wordpress statistics

Archive | March, 2010

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Top 9 Progressive Talk Shows

Posted on 26 March 2010 by Tim

Politics! I love it. And I love listening to these progressive liberal talk shows. Before Air America launched, I actually had no idea that there were liberal or progressive talk shows on the air. The ones that existed before Air America were mostly small, local shows as far as I can tell. Now, everyone has at least heard of a few of these shows – even conservatives.

I’ve selected my 9 favorite talk shows and included links so you can check them out. Let me know, in the comments below, what shows you like!

Top 9 Liberal Radio Talk Shows

1. Thom Hartmann – One of my three favorite shows, Thom Hartmann Nationwide is one of the largest progressive liberal talk shows in the nation. The depth of his knowledge is impressive and he really describes things in a way that’s digestible for everyone. Thom has written a vast array of books and even helped create a Discovery Channel documentary on the JFK assassination. [Thom Hartmann Nationwide]

2. Ed Schultz – The self-described “big fat red head from Fargo”, Ed Schultz, is the most entertaining progressive talker to listen to. Ed serves up a large helping of common sense to political discussions. Schultz is easily one of the most passionate radio hosts, uncovering the lies of the right with humor, insight and great sports analogies. [The Ed Schultz Show]

He’s a straight talking, no-nonsense voice of reason in unreasonable times. While others preen and pontificate, Ed Schultz keeps the lines wide open for his listeners-making good on his boast that The Ed Schultz Show is Where America Comes to Talk. No radio talk show is as accessible. [About Ed]

3. Randi Rhodes – Funny, feisty, yet down to earth, Randi is the best female liberal talk show host on the radio and one of the best in the biz across the board. Randi was named “Woman of the Year” by Talkers Magazine in 2007. It’s a well deserved award. Randi fights for women, the rights of homosexuals in the military, and all other Americans. [The Randi Rhodes Show]

It should be noted that after all their bluster, Senate Republicans managed to hold up the bill with frivolous amendments for exactly 21 hours. Every dog has his day, but these dogs didn’t even manage a full day. [Randi's Blog]

4. Norman Goldman – Widely known as Ed Schultz’s Senior Legal Analyst, Nor-man Gold-man is a strong character in his own right and I was stoked when I heard he’d earned his own show! Norm is the most independent of the bunch, he’ll swing at liberals just as hard as conservatives if they’re not acting right. When it comes to legal issues, Norm breaks down legalese like a bull in a china shop. [The Norman Goldman Show]

5. Carl and Christine – This is a local duo in Portland, Oregon, frequently collaborate with Thom Hartmann, and they bring a lot of local coverage and humorous commentary to the air waves. [KPOJ Mornings]

6. Stephanie Miller – According to her site, “Miller’s fresh voice and political satire have been cultivated over years of experience as a media personality and comedienne.” Stephanie’s show is a big ball of fun. Her comedy skills are always on display as she skewers loony right-wingers. Her co-hosts are an enjoyable bunch but Stephanie is the light of the show. [The Stephanie Miller Show]

7. Ring of Fire – Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Papintonio, and David Bender are three political activists who have had impressive careers outside of radio. Together, on air, these three bring a lot of history, legal expertise and laser sharp intellect to the political issues of the day. These gentlemen host very insightful interviews with lawmakers and topical experts. [Ring of Fire Radio]

8. Jack Rice – Jack is a former CIA Officer, so his insight is a rarity on radio programs. No one on right-wing radio has this kind of experience to share. Jack’s expertise is sought on other shows too – Ed Schultz being one of them. [Jack Rice: In the Cross Hairs]

As an award winning journalist and correspondent, he has chased stories around the world. He is a former CIA Special Agent and Field Operations Officer as well as a former prosecuting attorney and columnist. [About Jack Rice]

9. Bill Press – Author, Columnist and TV show host, Bill Press has worked in every media format. Bill is an interesting guy and his four-Emmy Awards demonstrate the quality of his work. Reasonable, smart and laid back, The Bill Press Show is the latest addition to my play lists. [The Bill Press Show]

The former co-host of MSNBC’s Buchanan and Press, CNN’s Crossfire and The Spin Room, Press has built a national reputation on thought-provoking and humorous insights from the left side of the political aisle. [About Bill Press]

Image by Paul Schultz

View Comments

Tags: , , , , , ,

Obesity in Acting: A Reflection of Fat America

Posted on 18 March 2010 by Tim

Actors and actresses are often paragons of beauty and fitness. This has been the general rule. But following the nomination of Gabourey Sidibe, Howard Stern has stirred up a bit of a controversy (surprise, surprise) over obesity in Hollywood by questioning whether Gabourey will be cast for any future roles due to her vast weight. You might remember that Gabourey is the vastly overweight African-American woman who was nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Award show for her role in the film Precious.

At first glance, it would seem like Howard might be right and it could be hard to cast Sidibe for other roles. But there have been plenty of other obese or overweight actors – Chris Farley, Kevin Smith, Jack Black, and Queen Latifah just to name a few. There was also that really huge guy in Old School (starring Will Farrell). So, it’s not entirely impossible to get work as an overweight thespian. The thing with these actors though is that they are all really charismatic, or funny, or two scoops of sexy like Queen Latifah.

