Choose Your Dialect of Dewey Defeats Truman

The LA Times has an exhaustive list of election night coverage by the television networks:

Where to tune in on election night

For example,

ABC: The trio of Charles Gibson, Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos kick off coverage at 4 p.m., followed by a special edition of “Nightline” at 11:35 p.m.

CBS: Anchor Katie Couric, along with Bob Schieffer and Jeff Greenfield, report on the results beginning at 4 p.m., followed by a live webcast on at 11 p.m.

My favourite:

Current: Beginning at 4 p.m., the network will deliver a real-time stream of election updates, Digg stories and Twitter posts, along with live music sets by DJ Diplo.

Anchor Diplo, please adjust your tie.

Jesse Brown Hosts Election Night

Jesse Brown, former host of the former radio show “Search Engine” remains on the edge of employment at the CBC, allowed out of his blog just occasionally to file a 3 minute segment on Sunday Edition, as long as it’s sufficiently watered down and regards little of import. I guess we should all be thankful that the tax-engorged technocrats at the CEEB see fit to let little Jesse host his “website” on the corporate servers at all.

But apparently they’re going to use him on election night. He reports, in his latest podcast, that tomorrow eve he’ll be tasked with tracking national response to the results as it appears on the internets: blogs, twitter, so on. Does that mean he’s going to be on TV? I don’t know, the Search Engine site is slim on details. Or anything else. He freely admits that he doesn’t know what he’s really going to do. And let’s face it, reporting on the election when it is by definition over, isn’t that great of a gig. Although I suppose his company will be all the big name anchors engaged in the same redundancy.

It’s remarkable that a radio show which only really existed for a few months and has been off the air for almost as long as it was on still manages to rank as the 7th result for a Google search of the fairly popular term “search engine”.

It’s also remarkable that a straight-ahead internet-affairs radio show/weekly podcast makes me laugh out loud more than just about any media I come in contact with. Jesse never winks.

not winking


French Hensonian Gangsta Video

My boy Bertrand (of WCBN’s “The French Show”) brings our attention to this video clip:

It’s becoming common for me to link to Hensonian-based video. Jim’s lovingly executed imagery is timeless, as much a joy now as it was when I was a kid. As such, a palette for use and re-use and extension primitive and exquisite and everything in between. Here’s to you Jim. I’m throwing you my gang sign.

The Other Clone Wars TV Show

I’ve now discovered that there was another animated Star Wars series, in 2003. This one was two one-hour episodes of non-computer animation. Set in the period in between Episode I and Episode II. If the new series is good, this old mini-series is great. Still with the galactic-scale geekoidal imagination, but better pacing and tone. The animation and aesthetic slides down the middle of early 70’s US cartoon (think The Mighty Hercules) and mid-80’s japanimation (think Macross) but with better storyboarding. And it mostly works.

On the down side, the Anakin Skywalker character is just as pointless when played by a cartoon as when played as a cartoon by whoever that actor was, but most of the rest is upside. Even watching Master Mace Windu serially destroy upwards of 40 identical droids in a single fight scene manages to be cinematic and surprising. And I still have an hour-long episode to go.

So far, Recommended.

Clone Wars the TV Show

I’ve enjoyed watching the first couple episodes of The Clone Wars, the new Star Wars animated TV series. It shares some of the frenetic, too-much-to-get-done-here editing style that contributed to the last two movie’s unwatchableness, but that works better in a 22 minute animated confection than it did in a sit-down theater show. The writers are making an effort to create substantive action vignettes, and while they aren’t always succeeding, they aren’t always failing. The second episode features a Jedi general and his clone warriors trapped without hope in a escape pod, floating in the wreckage ring of their former warship, waiting to die from oxegyn loss or the approaching survivor-hunting-droids, a scenario of nearly Tom Corbett-worthy space suspense.

It’s very much a George Lucas project, steeped in the details of his relentlessy geeky imagination, set in some inter-period betwixt the Episodes I and II and the more familiar empire versus rebellion themes of the earlir movies. So the political motivations of the combat aren’t familiar at all. There is some fun at arriving as a fan into some new Star Warsian era without much supporting explanation. Presumably if you watched the recent theatrical release animated movie, a lot of the details would be clearer, but I can’t imagine sitting through a steady 2 hours of this material. And it would also presumably help if I remembered more of what happened in Episode 1, or anything from Episode 2. But I don’t.

On the whole, this isn’t greatness, but after the last couple movies, it feels like Star Wars is back a little bit.

Jesse Brown Beyond Keywords

For weeks I’ve been meaning to make a blog post titled “Jesse Brown, What Are My Keywords?”, and in the body perhaps link to the last of the Search Engine podcasts before the bastards promoted the show out of existence.

Except Jesse has now made good on the threat in that last show to keep on making Search Engine podcasts, even though the show doesn’t really exist anymore. Here you go.

I listened to the “last” podcast this spring with one ipod speaker jammed in my ear while I hacked and stumbled through the worst piece of land I had during my treeplanting season. That was a good one (the podcast, not the land, the land was terrible). This one is pretty good too.

RAND: When Academics Attack

All Your Tomorrows Today is a Ken Hollings/BBC documentary about the early days of RAND Corporation. Assembled by Curtis LeMay’s post-war Airf Force and highly influential to US cold war political strategy, the RAND people were early systems thinkers, and their systems were comprised largely of nations and nuclear weapons. They desired rationality on topics that don’t lend themselves to rationality. And perhaps shouldn’t, but don’t suggest that to the main characters in this story.

I particularly like one critic’s suggestion that RAND generated a “rumor of war”, which is his term for a set of disjointed facts which give the illusion of representing the whole truth. These people are what Dean Bavington would decry as ‘epistimological’ complexity thinkers. They are willing to see the world as complex, but only as an intermediary step to understanding it deterministically. And just think, they had the ear of the people who had their finger on the button.

And yes, there is coverage of the invention of the internet. I knew the standard story about it being a communication system meant to withstand a nuclear strike, but I didn’t realize just how literally and directly that was true. Although set in the Santa Monica sun, the whole story is frankly spooky.


Stephen Kohn is the executive director of the National Whistleblower Center. A week ago on the Worldview radio show, he deployed the word “guantanamization” into the english language. You can hear him do it here.

The Lesser of Two Charlies

Watched Charlie Wilson’s War. Interesting. Worth noting that Charlie Wilson was actually the second and probably lesser of the two great egos named Charlie who played rainmaker to the US involvement in Afghanistan. Charlie Fawcett (probably, who really knows) led a life much larger than would ever fit in a congressional district. I don’t know who they would get to write that movie.

Dean Bavington on CBC Ideas’ “How To Think About Science”

Dean Bavington is a prof at the School of Natural Resources. He co-teaches one of my classes this semester. I’m not sure exactly how to describe what he studies, some kind of science studies/science philosophy thing with an emphasis on cod. Interesting guy with interesting ideas, sure enough.

His episode is available at the CBC. I haven’t heard it yet, but I started listening to earlier episodes in anticipation and they’re good, especially #1, with Simon Schaffer.

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