Posts Tagged ‘The Newsroom

19
Sep
13

9.19.13 … Will McAvoy: I call myself a Republican because I am one …

The Newsroom, Mediaite: I was disappointed overall, but the show has a few good lines …

Despite everything that happened on last night’s second season finale of The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin’s drama about the world of cable news is still scheduled to return for a third season next year on HBO. But if this episode wasn’t intended to a possible series finale, I would be shocked. Sorkin wrapped up the loose ends so neatly in “Election Night Part 2″ that he made the audience realize we’d been watching a Shakespearean comedy all along, where everyone gets married in the end and everything works out perfectly, without a cliffhanger in sight.

After Will calls the presidential race for Obama and before the happy ending that has become more and more inevitable as the episode progresses, we get one last speech that almost rivals the American exceptionalism rant from the first episode of the series (brilliantly parodied by Funny or Die last week), the kind of speech that really gave the show so much promise from the beginning, to do for cable news what The West Wing did for presidential politcs.

With nothing left to lose Taylor asked Will if he only calls himself a Republican so he can retain the credibility to criticize the right. He answers her, on air:

“No, I call myself a Republican because I am one. I believe in market solutions and I believe in common sense realities and necessity to defend itself against a dangerous world. The problem is now I have to be homophobic. I have to count the number of times people go to church. I have to deny facts and think scientific research is a long con. I have to think poor people are getting a sweet ride. And I have to have such a stunning inferiority complex that I fear education and intellect in the 21st Century. Most of all, the biggest new requirement-–the only requirement-–is that I have to hate Democrats.”

After this, the good news starts flowing in waves.

via The Newsroom Recap – Season 2, Episode 9 – Season Finale | Mediaite.

05
Aug
13

8.5.13 … Newsroom: In case you were wondering why Maggie looks like the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo … “Cooked”: a philosophical journey and practical handbook … Happy B day to the V … Sunday Sermon: What does it mean to “belong to truth,” to be “on the side of truth”?

The Newsroom Recap, Rolling Stone:  So we now know  why Maggie looks like the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo …

As the title, “Unintended Consequences,” suggests, much of this episode is about how Maggie, Neal, Jerry and Will’s idealistic moves in the name of being better journalists are slowly leading to their collective downfall.

via Newsroom Recap: The Shoe Drops | Movies News | Rolling Stone.

“Cooked”, cooking, civilization, Michael Pollan, food, social glue, anti-corporate activism, Brain Pickings:

Thus, Cooked is at once a philosophical journey into the depths of that transformation and practical handbook for tilting the ratio back to its natural, satisfying balance

via How Cooking Civilized Us: Michael Pollan on Food as Social Glue and Anti-Corporate Activism | Brain Pickings.

8.2.1928, The Varsity,  Open for Business, Atlanta icons, restaurants, drive-ins, WABE 90.1 FM, kith/kin:  My father was born in the fall of ’27 … I’d swear he was probably ate his first real food here. One of my favorite places in the world … really.  🙂

The Varsity

Today is August 2nd.  If we were to turn Atlanta’s clock back 85 years to this date in 1928, we’d find a new eatery opening up in town.  In the years since the first burger was flipped, The Varsity on North Avenue has become one of Atlanta’s most endearing landmarks.

via This Day in History: The Varsity Opens for Business | WABE 90.1 FM.

Reverend Pendleton B. Peery,  “With Our Whole Heart: Belonging to the Truth”:  Pen … your sermons have been excellent this summer.  I loved this week’s focus on what is truth.

Exodus 20:1-2, 16

 And God spoke all these words:

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

 …

“Lord, Who May Dwell Within Your House” – hymn no. 164

Who do no wrong, but keep their word And seek no bribe or gain; All those who do such things shall live And safe from harm remain.

John 18:33-38

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate.

 …

Reverend Pendleton B. Peery,  “With Our Whole Heart: Belonging to the Truth”:

Great sermon, preacher … LIARS.

Certainty hardens our speech.  It makes dialogue difficult. It leaves little room for questions, few opportunities for new insights and new relationships.  … What if we are wrong? … Consider … how our certainty about what is true might affect the way we treat our neighbor  … might lead us to do harm.

