Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Shaun becomes more "assertive" as "The Good Doctor" progresses

Two more episodes of “The Good Doctor”.

I didn’t see “Point Three Percent” until today, watched online.  Shaun has to deal with the idea of “lying” to a minor patient, a boy who resembles his deceased brother. He even says to a nurse “I need you” to get her to do the lying for him.  Them he has to ask if he is in trouble for ordering an extra test when he believes the osteosarcoma diagnosis may be wrong (0.3% chance)  There’s an interesting medical question:  could Epstein Barr virus have caused the sarcoma in a genetically susceptible patient?

There’s a subplot about an older man with tapeworms.

In Episode 6. “Not Fake”, Shaun decides he can save a leg after a huge accident with a titanium femur. Another female patient is severely burned.

Shaun avoids eye contact and is always probing the way he roves with his eyes. He says he doesn’t want “love” but he really does care about people.
I want to see his boyhood cat visit him.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Netflix ends "House of Cards" after long enough run; Wasn't Kevin Spacey's sin venial enough?

Netflix will end its “House of Cards” series with Season 6, which is a lot, NPR announced today in a typical story.

I know the purists will say there is no “statute of limitations” on involvement of a minor in moral codes (sometimes there is in state law).  Spacey’s tease of a 14 year old might have seemed more acceptable in 1986 (although you wonder about on the heels of HIV), than it would be after the exposure from NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” (mostly heterosexual cases) with Chris Hansen in 2005-2006, when public opinion flipped so quickly. Some teens are mature for their age and can tease.  But the social intolerance for anything like this seemed to flip around 2005.

Kevin Spacey has “come out” as a gay man, something I’ve heard for years.  Many are saying he has no right to hide behind a past phantom closet.

Milo Yiannopoulos, following the pseudo accusations against him in February, jumped all over Spacey on his own site today.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

"Putin's Revenge" in 2016 had been building up a long time (PBS Frontline)

A two-part series on PBS Frontline’s “Putin Files”, called “Putin’s Revenge”, traces the history that leads to Putin’s leading Russia to hack American social media with fake news to sow division and put an authoritarian-minded person (Trump) like himself in the presidency.

Putin, even like Kim Jong Un, has seen the US dispose dictators.  He interpreted statements by George W Bush (even after empathizing over 9.11) and then Hillary Clinton as an existential threat to the Russian state.  The fall of Gadaffi in 2011 after the Arab Spring strengthened Putin’s resolve.
Was the 2013 anti-gay propaganda law a diversion from this agenda?

A major incident that affected his attitudes was the 2004 Beslan School Siege by Checnynan extremists. 
Minnpost has a good summary of the new subseries. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Real life cold case clown killer case solved when Stephen King's remake of "IT" shows

ABC 20-20 aired a documentary ("American Horror Story") Friday Oct. 21 about Florida’s 1990 “killer clown” case that had gone cold for 27 years. The best link is a Miami Herald story on the episode here. 
Shelia Keen Warren was arrested in late September 2017 and extradited to Florida where she could face the death penalty for killing her former husband’s wife in the face after dressing as a clown and ringing a doorbell. She faces the death penalty now in Florida. 

The case drew some interest because of the Stephen King horror film (actually a remake) “IT” in 2017.

ABC produced a store owner who remembers a woman buying a clown suit. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Cruz bests Sanders on CNN debate

CNN featured a 90-minute debate between Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday night. Ed Rogers of the Washington Post says that Cruz “outclassed” Sanders. Odd for a liberal paper. 


Cruz made a salient point about the death tax.  Family offspring often have to sell businesses, which would have employed people, to pay taxes.  Cruz seemed to imply that people who inherit estates have a moral obligation to try to employ people with profitable businesses.  People who are good at running restaurants or especially franchise stores generally learned these skills from families. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

This is Life: for teens the punishment way exceeds the crime on sexting

Teens indeed have trouble seeing around corners as to how adults apply the law.
Lisa Lang's "This is Life" presented two cases of teenage boys being tried as potential sex offenders.

In one case, in Minnesota, a fourteen year old had texted indecent pictures of himself to a 13-year old girl.  He was charged with producing and distributing child pornography -- of himself. His entire family lost Internet access, and his probationary therapy required passing inadmissible lie detector tests.

In Milwaukee, a 17 year old senior and athlete was prosecuted for "consensual" sex with a seductive 14 year old girl.  The parents called police.  He wound up with two years probation and ten years sex offender registration, and having to report himself a felon for ten years. There was a similar case in Michigan where the defendant said the girl had lied about her age. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Anthony Bourdain visits Lagos, Nigeria

Anthony Bourdain visited Lagos, Nigeria on Parts Unknown Sunday night, Oct. 15 (link )

The rich people live on Victoria Island, but the poor people live on canals in shantytowns.
Yet the people turn to entrpreneurlialism in  city with poor government services.  People scrape with little businesses, like cell phone repair.  They are good with their hands.  They are not afraid of high pressure selling.
Nigeria, however, is known for its anti-gay laws.  Why is this the case in a relatively “libertarian” economy?  Bourdain didn't go near this question.

Attribution link CCSA 2.0 on Wikipedia for picture OpenEdU.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"The Good Doctor": Shaun operates on a liver in transit; does Shaun talk to animals?

