Good Job, CNN

Posted by Matt at 10:28 AM Tagged with: ,
Mar 262012

I make fun of the major cable news networks a lot, sometimes even devoting entire posts to their amusing errors.  I’m also fairly dismissive of the way they put sensationalism and minutiae over real news and events which affect millions of people.  I think it’d be nice if the American consumer demanded more from their news sources.

But in the interest of fair play, I should also recognize when news organizations are doing a particularly good job highlighting big issues, educating the public about the world outside their familiar communities, or otherwise providing high quality journalism that would be impossible to replicate on blogs or Twitter.  There are reasons these organizations are filled with talented professionals and given large budgets–and those reasons are not celebrity obituaries or hours of uninformed analysis about politicians’ wardrobes.

CNN.com has been putting out some really great reporting lately, and I thought it worthy of recognition.  A few examples:

  • This investigative report on the state of slavery in Mauritania is truly exceptional.  It’s well-written, well-researched, and the photographs are as compelling as both the personal stories and larger statistics.  A small team of professionals literally risked their lives to bring to light information about one of slavery’s last bastions on this planet, and I consider their undertaking nothing less than a significant service to humanity.
  • This story of escaped North Koreans provides a badly needed human narrative and perspective to the increasingly important discussion about dealing with dictatorships.  It’s important to remember that an entire country led by a dictator cannot be our enemy.  The United States and the citizens of North Korea have, in fact, the same enemy.
  • And of course, CNN.com continues to be one of the world leaders in Pi Day coverage.

Nananananananana Photos!

Posted by Matt at 8:55 AM
Aug 052011

The new Batman movie is being filmed across the street from my apartment.  Meanwhile, I had this big post planned about the debt ceiling.  Guess which one I’m going to be blogging about?

Here are some selected photos.  You can click on any of them for a larger, higher resolution version of the image.  I know what my readers want, so I’m going to stop talking now:

A wide shot of extras being set up for a brawl

The brawl, in progress

The Caped Crusader

Batman in the brawl

This looks like it would be fun to drive. I can't believe they wouldn't let me take it for a spin.

Prepping a motorcycle

Gotham City's seat of government. I hope the movie includes a council debate about using tax increment financing districts to revitalize depressed neighborhoods. Honestly, Gotham needs good city planning more than they need Batman...but I don't expect that to come up much in the movie.

Of the 19 extras lying on the ground in this scene, only 17 are supposed to be dead; 2 are just planking.

Down the street, a veritable queue of cool stuff waiting to be unloaded and unveiled

Spoiler Alert: The good guys win sometimes.

Some extras milling around. It's like hanging out at the water cooler, except you're wearing multiple layers of winter clothing outside in the middle of August. Also, there's no water.

I'm no expert on movies or music, but based on this photograph, I'd expect the song "Convoy" to be included in the movie's soundtrack.

It's Batman without his mask! Quick, take a...no, wait, that's just a body double or something.

This one's a little grainy and from an awkward angle, but I couldn't leave you without at least one picture of Batman beating somebody up.

In closing, I’d just like to say that my life is probably more awesome than yours.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go ride my pet T-Rex to the all-bacon brunch I’m having with my ninja friends.

Not The Onion

Posted by Matt at 3:50 PM Tagged with: , ,
Jun 172011

WSJ.com screen capture, 6-17-11

When I first got a gchat about this, I thought we were talking about an Onion article.  Nope, the above image is part of a screenshot I took moments ago while on the front page of the Wall Street Journal’s website.

(While population differences between states means that you won’t always have 50% of the state unemployment rates below the national average, the fact that it works out that way sometimes should not be the least bit surprising or newsworthy.  The breakdown by state count also isn’t a good indicator of economic health.)

I had some actual policy commentary, but instead I’m just going to file this post under “Miscellaneous” and shake my head sadly.

[HT: Emre Guzelsu]

Posted by Matt at 9:29 PM
May 162011

Apologies for the lack of posting lately. I’ve been working for a campaign, and tomorrow’s the primary. So in lieu of actual content, I’m just going to urge everyone to vote tomorrow! (And if you live in Philadelphia’s 8th Council District, I’m endorsing William Durham for the open seat.)

April Fools' Day

Posted by Matt at 6:25 PM Tagged with:
Apr 012011

So I totally spaced on April Fools’ Day until the last minute.  No elaborate prank this year from PSB, and for that, I apologize.  When I realized my oversight, I thought “oh well, I can always bring back Rickrolling,” but then Sporcle even beat me to that!  (Just hit the “Boss” button.)  I wasn’t aware of getting scooped, though, until after I had already found a nice and creative version of the Rickroll on YouTube.  So, if you want to knowingly get Rickrolled in a fun and original way, then enjoy it here.

And just so this blog stays a little academic, I looked up the proper form of “April Fools’ Day” for you.  It’s the plural possessive (apostrophe after the “s”).  So now you can go around snottily correcting everyone typing “April Fools Day” or “April Fool’s Day.”  You can also correct people who are saying it out loud with the apostrophe in the wrong place, if you don’t mind winding up in a comedy routine which probably just barely didn’t make the cut for entry into the Abbott and Costello repertoire.

If PSB is still alive and kicking next year, I promise a better April Fools’ Day post, unless I forget again.

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