 What is truth?” retorted Pilate … being in Jesus’ presence caused him to ask it.

Truth is a “who.”

… whose truth is marked by sacrifice and by love and by justice and by mercy …

25
Jul
13

7.25.13 … Freakonomics: “Jane Austen, Game Theorist”… conspicuous consumption: $1.3 million paddle tennis project … in case you need some help getting into the new season of ‘The Newsroom’ … since I made less than a week with my first fitbit … Fancy getting creative in the kitchen? …

Freakonomics, “Jane Austen, Game Theorist”, strategic thinking, decision analysis, Michael Chwe, social movements and macroeconomics and violence , Freakonomics Radio Podcast:  Some things just catch your attention … enjoy!

Okay, a bit more explanation is necessary. Michael Chwe is an associate professor of political science at UCLA whose research centers on game theory and, as he puts it, “its applications to social movements and macroeconomics and violence — and this latest thing is about its applications maybe to literature.”

The literature in question? The novels of Jane Austen. Chwe discovered that Austen’s novels are full of strategic thinking, decision analysis, and other tools that would later come to be prized by game theorists like those as the RAND Corporation just after World War II. (They included some of the brightest minds of the time, including Kenneth J. Arrow, Lloyd S. Shapley, Thomas Schelling, and John Nash.) And so Chwe wrote a book called Jane Austen, Game Theorist.

via Freakonomics » “Jane Austen, Game Theorist”: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast.

Wilmette Parks, paddle tennis, $1.3 million paddle tennis project, conspicuous consumption, Wilmette Life:  Given the economic situation, this seems to be conspicuous consumption to me.

The Wilmette Park District’s $1.3 million paddle tennis project has shifted into high gear, with a June 29 groundbreaking at West Park, and the hiring of a head platform tennis professional to manage programs and lessons at the four-court complex.

District Director Steve Wilson said last week that Brad Smith, who spent the last decade as racquet director for the Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest, will be responsible for creating new programs, events and lessons in Wilmette.

via Wilmette Parks break ground, hire pro for paddle tennis – Wilmette Life.

‘The Newsroom, ‘First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Lawyers’, Speakeasy – WSJ: In case you need some help getting into the new season. ‘The Newsroom,’ Season 2, Episode 1, ‘First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Lawyers’: TV Recap of Season Premiere – Speakeasy – WSJ. And here is episode 2’s recap …

The first episode of this season was fast-paced and interesting. This first half of this new episode dragged and the second half featured one too many speeches, (Lisa, Don, Charlie, Will, Mackenzie) although Will’s mini breakdown at the police precinct was interesting to watch. This episode differs from all the episodes last season because it doesn’t cover one day or one news event; it covers a span of a few weeks and focuses on Troy Davis and Occupy Wall Street.

via ‘The Newsroom,’ ‘The Genoa Tip’: TV Recap – Speakeasy – WSJ.

 fitbit, fitness data, OutsideOnline.com:  Since I made less than a week with my first fitbit …

If what you’re looking for is an overall health boost, the current wave of wristband trackers—Fitbit Flex, Jawbone UP, and Nike+ FuelBand—will give you a baseline measure of how much physical activity you’re getting each day. Unlike the cheap pedometers of yore, these devices are powered by robust accelerometers that detect motion in three dimensions. But their biggest advance is in usability: they’re small enough to wear 24 hours a day, and they sync effortlessly with smartphone apps. More important, they provide a simple tally—Nike calls it a Fuel-Score—so users need to compare only a single data point from day to day. “People like to see how they’re progressing,” says Trent Stellingwerff, a physiologist at the Canadian Sports Institute Pacific. That desire alone is enough to get you active.

If you’re more motivated by competition, look for something that quantifies your effort rather than just your distance. Under Armour’s new chest-strap-mounted Armour39 tracker combines heart-rate data with motion sensors to calculate a real-time “willpower” score. “Our vision was a single number that tells you how hard you’re working, no matter what the sport is,” says Christy Hedgpeth, Under Armour’s head of digital sports. Nike’s FuelBand and Adidas’s MiCoach offer similar cross-sport scoring systems, letting you track your fitness output across activities. They also allow you to compare scores and compete with friends and worldwide leaderboards, basically making a game of working out.