From what I’ve seen, Gabourey displays none of these traits. Her overly pudgy dough-boy face makes her eyes look squinty and mad. She’s not shapely in a good way like Queen Latifah and I haven’t seen her be funny or charismatic. Other than dramatic roles where Gabourey gets mad or cries, what can she play? How many movies can feature an emotional fat girl?

And perhaps there is a dearth of large actresses because there aren’t exactly a lot of roles out there for them, so they pursue other lines of work. [BlogHer]

Hollywood is not the only place where obesity is derided. Look at your nearest grade school play ground and although more and more kids are chunky monkey, they still get teased. Heck, look at People of Walmart a website dedicated to making fun of fat, ugly and weird people that shop at Walmart.

So, will Hollywood start reflecting the reality of America – that we are all getting FATTER? Or will they continue to intrigue us with beautiful people?

Justin Timberlake brought sexy back. Can Gabourey Sidibe bring beastly back?

View Comments

Tags: , , , , , , ,

PC Game Review: Star Trek Online

Posted on 08 March 2010 by Tim

Like many PC gamers, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Star Trek Online. The anticipation of the rush of commanding my own starship in a fast-paced battle really grabbed me. Will you choose the Federation or the Klingon Empire?

I bought the game the first day and created a Federation Male Vulcan Tactical Officer. And actually, you can’t even create a Klingon character until you reach level 5 with your Federation toon. Starting out in the game is a little lame because you begin with ground missions. The ground portion of Star Trek Online is basically a poorly designed first-person shooter (FPS). While the graphics look great the gameplay is not very exciting and you have very limited weapons and attacks.

Once you’re in space though, things improve quite a bit.

I’ve heard from a lot of players that they expected more from the character creator than Cryptic currently offers in STO. I wasn’t expecting the same depth of character creation as Champions Online because I don’t really care to choose the color of the accent on my belt and the exact curve of my character’s lower back. Seriously. I’m far more concerned with logging in to play a great game…not a Sims-like character designer.

Star Trek Online has five ranks:

  • Ensign
  • Lieutenant
  • Lt. Commander
  • Commander
  • Captain
  • Admiral

Leveling up! I’ve been a little surprised at how slow level progression is. Each of the 5 ranks has 10 levels. For example, in the pictures below my character is a Lieutenant Rank 8. To make it to Lt. Commander I have to hit Lieutenant Rank 10, then I’m promoted. The nice thing about this though, is that you gain skill points with each mission you complete and even pick up a few while you’re doing a mission. You grow more progressively rather than at set points like more traditional RPGs like World of Warcraft.

Want to get promoted faster and learn detailed strategies? Take a look at the Star Trek Online Mastery Guide.

  • Leveling Guide
  • Career Buide
  • Professions
  • Traits, Skills, Ships and more!

When it comes to character class (known as Officer Class), you are basically limited to three – Tactical, Engineering and Science Officer. Tactical is focused on combat, Engineering on ship/ground abilities and survivability, and Science is more a support class with healing and enemy debuffs.

The learning curve for this game is very shallow, it’s a simple one to figure out. Space combat, while fun, is not particularly challenging. Simply keep your ship flying around, mind your deflector shields, and pound your enemies shields till they drop and you can use a special attack to finish them. Then repeat.

The most boring missions are the exploration missions. Fly long distances doing nothing along the way, scan an anomaly then go to the next one.

Also, at what point is a game considered massively multiplayer? Because for most instanced missions, Cryptic has decided that 5-players max is MMO scale. So far, I haven’t heard of any boss fights either. Maybe I’m not far enough yet. But that seems like a serious problem for people who like raid-style challenges.

Star Trek Online, great in concept, is only average at best. Cryptic Studios hasn’t impressed me with any of their MMOs and it’s a bit sad that they got the Star Trek franchise. Outside of World of Warcraft, I have yet to find an MMO that has grabbed and held my attention. But I have high hopes for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

The pictures in the gallery above are screenshots of Star Trek Online from my computer. I hope you enjoy them!

View Comments

Tags: , , ,

The Compendium of Coversation First Edition

Posted on 01 March 2010 by Tim

Welcome to the first edition of the Compendium of Conversation! The Compendium is to highlight blog interviews from a variety of topics.

Out of dozens of submissions these were the only three that were actual interviews. Apparently there was some confusion about the content criteria. But I’m very grateful for the three who submitted interviews. I look forward to featuring more blogs in the future!

Please submit your interview here for the next edition!

Tiffany Colter from Writing Career Coach interviews author Jennifer AlLee about her latest book The Pastor’s Wife.

Ella Press from The Clockwork Monkey chats with Australian author Chrissie Michaels about her new YA novel, In Lonnie’s Shadow.

An interview with media composer James Semple, a talented composer and experienced tabletop roleplaying gamer, the man who brought you music for the games ‘Trail of Cthulhu’ and ‘The Esoterrorists’ is featured on Farsight Blogger, written by Jonathan Hicks. Interestingly, Jonathan Hicks wrote a book titled Those Dark Places and dialogue for an official Battlestar Galactica game. Jonathan also runs Farsight Games for tabletop role-playing games.

View Comments

Advertise Here
Advertise Here