TESTING THE TEST. The exam for new U.S. citizens is changing, and newcomers in several cities -- including home base in Tucson -- will try it out. Historical facts are taking a back seat to how democracy works.
"A lot of the current questions really are trivia questions," [Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services spokesman Shawn] Saucier said. "The new test is designed to encourage immigrants to really look at our history and government and what we value as a society."Some of The Lightning Round's suggestions for new questions:
* What is a lobbyist, and how can one be harmful to your political health?
* What is the only poll that matters on Election Day?
* Why do we need an Electoral College?
* How has the Libertarian Party existed so long despite losing in countless elections?
* EXTRA CREDIT: Demonstrate how to hack a Diebold voting machine.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH.The Al-Jazeera news channel, derided by many as the Osama Bin Laden Channel, just launched its English-language service... if you can find it.
From the AP:
At least for now, most Americans will have no chance to see Al-Jazeera to judge for themselves. Al-Jazeera's list of U.S. carriers included none of the major U.S. cable TV providers: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications or Cablevision. Neither of the two major satellite TV providers in the U.S. - Dish Network and DirecTV - are carrying the network.We report, you... uh.... you... uh... hello?
PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE. O.J. Simpson is coming out with a book called If I Did it, in which he describes how he would have killed his ex-wife and her friend, slayings for which he was acquitted but found liable for in a civil suit. He also sat down for an interview with Fox News.
From the AP:
''O.J. Simpson, in his own words, tells for the first time how he would have committed the murders if he were the one responsible for the crimes,'' the network said in a statement. ''In the two-part event, Simpson describes how he would have carried out the murders he has vehemently denied committing for over a decade.''The Lightning Round wonders if Simpson is pleading Not Guilty by Reason of Confusion.
OUT OF THIN AIR. We are learning of a breakthrough in rock and roll, that all-American musical genre. Seems some Australian scientists have whipped up a t-shirt that transforms your air-guitar fantasy moves into music.
From the Sydney Morning Herald:
Scientists at the CSIRO's Textile and Fibre Technology division in Geelong have woven electronic sensors into a T-shirt so that it can be played liked a real guitar.Next up, the air drum shirt and the air synthesizer shirt. Air vocals... hmm... that's a little tougher, but we seem to think you could make something out of an interpretive dance, perhaps?
Movements by the wearer's arms are mapped and beamed by radio to a computer which interprets them and turns them into musical notes.
The wearer only has to act out playing the instrument to make sounds.