Saturday, March 20, 2010

Academy hosting free Hollywood event Monday: "Oscar Docs"

The 2010 Oscars are over but the work of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) goes on. On Monday, March 22nd, AMPAS is hosting "Oscar Docs", a show at the The Linwood Dunn Theater in the Academy's Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. Six Oscar-winning documentaries will be screened starting at 7:30 PM. The screenings will be held each Monday, through May 3rd.

The list of Oscar docs will include those honored at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. Overall, it's an exciting lineup of pictures, from Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth to Music by Prudence.

Here's the full schedule with descriptions as provided by AMPAS:

Monday, March 22

Mighty Times: The Children’s March (2004) - 40 mins.
Thousands of black schoolchildren deserted classrooms in Birmingham, Alabama, on May 2, 1963, touching off a week of mass demonstrations that shocked the nation.

Born Into Brothels (2004) - 83 mins.
Photographer Zana Briski helps children of prostitutes in Calcutta create their own photographs with point-and-shoot 35mm cameras.
Featuring an onstage discussion with producer-director Briski.

Monday, March 29

No screenings

Monday, April 5

A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin (2005) - 40 mins.
On VE Day, Norman Corwin, the “poet laureate of radio drama,” presented his landmark broadcast, which electrified the nation.
Featuring an onstage discussion with producer-director Eric Simonson and producer Corinne Marrinan.

March of the Penguins (2005) - 85 mins.
Each year, Emperor penguins in Antarctica journey to participate in a courtship that, if successful, will result in the creation of new life.
Featuring an onstage discussion with studio executives Mark Gill and Tracey Bing and composer Alex Corman.

Monday, April 12

The Blood of the Yingzhou District (2006) - 39 mins.
Children of Yingzhou who have lost their parents to AIDS find their struggles complicated as traditional obligations to family and village collide with the terror of the disease.
Featuring an onstage discussion with producer Thomas Lennon.

An Inconvenient Truth (2006) - 100 mins.
Al Gore discusses the science behind global warming, how it has affected our environment, the disastrous consequences of inaction, and what individuals can do to help.
Featuring an onstage discussion with director/executive producer Davis Guggenheim.

Monday, April 19

Freeheld (2007) – 40 mins.
Dying of cancer, veteran New Jersey Detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester struggles with local elected officials to transfer her earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree.
Featuring an onstage discussion with producer Vanessa Roth and director Cynthia Wade.

Taxi to the Dark Side (2007) - 106 mins.
An investigation into the homicide of an innocent taxi driver at the Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan exposes a Bush Administration policy of detention and interrogation that condones torture and the abrogation of human rights.
Featuring an onstage discussion with producer-director Alex Gibney and producer Eva Orner.

Monday, April 26

Smile Pinki (2008) - 39 mins.
A social worker in India travels from village to village gathering patients for a hospital that provides free surgery to thousands each year.
Featuring an onstage discussion with producer-director Megan Mylan.

Man on Wire (2008) - 94 mins.
On August 7, 1974, a 24-year-old French high-wire artist named Philippe Petit performed one of the most astonishing feats of the late 20th century by stringing a thin cable between the two towers of the World Trade Center and walking across it.

Monday, May 3

Music by Prudence (2009) - 35 mins.
A disabled Zimbabwean singer-songwriter offers a message of hope through her music.

The Cove (2009) - 94 mins.
In a cove near the Japanese village of Taiji, a mass dolphin slaughter yields fraudulently labeled meat that finds its way into the lunches of schoolchildren.

The Academy promises that the best prints of each film will be used. Seating is not reserved so come early to Oscar Docs. For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit

NCAA Tournament: Northern Iowa and Ali Farokhmanesh stun Kansas as

This is the upset of the NCAA Tournament: Northern Iowa stuns Kansas. It's something that has to be reviewed again in brief and via video to appreciate what happened in the NCAA Tournament.

The key shot of the game heard round the NCAA Tournament was a cold dagger to the heart of Kansas applied by Northern Iowa's Ali Farokhmanesh. Here's the video:

As Northern Iowa pushed the ball up the court with 42.8 second left, and to Ali Farokhmanesh, what's amazing is that no one on the Kansas team even went toward Farokhmanesh with a hand up. They just left him alone to fire the three pointer and he hit it. What? Did Kansas think he was going to miss?

Then Kansas followed with an offensive charging foul and that made Farokhmanesh's three all the more important. It sealed the game for Northern Iowa.

