Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Strangers in the House: Foreign Correspondent

If Bill was alive today he would wonder whether to burn or not to burn our waste ...

Deb Richard's stint as Guest Correspondent on Foreign Correpspondent, tonight 15 August at 8 pm.

ABC Foreign Correspondent

To Burn or Not to Burn

There’s a new push in Australia to build incinerators to burn our waste. Is this the way to go? Those clever Swedes think so. Foreign Correspondent sends War on Waste’s Craig Reucassel to Sweden to investigate.
To Burn or Not to Burn airs on Foreign Correspondent at 8 pm Tuesday August 14 and 1.30 pm Friday August 17 on ABC TV, and at 7.30 pm AEST on Saturday August 18 on the ABC News Channel. Also on iview.


ONE LAST THING: She was one of seven laid off this week by Tronc at South Florida’s Sun Sentinel. But Emily Bloch couldn’t leave without dropping this story on three local politicians getting in trouble. Good luck, Emily!


Award-winning columnist says strife can spur best work

Humor columnist Mark Harmon says the satirist Art Buchwald loved the Watergate scandal, because there was so much bizarre material that he could get his column done in an hour and be on the tennis courts by mid-morning.
“I think a lot of humor comes from being aghast at something,” says Harmon, who earlier this week won this year's National Press Club humor-writing award for his work with the Knoxville News Sentinel. 
Harmon says he's been pretty much non-stop aghast for the past year and a half. That's helped him imagine a column cited by award judges about Mitch McConnell in hell. (“You have a lot of admirers here,” Lucifer tells McConnell in the column.)
A similar inspiration prompted another column set in a psychiatrist's office. Sergey Kislyak, Russia's former ambassador to the United States, was complaining that no one, like Michael Flynn or Jeff Sessions, can seem to remember meeting him. Here's one exchange:
"Oh I didn't see you come in," said the receptionist.
"That happens a lot," replied Kislyak.
Press Club judges said Harmon has "a knack for taking a simple idea or detail ... and spinning it into a highly creative scenario.” Harmon, a journalism professor at the University of Tennessee, has been spinning those scenarios since he was a columnist for Penn State's Daily Collegian four decades ago. Harmon says he finds his search for other, often absurd ways to tell a story to be satisfying, if not therapeutic. 
Harmon's two-fold goal: Make people laugh. And help people consider another perspective.
A liberal who has spent his adult life in conservative northwestern Texas and eastern Tennessee, Harmon says he uses humor to bring people together.
“There’s no margin in treating political opponents as enemies,” he says. That doesn't mean, however, that he won't use a hammer — in the style of one of his idols, the departed Molly Ivins — to show hypocrisy or a lack of courage by local politicians on issues such as climate change. 
The Press Club award comes at a bittersweet time for Harmon. The Knoxville paper, like many nationwide, has had cutbacks, and in late June, he was among four contributing columnists to get the ax. 
On Wednesday, however, he got a new venue for his column — the weekly Farragut Press, in western Knox County. The gig came just in time, Harmon says.
"Have you seen all these stories about Bigfoot Porn?" he asks. "What a time not to be writing a column. It's just sitting there."
Here is the full list of winners.

What you are getting wrong about mindfulness
"Companies are investing huge sums in mindfulness programmes for employees, but could these be having unintended results?" (BBC)