Sunday, May 31, 2009

New York Times' Micheline Maynard: "Car Industry 'Spooked'"

Ha-ha, that's an understatement! Maynard points out that Detroit worries "about what the new normal will be once the recession ends." They STILL don't get it! General Motors slit its own throat and shot the US auto industry in the foot when it recalled and crushed the EV-1 Electric Car. The only American make with a prayer of getting over this is Ford--- unless the people are pressured into buying cars from the new "Government Motors." Better yet, maybe GM will GIVE people carloans like the mortgage industry did... You know what, folks? Nothing good will come of this. The companies and individuals running things have lost their way and just can't bring themselves to admit it.

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If this were the very last day of your life...

..would you be ready for it? If not, make amends, visit old friends, do the things you will regret not having done and talk to the people who, at the end of the day you'll wish you had spoken to. Be good, don't lie, cheat or steal. When your mind is idle, ask yourself "Why am I Happy?" Even if you are unhappy at the time, your brain will call up everything you should be glad for! Peaceful Blessings as you go about your day!

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Angel Dream

I was in the waiting room just outside Heaven. There were a few angels around. They looked like us except for the area occupied by the eye: the eye surface was completely dark brown, but they could not see the same way humans do. A passing angel said to me "Hi little girl!" to which I responded "I'm a boy." The angel came close, putting a hand on my forehead: "you have a little girl spirit." So I said "howcome I'm not gay?" which made the angel laugh and laugh! "That has nothing to do with sex! The instant of your dawn there was no female body available. It's quite rare, but it happens. You'll be alright next time." I exclaimed "next time?" And then I woke up...

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Headlines, Deadlines and Lifelines

George B. Bookman has lived the storied life of a journalist, an editor and reporter at Time, LIFE, Fortune, the Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report. Later he went on to executive positions in public relations for the New York Stock Exchange and for the New York Botanical Garden, and consulting for corporate clients.

As a veteran newsman and frequent TV and radio commentator, he loves to tell stories. And tell them he does, with delight, in Headlines, Deadlines and Lifelines (published by iUniverse) : A memoir of Bookman's life as a journalist and P.R. man, but also as a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. With tender and exacting detail Bookman highlights his days as a White House correspondent at the cusp of World War II with Franklin D. Roosevelt at the helm, covering economic news in Washington, moving to New York as national economics correspondent for Time magazine, and later joining the Board of Editors for Fortune magazine. Bookman took a turn in his career to public relations and directed the public information office for the NYSE, then leading PR for the New York Botanical Garden.

Combined with his fascinating career exploits in this memoir, Bookman relates his personal story with his wife of 57 years, their travels and adventures, their intimate and touching letters from the war; and his experiences with organized religion: Jewish, Presbyterian and Quaker.

About the Author
Now nearing age 95, Bookman lives in New York City. He is a long-time member of several journalism societies including The National Press Club (Washington) and the Overseas Press Club (NY). Bookman has survived the passing of his beloved wife and has found new love and life with his companion of more than seven years, Ruth Bowman. He helped his late wife put together into a book a collection of correspondence with her British friend, "Dear Ines... Dear Janet, 50 Years of Transatlantic Letters Between Two Friends (iUniverse 2007)." Although he wrote his memoir mainly for his family legacy, journalists, PR practitioners, historians or others will be fascinated with his historic and moving tales.

Headlines, Deadlines and Lifelines

Available from: , , and

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Long Day

Nearly home after a super day in the city. This blogger or tweeter or internet personality or whatever I am will be hitting the sack as soon as I get home. Gotta be up at 5am! Lots to do tomorrow... lots of cooking too. Banana nut muffins on the breakfast menu and I'm making my signature lasagna for a candlelight supper. Midday I've been invited to a luncheon in Bethlehem. Like I said, lots to do. Good night for now! (Ah, there,s the "Albany 15 Miles" sign!)

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Oh Newspapermen Are Such Interesting People...

...or at least they used to be! Paste Magazine has uploaded 10 Songs About Print Journalism that you will most certainly wnat to share with your favorite editor!


MediaWatch May 29

The Adventures of Newspaperman

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Poor Kid Must Have Been Hard Up For A Date

Or is that hard on? Whatever! Her head hung low, Melissa Weber was ushered away in cuffs, no doubt thinking about the probable end to her teaching career and whether her alleged sexual rendezvous with her 14-year-old student had been worth it. Weber, 27, of West Babylon, LI, who teaches social studies at MS/IS 8 in Jamaica, had sex with the boy on seven occasions between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. from April 13 to May 14, authorities said! [CBS2, NYPost]

PHOTOS: Teachers Who've Gone Too Far!

Previously: Beth Geisel v. Lina Sinha!

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BREATHE NYC: Asthma Walk 2009

Join the American Lung Association in New York and thousands of New Yorkers (like me!) today at the BREATHE NYC: Asthma Walk as we take strides in the fight for healthy lungs and clean air!

WHO: American Lung Association in New York

WHAT: BREATHE NYC: Asthma Walk 2009 ­- a three mile walk to fight asthma and lung disease

WHEN: Saturday, May 30th; Registration begins at 8:30 am, Walk starts at 10 am

WHERE: Battery Park, Manhattan

WHY: In New York City, an estimated one in four people suffer from lung diseases including asthma, lung cancer, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). There are currently one million New Yorkers with asthma, and of that number, 320,000 are children. The proceeds from the "BREATHE NYC: Asthma Walk" will support the American Lung Association in New York's research, education and advocacy programs

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Around The Blogosphere 29 May 09

Nothing like "Around the Blogosphere" to get you on your way!

