With the passing of Walter Cronkite, Don Hewitt, Eunice Kennedy and now the passing of Edward Kennedy – this has been the summer of watching the passing of an era. I feel touched by the airings of the clips of Sen. Kennedy’s speech about the work, hopes and dreams continuing.

Based on my readings (and probably too much viewings of documentaries on Kennedys) Ted Kennedy wasn’t a perfect man, but as a US Senator – at least in his work – his service – he apparently tried his best, regardless of his personal stresses or problems. The various analyses have been interesting, including Chuck Todd’s on MSNBC.

Slate posts an Explainer on Kennedy.

I was really moved by VP Joe Biden’s personal thoughts about Kennedy, and how Kennedy had a personal impact in his life and career.

It Can’t Be the End of August

I’m in denial that it’s almost the end of summer.

This Slate article by Daniel Gross raises a good point: it’s kind of hard to criticize government health insurance if you’re a recipient of government health insurance. Well, no one said that hypocrisy isn’t funny.

I’ve really enjoyed watching Nova ScienceNow this summer. It had a good presentation on how algae could be used as a biofuel (better than say, ethanol; at least algae can give us oxygen back). I thought it was a great idea.

Saw “Julie & Julia ” (FC had also seen it; he said the movie makes one hungry; I’ll second that). Good movie!

This was a great story about how Roxanne Shante, one of the first female rappers of the 1980’s, went on to earn a Phd. in psychology from Cornell, all paid by the recording company, per her recording contract (which otherwise gave her paltry royalties, sadly). Apparently, those clauses in an entertainment contract (I think these clauses are in some professional athletes’ contracts) that the employer pays for the education of the employee – or the service provider, if you will …- are worth it. You can get your dream, or pursue new ones.

Speaking of the 1980’s, interesting ideas on what ye olde ’80 tv stars should do. But, really – I count Arsenio Hall as a 1990’s tv star, not an ’80’s star (contrary to what Television Without Pity says in the foregoing link). Oh well.

Thought this was an interesting article in Time magazine about John Kerry‘s post 2004 election life and how his current situation – as Senator from Massachusetts dealing with the future and a leading foreign affairs leader – has been. I thought it was poignant that the article mentions how Kerry has on his wall his invitation to the Obama inauguration and a handwritten note from Obama thanking him: “‘I’m here because of you'” – a reminder that it was because of Kerry that Obama made that amazing speech at the 2004 convention and received an early endorsement.

Of all the various pieces about the presidential summer reading, I thought John Dickerson’s analysis was most pragmatic yet insightful (yeah, really, is he really going to read all that? Bill Clinton was a voracious reader, apparently, and it was a bit much when it turned out he read the same mainstream mysteries that I was at the time). But, really, couldn’t President Obama read something nice and light? It kind of makes me feel bad that I still haven’t finished reading the McCullough’s bio on Adams or Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals” for some years now, and Obama apparently will have already gotten through both books by the end of the summer (well, granted he read Goodwin last year, and took the Adams one with him to the Vineyard this summer)…

I’m not ready for the fall, but Television Without Pity is already doing the fall tv previews – complete with recommendations on what to watch, dvr, or online. While I am looking forward to news episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” and “Fringe,” and even the new shows “Glee” and “Community,” (and maybe even more “Law & Order” so we can watch more of the alternate universe DA election of Jack McCoy and the continued hijinks of ADA Michael Cutter), the shows I really want to watch aren’t going to be on until… 2010… (I’m talking about you, “Lost,” among other things).

I think series like “Smallville” outlasted its lifespan. (technically, so has “Heroes,” in my opinion, but apparently there are still fans out there). “House” has tired me out too, so perhaps I am in need of a boost of good new stuff.

Because we’re lawyers and Asians here at triscribe, consider the following:

Puer tea (or Pu-erh or other spellings) is about to be better regulated, in hopes that it’d be the next big thing, like Champagne from Champagne or something. Hmmm…

Angry Asian Man posted a Q&A with Ken Chen, Executive Director of The Asian American Writers Workshop – who admits that he was once a lawyer and that it is a source of frustration (or “what makes you angry”) that people don’t read more Asian American/Asian writers.

I’ll concede that I ought to read more Asian/Asian Americans. I should read more, period. Can someone fund my lottery fund to help me pursue this lovely idea?… hmmm….

I had no idea: Scottish actor Gerard Butler was almost a lawyer, but bailed on qualifying (or failed or was asked to leave his apprenticeship or however it works in Scotland) and ended up acting instead.

What is with lawyers/lawyers-to-be and the arts? Hmm….

Trailer for a C-SPAN thing – apparently, they might have actually gotten the Nine to be talking heads; minus Alito and Sotomayor, so a tad dated – but still – they’re actually all talking? About the court building itself, of course – not about anything substantive… Still, an interesting trailer. Very spiffy looking.

Summery Summer in August

The last episode of “Top Chef Masters” was great fun. Keller v. Bayless v. Chiarello, with Kelly Choi as host – this was great. (nothing really against Padma Lakshmi, but I have watched way too much Kelly on “Eat Out New York” and got too accustomed to Kelly’s good spirits and enthusiasm). I haven’t watched Top Chef Masters consistently, but I liked watching the masters cook (considering that some of them have their own shows or have been on “Iron Chef America” – well, it’s not like they’re unfamiliar; it’s nice watching the familiar having fun (or getting frustrated in Top Chef style; how do they find time to do these gigs? They’re such busy people!).

Reading this week’s Frank Bruni column in the NY Times’ Dining section made me wonder — it sounded too much like a farewell type column. I mean, sure, the guy has a book out and all (admittedly, not what you do if you’re going to continue trying to go undercover to critique restaurants, but I never quite believed that he really went to great lengths, since he used to be a political reporter – come on, people can kind of know and you did other stuff and had another life), but he couldn’t possibly be stepping down from the pretty cool position as food critic (putting aside the bad food he must have eaten along the way).

But, then came reading the Time Out New York interview, confirming that it is his last week. Aww. Ok, so, I’m behind the news (as usual). But, say it ain’t so, Mr. Bruni! Has it been that long since he took over William Grimes’ beat? (I was a little weirded out when Grimes stepped down as food critic, since he actually revealed himself). Time flies!

So, my denial must end; great little feature on how Bruni’s friends and family put up with his beat (which apparently is fun, but can be exasperating) – plus now hiding his successor, Sam Sifton (Times stayed in-house again; that’s ok, I guess).

Bruni’s writing has been great reads; past links: here, here, here, here, here (where I acknowledged reading Bruni back on the political news beat and wondered if he could combine politics and food); Bruni on the Momofuku thing and how I tried to get on it.

Wonder what Bruni will do next; would he become a book critic/critic-at-large like Grimes? Or head back to political coverage? Ok, apparently, he’s off to the Times’ Sunday Magazine, but still… anything can still happen, right? Hmm… I am sorely tempted to get his book; excerpts of it read like solid Bruni.

Slate’s Explainer explains why we call Galileo “Galileo” and not “Galileo Galilei” (his actual name).

The passing of Don Hewitt, the creator of “60 Minutes.” Time’s James Poniewozik makes some interesting observations on Hewitt’s (mixed) legacy (on the one hand, “60 Minutes” outlasted a bunch of other tv news magazines; on other hand, “60 Minutes” started the concept of high concept tv new magazines – even the crappy ones can trace their lineages back to Hewitt’s work).