From the Associated Press, a look not at only at the new WTC (the progress of which was further along than I had thought) but on how that neighbourhood, in downtown Manhattan has changed and become surprisingly family-filled.
Here in St. John's, we know what the wind can be like, so this story - about a bouncy house/slide that got swept up by wind, with 13 kids getting inside sustaining injuries - seems to be one of those examples of, "Oh, that couldn't happen here."
I just watched last night's episode of the Colbert Report; the above - a quick parody of Maurice Sendak's classic Where The Wild Things Are - was a joke that lasted just a few seconds. I love that about Colbert's show: even what should be a throwaway joke has as much effort put into it as an elaborately produced segment.
The Sunday Times in London has an interesting piece today on the super-rich ... whose numbers have been curiously climbing, despite the wreckage in the global economy. A taste:
The speed and scope of the turnround in rich fortunes has been remarkable.
Take our No 1, Lakshmi Mittal, the steel tycoon. A year ago, the share price
for his ArcelorMittal operation was languishing and his fortune was £10.8
billion. The shares have recovered sharply and he is now at £22.45 billion,
more than double.
It is the same for the other richest of the rich. Last year we could muster
just 43 billionaires. This year it is 53. The wealthiest are also commanding
a bigger share of the cake: last year our top 100 were worth just over £131
billion, or 50.8% of the total fortune of the Rich List 1,000. This year,
the 100 are worth £182.8 billion, nearly 54.5% of the total.
Meanwhile, some CBC folks in Toronto have been puzzling over the word, too. Sarah Liss put the question to Bernie McNamee, the voice of The World This Hour, who confirms that announcers have been avoiding saying Eyjafjallajökull out loud, for some reason.
Malcolm McLaren has died, at 64. I would imagine most obituaries will mention his role with the Sex Pistols prominently, some accurately using the word impresario to describe the morphing but critical role he played in punk rock, style and self-promotion. My favourite McLaren project was his 1984 take on Madame Butterfly, which lifted Puccini from the opera house and plunked him down on the street. McLaren isn't heard directly on the record, and although Steven Hague produced it, it stills seems McLaren's fingerprints are all over it.
It's remarkable that a video feature on Canada that Tom Brokaw did for NBC's Olympics coverage has already been viewed more than 1 million times on YouTube. Then again, it's concise and packed with information and terrific shots (and yes, I was delighted to see aerials of Cape Spear and Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park almost right off the top). There's plenty that could have been included, but for six minutes, it does a fine job.
It's wrong to say that Newfoundland and Labrador has completely escaped the fury of the ongoing recession (export-dependent companies, especially anyone depending on American consumers, are stinging), but we really don't have a sense of how dramatic things have been and still are in the U.S. This graphic puts things into context, at least in terms of job losses and the seemingly unending sink of employment in the States. More to read here on Business Insider.
telling people alive during the 14th century that the 2000s were the
worst decade ever. They were throwing their own feces out the window
and dying of the plague. Let’s try and keep things in perspective." - John Oliver
[From an interview with Vanity Fair, published today on the VF site. Oliver is hosting a new short-run show that starts Jan. 8 on Comedy Central, and in Canada on the Comedy Network.]
Urban Dictionary was quick off the mark with a response to last night's tempest involving Republican Joe Wilson's "You lie!" yell as Barack Obama denied in a Congress address that his plan would cover illegal immigrants. You can watch that part of the incident here (although it's hard to hear Wilson clearly.)
The incident is all over the news this morning, and I was surprised that Urban Dictionary picked up on the controversy quickly enough to pick the phrase for the word of the day feature, which appeared in my email box early this morning:
The classiest way to respond to anyone you disagree with.
Obama: There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would
insure illegal immigrants. This too is false - the reforms I'm
proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.
Today's anniversary of the 1969 Apollo 11 landing on the moon is all over the news today, which has sparked a few thoughts of how we can mark the occasion with our leisure time. Some things I've liked and loved over the years:
A Grand Day Out: Twenty years after the landing, Nick Park brushed aside the geological evidence, and showed that the moon, indeed, is full of cheese. At least, that's why Wallace and Gromit built a rocket to go there. Still my favourite of the W&G shorts.
This is the Way to the Moon: Miroslav Sasek wrote this children's book in the early years of the New Frontier. I understand it has been reissued to coincide with the 40th anniversary.
The Simpsons Movie: Just for the Itchy and Scratchy opening.
Moon Palace: I read Paul Auster's 1969-set novel, in which the moon landing is in the air, in 1989, when the buzz was about the 20th anniversary. Might dig it out; I recall it made for good reading in those summer nights.
Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon: I read these Tintin books well after the moon landing, but don't recall being troubled in the least by the fact the books are set well before the NASA era.
There are plenty of others that come to mind, because they're about space travels, astronauts, etc., from Silent Running to Terms of Endearment to, of course, Apollo 13, which made a captivating drama out of an event where we knew everyone survived.
Struggling to keep up with words like derivatives, writedowns and sub-prime, and the rest of the language of the ongoing financial meltdown? Here's a hyperlinked glossary from BBC's always-useful magazine.
It's hard to keep up with the rapidly changing developments in the conflict in Lebanon, but here are some. Truth Laid Bear is aggregating Palestinian, Israeli and Lebanese bloggers in one feed. Technorati's main tagging page may also be helpful; the hottest tags this hour are Israel and Lebanon. The Globe is collecting correspondents' views for its Witness page here. For some background, CBC.ca's Lebanon timeline is here.
Dot Dot Dot is Morse code for the letter 'S,' the full message Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have received atop Signal Hill in St. John's in 1901. It ushered in the age of telecommunications. My maternal grandfather worked as a telegraph operator for Canadian Marconi on Signal Hill for many years.
As well, I have a habit of overusing the ellipsis when I write ... as frequent readers might notice.