Book of the Month

William K. Wolfrum's picture

aN oSTRICH sTORY

William K. Wolfrum's picture

Breaking: Man, 47, denies gravity; Debates, TV specials scheduled

CLEVELAND - UPS driver Tim Johnston woke up one day last week with a feeling of dread. A feeling that things just weren't right. So often he felt this way but never spoke up about it. But this time, he wasn't going to let it pass. This time, he was going to speak out.

"Gravity is BS," said Johnston. "I've thought about this for awhile and it just doesn't add up." [Read more]

Ramona's picture

The Story: Pentecostal Snake Handler refuses help and dies. My Reaction: Surprising, even to Me

 

For days now, since I heard about the death of Jamie Coots, the snake-handling preacher from Middlesboro, Kentucky, I've been struggling with my own thoughts about it.  There is no reason in the world why I should be involved in any of it.  I didn't know him.  I had never before heard of his church.  And I didn't know before this weekend, when I read about his death, that he had been the star of a National Geographic Channel series called "Snake Salvation".
  [Read more]

Ramona's picture

Why Self-Help Almost Never Is

Here’s the thing about self-help:  If you’re reading a book or an article about how to fix your current miserable existence, or listening to a self-described “expert” tell you and hordes of others how to fix it, it’s not even close to being self-help.

It’s not that these folks don’t want to help you.  They do!  They really, really do!  The goal is to help you to let go and try their tactics on your own. (But not to such a degree that you won’t be buying their next book or watching their next program.) [Read more]

Ramona's picture

Ted Nugent: Obama is Still President. I've Let The Country Down

 

Let's face it, there is no shaming that bad boy, Teddy "The Nuge" Nugent, the "Motor City Madman",  proud draft-dodging gun nut, NRA spokesman, and Grand Champeen Obama hater.  He thrives on badboyism.  It has made him what he is today.&nbs [Read more]

Ramona's picture

It's the Ego, Stupid

 

Yesterday New Jersey governor Chris Christie took 108 minutes out of his busy schedule to do something so unprecedented there wasn't a pundit anywhere in the country who wasn't on top of it, who didn't have an opinion about it, and who, almost to a person, saw it as the beginning of the end of that lovable bully.  No White House for you, big guy!
 [Read more]

Ramona's picture

What's in a Name? Depends on Who's Calling It.

 

Over this past week I packed and cleaned and wore myself out getting ready for a long trip toward the places where I'm hoping merry holiday spirits abide. It would be a cruel trick if they didn't.
 [Read more]

Ramona's picture

The Terrible Horrible No Good War on Happy Holidays


I’ve been sending out Christmas cards since I was around 16 years old, when my mom told me I was old enough to start sending out my own cards.  The cards I chose over the course of many,many, many years depended on a lot of things, but it never occurred to me—ever–to wonder if my choice of card would offend anyone.
  [Read more]

Ramona's picture

How to Stop Ted Cruz? Stop the Presses!

 

Ted Cruz, that notorious commie-hunting senator from Texas channeling a certain notorious mid-20th century commie-hunting senator from Wisconsin, is just one in a long line of rock star politicians who think they've latched onto the best way to get their cockamamie ideas across:  Get out there and make shocking accusations against either individuals or authority with such astounding stagecraft, the press, the media--indeed, a sizable section of the population--will become such slathering groupies they wo [Read more]

Ramona's picture

Julian Assange Lost Big Time. Look Out, Australia!

 
WHEN asked to explain why he was running for a seat in the Australian Senate while holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, Julian Assange quoted Plato: “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” 
 
Plato was “a bit of a fascist,” he said, but had a point.
 
Imagine the chagrin Mr. Assange must feel now, given that not only did he fail to win a place in the Senate in the recent election, but he was less successful than Ricky Muir from the Motoring Enthusiasts Party. Mr. Muir, who won just 0.5 percent of the vote, is most famous for having posted a video on YouTube of himself having a kangaroo feces fight with friends. 
 
 [Read more]
Michael Wolraich's picture

Genghis Speaks: Journalism in the 21st Century - Blogs and Social Media

Hello folks. I'm sorry you haven't heard much from me lately. My nose is pressing hard against the proverbial grindstone as I race to finish my book by October. It has a new title, by the way...

Unreasonable Men: Theodore Roosevelt and the Republican Rebels Who Created Progressive Politics

In the meantime, I'd like to share a video from a journalism conference that I participated in last January at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. Historians have eagerly anticipated the release of this raw, unscripted Q/A session, which offers new insight into the mind of the Blogger Formerly Known As Genghis during the pivotal period before he achieved worldwide fame and fortune.