The Road To Success Is Paved With BLOGS!

Blogging is a powerful writing habit to develop...

Once upon a time, Canadian newspaper columnist / blogger Gail Lethbridge sided with Frank Zappa, "...when we crack the censorship whip too liberally, we chip away at our own powers to see and hear the bad stuff, and to fight back..."

Twitter for the newbie [French][English]

Avoid Being Picked Out in a Crowd was posted by Jane at Life Is What You Make It - Jane writes: "In public, you may need to conceal yourself in a crowd. Criminals especially with attempt to pick you out from a crowd to be targeted. The purpose of this guide is to make you as invisible to the public..."

Mother finds missing son after 27 years - on FACEBOOK!

Michelle Malkin uploaded Weird times - "A reporter is seeing red after being dragged away from The One."

TechCrunch features Ads For New Microsoft Bing Search Engine…On Google - "Maybe it works, but seeing ads on Google for Microsoft's new Bing search engine just doesn't seem to send quite the right message."

DOSBox 0.73 ' Play DOS games on Windows Vista... New Upload! filenetworks

The Human Rights Commission of Mexico DF has asked the television network Televisa to apologize the actor known as Sammy, after the contestants of a comedy game show played a prank on him, even though it is widely known that he suffers from moderate mental disability.

Panos Radio South Asia airs a special report on the status of the community radios in Bangladesh. Following a progressive and pro-radio broadcasting law enacted by the government last year, 116 community radio stations are waiting for the final nod to be on air. is trying to determine the best rapper ever.

Cats can sleep anywhere!

Chace Crawford talks about the Footloose remake.

Finally, Article Slideshow Video Saying Good "Tonight" to Jay Leno After he makes his final appearance on the "Tonight Show"...

MediaWatch 29 May 09

The Newspapers have been between the proverbial rock and hard place. Thursday evening NPR aired a report on the perilous predicament papers are in: how to get $$$ when presenting the news online. I don't think it can be accomplished, at least not in this generation. Every newspaper attempt to charge for content has fallen flat. You or I are just not going to pay for it. Period. The people behind the papers seem to think that we can't get news without them. Nothing could be farther from the truth. There's TV. There's radio.

Contrary to what newspapermen might believe, broadcast journalists don't have to rely on the papers for stories. In the past two weeks I've used the newspaper as a story source once, maybe twice. Most of my stories have their beginnings in press releases. Don't get me wrong, I love the paper... I read the Times Union, New York Times, Daily News and New York Post, in print and online. But if I was to buy a paper at the newsstand, I would have to be certain it contained material that I really wanted to read. A few years back certain magazines used the soft-porn mag technique of putting shrink-wrap over the paper. You could see the story "teases" or "headlines" on the cover but you couldn't peek. I found that whenever I bought one of these I was always disappointed with the suck-y content! You have to be able to sample, and not the kind of samples the pay newspaper sites used to offer: a few beginning sentences from which you really couldn't tell where the story would take you.

Pale Imitations! So many blogs out there are simply clones of other blogs. Wannabee bloggers are a dime a dozen. Nearly all of the blogs you'll find links to here on my blog have been around for awhile. My all-time favorites are (in no particular order) XiaXue, Michelle Malkin, the Drudge Report and Global Voices. You might argue that the second pair aren't blogs. Well, yes and no. All four have more than proven their worth to me, many times over. Not one of them would ever miss a newspaper, should papers cease to be printed. There's something about a tangible newspaper vs. a cyber-paper. I'd rather have something I could hold in my hand and read without having to turn on a computer or cell phone. Do you readers agree?

Enough about newspapers! Back to blogging! My blog is styled after the four websites listed above. I wanted to give readers 1)personal insights, 2)commentary and news of the day, 3)Links to great reads and 4)offer an aggregator, and although people (myself included) use RSS readers and Google Reader, I still try to upload "Around The Blogosphere" at least 5 days a week. And that's not just for you, it's also a way fro me to catlog and keep URLS for things I may want to go back to. Which brings me to 5)the personal diary or weblog. Admittedly, I don't get as in your face / personal as Wendy or as politically rigid as Michelle, but I do share some things with you, as any good friend would. Sometimes there may be a misspelling or a typo, but, hey - it's just a blog!

Which brings me to things like links and trackbacks and pagerank and comments. All that stuff is part of a blog. These days TWITTER is part of a blog, so I looped twitter via Facebook and into a widget in my sidebar so you can see what I'm doing even if I haven't posted anything here lately.

LINKS are great, but how many bloggers can write posts WITHOUT relying on them? I can! Wendy can! Michelle can!

TRACKBACKS don't seem to be important as they were, say, back in 2005. I still use them once in awhile, but I notice these days most bloggers don't incorporate them.

PAGERANK is another thing. Some place great stock in it. It's nice, another way of measuring a blog's performance, but I can take or leave it... I have may wonderful services on this blog, including MyBlogLog and LibraryThing and Technorati and C-Box. They're all there just to make the connection between me, the net, and you a little easier to navigate and perhaps a little bit stronger.

COMMENTS are nice! I still envy some blogs that manage to log bunches of them and they get very "forum" like or turn into a "discussion board" which is something I've always wanted to accomplish, but I know, people are busy and don't always have time to stop and comment. Bloghoppers---that's what they are! I'm guilty of that! But I still try to leave a comment or a C-Box line.

