Friday, November 17, 2006

The Lightning Round:
All-American Edition

In celebration of this weekend's American Heritage Festival in Queen Creek, Arizona, the staff of The Lightning Round offers up its slice of Americana in the news...

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.

From UPI:
"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.

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.
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?

No comments: