Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Anderson & Benjamin, A Good Balance

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3 Water Tornadoes, 7 Sheep, 3000 Lanterns

What does Australia, California and Hawaii have in common?
Yeah, I know, gorgeous beaches. But besides that.... Give up?
Nothing except that they are in this cute CNN video. Enjoy!

Added On May 31, 2011
Three waterspouts caught on tape, sheep on the loose, and a unique Memorial Day tradition in Hawaii.

3 Water Tornadoes, 7 Sheep, 3000 Lanterns and 1 gigantic Anderson:

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A Public Road? No. Not Today It Isn't

A few posts below I asked of Syria
Are we living in the 21st Century? !!!

Now I ask to AMERICA:
Are we living in the 21st Century? !!!
What country are we living in? !!!!!

What's going on? This is totally unacceptable! I really, really hope Anderson or Gary do a follow up of this offense to our Country, our People and our Free Press!

DON'T COME BACK! Police Threaten CNN Journalist Looking For "Secret Morgue"

(01:55 min.)

From: JohnJDeHart68

Added: May 27, 2011

Description: cnn.com

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rRTn-dDBTI&feature=player_embedded

Make That Call; Be Warned

May 30th, 2011
11:59 PM ET

..and Dr. Sanjay Gupta report

AC360 Follow: Gupta digs into cell phone safety

(CNN) - Think your cell phone is safe?

Related video: Cell phone cancer questions

After nearly a year-long investigation, Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports that everything we knew about cell phone usage and radiation exposure is not as it appears. His findings are stunning and have already changed the way many people, including Anderson, are using and carrying their mobile devices and hands-free headsets.

Related video: Cell phones and your brain

Tonight on AC360°, Anderson and Sanjay discuss the fine print of cell phone safety standards and what they’ve discovered about how you should and should not be using your phone will surprise you. \

Updated: Tuesday, 5/31/11, 12:34 a.m.

Remembering Our HEROES

May 31st, 2011
12:04 AM ET

Video: Remembering the fallen

Editor's note: AC360 looks back at the sights and sounds of Memorial Day commemorations.

Related: CNN.com's Home and Away

An Attempt To Silence The Voices Of Dissent

May 30th, 2011
11:50 PM ET

..with Arwa Damon and Fouad Ajami report

Video: Outrage in Syria over boy's death

Editor's note: CNN's John King and Arwa Damon speak with Prof. Fouad Ajami about the anti-government protests in Syria.

Related: Syrian military surrounds one town, shells another

Hamza Al Khateeb

Are we living in the 21st Century? !!!

May 30th, 2011
11:45 PM ET

KTH: Syria allegedly tortures boy

Editor's note: CNN's John King reports on allegations that the Assad regime allegedly tortured a 13-year-old boy.

More: Outrage in Syria over boy's death

Related: Syrian military surrounds one town, shells another

Will Sarah Run In 2012?

Whooo Caaarres !!!

May 30th, 2011
11:58 PM ET

Raw Politics: Will Palin run for the White House in 2012?

Editor's note: CNN Chief National Correspondent John King speaks with a panel of guests about Sarah Palin's political future.

Related: Memorial Day brings out presidential hopefuls

Three Days Left

Do you know what day is today...?

That's right, it's only three days to Anderson's Happy Birthday! He will be 44 on Friday.
Are you tuning your voice to sing to him?

Happy Birthday -- Sing some love ♥ ♥

Monday, May 30, 2011

Anderson Cooper, Actor & Model

"...A Special Treat On Saturday ..."

Anderson Cooper parade Grand Marshal for Indianapolis 500

May 30th, 2011 5:15 pm ET

Jodi Jill
National Celebrity Headlines Examiner

The fans of the Indy 500 lined the streets on the famous parade to see the drivers and get ready for the biggest nail biting race of the land. The Indianapolis 500 parade had a special treat on Saturday as Anderson Cooper was the honored parade Grand Marshal.

Sitting in the back of a vehicle, the CNN anchor and sometimes Saturday Night Live guest looked delighted to be part of the ceremony. Waving at the fans who lined the street on both sides, it definitely was a day of celebration. Usually we see Cooper in a faraway land reporting or sharing an intense story about our world, but this appearance gave a human side to the man who we see nightly on television.

