The results of a new study conducted by Sony and Neilson reveal something so concerning regarding our collective memories that I felt the need to resurrect the “news” category of my blog just to have a soapbox. Let’s begin with the actual list of the 20 most impactful moments on television over the past 50 years:

1. Sept. 11 tragedy (2001)
2. Hurricane Katrina (2005)
3. O.J. Simpson verdict (1995)
4. Challenger space shuttle disaster (1986)
5. Death of Osama bin Laden (2011)
6. O.J. Simpson white Bronco chase (1994)
7. Earthquake in Japan (2011)
8. Columbine High School shootings (1999)
9. BP oil spill (2010)
10. Princess Diana’s funeral (1997)
11. Death of Whitney Houston (2012)
12. Capture and execution of Saddam Hussein (2006)
13. Barack Obama’s acceptance speech (2008)
14. The Royal Wedding (2011)
15. Assassination of John F. Kennedy (1963)
16. Oklahoma City bombing (1995)
17. Bush/Gore election results (2000)
18. L.A. riots (1992)
19. Casey Anthony verdict (2011)
20. Funeral of John F. Kennedy (1963)

I may not have been born until the 80′s, but I can appreciate the assignation of a popular President as a relatively big deal. Given the state of the geo-political landscape in the early 60′s it safe to say that this had a very meaningful impact on every American and world politics. That is probably a gross understatement of the impact. If that wasn’t enough, the man accused of killing the President was, in turn, murdered LIVE on national television. Let that sink in for a moment. So, here is a list of events the polled public found more “impactful” that the above:

3. O.J. Simpson verdict (1995)
6. O.J. Simpson white Bronco chase (1994)
10. Princess Diana’s funeral (1997)
11. Death of Whitney Houston (2012)
12. Capture and execution of Saddam Hussein (2006)
14. The Royal Wedding (2011)

OJ, #3, really? Look, I watched the OJ verdict just like every other American. It was a riveting disaster of a circus, but come on was that more impactful than the Assassination of JFK, L.A. Race Riots, or Bush v. Gore?

Royals in general. I really don’t get the American fascination with British royalty. We fought a war for independence only to be subjected to the tyranny of 8 f*ing weeks of media coverage because the guy who was lucky enough to be born into a family of people supported by British tax payers married an active brunette. I have an idea for austerity, stop taxing your citizens so a group of people with no meaningful purpose can live better than you could ever hope for.

But the real creme dela creme here is Whitney Houston. She was a great singer, and a fallen star. She hadn’t been relevant in a decade, yet somehow we decided her death was more impactful than:

13. Barack Obama’s acceptance speech (2008)
15. Assassination of John F. Kennedy (1963)
16. Oklahoma City bombing (1995)
17. Bush/Gore election results (2000)
18. L.A. riots (1992)
20. Funeral of John F. Kennedy (1963)

Scary, how we determine importance. For the record here are some world events that didn’t even make the top 20:

The Berlin Wall coming down (1989)
The first moon landing (1969)
The resignation of Richard Nixon (1974)
Apollo 13 crisis (1970)
Assassination of John Lennon (1980)

Here are some links:

 MSNBC
Full list of Rankings
Yahoo News
The Obligatory Slide Show 
Neilson on Facebook

This is one of the saddest stories I’ve seen in a while, especially being a big dog lover. Apparently, several weeks ago, a Pompano Beach, FL family’s Pit Bull mutt slipped through the fence and got loose. Now I’m tired of all the stigma about Pit Bulls being dangerous. In fact, Pits are one of the best family dogs you can have. Any dog can be trained to be mean, but that’s not the point of this story…

After four days of searching the family dog, Chopper, turned up in an animal control online listing. The owners had not been contacted because the dog was not wearing a collar, nor was he microchipped. The mother immediately called animal control and was initially told the dog was in Ft. Lauderdale, too far of a drive to make it there before the shelter closed for the day. Confused as to why a Pompano dog was take to Ft. Lauderdale, she called back and was told the dog was actually at the Pompano shelter. That shelter was closed Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday morning she called the shelter to tell them she would pick up the dog later that day and after 5 minutes on hold she was the dog had already been euthanized.

Apparently, the county’s animal control was already under fire for euthanizing a microchipped cat, and only contacting the owners after putting the cat down. Animal control blamed the operator who the mother initially talked to for not contacting the Pompano shelter. They also blamed the mother for not explicitly stating she wanted the dog kept alive! Then they state the operator won’t even be reprimanded. Did the operating think the dog’s owner was just calling for the heck of it?

Should the dog have been wearing a collar with tags? Yes. Or at the very least it should have been chipped. However the family searched the dog out and made the effort to correct their mistake. Animal control, on the other hand, appears to be at the very least apathetic about killing a family pet despite the owners calling twice.

Click here for the original story.

Over at DJ Tech Tools I’ve completed my latest article, a review of four major players in the DJ headphone market. Now my challenges in finding a decent pair of headphones are pretty well documented at this point, so its nice that something good finally came out of it. Head over to DJTT and read it, maybe it will prevent you from having to bite your headphones in half.

P.S. The Sennheiser HD-25s were not reviewed  so if you plan on leaving a comment about that, don’t bother.

dui_guy

File this one under; You’ve got to be kidding me right?  A New Jersey man was just arrested for his 15th DUI. Apparently in 22 years he has had license suspended 78 time and when nabbed his blood alcohol content was triple the legal limit. Why is this guy not in the Guinness Book of world records? I didn’t even know it was possible to have your license suspended an average of 3.5 times a year for 22 years. He told the judge this time that he was guilty, which is probably for the best. I mean with a record like that I would be pretty hard to claim a momentary lapse in judgement. So congrats Mr. NJ Bad Driving guy, you get my vote for Budweiser’s next “real men of genius” commercial.

toonthornhillarnoldhealthca

So according to the AP, CNN, and a whole slew of others, California is bankrupt and apparently screwed. Being from Connecticut, I don’t always understand what going on out on the left coast [oh ya I said left coast, I’m old school baby] but this is just wild. Apparently voters there shot down 5 of 6 measures designed to reduced the 21 billion dollar deficit. Of course even if all 6 passed, it would have only shrunken the deficit to 15 billion so big f*n deal right? The one that passed was a measure which bars state officials from getting a raise when there is a deficit. Good for you California voters!

How does a state so big that if it were a country it would have the world eight largest economy go bankrupt? After the jump are some highlights I think we need to discuss:

Read more

The Swine Flu

Lock your doors, wash your hands, close every school in Texas, and slaughter your Egyptian Pigs, the Swine Flu is coming. Thats right kids, from the same creative minds that brought you Bird Flu and Sars comes the newest reason to seal yourself in a hermetic bubble. Why I don’t buy stock in those companies that make those sh*tty flu vaccines, and are wrong about which “strain” of the flu will hit this winter 50% of the time, I’ll never know. Every time one of these things pops up someone is making a TON of money.

Alright, on a serious note; by most estimates there are at least 300 million people living in the United States. There are currently something like 100 confirmed swine flu cases. I had to greatly exaggerate the red portion of this graph just to make it visible. If this graph had been accurate, you would have just seen a solid blue circle. To put it into perspective the current amount of the US population that has swine flu is 0.0000364%. This is not a pandemic, heck this doesn’t even meet the definition of an epidemic. Lets all relax a little and not let the 24 hour news networks stir everyone up into a frenzy.

Oh btw, thanks Mexico, you are the best beard America could ever ask for.

Living in the greater NYC area, I hear a lot about what is going on in the big apple. US Airways Flight 1549 has been in the local news from the minute that plane made its first splash in the Hudson. You’ve probably heard by now the absolutely spectacular job Captain Sully did landing the plane in the river after both engines we taken out by a flock of Canadian Geese. Today the NTSB confirmed that both engines did have bird remains lodged in them. In order to confirm this, the NTSB had to fish the engine out of the bottom of the Hudson, where it came to a rest after detaching from the plane. 

We are now living in a time of global economic crisis, massive tax payer funded bailouts, and constant budget cuts to federal and state infrastructure. Yet for some reason we’ve deemed it necessary to spend who knows how much money on pulling an engine out of the river, just to confirm what a true hero already knew. Now if the pilot was high on crack, or harassing a stewardess at the time of the crash, I could see a reason to investigate further. However in this case, we’ve got a man who pulled off the unthinkable, and safely executed one of the most difficult landings possible, saving 155 lives in the process. So why can’t we just take the guy’s word, and save ourselves a few bucks in investigation costs? Its pretty clear to me that Capt. Sully is competent.

Also, the Wall Street Journal reports that the plane salvage is now in New Jersey, where the full investigation could take up 18 months, to confirm what the Captain knew in 18 seconds. I’d love to see a figure of how much this is actually costing tax payers.