Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sarah Palin: Tracy Morgan Says She's "Good Masturbation Material" On TNT NBA

Overall, Sarah Palin's had a rough two weeks, and for all practical purposes, 30 Rock's Tracy Morgan added the icing on the cake when he said Palin was "good masturbation material," before the start of tonight's NY Knicks vs. Miami Heat game, and much to the shock and amusement of TNT's Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley.

 The result, thanks to social media, was "Tracy Morgan" became a Twitter Trend at Sarah Palin's expense, and gives the media something new to chew on for Thursday.

TNT's apologized for the "event," but the damage is done already. Palin's got to feel like the Lord punishing her because a number of negative events have happened since U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot at point blank range by Jared Lee Loughner in Tucson, Arizona.

First, Palin was hammered for her infamous "crosshairs" map that marked Gifford's Tucson district, then she made her image worse by defending it,...Which I complained about in this vlog:

...then used a term offensive to some in the Jewish community while working to get publicity on the day of the Arizona Shooting Memorial, then her husband, Todd Palin was fingered by The National Enquirer as allegedly involved in a sex scandal, and on Tuesday, Palin used the wrong historical reference in complaining about President Obama's State Of The Union Adress, and now this.

The best action for Governor Palin is to pray for forgiveness, because all of this is happening too fast to be of coincidence.

Meanwhile, Tracy Morgan's legend grows.  That man will say anything, anywhere, at anytime.  

SFO To Fresno To Las Vegas On A United Propjet

CES 2011 was an interesting trip for this blogger. It resulted in the first trip ever using a prop jet, and twice: SFO to Fresno to Las Vegas on a United Propjet

What happened was that the flight from SFO (San Francisco International) to Las Vegas that left out of Gate 92 at the International Terminal was so tight no standbys got on it at all. So we were sent to another flight to Fresno, with a connector to Las Vegas.

What wasn't made clear was that it was a prop jet. That brings up all kinds of images of projets in the movies with failing engines and ratty interiors. So, this alternative wasn't the best choice, but it seemed to be the only one.

The first leg, SFO to Fresno went 40 minutes quick. What was memorable was that it felt like every vibration the plane might make came through the passenger seat. Seriously. But, with all of that, the ride was smooth, if loud, and the landing quick and neat. Impressive.

The layover in Fresno was for 3 hours, and in a facility that's a small airport designed to look like a much bigger one. The end result is something like a weird aviation movie set, but with real working airplanes and propjets.

And there was reason to think one of the airplanes was going to be the next one to Vegas.


It was another United Airlines Propjet.

This right was significantly longer and more cramped. Not in the exit row seat, I turned my body sideways to fit better and worked to sleep off the journey. What kept me awake from time to time was the scenery: the snow-covered Rocky Mountains are a breath-taking site to see, even if it brought up every horror of (again) prop jets crashing into mountain ranges.

For some reason, the sheer beauty of it all took that fear away.

Eventually, we hit the Nevada desert and landed in Las Vegas, smartly.

In all, not a bad trip and this blogger would do it again. Still, the preference here is for a 737, or even one of those real small Brazilian planes United Express also flies.

But I got their in one piece, and CES 2011 was a blast!

Sammi Slaps Ronny

There will be a much longer in-depth analysis of tonight's episode of Jersey Shore (which is not over yet) - just thought that there should be an image out there of what just happened. Sammi just punched Ronny in the face because she found out he's friends with JWOWW. Jenni was saying that she told Sammi about Ronny cheating and did the note so that Sammi would leave, not to be a good friend. Snooki's intentions were not that way.

Don't worry, Sammi comes to her senses.

Kim Kardashian Wrong: President Obama Has More Twitter Followers

Kim and Kourtney Kardashian are on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight as this blog post is written, and Kim's pumped up her image in more ways than one. Kardashian told Piers she's got more Twitter followers than President Barack Obama.

Kim Kardashian's Wrong.

President Barack Obama at @BARACKOBAMA has, as of this writing 6,454,206 Twitter Followers, versus 6,046,312 for Kim at @KimKardashian.

So Kim's just over 400,000 Twitter Followers behind, not ahead, of The President Of The United States.

There ya go, Kim.

MacWorld 2011 Gadgets ArtRage for iPad and RingO

MacWorld 2011 is underway and while the iPad, iPhone, and Macbook take center stage, there are gadgets for those products to be had and in some cases at discount prices.  Two of them are ArtRage and RingO.