As I write this in May of 2009, I can assure you that by May of 2012 blogging may still be around but there will be many changes that have been made and probably some new service or fad that people will use, and I will likely be one of those people too!

One thing is for sure, and that thing is called CHANGE. There was a time I was against the "Tip Jar" or "Donation Box" on a blog. But now I have one in my sidebar. I don't make much, but it's nice when soemone drops a few dollars or pesos or yen as a way of saying they appreciate what I write and what I do. I don't get rich on any of the blog advertising, either. But I like the services I advertise and it dresses up the weblog a bit.

To all of you who regularly stop by here, thank-you! To those who have landed here by chance, welcome, leave a message in comments or C-Box! And look at that! An entire post without a LINK to an off-site URL (pats self on back!) - Have a great day!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Around The Blogosphere 28 May 09

President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy once ruled against a blogger's right to free speech. NBC Connecticut News has details.

Wendy Cheng (XiaXue) once showed celeblogger Sister Furong JieJie what Photoshop could do.

Kenny Sia took Sis to a whole new level!!! Hey, whatever became of Sis Furong and Mu Zimei?

Photoshop under the microscope at the New York Times:
“There’s no question that images have been altered so significantly that, at times, it’s so apparent it’s transparent, actually,” said Dennis Freedman, the creative director of W, a magazine that intentionally features photographs of both extremes: Juergen Teller’s patently unretouched portraits on one hand and the digitally stylized work of Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott on the other.
Freedman and the NYT obviously are blissfully unaware of XiaXue, the blogging Queen and Photoshopping Pioneer! Here's the link to the NYT article.

Welcome to the Aporkalypse! The dreaded and deadly Influenza A (H1N1) virus has arrived in Singapore already. The city state confirms it is treating a patient who tested positive for swine flu.

5 boys join Bai-Ling " the hot hot jaccuzzi..."

Another one of my favorite bloggers, Jen Chung, digs up dirt on a NY ACS worker... the comments are awesome, examples:
Man, I love the media paired with the internet. It's so easy to find pictures of people nowadays and pair them up with an article to make them seem completely incriminated.

"Instead of doing her job, she was at the beach! And wearing a cop's hat!"


Maybe the same cop who lent her that police hat also taught her how to falsify reports, which cops seem to excel at these days.
Not to be outdone by Ms. Chung, LaShawn Barber is hot on the trail of “Lila Rose,” a college student who poses as a pregnant teen...

Pico Iyer
in Jamaica: center of word and world

Something you DIDN'T know: about Reggae SuperStar Bob Marley!

Miss Info Mythbusters: T.I. and Tiny, Not Married

The 2009 Chinese Internet Research Conference began May 27 at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. Ethan and Lokman have written their first day notes on the presentations in the conference in their blogs at My heart's in Accra and Global voices, one world. You may follow the conference discussion here at #circ09.

They should have made this look more like a cellphone--- after all, they did it with guns!

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Wednesday I was in Troy to interview Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre, a couple of RPI guys who came up with a strong but cheap material made of mushrooms that could replace materials currently used in wall insulation and packaging. Organic. Stargate fans think Wraith motherships. Eben and Gavin have been profiled in newspaper and magazine articles and are praised as "big thinkers" by Popular Science Magazine. They "want to line the walls of your home with mushrooms." This is cutting-edge stuff. Future plans call for the substance to be mass-produced in a hydro and solar powered facility. I had a great time chatting with them, touring the lab, and even got to take home a little free sample of the polystyrene alternative. This is going to be a terriffic story! Stay tuned!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Around The Blogosphere 27 May 09

Kari Ferrell is just one shenanigan away from a Hallmark Channel movie-of-the-week. Still basking in her 15 minutes of fame, The Hipster Grifter is now fodder for Mom-blogs.

Speaking of celebrity-fame, you know you've made it big when others follow in your footsteps! Imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery!

Heartbroken Mike Tyson Mourns Loss of Daughter...

The Palestine Festival of Literature is a traveling cultural roadshow touring across the West Bank, in Palestine through May 28. The aim is to take literary activities to Palestinians, who aren't allowed to travel under the occupation. However, the opening was marred when armed Israeli police ordered the theatre where the event was hosted to shut down. Bloggers from around the world react to the incident.

FileTwt: Sharing Files on Twitter

Social Search has arrived! (Click on the image!)

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore Boycott Threatens to Derail Twitter Show...

Trinidad and Tobago's This Beach Called Life attempts to define Twitter.

Presenting... the Robot Obama: call it "Robobama" or just plain Robama!

Rewind: 40-Day Prosperity Plan

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Wednesday Money

Car dealers are fit to be tied! They're doing everything they can to lure buyers into the showrooms, but with local gas prices back in the $2.69 range, buyers will look--- and leave! GM is a step closer to bankruptcy. Home sales data due out today will likely set the tone on Wall Street for the rest of the week.

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Tuesdays R Newsdays

The busiest day of the week (newswise) in the Capital District is Tuesday. I covered three stories myself, but there were several other things happening and press conferences going on. The stories I covered all took place within Albany's South Mall. These kind of assignments are great because a reporter can travel from the Capitol to the LOB and other buildings via the underground mall. I can gather information for my stories, take photos and begin writing scripts electonically on the spot. I don't even have to go outdoors for lunch: there are restaurants including a McDonald's in the mall, as well as the fine deli in the Capitol. One of my stories took me up the old staircase to the LCA pressroom. Pretty quiet these days, it once was a beehive of newspaper and radio reporter activity. Times certainly have changed! The post office and newsstand remain at the Capitol, lasting reminders of the bustling days of yesteryears. I enjoy spending time there.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Around The Blogosphere 26 May 09

Photo courtesy Xiaxue!

