Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SI Swimsuit Model Kate Upton Candid Las Vegas Photo

Here's a lesson in how to generate some publicity for a model who wasn't selected as the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model for 2011 - that honor goes to Angelina Jolie look-alike Irina Shayk - but is basking in the dimly-lit glow of being a runner-up.

Kate Upton is one of those models. While she's getting some publicity for being in the current 2011 S.I. Swimsuit Edition, it's always as second fiddle to Shayk, who also happens to have a famous boyfriend in soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, or to Christy Teigen, who's dating singer John Legend. With those two, plus the sheer number of S.I. Swimsuit models, not to mention the red-hot career of Brooklyn Decker (who's movie Just Go With It is this week's highest grossing film), it's no wonder Upton's day in the sun has yet to come.

Well, leave it to Sports Illustrated Assistant Editor M.J. Day to change all that. Armed with just a Blackberry, a small Twitter account @MJDay, and the Twitter-based photo sharing platform called YFrog, May took three photos of the apparently free-sprited Upton and posted them on YFrog for distribution everywhere.

There are three of them.  The one above where Kate's boobs are serving as warmers for a Vegas glass, one of Kate just looking at the Blackberry in a chest-down pose, and one of her sitting legs up in her airplane seat while sporting a really short blue dress.  She looks like she boarded the plane just after a party without changing clothes!

And the best news is you can have one of those photos for your website!  

That's right. You can embed the photos on your website, email them, or use them in a blog or website or video and distribute them for news commentary so long as you say "It came from this Yfrog channel by M.J. Day," and really use it for news - because it is.

Moreover, Imageshack, which owns Yfrog, allows me to use it according to its own rules:

By displaying or publishing ("posting") any Content on or through the ImageShack Services, you hereby grant to ImageShack and other users a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content marked "private" will not be distributed outside the ImageShack Services.

So, in plain English, Kate Upton's lovely face and partially-presented boobs are out there for the World to see, and supporting a "Vegas" drinking glass.

A star is born.

Len Lesser, Uncle Leo Of Seinfeld, Passes At 88 reports that Len Lesser, best known as "Uncle Leo" on Seinfeld, has passed away at 88 years of age today.

While Lesser's, who was most recently in an episode of ABC's Castle, is best known as Uncle Leo, he also played with the legendary Clint Eastwood in the cult film Kelly's Heroes, as well as Carl Reiner and of course Jerry Seinfeld. He died of cancer-related pneumonia.

Lesser's recurring appearance on Seinfeld started in the show's second season.  He quickly became known for his snappy, neurotic take on life.  Here's a classic scene focusing on a strange pair of eyebrows Uncle Leo acquired:

In the video below, Lesser talks about what it means to be famous and the recognition he enjoyed to his later years.

Len Lesser, a signpost on the Zeitgeist. May he enjoy his trip to Heaven.

Welcome To From Twitter!

Hello and welcome to If you're on this page, chances are you came here directly from Twitter. With that in mind, here's a brief introduction. is an, as of this writing, a seven year old blog which was known as Zennie's Zeitgeist until 2009, when the name and branding were changed to Why that name? Well, it's a part of my name, Zennie Abraham, and includes the year I was born, 1962. That places me smack in the middle of perhaps the greatest generational transformation in the history of the industrialized World, all fueled by computerization and digital media. is designed to capture the stories of the day - the Zeitgeist. Even though the blog's name has changed, the focus - politics, news, sports, and tech - has not.  We cover what's now, happening, political, techie, and hip.  We love American and World Culture, and sports.  We're smart, provocative, and edgy.

The Growth Of Zennie62 Content

As this has developed, Zennie62 added video and I became a YouTube Partner in 2007, the year before that I was using, and still use,, and now I'm on six different video channels.  Here's one of my most popular videos, Fight At Fillmore Street Festival:

But over the years, has moved beyond the me to the we.  We have great blog posts from great bloggers like Davey D, Tom Hayes, and our Executive Editor Nikky Raney.    As Zennie's Zeitgeist, this blog was one of 128 credentialed for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and the main provider of video for CNN's iReport initiative, as well as one of their on-site contacts.  Four bloggers, Tom Hayes, David Kaye, Ashley Long (who calls herself AshPolitics) and myself provided coverage.

The NFL Draft and The Oscars

In 2005, I started covering the NFL Draft and then incorporated that content into starting in 2009.  Today, Bill Chackhes brings his 33 years of NFL Draft expertise to Zennie62.  Already with Zennie62Media's NFL Business Blog,  we're making an even higher stage for the NFL Draft legend, starting at The 2011 NFL Combine.

