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Category: TV


I know nearly nothing about autism.  While not impacted by the condition within my immediate family, I have worked with an very capable autistic man in the past.  Given reports that autism is being diagnosed more frequently, the future may hold more such interactions.

In one of its plot-lines, the new TV show “Parenthood” dramatizes a family’s experience becoming aware of their son’s autism, and learning how to adapt and support their son’s development.  While it is a learning experience for me, I can see this dramatization aiding extended families who are going through or have already been through actual experience with an autistic child.

On her blog “The Playful Spirit,” Lady Baker shares her own experience with an autistic son.  I was fascinated by how she used books to leverage her son’s abilities.

I have seen an interesting interview with Temple Grandin, where she discusses her book Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism.  It was very informative to me as she described in detail her own thinking process and how she understands it to be different from others.

Although I do not have the experience to evaluate the material, on their YouTube channel, in the past week, Yale University has posted a series of lectures from a seminar on autism and related disorders:

Treatments for Autism: Overview of Model Programs, Fred Volkmar [41:50 min]


Overview of Autism, Prof. Fred Volkmar [31:58 min]


Behavioral Treatments, Dr. Michael Powers [? min]


Parental Perspectives and Supporting Families, Alison Singer [53:49 min]


Communication in Autism, Dr. Rhea Paul [1:50:50]


Autism in Infants and Young Children, Dr. Kasia Chawarska [1:14:23]


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Sub Whoring Key Word Challenge

X71 on YouTube has a humorous series of videos teaching the ‘art’ of subscriber whoring to the masses.  The most recent promo vid is below.


Consistent with the spirit of X71’s vid, I invite you to comment, subscribe to my RSS feed, and link to my posts.  Further, I am challenging myself to see how many of today’s published Hot AOL Searches terms I can incorporate into my posts in an interesting way before the end of the month; I excluded the vacation terms from the list.

Below are the terms, where quoted terms refer to movies or TV shows:

’24’, AIG, Al Jazeera, Alice Waters, ‘American Idol’, ‘Australia’, Beyonce, Blackberry Storm, ‘Biggest Loser’ , Britney Spears, Charlize Theron, Chevrolet, Chris Brown, ‘Coraline’, Credit Cards, ‘Dancing With the Stars’, Dodge, Elton John, Ford, Free Credit Report, ‘Friday the 13th’, Garmin Nuvi , ‘Hannah Montana’, ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ , Honda, Hyundai, iPhone, iPod Touch, Jeep, Jessica Simpson, Joel Osteen, Jonas Brothers, Kate Moss, Kindle, Lance Armstrong, Lindsay Lohan, Lexus, ‘Lost’, Kim Kardashian, MapQuest, Mandy Moore, Martha Stewart, ‘Madea Goes to Jail’, Miley Cyrus, Mortgage Calculator, NASA, NCAA brackets, Nissan, NIT, Oprah, Paula Abdul, Personal Loans, PSP, Rahm Emanuel, Rihanna, Ron Silver, Roth IRA, Samsung Instinct, Saturn, Shah Rukh Khan, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, Stock Market, Stock Quotes, Stocks, Student Loans, ‘Survivor’, ‘Taken’, Taylor Swift, ‘The Bachelor’, ‘The Reader’, ‘The View’, ‘The Wrestler’, ‘Top Chef’, Toyota, Turbo Tax, ‘Watchmen’, Wii, Xbox 360, Zune

I will give myself credit for AIG as I used it earlier today, but not for student loans because my recent related post dropped the last s.  To track, I’ll probably update this post to color the terms used.

Ready, set, go!

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Pravda American-style

In the bad old days of communist Russia (perhaps today as well), Russians reading their media news sources had to learn to read between the lines to figure out what was really happening.

While current American media news sources are free from government coercion (at least until the Democrats can change that condition), there exists a self-imposed ideological blank-out in the news.

Recently, I was explaining on-line to someone in South Korea that Americans from experience are aware that educated Muslims who self-identify as being Muslims before being Americans are too frequently the supporters of terrorism and potentially actors in terrorist violence. While this is true, I was momentarily struck by the realization that this is not what the media reports but that these facts are understood by what the media omits from its reporting.

A classic example of this in a non-terrorism related crime story would be the police searching for a rape suspect who is black, but the local media does not report this identifying characteristic. Thus, when the media failed to report the race of a rape suspect, it is understood by viewers that the suspect was black because that was the only time they would make such an omission.

Currently, in the case of an apparently random act of violence, the media omits or de-emphasizes reporting names, ethnicity, and religious affiliations when the suspect is Muslim. In a time when we are at war with Islamic extremists and al-Qaeda is becoming increasingly influential as a loosely affiliated network inspiring others to commit random acts of violence, such Islamic characteristics by suspects in violent crime is essential to an objective report of the incident.

If I were a Muslim, I would find such blank-out reporting of relevant facts offensive and dangerous on two levels. First, as I parent, I need to know how to protect my children from coming under the influence of these types of extremists, so I need to know as much about them as possible. Second, by failing to expose to the public the differentiating criteria between these Islamic extremists and regular every day Muslims in America who are our friends, neighbors, and co-workers, the media distributes ignorance instead of practical information relevant to our lives.

In America, this phenomenon of reading between the lines of news reporting is not limited to these cases but is a more general condition that is not a new problem. However, it is important to recognize it as this flaw contributes to many avoidable missteps in public policy issues.

Perhaps, one day a smart business executive at one of the media organizations will recognize that they are marketing a defective product that is costing their business market share. In the meantime, as consumers of news, we will need to remain focused on objective principles and observation of reality as tools to help us read between the lines of the latest news report.

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Did Ayn Rand Win the Cold War?

It has been common to credit Ronald Reagan with winning the Cold War, and I have done so myself.

Last Saturday, C-SPAN radio broadcast a speech to the Young America’s Foundation by former Attorney General Ed Meese and long time aid to Ronald Reagan on the 25th anniversary of 1981 Tax Recovery Act. ÂIn commenting on President Reagan success in dealing with the Soviets, Mr. Meese credited his time in Hollywood dealing with the communists there, and that during that experience Mr. Reagan conducted significant opposition research regarding the communists as the basis for his future anti-communist efforts.

When a discussion combines Hollywood and anti-communism, I inevitably think of the contributions that Ayn Rand made in creating the intellectual foundation for opposing communism in Hollywood, where she provided intellectual leadership to the anti-communist Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. Through her work with the Alliance, Ayn Rand wrote the Screen Guide for AmericansÂ(1947) and Textbook of Americanism (1946), which contrasted the communist efforts with American ideas.

In a 1966 letter, Ronald Reagan said that he was “an admirer of Ayn Rand.” Both Ayn Rand and Ronald Reagan testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee (1947) on communist infiltration into Hollywood. Given Mr. Reagan’s professed admiration of Ayn Rand, their concurrent efforts in opposing communism in Hollywood, her intellectual leadership on this issue in Hollywood, and Mr. Meese’s crediting this period in Mr. Reagan’s life with American victory in the Cold War, I find it credible that Ayn Rand was directly the foundation for the ideas that won the Cold War. I wonder if any research has been done to strongly substantiate this link between Ayn Rand’s ideas and those effective actions of President Reagan in facilitating Soviet implosion.Â


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