It's not just that the National Geographic documentary series Scam City is a pointless programme, it's that it's also a uniquely irritating one. Whereas most consumer watchdogs investigate scams at the instigation of aggrieved parties, in Scam City presenter Conor Woodman, travels the world looking for trouble and – what's more pitiful – often fails to find it.
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Saturday 16 January 2010
Friday 20 November 2009
Wednesday 11 November 2009
Saturday 24 October 2009
Friday 21 August 2009
It is 40 degrees in New Orleans and the air is like steam. The young woman dodging debris on what was once her street is on the brink of tears. "How can it be?" she gulps. "Supposedly the richest country in the world, where we can be in Sri Lanka after the tsunami in less than 48 hours, yet the government could not make it to New Orleans in a week?" Her question encapsulates the tragedy of the city, while its implications have yet to register with those in power.
Sunday 09 August 2009
While you can argue about fidelity to the big idea – 11 tunes conceived as tributes to musicians from the past – and, indeed, the point of that idea in the first place, bassist John Patitucci's trio partners of saxophonist Joe Lovano and drummer Brian Blade play so well that the whole thing works anyway.
Friday 26 June 2009
On his 2007 comeback album, Dirt Farmer, Levon Helm's distinctive weather-beaten vocal tones animated the plight of the rural underclass as vividly as any documentary.
Tuesday 09 June 2009
The Las Vegas entertainer, Louis Prima referred to Sam Butera as "The Big Horn". For 20 years, the tenor saxophonist led the Witnesses, who accompanied Prima and his wives, Keely Smith and Gia Maione, and wrote most of the arrangements. After Prima's death in 1978, he continued as a lounge act, often working with Smith.
Wednesday 13 May 2009
Passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight were forced to slide down emergency chutes after a tyre caught fire as the plane landed in Houston.
Thursday 23 April 2009
The New Orleans guitarist and singer Snooks Eaglin displayed a breathtaking dexterity, combined with an amazing ability to remember over 2,000 tunes that earned him the nickname "the human jukebox". This endeared him both to local audiences in the Crescent City and to many of the rock musicians visiting the area; Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Bonnie Raitt and Robert Plant admired his inimitable playing style and sought him out.
Friday 20 March 2009
Two US Navy vessels - a nuclear-powered submarine and an amphibious ship - collided today in the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and the Arabian peninsula, the US Navy's 5th Fleet reported.
Sunday 01 March 2009
It's funny how some names slip through history's net. Following his army service, Kansas City saxophonist Davis spent the Sixties in Paris, leading bands, studying ethno-musicology and turning down contracts with Art Blakey and Blue Note Records, before returning to the US to teach. This 1976 quintet session shows off his funky, spiritual chops on alto, soprano and flute in original tunes evoking Bahia, Africa, New Orleans and Cannonball Adderley. It's great.
Wednesday 25 February 2009
A Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans erupted into chaos on Fat Tuesday when a series of gunshots struck seven people, including a toddler.
Sunday 22 February 2009
Star saxophonist Courtney Pine returns to something close to the top of his form with a swaggering affirmation of his new “Afropean” identity.
Monday 02 February 2009
Some meals at restaurant chains are so salty they put diners' health at risk, a survey shows. Of 47 main courses, three-quarters had more than 3g of salt and seven had more than the 6g recommended daily limit for an adult set by the Food Standard Agency. Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), which did the survey, found the saltiest dishes at Old Orleans, Pizza Express and Wagamama.
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