TV News LIES

Monday, Jul 25th

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Alex Baer: Another Fine Week

Another Fine WeekIt's been a heckuva week or so for Science lately:  Watching as black holes merged, observing gravitational ripples and waves, proving correct more of Einstein's theories...

That was just for openers.  We also learned that electrons in the metal graphene can behave like a liquid -- a real first -- and that the explanation for the Yellowstone supervolcano may need to be revised.

Plus, it also looks like Earth might have been formed by the collision of two early bodies -- and, for good measure,  hundreds more galaxies have been discovered playing peekaboo behind our own Milky Way.

There have been major scientific downsides recently as well:

An Indian man is believed to be the first person killed by a meteorite;
The European Space Agency says after 60 hours of operation after a jarring landing,  it's now bidding farewell to its Philae comet lander after no response; and
An Alaska woman says her 6-year-old Happy Meal refuses to decompose.

There have also been developments somewhere in the middle:

Scratch-and-sniff posters have been hung in NY subway cars, to give riders an olfactory break from the environs;
LA's mayor has recorded an R&B video to alert residents of a road closure; and
A city in Switzerland has cancelled plans to allow a silent disco to carry on all night long.

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Alex Baer: Snuffed 'n' Stuffed

Stuffed bird looks like TrumpAfter a scan of the majestic shoreline called humanity on some days, it's no wonder some of us swing around and paddle back out to sea, sometimes at great speed, perhaps harboring hunches we were simply all at sea to begin with, or, maybe, that we hadn't put in enough time yet, practicing the Dead Man's Float.

On our deregulated, tea-bagged, and GOP-sandbagged beaches,  there are seldom enough lifeguards handy, especially when you really need one -- like when your muscles tense up, you feel the undertow pulling you down, and panic sets in, just from a fleeting second's accidental  consideration of "Trump" and "launch codes" in the same thought.

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Alex Baer: Of Beasts & Burdens

Wild beasts"It's not every day that you see a nation's leader not only fall on his sword, but, then, take the time to pick up a pike, mount it securely to the wall, back up, and then charge into the tip of that sharpened spear as well, and at full speed" said a well-known and respected host during an equally recognizable organization's news discussion program.

And this was only the beginning of the program.  Even more ladles of steaming, chunky, even luxurious, honesty were being promised, in the run-down of guests and topics for discussion.  The tape was never aired, of course, for a host of obvious reasons, and some oblique ones, too.

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Alex Baer: Apps, Ops, Oopses

elephants flyToday, we'll take a rest break from the Sham- (I mean) CAMpaign Trail of Shame, Pain, and Champagne, where psychotic breaks from traditional Reality are the unexceptional rule.

It's difficult to believe, all right -- here we are, standing around, and we're NOT talking about the latest app to put everything Candidate Braindrool says on your Facebook's speed-dial-Insta-Twitter-Text-Mail-Fax-Forwarding option!

So, it's Trump and Bernie in New Hampshire.  Sure thing.  How's the family?  Looks like snow...

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Alex Baer: Pinging in the Brain

Pinging in the brainSome stories seem to fade as soon as they appear, while others keep popping back into awareness, wanted or not.

In the language of The Hunt for Red October, which we screened again Sunday, some stories are "one-ping-only," while others pull "Crazy Ivans" for months and months at a whack.

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Yes, we have no TV access in our Little Boonieville, so our screen is used in a quaint, old-fashioned way, as a monitor for selected discs -- movies, documentaries, TV shows.  Yes, we miss the still somewhat-sane channels, like PBS or BBC, but we do not yearn for the wallet-hosing expenses associated with cable, satellite dishes, pay-per-peek, uplinks, downloads, nor wireless brain-stem implants, where you change channels by winking and wincing.

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Alex Baer: Landmark Decisions

Land MarksAnd now, a word about Landmark Decisions:  Boxy.

(No, not like the hyper vlogger, nor like those who boil down everything to thinking in-or-outside of that very same box -- but, well, squarish.  You know, like a box -- not, um, square-ish, like not being hip or very uncool.  Uh, to quote a Monty Python sketch:  Wait, I'll come in again...)

As I has begun:  Landmark Decisions -- no, wait, hang on, hang on.  No running away in panic is required here.  There'll be no airing of legal briefs, or any other kind, here today -- much to the relief of all concerned.

No, I was starting to warm up on the weirdly interwoven subjects of Time, Change, Culture, Cars, and Architecture.

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Alex Baer: Tales of Doctor Truebeem

Dr. TrubeemIt would be so much easier if election laws specified a new tag line at the end of every candidate's campaign ad:  a one-line summation of what, exactly, the candidate's overall goal, plan, and aim was all about.

I think you'll admit the current format doesn't help much, where the candidate is heard saying, "I'm M. T. Poseur, [or Ecoli Ebola-Zika, or whoever] and I approved this message."

This gets into trickier ground, though, of course.  Who is to say what, exactly, any candidate really, truly stands for -- what he or she really hopes to accomplish?  It triggers the whole who-watches-the-watchers Orwellian nightmare.

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