According to a major news outlets, the following Korean soap opera is the most popular show in China, much to the chagrin of Chinese officials:
The show’s called “My Love from the Star.” If I have this straight, a guy from outer space who’s 400 years old is hanging out with a pop star. And that’s putting half the world in a frenzy.
Chinese officials are upset because, it seems, China can’t put together entertainment that’s popular enough to keep its citizens enthralled. For example, the Washington Post says:
It’s not the first time popular foreign entertainment has led to hand-wringing in China. In 2008, when Dreamworks’ “Kung Fu Panda” became a runaway hit in China, it led to similar soul-searching. Why did it take American producers to find the drama and humor in a fat panda learning kung fu in China, many asked.
I didn’t know “Kung Fu Panda” had created an international incident.
Oh, for the full first episode of “My Love from the Star,” click here.
As the promotional material for “The Sixth Extinction” explains:
Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.
(First of all, to the creationists: Yes, the Earth is billions of years old.)
But let’s look at what this really means. This is a chart of the total weight of land animals on Earth (via XKCD):
There aren’t that many wild animals left. Human behavior is killing everything. Mass extinctions take thousands of years. None of us will be around when the one we’re currently in is over, but more important, the way things are going, the human species may not exist when this mass extinction runs its course.
Last Wednesday, Washington, D.C., had a major snowstorm that closed airports and schools and shut down the government. Today, temperatures are expected to climb into the mid-60s … and yes, it’s February.
Given that Bill Nye the science guy went to the Creation Museum last week and had a “debate” on whether evolution was real, why not just give up and let the God folks determine science and math and history and geology and all that other good stuff that moved us into the 21st century?
Why did Nye not just say, “Are you out of your mind?” When your argument is, “Because God says so,” that immediately means that there is no scientific basis for anything the creationists say. When you pit the peer-reviewed findings of Nobel Prize winning scientists against first century illiteracy (the guys who the books of the Bible were named after were shepherds and fishermen, for God’s sake), why (oh, why?) was the thing they had at the Creation Museum (right here in Kentucky) even thought of as a “debate.” Debate means both sides have strong foundations for their arguments.
When one side’s “argument” over more than an hour has less of a scientific foundation than the theme song of “The Big Bang Theory,” which in its full version lasts about two minutes, calling that a debate is a travesty.
Let me emphasize this the best way I can. Here’s the debate:
Back in the 1960s, CBS News produced a program called “The 21st Century,” with host Walter Cronkite. In one of the segments, he gave a display of what the home of the future would look like.
In 1967, Cronkite said this was the way people would experience home entertainment in the 21st century:
And in that same episode, this is how Cronkite said people would work in the future:
That’s a ton of equipment, and obviously no one considered the possibility of microprocessors back then. And the who setup looks outrageously expensive. Too many computer terminals.
But this is how we live today. We’re all plugged into the grid.
Attach your speakers to a few Airport Extremes throughout the house and pipe music anywhere you want. Attach an Xbox or computer to a flat panel wall monitor, get an Amazon Prime or a Watch ESPN app and see all the movies, television and sports you want. Use your computer or tablet or iPhone to do everything in the “work at home” segment.
In 1967, a 12-year-old me might have watched this show and been amazed at the possibilities of the future. In 2014, your 12 year old will look at these clips and think “why did they need all that junk? I can do all this with the phone in my hand.”
And that’s the way it will be. January First 2014. This is the hologram of Walter Cronkite, CBS News. Good night.
About a year ago, I drove from Milwaukee to New Orleans. It was amazing to actually hear the accents change as I drove from state to state. And the most neutral accent between the two cities was heard somewhere in Indiana. Of course.
I kind of lost track that we were supposed to change clocks yesterday. Fortunately, in the tech world we now live in, our gadgets change time automatically. So when I woke up expecting it to be 8:30, it was actually 7:30.
You can judge by reading the column here, but I feel the following is the most important part of the opinion piece. It was tacked onto the end after publication:
CORRECTIONS AND AMPLIFICATIONS:
An earlier version of this post contained a quotation attributed to Lenin (“Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state”) that has been widely disputed. And it included a quotation attributed to Churchill (“Control your citizens’ health care and you control your citizens“) that the Journal has been unable to confirm.
Also, the cover of a Maclean’s magazine issue in 2008 showed a picture of a dog on an examining table with the headline “Your Dog Can Get Better Health Care Than You.” An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the photo showed and headline referred to a horse.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion (no matter how air headed it may be). But no one is entitled to back up their opinion with their own facts. And, unless it was a photo of a great dane, I don’t know how you confuse a horse with a dog.
Yep. That’s a dog. Horses aren’t allowed to sit on exam tables. That … and the word “dog” in the headline … should have been a giveaway.