Dedication of Johnny Carson’s birthplace

When I met Wyn at one of the Metroblogging Vancouver meetups, she mentioned, with a lot of pride, how she puts a little bit of Halifax in everything that she posts, whenever she can. Afterall, it is her home town, and I think that’s what I try to do with a lot of the things that I write about here. If anything, I like to promote information about Iowa that some people might not be unaware of.

Take Johnny Carson[wiki] for instance. He’ll claim that most of his days spent growing up were in Nebraska, but his true place of birth is in the town of Corning, Iowa[wiki]. Yeah, Iowa… Corn… Corning? A historical pun of the sorts, but this is the truth.

Carson birthplace event called off; McMahon ailing

September 21, 2006
Thursday’s planned dedication of the Johnny Carson Birthplace in Corning is off, event organizers say, because Carson’s former pal Ed McMahon is unable to attend.

McMahon was to headline the day’s events honoring the memory of Carson, who died last year. The two were together during the three decades Carson hosted NBC’s “Tonight Show.”

“Mr. McMahon called us (Wednesday) night and told us he was ill and unable to fly,” said Beth Wadle of the Adams Community Economic Development Corporation. “He very much wants to be here when we dedicate the birthplace, so we’re holding off until he can reschedule.”

The small house where Carson was born in 1925, was recently purchased by a Corning native who plans to restore it to its original condition.

Carson also lived in Clarinda, Red Oak and Avoca as a child before his family moved to Nebraska. [desmoinesregister]

There are certain things that you have to be proud of, and for many Iowans, this is one of them. While it is true that Carson sat on his throne for nearly thirty years on the west coast, his roots run deep in the midwest. He always spoke with fondness about where he was from, if not making it apart of his jokes. It’s easy to do, and more acceptable when you are one of us.

I think what troubles me are those who move away from Iowa and do everything they can to hide where they are from. Actually, this goes for anyone from anywhere, and I’ve run into this with a vengence. I outted a girl for being from Indiana once, and that happened at the University of Iowa. I don’t think she liked me much prior to that moment, and she certainly hated me after.

It all comes down to stereotypes. Why not be truthful about your roots and defy those things that people already presume that we are? Not having the sense of pride to say where you are truthfully from doesn’t make your lie of where you claim to be any better.

People often ask me where I’m specifically from when I mention being an American. I’m not afraid to tell them where, and it’s rare to have a long conversation with anyone about it. I do live and reside in Vancouver, but you won’t hear me claim it as where I am from.

The fact is that a majority do not know a lot about Iowa other than what they saw in Field of Dreams[imdb].

Taking a look at the Global National Podcasts

Global National PodcastI was originally thinking of making this a W.I.L.T., but the Global National Podcast isn’t something that I’m regularly checking out. I’ve caught enough of their commercials to gather enough interest in seeing what they’re doing.

A basic background to the program, Global National is a half hour news program that is broadcast across Canada. Kevin Newman is the guy behind the desk, and I have to add that the guy is huge. He must workout between commercial breaks.

There are two ways you can get the program in podcast form. The video version makes the most sense because, afterall, this is a television program. If you would rather get your daily dose in audio, you can do that as well. The interesting thought here is that the audio is exactly what you hear on the video version of the podcast. Basically, it’s TV without the pictures.

They promote this podcast with the slogan of, “Missed the Global National newscast on television? Now you can watch or listen to Global National on your portable media player!” This stands to reason because you are getting a carbon copy of what they aired on TV. At the same time, this is a lot of content to be pulling down everyday, and being national news, there is a lot more that you can get from surfing into a couple of websites, like the Globe and Mail or CBC, in the amount of time it takes to download just one of these podcasts.

This is another example of big media trying to get into the realm of what’s new and independent. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but there seems to be poor elements within Global’s effort. Kevin Newman might be pretty to look at on your iPod, but do you want to spend time staring at a head on a screen telling you the news? There are much more effective ways to have this done, but to each their own.

The press and emergency services in B.C.

I am consistantly impressed with the way that the press interacts with emergency services in British Columbia, and the same can be true about the rest of Canada.  Sitting here and watching the news coverage of the recent shootings in Montreal, the amount of information coming from the police, in near real time, is really interesting compared to the news coverage I am used to in the U.S.

First off, I should say that my heart goes out to those people affected by this.  Regardless of who or why, things like these are shocking and scary.  While the CBC was covering this, I had sirens going off all around the west end.  Kinda spooky.

The media seems to be included on these events as they unfold, at least for the most part.  I so often see the morning news where there was a fire the night before.  While there are still firemen putting out the flames in the background, someone is talking to the camera, giving an update as to what happened, possible causes, and preliminary info about people affected.

What I’m used to back in the states is official statements that get released to the press or press conferences that happen hours, if not days, after the fact.  That gets printed up in the papers or some person with overly perfect hair tells you the facts on TV.  In between that time, everything is uncomfirmed and speculation.  You get some of that here, but the involvement of people on the scene is much higher.  It’s not some guy, outside of the whole situation, who has the job to collect the information and report it to the press.

It impresses me.  Maybe there is more confidence in the whole spectrum of distributing information, meaning the people on the scene, the media, and the person taking in the news, in Canada.  There is a lot more scrutiny in American media, always making sure that the right people are saying the right things at the right time.