OMG! WTF! She's done it! Writes Wendy Cheng (XiaXue):"New blogskin is up! Currently my designer is still fixing the comments. Like it?" I DO! First to comment was Monica Tang!

Facebook Takes That $200 Million Investment From The Russians At A $10 Billion Valuation. - Facebook is taking that rumored $200 million investment from Digital Sky Technologies, a Russian investment group

INFORUM: ‘Mommy bloggers’ cashing in with parenting freebies: Bedtime stories and beloved teddy bears? Snack-time silliness and bath-time hijinks? For “mommy bloggers” across the country, the rules are clear: If it relates to your kid, go ahead and blog about it.

Everyone wants to know who Archie will finally choose: Betty or Veronica

10 News photos that took retouching too far...

Video: The New Yorker's Cover By iPhone!

New Twitter Show Sure to Annihilate Twitter Once and For All [Shut Up, Twitter]

Twitter + Gmail = Stepsaver!

Twitter’s Biz Stone: Thoughts On Repositioning Twitter, Search Ads, The Twitter Ecosystem & More

Beware of texting, says The New York Times.

Facebook is back, unblocked in Iran.

New music from DJ Vadim and Yarah Bravo via Mr Day...

Albany County Comptroller Mike Conners is also a busy blogger...

Mel Gibson on Eighth Child: "I'm Octo-Mel"

Put this on your calendar: Dave Ruch will perform his special brand of New York folklore and music at a free Guilderland Public Library concert on Saturday, June 13, at 2 pm.

The world's oldest blogger has passed at 97.


Only A Test

After world condemnation following nuclear and missile tests, North Korea shoots up two more rockets... Muscle flexing? They haven't directly threatened any particular nation. Testing Obama? Nah. They would test no matter who is in charge. I suggest Mr. T pay North Korea a visit. Until PRNK really hurts somebody, the world will sit tight.

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The Adventures of Newspaperman

While watching the 1st season "Superman" tv series DVD, a kid that was in the room asked me "why were newspapers such a big deal?" To which I robotically responded "newspapers in the 30s 40s and 50s were like the internet today" and then I thought to myself "my gosh, that's right!" In Albany NY alone, you could buy a fresh edition of the Times Union or Knickerbocker News almost 24/7. If the auto industry was America's backbone, newspapers were its blood. Newspapermen commanded respect: even guys like my Uncle George (typesetter) and Cousin Bill (ran the presses). The beginnings of today's newspaper troubles can be traced back to the day the Knick and many other evening papers were forced to cease publication. As time passed, the morning papers began to struggle. Now, it looks as if the internet may be the final nail in newsprint's coffin. I'll paraphrase another famous Pete Seeger song: "there's a time for everything" and maybe the newspaperman's time has come and gone.

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Marketing 101

I'm always fascinated by stories explaining how things "catch on"-or don't.. I've blogged about the Beatles, CBS color TV, Christina Aguilera, the EV-1. I always wondered why the earliest Superman TV shows were the most fascinating. On the Season 1 DVD, it is explained that the show began production in 1951 with a movie designed to help make the "serials audience" familiar with the TV series. "Mole Men" became a 2 part season finale. The other eps were aired in a few markets and shelved. That was that. NOT! Somebody with Kellogg Cereals saw Superman and decided that was the show to use as a vehicle to help launch new products, like Frosted Flakes. Season 1 was reborn in 1953, airing nationwide Friday nights at 7:30 and the show quickly rose to number 1 and production resumed. One role had to be re-cast but all the other actors were thankfully still available and the show was re-imagined to be more kid-friendly. In a tribute to Season 1, the final ep captured its essence...

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Window Shopping

Im my case, the TV set is my window, and two commercials have caught my eye One for a $199 netbook and the other a Volkswageb diesel that gets 58mpg. I plan on looking into these products more closely later in the week.

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Monday, May 25, 2009


Finally back and exhausted! Checking emails and then off to bed. Looks like we're in for a chilly night, a nice Tuesday, then cold and rain the rest of the workweek. With that forecast, the week is likely to go by pretty fast

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Albany Waters Begin To Boil

(Montreal) A colleague texted me that Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings was on TV news at noon, looking "mighty unhappy" over the Sunday Times Union article questioning the police chief's credentials. I can't wait to return to home base! Drive carefully!

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The Visitor Departs

Such a busy weekend (especially one that spans three days) always makes me feel great upon returning to work! I expect to be back in Albany by late tonight. My visitor is flying out from Canada and we are just about to board a bus to Montreal. I've been doing all of my communicating by cell phone. Emailing, blogging, tweeting, reading the newspapers. Not too long ago these technological advancess were the stuff of dreams. Fellow bloggers, especially those of you who complain of having "nothing to blog about" and others tired of being tethered to a PC or hate lugging a laptop along... set your services up so you can access them by handphone! I can do everything including IM-ing with this little Kyocera Wildcard! Some of Virgin Mobile's new phones also shoot video and double as mp3 players!

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You can tell it's an election year in Albany...

