Archive

  • The Viral Video Spreads ...

    By Pepper of the Daily Pepper ... to your TV. Viral video clip shows are now becoming the new reality-TV fad thanks to VH1's Web Junk 2.0 and Bravo's Outrageous and Contagious Viral Videos . I love it because I can't get enough of angry Winnebago salesmen (which you can see after the jump) or that enormous Trading Spouses lady ranting about being a god-warrior . Sure, it is a hipster version of America's Funniest Home Videos , but anything's better than seeing a guy get hit in the nuts over and over again. The Viral Video benefits everyone, the viewers and the networks, who are helping themselves to free programming and publicity. Look at the tremendous success of the "Lazy Sunday" / Cupcakes / "Chronicles of Narnia" video, which made people think that Saturday Night Live is funny again. So why are some networks biting the hand of this new revenue machine?
  • Mea Culpa/Link of the Day

    Apologies for the shitty blogging of the last week. Got back from Amsterdam, moved houses, wrote next month's cover and a secondary piece on European energy policies, and now I'm sick. Happily, my pieces are done (well, 200 words from done on the European one), my move is finished, and I expect to get better at some point in the future, so I'll be back in full force come Monday. Thank God for my weekenders, yo. On another note, Paul Krugman and Robin Wells, writing in The New York Review of Books , have about the most comprehensive review of the state of America's health care system I've read. If you're at all interested in the topic, or think you someday could be, read it. The most important part, of course, is that it name checks me, thus quasi-fulfilling my dream of writing for The New York Review of Books. While we're on health care, I have two posts over Tapped today that hit the issue pretty hard, and I think both are good. The first is on how deep, and wide-reaching, the...
  • An Ever More Inconvenient Truth

    All those doomsday effects of global warming that Bush thinks need further study? Yeah, they're accelerating : The Antarctic ice sheet is losing as much as 36 cubic miles of ice a year in a trend that scientists link to global warming, according to a new paper that provides the first evidence that the sheet's total mass is shrinking significantly. The new findings, which are being published today in the journal Science, suggest that global sea level could rise substantially over the next several centuries. It is one of a slew of scientific papers in recent weeks that have sought to gauge the impact of climate change on the world's oceans and lakes. Just last month two researchers reported that Greenland's glaciers are melting into the sea twice as fast as previously believed, and a separate paper in Science today predicts that by the end of this century lakes and streams on one-fourth of the African continent could be drying up because of higher temperatures. In other news, Alaska's...
  • Band of the Day

    Well, artist anyway. But man is Imogen Heap 's Speak For Yourself a catchy album. I liked Frou Frou (her collaboration with Guy Sigsworth), but her solo stuff is far stronger. Breathy, dreamy lyrics overlaid on trip-hop beats. Really great stuff.
  • HSA Cartoons

    The first two panels of this are brilliant.
  • TNR

    Laura's got about the fairest, most interesting analysis of TNR I've ever read; would that Marty pasted her post on his shoulder as a "Good Angel's" guiding vision! Reading her made me yearn for a TNR I occasionally see glimpses of, but rarely find sustained throughout a whole issue. And to answer the next question, I don't know how Frank Foer ascending to the top slot will affect that. I do know that it'll reduce his involvement in producing the content, which'll be a shame. His pieces routinely shine through the magazine's occasionally self-parodic counter-intuitivism with a quirky intelligence and merry humor that political rags across the spectrum lack. Whatever the mag's evolution, though, the blogosphere specifically and the left generally is a bit too quick to stereotype the whole thing as a product of Peretz's zionistic eccentricities. The young writers at the place are some of the most talented on the planet, and its to the left's benefit that such a stable exists. My friend...
  • It's Not About Policy

    There's lots to talk about in Josh Biven's exegesis of the difference between left and center-left economists, but let's start here : During the Faux/Sperling debate, a particularly contentious subject was the fate of the Clinton health care plan. The Clinton health care plan (whatever else its overarching benefits and demerits, and I'm more kindly disposed towards its merits than many of my peers on left) was designed to minimize the visible hand of government and to preserve the role of insurance companies and employers in acting as intermediaries. Single-payer options were ruled out from word go. The plan’s boosters would argue this maximized its political prospects; critics of it from the left argued that this froze them out from the beginning and robbed the push for universal care of enthusiastic support from its most natural constituencies. Going back even further into the Clinton presidency, the push to pass NAFTA before embarking on serious efforts to move health care was...
  • But What If You Did Have To See The Planet Lip To Lip?

    From a David Brooks column , advising all those poor schmucks about to receive an insubstantial education at Harvard on how to make their Ivy experience count: Spend a year abroad. Shibley Telhami of the University of Maryland believes that all major universities should require a year abroad: "All evidence suggests this, more than any other, is a transforming experience for students that lasts a lifetime." This, actually, strikes me as quite correct. I graduated college in three years -- I knew what I wanted to do, and through the blog, I was already doing it, so it made sense to concentrate -- but my great regret is that I never spent a year, a season, a semester, or even a matter of weeks abroad. Everyone I know who did escape the country, even those who seemed least likely to benefit from it, came back, if not changed, then believing they'd changed, which is about as important. My theory, based on what I saw in my friends, is that periods abroad instill a desire to be world,...
  • Quote of the Day

    Lindsay : When Jeff blames war critics for the Iraq debacle, he's confusing correlation and causation. Many of us opposed the war precisely because we foresaw a disaster. The war didn't go badly because we complained. We complained because we saw that it was going to go badly.
  • Quote of the Day 2: The Onion Rules Edition

    Democrats Vow Not To Give Up on Hopelessness : According to Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Democrats are not willing to sacrifice their core values—indecision, incoherence, and disorganization—for the sake of short-term electoral gain. "Don't lose faithlessness, Democrats," Kennedy said. "The next election is ours to lose. To those who say we can't, I say: Remember Michael Dukakis. Remember Al Gore. Remember John Kerry." Kennedy said that, even if the Democrats were to regain the upper hand in the midterm elections, they would still need to agree on a platform and chart a legislative agenda—an obstacle he called "insurmountable." "Universal health care, the war in Iraq, civil liberties, a living wage, gun control—we're not even close to a consensus within our own ranks," Kennedy said. "And even if we were, we wouldn't know how to implement that consensus." "Some rising stars with leadership potential like [Sen. Barack] Obama (D-IL) and [New York State Attorney General Eliot] Spitzer have...

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