The Indianapolis 500 parade is a time honored tradition with the famed racing event. In addition to Anderson Cooper, there were drivers who were racing, families of the racers, and other elements of a good parade including marching bands and floats.

Bringing the fun of the racetrack to the community, the opportunity to see the race outside of the track had the community support.

Two Grand Marshal Offers



Maple Syrup Reactors Safe, Canadian Prime Minister Reassures

May 23, 2011 | ISSUE 47•21

OTTAWA — Hello, this is Anderson Cooper reporting for Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN. After two weeks assessing the sad state of disbelief left after the tornadoes hit Joplin, MO; making a short stop in Indianapolis on Saturday to participate in the Indy 500, 100th Year Anniversary's Parade -- I was the Grand Marshal, you know. Why, you may ask? I have no idea, I don't even own a car and I don't think owning a bicycle counts as a reason for expertise in race cars. Oh, well. I am now with the Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper who is addressing the growing public concerns about the safety of his country's maple syrup reactors, reassuring citizens that the sucrose fission facilities posed little risk of failure and there was absolutely no reason to be concerned. "Acid rain is not the same as Sucrose rain," he assured the attendants. "You can stick your plate of pancakes or waffles out the window and save bundles while the rain lasts."

The flagship Royal Canadian Maple Syrup Plant south of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

"In light of recent global events, I want to assure everyone that our maple syrup reactors are still the safest in the world," Harper said. "A team of engineers inspected every maple syrup reactor in Canada and found that all the backup systems and safeguard measures were in place and functioning properly. And while they were there they enjoyed an ample supply of Belgian waffles dripping plenty with the pure and fresh syrup that had just come out of the plant."

Harper maintained that safeguarding the production of maple syrup was crucial, as it represents 70 percent of the Canadian economy, generating more than $900 billion each year and more than 1 billion pounds of extra weight on the citizens. Harper also said the nation's 75 maple syrup reactors, which produce 7 billion gallons annually, were a considerable distance away from population centers and would make a perfect route for a Marathon to reduce that 1 billion pounds; but that nobody had yet taken on his idea. He assured me, though, that I would be the Grand Marshal of the very first parade when (and if) the Marathon ever gets organized.

"Maple syrup is still the safest form of sweetener," Harper said. "It's far less dangerous than molasses."

According to Canadian maple syrup authorities, a 30-day assessment of the nation's Pressurized Heavy Syrup Reactors determined the sugar-maple cores were sufficiently cool, xylem sap levels remained stable, and spent maple-candy rods had been disposed of according to regulations. In addition, engineers were reportedly encouraged after monitoring sensors indicated boiling temperatures remained in a safe range that would prevent a devastating maple syrup catastrophe. And according to them, don't wait for a copious Sucrose rain to happen any time soon -- after the reactors get old, say 10 to 15 years old, then you can start placing plates of pancakes and waffles on the window sills. But not now.

During the nationally televised press conference, Harper also introduced Liam McGraw, the chairman of the Canadian Maple Syrup Safety Commission, who assured reporters that Canada's top chemists and maple syrup physicists were diligently working to improve reactor performance by studying the sugary material and eliminating any possibility of leaks or explosions.

Maple plant workers handle the precious yet dangerous syrup material.

"As you can imagine, we have numerous fail-safes in place in case of emergencies," said McGraw, gesturing toward several diagrams. "These include protective barriers consisting of thick steel, concrete, and batter-cake walls with indented lattice patterns that soak up and contain the sweet, sticky liquid. Once in a while I dip in a container of my own to take home."

McGraw also said concerns that trace amounts of sucrose had seeped into the water supply of the United States were unfounded.

"We've learned our lesson from the 1998 Winnipeg incident," McGraw said of the infamous core meltdown, which released dark amber material into the environment, coating vegetation and wildlife in the viscous liquid. "If there were a disaster, we'd be prepared for it. We have protective flapjack fortifications in place to ensure containment, and lots of pancake batter to have a festival and make a good thing out of a disaster. And I've already got an okay from the temporary commission for the festival to make Anderson Cooper our first Grand Marshal for the festivities."

I giggled at the second invitation to be Grand Syrup Marshal in Canada.

