Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Another UAE offer exposed
DUBAI -- With all the hubbub in the USA about the United Arab Emirates (UAE) deal to buy a British company that will manage ports in America, it has gone unreported that the UAE has offered a considerable price to buy Cotolo Chronicles, the internet/podcast broadcast that has set the stage for talk radio in the new medium.
The deal reportedly allows for live broadcasts of Cotolo Chronicles from the seven emirates--Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah, as well as rebroadcasting the current show and achived shows on a special 24-hour-a-day station operated by women with veils.
"Giving control of Cotolo Chronicles to the UAE," said a source from the State Department who spoke under the condition of anonymity and a free coffee mug, "did not present matters of national security concern. The program is icecap to icecap anyway and it has never been brought up by Homeland Security on a list of possible terrorist target sites."
But senatorial-candidate Hoot Morebargain, a Republican from Wisconsin, said, "It seems harmless now, but what happens when we hear next that the UAE is outsourcing the J-Walk Blog? That'll get people making some noise, all right."
H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai, as well as one of the biggest Cotolo Chronicles fan in the seven emirates (pictured above), was smiling when his spokesperson said, "We buy racehorses from the USA and they don't blow up because we are Arabs. So why would anyone be afraid of us having a large interest in the world's most unique talk show?
"The UAE is one of the booming markets in the Middle East, attractive because tax-free options and legal formalities are not embroiled in extensive red tape found in other countries. Its business is required to be in constant touch with the market as word of mouth is the fastest way of opportunities passing around. Word of mouth is how we discovered Frank's show. You know he professes we all should drink coffee like the Turks? 'Black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love.' You know that, right? We had no influence over that."
Cotolo was not available for comment, but a spokesman for the show said, "Look, we count with Arabic numbers and the English language has strong Arabic roots. It is a Semitic language with about 221 million speakers in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebannon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Palestinian West Bank and Gaza, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Uzbekistan and Yemen. There are over 30 different varieties of colloquial Arabic. So what's the big deal?"
Sunday, February 26, 2006
It's Sunday, and that means we have to begin the week with a startling news story ...
GRANTVILLE, Pa. -- Maybe it was bound to happen but it couldn't have happened at a better time. Just as the bloom is coming off the rose of web logs (blogs), so it is that the Internet is running out of space for blogs. A recent Gallup poll shows that 9 percent said they regularly read blogs and 66 percent said they never read them. The other 25 percent involved in the poll answered "None of the above."
There are 28,699,999 blogs (28.7 million if you count this one) online now but it is believed that the numbers cannot go beyond 29 million, due to technical glitches unforeseen when the blog was created. Still, it may not matter since blog readership, according to one study, is tanking quicker than one can say, "Smell ship and spread the turkey wings." Gallup pollsters, all neatly dressed, claim "the growth in the number of U.S. blog readers was somewhere between nil and negative" during 2005.
Is there any danger to the Internet if blogs go beyond their limit? "Yes," says Buckminster Fuller, the late, great futurist and global thinker. "If I was alive, I would build a nuke-proof dome to live under in case the Internet explodes." But, others who are living, disagree.
Will it matter, then, if the blog pool is full? Some say it is predicted in the Bible that the blog "will go asunder," even though those who believe this have no clue about the word "asunder." Others see this as just the beginning of the end. For if the room on the web is gone for blogs, how much longer will it be before MySpace puts up the "Out of Space" sign?
Friday, February 24, 2006
...to thine own self...
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Your show of shows within a show of shows
Our Feb. 23 program presents a special redux of a show broadcast in 2003. Years before podcasts and before many internet radio stations existed, no less streamed music and talk shows, Ampcast was ahead of its time in the web broadcast arena.
Cotolo Chronicles always had the spunk and wry that now makes it a popular broadcast and podcast, but back then it was only live. And, there were times, like on this broadcast, when we had more than just my mug in the mix. Kristen Cotolo and Larry Michelich took part in many of the programs that came directly from Ampcast in the pioneer days of web broadcasting. Unedited and uncensored, we hobbled down the Hallelujah Trail with our beverages of choice, talking news, information and insubordination, with a twist on conversation, as no one else could or would at the time.
For all the newer listeners of the program, in any form, I will start off the show in the manner all are now acquainted (we had no theme in those days but I have inserted a theme under the last 2 minutes of the old show) and then I will hand the program over to the past. That past is testamony to a show that paved the road to the podcast revolution. Cotolo Chronicles is to podcasts what silent movies were to digital projection. When the 2003 show aired live, this show was the only fish of its kind in a big and somewhat empty sea.
This live Feb. 23 show, with historic input, airs at 9 p.m. EST.
To listen live, you can also visit
US Radio X
Sunday, February 19, 2006
A rare sermon
I rarely, if ever (come to think of it, I never) write a blog on Sunday. But today is different, today I am inspired, I am ready to share my sermon of inspiration.