Over the years, Zennie62 has expanded from this space and to about 40 online platforms, including Twitter, but they all work their way back here.  And around all of this is, Inc is a new company that provides one legal home for all of our media content, and one place for sponsors and investors to realize a return on their investments.


CBS Reporter Lara Logan At Home; On Sick Comments

After a horrible incident in Egypt, where CBS Reporter Lara Logan was raped and brutally assaulted, she's returned home. (The use of the word "rape" has become an issue itself, which is why it's mentioned: while CBS is not using the term "rape" but "sexual assault" is commonly associated with the crime of rape, thus the use of the the term around the Internet and in a number of television news reports). But another kind of assault on her is being done online, and that's by a large number of commenters.

Some have written a collection of words that make this blogger wonder how they would feel if someone wrote that about them. Many of the comments, which will not see the light of day here, are just plain sick. The bottom line is that what happened to Lara Logan should be considered the last straw, and what I said and wrote, I stand by: she and other reporters should be able to carry guns. I said it here:

And again, I'm not a "card-carrying member of the NRA," but in the specific case of what's happened to TV journalists, and more often female TV reporters, of late, it's hard to see anything other than the threat of using a gun as a deterrent to the behavior they've suffered from.

Some have said that a gun would have been taken from her.  Why?  Because she's a woman?  If that's the fear, have her, and others, take strength-training lessons from female bodybuilders.  I refuse to believe that could happen, and assertions to the contrary show how women are regarded, even by other women, as weak.

Enough is enough.

Natalie Munroe Blog: What If Oakland Teachers Blogged?

Natalie Munroe is a teacher at Central Bucks East High School in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia who got so fed up with her kids, she decided to blog about it. And now, while all that blogging may cost Ms. Monroe the job she's held, she's still blogging. It brings up the question "What if Oakland Teachers blogged like that?" And the other question: "When will Natalie be the subject of a TV show?"

First, Natalie Munroe has taught English since 2006 and has a reported salary of $54,500 (not bad considering the cost of living there) according to Her blog Natalie's Handbasket contains (well, contained, since she's taken some entries off public view but the one I'm about to post is still cached as of this writing), some really candid thoughts about the little ones she teaches.

Here's a sample direct from her blog post from fall 2009:

A Big Problem Today

Kids! I don't know what's wrong with these kids today!
Kids! Who can understand anything they say?
Kids! They are disobedient, disrespectful oafs.
Noisy, crazy, sloppy, lazy LOAFERS (and while we're on the subject--)
Kids! You can talk and talk till your face is blue.
Kids! But they still do just what they want to do.
Why can't they be like we were? (Perfect in every way!!!!)
What's the matter with kids today?????

My students are out of control. They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners. They curse, discuss drugs, talk back, argue for grades, complain about everything, fancy themselves entitled to whatever they desire, and are just generally annoying.

In the past week alone, I've written up 4 separate students--one for dropping the f-bomb in class, one for repeatedly saying "shittin'," one for crafting a pencil topper made from paper clips into the shape of a man and woman having sex, and one for being disrespectful to me (Me: Stop tapping. Him: (ignores and keeps on tapping. Another student tells him to stop but he still doesn't, indicating that if he didn't stop when I told him to, he wouldn't stop for this kid either. Another student then kicked the back of the first student's chair. Me: "I DID tell you to stop that already!" Him: "Yeah, you were ignored." Me: Do you want me to write you up?" Him: "Go ahead." Me: "Done!")

Now reading the entire blog, I really sympathize with what Ms. Munroe has gone through, but this end paragraph was disturbing:

These are the types of students I deal with on a day to day basis. Something must be done about their disrespect and attitude problems. We should do away with the attitudes of the students (and if we can't, we should do away with the students who have attitudes.)

Better to have a pet--- you know where you stand with a pet.

I didn't like that at all.  Does she mean that she wants to kill her students who have attitudes?  Considering the number of news reports of people going off and shooting others in schools and workplaces, that was beyond the pale.  But Munroe says that, even with that, she bears no ill-will toward her students.

Costing Her A Job?

