College athletics is one of the biggest legal frauds we allow in this country, and we allow many. Coaches quitting guaranteed "contracts" whenever they feel while kids are locked into programs, schools making tens and hundreds of millions while steering kids away from academic programs that will require too much study so they can practice sports more. It's an affront to academics. College presidents fit right next to stock market manipulators these days. Though the kids won't get the TV exposure with the networks in partnership with the corrupt universities, they'll be coached by NBA coaches—Windy City's Charlie Henry is one of the better young coaches in the game—and watched carefully by NBA teams. I'm happy for those kids not having to endure the hypocrisy of being in alleged academic institutions and soiling themselves by being associated with college athletic departments. I know I pulled my punches, but I'll let you know next time how I really feel.
(click here to continue reading Ask Sam Mailbag: 10.19.18 | Chicago Bulls.)
"They were making this move to video the number one priority across the company and were very vocal about that," says Jason Kint, CEO of the digital publishing trade organization Digital Content Next. (WIRED parent company Condé Nast is a member.) Publishers, who had already weathered the transition from print to digital only to watch their online ad revenue get leeched away by Facebook and Google for a decade, listened. Outlets like Mic, Fox Sports, and MTV News laid off writers to focus on video. Not long after, page views plummeted. Just two years later, in early 2018, Facebook changed the News Feed again, this time giving videos a demotion.
When the Wall Street Journal broke the news about the complaint Tuesday, it was almost instantly met with anger and frustration from members of the media. "This is especially maddening because the 'pivot to video' is not, as this proves, necessarily a consumer-led initiative," tweeted Phillip Picardi, the editor-in-chief of Out and former chief content officer of Teen Vogue (Teen Vogue is also owned by Condé Nast).
"A lot of friends lost their jobs over this bullshit," tweeted Benjamin Bailey, a writer for Nerdist. "Facebook outright lied and pushed this whole 'pivot to video' narrative. It's all a big house of cards."
(click here to continue reading A New Facebook Suit Makes ‘Pivot to Video’ Even More Myopic | WIRED.)
Fuck Facebook. Doo-dah, doo-dah…
Facebook can’t shoulder the blame for these layoffs alone. Media executives ultimately made these decisions, and journalism was an unstable industry long before the first Facebook video. In a Tuesday Wall Street Journal article, many publishers dismissed the argument that the social network was solely to blame for layoffs.
But Facebook wrote the rule book, owned the field, and served as the referee for the game that struggling publishers were trying to win. If what the suit alleges is true, it now looks like a dishonest umpire, too.
(click here to continue reading The Facebook-Driven Video Push May Have Cost 483 Journalists Their Jobs - The Atlantic.)
Fuck Facebook. And fuck the media executives who uncritically accepted Facebook’s assertions, despite it going against common sense.
Food Navigator USA:
If up to 40% of the calories in breakfast cereals are from added sugar, and brands describe them as ‘lightly sweetened,’ are they misleading shoppers? Perhaps, says a federal judge who has just certified three classes of consumers in a false advertising lawsuit vs Kellogg, which is now heading into mediation.
(click here to continue reading How much sugar do consumers expect in a ‘lightly sweetened’ cereal? Judge certifies classes in Kellogg added sugar case.)
Dihydrogen monoxide: is also known as hydroxyl acid, and is the major component of acid rain.
contributes to the "greenhouse effect".
may cause severe burns.
contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.
Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used: as an industrial solvent and coolant. in nuclear power plants. in the production of styrofoam. as a fire retardant. in many forms of cruel animal research. in the distribution of pesticides.
Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food products.
(click here to continue reading Dihydrogen monoxide parody - Wikipedia.)
The New York Times:
John Cale didn’t spend very long in the Velvet Underground. Four years after he co-founded the band in 1964, Lou Reed unceremoniously kicked him out.
“It was undisciplined art,” he said while surveying “The Velvet Underground Experience,” an exhibition about the famously influential rock group that opened on Wednesday at 718 Broadway. “It was very energetic and frivolous and enjoyable.”
The two-story, 12,000-square-foot exhibition is finally arriving in the band’s hometown, mere blocks from the group’s original Lower East Side rehearsal space, after transferring from Paris
(click here to continue reading A Walk Through Velvet Underground History With John Cale - The New York Times.)
I wanna go…
The Washington Post:
Trump, with glee, told the rally crowd he looked forward to making Warren “prove” her Native American heritage on the debate stage if the two were to square off.
“I’m going to get one of those little [DNA testing] kits and in the middle of the debate, when she proclaims she’s of Indian heritage...," Trump said. “And we will say, ‘I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian.' "
The crowd cheered.
“And let’s see what she does,” Trump continued. “I have a feeling she will say no, but we’ll hold that for the debates. Do me a favor. Keep it within this room?”
(click here to continue reading Elizabeth Warren reminds Trump of $1 million charity promise for DNA test that 'shows you're an Indian' - The Washington Post.)
