Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Haditha: The Missing Story

the blog I should have posted last night...

According to initial US military reports, 15 civilians and eight insurgents died after a bomb killed a marine in Haditha, a militant stronghold in Anbar Province on 11/19/06 (my birthday). The military said at the time that the civilians were killed as a result of either the bomb or a gun battle which erupted afterwards, in which the militants were reportedly killed.

But reports from Iraqi witnesses and in the
US media allege that marines went on a rampage. Death certificates show all the Iraqi victims had gunshot wounds, mostly to the head and chest.

The American public is generally very supportive of the troops and willing to accept that bad behavior by a handful of soldiers or marines does not necessarily reflect on the whole mission.

Still, this story if true (and it looks like it is) will be devastating to the military, a PR disaster. And where is the coverage?!? These Marines, these kids, lost one of their own and took it out on this small town. John Murtha, a former marine and Vietnam veteran who is now an anti-war Democratic congressman, is helping lead the political pus for an investigation.

I first saw this story on BBC America on 5/31/06. Great coverage. Gave me all the info for the world without the crappy human interest I can’t stand on the majors. Still, it seemed like there was nothing but bad news on a bigger scale. Instead of a child dead in Brooklyn, it was a widow in Zimbabwe with a 2-week old child and no husband to earn a living. It was very depressing… and very English.

This Haditha incident is terrible. I feel like we’re only doing more damage in Iraq. We came in to take out Saddam, and we completed that task. It’s time to give Iraq back and be done with it. Leave a small force to keep some sense of control, but let the country begin to build itself.

I’m reading the Golda Meir autobiography right now, and I’m at the part where Israel is just formed and they are dealing with the business of establishing and implementing a government in a new state. So I’m all about letting this new government grow on its own, making its own mistakes and solving its own problems.

Haditha & The Late Blog

Last night, I wrote a blog about Haditha. I saw the story on the BBC news but couldn't find it on any of the major news channels. It was a secondary story on the web, at best.

Last night I wrote a blog about 1) the horror of the story, and 2) how the US media was keeping it under wraps as long as possile. I was proud that I found the story before it broke. Right before I was going to post it last night, my computer crapped out and I couldn't get it on line.

This morning, it's the front page on every news website. God damnit!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Thoughts on 'Lost'

The more I think about it, the better this show gets. Here are some of my thoughts, with many facts and theories from thrown in. Lots of questions remain unanswered, but the guessing is the fun part.

1. The 2 men in the snow cabin were speaking Portuguese, I think. They are there to track the electromagnetic energy that, presumably, originates in the hatch. My guess is that they are sitting on the opposite side of the globe from the hatch, which would be somewhere in the artic tundra Siberia (I think).

2. Desmond’s girlfriend is named Penelope Widmore. Her father, Charles Widmore, owns the Widmore Corporation. If you look, you’ll see Widmore all over the Lost-world. They sponsored/built the balloon the original Henry Gale flew onto the island. The pregnancy test kit found earlier in the season was made by Widmore Labs. Michael may have even worked for Widmore Construction before the crash! Some say they were the contractor used by the Dharma Initiative to build facilities on the island, and that they are now using the knowledge gained from that work to pursue their own agenda. (Check out I couldn't get on, but Lostpedia says they have references to "Sociometeorlogical Solutions For Biomagnetic Climates"... although this could be just a fansite).

3. Fact - Widmore Construction is owned by Charles & Libby Widmore. Yes, Hurley’s Libby! Some say that Libby was told to give Desmond the boat so he could join the race (but she gave no reaction when she heard the name Widmore). Could the Widmores have wanted Desmond to reach the island? Is that how Penelope knows about the island, or that she might be able to find Desmond there? Remember, Penelope said she has money, and “when you have money you can find anyone.”

4. Fact - The DHARMA Initiative is funded by The Hanso Foundation ( Some say that the Widmore Corporation is behind the Hanso Foundation and, by extension, is in control of the Darhma Initiative. The Hanso Foundation’s founder is the reclusive and mysterious Alvar Hanso. Theories abound on him:
- Could Alvar be the real “him”?
- Could Alvar and Charles Widmore be the same person?
- Could Henry Gale/Him be related to Alvar Hanso, or maybe even a Widmore?
- Could Locke be the biological twin of Charles Widmore? Remember, Locke was adopted and his ‘father’ was a conman. Why did Henry come for Locke? What made him one of the good ones?

