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  • 8:30

    • 10 out of 10
    • Weather Report
    • This is Weather Reports quintessential line-up captured live. Jaco Pastorious and Peter Erskine join Wayne Shorter and, of course, Joe Zawinul to create this masterpiece.
  • Machine Gun Etiquette

    • 8 out of 10
    • The Damned
    • Punk rock is mostly associated with three chords and a bad attitude, but the Damned were one of the few bands of the era bent on bringing musicianship and a good sense of humor to the scene. And while
  • Never Let Me Down [ECD]

    • 4 out of 10
    • David Bowie
    • It must be a lonely place to be considered David Bowie's worst album by just about everyone, including the artist himself. As the last album before Bowie "rebooted" and formed the band Tin Machine, "N
  • Rock Spectacle

    • 8 out of 10
    • Barenaked Ladies
    • These guys know how to put on a live show, and whomever recorded this knows how to capture one. Rock Spectacle is one of the warmest-sounding recordings I've ever heard, and totally fills a room at a
  • An Evening with George Shearing & Mel Torm�

    • 10 out of 10
    • Mel Torm� & George Shearing
    • Of the three men who taught me how to sing, the last was Mel Torme. Apparently, Mel Torme is a joke to anyone more than a decade older than me, a living parody of a Vegas crooner. But I stumbled on th

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TED, Dog Whisperer, Street Doctor and More

There are a few topics I avoid in my day to day conversations with people: I seldom discuss religion, politics, or sex. I believe religion is a personal matter. I feel the same about politics and sex; the ideas we subscribe to on those matters is as private and not nearly as trivial as the color or style of underwear we choose each day (at least I hope you choose them each day, but even that is a private matter).

Those three topics off the table makes darn near everything else fair game. Global Warming? I got an opinion about it (it's a combination of manmade and natural effects and we can do a lot to affect it). Ringtones? We shouldn't have to pay to make a ringtone from a song that we've bought. Swine Flu? It's the flu, for crying out loud, and not even a particularly nasty one. It is hardly a subject that rates the amount of airtime it's been getting lately, but I guess people are getting tired of hearing about President Obama's dog.

Healthy people get through this flu like they have with others every year. If you are old or can easily get sick, take precautions. If you have very young kids then take extra care to prevent them from getting sick. If you do get sick stay your butt at home so as not to spread it. What's so hard about that?

I do enjoy a good debate or exposition of a good idea or cause. For example, The ideas behind The Seawater Foundation had me so excited that I thought seriously about quitting my job and joining the organization in any capacity just so I could help.

The Seawater Foundation attempts to reclaim arid lands using seawater and setting up a self-sustaining ecosystem that includes the local population. The result is an area of land once useless now transformed into thriving bio-diverse habitat that produces food and income for local people. How can you not get behind something like that?

I learned about The Seawater Foundation through TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design). It's a yearly conference where eggheads, gadget freaks, or just about anyone with an idea worth sharing meet and... well... share said ideas.

You can see many of the speaker who present at TED conferences by grabbing any of the over 200 episodes on TEDTalks Podcasts available on the iTunes Store.

There is no good way to describe to richness of topics covered by TEDTalks. nearly every time I watch I come anyway affected by what I've seen. Artists, engineers, comics, and CEOs take the stage to talk about artificial limbs, electro-shock therapy, refrigeration in third world countries, the threat of local warming (not Global Warming). Trust me on this, download a few episodes and you'll be hooked.

Another thing I'll talk about is dogs. Not that I know a lot about them, just that, well, I like to talk about dogs. I had a dog once, a Miniature Schnauzer named Matilda, and she was a great dog.

I would swear to you that Matilda understood a lot more about what I said to her than the experts would have us believe. She thought she was human, or at least equal to humans. She wanted to sit at the table with everyone else to eat (I didn't allow it), sleep on the couch (I didn't allow it), and drink water from a glass (I didn't allow it). She had trouble thinking like a dog and I had trouble letting her be anything more than a dog.

I really could have used someone like The Dog Whisperer. Now, here's a guy, Cesar Millan, who understands dogs and the relationship they have with their human families.

If you haven't watched the show on The National Geographic Channel then grab a few sneak preview podcasts available at the iTunes Store. There you'll see how Cesar fixes problems with misbehaving dogs and teach owner how to really look at their animals.

There well over a hundred podcasts to view here, so you'd best get cracking.

There are all sort of medical related myths and urban legends out there that normally sensible people will swear to be true. For instance, have you heard that urinating on your feet will cure athlete's foot? That's a new one on me, but apparently some people think it's true.

Street Doctor is a new podcast series that attempts to dispel medical myths like the urine/fungal connection with short, but informative video focused on the subject at hand.

There are only a few episodes (4 actually) so far, but more are on the way and I think this is the kind of thing podcasts were made for.

Incidentally, peeing on your fungus encrusted toes does nothing to the fungus and will likely lower your self esteem a bit. Still, it's your call.

Grab the Street Doctor podcast from the iTunes Store.

That's a wrap for this week.

By the way, you can take TEDTalk with you if you have a iPhone or iPod Touch, there's a free TED app that keeps you up to date with the latest TED videos.

More free stuff below with direct links:

Vern Seward is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He’s been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

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