The subject of the panel discussion is "Journalism in the 21st Century: Blogs and Social Media." [Read more]

Doctor Cleveland's picture

A Tale of Two Newspapers

Everyone's talking about Jeff Bezos buying The Washington Post. But it's also been a dramatic week for two newspapers close to my heart in different ways: The Boston Globe and The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Two days ago, The Globe, like the WaPo, was sold to an individual billionaire with a high profile. Today the Plain Dealer, which has not been sold, stopped delivering the newspaper. It will still be printed every morning, but it will only be delivered three days a week. Nearly one third of its reporters were laid off on Wednesday. It's not the first round of buyouts or layoffs at the PD, and it's not the second either. [Read more]

Ramona's picture

FRIDAY FOLLIES: Bachmann's Adios, Hitler Tea Kettle, Michigan Dreaming, and Scandalous Cheerios

 

Michele Bachmann to leave Washington to spend more time with her "family".  Prompts the resurrection of FRIDAY FOLLIES.  (What?  Every Friday?  Uh. . .we'll see how it goes.)
 [Read more]

Doctor Cleveland's picture

Blogging Like Chaucer

I love academic bloggers. Academic bloggers worry me sick. And the bloggers who keep me up at night are the ones who have adjunct or alt-ac jobs but are trying to move to the tenure track. Some of those people are using blogs and social media to advance their careers in ingenious ways which I would never have foreseen. But others seem, at least from my vantage, to expect or hope that their online work will help their career in specific ways that it will not and cannot. Being online can help an academic career. But it's important to be clear about what it can help and what it can't.
 [Read more]

Ramona's picture

Six Things Media Personalities Could and Should Avoid when Covering a Disaster

 

On Monday, May 20, a devastating monster of a tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma; the second category 5 tornado to hit this little town. (It happened before on May 3, 1999, with 44 deaths.) Reports coming in today, the day after, state it was two miles wide, of colossal, possibly even record-breaking, proportions. Whole neighborhoods have been flattened, and the grim prediction is that the number of dead, at 24 as of this writing, is sure to rise.
 [Read more]

Ramona's picture

A Psychic Got it Wrong. Who Knew?

 

As if it wasn't enough this week that three young women held captive and terrorized by a madman were found alive after 10 long years, we now learn that in 2004, celebrated psychic Sylvia Browne made an appearance on celebrated sinceremeister Montel Williams' television show and told the mother of one of the captives that her daughter was dead.
 [Read more]

William K. Wolfrum's picture

Satire killed in suicide bomb attack

 

NEW YORK — The writing style of satire was blown up in a suicide attack at its home in the upper West side of Manhattan. Snark and Snide Disregard were also injured in the attack and are currently in intensive care.

Satire, which gained prominence via writers like Jonathan Swift and Voltaire, has struggled to find its footing recently in the Internet-driven world, as more and more satire is associated with mindless attacks, sophomoric humor and the oft-imitated “Breaking” news story. Satire reached a low point recently when the magazine “The New Yorker” hired Andy Borowitz, who then proceeded to write the exact same story 175 consecutive times. [Read more]

Doctor Cleveland's picture

Things We Did Not Learn About the Marathon Bombings

Let's recap the things that did not happen on the sorry day that the Boston Marathon was bombed:

Five unexploded bombs were not discovered nearby. No unexploded bombs were discovered nearby.

The government did not shut down cell-phone service as a precaution to prevent more detonations. The cell phone system around Copley Square simply became massively overloaded, so that calls could not get through (but texts, which take much less bandwidth, could).

The police did not arrest anyone or identify any suspects.

Twelve victims did not die.

Neither of the bombs exploded inside the Copley Fairmont Hotel.
 [Read more]

Ramona's picture

Hulabaloo at the Soo

 

Let me just say right off that when it comes to Homeland and border security, I'm all for it.

When it comes to appreciating how essential shipping is to the Great Lakes, I'm right at the head of the line.

When it comes to being in awe of the engineering feat that is the Soo Locks I am so in awe I can't stand it.
  [Read more]

William K. Wolfrum's picture

12 GOP senators switch to communism after Obama buys them dinner

 

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama – in an attempt to ease tensions with Senate Republicans – bought a dozen GOP senators dinner last night, in what all have said was a pleasant evening. The dinner was held at the Jefferson Hotel, with Obama picking up the tab out of his own pocket. [Read more]

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