But it’s a third category, which aims to help you maximize your training—telling you when to push hard and when to slow down—that represents the boldest leap yet. “This is the holy grail, but it’s also a black hole,” says Shona Halson, who heads the performance-recovery division at the Australian Institute of Sport. Over the years, scientists have struggled to pin down the physiological indicators of overtraining, like heart-rate variability (the fluctuations in the time between heartbeats) and stress-related hormones like cortisol.

For coaches, two of the more trusted indicators of overtraining are mood and sleep cycle—and naturally, there are apps for those. With Moodscope, which keeps daily tabs on your emotions, you use a virtual deck of cards to rate feelings like alertness and nervousness. A sustained downward trend is a sign that you should probably back off. For sleep, there are a handful of top-end trackers that detect various stages, like REM and deep sleep, but Halson uses a simple wristband accelerometer to measure sleep time in her athletes. She’ll watch for patterns of disruption and suggest tweaks in bedtime habits, caffeine consumption, and training.

via Making Sense of Modern Fitness Data | Fitness – Health and Fitness Advice | OutsideOnline.com.

KITCHEN AID Artisan mixer, selfridges.com, artisan, conspicuous  consumption: I saw this in a Selfridges advertisement and it just jumped out at me.  It’s lovely, but artisan and copper  … just scream conspicuous consumption.  i wouldn’t mind one on my counter, but still …

KitchenAid® 5-Quart Artisan™ Custom Metallic Stand Mixer

This attractively styled stand mixer is reason enough for you to get busy in the kitchen. Lasting durability is ensured by using a five step custom plating process on the metallic finish. With a powerful 325 watt motor, it can handle any task you put to it. The tilt-back head allows for easy access to whatever you’re mixing and the 5-quart bowl features an ergonomic handle for comfort. The durable, all-metal construction is built to last. The unique mixing action reaches every part of the bowl. Five rubber feet protect countertop, while helping to stabilize the mixer. 10-speed control. Includes: flat beater, dough hook, wire whip, pouring shield and 5-quart, polished stainless steel bowl. UL listed. Hassle-free replacement warranty within the first year from purchase. Model # KSM152PS.

via KitchenAid® 5-Quart Artisan™ Custom Metallic Stand Mixer – Bed Bath & Beyond.

SELFRIDGES SAYS

Fancy getting creative in the kitchen? KitchenAid’s Artisan stand mixer, now in a beautiful satin copper finish, has a large capacity to make mixing in batches a breeze, as well as a tilt up head design to ensure easy cleaning and usage. The combination of high quality craftmanship and good looks will make food prep a pleasure.

via Artisan mixer – KITCHEN AID – EXCLUSIVES – Home & Tech | selfridges.com.

23
Jul
13

7.23.13 … Why ‘The Newsroom’ matters …

The Newsroom:  Well, my son turned me on to this one and I truly enjoy it because it makes me think about the choices the cable news channels have in shaping my opinion.  I really enjoyed this article.

Aaron Sorkin’s HBO show “The Newsroom” represents the reality of working in television news about as accurately as “The West Wing” captured working in politics — which is to say, not at all.

But both dramas did something more worthwhile: They expressed the idealism that should animate these careers. And in this time of creative destruction throughout the news industry, it’s more important than ever before. That’s why “The Newsroom” matters.

But here’s the thing: Aaron Sorkin with a few miles per hour off his fastball is still better than almost anything else on television.