The president of the common council (who just happens to be running for Mayor) has crossed what some call "a line in the local political sand" by calling for an investigation into the city police chief, following Sunday's Times Union article by Brendan Lyons. When considering candidates voters tend to be more impressed by past accomplishments rather than newfound boldness. But the political landscape is shifting in 2009 and the two abovementioned measures may have little weight on election day. Voters are "restless" and for lack of a better phrase, are "thinking outside the box" when sizing up candidates. And in Albany, things are just getting started. It should be an interesting week!

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Memorial Day...

Your right to assemble, bear arms, pratice your religion and make your own life and career decisions remains intact, thanks to those who fought and died in America's wars. Memorial Day is for us, the living, to pause at the threshhold of summer, take personal inventory and meet the future head-on. Stop somehere on your day's journey to think of, thank or pray for those who served our nation in its darkest hours.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Brendan J. Lyons

Even though I'm in Saratoga entertaining a visitor, I've been bulldozing through Season 1 of the old "Superman" tv series from the 1950s. In the tried and true tradition of reporters as portrayed on the show, today's Times Union presents the kind of story that once appeared 3 times a day in any newspaper worth its salt: an investigative piece! In "Doubt Over Tuffey Status" reporter Brendan Lyons spins a tale around the Albany Police Chief's status: "not a certified police officer." The article notes "it's unclear whether Albany's city charter...require the chief to be a certified police officer." Beyond the story itself, Lyons' style of investigative reporting is logical and informative, in a style common during the 1930s through 60s, when newpapers ruled!

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No Pictures

Explaining that her publicist would not approve, my houseguest declined to appear in any photographs. Despite the unexpected lack of visual cooperation, Saratoga proved to be an excellent choice to keep the visitor occupied. If you've never been to the Spa City, put it on your "to-do" list. I'm up here on a relatively "quiet" weekend and there's lots to do! The shops, restaurants, discos and casino. During July and August you have SPAC and the track: a couple of years ago when between jobs I spent the entire summer in Saratoga (yes, I myself was a houseguest!) Gotta run now, lots to do. Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

A.R.E. Psychic Fair


Saturday, May 23, *** 12:Noon to 5:30 pm

Location: 241 West 30th St. 2nd Floor, Ring Buzzer 102

Phone # 1-212-691-7690 /

Friday, May 22, 2009

Around The Blogosphere 22 May 09

Allison Elisabeth and Pele Vuncujovi

Suddenly, after hearing them on Gossip Girl (and the Lincoln MKZ commercial) I've become a huge Shiny Toy Guns fan...

♪♫copy and paste into "comments" or C-box if the Lincoln Mkz commercial BROUGHT you here♪♫

Do check out Descanza en Paz, Abuela Bloggera María Amelia from Magdelyn al día.

Global Voices Online's Caucasus editor interviews Ian Anderson from the legendary British folk-rock band, Jethro Tull.

Lady Banana is
suffering from Spam...

Michelle Malkin is warning us about a virus spreading through prisons in America.

Ever wonder? Geoffrey Philp has Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Rastafari.

Buff asks "Who could kill a child?"

Lawyer Liu Shihui's T-shirt, on which a quote is printed, seems to have the power to attract police and disturb the social order. Bob Chen presents a partial translation of Liu's blog entry about his experience in Guangzhou.

You can put Tina Fey on Twitter but you can't make her tweet!

And now: the site that recovers deleted tweets!

Think before you text!

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Benjamin John Salvatore Cocco Memorial Fund


CBS6 reports it has found family video of the deceased on YouTube.

The Times Union has printed an op ed entitled "When a life cannot wait"

Donations can be made at any Trustco branch in the Benjamin's name.

Or, mail a check to:

Trustco Bank

1156 Troy-Schenectady Road

Latham, NY 12110

Fundraiser for Cocco Memorial Fund:

What: Garage sale, car wash and bake sale

When: Starts at 9 a.m. Saturday

Where: Solid Rock Church, 1 Kenwood Ave., Glenmont

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The Haunted Lighthouse

Thursday upon returning a Harry Potter movie to the Albany Public Library I chanced upon a DVD set of the first season of the Superman TV series. I was delighted to get to see episodes I haven't watched since I was 5 years old. That first season, 1951, produced the series finest eps, filmed in what I call "classic RKO /Republic Pictures film noir." Only problem was Disc 3, which was from season 2. Hard to believe how dramatic the change was from one season to the next. If you are a filmmaker, there's much in to learn in the way of lighting, style and technique from this mid-20th century presentation!

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I was quite busy last night making what I guess you could call "last minute preparations." I have a house guest flying in this evening from a far away place. And much still to do.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Have a great day!

When people disagree with you, or you with them: hold your tongue for a moment and think carefully. Choose to respond in a tone or with candor they are not expecting. Your challenge for today is to become your own press secretary. Put a positive spin on everything. If you make a mistake, pretend it was your intention all along, as you figure out how to fix it quickly. Be your own worst critic while you are doing this. After an "event" rewind it in your mind and imagine what factors could have altered the come in both and positive ways.