5. This one is just for kicks. The Hanso Foundation is listed in the "Special Thanks" section of the credits In Mission Impossible III, which was directed by Lost's J.J. Abrams.

Missed "Lost" & AI Comments

ABC has full video streaming here. This is awesome! I only wish Fox did the same with American Idol.

Speaking of which, I was happy that Taylor won but very surprised at how good Katherine was. She sounded better Wednesday than she did Tuesday. I think it comes down to a simple formula: Katherine stands out when she's on stage in a group, while Taylor is better on his own and in a close up.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

An Amazing Book & Website

My new favorite website is This website, by author Graham Hancock, provides facts and news storied surrounding his hypothesis that an as-yet undiscovered ancient but extremely advanced civilization died out at the end of the last ice-age.

I just finished one of his booked, “Fingerprints of the Gods,” which gives convincing evidence (and a healthy does of intuition) that there is a missing chapter in the history of humanity. For example:

- A map drawn in Istanbul in 1513 has an accurate rendering of the pre-glacial Antarctic coastline, even though Antarctica wasn’t ‘discovered’ until the mid 1800’s. The map from 1513 was drawn using a myriad of reference maps. (Is this a leftover from a forgotten cartographic history?)

- Look at the common myths within all cultures. The Noah story is found in all areas, from remote tribes in the Andes mountains to ancient Sumeria in the Middle East. (Does this refer to the melting of the glaciers at the end of the ice age?) The Aztecs and the ancient Egyptians have stories of Caucasion men with beards teaching the people agriculture and bring civilization. (Was there an advanced civilization spreading their teachings to new worlds?)

- He also goes into astronomical evidence that shows the Sphinx and the Pyramids, both considered to be built in 5,000-3,000 BC, to be much older than previously thought, around 10,500 BC. This would put The Sphinx in the Age of Leo. (Doesn't look like the body of a lion?)

In short, I loved this book. It was an eye opener and completely changed my sense of time and the history of humanity. It mixes science with history in a way that any Heller-boy will love. The website also gives cool facts and findings that make the day go a little faster.

My Blog Works

Yesterday, Harley and I were watching Jeopardy together. During Final Jeopardy, she turned to me and said, "I know what the answer is. Tell me when you're ready." This was big.

Thanks to my blog about the rules of Jeopardy, Harley knew the proper etiquette for that segment of the show and followed my rules. Before, she might have blurted it out. But now, she knows to hold her answer until all viewers are ready.

My next blog will be about cooking meat in the 'secret oven', how to use the washing machine, and the proper way to load a dishwahswer.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sesame Street in Germany?

These are scary f*cking muppets, mofo...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Axl Rose vs. Tommy Hilfigger

Well, well. It's good to see Axl Rose back in the news! I wish he'd kicked the shit out of Tommy, but it's probably for the best that he kept his cool.

Remember how cool and influential he was back in the day?? How times have changed.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Questions on Reality TV?

Check out A great place ot waste time at work... or on the sofa.

It's ok, but it seems a little American Idol focused to me. I mean, where's the winner of ABC's American Inventor?? That show was amazing! Make sure you check out the winner, Janus Liberkowski, and his amazing Spherical Safety Seat:

A new kind of infant car seat where the baby sits inside nested spheres instead of the usual seat. In a collision, the spheres spin and automatically position the child's neck and back so that they are perpendicular to the impact force, thus shielding the baby from the destructive force of the impact. Janusz' older daughter Anecia passed away in a car accident seven years ago, which inspired Janusz to create this revolutionary seat.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

American Idol = Marital Troubles

Taylor will win because he is a better entertainer than Katherine. She has a voice, but she's not nearly as likable. Taylor has fun and its infecdtious, Katherine gets nervoiuse and over-reaches in her song choice and delivery. Sure, she has 1 good song (Somewhere Over the Rainbow), but it's not enough.

American Idol's platform is not "let's find the next best 'entertainer'" it is "let's find the next best SINGER." I concede that Taylor is exciting to watch, but he is nothing too special to listen to. McPhee rivals Clarkson in vocal ability - and that is not a compliment I tossd lightly around. The goal of this show is to sell records and she, my dear, will sell! sell! sell! Bottom line: America will decide... oh yes they will!