Walking outdoors on this bitter-cold day, I went about my daily chores of caring for the fowl. This always means getting the dirty birds water, tossing them food scraps and sprinkling some corn and pellets around their coop. The water from yesterday had turned to ice and I thought to myself about the prophet who told his followers, "Be warm in your heart and your water will never turn so hard as to be fit for a cocktail." Indeed, my heart was fine but my hands were feeling the bite of winter, and like Peter O'Toole as the Lion in the same season, my dexterity waned.
Waning dexterity reminded me that no matter how difficult tasks may be due to the circumstances, still one must complete them, if only to realize how one can do such tasks when dexterity is waning. I thought to myself about the prophet who told his followers, "When it wanes, it pours."
So on I went, brittle fingers and all, even though my digits were numbing.
The numbing of digits reminded me of that part of The Good Book where Jaundice says to Faulting, "Why are your digits so numb when the Lord hast made you so many?" To which Faulting responded, "It's frikkin' cold out here or haven't you noticed, Mr. Furry Gloves on!"
On my way back to the warm and secure enclosure I like to think of as my home, I was enlightened by the inspiration one can receive from the simplest of daily chores. And I was sure that the rest of the day would bring me lessons of tender mercy, whisperings of willows, the sound and the fury, the shadow of you smile and the faith that we all need to have when it comes to finding peace within ourselves. "For once," as Lupus said to the soldier, "I tried to find peace in someone else, but as I see from the loaded gun you have pointed at my head, it is not going to matter where I try to find it now."
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Where there's life, there's Cheney
I think Dick Cheney was right. Shoot first, ask questions later.
If they'd have taught me that in the Boy Scouts I would be a better man today. Of course, I wasn't in the Boy Scouts. If I was, however, and one of those Scout Masters tried to touch me in a place where I only touch myself, I would be more than proud to pepper him with pellets.
The same goes for Catholic priests. If I were an alter boy and you were a lady, would you marry me anyway? Would you have my baby?
These questions have haunted me for most of my adult life, even though I am not aware of when my adult life began. Some say it was at age 30, when I could not be trusted any longer. However, I doubt if I could ever have been trusted, which is another great reason why I would have acted like Dick Cheney if I was shooting birds.
And don't get me wrong, I like the idea of shooting birds. I make no apologies for the fact that I am jealous those critters can fly and though I don't want to have brain as small as a bird, I admire animals with wings. Most animals with wings can fly. But it has a price because humans with bigger brains shoot first and ask questions later.
By the way, is it just me or does anyone else feel that Dick Cheney could play an older Bob Hope in a movie of the great comedian's career?
Monday, February 13, 2006
Welcome to America
A series done in 2005 for a SRN Radio in Canada begins as a new podcast today. Dummy's Guide to the U.S. is a welcome wagon of words for people visiting the great nation of America. I am happy to be the host of the series, now available in an RSS feed in our left-hand link column. The mp3 is also there. There are a few episodes in the series, all brief, and over the next month or so each will be available.
Gnoh Productions is presenting the first audio interpretation of the work-in-progress web novel, The Complete and Unabridged History of Japan. The pieces are narrated by Phillip Hong, who claims the entire adventure will be audio-serialized no matter how long it winds up to be. On Feb. 13, part 547 was posted at Indie Journal Daily. You can download, stream or get the RSS feeds for the individual parts at Archive dot org.
Volume I, Parts 1-5
Volume I, Parts 6-10
Volume I, Parts 11-15
Friday, February 10, 2006
Attention affiliates, current and future
We are currently updating our affiliates list and juggling offers to do a spinoff program. Soon, our home base, Ampcast, will shut down but there will be no change in the live stream of our program. Archives of the program, however, will not be available unless a special request is made, all of that business through this blog. Any station wishing to rebroadcast the latest program can download it on Friday mornings from the column on the left.
Great reading continues on The Complete and Unabridged History of Japan, so click that title and catch up with the Internet's biggest work-in-progress.
Brokeback to the Future, which edits Back to the Future in such a way that Doc Brown and Marty McFly appear to be more than just friends, is worth a watch, as mentioned on our program.
Special thanks to Curt Brandao for his excellent contribution to our Feb. 9 program. If you want that show for your iPod, get the RSS feed in the left column. If you want more about Curt's podcast, click here.
And this, one more reason to turn your back on satellite radio ...
Oprah Winfrey has signed a three-year, $55 million deal with XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. to launch a new radio channel, Oprah & Friends, on fitness, health and self-improvement topics with personalities that appear on Winfrey's TV program as well as in O, The Oprah Magazine.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Digit goes to Hawaii
The self-proclaimed Digital Slob will be the phone guest on the Feb. 9 edition of the network show (9 p.m. EST) from his headquarters in Hawaii. Curt Brandao, pronounced Kurt Brando, is the author, orchestrator and star of his own podcast which is a spinoff of his popular syndicated hard-copy column. Here is a short biography.
Curt Brandao was conceived on May 23, 1967, at approximately 2:30 p.m. Central Standard Time when an on-again, off-again relationship between his parents turned on-again right when his future 17-year-old sister left the house to, ironically, go buy herself feminine protection.
