Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Snow-motion replay


One day you're walking around in shorts and the next, you're bundled up and building a snowman. Weather can be surprisingly variable, as in the case of a recent snowstorm across several states, and iReporters are using creative videography to capture the drastic changes that can occur when weather barrels through. One well-produced piece came from jbjimbo, who showed snow coming up in Nesconset, New York, in addition to reporting on local conditions. A user comment described the video as looking like a cake rising in an oven. ChrisBee showed us about nine hours in the span of 38 seconds as vehicles move through the street in New York and snow increasingly fills the roadway. Another 38-second piece from cdmwebs takes nearly five hours and condenses the time to show how snow makes plants droop on his deck in Boiling Springs, South Carolina. Finally, the rapid speed of the storm is illustrated by TriggaDrew's video showing how the snow caked on his neighborhood in about three hours. We love seeing creative ways of telling a story and showing its meaning, so we encourage you to pull out your camera and find your own storytelling muse. Comment below with your time-lapse tips and tricks, and head to our assignment desk to see if there's a topic out there that interests you.

March 6, 2009
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Fortunately, we have Keith Olbermann to point out that Rush Limbaugh did not accurately quote the preamble to the Constitution in his CPAC speech last weekend. I'm not sure what scam Olbermann imagined Rush was trying to put over on the American people by saying conservatives believed in the "preamble to the Constitution" and then quoting words from the Declaration of Independence -- but Olbermann put an end to that cruel deception!


These small-time opportunities to show off by correcting someone else's teeny-tiny mistakes are the lifeblood of Olbermann's MSNBC show, "Countdown." Olbermann is no more capable of not correcting Rep. Charlie Rangel when he said "inferred," but meant "implied," than an obsessive compulsive could pass a sink without washing his hands.


There is utterly no purpose to these lame "gotchas," except that Olbermann is so desperately insecure that he is willing to waste valuable airtime in order to convince other status-conscious idiots that he is, like, scary-smart.


Olbermann relentlessly attacked low-level Bush administration employee Monica Goodling for not going to a name-dropping college, saying -- approximately 1 million times -- that she got her law degree "by sending 100 box tops to Religious Lunatic University."


I would venture to say that the students at Goodling's law school at Regent University are far more impressive than those at the Cornell agriculture school -- the land-grant, non-Ivy League school Keith attended.


I wouldn't mention it, except that Olbermann savages anyone who didn't go to an impressive college. As it happens, he didn't go to an impressive college, either.


If you've ever watched any three nights of his show, you know that Olbermann went to Cornell. But he always forgets to mention that he went to the school that offers classes in milking and bovine management.


Indeed, Keith is constantly lying about his nonexistent "Ivy League" education, boasting to Playboy magazine, for example: "My Ivy League education taught me how to cut corners, skim books and take an idea and write 15 pages on it, and also how to work all day at the Cornell radio station and never actually go to class."


Except Keith didn't go to the Ivy League Cornell; he went to the Old MacDonald Cornell.


The real Cornell, the School of Arts and Sciences (average SAT: 1,325; acceptance rate: 1 in 6 applicants), is the only Ivy League school at Cornell and the only one that grants a Bachelor of Arts degree.


Keith went to an affiliated state college at Cornell, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (average SAT: about that of pulling guards at the University of South Carolina; acceptance rate: 1 of every 1 applicants).


Olbermann's incessant lying about having an "Ivy League education" when he went to the non-Ivy League ag school at Cornell would be like a graduate of the Yale locksmithing school boasting about being a "Yale man."


Among the graduates of the Ivy League Cornell are Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Thomas Pynchon, Paul Wolfowitz, E.B. White, Sanford I. Weill, Floyd Abrams, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Ginsburg, Janet Reno, Henry Heimlich and Harold Bloom.


Graduates of the ag school include David LeNeveu of the Anaheim Ducks, Mitch Carefoot of the Phoenix RoadRunners, Darren Eliot, former professional hockey player, and Joe Nieuwendyk, multiple Stanley Cup winner.


One begins to understand why Harvard students threw a chicken on the ice during Cornell's famous rout of Harvard at a 1973 hockey game.


If you actually want to pursue a career related to agriculture, there is no better school than the Cornell ag school. I have nothing but admiration for the farmers and aspiring veterinarians at the ag school. They didn't go there just to have "Cornell" on their resumes.


In addition to the farmers, there are some smart kids who go to the ag school -- as there are at all state universities. But most people who majored in "communications" at an ag school don't act like Marshall Scholars or go around mocking graduates of Regent University Law School.


The sort of insecurity that would force you to always say "trebled" instead of "tripled" could only come from a communications major with massive status anxiety, like Keith. Without even looking it up, I am confident that Harvard, Yale and Princeton do not offer degrees in "communications." I know there is no "communications" major at the Ivy League Cornell.


"Communications" is a major, along with "recreation science," most commonly associated with linemen at USC. But at least the linemen can throw a football, which Keith cannot because his mother decided he was not physically robust enough to play outdoors as a child.


It may seem cruel to reveal the true college of someone who already wakes up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat worried that he's a fraud. But I believe that by pointing out that Olbermann actually is a fraud, I am liberating him.


You may not realize it now, Keith, but you will look back on this day and say, "That was the best thing that ever happened to me!"


Finally, you can stop pretending that you went to the hard-to-get-into Cornell.


Now you won't have to quickly change the subject whenever people idly remark that they didn't know it was possible to major in "communications" at an Ivy League school.


No longer will you have to aggressively bring up Cornell when it has nothing to do with the conversation.


Relax, Keith. Now you can let people like you for you.

December 4, 2009
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