The John Batchelor Show

Friday 21 December 2012

Air Date: 
December 21, 2012

Above: Marine archaeologists in Sweden have discovered what they believe to be the wreck of a Viking ship at the bottom the country’s largest lake.  According to a report in The Local: Sweden’s news in English, a team of 50 divers from the Swedish coastguard happened upon the 20-metre long wreck by chance.  “Never before has a Viking shipwreck been found in Swedish waters,” said the marine archaeologist Roland Peterson from the Vanern. One of the ship’s ribs was discovered protruding from the bottom of the lake, while the rest of the boat was filled with a one meter-thick layer of sediment.  A wood sample from the ship, as well as iron samples from a spear and a sword found with the vessel, are to undergo expert analysis over the coming weeks. The ship’s clinker-built structure also strengthened the hypothesis that the vessel found in the Luro archipelago, in the middle of Lake Vanern, dates from the Viking era.  Vanern is Europe’s third-largest lake, with an area measuring 5,648 square kilometers. Six other wrecks have also been discovered within a 100-meter radius, three of which were found lying almost on top of each other.  See below: Third Hour 1105 PM Et:  The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen by Stephen R. Bown


Friday 905P Eastern Time: . Michael Vlahos, Naval War College, in re: the comparison of the Nineteenth Century politician James G Blaine (1830-1893), twice Secretary of State, and the nominated to-be-Secretary of State John Kerry of Massachusetts.

Friday 920P Eastern Time:  . Vlahos continued , James G. Blaine (1830-1893) and Kerry as imperial thinkers, America in the world, overtaking the British empire then and now: [wikipedia] Blaine and Harrison wished to see American power and trade expanded across the Pacific and were especially interested in securing rights to harbors in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Pago Pago, Samoa. When Blaine entered office, the United States, Great Britain, and the German Empire were disputing their respective rights in Samoa. Thomas F. Bayard, Blaine's predecessor, had accepted in invitation to a three-party conference in Berlin aimed at resolving the dispute, and Blaine appointed American representatives to attend. The result was a treaty that created a condominium among the three powers, allowing all of them access to the harbor.

Friday 935P Eastern Time: . Peter Bogucki, Princeton, in re: surprising discovery of early woodworking skills in Neolithic Europe, 5000 BCE, in the Linear Pottery Culture of farmers.

The European Neolithization (6000-24000 BC) represents a pivotal change in human history when farming spread and the mobile style of life of the hunter-foragers was superseded by the agrarian culture. Permanent settlement structures and agricultural production systems required fundamental innovations in technology, subsistence, and resource utilization. Motivation, course, and timing of this transformation, however, remain debatable. Here we present annually resolved and absolutely dated dendroarchaeological information from four wooden water wells of the early Neolithic period that were excavated in Eastern Germany. A total of 151 oak timbers preserved in a waterlogged environment were dated between 5469 and 5098 BC and reveal unexpectedly refined carpentry skills. The recently discovered water wells enable for the first time a detailed insight into the earliest wood architecture and display the technological capabilities of humans 7000 years ago. The timbered well constructions made of old oak trees feature an unopened tree-ring archive from which annually resolved and absolutely dated environmental data can be culled. Our results question the principle of continuous evolutionary development in prehistoric technology, and contradict the common belief that metal was necessary for complex timber constructions. Early Neolithic craftsmanship now suggests that the first farmers were also the first carpenters.

Friday 950P Eastern Time:  . Henry Miller, Hoover Institution, in re: two reports, on the rising incidence in the new flu season, Virus A and Virus B:  also, new research on maggots shows surprising utility for wounds where antibiotics no longer work because of resistance:

Antiviral medications continue to be an important adjunct to vaccination for reducing the health impact of influenza. On January 21, 2011, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations on use of antiviral agents for treatment and chemoprophylaxis of influenza were released. This guidance remains in effect for the 2012–13 season. Antiviral treatment as soon as possible is recommended for patients with confirmed or suspected influenza who 1) have severe, complicated, or progressive illness; 2) who require hospitalization; or 3) who are at higher risk for influenza complications without waiting for confirmatory testing. Antiviral treatment also may be considered for outpatients with confirmed or suspected influenza who do not have known risk factors for severe illness, if treatment can be initiated within 48 hours of illness onset. Recommended antiviral medications include oseltamivir and zanamivir. All influenza viruses tested for the 2012–13 season since October 1, 2012, have been susceptible to these medications. 

Every blood sample treated with maggot secretions showed lower levels of complement proteins than did control samples—99.9% less in the best case, the team reports in the current issue of Wound Repair and Regeneration. Looking closer, the researchers found the broken-down remnants of two complement proteins—C3 and C4—in the secretion-treated samples, suggesting that the secretions had ripped the proteins apart. When the team tested blood samples from postoperative patients, whose wounded bodies were already scrambling to heal, they found that maggot secretions reduced the levels of complement proteins by 19% to 55%.

Damon Runyon at work from his longhand draft of notes.