During Macworld 2011, ArtRage for iPad will be available at a discounted rate of only $2.99 (normally $6.99) here at the Apple iTunes Store.

ArtRage for iPad lets you become a mobile digital artist, providing the experience of actually “painting” digitally on a computer canvas with oil painting effects that smear and blend and watercolor strokes that merge to create soft, wet gradations, just as they would in a traditional art studio.

An ArtRage - enabled iPad, tablet, or touch-screen laptop allows artists of all levels to bring their computer everywhere they go to be ready to spontaneously unleash their creativity on the spot by drawing, sketching, and painting in a wide range of artistic styles with tools that interact on the screen just as they would with real paint, ink, chalk, pen, or pencil.

RingO iPad Mount at Vogel's Booth #650

Vogel's at, the European market leader in Audio/Video & TV mounting solutions, announced today the RingO Universal iPad Mounting System from Vogel's, the "Ipad on the Wall" at

Introduced today at Macworld, RingO is reported to keep your iPad safe by securely mounting it and other tablets everywhere you go: at home, at work and in the car. It lets you use your iPad to watch movies in the car or as a home media control system in front of your television.  You can also listen to music or display a modern themed alarm clock in your bedroom.

Check out ArtRage and visit Vogel's booth to see RingO at MacWorld 2011.

San Francisco News: Local 2 Unite Here, Mike Casey, Losing SF Hotel Negotiations?

Local 2 Unite Here Union Leader Mike Casey's reportedly facing problems according to a vast number of sources to this blogger.  Mr. Casey needs to pay better attention to World economic events, and have a better understanding of the dynamics of the hotel business.

The legendary and largely popular Casey's got a problem: hotels need to cut costs in the face of what have been in some cases dramatic revenue declines, even with occupancy improvements. Hotel workers want to keep their jobs, which should mean accepting pay cuts. But Casey, who would have an easier time of it when the economy was better as it was in the early 2000s, is seen by some as standing in the way of a good resolution to the problem of maintaining hotel jobs, let alone San Francisco getting new convention business as well as maintaining existing events.

What Casey and his charges want flies in the face of most of what other workers have realized reasonable agreements on, from the union's website: Affordable, high-quality health care; Modest increases in wages; Modest improvement in pension.

The one outlier is health care, which even some hotel managers agree should be maintained in some effective way; beyond that a "Modest increases in wages" and "Modest improvement in pension" seem like political pipe dreams today, when even some hardline progressives dare talk of the need to cut pensions for public service workers.

This is why Casey's reportedly having a problem in effectively mobilizing his troops this time around. (And a number of members of his own union are sporting the "Mike Casey's Union NO, Union Yes!", button around San Francisco.) Membership in the union has decreased 30 percent from 13,000 to 9,000 in three years.  The union's contract with the hotels expired  August 2009.

Hyatt Hotels Fights Back

Casey's efforts have targeted the following hotels: Grand Hyatt, Hilton San Francisco, Hotel Frank, Hotel Metropolis, Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf, Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, Le Meridien, Palace Hotel, Westin St. Francis, and the W Hotel. The union asserts that hotels like the Hyatt have realized occupancy gains; the hotels assert that they're trying to counter rising costs and tightening margins in a still-tight economy.

It's more than occupancy rates, which have increased since 2008, but room rates. While the occupancy rates are better, overall revenues are not and that's due to, in many cases, dramatic decreases in room rates just to capture those occupancy rates.

In this, the Hyatt Hotels fought back, filing National Labor Relation Board (NLRB) charges against Local 2 Unite Here on January 19th 2011, and for allegedly violating the collective bargaining agreement and say the union "quietly diverted money [two cents an hour] from the Child & Elder Fund [to the Legal Fund], without bargaining with Hyatt."

That issue aside, the real matter is in how Mike Casey is handling this issue. It's not, with all due respect, an intelligent approach.  Mr. Casey needs to understand that hotels are businesses.  He needs to focus on how to help the hotels recover a better level of net operating income which will assure the maintenance of jobs and improve the overall standard of living for his union employees at the same time.  

If Mr. Casey created a giant online simulation of the fiscal dynamics of the SF hotel industry, took that into discussions, and used it it as a tool for the crafting of a resolution that works for everyone, he would find better conversational weather with hotel managers frantically trying to avoid losing money.

But if he continues his anti-intellectual, 1960s, and in some cases thug-like approach, he will serve neither his members or the San Francisco Hotel Industry well, and the current negative management / labor climate will continue, possibly with job cuts to follow.

