aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, March 31, 2006
Flocking to You Tube
CNet says You Tube is the talk of Tinseltown:
Executives from heavyweights such as Yahoo, America Online and Turner Broadcasting were buzzing about YouTube’s sudden success at the Digital Hollywood conference here this week. Even though it’s not clear exactly how YouTube will make money, no company generated as much excitement at the gathering of Hollywood studios, electronics manufacturers and Internet media companies. [...]
YouTube has sped past a host of competitors by tapping the public’s thirst for reality programming. By mixing some professionally made clips, including music videos and movie trailers, with homemade content, YouTube has seen the number of viewings on the site shoot up from 3 million a day to 30 million since the Web site’s December launch, according to YouTube spokeswoman Julie Supan.
Not everyone at the conference was impressed, however. Plenty of executives wondered how the San Mateo, Calif., company plans to fend off the likes of Google, iFilms and Atom Entertainment, all of which possess far more resources. And nobody knows how YouTube, which has 20 employees, plans to make money.
There is still no advertising on YouTube; it doesn’t charge to view or upload videos; and its executives so far have been mum on their business plan.
RELATED: A VC sezs, “You [can] put the video on your own page… That is key, and I mean key. People want to turn their MySpace pages, their blogs, and whatever else into their own TV station. And that’s critical to viral distribution.”
A stranger’s prayer has no effect on recovery
Prayers offered by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people who were undergoing heart surgery, a large and long-awaited study has found.
And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications like abnormal heart rhythms, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers suggested.
Because it is the most scientifically rigorous investigation of whether prayer can heal illness, the study, begun almost a decade ago and involving more than 1,800 patients, has for years been the subject of speculation.
Your own prayers are a whole other topic.
Innocent people confess to crimes they did not do
All interrogations should be videotaped. All of them!
Last night Primetime had a story on Roberto Rocha, an innocent man who confessed to murder:
Rocha went to the police voluntarily to be questioned. After all, he had an airtight alibi: He’s been out of the country, in Brazil, the day Hamlin was killed.[...]
After more than two hours, Rocha said he became confused and exhausted. He and his attorney said that police told Rocha if he went along with them, he could go home.
“Roberto Rocha just cracked and said, fine, I’ll tell you what you want to know,” said Steel.
But from the start, Rocha had trouble with key details of the case, such as where Hamlin’s body was found. But the police “helped” him with that. One officer drew a map and said: “There’s the bridge. You were there. Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ Here’s where you were parked.” “OK, I parked there,” Rocha said on the videotape.
“The best alibi that I could ever imagine a person having” was reduced by police to “equivocal.” Without that videotape Rocha would still be in jail. Innocent people in jail mean guilty people on the streets. It’s in our best interest to have videotaped interrogations.
There was an important Washington Post series on false confessions; unfortunately, the links to the individual articles are dead right now. I have a request in to the Post to find out how to access them.
Liza is a hoot
Set your TiVos! A “painstakingly restored and remastered” ’Liza with a Z‘ is on Showtime tomorrow. And because they’re having a free preview weekend, all of us with cable can watch. From the NYTimes review today:
For those who never quite understood her standing in pop culture - or gay iconography - and are alarmed by her Page Six woes (and her recent, unmoored interview with Larry King on CNN), the hourlong film provides some clues. There are only a handful of female performers of her generation who have that over-the-top, knock-’em-dead stage presence, but Judy Garland’s daughter was neither as gifted a singer as Barbra Streisand nor as roguishly self-aware as Bette Midler. Ms. Minnelli’s stardom is based on a unique confluence of talent and biography, persistence and collapse. And of course, luck: she sings a medley from “Cabaret,” the musical that gave Ms. Minnelli an Oscar and her greatest and only plausible movie role as a romantic lead; every heroine she played after that was at best a watery distortion of Sally Bowles.
My nephew recently came out to me. I had earlier hints, one of them when he asked, “Who was that woman who was Liza Minnelli’s mother?”