It's Better to Have Never Watched

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One of my favorite “glass half full” statements is from Alfred, Lord Tennyson who wrote, “It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.” It can be considered trite but it is almost always true, at least when it comes to love.
It seems that the reverse is true though when one is talking about about current events and Fox News. Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind center is reporting that people who depend on Fox News are even less informed than those who don’t watch any news programming at all.
Yes, you read that correctly. You are better off learning about the news from overheard conversations in elevators and on the street than by watching channel 640 on your Verizon supplied cable box. To me, this information is more of a “duh – this simply confirms something I already knew!” moment as opposed to a “wow – I had no clue!” moment. That being said, I’ll be very happy to point this study out as a rebuttal to anyone who uses Fox News as source material during a future debate.
Please note that this is a separate study from the one that the University of Maryland ran last year that found that a s found that Fox News viewers were more likely to believe false information about politics.
In closing, Fox’s tag line is “Fair and Balanced” never ceases to make me think of the line from 1984 that says, “We’ve always been at war with Eurasia.” ‘Nuff said.
Via Jessie


99 versus 1

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I was surprised to get an email from MoveOn.org at around 2:30 AM yesterday which read,

According to multiple reports, police are raiding Occupy Wall Street right now. Occupiers have asked anyone who can go down there and offer support to do so. Please do if you’re able.

It seems that the best home grown NYC tourist attraction since The Naked Cowboy set up shop in Times Square is gone, at least for now. While the protesters are regrouping and figuring out where they go from here (already there was talk that the movement would move to college campuses, because they are friendlier to protest and due to weather reasons), I am sure however that this isn’t the end of the 99 Percent Movement or the fight for an economy that works for everyone.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka summed it up pretty well:

But the 99% is undaunted. Occupy Wall Street’s message already has created a new day. This movement has created a seismic shift in our national debate—from austerity and cuts to jobs, inequality and our broken economic system.

Here are some stats for your Turkey Day table when you wind up arguing with your Tea Party loving family member about the validity of the movement:

Considering it’s the state motto of New York, as Stan Lee would say, excelsior!
Stats via Think Progress


Sushiactive is alive

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Back in 1999 when I was hitting my sushi loving stride (having started to eat it only a few years earlier) and starting my website at the same time, I decided to create a site that matched pictures of sushi with a Mortal Kombat style voice over / description feature – basically an interactive menu that one could use to make sense of this strange and foreign culinary world that I was in. The site was to be like the paper menus that one sees in sushi restaurants, the ones with the photos of the fish and rolls along with their phonetic Japanese name and English name, except again with that booming voice over. For instance, you might see a crab stick fly into the frame and then hear, “Kani! Crab! Delicious!” I decided to name it “Sushiactive.”
Like so many of my great ideas, this one never went anywhere, aside from living as a flash trailer of sushi flying around that I developed and which then lived on my site for the past decade, that is before the Sevensquared to Keymaster Productions move when I took it down. My friends would ask me about it from time to time and while I would always say, “it’s in development” that wasn’t true. I gave up on developing the idea years ago.
Like so many ideas that were spawned during Web 1.0, this one was ahead of its time, a little over a solid decade to be exact. With the rise of mobile computing via “phones that are really mini-computers that happen to also make phone calls,” this idea was one that many people had. “Order Sushi Like a Native, and Know What You’re Eating” published back on 6/8/11 reviews phone applications that all mimic my idea. The last one mentioned, SushiGuru, is also the only one uses my VO idea. From the article:

Unlike many other competing apps, SushiGuru also has audio pronunciations. If you ever opted for a California roll simply because it was easier to say than Aburasokomutsu, a kind of mackerel, this is a worthwhile feature.

I like being ahead of my time but at the same time I am wistful and rueful that others have implemented it. I’ll need to review what other ideas I’ve had that I’m not acting on. I think it’s time to revisit my nascent “Little Classics” publishing model.


Election Day is Next Tues and No One Cares

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Election Day is next Tuesday, November 8th. In my home state, the great state of NJ, voters will decide who represents them in the Legislature. All 120 seats are up for grabs, however as Alfred Doblin in the Bergen Record so aptly put, “Well, not really.”
He continues to by stating,

“At best two, maybe three legislative districts are considered competitive. That means either most incumbents will be reelected or the party faithful who were socially promoted up the food chain in a safe district will become legislators”

and the sad part is, he is absolutely correct. Regarding the men and women who make our laws and govern us, we are given very little choice in this country, a country that prides itself on giving its citizens 31 flavors of ice cream. I mean, there are 8 different varieties of Wheat Thins for god’s sake! An organization called Americans Elect is trying to alter this dynamic for the 2012 Presidential Election, but that is a topic for another post. Let’s instead go back to the two (potentially good, probably bad) choices that we do have.
We’ve spent $120 billion (that’s billion with a ‘b’) fighting to give people in Afghanistan the right to vote – we are trying to bring democracy to them and that is what you do in a democracy, you elect your leaders – but only 1/4 of our population actually votes, and that is in a good year. If you divide that number equally between the two parties that dominate politics (Democrats and Republicans) then you see how its possible that someone who only 1/8 of the population wants to be elected winds up in charge of your life. It’s possible that people do not vote because they think they are just deciding between a giant douchebag and a turd sandwich. It’s possible that they do not have time and/or it is not convenient. These are topics for another post as well. Again, let’s instead go back to the two (potentially good, probably bad).
I vote, year in and year out, and I usually vote for a Democrat because the Democratic Party’s platform is the one that is the most aligned with my worldview. I’ve never missed an election since I turned 18 and never plan to either. I care, and believe that the only wasted vote is the vote you do not make. I’ve complained about this issue before on this blog and five years later, nothing has changed.
Doblin concludes his op-ed with the following:

State legislatures are the test kitchens for new public policy, some of it down-right anti-American — that is, if you believe civil liberties aren’t decided by the popular vote. Some of the people elected this November to go to Trenton will be the people going to Washington in future years. If they are inarticulate, if they lack creativity, and most important, are incapable of looking at both the needs of their district and the needs of the state now, they will not change in two, four or six years.
New Jersey needs its best leaders in Washington and it needs to mold them in Trenton. If mediocrity is the gold standard, democracy is what is devalued. State elections should matter. They don’t.
And you wonder how these things begin.

To that I say, “hear hear!” Unfortunately, most of the population will not…