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How to spend $650,000 in a minute

A 30-second commercial in The Big Bang Theory will cost you $326,260 this fall, according to Mashable.

Using info from a bar chart produced by statista, the statistics portal, from Adweek sources, Mashable notes this is $50,000 more than its nearest rival The Voice.

Two and a Half Men, also on CBS, is likewise in the top ten, charging $204,176 per half-minute. The Simpsons rates fourth at $256,963, followed by New Girl and Family Guy, two other Fox airings.


Oddest appearance, for me, is NBC's The Blacklist at number 10. Maybe it's the pulling power of James Spader.



Grand Theft video gaming

Gta5-official-trailerTake-Two says its video game Grand Theft Auto 5, already the most expensive game to develop at reportedly $265 million, took in $800 million within 24 hours of going on sale.

Can you believe it? GTA5 is not yet available for PCs, only top-end Playstations and XBoxes. In North America over 8000 stores opened at midnight to sell the update from 2008, which cost $100 million, according to Mashable.


Twittering for democracy

Twitter's implications for democracy — fast distribution under big media's net, plus the magnification of errors — receives a much-needed analysis by John Naughton in The U.K.'s Observer.

He notes that in the debate over Syria both M.P.s and Congressional reps cited emailed opposition from constituents, conflating Twitter with emaling, but points out that Twitter makes it possible to give representatives real-time feedback. Why they don't is an interesting question for research. My gut response: because we don't trust politicians to react im our interests.

Get the Bible right

Gizmodo helps all Bible readers with a piece entitled This Comprehensive Map Traces 463 of the Bible's Contradictions. It's at The creator Daniel G. Taylor covers acientific absurdities and historical innacuracies, cruelty and violence, mysogyny and violence to women, and discrimination against women. Fuel for both sides.


The three eras of spam

The Tedium is the Message: Finn Brunton’s “Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet”If you haven't yet checked out this review at the LA Times, try it now: The Tedium is the Message: Finn Brunton’s “Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet”. Kevin Driscoll's piece on 11 August notes that Jon Postel in 1975 anticipated spam but thought it would be due to malfunctioning software. Find out about Brunton's three eras of spam and amaze your friends…


The Newsroom: the addictive TV show journos love to hate

You may agree with Jeff Jarvis at The Guardian about The Newsroom but don't skip the invitation to watch the State Department briefing on Edward Snowden for a hint of what real journalism can do to evasive and bullying governments.


Who’s fattest? Guess who!

I've just discovered, a feast of comparative statistics.

My first port of call: which country has the highest percentage of obese people? You guessed it – the USA, with 30.6%. Surprises? Germany is 14th, with 12.9%. Switzerland is 27th, with 7.7%, behind France (23rd with 9.4%), but I guess I've put up the figures. Japan, by the way, has 3.2%, despite all those suomo wrestlers.

Tap on any country name and it takes you to a raft of health statistics about that nation. Tap on the statistic title and it will tell you the source. Tap again and will give you the country comparisons for that topic.

There's the rub. I tried suicide statistics and found that top-ranked Bahrain has almost three times the world average rate, and almost nine times the figures for Hong Kong. Then I saw that the statistics date from 1994.

Truth told, i first visited it because of a link that promised the figures for cinemas per 1000 population. Armenia came top, while the US was sixth. That noted immediately that the figures came from the 1990s. So I looked for something likely to be more recent among the top stats.

After the trouble with suicide stats, I looked down the page on the obesity report: figures from 2002 and 2003.

It's a dilemma. You want up-to-date figures but, as I found in reporting on AIDS, countries tend to drag their feet if the stats aren't going their way.