After the contest, which has to go down as one of the greatest upsets in NCAA March Madness history, Farokhmanesh said Northern Iowa's coach Head Coach Ben Jacobson told them not to place any team so high in their mind that they could not beat them, "No matter who we're playing with," he said, "bring it all out there."

Regardless of what Northern Iowa does from this point on, Ali Farokhmanesh has cemented his place in sports history.  Northern Iowa's in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.

Stay tuned.

NCAA bracket update 2010: Wake Forest drops to Kentucky; BYU loses to Kansas St.

This NCAA bracket update 2010 does not report the upsets of the last blog post: Wake Forest drops to Kentucky while BYU loses to Kansas St. In Kentucky's case, strong bench play directed their 84 to 72 win.

Wake Forest never challenged and never came too close as wave after wave of KU players flew to score baskets and get rebounds. This blogger actually felt sorry for Wake Forest because they were trying to reach for a competitive gear, but just could have it in its grasp.

Another team that was much better than its opponent was BYU. That game was actually much closer than the Wake Forest v. Kentucky matchup, but again BYU could not put it all together to overtake Kansas St.

No upsets here to beat anyone's NCAA bracket, and after a Saturday where it seemed there would not nothing but underdog victories. Bring on Sunday!

NCAA bracket update 2010: N Iowa, St. Mary's, Washington win, Kansas out

Related searches: ncaa schedule, ncaa basketball results, st. mary s basketball, ncaa basketball results 2010, current ncaa bracket

The 2010 NCAA Tournament is just heating up. Saturday, The 2010 NCAA bracket update has a bunch of upsets. First, congratulations to the Moraga, California St. Mary's Gaels, the underdog 10th seed upset the number 2 seed Villanova Wildcats 75 to 68, and with Cal playing Duke Sunday, gives the San Francisco Bay Area NCAA Tournament bragging rights - for at least a day.

Then two other major upsets. The University of Washington Huskies, who are the co-Pac-10 Champions with the University of California, continue their surprising run, beating the New Mexico Lobos 82 to 64.

But the surprise of the day is the elimination of Kansas. President Obama will have to massively revise his bracket, because Kansas was his favorite to win it all. Kansas shockingly lost to Northern Iowa by two points 69 to 67.

EU bank wind-up good idea for US in modified form

According to the Ethiopian Review The European Union's considering an idea that would have banks pay for a future crisis by paying into an emergency wind-up fund. While the United States has the FDIC, lacking still is a permanent bailout fund for banks. But the rub is the notion that banks would use the fund as an excuse for the same reckless policies that in part created the climate for the bank bailout.

The idea's a good one, but in a modified form. Since one problem tied to bank failure is a reduction in lending, a fund should be created to give money to community banks that would be used for consumer lending.

What's missing in the evaluation of the American banking problem is that disinvestment in the economy due to offshoring of plant and offices caused bank failure; the need is to keep a reserve that assures money will be pumped into the economy even during a crisis.

Another step should be to have some kind of automatic taxpayer assistance program that kicks in whenever unemployment reaches levels over 10 percent. The consideration here is that consumer demand drives jobs growth and so must be maintained.

Arthur Sulzberger Jr. note: Zennie62 gains 300,000 visitors in one day

Over the years, the New York Times' Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has openly complained about Google's influence on media rather than do much to use the Google search system to the New York Times' advantage.

While giving the keynote speech at the 2008 Webby Awards and while talking about the Internet, Sulzberger said "Google has become a vast content distribution system; a massive editorial filter", but did not explain how the NY times was working with Google. And while his view of Google has transformed from competitor, to potential buyer, to partner, only within the last week has Sulzberger said the media must work with Google.

The same isn't true for News Corporation's Rupert Murdoch, who once threatened to pull all of his publications from Google, a move that would have the same impact on Google as a gnat bitting an elephant.

And when they've not complained, they've issued insults at Google employees. Take Robert Thompson saying that Google's Marrisa Mayer "unintentionally encourages promiscuity" at Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco last year (in this video at the 7:20 mark):

Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Rupert Murdoch (as well as Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington, John Battelle of Federated Media, members of, Robert Thomson of The Wall Street Journal, and media companies like Starcom and PR companies like Spark) take note: Zennie62 gained almost 300,000 visitors in one day on on Thursday, March 18th. It happened with just seven blog posts and while this blogger who did it will not go into the specific technics of what is a systems approach to blogging, it did work and it's worked before.

Zennie62 - eh, this blogger - has drawn over 1 million visitors to each month since November of 2009. That's a five month unbroken string, with the best month to date being December, with over 2 million visitors. And the systems approach to blogging was developed and used all during that time.