Despite the government's assurances of emergency readiness, members of a Canadian maple syrup watchdog group remained critical, claiming a major syrup reactor disaster could expose millions to hazardous levels of concentrated sugars. William Anderson (no relationship to me), the organization's president, said a severe meltdown that dispersed syrup particles into the atmosphere would contaminate soil, immobilize vehicular traffic, and send more than 200,000 citizens into hyperglycemic shock.

And I'd be out of two faaaabu-lous Grand Marshal appearances.

"Just imagine, if one of those reactors blew up, there'd be syrup covering everything in a 1,000-mile radius," said Anderson (no relationship), adding that overexposure could also lead to type 2 diabetes. "And it's so sticky that it's unlikely we'd be able to remove all of it for 10,000 years. The Maple Syrup Safety Commission needs to stop turning a blind eye to these very real dangers and tell us the truth -- 10,000 years seems like a little exaggeration."

Although Harper announced Canada's plans to build at least 15 more maple syrup reactors by 2015, many have expressed interest in switching to a safer form of sweetener production by tapping strategic honey reserves or extracting agave nectar from underground mines.

But what about my Grand Marshal appearances? I thought.

Anderson Cooper wearing his protective suit while reporting from the maple syrup reactors.

Made-Up News

Blog chronicles Facebook fury over fake news

By Doug Gross, CNN
May 27, 2011 -- 5:46 p.m. EDT

A story that the final minutes of "Harry Potter" will be stretched to seven movies wasn't unbelievable to some on Facebook.

(CNN) -- Call them curmudgeons if you will. But some folks on Facebook were shocked -- shocked! -- to learn that the last four minutes of the "Harry Potter" series will be split into seven different movies.

They railed against a State Department official being fired for making a "perfectly valid, well-reasoned point" against Israel and were horrified to learn of Planned Parenthood's new $8 billion (with a "B") "Abortionplex."

Probably just as well, then, that none of it was even vaguely close to true.

Instead, they were all headlines from satire site The Onion.

Now, a new blog is capturing those moments of not-so-observant incredulity for the world to see ... and mock.

Literally Unbelievable is the brainchild of Hudson Hongo, a 24-year-old humor writer. He says that he heard about Facebook users not realizing that the Planned Parenthood story was a joke and that, when he started poking around last week, he found plenty of public Facebook pages were full of "Onion"-related confusion.

"When I found out that people were reacting the same way to many other Onion articles, I felt the phenomenon was worth documenting and put it up my blog," he wrote in an e-mail. "Y'know ... for science."

What's so amusing about these posts sometimes is the utter outrage. It's like watching a movie when you know something the hapless protagonist doesn't.

"Wow ... really? I guess it's one way to milk a franchise," one user wrote about the "Harry Potter" claim (spelling and punctuation tweaked here for readability). "Eh, I've enjoyed the last few, but paying around $70 to basically see the end of one movie is a little sad."

The disbelief of others forges boldly into irony territory.

"This is unbelievable," one person wrote about the "Abortionplex." "Can this be real?"

"THIS IS SICK ... really unbelievable that our taxes are paying for this!" wrote another.

"My favorite posts are the ones that express complete shock but not an ounce of doubt," said Hongo, whose work has appeared on McSweeney's among other sites. " 'I can't believe this!' is a pretty funny response to something you should not believe."

He said he hasn't heard from anyone at The Onion about his blog. But its pop culture site, The A.V. Club, had a blog post about it Friday.

"Let's save that anger for the real news, folks," writer Steve Heisler wrote. "As delivered by Ryan Seacrest."

While a big chunk of the fun is laughing at the naivete of others, Hongo says he is somewhat sympathetic.

"I think folks are willing to believe Onion articles because the real news so often seems unreal these days," he said. "Add to that the publishers who write articles that are designed explicitly to incite and the line between the sincere and the satirical becomes vague."

That being said, all of our reporting indicates that a giant, angry, rampaging Osama bin Laden did not rise from the sea this week to have his revenge.

Hear that, folks? We said did not.

Meanwhile, Anderson Cooper reported from Joplin, MO that he didn't make up any of the tornado stories that he is been reporting on -- let's watch the video he sent us after he heard of the Facebook rumors. Roll the video.