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This past Tuesday night I was enroute to Voorheesville around 8pm. I stopped at the Upper New Scotland Avenue Stewarts to get gas and noticed one of those sporty little Dodge police cars whiz by with lights and sirens on. Across the street from Holy Names Academy. The road was blocked off and my passenger counted "at least nine" police cars and a fire truck along with a few unmarked police cars parked a ways up McCormack Road. we had no clue what was going on. My passenger commented "this would be a great time to rob a bank on the other side of town" - which triggered a conversation about how police seem to get bunched up every afternoon in Albany, shepherding the Albany high kids walking home from school. The topic turned to Memorial Day and other subjects. After I safely delivered my passenger, I passed the scene again going home around quarter-to-nine and again at 10pm, the road still blocked off and police still there. Whatever it was, I reckoned, had to be bad - perhaps a hostage situation or a terrorist cell - I was amazed to hear it involved a child on a bike hit by a car. The TV news reports didn't offer much in the way of information. It wasn't until the Times Union story that all the details were made public.
A now-deceased 11-year-old Albany boy waited 25 minutes for an ambulance to arrive following a collision between his bicycle and a car, city police said.

Benjamin Cocco of Wood Terrace had to wait for an ambulance to arrive from Troy after he suffered a severe head injury during the crash at the intersection of McCormack Road Tuesday night, staff writer Christen Gowan reports.
The comments on the newspaper's blog raise many issues. Perhaps the most troubling is the un-availability of the ambulance service, which has a garage minutes from New Scotland Avenue. I'm sure there will be much investigating and reporting in the days and weeks to come. As many times as I've driven by the ambulance garage and seen employees and vehicles sitting idle, I can't help but think it was the worst of coincidences that the service was maxed out on the night of this tragedy. Like you, I'm dusting off the bike helmets. You never know.
This message is from a Virgin Mobile customer. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Around The Blogosphere 20 May 09

Charlyne Yi wrote and stars in Paper Heart, a pseudo-docu-romcom that took home a screenwriting award at Sundance. Paper Heart opens Aug. 7. Until then, follow Yi on Twitter!

Goo-Glitter? Can you believe Google is taking a beating from Twitter? WTF?

An Indonesian army plane carrying more than 100 passengers crashed in East Java. Twitter user ari197 comments: “Indonesian soldier is dying not because of war but because of old device/weapons/planes/ships.”

#TCDOT du Jour: Twitter Fight!

Ted Haggard is on twitter!

Lenny Kravitz si mette a nudo su Twitter!

TV: Reunited - The Huxtables! But, no Lisa Bonet! Bonet played second child Denise Huxtable... after she became pregnant with musician Lenny Kravtiz' child, she was written off the show. She also appeared in the movie "Angel Heart" with Mickey Rourke. She is quite photogenic!

New Book: Bloggers on the Bus by Eric Boehlert

Musical vibes: Sheila Chandra

Jenny Owen Youngs - Transmitter Failure

I wish you abundant Health! I give you tips for fighting the dreaded Aporkalypse... and here are 5 outbreaks that dwarf Swine Flu!

Dear President Obama

I support government takeover of General Motors and respectfully suggest bringing back the EV-1 electric car as "the people's car," effectively whittling America's addiction to foreign oil down to almost nothing. An incentive program could be developed to help get as many drivers as possible into EV-1's. Despite rumors that GM shredded the blueprints, there is at least one EV-1 in a musuem, and although removed critical components, brilliant minds could back-engineer it. Heavier vehicles could still exist as gas/electric hybrids.

Sincerely Yours,
Dave Lucas

This message is from a Virgin Mobile customer. Enjoy.

Sheeple R Stoopid

OMG - you wouldn't believe the hits an old post about "Cheesus" the Cheeto Jesus is getting. Ridiculous! I'm beginning to think that every once in awhile Frito-Lay deliberately tosses in a few Cheesuses. Kids probably eat most of them. Every now and then an adult finds one and the media makes a big fuss over it. I'm sure that if the Lord wanted to contact us it would be through a more appropriate and spectacular venue. Just enjoy your Cheetohs and stop it.

This message is from a Virgin Mobile customer. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Gossip Girl Season Finale

Bass heaven! Let the nostalgia begin!

Says Bai-Ling: "Music..... How can one's life without music?.....the sound of the universal's soul and the sound of longing for life, for love, the sound of the poetry....."

The Makers of Gossip Girl really know their stuff when it comes to adding music. For the big season finale, the spectacular closing minutes were embellished by Shiny Toy Guns' "Season of Love" which you may want to grab before some knucklehead makes youtube take the link down.

But let's rewind the tape of Monday night's episode. The writers have pulled off transitioning main characters from high school to college without "jumping the shark." This is quality filmmaking (like watching the Harry Potter cast grow and mature as the content of each movie grows and matures) at its best!

"The Goodbye Gossip Girl," wrapped up the second season in style, cramming more into an hour than we can even process. (GossipGirlInsider)

The comments are fast and furious on New York Magazine (GG's premiere champion and critic), which blogs the season finale landed solidly in real territory.

TV Squad: In case you didn't connect the dots, the Scott character Dan, Nate and Vanessa met in the coffee shop is Lily and Rufus' thought-dead lovechild. We did see that he had a newspaper clip about them, but it went by really fast. It'll be interesting to see where this will go next season, especially since his adoptive parents didn't want him to know his real parents. Lily will also have more drama coming her way if Serena does indeed find her father in Fiji and brings him back home.[**]

Jenny's Crown: one of my Facebook Friends commented "I approve of Jenny's queendom, but let's see how long it takes absolute power to corrupt absolutely."

The trillion-dollar question revolves around the Georgina Sparks character, who is apparently going to be Miss B's roomie at college in the fall!

By the way, that GG "spinoff" is dead, and so may it rest in pieces!