Many publishers do not have a systems approach to the production of media content. It's more than just a trend page or a traffic report, and its a massive sensitivity to time. But beyond that, what I've learned is the window of life for news, what used to be called the 24-hour cycle, has now shrank to just 20 minutes.

On the average, it takes a hot news item 20 minutes to remain at the top most place on any real time search tracking system before it drops to number two place, or some where below number one. Rare is the story that takes the number one position and sits there. Tiger Woods was the one story that did, The Haiti Earthquake story, and the Sandra Bullock story did for all of one day.

And even when stories take that position, many publishers don't know what to do. They use old media approaches to deal with the top story, get their one article out, and that's it. And many don't know how to blog or understand the difference between blogging and journalism. Sorry to say, but what is learned in journalism school is totally antithetical to the demands of the 21st Century media market. The J-school must be restructured to address the new industry.

To close, Arthur Sulzberger Jr and Rupert Murdock should stop complaining about Google and be smart enough to work within Google. If Google's used correctly, it can be your friend.

Oakland ordinance to set-aside campaign aide money hurts Libby Schaaf

A City of Oakland, California ordinance that would set-aside public campaign money and transfer it to what is called voter education about the new ranked choice voting system was delayed by the Oakland City Council last week. That's excellent. Really, there's no need for an ordinance that is really just a power-grab on the part of incumbent Oakland politicians.

The proposal, if it were implemented, would eliminate public financing for Oakland City Council elections. Think about that. The idea launched by Oakland Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente (District 5) and by Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan (At-Large) would take election assistance money away from potential new political threats running for office - like Libby Schaaf who's running for Oakland Councilmember Jean Quan's seat in District 4 - and give it to a program that can be done for less than $225,000: educating voters about ranked-choice voting.

It does not take a quarter of a million dollars to do that and proves the people writing the ordinance didn't think in terms of using New Media, just creating a justification for starting a process that benefits their desires. Its not that educating voters about ranked-choice voting isn't important, it its. But the transfer of money from a program that helps create new political candidates to challenge the current ones is really just a power grab.

The last time Oakland's "Limited Public Financing" program was used was in the District Two special election in 2005. In that case, six candidates got a total of $28,347 in matching funds.

The program calls for candidates to get mandatory campaign training. That's perfect for any first-time candidate running for office. But it's also terrible for any incumbent who doesn't want the candidate to have a fighting chance. The ordinance doens't just harm Libby Schaaf - I use my friend as one example - but anyone running for office in any election in the City of Oakland.

Let's take first time mayoral candidate and Green Party member Don Macleay. The Oakland Limited Public Financing program would certainly help Don Macleay's election efforts and give him more of a chance against more seasoned politicians like Don Perata, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, and Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan.

Moreover, the Oakland "Limited Public Financing" program would help any Oaklander who's interested in running for office. In fact, it's a good system to maintain as incentive for those who think they can't afford to run for elected office, but want to do so.

Leave the Oakland "Limited Public Financing" program alone. Let the new political candidates have a fair shot at change.

Stay tuned.

Michelle "Bombshell" McGee Nazi picts hot; paid $30,000 for story

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Not surprisingly, Michelle "Bombshell" McGee Nazi picts are now the hot search. But equally hot is this news: according to, which seems to be moving toward news blog site from blog directory site, Michelle "Bombshell" McGee was paid "close to $30,000" by In Touch Magazine for the Jesse James affair story.

The news caused Academy Award-winning actress Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) to split from Jesse James, reportedly moving out of their home last Monday. Here's the video story:

Dawn Olsen over at Technorati asserts that the tatoo-covered Michelle "Bombshell" McGee also lied about her claim that she didn't know Jesse James was still married to Sandra Bullock. Olsen writes:

Our source tells us McGee was fully aware that Sandra and Jesse were still together when she began the affair, and was hoping the affair would be her ticket to "mainstream celebrity."

Well, that's what Michelle "Bombshell" McGee has. But today, her name's associated with the word "Nazi." "Michelle "Bombshell" McGee Nazi" is all over the place, and unless she is OK with that, she should make some kind of statement that she's not.

Michelle "Bombshell" McGee as Nazi is also not good for the image of Sandra Bullock's husband Jesse James.   How far does one take a "bad boy" image?

The question still not answered is did Jesse James know about her Nazi picts and her work with the "Angry White Boy" website?

 Moreover, with his alleged affair with Michelle "Bombshell" McGee, is Jesse James also an "Angry White Boy"? Who is the real Jesse James?

Stay tuned.