It's my blog, so Taylor will win. Now get me a beer and make the bed, LADY!

(censored by Andrew, so Andrew wins)

My Call For American Idol

It's Taylor all the way. Why do you say?? Plain and simple, he has the most fun. I don't he's the best singer from a technical standpoint, or even a musical standpoint, but he brings something special to the stage. As some of you might recall in my 03/08/06 blog, "Philosoheller," I praised him for his selection The Doobie Brothers' "What A Fool Believes." He rocked it.

I love all these shows where a group of strangers are brought together in a competitive environment, i.e. Top Chef, The Apprentice, and American Idol. There is a strategy to success in each of the shows, at least for the first half of the show: you don't have to win, as long as you do better than the other guy. It's about mediocrity, and I don't mean that in a bad way. It's all about doing good enough to continue, which doesn't mean always winning.

But with a lot of other folks in play, the odds are favorable that some one else with screw up worse than you. So what if your steak is a little overdone, or your Sony in-store display is a little off. As long as you get the main idea right and don't miss all the details, you proceed to the next round. Later on, as contestants are eliminated and the competition intensifies, the games becomes more about excellence, which is harder to fake.

New School Grads Boo John McCain

While speaking at the commencement for The New School on 5/19/06, John McCain was heckled and booed by students and faculty. As he delivered his remarks, several dozen students and faculty turned their backs and lifted signs saying "Our commencement is not your platform."

A student speaker named Jean Sarah Rohe said, "He will tell us we are young and too naive to have valid opinions. I am young and though I don't possess the wisdom that time affords us, I do know that pre-emptive war is dangerous. And I know that despite all the havoc that my country has wrought overseas in my name, Osama bin Laden still has not been found, nor have those weapons of mass destruction."

McCain later thanked Rohe for her "Cliff's notes" version of his speech. Sticking to the remarks he made in earlier speeches, McCain reaffirmed his support for the Iraq war but urged debate and dissent. "When I was a young man, I was quite infatuated with self-expression, and rightly so because, if memory conveniently serves, I was so much more eloquent, well-informed and wiser than anyone else I knew," McCain said.

I always liked McCain. He had the balls to sit on The Daily Show while John Stewart criticized him for speaking at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. That takes balls and humility, which can be rare in a politician. I think his response to the students was a good one to, as far as politics goes.

This whole thing reminds me of the South Park where the boys meet hippies who want to change the world through music but end up only getting high and going to concerts. What good do these New School graduates achieve by NOT listening to McCain? Better to listen and understand his point of view than simply to close one’s ears. Empathy is the first step to change. I hope 4 years of college helped teach them that. Looks like McCain learned it during 7 years in a Vietnam POW camp (had to throw that in here).

Friday, May 19, 2006

New 9/11 Video Release

Today, new footage of American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon on 9/11 has been released. Judicial Watch, a public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, requested the tapes.

Don’t know what the conspiracy theorists will say about this. Was it a cruise missile? (I see wings). Where’s the missing plane wreckage outside the building? (It looks like it’s all inside the building.) Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton actually said, “we hope that this video will put to rest the conspiracy theories involving American Airlines Flight 77."

There are 2 videos, one showing a white streak, and the other showing a more distinct plane. The two differ widely though, especially in the angle the plane/white streak hits the building. I’m sure there will be plenty of speculation to go around.

Believe it or not, I first saw this footage on YouTube. (I love that site!)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Proper Jeopardy! Etiquette

Here are my rules for the proper and considerate viewing Jeopardy! in a group environment. I think you will find these fair, just, and helpful in ensuring a pleasant viewing experience for all.

Object of the Game
To win as many awesome points as possible. Keeping score of awesome points is strictly prohibited. Don't ask me why, that's just the way it is.

Standard Language

viewer - a player watching at home

contestant - one of the 3 players on television

1. During the 2 standard rounds of play, which account for the majority of the game, viewers are encouraged to shout out their answers as quickly as possible. The person that shouts out the correct answer first wins an awesome point. "I was going to say that" does not count. Giving the correct answer after one of the contestants gets the wrong answer does count, and counts as 1/2 awesome points. "I was going to say that" wins no awesome points, but it does earn "props" from fellow viewers.

2. During any and all Daily Doubles, viewers should withhold their answer until the contestant has given his or her answer. Unlike standard play, viewers must allow the contestant time to consider their answer and respond before blurting it out themselves. This rule is null and void as soon as Alex Trebek prompts the contestant for an answer. At that moment, all players should respond as quickly as possible to win awesome points.

