take him, apparently they love him in Iceland. I don’t think hiding out in Southeast Asia did Mr. Fischer any good at all. Maybe those cool Scandinavians will improve his radical temperament.

A Couple Science Links

Just a few things in passing that caught my eye.

  • Collapsing bubbles have hot plasma core – New research into sonoluminescence indicates that gas bubbles in liquid and crushed by sound waves actually contain super hot plasma. Why is this important? Physicist suspect that this process could be used to trigger nuclear fusion and provide a virtually limitless source of energy.
  • Voyager Mission Faces Shutdown – Budget constraints in NASA are pushing several venerable missions studying the solar system into retirement. The Voyager Mission is on the chopping block, despite the probes’ continued good health. The glory days of planetary fly-bys for the twin Voyagers but are still transmitting useful scientific data about the extreme limits of the heliopause.
  • Scientific American: 15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense – Read this great editorial from Scientific American about fair and balanced scientific journalism and it prompted me to read this handy reference to refute claims of creationists.

Left Of The Dial

Hat tip to Craig for this bit o’ tasty: HBO will be running an America Undercover documentary about the chaos surrounding Air America. Left Of The Dial covers the turbulent period surrounding Evan (Montvel) Cohen’s reign at Air America, the bounced checks, the blackouts on affiliate stations and his eventual ouster. As Drudge puts it in his grandiose style:

The doubts. The lies. The bounced checks. The heartbreak.

The viewer is taken upclose to witness the ugly business of media ambition.

The main character, Evan Cohen, founding chairman and main investor, is depicted as a complete fraud.

The documentary shows Cohen arriving in the middle of night at AIR AMERICA offices to sign over the company and disappear again, but not before lying about how many ads have been sold and how much money is the bank [zero].

It might be worth getting HBO to watch this. Maybe somebody can tape this for me? I’d really like to see it. The preview looks promising, despite Drudge’s hamfisted gloating in his role in the debacle. But Evan did not emerge from this fiasco smelling of roses. The HBO synopsis tells the story succintly.

With Air America facing severe financial problems, and the conservative media reporting every minute of its travails, Cohen abruptly disappears, leaving (attorney David) Goodfriend and the network’s executive producer, Carl Ginsburg, in the lurch. Silent investor Doug Kreeger steps up to take a more active role in the venture, navigating the staff through a crisis when employees temporarily lose their health benefits. Eventually, Cohen signs over his interest in Air America, and Goodfriend resigns, feeling betrayed by his good friend.

I said it before, I’ll say it again: This is his modus operandi. Thankfully the network survived the turmoil under his management and made groundbreaking strides in the radio marketplace.