News & Culture


News & Culture09 Jul 2008 11:47 am

I really enjoyed today’s blog posting from Steve Friess, the perpetrator of one of my favorite podcasts, The Strip Podcast.

Steve is an incredible freelance journalist, writing for many major publications (New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, etc.) from his home base in Las Vegas. His husband Miles is also in the news biz, as a producer for the news hour at the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas.

In today’s blog posting, however, Steve tackles an issue that is a huge peeve of mine: the irrational loathing of Las Vegas. Case in point: some twerp who edited a major travel industry publication, who bad-mouths Vegas but hasn’t been there in ages.

I am so sick of people whose first reaction to a mention of Las Vegas is, “Ugh, I hate Vegas!” When you probe further into their dislike, you almost always find that they’ve, a) never actually been there; b) went there once about 15 years ago; or, c) are total cheapskates and think the steak house at Circus Circus is an indefensible splurge.

It takes particular chutzpah to criticize a place that you have never been, or haven’t been to in nearly a generation. With its incredible pace of change and vibrant growth (even in these difficult economic times), five years in Las Vegas is like 20 in many other major cities.

Vegas today is an entirely different animal. It has more Michelin Guide-rated 2 and 3 star restaurants than Los Angeles, and some of the most luxurious hotels and spas anywhere in the world. It remains one of the world’s top travel destinations for people from all over the globe.

And there’s tons of fun to be had even if you never set foot on a casino floor.

I commend to your reading Steve’s dismemberment of the dufus former editor of Budget Travel magazine, and the general trend of irrational Vegas-hating.

News & Culture14 Apr 2008 10:47 am

Morcheeba performs at the FillmoreMy love got us tickets to see Morcheeba at the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco. I had only heard a few Morcheeba songs before that night, but those that I heard were pretty good. But after a fantastic concert in an equally fantastic venue, I am now a big fan. You can hear a couple of my favorite songs of theirs at these YouTube links: "Run Honey Run" and "Enjoy the Ride", and their biggest hit "Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day".

News & Culture & Radio Show09 Jul 2007 09:19 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

New York City to install thousands of video surveillance cameras

Yahoo and Microsoft knuckle under on EU privacy statements

9th Circuit Court says no privacy expectation in IP addresses, “To”, “From” fields in email

Remember, you can always download the audio of this hour, or any hour, from David Lawrence’s website for a micro-payment of 25¢. You can also subscribe to them via iTunes at David Lawrence Unplugged and have them automatically downloaded to your computer.

Gay Rights & News & Culture27 May 2007 11:35 pm

He was anything but boring. Tony Award-winning actor and 95-time(!) guest on the Tonight Show, Charles Nelson Reilly has passed away at age 76. Quite by coincidence, I’ve spent a lot of this past week watching old episodes of Match Game on the Game Show Network. (This is what happens when Justin goes travelling for a week and leaves me alone to tend the kitties.)

A few months ago, our TiVo happened to capture an episode of Match Game as a “Suggestion” and we watched it and nearly wet ourselves laughing. I remember watching the show as a kid and found it funny then, but now it’s so much funnier.

We’ve set up a Season Pass for it, we always have about 25 episodes queued up and I watch them while cooking or just to pass the time. I would recommend that you try catching a few old shows yourself. It’s worth the effort!

The show is such an amazing artifact; an incredible snapshot of culture from the mid 1970s through the 1980s, from clothing to the who’s who of B-list and C-list stars, to the sometimes bizarre “matches” drawn from the cultural awareness of the day. And to see Charles Nelson Reilly, so obviously gay and yet so incredibly loved by his fellow panelists and the audience so many years ago, he was quite a force for change… and humor.

Goodbye, Charles!

Here’s some YouTube clips for your entertainment.

News & Culture & Radio Show26 Apr 2007 04:51 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

Major Anti-Spam Lawsuit Filed in Virginia

ID Task Force Ideas Receive Cool Reception

U.S.D.A. database exposes Social Security numbers

Congress takes up anti-spyware bill

Remember, you can always download the audio of this hour, or any hour, from David Lawrence’s website for a micro-payment of 25¢. You can also subscribe to them via iTunes at David Lawrence Unplugged and have them automatically downloaded to your computer.

News & Culture & Radio Show10 Apr 2007 05:17 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

TJ Maxx breach spurs better credit card processing

Arizona nixes credit freeze, but Washington State votes for more credit protection

IRS loses 500 laptops in 3 years

Remember, you can always download the audio of this hour, or any hour, from David Lawrence’s website for a micro-payment of 25¢. You can also subscribe to them via iTunes at David Lawrence Unplugged and have them automatically downloaded to your computer.

News & Culture & Radio Show21 Mar 2007 05:11 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

Fraud linked to TJX data heist spreads

Report Details FBI Missteps in Data Collection

How Big A Crime is Invasion of Privacy?

Remember, you can always download the audio of this hour, or any hour, from David Lawrence’s website for a micro-payment of 25¢. You can also subscribe to them via iTunes at David Lawrence Unplugged and have them automatically downloaded to your computer.

News & Culture & Radio Show13 Mar 2007 04:55 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

DOD, Microsoft sign deal to data mine health records

White House panel OKs surveillance plans

Bush Pledges to End FBI Privacy Lapses

Remember, you can always download the audio of this hour, or any hour, from David Lawrence’s website for a micro-payment of 25¢. You can also subscribe to them via iTunes at David Lawrence Unplugged and have them automatically downloaded to your computer.

News & Culture & Radio Show06 Feb 2007 08:03 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

Sony BMG settles with FTC over anti-piracy software flap

Zogby Poll reveals different privacy expectations between young and old

Maine leads revolt against national Driver’s License

$1M Telemarketer Settlement

Remember, you can always download the audio of this hour, or any hour, from David Lawrence’s website for a micro-payment of 25¢. You can also subscribe to them via iTunes at David Lawrence Unplugged and have them automatically downloaded to your computer.

News & Culture & Politics31 Jan 2007 04:59 pm

While driving home just now, I heard Rachel Maddow say that Molly Ivins passed away. I’d heard recently that her breast cancer had come back after several years in apparent remission.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve encouraged someone to read Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?, I’d be a rich man. Then again, we’re all the richer for having had her brighten our lives with her poignant, hilarious, and prescient commentary.

Regular readers of this blog will note that I’ve quoted her a few times. Her insights into Texas politics are essential reading for anybody serious about understanding electoral politics in America. Forget deToqueville, Ivins is your Rosetta Stone to understanding America’s chronic political ills. ;)

Do yourself a favor, go buy these (among her other books…):
Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?You Got to Dance with Them What Brung YouShrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. BushWho Let the Dogs In? Incredible Political Animals I Have Known

Rest in peace, Molly…

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