Gongol.com Archives: December 2006
Brian Gongol

December 25, 2006

Broadcasting Radio show notes: Today's afternoon drive on WHO Radio

Humor and Good News Czech book design in the 1920s and 1930s

Humor and Good News Welcome to Chicago in 1959

The United States of America What America looks like as a ZIP Code map

The American Way Making cash with digital Christmas cards

Humor and Good News The 100 best jokes on the Internet
According to someone

Humor and Good News Lobbing an insult directly at Ahmadinejad
Danish group sneaks an ad into the Tehran Times that calls him a "swine" in hidden letters

Socialism Doesn't Work Iowa spends half-million to subsidize Pella expansion
Times are good for Pella Corp., so they're expanding operations. So why do taxpayers have to pay them $500,000 to help with the expansion? What entitles Pella to $500,000? Does every growing company in Iowa get $500,000? What about every failing company? What in the blazes is going on here?

Iowa Should Tom Vilsack find out who he originally was?
Iowa governor and Presidential candidate was orphaned, and now he's received information from the orphanage that may tell him about his birth mother

Broadcasting What's good about "Casino Royale"

Computers and the Internet How the Mozilla monster came about

Computers and the Internet 24 web-design tips for 2006

Humor and Good News Falling swami

Computers and the Internet MySpace the #2 search term on Google in 2006
Some strange other ones, though: #1 was "Bebo" (a social-networking site like MySpace), #8 was "rebelde" (a band), and #9 was "mininova" (a file-sharing service)

Weather and Disasters Relief agencies still looking for help
Typhoon Durian killed 1,000 people in the Philippines just a month ago, and they're still short on aid assistance. Probably the best way to donate to disaster relief is to budget the same amount each year and give it to the most efficient relief agency you can find.

News China making it harder and harder to adopt
Adoptions by American couples of Chinese babies now costs $20,000 and takes 15 months

Business and Finance Best gifts combine high value to recipient with high sentimental value
If gifts were only worth what people paid for them, we'd all be a lot better off if everyone just exchanged cash and then let the recipient go and pick out whatever he or she wanted most. But the act of gift-giving does a couple of other things: It's partly an act of giving things that we might not get for ourselves, either out of guilt or lack of access. It's also sometimes a matter of sharing interests, as when a parent will give a child a book instead of a video game. And, of course, there's also the implicit value of sharing, which reveals that we know something about the recipient and what he or she likes. That's why gift cards are tricky territory -- they're almost cash, so the choice of store is just about all one has to go with to show sentimental value.

Business and Finance British retail union wants Christmas music restricted
Hearing the same CDs over and over drives some workers a little nutty. It's probably not really worker abuse, but good employers ought to take under consideration whether the environment they create will make their employees unhappy. That's just basic knowledge from the Frederick Taylor school.

Humor and Good News 16 tips for Christmas photos
Two of the best: De-clutter the shots (keep just one focal point per photo, then just take lots of photos), and use the burst or continuous mode while taking shots of people opening presents

Humor and Good News When caricaturing, start with the features first, not the face shape
That's advice from a "MAD Magazine" artist

Science and Technology Best Japanese invention of 2006: A robotic baby seal
It responds to the user interaction like petting, which is intended to provide elderly patients with useful interaction. Since 19% of the country's population is already over 65, they're looking for ways to keep people engaged in their older days.

Humor and Good News "Scrubs" does a "Charlie Brown Christmas"
(Video) It was a Christmas party stunt

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