(image via observer)
In: Chuck Todd. If only Tim Russert, Chuck Todd's mentor, had completed the goateed journos tv news training and diminished his natural shyness -- twin sibling trait of great knowledge -- we would not be in this mess. On the plus side, Chuck Todd is getting his own show. On MSNBC. On the minus side, however, it appears to be something of a back-tracking from Todd's role as White House correspondent (a position in which he is regarded as ineffective and in which he has expressed some frustrations). From Wonkette:
"MSNBC is going to give Chuck his own weekend chat show, but it’s going to be on MSNBC instead of the real NBC show, which means the Meet the Press audience will never see him, as the Meet the Press audience consists solely of senior citizens who cannot find the remote, so have just left the teevee on NBC since about the time when Johnny Carson went off the air."
Todd should have been the host of MTP. But he is shy. Todd clearly needs a continued apprenticeship to bring up his confidence to confluence with his vast political knowledge. Perhaps this show on MSNBC will complete his Jedi studies. Perhaps network news is a dinosaur and this show will be an even better place to practice Chuck Todd's craft, a home for super politics geeks (like this blogger). We'll see.
(image via posterous)
Out: AMAZON.COM's Gay Blacklist Kerfluffle. Was it a glitch that caused hundreds of gay- and lesbian-themed books to lose their Amazon.com sales ranks over the weekend? Was it a hack? Whatever it was it was a black eye for the company. Seatlle Pi's blog runs spokesman Drew Herdener's comments verbatim:
"This is an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error for a company that prides itself on offering complete selection.
"It has been misreported that the issue was limited to Gay & Lesbian themed titles – in fact, it impacted 57,310 books in a number of broad categories such as Health, Mind & Body, Reproductive & Sexual Medicine, and Erotica. This problem impacted books not just in the United States but globally. It affected not just sales rank but also had the effect of removing the books from Amazon's main product search.
"Many books have now been fixed and we're in the process of fixing the remainder as quickly as possible, and we intend to implement new measures to make this kind of accident less likely to occur in the future."
In: Conspiratorial Star Trek Crazy Shit. Live long and prosper! There are Star Trek dance parties (with green dancing Orion Slave Girls!), Star Trek special events, inside scoops, photobooths, Star Trek covers -- everything to attach a veneer of cool to a genre that was thought forever lost to irrelevance. But of all the promotion that Paramount is giving the Trekkies, this is the most conspiratorial, mysterious and intriguing (and green dancing Orion Slave Girls!). From Firstshowing.net:
"So the story goes that in some of the photos ... a URL is hidden in the background on a wall. Upon closer inspection, it would seem that these URLs looked like they were added in Photoshop after the photo was taken - and not actually written on the walls at the party. You can see more of these hipster party photos at thecobrasnake.com - where everything was discovered. The URLs are binary codes, which have been deciphered numerous ways, and for the sake of solving this viral game, it seems they stand for various elements - like Fe, Ca, Si, and Al. Apparently five different sites were discovered in total.
"The primary site is located at 01001111.com. Here's where we get all of our big clues. If you visit that site, you'll find a static flash video that flashes various images and occasionally some text. Hidden within that static is the date 04/17/09 (next Friday), the listing of the elements Fe, Ca, Si, Al, and a block of code: [*^].[#%].[*#@].[*^@]. That code stands for an IP address, ... There are also some flashes of black, which is where that spaceship photo at the top comes from (when the images are all combined). Looks a bit like the Romulan ship called the Narada that we've seen in the trailers, doesn't it?
So basically, if you apply the four element names to four new domains, you get more static, and hidden there are four more numbers. If you use a key on those, and plug the correct numbers into the IP code above, you'll get a 'working' IP address. That may be a bit confusing, so if you're looking for more explanation on how this was solved, head over to TrekMovie. What you need to know is that this working IP address was discovered: http://188.8.131.52/. Unfortunately nothing is there yet ..."
Ri-ight. But it is an interesting intellectual exercise, right (either that or someones been watching too much Lost) The full, paranoiac theory here.