MPR: Launch of advertainment assailed by Twin Cities critics
This spring KARE-11 will be the first in the nation to convert its long-running morning news show into a long-running commercial, called “Showcase Minnesota.” You’ll see anchor hosts sitting in comfy chairs, with guests snuggled next to them, to talk up the latest in food, fashion and gadgets.
They are doing a sort of preliminary version, called “Holiday Showcase Minnesota” now.
It’s really a return to the first days of TV, writ large, when advertised products were worked into the shows in a blatant manner. Everything old is new again…

John C Wright Interview on SFSignal

SFSignal: INTERVIEW: John C. Wright
Over on SFSignal is an interesting interview with a SF writer I have not read yet, by the name of John C. Wright. I mentioned him a couple of times before on this Blog.
I do have one of his books in my pile to read, and have heard good things about it, and other books both out and forthcoming.
The interview makes me think that Wright agrees with Brust’s Pre Joycean Fellowship as far as literature and the fantastic are concerned.
He’s also, or was, anyway, an ADRPG player–I see his wife posting on the old Amber Mailing List now and again and she emailed me about that fact some months ago.

R.I.P. Richard Pryor and Eugene McCarthy

The controversial, convention-breaking comedian Richard Pryor died yesterday, at the age of 65.
In addition, former Minnesota senator and presidential candidate, the anti-war, convention breaking Eugene McCarthy also died yesterday. His run for President, against fellow democrat Lyndon Johnson was widely thought as a major reason why Johnson in the end did not seek re-election.
Rest in Peace, the both of them.

Biocomputer learns to pilot Jet simulator

The Matrix is Coming…Soon. | CorrenteWire
Here is another case of “Living in the Science Fiction Present”. A “brain” of 25000 neurons grown from a rat embryo being taught to handle a computer simulation:
It sounds like science fiction: a brain nurtured in a Petri dish learns to pilot a fighter plane as scientists develop a new breed of �living� computer. But in groundbreaking experiments in a Florida laboratory that is exactly what is happening.
The �brain�, grown from 25,000 neural cells extracted from a single rat embryo, has been taught to fly an F-22 jet simulator by scientists at the University of Florida.
They hope their research into neural computation will help them develop sophisticated hybrid computers, with a thinking biological component.

Marianas, America’s own Sweatshop Hell

Making Light: Their plan for you
Later, DeLay would tell the Washington Post�s Juliet Eilperin that the low-wage, anti-union conditions of the Marianas constituted �a perfect petri dish of capitalism. It�s like my Galapagos Island.�
A Galapagos island of debt peonage, the company store, and worse than you can imagine.
Obsidian Wings has more, too.
All this has come to light in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal.
When you lift the rock, you have to be prepared for the grubs and worms underneath in the soil. But even so, read, and be saddened.
$Deity, perhaps it won’t be If This Goes On or The Handmaid’s Tale, maybe it will be the dystopic, impoverished future of The Running Man

Anti Fundamentalist KC Professor beaten

Red State Rabble: Mirecki Beaten
Paul Mirecki, a Kansas University professor who had plans to teach a class next semester titled “Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design and Creationism,” was reportedly beaten by two men who followed him as he drove to breakfast early this morning.
Despite the stupidity of allowing a remark of his to be discovered that suggested that he would consider the course a slap in the face of fundamentalists, physical violence is NOT a acceptable response, in my book.
It just shows that you are a thug.