What a loser…
There also will be $500,000 more for rat abatement compared with last year, money that would go toward “blitzes” in heavily infested areas. Streets and Sanitation crews would reach out to homeowners to get permission to go into their yards to look for rat holes and deal with them, rather than waiting for residents to call and ask for the service.
(click here to continue reading Mayor Rahm Emanuel's budget plan calls for extra spending on garbage and recycling bins, rat control and tree trimming - Chicago Tribune.)
Welcome news. Rats are taking over the city…
The New York Times:
Clayton Casey buying a Tim Hortons coffee at the pop-up market, where patrons had the option of having a cannabis version. Credit Tara Walton for The New York Times
(click here to continue reading Canadians Smoke a Lot of Pot Now. When It’s Legal, How Will the Culture Change? - The New York Times.)
Wow, I’d actually go to a Tim Horton’s to see this in person…
He also used to make people call him Dr. McLaughlin, even though I don’t even know if he had a doctorate. I said, “Listen, Dr. McLaughlin, I was in Greece this summer at a temple and there was some writing on it that said: ‘Babylon was.’ Which means: Every major power falls.” So I said, “I took that to mean that someday I’m going to be really powerful and you’re going to be, like, in a wheelchair in an old folks home being fed apricots or something.” And he looked at me and I thought, “Oh, my God, are you going to fire me now?” And he started laughing. He’s like, “Haw, haw, haw, that’s genius.” And I’m like, “Yeah, Babylon was. Gotta go.”
I’ve told this story before, but years later I ran into him, and he said, “Most people in this town stab you in the back, but you stabbed me in the front, and I appreciate that.” I said, “Anytime, you son of a bitch.” It was a great moment. I’m so glad he’s dead. Seriously, I’m glad he’s dead. He was a jackass. He deserved it.
(click here to continue reading Kara Swisher on the worst and best bosses she’s ever had..)
I first heard of Ms. Swisher when she started working with/for Walt Mossberg, so this doesn’t surprise me:
But the most important mentor I’ve had was Walt Mossberg. He’s the one who got me to go to the Wall Street Journal from the Post. He believed in me the most. He gave me a million chances. He took me in when he was at maximum power and really used his firepower to show people who I was.
Everyone Needs Mommy - Democracy Needs Your Vote
Making federal campaign contributions under a false identity is a crime. As a dirty trick, attempts to smear opponents by linking them to unsavory political groups has a long history.
In 1972, Roger Stone, then a young campaign staffer for Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign, sent a donation to Nixon’s anti-war primary opponent in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance. Stone went on to become a political adviser to Donald Trump, a role he left early in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
(click here to continue reading Republican pair apparently pose as communists to make Democratic donation | US news | The Guardian.)
Consequence of Sound:
Leonard Cohen wrote a poem called “Kanye West Is Not Picasso”
The poem is included in Cohen's new posthumous collection, The Flame
(click here to continue reading Leonard Cohen Wrote a Poem Called “Kanye West Is Not Picasso” | Consequence of Sound.)
Written circa 2015, but still appropriate…
Kanye West is not PicassoI am PicassoKanye West is not EdisonI am EdisonI am TeslaJay-Z is not the Dylan of AnythingI am the Dylan of anythingI am the Kanye West of Kanye WestThe Kanye WestOf the great bogus shift of bullshit cultureFrom one boutique to anotherI am TeslaI am his coilThe coil that made electricity soft as a bedI am the Kanye West Kanye West thinks he isWhen he shoves your ass off the stageI am the real Kanye WestI don’t get around much anymoreI never haveI only come alive after a warAnd we have not had it yet
In his new book "House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia," veteran investigative journalist Craig Unger presents a detailed and exhaustively researched account of how Donald Trump has for decades laundered billions of dollars for Russian organized crime figures and other oligarchs. This fits a larger pattern in which Trump and his inner circle have shown a great comfort with financial crimes and other forms of unethical or illegal behavior to personally enrich themselves at the expense of the American people.
(click here to continue reading Investigative reporter Craig Unger: “Trump has had contacts with the Russian mafia for 35 years” | Salon.com.)
Languid and bittersweet
Nancy LeTourneau reports:
Trump was clearly in deep financial trouble: he sold off his father’s assets to pay creditors, filed for bankruptcy, sued his banker to avoid a loan payment, and took a job hosting a reality TV show. And yet, at the about the same time, he went on a $400 million spending spree with cash. On top of that, he got more than $300 million in loans from Deutsche Bank. Keep in mind that in 2017, Deutsche Bank reached a $630 million settlement with American and British regulators for turning a blind eye to money laundering from Russian investors.
Of course, that raises the question of where the $400 million in cash came from. I’m pretty sure Robert Mueller is interested in the answer. You might remember that when James Dodson asked Eric Trump about that, he said, “Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
(click here to continue reading Washington Monthly | Donald Trump Might Be the Worst Businessman in America.)