No one wants that.

Mr. Casey would do well to follow the conversation at The World Economic Forum in Davos.  The World's industrialized nations are struggling with lower revenues, enormous debt, and fears of a double-dip recession.  This the climate Mr. Casey is in today.

Stay tuned.

San Francisco News: Good Discussion Of Progressives Future At The Wall

What's the future of San Francisco (and really SF Bay Area) Progressives (preference here for the term "liberals") in the wake of an economic climate that calls for lower taxes and spending? That's the subject of a terrific forum conversation at The Wall SF, also called Able Dart's Bathroom Wall.

The main point is that it's harder to be an effective common Progressive elected official because of San Francisco's enormous deficit of over $300 billion (as of this writing). The result is, and has been, a paving of the way for more "moderate" San Francisco political voices to take the place of some progressive voices.

One poster, "Chrysippus" summed it up best, writing:

Our local progressive sect has become just another fixture of a failed status quo. The moderates cater to big corporations, developers, and banks. The progressives cater to the unions, the nonprofit political complex, and the cannabis capitalists. Both sects overlook the ordinary person struggling to get through daily life in the neighborhoods.

The overall fact is we've spent a generation now chasing manufacturing out of the SF Bay Area in favor of industries like biotech, which has jobs that only a handful of people who live here can qualify for.

It wasn't always that way.

During the 70s and 80s the SF Bay Area Economy was far more balanced, with well-paying manufacturing jobs that only called for a GED to get, as well as higher-skilled and well-paying positions.

The job of government here during that time was to maintain the lower skilled jobs against foreign competition, but that didn't happen. In many cases, economic development officials dropped the ball and now the whole State of California's weaker for it.  

In fact, California stopped fighting for new large scale economic development projects long ago.  That's how the state lost the competition to have the largest atom smasher long ago.  Now, the World's Largest Atom Smasher is beneath the Swiss / French boarder; California's best known Atom Smasher's a roller coster ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Now, "the ordinary person struggling to get through daily life" just wants government to create jobs.  Period.   And by any means necessary.  

Jay Cutler Walks Around Mall In LA, Upsets Chicago Bears Fans

Chicago Bears Jay Cutler, who's image has already been destroyed on Twitter, was captured on video by while walking around an LA shopping center with his girl friend, Actress Kristin Cavallari.

The TMZ video person, obviously not in tune with pop culture news, failed to ask Cutler how his knee was coming along. But the video shows he was walking around without hesitation, bringing up the question of "Exactly how hurt was his knee?"

We may never know.

But the real issue for Jay and the Chicago Bears should be as much Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz as it is Jay Cutler. This blogger thinks Cutler basically got tired of being left as a sitting duck due to a bad offensive game plan.

And even when backup QB Caleb Hanie came in to replace Todd Collins and Cutler before him, Martz play calling was questionable - especially that end-around he called with 1:27 left in the game.

That play ran something like six seconds off the clock and gained no yards. Plus, he called it on third down and something like 10 yards to go.

It's a wonder Bears fans aren't calling for Martz head. But it's because people tend to react to what they see; since offensive coordinators are seldom in the public eye, they commonly escape blame for a quarterback's bad game.

Academy Awards "Whitest In 10 Years?" Means American Media Grew Up

For a time today, searching for "Academy Awards" results in Google News revealed a shocking result: CNN and The Huffington Post, to name some of the major outlets, pointing out that there are no major black award nominees at this year's 83rd Academy Awards.

While that news is sad, the fact that more mainstream media outlets are pointing to this is something to be celebrated.

Since many such news outlets are mostly white, it means a new generation of young white writers and bloggers are not afraid to hold up a collective mirror at an American Institution, as the Academy Awards are, and say "You need to diversify, dude!" The question is, what can or will AMPAS, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, do to make up for this problem?

What AMPAS can do is have more presenters of color. The Academy just sent a press release announcing that Hugh Jackman will be a presenter. Ah, good for the talented Jackman, but that's not solving the diversity demographic problem.

It's logical to assert that if the 83rd Academy Awards are seen as "too white," people may not watch it to the degree that they did last year.  Think about it: we're seeing the emergence of a group of young white people who really embrace diversity and not just as an idea, but as an ideal.   That means if they think the Oscars are too white, they just may not tune in at the levels that AMPAS would like to see to do better in ratings than for 2010.

AMPAS has a problem.