3. In Final Jeopardy, all viewers must hold their answer until 1 of 2 scenarios: a) the music has stopped and Alex Trebek begins to speak, or b) the viewers agree to share their answers before the music runs out. Remember, in both of these scenarios accuracy, not speed, is the primary concern. Viewers may give one answer only, though they are allowed to share their other considerations ("it's between x and x" ) if the other viewers allow it. This is a cardinal rule in Jeopardy! viewing. Any breaking of this rule is cause for immediate foot tickling and serious deduction of awesome points.

Following these simple rules will help us all enjoy Jeopardy! in a peaceful and friendly environment.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Keeping Duane Reade In Line

Duane Reade has a "separate line" policy at its check out counters. Basically, customers are expected to form separate lines at each open register. This is a corporate mandate that all branches are expected to adhere to.

I hate this policy. If you happen to be stuck behind the lady who can't find her coupon (Harley), or the guy whose credit card won't go through and starts arguing, you get screwed. It creates more stress for customers, in having to choose which line will be the shortest, and makes the checkout seem to take longer.

From what I find, this is counter-intuitive for Manhattan shoppers. We naturally form 1 line for everyone, and the first person in line goes to the next open register. This system means that everyone waits for basically the same amount of time, working off the "first come first serve" ethic that everyone learns in kindergarten.

This probably happens because 1) people follow what they see other people already doing at the check out line, and 2) other retail environments instituting the "one line for all registers" idea. This is a social convention that deserves a whole other blog in itself.

Being the loudmouth I am (Harley's fault), I complain openly about the "separate line" policy. What good does it do? I think most people would agree with me on this. Many of the managers I speak with (and there are a lot) agree that it doesn't make sense, but that they have to follow what they are told to do.

Two things come to mind:

1. Duane Reade needs to serious rethink its retail policies. Some companies specialize in this field. DR may be the drug store market leader for Manhattan, but it's never a bad idea to improve.

2. I love that people form the single line automatically. Hats off to New Yorkers for doing the right thing and keeping things fair automatically.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

An Offensive Ringtone, A Social Tension

On Tuesday, 5/09/06, Cingular Wireless pulled a ringtone from its Web site after learning that it carried a "blatantly offensive" message. Using a male voice in a Southern drawl, the ringtone says:

"This is la Migra (a slang term for the Border Patrol). Por favor, put the oranges down and step away from the cell phone. I repeat-o, put the oranges down and step away from the telephone-o. I'm deporting you back home-o.”

I know it’s wrong. I know it’s offensive. But maybe that is why it’s so funny!! With all the talk of cultural sensitivity (not to mention the immigration debate), it makes sense that there is a backlash against political correctness. More accurately, there is a reveling in appropriate comments. The Onion has been doing it for years. Comedy Central's programming is all over it.

Look at 2 of NBC's most popular new TV shows, The Office and My Name is Earl.
Michael, the main character in The Office, is blatantly offensive and thinks of everything through stereotypes. He doesn't mean to be mean, it's just that he's not sensitive enough to notice when he is. My Name is Earl uses stereotypes of poor white-trash rednecks to communicate an everyman theme of trying to better oneself.

These shows are popular because they address the social tensions that occur when cultures collide and stereotypes are faced head-on. We can laugh at someone who says something rude because we either know how they feel, or because we might be thinking it in the back of our minds. They not only speak to an under lying theme of in our culture and, like all good art, allow us to view ourselves through their stories.

(Surprisingly to me,
the ringtone has only been downloaded eight times since it first became available in late February. It was developed by Barrio Mobile, who is owned by Lagardere Active North American, the U.S. division of a French media company.)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Time Lapse of Memphis Airport

Ever wondered how airports worked. How do they organize all the different planes coming in and out? Check out this amazing time-lapse video of FedEx planes arriving at the Memphis Aiport during thunderstorms. Notice how the planes scatter once the storm finally hits.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Al Gore & Eco-Politics

I recently read 2 articles that I haven't been able to get out of my mind. These are both amazing articles and well worth the read. Seriously, print them out and read them on the shitter at work. It's what I do and there's no better way to pass the time.

