Higher Authority, Shmigher Authority

BBC NEWS | Americas | US faces kosher meat shortage

This story probably has nothing to do with Hebrew National, the company that insists that its hot dogs are better than other meat products because Kosher butchers “answer to a higher authority” than the USDA, but Hebrew National (well, ConAgra, the largest food processor on the planet) may suffer in the end because it has done so much to elevate the status of Kosher meats.

And, though it is undoubtedly true that Kosher vendors must answer to a higher authority when they process meat, this BBC story makes it quite obvious that these exceptionally moral meat processors choose to answer to that same Authority in their hiring practices. The Tora, it seems, has no proscriptions against hiring illegal aliens. And, so, they did. Is this the competitive advantage that big meat processors like Agriprocessor have been searching for all along?

The message is quite clear. Capitalism and religion make a lousy combination.

Or an excellent one, until the law catches up with you.


Nanotechnology: the Ultimately Publicity Gimmick


What more can we say? Politics and science converge on the nanotechnology platform. This means of patterning vertically aligned carbon nanotubes is ingenious, of course, but is it of any use beyond public relations? Certainly, no other scientist has been so bold in ingratiating himself with the political establishment. Without a doubt, this is the greatest public relations coup by any modern scientist. Barack Obamas image constructed of carbon nanotubes.

Chad Mirkin and company of Northwestern University wooed Fraser Stoddart away from UCLA by making a microportrait of him using the “dip-pen nanolithography” method (see page 2). This stunt pales dramatically when compared with John Hart’s microportraiture of the most popular human being on the planet. (He would be Barack Obama.)

If his stunt proves successfull, will I have contributed to it? One would hope that publicity stunts don’t end up being the greatest value of nanotechnology. That has certainly been the case thus far.


Dog poetry: One of Letterman’s Greatest

YouTube | Dog poetry

David Letterman has produced countless timeless pieces of comedy in his illustrious career. This magnificent piece by one of his former dogs is no exception. It is, perhaps, even the greatest gem from the NBC years.

One wonders what happened to the happy years of American television? Although Letterman’s show is still funny and both Craig Ferguson and especially Conan O’Brien exercise sufficient artistic license to create truly funny moments and skits, the comedy landscape on broadcast television has become unbearably dreary and hackneyed. Saturday Night Live is hardly a show anymore. Aside from a smattering of political caricatures, the show consists of essentially nothing. Certainly, long gone are the days when networks cared to support a phenomenal show like Cheers long enough for it to become a hit.

Thank God for youtube.

YouTube | Dog poetry


CNN: We are Not a News Agency

CNN’s Citizen Journalism Goes `Awry’ With False Report on Jobs | Bloomberg.com: U.S.

CNN describes iReport as a place for “unedited, unfiltered news” and said it “makes no guarantee about the content or coverage.” The site was started in August 2006 as part of CNN.com and became a standalone Web site in February. As such, CNN’s iReport is probably the dumbest ratings stunt in the history of broadcast news. And, it is surprising to see that CNN proudly boasts about the collective stupidity of its employees in this graphic from the iReport web site.

No boundaries? You won't believe it? Perhaps you <b>should not</b> believe it.
No boundaries? You won

One really wonders how a “reporter” who is not subjected to fact checking, to proper editorial oversight and strict ethical conduct could be considered a reporter. Anyone with a sense of what journalism means knows that CNN abandoned all ethics and morals years ago when it decided to pursue ratings rather than stories. 

It comes as an insult, nevertheless, that the network manages to pass off rumor, innuendo and outright prevarication as “news” reported by its “citizen journalists”, who are nothing but anonymous cowards, as the above cited link regarding the Steve Jobs rumor amply demonstrates.

Perhaps CNN management should extend this ploy to other avenues of their lives. They ought to seek auto repair from “citizen mechanics”, legal advice from “the citizen judiciary” and medical advice from “citizen physicians”. Evolution thus implemented may well provide the citizenry with better journalism.

It certainly seems as if they are getting their editorial advice from “citizen editors”. And, while they are getting advice apparently from “citizen lawyers”, I shall endeavor to start a class action suit against them for negatively affecting Apple shareholders, a group to which I belong.