Friday, July 25, 2008

Be Gabriel Almeida

Attention journalists: You may recall introductory lectures from your journalism classes instructing you on a story's legs and newsyness. Well, Gabriel Almeida is getting the press all of our professors foreshadowed.

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - An 11-year-old boy is enjoying a flash of fame in Brazil after biting a pitbull that attacked him as he played in his uncle's back yard, local media reported on Thursday.

Gabriel Almeida, who lives on the outskirts of Belo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais, broke a canine tooth when he bit into the dog's neck to fend off an attack. Since then, he has been pampered in the studios of several TV stations, where he has been recounting his ordeal.

And what do we all know class? Dog bites man isn't a story, but Man bites dog certainly is.

"I grabbed him by the neck and bit," he told O Globo newspaper. "It's no big deal. It's better to lose a tooth than to lose your life.

"He was freed when bystanders pulled the dog off him and needed four stitches in his arm.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What's Wrong With 'Sex Fruit'?

From the AP wire/Yahoo! News:
WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A family court judge in New Zealand has had enough with parents giving their children bizarre names here, and did something about it.

Just ask Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii. He had her renamed.
I don't see many problems with Talula, perhaps the problem arose due to the 'does the hula' part. It sounds more like an instructional video than a name. Using verbs as middle names is inventive. At least we know the girl's parents took something from school. They can form simple sentences. Subject. Verb. Object.

The story continues saying the judge listed other odd names that were prohibited. I wonder if the recent celeb baby names were on the list. Among some of the nixed names were: Fish and Chips, Yeah Detroit, Keenan Got Lucy and Sex Fruit.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin take note; naming your kids after food = not cool.
  • Everyone knows Detroit sucks.
  • I'll take a guess that Keenan and Lucy were the parents.
  • Frankly, I see no problem with Sex Fruit. I was planning on attaching that moniker to my first born.
According to the story, allowed names include "Number 16 Bus Shelter" and "Violence."

Prez Candidates' Reps Discuss Media

TV Week posted this article yesterday regarding McCain's and Obama's views on media ownership and access.

Candidates’ Differences on Media Outlined

Barack Obama would more closely examine broadcasters’ public-interest obligations, while John McCain would ensure that the government doesn’t take steps to interfere with the Internet’s growth, surrogates for the candidates are suggesting.

At a forum Tuesday sponsored by the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council, former FCC Chairman William Kennard, speaking for Obama, and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce John Kneuer, speaking for McCain, offered sharply different views of the Federal Communications Commission’s future under their candidates.

This was an interesting point refuting the Web as an equal alternative to traditional broadcast.
Mr. Kneuer, now senior VP of strategic planning and external affairs for Rivada Networks, also said proponents of consolidation wrongly cite the Internet and new media as providing competition, when most Americans still get their news and information from traditional broadcast and cable media. Advertisers too spend most of their media dollar on the traditional media.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

File Under C for Coincidence

This one comes from the Tribune wire services.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A Continental Airlines flight carrying former presidential candidate Ron Paul and six other members of Congress to Washington, D.C., made an emergency landing in New Orleans on Tuesday after a loss in cabin pressure.
Here's where it gets good:
The seven congressmen, all from Texas, were trying to get back in time for a Tuesday night vote on an aviation safety bill when the flight landed without incident, a spokesman for one of the representatives said. No injuries were reported among the 128 crew and passengers.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Are You On the List?

The other day I received an email invite to a bar promotion near Wrigley. I pride myself on these open bar opportunities, not because I'm a lush but because I'm cheap. Open bars, like all-you-can-cram-in-your-mouth buffets, are largely wasted on me. Most open bars tend to have stipulations like only beer or cheap well drinks. For someone with the discriminating palette of a finicky 15-year-old girl, I stay away from wasting brain cells on things that don't taste good. I am still holding out for an all-you-can drink amaretto sours night.

Nevertheless, the email flier said to print out the email and bring it to the bar. I'm a guest list kind of guy. A guest list has panache and cachet that a printed piece of paper just can't compete with. Essentially, it's a coupon for free admittance. While I am a firm believer in the power of coups, I don't like bringing them to clubs. Perhaps it's my own paranoia but I never thought coupons woo the ladies.

The issue of guest lists reminds me of their negative elements. Due to the burgeoning Greek life at Northwestern, some fraternities applied some lessons from econ class to create demand at their functions.
Eager to see what all the hullabaloo was associated with frats I ventured out one winter night with some dorm mates. The frat had a rotund fellow at the door equipped with, what else, a clipboard. My posse briskly walked up to the entrance where the bass beat was steaming out of the open front door. In a deep bass voice, he inquired "are you on the list?"

Stupefied, we stood there for a moment. We didn't know anyone in this frat. Meanwhile, the females in our congregation walked right in. Speaking quickly with chattering teeth we decided to hit up a different frat with more lax admittance policies.

At one point, I was hired to be a bouncer. I'll save that story for another post.

I, like most people, prefer to be on the list.