1. Why Big Oil companies are seriously worried about the state of the world, even after coming off a year with record profits (
Business Week). Basically, these companies don't have many more places to drill for oil. If the new wells aren't in a hostile country (Venezuela, Middle East), they're in a remote part of the world (Alaska, Siberia).

2. Al Gore is using technology to bring environmentalism to the forefront of the business world (
Wired). With an impressive presentation that compiles the dangers facing the world's ecosystem, he's convincing more and more businesses leaders to go green.

I believe energy is going to be the most important issue facing the country in the next decade. With gas at $3 a gallon and a raging war funding the terrorists we're trying to defeat, there has never, ever been a more opportune time to look for other energy sources that will give the US more independence and a strong economy not based on foreign suppliers.

This is not unprecedented in the world. Dateline had a report saying that Brazil is at least 10 years ahead of us, utilizing ethanol as a new energy option. GM is selling "flex" cars (they run on both gas and ethanol) at record numbers in Brazil... all while sales plummet back here at home. Brazil recently announced that it no longer needs to import any more oil. Can you imagine?!? Helping the economy AND gaining energy independence. It's too good to be true!

Will Al Gore run again? I doubt it. He's having more success in the private sector than in politics. Would he be a better candidate today than in 2000? Hell yeah. His message is more tailored to the American economy (green technologies makes $en$e). Environmentalism is no longer a hippies-only issue. Any part he plays in making a change for the better is time well spent.

P.S. Remember the big energy crisis in California a few years back? I doubt voters have forgotten. California has 55 electoral votes, which makes energy all that much worthwhile to a campaign.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Paul Simon Kicks Ass

That was your mother, that was your father.
Before you was born, when life was great.
You are the burden of my generation.
I sure do love you, but let's get that straight.
- "That Was Your Mother"

Well I sang it once and I sang it twice,

I'm going to sing it three times more.
I'm going to stay 'til your resistance is overcome.
Cause if I can't sing my boy to sleep,
It makes your famous daddy look so dumb
- "St. Judy's Comet"

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

In "The Daily Show" We Trust

I don’t watch the news constantly. Matter of fact, I hate network news. Still, using the Internet and the occasional newspaper, I like to keep myself in tune with what’s going on in the world. But now, it’s finally happened. The Daily Show has become my most reliable news program on television.

Last night’s episode (05/02/06) showed the story of the first Sunni soldiers graduating from boot camp. This is a huge victory for the reconstruction, as recruiting Sunnis has been a key goal of U.S. policies to rebuild the Iraqi armed forces.

But (there’s always a ‘but’), at the end of graduation ceremonies, an announcement was made that the new soldiers would have to serve outside their hometown and in Shiite areas. Then, at their own graduation, the graduates started ripping their clothes off and denouncing their loyalty to the army they’ve just joined.

The army does not want them serving in their own village because most are residents of the Anbar province -- widely considered the heartland of Iraq's Sunni Arab insurgency. Army commanders worry that if the men serve in their own hometowns, they could be co-opted by insurgents.

I was stunned by this story and that I hadn’t seen it on any of the mass-media channels, or on Google’s main news page. After 10 minutes of looking on-line (an eternity in my eyes), I found an article that said the incident was exaggerated. "It was actually a very small number of graduates," said a spokesman for the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq. "It was a momentary but very brief display of displeasure.”

Maybe I just appreciate the stories The Daily Show highlights. Maybe I don’t look at enough of the mainstream mass media. But something seems wrong when Comedy Central has my trust above all other new shows.

P.S. There is a basic and critical inability to create a cohesive armed force in the region. Without an effective police force that understands the region, we’ll never have peace there. Don’t forget, the US decided to disband the army that was already set up, which put thousands out of work and fueled the insurgency.

Q&A - "Jerry Rigged"

Q: Where does the expression "jerry rigged" come from? Is it related to German soldiers in WWII?

A: It’s actually much older than WWII. "Jury rigged" is a sailing term from the early 1600s, if not earlier. It refers to a mast which is makeshift or a temporary contrivance. It could be a shortening of “injury-rigged”, but probably not. Another possibility is that it comes from the old French ajurie, “aid, assistance”.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

CW - The Fifth Network

A new network will soon be appearing: CW. This is a merger of the WB and UPN to create the fifth network. Each company will own 50% (The "C" stands for CBS, the "W" is for Warner).