Despite the critics, the show’s lead character, Will McAvoy, quickly made an imprint on civic debates via social media, even if only as a peripheral fantasy about how the news could be. Played by Jeff Daniels, McAvoy is on a self-styled “mission to civilize,” and for all the Don Quixote-meets-Ed Murrow posturing, his message was refreshing amid the high-water mark of hyperpartisan cheerleading that passed for much of cable news between the tea party wave of 2010 and the 2012 presidential election. McAvoy’s fictitious prime-time show, “News Night,” is revived by dedication to the idea in this quote usually attributed to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “Every one is entitled his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

Sorkin is often accused of writing “liberal fantasies” — a chorus President Obama joined with a gentle jab at the White House Correspondents’ Assocation dinner. But McAvoy’s character is bearded a bit by making him a Nebraska Republican, who graduated from the district attorney’s office in New York to serve as a speechwriter to the first President Bush before entering the TV fray. His politics are old-school “I Like Ike” Main Street Republican, which is to say centrist in the current environment. McAvoy is quick to criticize liberals for their losing ways and the yippie-fueled unhinged extremism in the late ’60s that caused the left to lose credibility for decades.

But McAvoy’s hottest criticism is reserved for the rise of right-wing radicalism, as in this famous diatribe: “Ideological purity. Compromise as weakness. A fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism. Denying science. Unmoved by facts. Undeterred by new information. A hostile fear of progress. A demonization of education. A need to control women’s bodies. Severe xenophobia. Tribal mentality. Intolerance of dissent. Pathological hatred of the U.S. government. They can call themselves the tea party. They can call themselves conservatives. And they can even call themselves Republicans, though Republicans certainly shouldn’t. But we should call them what they are — The American Taliban.”

….

Perhaps the biggest narrative risk of the show is its location in the recent past.

This intemperate, unvarnished surgical strike drew criticisms of the show in real-world media as well as a congressional condemnation in the show’s fictional universe. But McAvoy does not mistake the goal of nonpartisanship for neutrality.

This kind of transference gave rise to perhaps the most interesting aspect of the show. Between the seasons, the character of Will McAvoy waded into online political debates via Twitter — courtesy not of an enterprising PR firm, but of an otherwise anonymous 29-year-old working for an airline, who is a major Sorkin fan and an aspiring screenwriter.

The @WillMcAvoyACN tribute Twitter handle has attracted more than 58,000 followers, including many journalists with whom he jousts in character. The point is that the character of McAvoy is so well developed that fans can adopt his voice and persona to engage in real debates and make some impact. That’s a mark of a fictional character that has come to life. And it indicates how much interest there is in a real-life newsman who would play the role of McAvoy — razor-sharp, principled and ignorance-intolerant — in real life.

Which brings me to the final reason “The Newsroom” matters. At a time when trust in media is declining because of the rise of partisan news, when newspapers seem to be dying every day and online clicks reward stories about celebrity scandals and soft-focus pictures of kittens, “The Newsroom” offers an inspirational alternate reality. The PR industry might be bigger than journalism and certainly pays better, so the attraction for young would-be reporters has to be something bigger than a paycheck or job stability. The attraction is a job that comes with a built-in sense of purpose, that sweet soul spot where idealism meets realism. That’s what journalism at its best promises to provide. And even though the reality might involve long hours, lots of criticism and little compensation, our democracy depends on it.

So spare me the easy cynicism and petty complaints. If “The Newsroom” helps inspire a few more talented young people to enter the world of journalism, as “The West Wing” did for a generation of politicos before it, that is a valuable contribution to contemporary culture — and much more than most TV shows would ever promise to provide.

via Opinion: Why ‘The Newsroom’ matters – CNN.com.

The Newsroom, Occupy Wall Street, Ashley Fetters, The Atlantic:  I think this is why The newsroom is so much fun … It presents a fictional reality … but do they even get the reality right?  It makes you think.

The News vs. The Newsroom: Did the Show Get Occupy Wall Street Right?

Comparing the HBO series’ depictions of the Troy Davis execution, 9/11, and the death of Anwar al-Awlaki to what really happened

via The News vs. The Newsroom: Did the Show Get Occupy Wall Street Right? – Ashley Fetters – The Atlantic.

06
Jul
13

7.6.13 …. Binging on HBO’s The Newsroom: WOW … they broke the NSA’s PRISM Program …

HBO, The Newsroom, NSA’s PRISM: This week, I “binged” on HBO’s The Newsroom.  WOW …  they  broke the NSA’s PRISM Program …

The Newsroom – Episode 8 – The NSA – YouTube.