Friday 1005P (705P Pacific Time):  .John Avlon, CNN, The Daily Beast, and Newsweek International; also author, in re: Deadline Artists--Scandals, Tragedies and Triumphs:: More of America's Greatest Newspaper Columns, by John Avlon, Jesse Angelo, Errol Louis (1 of 2)

"It is the great American art form, read by millions every day." When these eloquent, compassionate newspaper columns were first delivered, they were treated as individual works of art, almanacs to suit any disposition. Well-catalogued and categorized, this exultant retrospective of American journalism seems ideal for today's attention spans and travel schedules. In the most memorable modern excerpt from the section "Wars and Other Foreign Affairs," Pete Hamill stands in a "pale gray wilderness" following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and tells readers: "As I write, it remains present tense." In other sections, Hunter S. Thompson and O. Henry reveal a raw, emotional, and entertaining style of journalism; a formula that Jimmy Breslin's surreal "'Are You John Lennon?'" piece surely encapsulates. Avlon, Angelo, and Louis's glorious compilation "is a chance to be there at moments when America changes, for better or for worse." Free-flowing to the very end, lasting drops of pure wisdom come in the form of Mary Schmich's infamous "sunscreen" composition, while Benjamin Franklin's 1757 sermon of advice literally offers words to live by. "Well done is better than well said," Franklin writes, but as far as this essential anthology goes, it's so well done, there's nothing left to say." (--Publisher's Weekly Starred Review )

Westbrook Pegler at work from longhand draft notes.

Friday 1020P (720P Pacific Time):  . John Avlon, CNN, The Daily Beast, and Newsweek International; also author, in re: Deadline Artists--Scandals, Tragedies and Triumphs:: More of America's Greatest Newspaper Columns, by John Avlon, Jesse Angelo, Errol Louis (2 of 2)

John Avlon is a senior columnist for Newsweek and The Daily Beast as well as a CNN contributor. He is the author of Independent Nation and Wingnuts. Previously, Avlon was the chief speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani as well as a columnist and associate editor for the New York Sun.

Jesse Angelo was Editor-in-Chief of The Daily, the first national news brand built from scratch for the iPad and other emerging platforms, as well as Executive Editor of the New York Post. A native New Yorker, Angelo worked as a reporter for The Sun in London and the Daily Telegraph in Sydney before joining the Post in 1999. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College.

Errol Louis is the host of "Inside City Hall" on NY1. Previously he was a Daily News columnist, and he was named Best Columnist & Radio Show Host by the Village Voice in 2010. He is a CNN contributor.


Writer Damon Runyon (4L), at the top of his game, the life of his life, playing cards w. Broadway detective Barney Ruditski (2L) & unident. others. March 1944, Life magazine.


Friday 1035P (735P Pacific Time):  . Steve Lohr, NYT, in re: Microsoft vs the US government on antitrust back then, and Google vs the United States on antitrust now: two lawyers, two fates.

NYT: "Now Google is the subject of major antitrust investigations in the United States and Europe.  In the United States, regulators are expected to announce a decision within days to sue or settle, and under what terms. The European decision will come soon as well."

Friday 1050P (750P Pacific Time):  Lou Ann Hammond,, in re: Continental starts testing robot cars in Nevada; Continental Becomes First Automotive Supplier to Receive Nevada’s Autonomous Vehicle Testing License: 

-  Test vehicle to display the special Nevada red license plate

-  The highly automated vehicle represents a new driving technology; provides a safer, more comfortable drive

"Pedestrian protection regulations have made the front of cars look bulbous. Is there a technology that Continental could implement that might allow car designers to design the front of a car in an aesthetically pleasing look again?"


Friday 1105P (805P Pacific Time): . The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) by Stephen R. Bown; 1 of 4

Friday 1120P (820P Pacific Time): . The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) by Stephen R. Bown; 2 of 4

Friday 1135P (835P Pacific Time): . The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) by Stephen R. Bown; 3 of 4

Friday 1150P (850P Pacific Time):  . The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) by Stephen R. Bown; 4 of 4

Friday/Sat 1205A (905 Pacific Time):  .Elizabeth Jensen, in re:  Apps Give Preschoolers a First Look at TV Shows  “Parents want to feel good about what they are purchasing and downloading for their kids,” said Scott Chambers, Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president for digital worldwide distribution. Adding an educational element to an entertaining app, he said, “makes everybody feel better.”  Parents’ feelings aside, apps are strong educational tools, said Lesli Rotenberg, who oversees PBS’s children’s programming, including its more than two dozen apps.  While television “is somewhat of a passive experience” for children, she said, interactive apps give them immediate feedback and tailored experiences that become more difficult as they gain skills.

Friday/Sat  1220A (920 Pacific Time): . David Rohde, Reuters, in re: three-part Reuters series, The Unequal State of America.  The federal government has emerged as one of the most potent factors driving income inequality in the United States - especially in the nation's capital.  Massachusetts, home to America's best schools and best-educated workforce, has seen income inequality soar. Why? The poor are losing an academic arms race with the rich.  The American welfare state has grown, but so have the ranks of the poor. As the US tries to focus help on those deemed worthiest, millions of adults are getting squeezed.

Friday/Sat  1235A (935P Pacific Time):  Chester Finn, Hoover, in re: Korets Task Force K-12 report on education in America 2012: what gets media attention, what does not.   The hits are based on content analysis of over 21,000 education stories in 43 media outlets: newspapers, magazines, television networks, websites, and more.  The misses represent K-12 education issues that task force members judged were important enough to deserve more extensive coverage than they received.


1.       Charter schools

2.       Teachers’ unions

3.       Special education

4.       Pre-kindergarten education

5.       No Child Left Behind


1.       The cost of teachers’s pensions

2.       Common Core academic standards

3.       International comparisons of student achievement

4.       Online or digital learning

5.       Louisiana’s education reforms

Friday/Sat  1250A  (950P Pacific Time): Exeunt. Ken Croswell, Science Magazine, in re: discovery of multiplanet system around Tau Ceti, close at hand at 12 light years away, and much like our solar system,

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Music (using New York City broadcast times)  

9:00 hour:   Vanity Fair.

10:00 hour:   Sherlocked 1: TV Series.

11:00 hour:    Skyline.

midnight hour:   Sherlocked 2: TV Series.

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