Reading spam in the newspapers

I had to take a second look when I caught this headline. First off, this was in the Globe and Mail, not in some spam from my email inbox. Secondly, it reads like spam from my email inbox.

Researchers say new drug helps prevent premature ejaculation

Canadian Press

TORONTO — A short-acting version of a drug used to treat depression helps alleviate premature ejaculation in those severely affected by the condition, improving sexual satisfaction for both the men and their female partners, U.S. researchers say.

Their multicentre study of more than 2,600 men with the problem found the experimental drug dapoxetine increased time before ejaculation during sexual intercourse by three to four times, depending on the dose.

Dapoxetine belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are widely prescribed for depression and include such brand names as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft. Dapoxetine was specifically developed for premature ejaculation, based on a side-effect of delayed ejaculation associated with its longer-acting SSRI cousins. [globeandmail]

Being that there are not any gross errors in spelling, this seems to be a legit article.

On another note, I find it very interesting that the drug that treats this closely related to anti-depressants. If you catch any commercial about any of these drugs, “sexual side effects” is always a common thing that you’ll hear that announcer voice mention. This is one of those effects, and yes, there are more. It just depends on the person.

It would seem natural to harvest this side effect to “cure this problem” among men, but let me get this straight. You’re going to pay money to take a pill that will help you get a few more minutes of “joy” in your bedroom experience? Seems a bit odd to me, but I bet they’ll make a good amount of money off of it.

That’s the other side of the argument, based on what the article sited as “utopia” for an additional one or two minutes of bliss. People leading the study hope that this ends up having a Viagra-effect, and I doubt that really has anything to do with fighting this long time affliction that humanity has been battling tooth and nail over. It’s all about making money. Apparently curing cancer or AIDS doesn’t have the same appeal.

YouTube goes down; people discover a world outside

I find things like this interesting.  I had bandwidth problems most of today, meaning Shaw was sucking big time, but YouTube is something I pass by once and a while.  For others, I bet there were some people going through withdrawl.

YouTube, the popular video hosting site, was hit with an outage four almost five hours Tuesday as a result of database troubles.

The site, which allows viewers to tune into uploaded videos ranging from seniors making their homespun video debut to polished user-submitted film clips, went down at 7:30 a.m. (PST) leaving viewers with a tongue-in-cheek graphic of the company’s database woes. Although the notice stated that new features were being added to the site, it turns out that wasn’t the case.

“There are no new features being added today. This page went up mistakenly,” said company spokeswoman Julie Supan.  [cnet]

This takes me back to an episode of the DSC a short time ago where the Curry’s were talking about how their daughter popped out of her bedroom one night while MySpace disappeared for some hours.  She was forced away from an online world and into the kitchen with her mom.  According to the podcast, the daughter was helpful and sweet.  At the same time, she had nothing better to do.

When we saw Douglas Coupland at CBC’s Studio One Book Club a few months ago[post], even he stated how he could and would spend all day on YouTube, probably absorbing ideas for his writing projects.  I bet there were some offices that experienced an increase in productivity today as well.   Oh yeah, that’s what Google Video is for.

It is what you want it to be

I came across this blog post via Podcasting News:

I’ve been following some podcasts on and off for the past six months or so, and have begun to question whether it’s an efficient use of my time. The content of the shows I listen to are generally very high. […]

But, it begins to seem to me that this is an inefficient means of receiving information. In the time I can listen to an average podcast, I could have caught up on my 50 favorite blogs, or read a chapter in a book, or read the latest issue of Red Herring magazine. I do read super fast. It’s a habit I learned as a grad student. You learn to read fast in grad school, or you get crap for grades. Podcasts deliver information slowly. [petertdavis]

This raises a good question. There’s a large part of me that understands and agrees with what he is saying, but this is an age old argument being rehashed over a “new” medium.

For instance, why watch TV news when you can get in depth new coverage from a newspaper? TV is more timely while you have to wait for tomorrow’s edition to be printed. Well, why read a newspaper when you have the web? The news is timely and published by the same people pumping out info that shows up on the pages of your favorite newspaper. This argument has gone on for nearly a hundred years in various forms.

It’s all about preference. If you want timely info, then maybe podcasting isn’t for you. I doubt that there are people out there that love the news so much that they set their DVR to record the news every night so they can get dated information later. Radio can cover those gaps if need be, right?

By the way, radio broadcasting turns 100 years old this year.

Breaking Tsunami News

I can’t even begin to explain it, but tracking the news of natural disasters has been a lifelong obsession. When the (reported) 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck this morning near Tonga, I held my breath as I listened to the ongoing reports coming in about the possible tsunami that might have resulted.

Thankfully, nothing happening. Fiji was in line for a possible wave, so this is doublely good news as Laura has extended family there. I even mentioned this to Rebecca that it’s times like these that I kinda wish we had Fox News on our cable package, simply for the fact that they treat situations like these as if the world was ending. Compare their website to CNN and you kinda get what I’m saying.

CNN screenshot during the Tonga tsunami warning screenshot during the Tonga tsunami warning

The same comparison could be made of other news websites, but I picked the two of the more popular competitors in the U.S.