Friday, September 14, 2007

Vegas Cops Try To Change The Record

Here's something that may not be as odd as the notion of O.J. Simpson being caught up in a possible armed robbery, but it's definitely weird.

Today the Vegas police had a press conference. Near the end of it, Cpt. James Dillon wanted to make it clear that the case would receive neither special nor harsh treatment because of its O.J. involvement. But what he said was:

"The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is committed to conducting a thorough, biased and complete investigation."

Obviously he wanted to say "unbiased." But he didn't. What to do?

Well, if you're Metro, you try to change history, even history that was seen on live TV by millions of people. So, to that end, they sent an email to the media about an hour ago with the "slightly altered" audio from the press conference. Now, I can't ever remember Vegas police issuing an audio recording of anything before. In fact, the reason I had to watch the thing on Fox News was that they issued a press release at 11:37 a.m. today announcing that the press conference would be at, uh, 11:40 a.m. Even as badly as I drive, I can't get across town in three minutes. Other reporters had already gathered over there an hour or so before, but I didn't even know where "there" is because I cover the cops around here so infrequently. Plus, I was afraid as I watched via TV the media gathering that if I got in the car, I'd miss the thing. I had been promised a press release informing me of the time of the press conference and I stupidly assumed they'd give me more than three minutes to get there.

Anyhow, so the very helpful Vegas cops sent out the audio with but one change.

The change? They cut out the word "biased." That's all.

My piece for The New York Times on this freaky situation is here. God forbid we have an O.J. trial in Vegas. Eeeek.

For God's Sake...

Just when the Steve Fossett mess seemed to be calming down a bit, O.J. Simpson is questioned in Vegas in connection with a room robbery at the Palace Station. It never ends...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

L'Shanah Tovah

I'm about to head out to Congregation Ner Tamid for Rosh Hashanah services and just wanted to quickly say Happy New Year to all of you. Jewish or not, there is something about this time of year that does always make people feel like new beginnings are upon us. September and October has always been a time of starts for me, including several jobs, school years and even my relationship with Miles.

If you miss me, catch up on my latest output:

* My piece in the New York Times on 9/11 about the crappy beacon on Fossett's plane is here. I was amused this morning to start reading it in the Las Vegas Sun, which uses NYT wire, before I noticed it was my own piece.
* My piece for Wired News on the 50,000+ people searching for Fossett via Amazon.Com is here.
* Appeared on Jon Ralston's Face To Face on LV1 on 9/11. Video is available in three segments if you scroll down a little bit on this site.
* The Peter Frampton episode of "The Strip" can be heard here, or you can right-click here to download it and listen to it whenever.
* Episode #102 of "The Petcast" is online now, too. It's called "Duck Poop and Reptiles Happen," and our guest is a woman from the Colorado Reptile Humane Society. Hear it here or right-click here to save it.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

An Honor To Be Nominated!

We're excited to announce that "The Strip" is a finalist for Best Radio Program, locally produced, in the annual Electronic Media Awards contest in Southern Nevada. This is a big deal because we've already bested likely dozens of submissions from local talk-radio stations and are in league with our NPR affiliate, who I'm sure received a finalist nod or two.

What's more, this contest is judged not by the public or other podcasters but a panel of radio-industry veterans from a different market. So it's recognition from a set of peers who have never recognized podcasts before.

We'll know Oct. 20 if we actually won, but frankly we already feel like we've won in breaking down a barrier in terms of getting podcast content considered in the same breath with broadcast content. I had argued last year they ought to add a podcast category, but they told me to enter in the radio categories instead.

The nomination is for our interview with 2006 World Series of Poker champ Jamie Gold, who admitted in the conversation to two forms of cheating during the tournament he won. It aired in February and you can hear it here or right-click here to download it and listen to it at your leisure.

What's even more exciting is that Miles has won four of these awards -- in a row -- for his shows at KVBC. We're kind of psyched by the notion that we might actually have one with both our names on it!

MGM Mirage: Online Smut Purveyor?

I can't decide if this is brilliant or low-brow. This being Vegas, both is always an option.

MGM Mirage has launched two online games tied into the Cirque adult production "Zumanity" at New York-New York and the burlesque "Fantasy" show at Luxor. In the "Zumanity" case (above), players must follow a yellow ball with their cursor as it traces each letter of the title, a woman in the background doing some sort of hoop tricks. If you succeed in keeping up with the letter you're on, she removes an article of clothing until, ostensibly, she's nude. It's not as easy as it sounds; I lost on the "m" and it seems that the only people who have made it through all the way were beta testers, at least from what I can tell from the Hall of Fame rankings and the fact that their date-time stamp was before the site went live.

The "Fantasy" game is more straightforward. They give you 50 spins with 100 credits for a slot (slut?) machine and if you line up symbols, you win different amounts. There's a "peep show" and the number of credits you've earned relates to how much of the writhing woman you see.

The obvious question is, why only women in these strip teases? What about amusing the women and the gays, both markets these companies are constantly pursuing. Where's the "Thunder From Down Under?" Or, better yet, Carrot Top!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Strip is LIVE tonight -- Really This Time!

OK! We're back on our regular schedule and will see you all tonight in the chat at LVRocks.Com for a fantastic show featuring one of the weirdest, coolest interviews ever, this time with Peter Frampton.

Do NOT miss the first three minutes or you'll miss the best laugh you'll have all day. We're holding Wynn another week b/c Frampton plays Vegas this coming weekend.

Join us at 7:05 pm PT. We promise, minimal Fossett. Well, unless they find him.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Will Fossett Search Find This Man?

Continuing to mine the intrigue surrounding the Steve Fossett search, today I have a piece on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle and inside the Chicago Tribune about one family that hopes one of those many other previously unknown wrecks found during this hunt will turn out to belong to Charles Ogle, who vanished FORTY-THREE YEARS AGO. The charming photo above is Ogle with his now-47-year-old son, William Ogle, who is a professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Florida at Gainesvile. I especially love the car in the driveway.

It's a truly fascinating story, exclusively mine, and you can read about it here.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Lynn Johnston: The Podcast!

As long promised, we've finally posted the audio of my lengthy chat with "For Better or For Worse" cartoonist Lynn Johnston -- in conjunction with the publication of my piece on changes to the comic strip which runs in USA Today on Monday. Hear the chat here or right-click here to save it to your computer and listen to it whenever you wish.

Johnston, author of the most popular comic strip in North America, opens up about which comics she likes, what she thinks of her critics, why she's changing her format so radically, what may happen to the characters, what topics she may take on next and how her perspective has changed since she became so wealthy and famous for her cartoon.

For other perspectives on the comics, I'm a HUGE fan of the Comics Curmudgeon, whom I quoted in the online version of the piece. And this daily blog on FBOFW is addictive, even if I frequently disagree.

VMAs, NFL, US Open and That HBO Iraq Thing

All of those things above would normally have my rapt attention. But instead, I'm still on Fossett watch, which is entering its seventh day. What on earth could I possibly still be writing about?

Well, you know those six plane wrecks they have found in the Nevada hills while looking for Fossett? Each has a story. And I found one that may be related, a family missing their relative for more than 43 years. I'll link to that when the piece runs tomorrow. It is an incredible tale.

Meanwhile, the technology involved continues to intrigue. Amazon has some sort of exercise they're doing where they're taking new Google Earth satellite images of the search area and handing out squares of them to thousands of online volunteers to scour in hopes that people out there will spot something useful. Wow.

But first, time for breakfast. Catch ya later.