Jan 30, 2015


     How serious is the measles mini-epidemic?
     Forbes Magazine reminds us that this is an almost 100% preventable disease.
    It proposes a radical punishment for non-compliance:

"State medical boards are notoriously toothless but doctors speaking out against vaccination in the midst of an ongoing outbreak should be investigated, warned, and censured. They should have their licenses suspended until undergoing 150 hours of continuing medical education on public health and infectious diseases..."

     Some doctors are going further....firing their patients who refuse to get their kids inoculated. 

Jan 27, 2015

Why they pray at games.....

From the Public Religion Research Institute:

The Hand of God in Sports
Majorities of Americans (53%) and sports fans (56%) say that God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success; more than 4-in-10 of Americans (45%) and sports fans (42%) disagree.
Roughly two-thirds of Catholics (65%) and minority Protestants (68%) say that God rewards faithful athletes with good health and success. Six-in-ten (60%) white evangelical Protestants and nearly half (49%) of white mainline Protestants also believe faithful athletes are rewarded. By contrast, only 27% of the religiously unaffiliated believe athletes with faith are rewarded, while 71% disagree.
About 1-in-4 (26%) Americans and 27% of self-described sports fans say that God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event. About 7-in-10 Americans (71%) and sports fans (69%) disagree.
Minority Protestants (45%) are more likely than any other religious group to believe that God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event. More than 3-in-10 white evangelical Protestants (32%) and Catholics (31%) believe that God plays a role in determining which team wins a game. Only about 1-in-5 (19%) white mainline Protestants and 9% of the religiously unaffiliated believe God has a hand in the outcome of sporting events.

[Amen to Anzalone Liszt Grove Polling for pointing the way to this item]

Jan 26, 2015

When does a traffic app become dangerous? Waze sparks police outcry.

When does a traffic app become dangerous? Waze sparks police outcry.

The police want Google to end a traffic reporting search service that include information about the location of police.

MMMM # 481 "new" vs traditional media

One of the stark differences between the "new" online media and the traditional media is the do-anything-for-clicks mentality of the new media.

OLD MEDIA: if a photo does NOT show the events taking place in the news story, the photo is clearly labeled a "photo/illustration" or a "file" photo from such and such a date.

NEW MEDIA: This photo Was used on a cable company's "news"  to illustrate a story about a weekend helicopter crash the killed two U.S. Marines...but it is not a pictures of the accident. It is a "Stock" photo bought from a company that sells them.

 OLD MEDIA: Editors make sure headlines are honest in telling the accompanying story.

NEW MEDIA: Whatever makes visitors click on the story.

CDC: Outbreak of potentially deadly virus at Disneyland spreads to 5 states

(That would be the measles outbreak story.)

     There are exceptions, like this misleading headlines from last year. The paper was in FOI fight over security features used by the Water Works Board. 
     No, not all facts can be published. Would they print the nuclear codes to U.S. missiles? The identity of an under-aged sexual abuse victim? The password for the publisher's home security system? 

Why would anyone be so against "long-form journalism" that they would create a video bashing it?
Someone did, reports Poynter.
Way too much time on their hands, says Tim. 


Who ya gonna trust in the media? Forbes Magazine reports on new research showing trust in the media is dropping (but so is trust in just about everything!)
Traditional media gets a 62% trust rating while 53% say they trust “hybrid media,” meaning newer online outlets like the Huffington Post or BuzzFeed. Some 48% trust the news they get from social media, although it’s not clear what that number means since it incorporates everything from a friend’s status update with links to no sources to a Tweet on the news to a posting that links to a traditional site like the New York Times or the BBC.
[The Monday Morning Media Memo is a longtime regualar feature of TimLennox.com.]

Jan 25, 2015

Sunday Focus: Fake Time, Fake Chime

      If you were watching the Alabama News Network broadcast of the Inauguration of  Robert Bentley as Governor earlier this month, you may remember hearing bells chime.      
     The sound were coming from the clock that sits on top of the Capitol Building, facing Dexter Avenue. Except they were not coming from the bell on the clock. Like so much these days, the sounds were canned, a recording of bells.

The clock had been broken for many years, but it was fixed in time for the inaugural. Fixed, but not restored. The innards of the clock were torn out and a new digital clock mechanism was installed. So now the clock is right more than twice a day. But the chimes are phony....a "digital" recording of chimes. 
1861, Jefferson Davis sworn in.
     The Capitol is one of the most historic buildings in the state, and as such any changes to it must win approval from historians. In this case, the very people who had the work done are the same people who approved it. 
"Shall we include a recording of chimes with the project?"
"Sure, why not?"
"The vote is unanimous!"
     Watch An Alabama News Network report on the new clock mechanism, and hear the new fake chimes, HERE.
     The state Historical Commission praised the clock workings in an article in the Summer of 2012 issue of Alabama Heritage:

the clock's gear-box armature frame is one of the few still surviving today.
     The clock was a gift from the City of Montgomery to celebrate the moving of the capitol to Montgomery from Tuscaloosa.

Jan 24, 2015

Never Mix Religion and...Football?

Save a seat?
Interesting post over at an Episcopal website about whether people believe praying influences the results of sporting events. Is Jesus playing in your game?

(Thanks to Religion and Sports Editor Jay, who moved away but still has his hands on the keys.)