In Episode 3  “Oliver”of “The Good Doctor”, Shaun gets detailed to pick up a transplant donor liver. In route, with police escort, Shaun, using his savant abilities, detects a blood clot within the liver and performs roadside surgery on the organ.  He also keeps it cool in an emergency incident in a convenience store ice machine.

He also interacts with a neighbor in his Bay Area apartment. There is the barest hint of interest in future female companionship. 

A big cat who resembles mama cat back in Wyoming appears on his patio, and later Shaun puts out canned tuna to attract her back.  Did Shaun’s boyhood cat travel 1000 miles by magnetic sense to find him?  Does Shaun have an unusual ability to communicate with animals?  Maybe a future scene with dolphins and their sonar?

Shaun seems like an angel from another planet.  He speaks in non-idiomatic English, putting everything into logical consistency.  Yet he can take care of everything.  He remains physically fit.  Maybe there will be a scene showing him coding like Mark Zuckerberg. 

Episode 4 (Oct 16), "Pipes", impressed less. While the hospital struggles with a touch issue terminating a pregnancy, Shaun annoys his landlord with ridiculous demands.  This time his probing became irritating. 

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Lisa Ling shows Chinese capitalism, and birth tourism in the US

Lisa Ling’s “This Is Life” on CNN tonight offered a look at the progress of capitalism in her home China (link  )

She showed the glitz of Shanghai, and said that a lot of formerly inconspicuous people had become able to get rich by making and selling consumer items. This is true despite the authoritarian view of speech and dissent and one-party rule.

One reasonably privileged young man wanted to develop a virtual reality business to allow poorer people to enjoy things without having to possess them.

The broadcast covered birth tourism.  Chinese mothers come to the US and get put up in homes for about $30000 to give birth to citizens.  But the parents have to struggle to get green cards, especially now.  And the kids may not learn Chinese well if the parents take them back.
Lisa Ling wants her own daughter to learn Chinese because she will need to be able to function in the Chinese economy, even given its authoritarianism.
By JesseW900 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Saturday, October 07, 2017

AC360 on CNN: Portrait of the victims in Las Vegas

On Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, Anderson Cooper AC360 aired a tribute to the 58 victims, fatalities in the Las Vegas shootings Sunday night Oct. 1. 

Cooper calls it “stories of the fallen”.  He also says he does not name perpetrators on programs like this.

Here is the portrait of the victims and a narrative of each one in the Los Angeles Times. 

The photo is from my own visit to Las Vegas in May 2012. 

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

"The Good Doctor" went door-to-door as a boy

The Good Doctor” continued with Episode 2, “Mount Rushmore”. 

The episode starts with Shaun waking up in his minimalist apartment, doing pushups, and arriving at work.  The bus is late, and he says it cannot be his fault that the bus is late.  Odd.
His bedside manner is challenged when he is brutally honest about seeing a patient’s sarcoma near her aorta.  But later he will propose a way to save her life, by removing a kidney first to get at the tumor.

When he questions the discharge of a little girl with stomach problems, he goes to her house later, just in time to save her life, too. 

His manner sounds robot-like, rather like Spock in Star Trek. But he can question other people’s social games, like sarcasm.  He sees and processes everything the way a cat would (compared to a dog) – and cats really do notice everything in their environments. Still, he remains lovable. It is almost as if he came from another planet with unusual abilities and different modes of self-awareness and expression. 


The title of the episode comes from a flashback where as a boy he is raising money for a brother’s cancer treatment after a trip from Wyoming to Mt. Rushmore (in SD) is canceled. When a homeowner turns him away, he throws a stone.  I found that backstory disturbing, as I am sensitive myself to receiving door-to-door visitors out of security concerns.  That is getting less acceptable today than it used to be.  

ABC has reportedly ordered the rest of the season as episodes. 

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Days of our Lives: a gay wedding breaks up as a former husband is rumored to have returned from the dead

Well, gay marriage is back on Days of our Lives. Sonny is trying to marry Paul, the baseball pitcher, as part of a double wedding (the other part is straight). When Ben escapes from a mental hospital and shows up and crashes the wedding, it all breaks loose. Ben claims Will is still alive.

So there is a love triangle again.  What a nice plot on a soap for a gay triad.

Straight young policeman JJ (Casey Moss) has turned himself around and rather rocks now, and says he loved Will himself.

Nevertheless, it still seems that Sonny has trouble protecting his chest hair. 

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Lisa Ling covers sex therapy on her "This Is Life" series

Lisa Ling, in her series “This Is Life” on CNN, presented an episode on sex therapy, in one of the most explicit episodes ever, best link.  This seemed to be the premier for the fall of 2017. 

She started with a couple in a second marriage where the husband had settled into his role of instant family but host the ability below the waist.

She presented a therapist who treated a middle aged man who simply wanted to be able to experience intimacy.

She mentioned the movie “The Sessions”, and presented a therapist in San Francisco treating a young man with cerebral palsy.  Lisa Ling joined in appearing in the nude in that session (blurred on television).

Intimacy was presented as an end in itself.  I remember the tension when I went through my heterosexual dating in 1971.

Intimacy in relationships makes openness to those in need easier and more likely.