Katie is daytime's top new talk show, averaging a 1.9 household rating and 2.5 million viewers. But expectations are high, given the show's cost and auspices. Insiders feel the show is hitting its stride. And sources tell THR that Couric held a staff meeting Feb. 22 during which she stressed that she would not compromise her journalistic brand and that she wants to have fun but also do meaningful work. So, presumably, no more interviews with psychics.
Seriously? Could we see a daytime show that would steer clear, deliberately, of the topic of the paranormal? I, for one, will be waiting to see. Frankly, I've always liked Katie Couric as a journalist as well as as a tv personality, and I think she didn't get a fair shot on the nightly news. I'm almost never at home during the day, and when I am, I don't watch talk shows, but I actually might tune in to Katie.
Zach, who attends Reed College, had the chance to win a new car in the bonus round on Wheel of Fortune by guessing the magic phrase, which was "Magic Wand." He tried everything else, and got the right one at the buzzer, but he didn't pronounce the phrase correctly. Oh, well. He didn't get the Prius, but he did win over $19,000 during the regular part of the show. At least he didn't land on the $100,000 spot on the wheel. Now, that would have been a bitter pill. More coverage here from the Daily Mail.
Siouxie Law discusses Goth Blogs here. Why? Someone else, learned in the ways of gothisme (I suppose--what is "goth-iness" when it's at home?) nominated her for an award. As she writes,
I’ll admit it. I’m too cool for award memes that go around the internet. Well, that is, unless I am given an award. And then, I think they are the best thing ever.
Yesterday, I learned that the lovely and talented Le Professeur Gothique nominated me for the “Gothic Blog Award.”
As part of the this honor, I am to select three Goth blogs that I enjoy reading.
Without further adieu, I will release the bats.
I particularly like the "adieu/ado" pun in the last sentence. But then, I love puns. Love them, almost as much as cats. Samuel Johnson may have thought them the lowest form of humo(u)r and they may well be, except for all the other kinds.
With this essay I begin an examination of the effect and influence of psychics and psychic detectives on the legal system and popular culture. Scripted shows such as the popular Medium and the recently cancelled Ghost Whisperer enhance the personal accounts of the psychic detectives on whom they are based, adapting interesting characteristics and stories, and creating entertainment for viewers. Psychic detective shows such as the reality shows Psychic Detectives, Psychic Witness, and the new series Paranormal Cops provide an alternative to the popular crime scene investigation (CSI) shows as a way to provide a window into the legal system for America’s TV audience. The CSI shows rely on experts and an exciting array of scientific tools, suggesting that scientific evidence often can be so conclusive that the prosecutor in criminal cases can satisfy the “reasonable doubt” standard with no problem. Psychicdetective shows seem to present investigative television that appeals to those interested in the spiritual and the unknown and offer a contrast to the certain outcomes of CSI shows by posing questions that seem closer to the realities with which many viewers are more likely to be familiar through their newspaper and tv experiences. Sometimes juries or judges acquit defendants even though they seem to be guilty or convict them though they seem innocent. Some members of the public think they have paranormal experiences and regularly go to psychics. Many people read newspaper horoscopes, even if only for entertainment, and love the inserts in their Chinese fortune cookies.
Further, such shows emphasize what many viewers may consider to be the fallible side of the legal system, playing on existing viewer fears that defense attorneys with their “tricks” can overwhelm prosecutors and juries. These fears include those that arise out of the impression that constitutional guarantees such as those embedded in the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments are “loopholes” or “technicalities,” which function solely to give the accused far too many rights at the expense of the victim and his or her family. Linked to that fear is the idea that the police may arrest the wrong person or fail to solve crimes altogether. In conjunction with a news media which deluges viewers with stories about cold cases are horror stories about criminals inexplicably allowed to go free who then commit additional crimes, killers never caught and the suspicion that innocent persons may spend years in prison or may well be executed, such “psychic detective” shows present a convenient solution to what seems to some to be an insoluble and horrific dilemma.
Interesting post from an Indian judge concerning tantrik practices. Apparently tantriks are regulated under Indian law. Says Justice Kannan, in part:
The Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 establishes the Medical Council of India (MCI). The Council has notified Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, and Ethics) Regulations in 2002 which mandates observance of the code of conduct on the pain of suspension or removal of the licence to practice for the breach of its regulations. They include the practice against promising magic remedies and advertisements. To the extent to which the Regulations are directed against practitioners of only the allopaths, it is obvious that we have to look elsewhere for the practitioners of other systems of medicine. The Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) established by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in March, 1995 gives no similar guidelines.
It is not merely unethical to prescribe a magic remedy; it is illegal under the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act passed as early as in 1954. The Act proclaims its avowed object to be to control the advertisement of drugs in certain cases, to prohibit the advertisement for certain purposes of remedies alleged to possess magic qualities and to provide for matters connected therewith. Magic remedy includes ‘a talisman, mantra, kavacha, and any other charm of any kind which is alleged to possess miraculous powers for or in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of any disease in human beings or animals or for affecting or influencing in any way the structure or any organic function of the body of human beings or animals’. Even machines of science or of electric treatment whose magically curative properties are advertised by a person as capable of increasing the sexual virility of a patient is prohibited under the Act. They will be treated as articles intended to influence the organic function of the human body which is prohibited under the Act.
Next week's episode of Castle, "Poof, You're Dead," (airing January 10 on ABC) features a magician (actually, according to the website, "a magic shop owner" found dead in "Houdini's" water torture cell). Novelist Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) and his pal, Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), investigate by going behind the scene. From what I can tell from the website clip, Gilles Marini plays a magician.This month's issue of Magic Magazine has a nice writeup.
Early in 2011 the Centre for Inquiry Canada will begin its Extraordinary Claims Campaign (assuming it raises enough funds). The Centre will target such items as those listed on its "Extraordinary Claims" page (Bigfoot, Witches, UFOs, Aliens, Water Memory, and yes, mainstream religions). The campaign will include an ad campaign on Toronto buses--which will have to be approved by the proper authority. Coverage here from the Digital Journal and here from the Edmonton Sun. Last year, the Centre was one of the organizations sponsoring a "There's probably no God" campaign on municipal buses and local billboards. Those campaigns caused ruckuses (ruckusi?) everywhere they appeared, and some transit authorities and advertisers got skittish. Check the Atheist Bus website for updates on activites.
Some restaurant owners will try anything, in this down economy, to ensure success. Consider Jonathan Moldovan, a partner, with his two brothers and his sister, in a New York Burger Company franchise opening at 470 West 23rd Street at the corner of 23rd Street and 10th Avenue in New York. Four restauranteurs have tried their luck at that spot in the past twelve years. How have they fared? You can figure it out for yourself. Mr. Moldovan is opening his burger joint there.
So he and his partners decided to have their new venture blessed by not one, not two, not three, not four, but five clergy--Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Native American, and Episcopalian. As he told the New York Times, “We figured we might as well get as much blessing as we could.” But I note that he missed some denominations. No Wiccans? Hmmm. But the new owners aren't trusting only the blessings. They also factor in proximity to transportation, other businesses, mundane stuff like that.
Other folks who have tried to coax financial success out of the location are somewhat at a loss to explain failure. Successful restauranteur Robert Arbor notes, “It is the Bermuda Triangle, the evil nest, my downfall, my only failure." A local attorney and resident of the area said she had no theory on the successive restaurant failures at the spot but speculated that the menu might attract customers. Well, maybe fifth time's the charm. Or maybe it'll be the burgers.