Tag Archives: breaking news

America’s GOT Talent


Has anyone noticed the G in AGT is also the acronym for Game of Thrones, the most popular TV series in America? The talents of the acting and production staff are prodigious. The devotion of fans to the bloody battles rivals the first person shooter video games. BTW, who do YOU want to “shoot?”

Time for a Selfie…


In other news, I looked up late radio dramatist icon Yuri Rasovsky on Wikipedia the other day, since he produced my audio novel Fame Island (narrated by an Emmy winner too, who voices Star Wars games), and discovered that he won a Ray Bradbury award! Ray was my mentor. Had no idea that tidbit. I knew he won a Grammy, but not that he was one of the very few to win the Bradbury for a script he wrote, along with the movies Inception, Gravity, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Arrival. WOW. As in “World of Warcraft.” 

Radio Drama


 What do you think of Star Trek Discovery’s chances versus Family Guy Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville? Which will the networks kill first, and why?  I’m rooting for Seth because I like science (he produced Cosmos) and satire (truly talented.) The Orville is not really a Star Trek spoof, from critics who’ve seen it. It’s more of a stand alone scifi comedy/drama with entirely new characters. But the look of it and the trailer makes it seem like a spoof. Cherry picking clips? We shall see. 

Family Guy

And then there’s MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA, a gaming series making waves. Fans are complaining about the fact that it doesn’t live up to expectations. Most are unaware that Mass Effect novels are available, with more than just one-liners and blaster battles. The current one includes “Nexus” in the title, and two more are out in November and December on audio, with sound effects. Speaking of narrating and voiceover, if you want to narrate a gaming or movie trailer of your choice (any based on a book, include your writing talent too, if you possess it) record IT and post to Youtube or Soundcloud, and send me the link (details at Good-Reads.blog/About.) 


Are You Being Brandwashed?


Unlike the Flat Earthers, who believe the number one threat to society is NASA lying to people, I believe the real threat is giant corporations who have created our fake news culture as a diversion while they spy on us. Latest case in point is the book THE AISLES HAVE EYES. Author Joseph Turow is a professor at the Annenberg School of Communication, and his subtitle is “How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power.” Your “power” is becoming illusory. Listen to the audiobook HIT MAKERS by Derek Thompson, subtitled “The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction,” (due out Feb. 7.) We are being distracted while our personal data is being mined and sold to third parties under our noses, often within seconds of downloading a “free” app or turning on a “smart” phone. Who is smart? Not the consumer, for sure. Those posting fake news to distract us (or viral cat videos: same thing) are being used by politicians and corporations to manipulate our thoughts and actions. (And how we vote.) If there’s a conspiracy out there, it’s from people like Alex Jones of InfoWars talking about things that don’t matter. Or ESPN. Dan Patrick has a popular radio show that is also on cable TV, with toys for good old big boys surrounding him. Nothing wrong with that, you say? Well, for anyone watching him, or Alex, or the Flat Earthers, or a thousand TV shows, when is there time to read books? Most don’t, anymore. That’s the point made in Hit Makers. Hits are those things that get the most clicks. How do they do this? By advance publicity from influencers and celebs, by market saturation, by slight of hand and tailored ads. Like football, it is a sport with the biggest prize of all: eyeballs. If they can keep your attention focused on what they want, they can control you. It’s as simple (and complex) as that. What chance does quality content have, in this environment? The same odds as a plow horse running in the Kentucky Derby. It may be a smart horse, but that doesn’t matter at all, in direct rebuttal of the saying, “If you’re smart why ain’t you rich?” Likewise, the best things can get ignored. This extends from songs to products. As Bill Gates told Steve Jobs in the film The Pirates of Silicon Valley, “You have the best stuff, but it doesn’t matter.” (At that point Gates had control of the market with an inferior product: Windows was a ripoff, one operating system stacked on top of another, and prone to bugs and viruses. MacOS is still superior, but not as ubiquitous. Jobs ripped off Xerox and improved on it, eventually going viral with iMac, iPod, and iPhone.) The moral of the story? Buyer beware. You’re basically on your own, especially if you don’t read books. Because the major media won’t tell you this. They are in on the gravy train. Watch NBC or CBS or ABC evening news programs, and what happens every time? They start off with a relatively long report on soundbites and viral videos, then move to shorter and shorter items, the drug commercials building momentum until by the end they are saying, “When we come back” within ten seconds of coming back! Then you see another series of Big Pharma ads for diseases we wouldn’t have if we weren’t on our devices or watching the NFL so much while munching on advertised junk food.



The Case Against Sugar

healthGary Taubes is a staff writer for Discover, and a correspondent for Science magazine. An award winning investigative journalist, he has appeared in the NY Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and Esquire. He is a co-founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative, his previous book “Why We Get Fat.” This audiobook is narrated by actor Mike Chamberlain. Preorder here.