Not surprisingly, some nine months later, a baby with an inherent sense of comic timing was born. But an artist must have pain to create and Curt was no exception, as noted by this short poem he wrote in 1972:
Every time I have to pee,
Mom takes me through the door marked "she," not "he."
Going to the men's room would be nifty,
We ought to at least split it up, fifty-fifty.
Acting like a girl makes my ego sore,
I keep losing the battle, but I will win the war.
Curt's early stanzas, though not precisely iambic pentameter, would prove perfectly prophetic, as he now goes to the men's room almost all the time, as stipulated by a court order.
But rather than become a tortured soul who sits in the fetal position crying in a dark corner every day, Curt channels his creative energy into a weekly syndicated humor column/podcast, and, like other successful writers, limits that former activity to the weekends only. Curt writes Digital Slob, a weekly humorous technology column distributed by Universal Press Syndicate, and records his digitalslobpod podcast, available for download online at digitalslob.com, whenever his wife gives him permission.
Curt lives an otherwise uneventful life, except for every May 23, when he goes into a grocery store and requests a sheet cake with the words "Happy Conception Day" written in icing.
Monday, February 06, 2006
Subtract an ad
Recently, a high-powered advertising agency hired me to do one in a series of ads for American Express. You may have seen this series of ads running in magazines, but you will not see the one I did. It was canned. In fact, when the ad executive read my copy for the ad (below), she warned me that if I ever set foot in her office again she would show me out the window (her office is on the 34th floor). However, at the risk of lawsuits and swimsuits, I now publish the ad (sans my photo, which was the left-hand page of the two-page spread).
My name..................... Frank Cotolo
childhood ambition.....Internet radio/podcast host
fondest memory.........Cannot recall her name
soundtrack................. It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
retreat........................ 1950s'-style bomb shelter
wildest dream.............Baseball becomes illegal
proudest moment......Meeting Vince Edwards
biggest challenge....... To be or not to be
alarm clock................. Tinitus
perfect day................. Rain, heavy at times
first job....................... Nautical engineer
indulgence.................. Writing emails to Orson Bean
last purchase.............. African beads to stop evil spirits from staining my Lexus
favorite movie............The Incredible Shrinking Man
My life ....................... Is but a dream, sha-boom, sha-boom
My card..................... Is American Express
Friday, February 03, 2006
Bowling for fans
I now turn the blog over to my sports persona, Spooky Forces.
One of the media's and America's biggest days looms boldly. It will be Super Bowl Sunday and that means the world to many, many people. So, I devote part of today's blog to the Super Bowl, 2006.
The Pittsburghs are playing the Seattles and there are many reasons to back both of these teams. You see, unless you are bias in a Super Bowl, the experience lessens. So, you have to pick a team to love and make the other team your worst nightmare. It is a problem in 2006 because the Pittsburghs are as wonderful a team as the Seattles, even though the miles between the two team's homes are in the thousands.
The Pittsburghs are an old team and a team that has already won a Super Bowl. They get the nostalgia vote. The Seattles are a team new by comparison and they have never played in a Super Bowl. They get the underdog vote. But the Pittsburghs were underdogs to make it to this Super Bowl, so the underdog vote goes back to them. But the Seattles are named (Seahawks) after a great Errol Flynn movie, so they get the movie fans' vote.
The Pittsburghs have three rivers in their home town, so they get the aqua vote. The Seattles' home town has Pike's Market, a volcano and is the place where Starbucks began, so those three votes put the Seattles even. To break this tie is difficult to break. If you live in either of those cities, you are probably going to back that city's team. Makes sense. But only so many people can have it that easy. Those of us who do not live in either of those cities have to come up with a good reason to back either team.
Now, my predicition. I feel that since it is impossible to back only one team, the score will be Pittsburghs 40, Seattle 40, resulting in the first tie in Super Bowl history.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Singing in the brain
Does the name Gerald Edelman ring a bell? Probably not, unless you are a student of the brain. Or, that is, the workings of the brain. Or, that is, if you are not a numbskull.
The topic of our Feb 2 program is not the groundhog but the noggin' meat, that is, the brain. Something you and I have not learned to use more, else we may all look like Jeff Morrow's character in This Island Earth. But I stray ...
Which is part of what this is all about.
Edelman, 76, is a New Yorker who has studied the brain (using his own, one can only imagine) and he has come up with a theory about how consciousness develops. He says, "The brain confabulates." That's easy for him to say, but how does this fit in the digital community, where now we live? From where, then, comes the soundtrack of our minds? And, why do we always have to work hard to hear the other two Supremes on their records?
Even though we are not students of the brain, the Feb. 2 program employs everything Edelman theorizes. Like how does consciousness emerge from the physical processes of the brain? It turns out to be a variant of William James' stream of consciousness. And, as Freud said, "It is easy to say what you think but it is hard to know what you think."
This will be the topic and a million sidebars are apt to develop as the consciousness confabulates. So be with me at 9 p.m. EST and let's talk brain stuff. Let's see where it takes us. Can the topic hold water (water on the brain?) for two hours? As usual, the stream of consciousness is chronicled at its own pace with Turkishly strong coffee and a shot or two of Yukon Jack.