Why not invite an entertainer like Beyonce or Lee Daniels (The Producer of Precious) to be a presenter? Why not Zoe Saldana from Avatar? Yes, The Academy would be seen as dealing with a diversity problem, but so what?

That's the way people should think.

Bravo to American Media for noticing this Oscars problem and pointing to it.

Now, if the New York Times would say something about this, we'll throw a party!

Goals & Hope

An update from Nikky Raney, Executive Editor.
Lack of posts have been from some very important things that have been going on that have been quite.. intense and time consuming.. but there will be a Jersey Shore recap tonight.

MTA to Restore Service in Aftermath of Storm

At the Metropolitan Transportation Authorities are working hard to restore their services. For quite a few residents in New York the transit and metros are their only means of transportation from place to place other than taxis - so having a lack of public transportation has really become something detrimental for those in the area.

The site says:

The MTA is working hard to restore service in the aftermath of a storm that dumped more than a foot of snow in parts of the region. Service is suspended in parts of the system as crews continue to remove snow and ice from tracks, switches, stations and roadways. Please check back to for the latest updates, allow extra time and be careful when walking and boarding.

The site then lists specifics for each transit including New York City Transit,  MTA Bus, Long Island Railroad, Long Island Bus, Metro-North Railroad, and others.

CBS gave an update that many of the services have been restored, but to keep checking on the actual site for more information that is up-to-date.

Academy Awards News: Oscars Social Media Effort Slammed

After a lot of badgering in 2010, and by emails from folks like this blogger, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is finally stepping out and giving social media a go (even has a Twitter account @TheAcademy). But the problem is that while AMPAS effort shows all of the typical markings of the Hollywood organization that just doesn't get it, it is to be congratulated for at least giving it a go, and the tech pubs aren't playing along with that idea.

Now, here's what AMPAS did wrong. (And why it's a bad idea to send press releases to snarky tech publications.)

First, AMPAS must realize the whole idea behind social media and new media is to quickly and cheaply disseminate information. Period. As one who's been involved with this since before "social media" became a term, and Marc Canter, arguably the inventor of the social network, was talking to me about the "People Aggregator" way back in 2002, the idea was as much about sharing info as connecting with people.

That means, in this case, AMPAS has to do one thing: produce content. That means The Academy must have its own blog - it doesn't.  And that's a sure sign the social media efforts not going to work as well as it could. A blog, connected to @TheAcademy twitter page, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Hi5, and other platforms, like FriendFeed, will allow it to rapidly distribute information. It can even use the contents from its own press releases.

And AMPAS effort has totally forgotten its YouTube page (which hasn't been updated in a month). So while the revamped website will have "cams" for the "winners walk" and the "dressing room," and all for $4.99, it will not have new videos uploaded to its YouTube page, then sent to its blog, then Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms.  (Plus, it lacks a Twitter follow button at the top!)

In other words, AMPAS has totally missed the fact that social media is really about sharing your content. And to do that, it means you've got to what?

That's right: produce content.

The other thing AMPAS missed was that it sent a press release targeted at tech publications and totally avoided its press base, where its fans are, which are far less likely to be nasty about AMPAS efforts.  I didn't get a press release on this, or even an email, and this news isn't popping up at Awards Daily.   That's a HUGE error.


Because by issuing a press release to the tech pubs, AMPAS is acting like an unattractive cougar placing herself on the lap of a disinterested 20-year-old: all that will come from the act is a set of snarky comments, and that's what Fast Company ("Academy Awards nominees were just announced--but Oscar hyperbole is already in full swing.") and TIME's TechLand ("Oscars Revamp Website, Realize Social Media Exists") have provided.

And that shows the biggest problem, one that's typical in Hollywood today: segregationist thinking applied to tech. That is, "I've heard of you, there for you must be the right publication." People, especially Hollywood PR folks, make this mistake all the time.

The 21st Century reality is that the PR person is supposed to know how to use tech to share information with a wide audience and always starts with their base - their fans - who are in a lot of cases more well-connected online and know tech as well as the tech pubs.

That's true for the people on AMPAS press list, but The Academy just ignored them!

So AMPAS should have sent a press release out to its list, and then created a blog and a video that it placed on YouTube,, and other video platforms using Tubemogul, then distributed it with Twitter and Google Buzz. The idea is a simple one: make your own news, share it with your friends, and spread it around.

And AMPAS has a lot of news to share.

In the case of Tech, AMPAS forgot its friends, and that's why it failed in this initial effort. But the good news is The Academy can always get back on that horse and ride again.