“The Simpsons Movie” didn’t contain the only pop culture reference to the NSA that predicted the warrantless wiretapping and surveillance of American citizens, as HBO’s “The Newsroom” had an intimate scene describing the exact situation we’re currently dealing with.

The scene takes place in the New York Public Library as Charlie Skinner secretly meets with Solomon Hancock, who makes a peculiar request.

“The project title is ‘Global Clarity,’ and it intercepts 1.7 billion phone calls, emails and texts everyday,” Hancock reveals.

“Legally?” Skinner naively asks.

“No,” Hancock retorts, “it involves a significant amount of illegal, warrantless wiretapping of American citizens.”

via HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’ Predicted And Broke Down The NSA’s PRISM Program Last Year (Video) | Elite Daily.

binge viewing, tv, WSJ.com: 

Binge viewing is transforming the way people watch television and changing the economics of the industry. The passive couch potato of the broadcast era turned into the channel surfer, flipping through hundreds of cable channels. Now, technologies such as on-demand video and digital video recorders are giving rise to the binge viewer, who devours shows in quick succession—episode after episode, season after season, perhaps for $7.99 a month, the cost of a basic Netflix membership. In the past, such sessions required buying stacks of costly DVDs ($66.99 for seasons one through four of “Mad Men”) or special broadcast marathons.

The industry ramifications are bigger than the occasional weekend lost to “Lost.” Bingeing breaks habits that have long supported the TV business, built on advertising and syndicated reruns. TV executives are torn by the development: gratified that people are gorging on their product, frustrated because it’s a TV party that all-important advertisers aren’t invited to. For middlemen like Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus and Netflix, it’s a godsend, boosting their quest to attract and retain subscribers. Writers and producers are just starting to confront the challenges of creating TV for an audience that may digest an entire season in one sitting.

via Binge Viewing: TV’s Lost Weekends – WSJ.com.

“To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”, Robert Herrick:  In Episode 9, they quoted “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”  by Robert Herrick.  I had never heard of this poem.  But I love shows that make  references to literature and cultural references.

“To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” is a poem written by Robert Herrick in the 17th century. The poem is in the genre of carpe diem, Latin for seize the day. The opening stanza, one of his more famous, is as follows:

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,

Old Time is still a-flying;

And this same flower that smiles today,

Tomorrow will be dying.

Theme: Carpe diem[edit]

First published in 1648 in a volume of verse entitled Hesperides, it is perhaps one of the most famous poems to extol the notion of carpe diem. Carpe diem expresses a philosophy that recognizes the brevity of life and therefore the need to live for and in the moment. The phrase originates in Horace’s Ode 1.11.

The opening line, “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may”, echoes the Latin phrase collige, virgo, rosas (“gather, girl, the roses”), which appears at the end of the poem “De rosis nascentibus,”[1] also called “Idyllium de rosis,” attributed to Ausonius or Virgil.

Nearly the same sense was expressed in Wisdom of Solomon 2:8, “Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither”, a verse ironically given as the example of a fool’s reasoning in denying the resurrection of the dead and turning to license.

via To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Newsroom episodes:

The title of the episode alludes to the greater fool theory. Will suffers an acute case of bleeding from a stomach ulcer and is hospitalized. There, he learns that an elderly Tennessee resident will not be able to vote because of recently passed voter ID laws in 33 states; this is then the main story when he returns to News Night. Charlie tells the NSA whistle blower, Solomon Hancock, that he cannot use him because he is “contaminated”; later, Hancock commits suicide by throwing himself off the Queensboro Bridge. Sloan tries to raise Congress’ intransigence on the debt ceiling to a more prominent position in the news and ponders a job offer. Everything, however, is overshadowed by a showdown long in the making. It finally explodes as Will, Mac and Charlie confront Leona and Reese during a volatile lunch meeting. TMI gossip columnist Nina Howard has information that can destroy Will’s career and life by revealing that he was high during the bin Laden report. That bombshell is defused, however, when it is revealed that the magazine obtained the information through phone hacking MacKenzie’s voice-mail. Takes place between Monday, August 1, 2011, and Monday, August 8, 2011.

via List of The Newsroom episodes – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.




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