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On Christmas Day 1963 - practically no one in the US had ever heard of them.
By Sunday February 9th 1964 interest in the Beatles was so intense that a world record audience of 73 million viewers tuned in to see the group's debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.

The Lenox Library will hold its Third Annual Beatles Day celebration in Lenox on Sunday, June 28th. Featuring local bands playing all Beatles covers, and music scholars giving lectures on aspects of Beatles music, the event has grown from its inception in 2007 and now attracts hundreds of people from all over Berkshire (MA) County.

Beatles Day 2009 is in two parts. Part One is a Symposium on the Music of the Beatles held at the Lenox Library on Sunday, June 28th, from 2 to 4 pm. The Symposium will feature three speakers, all experts on the music of the Beatles, who will discuss the music. Every year one of the famous Beatles albums is celebrated. This year the focus will be on the album Let It Be, recorded exactly forty years ago, in 1969. Speakers will include Jeremy Yudkin, organizer of the Lenox Beatles Days; Michael Nock, a humorous favorite of audiences every year; and Joshua Rifkin, one of the most celebrated musicians in America, famous for work on the Beatles, Bach, and Scott Joplin.

Part Two will be the Cover-Band Concert in the evening. All the bands are local bands, and all the bands will be playing covers of Beatles songs. This event takes place at the Duffin Theater of Lenox Middle and Memorial High School at 7 pm.

Tickets to the Third Annual Beatles Day are available by contacting Lisa Berkel, Director of Development, at the Lenox Library, 18 Main Street, Lenox (413-637-2630 or Tickets are $10 for the Symposium, $15 for the Concert, or $20 for a combined ticket. Children’s all-day tickets are $10. Tickets will also be available at the door.

As a free event to prepare audiences for the 2009 Beatles Day, Jeremy Yudkin, professor of music at Boston and Oxford University and a year-round Lenox resident, will give a lecture at the Lenox Library on Saturday, June 20, at 2 pm, on what makes the music of the Beatles so great. The lecture is entitled “A Splendid Time Is Guaranteed for All. The Music of the Beatles: Why We Cannot Let It Be.” This lecture is free and open to all.

This event is a fundraiser for the Lenox Library. Proceeds from the Third Annual Beatles Day in Lenox will help underwrite all the activities of the Lenox Library, from its extensive music holdings to its year-round lectures and events, to its top-ranked children’s programs.

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Around The Blogosphere 19 May 09

The government of Sril Lanka announced via state media and SMS on the afternoon of Monday 18 May, that the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Vellupillai Prabhakaran, is dead. Obituaries of Prabhakaran note that he was a hero to some and a ruthless killer to others. Sri Lankan Bloggers lament on the legacy of this war lord and what his demise means for the future of the Tamil people and Sri Lanka. Angilee Shah reports.


New York Times:

The most famous member of the Tamil diaspora is the singer Maya Arulpragasam, known as M.I.A., who famously boasted on her first album, “Arular,” named after her Tamil separatist father: “Like P.L.O. I don’t surrender.” Like many in the far-flung Tamil communities in Britain, Canada, the United States, Australia and even Norway, M.I.A. is making it clear that she disagrees with the Sri Lankan government’s claim that their military victory over the Tamil Tigers means peace is at hand. On Sunday M.I.A. explained to her 31,000 followers on Twitter why many Tamils outside Sri Lanka want the struggle for a separate Tamil state to continue, writing: “THE WAR IN SRI LANKA IS NOT AGAINST THE TIGERS, ITS AGAINST THE TAMIL PEOPLE!”

On Monday she mocked a remarkably ill-timed article in Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, headlined “Sri Lanka: End of Conflict Could Boost Tourism,” with this Twitter commentary:

I SAY YEAH … IF U like swimming in blood and hiking and biking on mass graves and eating chemically contaminated fried fish for lunch.



M.I.A.'s Dad, Arul Pragasam (she picked his knickname, Arular, for an album title) was a founder of a revolutionary student group that eventually merged with the Tamil Tigers; in the 1970s, he trained in Lebanon with the PLO. Around the turn of the century, M.I.A. was studying at a prestgious art and design school in London. She described classes as "boring and bourgeois." By chance, she caught a TV documentary about homophobia in dancehall-reggae culture. That programme inspired her to switch to filmmaking. In 2001, she returned to Sri Lanka with her mother, with the intent of making a documentary that would retrace the steps of her childhood and discover the fate of a cousin who had joined the Tigers and died under mysterious circumstances. Her documenatry remains UNFINISHED.

Priti Patel, project lawyer (HIV/Aids) for the Southern Africa Litigation Centre is in Livingstone, Zambia to live-blog a groundbreaking HIV discrimination case in the country.

Apple's 'I'm a Mac, I'm a PC' Guys Stare at Death Row Inmate on NY Times' Website.

You can
tweak better on Twitter: ask Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi.

Tweet of the day (May 18)

Kirstie Alley Leaks Assasination Plan to Twitterati

I'm certain Kimberly doesn't mean to brag (or does she?) --- "I don’t care what you or the rest of the world think, but I’m bent on going to the STAND OUT! WITH TIGER AND NUFFNANG Party. It’s an all exclusive party only meant for unique and outstanding characters such as myself."

Count blogger kimberlycun among shiny, happy, OUTSTANDING people! (Unfortunately, her blog is so weighed down in nuffnang ads, it took more than three minutes to load got stuck while loading on a computer with a T1 connection. Perhaps if you are in Malaysia or Singapore you will be able to view her blog entry (HERE!)

