Category Archives: media

Henry Blodget is the New Lou Rukeyser?

In 1970, Lewis Rukeyser started a TV show called “Wall Street Week with Lewis Rukeyser” that summed up the weekly financial news.  It stayed on the air for 32 years. Not bad for a show about finance.

Image result for Louis Rukeyser

The show was in fact, more than just a financial news summary. Lou had a way of making the financial news — especially making money from investing — sound like fun. He promoted the idea of investing in stocks for the long haul. And he and his panel made bold buy recommendations with explanations. Sure there was professionalism. As important, Lou brought a cocky attitude that he was in it for the fun of making money and talking about making money.

It got a lot of attention and, I think, encouraged lots of folks to invest and talk about investing rather than just leaving it to the experts. It also fit right in during the 1980’s with the huge cultural shift in the US towards a “greed is good” attitude. But Lou was not just a stock pitch man. He was ready to make fun of investing fads and he preached doing research before buying.

Image result for Louis Rukeyser

Lou passed on in 2006.

As far as I can tell, no one has been able to effectively fill Lou’s shoes. Jim Cramer tries, but he does not have the same compelling personality and connections. There are other as well. But again, I don’t see the same level that Rukeyser regularly hit.

And now there is Henry Blodget. Henry founded Business Insider and he is now doing a short weekly financial news summary through Business Insider. The show is not as developed as Rukeyser’s was. Nor does Henry offer the panel that Lou did. But Henry does pretty good interviews. And he takes the longer view the way that Lou did.

check it out! I think Henry is onto something and hope that he will keep it up!

When Robert Hardy Faced Boris the Cat

By all rights, All Creatures Great and Small should have been a boring TV series. A show about two country vets? In fact, Robert Hardy, who plays Siegfried Farnon in the show, thought it would bore the city folks and annoy those in the country.

But it works. For one thing, the acting is very good.  But it is not just that, You get drawn in by the simple things of life — like dealing with Boris the cat.BTW, the show came out in 1978, when Hardy was 52. He is in his 90’s now and going strong! Enjoy!

Dave Letterman at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Dave sports a ginormous beard these days

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and has spare time to do stuff like speak at Pearl Jam’s induction into the Hall of Fame. It was a fun night

…, it turned out that these guys in Pearl Jam were something more than a band. They’re true living cultural organisms. They would recognize injustice and they would stand up for it. Whether it was human rights or the environment. Whether it was poverty. They didn’t let it wash over them. They would stand up and react.

Check out the link for some fun video!

Good News if You Want to Follow Tony Bourdain Around

I remember the days when Tony was just a cheeky chef who wrote a book giving the “inside scoop” on New York restaurants. Times have changed and Tony is now a celeb. He sells his unique brand of snarkiness via TV, and in new projects.

Image result for Tony Bourdain

I happen to enjoy what he does. The main reason that I enjoy it is that Tony is just being Tony. He does not strive to create an overly “managed persona”. You might contrast how he comes off with, let’s say, a dude like Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly manages his image by forcing folks to come to him in his environment where he controls everything. Don’t believe me? Then check out what Bill O’Reilly is really like when he loses control


I don’t think that tony takes himself that seriously. His style is more like this

The line outside New Zum Zum Hotel, a blue-tented, outdoor restaurant in a residential neighborhood in central Srinagar, had begun forming at 7 a.m., Gulam Rosul explains, quietly moving among the 30 boiling pots that lined the restaurant. Cars full of customers drive up as Mohamed Shafi, the owner, sits cross-legged, ladling food into takeaway bags.

There is a sort of”I am cooler than you are” to this style of writing. But let’s face it. Tony is cooler than most of us.  And he makes a ton of money being that way. I think that is pretty cool.  Bill makes a lot more money. But cool, he aint.

Decline and Fall on TV

Not everyone is a fan of Evelyn Waugh. he was, after all, a thoroughly nasty individual. And his written works are scathingly satirical. Nothing is spared his jaundiced gaze. In the end, not even himself (Waugh goes anti-Waugh in his last novel, “The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold”).

At the same time, Waugh wrote astonishingly well. And his story telling is nothing short of brilliant. Anyone seeking to learn how to write could do worse than read Waugh’s prose.

Soi, you might ask, why would folks try to render Waugh in film? It was done successfully in “Brideshead Revisited”. Successfully because the script is word for word out of the book. Now we get “Decline and Fall”, Waugh’s first comic novel.

I will be checking it out, just to enjoy the mood that Waugh creates in the story. You should too!

Web Freelancers Unite!

I agree with Derek Bodner that

Nobody has really figured out how to monetize the internet. Subscriptions, unless tuned perfectly, can be self-defeating. Ads don’t pay enough, and fundamentally change the way you’re forced to write if you want to have a chance.

As you can see from the above link, Derek is giving it a shot. He will try to monetize his expertise in reporting on basketball to create a new sort of web platform for following the Philadelphia professional basketball team., the Sixers. From an initial glance, it seems that he has made a good start. Not enough to rely on this as a sole source of income, but not bad either.

It is instructive. Derek’s example shows us that this kind of web platform needs two components

  • an immediate need for regular updates about a subject that a viable target group is passionate about
  • expertise  to deliver those updates in a user-friendly way

If you have both, you may be able to build a community around an independently managed web platform. It is a matter of matching the two, even if for a limited period of time.

Very interesting. I wish Derek luck. And I hope that we can learn from his adventure!

A Different Perspective on Singapore’s Marina Bay Hotel

It looks like this

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Each of the three towers is for guests — with 2,561 rooms. looking for a restaurant? There are 60. And at the top, you find the largest infinity pool in the world.

That means cleaning 4,000 towels per day and around 35,000 pieces of room linen!  Wow!

You can find out more in a new series, “Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby“. My man, Giles Coren is one of the hosts – and Giles does like to have a good time.

Check it out!