Achievement unlocked

Oof. I’d seen truncated versions of Peter Brook’s Mahabharata, but never managed to catch the whole thing. Done. Here, watch – five hours and 24 minutes of compelling storytelling:

PS: Over and out for the day.

Talking news

We are drowning in news. Reuters alone puts out three-and-a-half million news stories a year. That’s just one source.
My question is: How many of those stories are actually going to matter in the long run? That’s the idea behind The Long News. It’s a project by The Long Now Foundation, which was founded by TEDsters including Kevin Kelly and Stewart Brand. And what we’re looking for is news stories that might still matter 50 or 100 or 10,000 years from now. I mean look at the news through that filter, a lot falls by the wayside.
That clip is from a Kirk Citron talk on TED, on the Long News Project.
How does the news shape the way we see the world? Here’s the world based on the way it looks — based on land mass. And here’s how news shapes what Americans see. This map — (Applause) — this map shows the number of seconds that American network and cable news organizations dedicated to news stories, by country, in February of 2007 — just one year ago. Now, this was a month when North Korea agreed to dismantle its nuclear facilities. There was massive flooding in Indonesia. And in Paris, the IPCC released its study confirming man’s impact on global warming. The U.S. accounted for 79 percent of total news coverage. And when we take out the U.S. and look at the remaining 21 percent, we see a lot of Iraq — that’s that big green thing there — and little else. The combined coverage of Russia, China and India, for example, reached just one percent.
That’s from an Alisa Miller talk that is also worth your while. An additional thought: If someone with no knowledge of India spent a day watching television news, what would his takeaway be?

Anatomy of a newscast

Sunday levity:

Courtesy jcalamur on Twitter.


Take a break, listen to my pick for the best of the musical tributes paid to Michael Jackson. High class guitar work, and a great song performed with real feeling:

For those who may have missed this, here’s John Mayer’s music lessons in Esquire magazine. And here’s my personal favorite from Mayer’s ouevre.

And since it’s that kind of afternoon, here’s magic: Miles Davis plays MJ: