Monday, March 30, 2009

Reverend Wrong to Speak at U of M

Hey, don't blame me, I'm just echoing Obama's rebuke. I think.

The appearance will be Friday at U of M's Rose Theater in a themed event called "The Obama Phenomenon: Race and Political Discourse in the United States today", which sounds like it might be interesting:
Among the titles of topics being presented:

-- Obama and the Media: Caricatures, Representations and Hip Hop

-- Obama's Baby Mama: How Michelle Obama's Self-Narratives in the Media Negotiate Racism

-- Towards a More Perfect Union: Obama and Colorblind Public Policy

-- Old School Politics? The Continuing Relevance of Race and Ethnicity in Memphis

-- Soul Brother No. 1: Is Obama Black Enough?
The bigger question might be whether Coach Cal will still be the BMOC by then..

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Teflon Snow?

We had a nice late season snow here in Left Tennessee overnight, one of those 'good snows'. What's a good snow? One that builds up to about half a foot on the weekend then melts off before rush hour Monday. Heck, most of the streets were fine before church Sunday, but we still have a few inches left on the ground for display purposes.

The media coverage of this has been interesting. Evidently the Commercial Appeal was AWOL Sunday, using a generic report with very little updated info. On the national front, CNN decided to use their regular Joe network--I report citizen journalists--to cover the event here. And just like a regular reporter, he got it wrong, mentioning something about teflon snow'.. well here, let's let him explain:
In Memphis, Tennessee, CNN iReporter George Brown said Sunday that forecasters had predicted "Teflon snow," which wouldn't stick to the ground. But the snow that fell was much heavier, he said. iReport.com: Share photos of icy, snowy weather in your town

"We were getting an inch or more an hour," he said. "Some roads are impassable because the folks here aren't use to dealing with slick streets. Many cars are off the interstate, and hotels are packed," Brown said.
Not sure where Mr. Brown got this bombshell info but the NWS in Memphis issued a Winter Storm Warning around 4 am Saturday morning for the entire city, calling for 4 inches of snow. Earlier forecasts on Friday had called for accumulating snow, although not 4 inches. But hey, it's Memphis. The local weathermen often get winter forecasts wrong but let's give credit where due--they hit this one. But history, as written by CNN's George, will not reflect that.

There was also this puzzling comment, coming from a TDOT spokesperson:
Julie Oaks from the Tennessee Department of Transportation told CNN she had never seen snow before in the western part of the state.
Strange, Memphis and the western part of the state got 4-6 inches about this same time last year. There simply must be a logical explanation for this baffling statement aside from "it's CNN".

Perhaps Ms. Oaks just moved to her job at TDOT from some other part of America (or the state) and arrived after March, missing last year's storm. Or maybe they took something out of context such as "I've" never seen snow there before because she was based in Nashville or something. But the notion she's been at the state agency that issues road condition reports and has no memory of any snow in the west is beyond comprehensible, if true, leaving my confidence in the information flashed on those overhead signs as next to nil.

So I'm going with "it's CNN".