Russian connections for years, no wonder Trump is a Putin sycophant.
FBI Seeks Help from Advertising Trade Group in Media-Buying Probe. The FBI is examining whether ad agencies received rebates from media outlets.
The Association of National Advertisers said the Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing media buying in the advertising industry and has requested help from the trade group and its members, confirming an earlier report in the Wall Street Journal.
The FBI has been interviewing people in the ad business about the way advertising is bought and sold, and about a 2016 investigation of the industry commissioned by the ANA, the Journal reported last month.
The 2016 report, by corporate investigations firm K2 Intelligence, listed a range of suspect practices, such as agencies receiving cash rebates from media sellers for reaching spending thresholds and not returning those funds to clients. Ad companies broadly denied wrongdoing when the ANA study was released.
(click here to continue reading FBI Seeks Help from Advertising Trade Group in Media-Buying Probe - WSJ.)
The Washington Post:
On Oct. 2, when Donna Strickland won a Nobel Prize in physics — the committee recognized her work on a method of generating laser beams with ultrashort pulses — she was only the third woman in history to do so. That day, she finally got a Wikipedia page of her own.
The long delay was not for lack of trying. Last May, an editor had rejected a submitted entry on Strickland, saying the subject did not meet Wikipedia’s notability requirement. Strickland’s biography went up shortly after her award was announced. If you click on the “history” tab to view the page’s edits, you can replay the process of a woman scientist finally gaining widespread recognition, in real time.
(click here to continue reading Why Nobel winner Donna Strickland didn’t have a Wikipedia page - The Washington Post.)
Damn can I relate…
Off The Grid
Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker:
Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign?A team of computer scientists sifted through records of unusual Web traffic in search of answers.
(click here to continue reading Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign? | The New Yorker.)
All signs point to yes…
Marie Duffau Napoléon Bas Armagnac
The New York Times:
But the nightcap, she explained, isn’t so much a category as an occasion. “Here you had four people. They toasted one another, had this civilized moment and went on their merry way. It felt like a punctuation.”
Ms. Newman’s preferred nightcap? A simple pour of Armagnac.
When it was suggested that there’s a world of difference between a glass of Armagnac and Paper Plane shots, she shrugged. “There’s more than one kind of night,” she said.
(click here to continue reading What to Drink Before Bed? There’s Lots to Consider - The New York Times.)
A neat Armagnac is my preference too…
Why Are We Still Celebrating Columbus Day? Columbus was a cruel man who didn’t discover anything, and wasn’t even the first European to encounter the New World. It’s time for a change
(click here to continue reading Why Are We Still Celebrating Columbus Day? - by Allyson Shwed.)
The Washington Post:
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has received more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints in recent weeks against Brett M. Kavanaugh, who was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice Saturday, but has chosen for the time being not to refer them to a judicial panel for investigation.
A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — the court on which Kavanaugh serves — passed on to Roberts a string of complaints the court received starting three weeks ago, said four people familiar with the matter.
That judge, Karen LeCraft Henderson, had dismissed other complaints against Kavanaugh as frivolous, but she concluded that some were substantive enough that they should not be handled by Kavanaugh’s fellow judges in the D.C. Circuit.
(click here to continue reading D.C. Circuit sent complaints about Kavanaugh’s testimony to Chief Justice Roberts - The Washington Post.)
Sort of unusual, and bears paying attention to…
The New York Times:
But on many key votes, [Senator Susan Collins] record is about as moderate as Ted Cruz’s. In January, she provided the Republicans with the crucial 51st vote for the tax bill. She set three conditions: the additional passage of two separate bills to shore up insurance markets for individuals who weren’t covered through their work, along with a promise for Congress to undo the cuts to Medicare automatically triggered by the deficit increase from the tax cut.
After that bill was passed, Ms. Collins said the promises to her were ironclad, and that if her conditions were not met, “there would be consequences.” But the additional bills never got a vote, and a follow-up attempt to add her provisions to the omnibus spending bill in March was defeated, by other Republicans.
Of course they were.
(click here to continue reading Opinion | Susan Collins Is the Worst Kind of Maverick - The New York Times.)
I suspect she won’t even bother running for re-election in 2020 as she will be soundly defeated…
Consequence of Sound:
Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation Became a Guiding Light for Fearless Artists
The band's 1988 record remains a beautiful, resolute, and illuminating source of inspiration
BY ROBERT HAM
(click here to continue reading Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation | Album Reviews | Consequence of Sound.)
I still queue Sister and Daydream Nation often, such great LPs both…
The Texas Tribune:
A Hamilton woman's homemade political sign was meant to support the #MeToo movement and spur people to vote. But the accompanying visual spurred criticism -- and a visit from law enforcement.
(click here to continue reading Police seize Texas political yard sign GOP elephant girl skirt | The Texas Tribune.)
Freedom of Speech, but not too much freedom, and not too much speech…Yard_sign_Sid_Miller_FB_TT.jpg