That post, among others, is reportedly going to cost Ms. Munroe her teaching job.  The admin folks at Central Bucks are still investigating her blog posts.  And she's giving them, perhaps unknowingly, new material.  Here's part of her latest (as of this writing) blog post in what she calls "Bloggate," where she learns that her students know about her blog.  This was written on the 12th of February 2011:

When I woke up Wednesday morning and went to work, I certainly couldn't have foreseen what my day--and, in turn, the rest of my life--would be like from that point...

colleague pulled me aside to tell me that students had somehow found my blog and were all abuzz and up in arms about how I'd cursed and said negative things about students in it. The colleague wanted me to know in case it became a bigger deal.

I didn't realize, however, that it already WAS a big deal.

Within the hour, I was in a meeting with the principal who had a pile of my blogs printed out and sitting before him. Within the next 15 minutes, I was gathering my bags from my office and being escorted from the building.

Oh, and she's pregnant. Natalie blogged that the rest of the day was spent in part feeling "violated" as she put it, by reporters showing up at her house. She had to tell her poor three-year-old what was going on with people knocking at her door and deal with her new, though perhaps unwanted, fame.

What If Oakland Teachers Blogged Like That?

As I read that and other posts by Natalie Munroe, the thought of what Oakland teachers might blog kept entering my mind.  I know a lot of great Oakland teachers who put up with a lot every day.  One of my dear friends who I think about every day has a frustrating job at times just dealing with rude kids.  Another friend told me of 12-year-old students in her class doing sex acts in closets.  And another friend was actually robbed at her school.

I thought of all this and concluded that a candid Oakland Teacher Blog would be great because then we could read what their working conditions were really like.  In that, I don't think Natalie Munroe should be fired, but applauded.  She's giving America and the World a really frank view of what's happening at the front lines of education.

What's wrong with that?  Nothing.  Keep blogging, Natalie!

Debunking the "regulations burden business" argument

In a discussion of the provocative Wall Street Journal headline “Study: Strict Derivatives Regulation Could Cost 130,000 Jobs” John Parsons and Antonio Mello point out, "It’s always possible to ignore the system-wide purpose of a regulation and claim it is costly due to the burden it imposes..."

Not everybody cares about the Dodd-Frank reform of financial derivatives markets, but we've seen what happens without regulation(s): the markets crashed, foreclosures destroyed home values, and millions of our friends and neighbors are unemployed.

It's costly to control immigration, to restrict alcohol sales, enforce speed limits, verify the safety & efficacy of drugs, and register voters, but we choose to do all these things because we know we can't simply trust everybody to do the right thing.

Why should you care? How much is at stake in this smoke and mirrors game of derivatives trading? $600 trillion. Compare that to the debt-ceiling, or the budget for the entire U.S. Government. $600 trillion is in play. That's why the players, and the Chamber of Commerce, are lobbying so hard to be left alone, and trying to scare us with more jobs lost.
"...there is 'no upside' to imposing margin requirements on end users, said David Hirschmann, who heads the U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness."
Victoria McGrane
Wall Street Journal February 13, 2011
Recovering our standing as the world leader in agriculture and industry, and creating the millions of jobs our country needs, won't be enough to keep Wall Street greed from ruining our economy. Can the financial markets "create prosperity" beyond Wall Street? It's hard to prove, lately; it's hard to see any upside in leaving those with the most to gain in charge of regulating themselves when they've already abused the system, or trust the tired old assertions about "burdens on business" so quickly, thoroughly debunked by simple logic.

Thomas Hayes is an entrepreneur, former Congressional Campaign Manager, strategist, journalist, and photographer who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.
You can follow him as @kabiu on twitter.

Lara Logan Egypt Assault: Reporters Should Carry Guns

CBS News reporter Lara Logan was reportedly "brutally raped and assaulted" by a group of men in Egypt. Here's the statement from CBS:

On Friday February 11, the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, CBS Correspondent Lara Logan was covering the jubilation in Tahrir Square for a 60 MINUTES story when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into a frenzy.

In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers. She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning. She is currently in the hospital recovering.

There will be no further comment from CBS News and Correspondent Logan and her family respectfully request privacy at this time.

This, in addition to the assault on CNN's Anderson Cooper, and on Sara Sidner in Mumbia, India two years ago, is a good reason why reporters should carry guns. The foreign governments don't seem to want to protect them. And rapid men tasting freedom for the first time seem to want to test what they can get away with by harming female reporters.

It's not that she's white and blonde; just ask Sara, who's brunette and black. All they have to be is of an "American affect" and attractive in the middle of a mob. Shooting an attacker in the leg would change the game and make life better for women reporters like Lara Logan.

Come to think of it, Anderson Cooper could have used a gun, too.