Archive for the ‘ Society ’ Category

News in Briefs

Just returned from work (now lying in bed) after being told that I had in fact, gotten the day off (thankfully I was only in the office 25 minutes) but thought it time to get back into the habit of blogging again after the Christmas break, which is always a scheduling nightmare for my good self. Found some interesting links for you:

Surprise, Surprise – album sales are down. Just me then who’s spent 1600 euro on music since September? Okay…

The NY Times does a rather light piece on the issues with American Vogue

Get your fix of Leather and Obama in one weekend – jackpot!

Some good ol’ fashioned jazz

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Gay in Military Post?

In a move that some people see as the renewal of interest in the US military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, the Washington Times is reporting that William White is being considered for the Naval Secretary job.

Being a civilian position, White could take it despite being openly gay himself as it would not violate the Clinton era rule.

Here’s his supporters:

“He would be phenomenal,” said retired Gen. Hugh Shelton, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1997 to 2001, pointing to Mr. White’s extensive background as a fundraiser for veterans’ and military causes.

Retired members of the Joint Chiefs have contacted Mr. Obama’s transition team to urge them to pick Mr. White, and members of Congress said he would be a good choice for a service secretary.

“He’s very capable,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat, whose district includes the Intrepid Museum, a retired aircraft carrier berthed on the Hudson River in New York City.

Mr. Nadler said Mr. White has become a friend of the military, and particularly the service members and their families, both through the Intrepid and through Fisher Houses, which offer a place to stay so families can be close to military members who are receiving medical care.

And the necessary detractors:

“It’s a matter of judgment, and I think that would be very poor judgment on the part of the commander in chief,” said Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, which opposes gays serving in the military. “It would be very demoralizing to the troops.”

WWJD?

These people would make you wonder if they’re capable of liking anyone except themselves.

Westboro Baptist Church’s Christmas Message

Apple goes down, Consoles go up

In two rather odd bits of news, the WSJ is reporting that Apple has taken a Moderate hit in it’s sales figures, most likely because they have maintained a premium pricing strategy despite the economic downturn.

Sales of Macs in U.S. stores last month declined 1% from a year ago, while industry-wide PC sales rose 2%, according to research firm NPD Group Inc., which tracks retail sales.

NPD analyst Steve Baker blamed a 35% drop in sales of desktop Macs, noting growth in Apple’s laptops still outpaced rivals.

The decline marks a sharp reversal for Apple, which has enjoyed robust demand this year for its Macs, even as spending on Windows-based PCs slowed along with sales of other electronics like flat-panel TVs. To drive sales of its iPhone, analysts expect Apple to begin selling it at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., possibly at a discount.

My favourite quote from Jobs himself is

“We don’t know how to make a $500 computer that’s not a piece of junk,” Mr. Jobs said in October when the company reported earnings.

Classic.

At the same time, The Huffington Post is reporting that to escape the shiteous time we’re all having, everyone is off playing Xbox.

U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories jumped 10 percent last month from the year-ago period to $2.91 billion, boosted by strong sales of Nintendo Co.’s Wii, Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 and the alien shooter game “Gears of War 2.”

The availability of a broad range of games is one reason for the industry’s ongoing solid performance, said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. Games also provide a relatively cheap form of stay-at-home entertainment.

More than a little strange

Speaking of tattoos, The Daily Dish looks at Yu-Chiao Wang’s design that means a person can lie out in the sun to get a “sun tattoo”. Can’t you just feel the melanoma?

Any one else thinking about that bit in Police Academy? No? Okay then…

Coffee drinkers rejoice

Although I’ve consistently reduced the amount of sugar in my diet for years, I will always been a huge fan of my beloved morning coffee. At one stage, it was so white it was basically milk and sugar with a tan but now it is as black as Zahara Jolie-Pitt.

For a better explanation, look up Christopher Neimann

Insensitive?

Burger King is after launching a new ad campaign using the most sequestered villagers from regions such as Thailand, Transylvania and Greenland to show how good a whopper is to those who would have no idea what it is.

“If you want a real opinion about a burger, ask someone who doesn’t even have a word for burger,” boasts the campaign’s Web site, whoppervirgins.com.

Seems like a good idea to me, use those who don’t have any preconceived notions to prove that it’s a fantastic (albeit thoroughly unhealthy) option to indulge in.

Unfortunately the New York Daily News is more concerned with the PC notion of how it offends.

“It’s outrageous,” said Sharon Akabas of the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University. “What’s next? Are we going to start taking guns out to some of these remote places and ask them which one they like better?”

Good point, but I’m quite sure arms dealer have been testing out that idea for quite a while….

“It’s insulting,” she said, adding that the money used to make the documentary would have been better spent trying to end hunger – not create it.
Marilyn Borchardt, development director for Food First, called the campaign insensitive.
“The ad’s not even acknowledging that there’s even hunger in any of these places,” she said.
At a Burger King in Times Square, New Yorkers had mixed opinions.
“That’s a stupid commercial, because when you’re hungry, anything tastes good,” said Irvin Gatone, 42, of the Bronx.

From an ethical point of view, raising awareness of hunger might be the best course of action, but when you’re referred to as the number 2 fast food chain, it’s probably best to stick with direct advertising.

Check it out after the beep.