Rock Center | November 21, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS: We thought we would take just a moment this Monday night to get caught up on some of the news -- the good, the bad and the ugly. Beginning with the later, the scene that transpired this weekend on the campus of the University of California at Davis . By the way, just try to picture one of your kids sitting peacefully on that sidewalk. Whatever you make of the protest movement currently across this country, there's no escaping this one. In a free country, in a society that normally bends over backwards to give law enforcement the benefit of the doubt , it's excruciating to watch. With a ceremonial wave of his arm, a campus police officer methodically pepper sprays students like he's painting a fence. They were sitting with their arms interlocked on a campus sidewalk, protesting. A second cop joins in, both of them using the law enforcement grade pepper spray , a thick paste designed to stick. And it's debilitating. The officers then move in and use clubs to pick up and remove the students. As they do, they cover their flank military style, pointing the muzzle of an air rifle back at the students. Two of the protesters were hospitalized, and we haven't heard the end of this, in part because the pictures are so powerful. And they've led to new pictures on the Web , with the dispassionate officer forever memorialized, spraying the constitutional framers, the New York City construction workers, and Andrew Wyeths 's Christina . Another powerful picture comes from space. It's of a tire dump in South Carolina . Over 50 acres of old tires. And while it's an environmental disaster area large enough to be seen from space, it was evidently something of a local secret in the town of Elloree , where officials are looking to prosecute the owners for illegal dumping. There are several studies in the news, and who doesn't like a good study? If you don't like the result, just wait about two weeks for the next one to take a completely different view. This new study says friends and $75,000 a year will buy you happiness. It says folks who make less than that are constantly worried and striving for more. And having more than that doesn't buy you happiness, just problems. But money will buy you really slinky shoes, especially the kind with red on the bottoms. Ms. SARAH JESSICA PARKER ( As Carrie Bradshaw , looking at shoes in a store
window): Hello, lover.
WILLIAMS: And that's were another study comes in. Researchers say the height of women's heels tends to go up in a bad economy and down when times are good. That would explain a lot. And let's hope for everybody's sake that flats suddenly become the new hot shoe. Scientists this week showed us what they're calling the lightest thing ever made. It's incredibly delicate mesh made mostly of super thin nickel. And it's so light, it won't even crush a dandelion puff. They say it's 100 times lighter than Styrofoam , almost as light as having no substance at all. In an unrelated story, reports say NBC is considering reviving " The Munsters " to bolster it's prime-time schedule. A video surfaced this week of a young Barack Obama , age 29, back in 1991 , doing a Black History Month moment for TBS as a Harvard law student.
WILLIAMS: Everyone agrees he had a really good voice back then.
The animal community gave us a lovely story this week from the UK: a dog who is blind and his seeing-eye companion dog . These two are very good friends, and their relationship is sweet, and they depend on each other. And after a London newspaper wrote that they were looking for a new home, 2,000 people came forward. And with Turkey Day approaching, it's time once again for the video that became a culinary cult classic. A few years ago, The New York Times asked a turkey expert to demonstrate the best way to carve a turkey.
Unidentified Man: With the tip of the knife, we're going it to follow the bone.
WILLIAMS: And while most of us just hack into the thing, people loved watching this technique. It's been viewed by thousands of people, and we'll post it on our website starting tonight so at least you can say you've seen it done the right way. And