Morning Media Summary


Top Chinese blogger shuts down country’s first pvt magazine:
“China’s first private magazine, which was launched by famous blogger Han Han in a bid to break monopoly of the tightly-controlled official media, has shut down apparently after its printing was blocked by authorities.”

Cheaters Find an Adversary in Technology:
“Mississippi had a problem born of the age of soaring student testing and digital technology. High school students taking the state’s end-of-year exams were using cellphones to text one another the answers.”

Hooked on the Internet:
“I finally had to acknowledge that I was helpless in the face of my addiction, which has had me, especially in recent weeks, tapping my e-mail “refresh” button like a lab rat trying to get cocaine.”

Global Warming / Environment / Energy:

NASA’s Sunspot Prediction Roller Coaster:
“Santa brought us a new Sunspot prediction to be added to NASA’s incredibly high series of at least five ill-fated predictions starting in 2006. NASA’s latest peak Sunspot Number for Solar Cycle #24 (SC24) is down 60% from their original, but it still seems a bit too high, judging by David Archibald’s recent WUWT posting that analogizes SC24 and SC25 to SC5 and SC6 which peaked around 50, during the cold period (Dalton minimum) of the early 1800?s.”

Insurance / Gambling:

Online Sports Gambling Approved By Nevada Gaming Commission:
“Senator Harry Reid may have tipped his hand too early to get federal online gambling laws changed, but that does not mean that Nevada casinos will be left out in the cold. The Nevada Gaming Commission made an important decision recently that will bring Internet gaming to the state sooner rather than later.”

Health / Safety:

You Must Be Kidding… PBS Glorifies Cuban Health Care System (Video):
“They forgot to mention that Cuban President Raul Castro just warned his fellow Cubans that they are running out of time and if they don´t change now, their will be an economic collapse.”

White House attempts to quiet revived talk of ‘death panels’:
“The Obama administration is trying to quiet talk about so-called “death panels” after The New York Times reported Sunday that a new Medicare regulation includes incentives for end-of-life-care planning.”


On Medicare and Social Security, be unfair to the boomers:
“I received my Medicare card the other day, recognizing my 65th birthday and making me part of one of America’s biggest problems. By this, I mean the burden that the massive baby-boom generation will impose on its children and the nation’s future. There has been much brave talk recently, from Republicans and Democrats alike, about reducing budget deficits and controlling government spending. The trouble is that hardly anyone admits that accomplishing these goals must include making significant cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits for baby boomers.”

Ex-Shell president sees $5 gas in 2012:
“The former president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister, says Americans could be paying $5 for a gallon of gasoline by 2012.”

Venezuela’s Chavez makes first use of new powers:
“Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made his first use of new decree powers on Sunday to create a $2.3 billion fund for reconstruction after widespread flooding that left more than 130,000 people homeless.”


Tobacco Fund Move OK:
“The Ohio Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Wednesday that lawmakers didn’t violate the state Constitution when they took about $230 million set aside for tobacco prevention and used it for other purposes, according to a Bloomberg report.”


Border guards’ union worried about safety:

“The union representing customs agents says the new decision by the Canada Border Services Agency to curtail its involvement in assisting other police forces across the country raises safety issues.”

Transportation/ Land Use:

Stranded by trains, planes after Northeast storm:
“When Angela Madsen was pulled off her plane and her wheelchair stayed on board, she knew she was in for a rough night. The paraplegic athlete struggled to get into the bathrooms at Kennedy Airport. Turning the wheels on her borrowed wheelchair strained her shoulders. Sleeping was impossible.”