Anderson Cooper: "Oh no, these bastards... Are we allowed to say 'bastards' on CNN?"

Evidently the answer was 'yes' because he continued.

Cooper: "These bastard tornadoes are the real thing. Don't believe anything you see in Facebook, nor on that other blog out there which specializes in posting lies about me and Benj... I mean, about me and my mother; that she wants me to have babies -- and I am not even dating anyone who can produce me a child."

An anonymous source who goes by the name of Peter tells us that the blog Anderson was referring to is called "Thoroughly Anderson Cooper" at http://thoroughlyandersoncooper.blogspot.com/. I've seen it, and it is a riot! The puns at Anderson's expense are hilarious; but the administration also has a lot of respect for what they call "the Silver Fox," for Benjamin Maisani (whispering: Andy's BFF), and for Anderson's Mom, Gloria Vanderbilt.

That last part about Anderson was added by the administration's anonymous source, me, Peter, for the sake of accuracy.

Not to hit the nail on the head to the point of exhaustion, but:

I Robot 2

May 29th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #860 'I, Robot'

Will scenes like this -- where the president actually signs a bill -- someday seem quaint?

Reporter's Note: I don’t know if it is legal for robots to sign bills into law. I do know that I would never let one sign my daily letter to the president.

Dear Mr. President,

I’ve been thinking more about this business of you signing a bill into law by using an “autopen” in the White House, since you were overseas at the moment.

Related: Obama approves extension of expiring Patriot Act provisions

I understand the concerns of those who suggest you are opening the door for some sneaky dealings in the future like, oh say, your vice president hacks into the system and “autopens” you into changing the name of Delaware to Bidenlandia. Or Secretary Clinton suddenly starts dealing with all of her parking tickets by presenting excuse notes from the Oval Office.

But I don’t think such things are likely.

Here is my worry: You are apparently the first president ever to let a machine sign a law. You opened the door for the takeover. Come on, we’ve known this was coming for years. I can’t count the number of science fiction movies I’ve seen, and books I’ve read, in which the robots are just waiting for a little slip like this one.

I can hear them now. “Ha ha! Finally we have the president’s signature in our grasp, and he’s admitted he doesn’t even need to be in the country for us to use it! Quick, write up some legislation sending half the federal budget to the electric company, then plug me in, and let’s see what we can do about making the humans ‘boot up’ a few times! Ha ha ha!”

Frankly it would not surprise me if the robots engineered the whole thing - getting you overseas, pushing the legislation back home. Oh yeah, you’re starting to wonder now, aren’t you? Do you know if any humans actually even work in your travel office? That’s something worth checking out, don’t you think?

Anyway, I don’t think I would leave this letter lying around where the security cameras can see it, if you know what I mean. You don’t want them to know that you are on to them. And for that matter you might not want to leave your checkbook on the desk either.

Hope the rest of your weekend is good. And that’s me saying that. Not just my computer.


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AC's Book

A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival," a "New York Times" best seller, is his account of the people he's met, the things he's seen and the lessons he's learned in the midst of devastation.

Dispatches from the Edge
Woven into the narrative is Anderson's struggle to understand his own family's personal tragedies. The paperback version came out May 8, 2007.

Excerpt: Dispatches from the Edge
Review: Anderson cooper's journey
'360' Blog: Anderson on the new book

Peter's Books

(3 short stories and 1 short play.)

The first installment of "The Gay Ghost Trilogy" is the story of Charles Lanier, a young gay guy who rents an apartment on Lake Shore Drive on the near north side of Chicago, and the unexpected adventures he encounters from the day he moves in. And that's only the beginning; follow up with "The Next Gay Ghost" and "The Two Gay Ghosts." Each story can be read independently from the other two installments. Or get all three books in one with "The Gay Ghost Trilogy."

"The Gay Ghost"

Paperback: $9.97 + shipping

"The Next Gay Ghost"

Paperback: $9.97 + shipping

"The Two Gay Ghosts"

Paperback: $9.97 + shipping

"The Gay Ghost Trilogy"

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And a One Act Play about a gay Garamatean and a gay Earthling:


Paperback: $10.70 + shipping

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