Time Warner nor CBS were having an easy time making their respective ventures profitable. Executives are hoping to combine the WB's $675 million ad revenue with UPN's $375 million for a total in the neighborhood of $700 million. The network for go for the 18-34 audience and will skew female. Ad pricing willmost likely be higher than the individual networks because the programs shown will be the best of the best.

Remember way back when that Fox was the new guy who didn't stand a chance? Times have changed! Considering how shitty the programs were on the WB and UPN (except Gilmore Girls, of course), it's not surprising that they're trying something new. If CW can get some good shows and create a worthwhile brand, this new venture might have a better chance than either UPN or WB (the whole being greater than the sum of the parts).

Monday, May 01, 2006

Stephen Colbert Rules

Quotes from Stephen Colbert’s “tribute” to President Bush at the White House Correspondent Dinner (paraphrased):

• Bush’s low approval ratings are based on reality, and reality has a well-known liberal bias.
• This administration is soaring, not sinking. If anything, they are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg.
• Bush could end the problem of protests by retired generals by refusing to let them retire.
• Bush is like Rocky Balboa, always getting punched in the face — and Apollo Creed is everything else in the world.
• I believe that the government that governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq.
• When the president decides something on Monday, he still believes it on Wednesday -- no matter what happened Tuesday.
• Fox News believes in presenting both sides of the story — the president’s side and the vice president’s side.
• I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the No Fact Zone.

As Colbert walked from the podium, when it was over, the president and First Lady gave him quick nods, unsmiling. The president shook his hand and tapped his elbow, and left immediately. Bush had quickly turned from an amused guest to an obviously offended target. You could see he stopped smiling about halfway through Colbert.

The Marketing Genius of the NFL

I've been surrounded by football all weekend. This weekend's draft seemed to get 24/7 coverage. It's all the "Heller Men" talked at lunch on Saturday. I even attended a lecture about Chunky Soup's understanding of NFL fans, the characteristics they share, and how to best market products to them.

I've often wondered why the American male seems to love football. I got into it in college (Penn State - Go Lions), but others seem to be born with a love of the game. The violence must be a factor, creating a spectacle of modern-day gladiators. The huge media blitz is unavoidable no matter where you are. Who doesn't know what Superbowl Sunday means?

But this article in
The Economist explores the NFL's success a triumph of marketing and socialist business practices. Think about other pro sports:
- Baseball has the Yankees' outrageous payroll, which makes it hard for smaller clubs to get the players needed to wine.
- Hockey lost a whole year because the players and owners couldn't agree on a contract; it will take them years to get back the fans they lost.
- The NBA has also had it's share of rough times due to poor management, not to mention Kobe's rape case and players jumping into the stands to beat up fans.

Football never had to suffer those pains. Americans may love football the most because it's run so efficiently, making it just plain easy to love. All that is hidden from view, leaving the viewers with a good, clean taste that comes to them every Sunday, year after year, without any other concerns other than the game. It's the athletic escapism at its easiest. The violence and spectacle of it all is just icing on the cake.

In Defense of the History Channel

Brian recently complained (hard to imagine, I know) that the History Channel's 10-part series, "10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America" is inherently flawed in its premise. After viewing 10 minutes of the Gold Rush episode, he said, "This is more about a time period, not a particular day. Look at 9/11. That was a day that changed everything! This is broader than just one day."

Yes, Brian, you have a point. That episode and all the others do cover more ground than just 1 day. They have to . Each day lives within a context, a time period where things are continually happening. To say that the episodes should focus more on 1 days is like focusing on what paper the Constitution is written on. You can learn a lot, but you'll be missing the bigger picture of what is actually being said.

The series focus on one key moment on a specific day and how the ramifications of that instance cascade into a broader set of cause-and-effect, circumstances that set up one moment then bringing about another, and another, and so on.

The key date in the Gold Rush was the day that a miner actually found gold in California. From that day, the papers got hold of the story and communicated it to the country. The country then proceeded to eat that story up and started a great migration, which led to manifest destiny being achieved. Yes, that one day wasn't so important, but the series of events it set in motion made is one of the "10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America."

As for 9/11, the History Channel is smart enough not to touch that topic just yet. Besides, there’s no way to know exactly know how it’s changed America for the long term at this point in time.

Long Time No Post

It's been a hectic week, so I haven't been able to post in a while. I blame Brian.