Baffled by Beckham

Posted in news, sports, tv at 8:35 pm by danvk

beckham.png I don’t get the wave of excitement about David Beckham coming to America to join the L.A. Galaxy and play in the MLS soccer league. ESPN was advertising this like mad. His wife, a former spice girl, is even getting her own reality show.

First thing I don’t get: How does an MLS team have $250 million to pay this guy? Does the entire league bring in that much money?

Second thing I don’t get: Why does anyone expect this to get American’s excited about soccer? Getting the World Cup in 1996 couldn’t do it, so how could one man? But there’s no arguing with the true believers.

The whole hysteria has made me very cynical today. If you want to get people excited about something, you don’t tell them how great it is or try to explain why they should be excited. No, you just act as though the rest of the country already is excited. I’ve often wondered if ESPN could pull this off with a lesser-known sport like disc golf. If they covered professional disc golf events on SportsCenter and brought in some talking heads for a “Disc Golf Tonight” show to analyze the week’s events, people would start to care about it.


Cut Bush Some Slack!

Posted in news, politics, tv at 11:19 pm by danvk

The crap he’s taking for this kind of bothers me:

Cut the guy some slack, already! He’s just doing the white guy dance. I’m sure all of us have done this many times. I know I have. I’d like to see Jon Stewart, Wolf Blitzer, or Jack Cafferty do any better.


Bill Moyers Journal

Posted in news, politics, tv at 12:34 am by danvk

I’ve enjoyed the few episodes of the Bill Moyers Journal that I’ve watch so far. There’s:

  • Buying the War, a look at press coverage in the runup to the Iraq War. This is pretty terrifying stuff, but what’s most interesting is that there were journalists who uncovered the truth about Iraq and WMD before the war. They were just relegated to the back pages.
  • Interview with Jon Stewart, in which they dissect Jon’s recent interview with John McCain. I remember seeing the interview, so it was interesting to hear Jon’s take on it.
  • Josh Marshall, of Talking Points Memo fame. A succinct summary of the U.S. Attorney’s scandal and the role that blogs played in it.

I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for new episodes in the future. Fortunately, he’s got an RSS feed to make the job easy!


Embryo ethics

Posted in news, politics at 7:49 pm by danvk

A&L Daily linked to an interesting article in The Boston Globe that attempts to examine the logic behind President Bush’s position on stem cells.

The article makes some good points, most notably that there’s no inherent logical contradiction in the president’s position. This is one of the reasons that stem cell arguments are so maddening. There’s a consistent position to be found on both sides of the issue, it’s just that most people don’t find the President’s side very compelling.

Read the rest of this entry »


Video Weirdness

Posted in news, tv at 11:23 pm by danvk

I saw something incredibly strange on the online NewsHour tonight, at the 6:26 mark:


Why is PBS using a TiVo to record their own show? I just can’t fathom any way in which this makes sense. At least they gave it two thumbs up.

On a somewhat related note, I watch the NewsHour in QuickTime Player, since VLC’s streaming support isn’t quite there yet. QT Player is a terrible program. In order to go full-screen, you have to fork over $25 to Apple to upgrade to the “Pro version”. This has always struck me as idiotic, so I found this workaround hilarious. Apple forgot to seal this feature off from AppleScript, so if you run this…

tell application “QuickTime Player”
   present front movie
end tell

… you’ll go fullscreen without upgrading!

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