Friday, May 16, 2003

 
Media Ownership: A Clear Channel Example

What does greater media ownership mean? Here in Columbus, Ohio, Clear Channel owns five stations:

WCOL-FM Country
WNCI-FM Pop/Hip Hop
WFJX-FM Classic Rock
WTVN-AM Talk Radio
WZNW-AM Sports Talk

That's fine, a big company successful in a large Midwestern City, right?

If you want to hear the Dixie Chicks, you have to put in a CD.
If you want to hear Lennon's Imagine, you have to put in a CD
Dave Matthew's Band "Crash into me?" nope.
U2 "Sunday bloody Sunday" nada
Elton John's "Rocket man" Not on a clear channel station

The list is far to vast to publish in it's entirety. And, truth be told, a lot of the Clear Channel Banned list comes in the wake of 9/11.

As for the talk radio, let's say I have to tune my computer into KGO810AM in San Francisco to avoid an aneurism.

How conservative are they? Well, George Voinovich(R-OH) is a regular bash topic, being called a communist, a tree-hugger, a hippy, and a Liberal. He's just not extreme right wing enough. Heck, occasionally they get on Mike DeWine's case as well.

All this, in a town with a Democratic Mayor. Yup. Columbus, metro, is a democratic city. You hit the farmland surrounding the city, and it's a different story.

They own five radio stations, the billboards, and do not think they won't make a bid for the newspaper if they have their way.

This is such a bad idea. Please sign the petition to stop the FCC before they do even more damage.




Thursday, May 15, 2003

 
Job Market: Yet another week, yet another 400k

The good news is that unemployment claims fell 13,000 this week. The bad news is that even after the 13,000 reduction, there were still 417,000 job cuts this week nationwide.

I did this story last week as well. We totaled up all the job cuts for the past 12 weeks, and came up with 4.8 million jobs lost. True, we didn't count for people who found jobs during that time.

Well, it would seem that my numbers were not far off.

The official result, as of the week of May 3rd, is 3.77 million people unemployed.

However, the number of jobless workers who remained on the benefit rolls in the May 3 week, the latest week for which the figures are available, rose a sharp 120,000 to 3.77 million. That marked its highest level since the middle of November 2001, when the U.S. economy was reeling from the Sept. 11 attacks.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

 
The Meatstack: www.meatstack.com

I know what you are thinking:

"Craig, I love the site, but I just hate typing www.meatstack.blogspot.com everytime I want to read your very intelligent and thought-provoking commentary."

Well, I feel your pain. Even as I type, DNS servers throughout the country are updating their entries with the Meatstack's new address:

www.meatstack.com

If www.meatstack.com isn't working yet for you, give it a day or so. Sometimes it takes longer for the entries to propagate themselves out to everyone.

No need to change your bookmarks, www.meatstack.blogspot.com will still work. Matter of fact, www.meatstack.com is just being forwarded to the first address. You shouldn't notice a difference.


Tuesday, May 13, 2003

 
Odds and Ends: Stuff not worth a complete post of their own

Not Hip Hop Star, but quasar

The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has made a public apology to Penn State Professor Peter Usher. It seems that in their searches for protected music on the net, they came across this little ditty about gamma rays.

The RIAA, ever so quick to act, sent a cease and desist letter to Penn State University. It would appear that their search terms were Usher+MP3, and didn't bother to check to see if it actually was something they need to protect.

(BTW, you have got to hear the song (available on that page.) It's complete nerd rock)

Listen to your Baby! Don't mean maybe!

After dropping 50 bucks into a slot machine without any luck, the pregnant women decided to go. But, as she was walking away, her baby started to kick. She took it as a sign that she should stay at the machine...three pulls later, she's 4.4 million dollars richer.

Wait, I know the right bill is here somewhere?

Senate leaders began the week by bringing the wrong bill to the floor. Whoops.

PA a little backwards? Only two stars short of a flag.

When the fine folks decided to redecorate the town hall of Glassport PA, they decided to dust off the flag that's been sitting in the corner for the past 91 years. That's when one of the more astute members of council noticed that the flag was missing two stars.


Monday, May 12, 2003

 
Blog Neighbors: Dave at Phugit goes International!

Dave Sutor over at Phugit doesn't just do this to get his rocks off..for him writing is his profession.

So, when he decided to send an article to ancestral homeland of Slovakia two months ago, he really didn't know what would become of his story.

This week, they published his story. Dave Sutor, Certified Drunken Bastard has gone international. Congratulations!

I made the obligatory joke about how they will pay him in 10,000,000 Rubies. But I guess the currency over there is crowns. He expects 10,000.000 crowns...or enough for an extra value meal.

 
Columbus Pub Scene: Byrne's Pub.

The third of May, the Mrs. and I went down to a humble little establishment that we frequent weekly. Byrne's Pub is about as Irish of a bar as you get in Columbus.

Sure, there's Fado's, but it's in a glorified strip mall. It's so fake even the emergency lighting has that faux "smoke stained" look. There's Brazenhead, if you are ok with paying 7 bucks for a pint.

Nope, I'm all about the dive known as Byrne's. The windows haven't been washed in 10 years. There are Michael Collins posters on the wall. The dart boards are real cork, and they aren't afraid to bring in Folk acts who will play rebel tunes.

That's where we were that fateful Friday. The day that this photo was taken of us.

Click on the Mossy picture set, we are the fifth row down, second picture over.

To prepare you, I'll include the disclaimer from the Byrne's site:

By entering the Byrne's Pub Photo Gallery, I agree that I am easily amused, not easily offended, have no connections with law enforcement, clergy, or the Republican party, that I am comfortable viewing material that may be inappropriate for those with discerning tastes, and that I will not "get my freak on" should I stumble across photographs of myself that are less than flattering.

By reading this ultra fine print, I admit that I border on extreme paranoia and am terrified that my boss, significant other, or Net Nanny may at any moment kick the door in and drag me away for viewing this site.

Regards.



Sunday, May 11, 2003

 
Meatstack History: Usenet keeps posts that long?

Step 1: Do a Google search for yourself.

Step 2: Be afraid of what you find.

It's a usenet post from my days at Penn State. The Die-hard Rush fan (the band, not the radio talk show host) I posted this.

The funny thing is that my signature still is appropriate:

"If we don't become active, we become immune." -ELP from _Black Moon_

 
Economy: Strategic use of Sick Time.

When George Bush stops in Omaha Nebraska to push his tax plan to a plant full of plastic workers, there's going to be an added surprise in their paychecks next Friday.

It seems that because of the plant having to shut down for a day, those workers will be docked a day's pay, or have to come in on Saturday to make up the time.

In other words, they are forced to listen to Bush on their own time. But it's not REALLY their own time, because they have to show up at their shift like any other day.

Once again, the Meatstack Institute for Crazy Math (MICM) Is there.

The low end for chemical plant worker in Omaha is 30,000. That's a round number, we'll use that. (14.4 dollars/hour)

The article says there are 340 workers who will be affected.

340 workers * 8 hours per worker * 14.4 dollars per hour = 4,608 dollars of lost wages. The individual worker will lose 115 bucks, or come in on Saturday to make it up.

Meatstack Advice: If you haven't abused your sick time in the past, use a day now. If you are going to be docked a day's pay for showing up to work, Don't show up, and you should be in the clear!

Just my suggestion.

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