Ivanka Trump Fan Blog v. Madonna and Jennifer Lopez fan blogs

A young man, 27-year-old Justin Massler, who's the author of the Ivanka Trump Fan Blog was arrested in Reno, Tuesday, and on an arrest warrant issued in New York City, according to the SFGate Daily Dish, and for essentially allegedly stalking Trump via his blog.

A number of Internet commenters have taken issue with what appears to be a heavy-handed action on the part of New York law enforcement. With that in mind this blogger compared Justin Massler's Ivanka Trump Fan Blog with two other fan blogs: Madonna Fan Blog and Jennifer Lopez Fan Blog. The comparison is striking and worth review.

The main problem - really the only one - is that the Ivanka Trump Fan Blog is written more from the perspective of a local boy who has a school boy crush on the rich girl. Justin Massler reportedly lives in New York City, where Ivanka Trump (the daughter of real estate developer and host of The Apprentice TV Series Donald Trump) also lives.

But where it gets interesting, and this blogger can see red flags going up for those who are not Intenet and New Media savvy, is when Massler posts a blog entry with a photo of the view from Ivanka Trumps' office, as if he's been there. Reportedly, he's never met Trump, so that photo is all the more chilling to those who don't know about Twitter photo services.

If the New York DA's Office based its arrest warrant on this Twitter photo, they made a huge, huge mistake. Massler reports the photo was placed there online by Ivanka Trump herself, not Massler. She uses an online service called Twitpic and Trump's on Twitter @IvankaTrump.

What's interesting is the photo on his blog site is not on Trumps' Twitpic page. But Ivanka does have another photo of a view from her office on the page. This photo:

Central Park as seen from my office... on Twitpic

That photo was posted by Ivanka Trump. I think New York's DA Office made a mistake and believed Massler himself took the photo.  Moreover, this error has been repeated by some news websites that also don't know what they're looking at.

And, I will go a step beyond that and say the New York DA's office does not understand how to evaluate what Internet software was used when or why in any case.  They're not tech savvy from this blogger's view, and that's a terrible and dangerous thing to be in their line of work.

Ivanka Trump has a number of photos on her Twitpic, but the fact the one on Massler's blog is not on her Twipic page all of a sudden is fishy.  Really fishy.  

Think about it.  If the same photo were found on Ivanka Trump's Twitpic site, it would all but destroy the New York DA's case against Justin Massler.   My opinion: either she took it down or someone, perhaps her lawyer, instructed her to do so.    I'm willing to bet I'm right.   I'm also willing to bet Massler's no threat to Ivanka Trump.

Ivanka Trump 
Ivanka Trump's fan blogger Justin Massler never expresses a desire to date Trump or really be close to her in the blog posts that are present. While other blog posts were reportedly removed, we don't know the contents of them.

That written, even with its expressions of admiration and humorous wondering about what Ivanka Trump thinks, the blog does not obviously violate this section of New York Stalking Law:

New York Stalking Law (excerpt):
3. With intent to harass, annoy or alarm a specific person, intentionally engages in a course of conduct directed at such person which is likely to cause such person to reasonably fear physical injury or serious physical injury, the commission of a sex offense against, or the kidnaping, unlawful imprisonment or death of such person or a member of such person's immediate family (

Still, it's not the normal fan blog. The Madonna and Jennifer Lopez fan blogs consist of news about Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, or "J-Lo". There's nothing of the kind of intimate diary-style blogging that appears on Justin Massler's site. But again, there's nothing on Massler's site to indicate any level of harm would even come to Ivanka Trump.

What's missing here is a middle ground. New York's District Attorney should have arranged for Justin Massler to be warned and instructed what constitutes a fan site that's not threatening from the subject's point of view.  But for the NYDA's Office to even think of doing that calls for a level of Internet sophistication that office does not have (but needs to have).

Justin Massler should have been told to use his real name on the blog; that would have prevented him from running up against Federal Internet Stalking charges. The action taken against Massler seem heavy-handed given that the blog's not threatening in its presentation of Ivanka Trump.

Justin Massler comes off like a guy who's down on his luck and has picked Ivanka Trump as his muse. Maybe Ivanka Trump doesn't want a guy that's homeless and mentally ill (as his mother claims) as her muse, but that doesn't mean he's going to harm her.

For his part, Justin Massler's better off keeping his most intimate thoughts about Ivanka Trump confined to a private diary. But in the age of blogging, Massler didn't know this, and no one told him.  Until now and this is most indirect.

For its part, The New York DA's Office needs to really get an education in New Media and Social Networks.  As we move further into the 21st Century, such knowledge will serve it well and it will not make mistakes in evaluating what is seen online.