Some details of the party:

Date of Event : 6th of June 2009 (Saturday)
Time : 7pm till late
Venue : HQnine, TTDI Plaza, KL
Dress Code : Standout

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Cold and Fire

Brrrrr! A chilly morning run after another night of slumber peppered by dreams. This time the Dream Book actually had an entry about FIRE, so without dtails but with affirmation in mind, the book says "a fire is an omen of impending trouble if it burned you; good news if it didn't. " In my case, it didn't. The weatherman says look for things to heat up later this week with temperatures approaching 90. I know already that for me things will be heating up, for an entirely different reason. BTW: impressive Gossip Girl season finale! I'll post on that this evening. I made a VHS of the episode and at least for now, it's a keeper!

This message is from a Virgin Mobile customer. Enjoy.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Economic Snapshot for May 2009

The Center for American Progress is out with its latest economic snapshot, and the picture ain't pretty (as I have concluded from my own weekend reading):

1. The U.S. economy is shrinking quickly. In the first quarter of 2009, the gross domestic product declined at an annual rate of 6.1 % after falling by 6.3% in the fourth quarter of 2008. This is the first time since 1947, when the Bureau of Economic Analysis started to collect these data, that the economy shrank by more than 6% in two consecutive quarters.

2. Massive job losses continue. The U.S. economy shed 539,000 jobs in April 2009, and 5.7 million since the recession began in December 2007. Of these, 2.7 million have been lost—46.4% of the total—just in 2009.

3. Unemployment stays high among the most vulnerable. In April 2009, the unemployment rate was 8.9%—the highest level since September 1983. The African-American unemployment rate stood at 15.0%, the Hispanic unemployment rate at 11.3%, and the unemployment rate for whites at 8.0% in January 2009. Youth unemployment stayed high at 21.5%. The unemployment rate for people without a high school diploma jumped to 14.8%, compared to 9.3% for those with a high school degree and 4.4% for those with a college degree.

4. The unemployed are going without a job for record lengths. The average length of unemployment was 21.4 weeks in April 2009, and 27.2% of the unemployed were out of a job for 27 weeks or more. These are the highest levels since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started to collect these data in 1948.

5. Wages are still up due to low inflation. In March 2009, inflation-adjusted weekly earnings were 2.6% higher and hourly earnings were 4.3% higher than a year earlier, largely because of low inflation in recent months. This is unlikely to last when prices for energy and other items start to rise again.

6. Benefits decreased before the crisis. The share of private-sector workers with a pension dropped from 50.3% in 2000 to 45.1% in 2007, and the share of people with employer-provided health insurance dropped from 64.2% in 2000 to 59.3% in 2007.

7. Family wealth is disappearing at a record pace. From June 2007—the last peak of family wealth—to December 2008, total family wealth decreased by $15 trillion in 2008 dollars. This reflects a drop of 22.8% during these 18 months, the fastest decline in any 18-month period since the Federal Reserve started to collect these data in 1952. And total family wealth stood at 483.3% of after-tax income in December 2008, the lowest level since March 1995.

8. The housing market is still sputtering. New home sales in March 2009 amounted to an annualized, seasonally adjusted rate of 356,000—30.6% lower than a year earlier, despite a 12.2% year-over-year drop in median new home prices. Existing home sales were 7.1% lower and their median sales price 12.4% less than a year earlier.

9. Mortgage troubles mount. One in nine mortgages is delinquent or in foreclosure. In the fourth quarter of 2008, the share of mortgages that were delinquent was 7.9%, and the share of mortgages that were in foreclosure was 3.3%. The share of new mortgages going into foreclosure stayed at its record high of 1.1%.

10. Families feel the pressure. Credit card defaults rose to 6.3% of all credit card debt by the fourth quarter of 2008—a 52.4% increase from the fourth quarter of 2007.

Download the snapshot with full graphs (pdf)

The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Around The Blogosphere 18 May 09

photo of Deng Yujiao

China’s Internet portals are still rife with discussion after a foot masseuse in Hubei Province allegedly stabbed two local officials and killed one Sunday after turning down what she said were their aggressive sexual advances. Bob Chen reports.

Netizens Discuss If Reporting Rape Jeopardizes Wedding A Chinese netizen asks for advice on an internet BBS forum for a friend who was raped before her wedding. Should she report it and risk her wedding/marriage?

Here are "100 Geeks You Should be Following on Twitter," according to Wired.

Spam Haiku: Why 60 percent of Twitterers quit

My answer is NO to the question posed on Mike Harvey's blog: WolframAlpha - should Google be quaking in its boots?

A New York Times columnist involved in plagiarism? Can it be?

Can music help bring us closer together? Noa and Mira Awad hope their message from the Eurovision Song Contest reaches far and wide. Gilad Lotan updates us about the journey of those two musicians and reactions to their performances in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.

Fiddle-wielding Norwegian singer wins EUROVISION...


Slideshow And Then There Were Two: American Idol Finale It's down to the final two on American Idol.

Season Finale of Gossip Girl tonight at 8! (This is a VHS occasion - while TIVOing may be nice, you can easily passalong a VHS or VHS-to-VCD copy of the show to friends!)

A flower for your "Mellow Yellow Monday" and letters from kittycats.

The Aesthetic of Lostness writes about the difficulties of being a female motorcyclist in Morocco.

Anthony Joseph

Tori Amos' new album is streaming on MySpace

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