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Wednesday, December 29, 2004
The BBC had a contest to choose the Greatest Opening Song Line in rock 'n' roll history. The winner: Warren Zevon, for Werewolf in London:(3) comments
Second: Bill Haley's Rock Around the Clock.
(Via J-Walk Blog.)
posted by liz at 2:10 PM
I had no idea that The orange is not Florida's official fruit. But now someone's doing something about that, according to Nancy Cook Lauer in the Tallahassee Democrat.(0) comments
Also in The Democrat, all about Gov. Jeb! Bush's shiny new jet plane, from Bill Cotterell. Handy for those side trips to Maine. The plane is actually a year old and was needed to replace a smaller prop plane that was shaky in storms.
(Via Florida Blog and Florida Politics Blog.)
posted by liz at 11:53 AM
Failure magazine has announced its Failure of the Year, and awards it to: The American Voter. "In the next four years, Americans may not get what they asked for but will certainly get what they deserve."(0) comments
The Christian Science Monitor finds that FEMA has paid $3.17 billion to Florida hurricane victims, while the U.S. has promised just millions to victims of the Asian earthquake and tsunami. Those FEMA payments were highlighted in another Florida newspaper's report recently, and some observers think they helped president Bush get the Florida vote.
posted by liz at 11:37 AM
Some new links for those looking for information or how to help, following the tsunami disaster in Asia:(0) comments
Cheese and Crackers blog is posting links to video online, as well as help links.
The Tsunami Help blog (SEA-AT) continues to post lots of links, including this one:
Flickr Missing Persons photos; not much there yet but it is a place people can post photos of people still missing.
WikiNews, a new experiement in community-written news, has posted a page of news links on the tsunami. It's fascinating to see what a non-professional group of unrelated people can create to provide information. There's lots of great information here, including statistics.
Here's the Wikipedia entry on the 2004 earthquake and tsunami, obviously just written, also a collaboration of readers. It's absolutely amazing how quickly these things can be put together. And with the collaborative software, these entries will be continually added to and edited for accuracy.
TsunamiVictims.org has lots of contact information for those looking for information or wanting to help.
Digital Globe has a gallery of satellite images.
posted by liz at 11:13 AM
You know that fun story last week about the Web site where you could control the Christmas lights on a Denver family's house? It was a fake. I figured anything that got mentioned over and over again by the folks on Headline News (and all the local news, too) was getting just way too much publicity. The family's Web site now admits it all.(0) comments
posted by liz at 10:33 AM
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
South Knox Bubba has a recap of 2004 as it might have been....(0) comments
The Christian Science Monitor found one man who figured out private investment would have earned him less than Social Security.
Online Journal has a report on how the language changed in 2004.
posted by liz at 1:48 PM
Monday, December 27, 2004
Some people have been celebrating Chrismukkah. Others have been celebrating Festivus. And of course, for those celebrating Kwanzaa, The Official Kwanzaa Website.(0) comments
Edward Driscoll has been looking back and calls 2004 The Year of Blogging Dangerously.
For those still thinking about the war, The Campaign on Iraq Poster exhibition.
Disaster in Southeast Asia:
There are some great resources for seeing what people saw when the earthquake and tsunami struck. A photographer at Phuket, Thailand, posted some amazing photos from the tsunami. World Changing blog has an amazing story of a rescue in India. A new tsunami help blog is collaborating on relief efforts and news. A blogger named Fred in Sri Lanka has photos. Doctors without Borders is on the way to help. Lots more photos from Phuket from a French photojournalist. ReliefWeb has all the disaster information. (If this link doesn't work, go to Main ReliefWeb page.)
More tsunami links from Boing Boing.
posted by liz at 1:40 PM
Friday, December 24, 2004
Have you ever seen the 'Badger, Badger, Badger' site? Now there's a 'Santa, Santa, Santa, Badger Style'.....Can't get much goofier, but there is at least a small reminder here of the real meaning of the holiday.....(0) comments
posted by liz at 5:19 PM
There is Christmas in Baghdad, too. Rose writes A Diary from Baghdad, and has this to say:(0) comments
...The Iraqis have strong bonds between them, in spite of religion or ethnic differences, we all work together, have neighbors from other religions, visit each other and respect our differences. my neighbors are shias, my best friends are Christians and Kurds and I'm Sunni, but we all have good relations between us. I'm afraid of those who are trying hard to tear us a part, for me I don't think they will succeed but I'm sure they are from outside Iraq, and they want Iraq to separate into several parts or maybe drag it to civil war.
And, for those interested in where our Christmas traditions come from, The Guardian has A history of Saint Nicholas.
posted by liz at 3:00 PM
Thursday, December 23, 2004
HouseBling is a blog linking to photos of Christmas lights around the world. They link to reports from the BBC and other news services about some holiday displays put up by the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, which got a response from the Cuban government.....(0) comments
I really like the gothic stained glass lights on Galeries Lafayette in Paris....
posted by liz at 3:38 PM
Are you podcasting yet? Or downloading podcasts to listen to? If you're not yet familiar with podcasting, there's help: Podcast Alley has a directory of available podcasts, Podcast popularity rankings, and, if you're still unclear on the concept, a definition of podcasting from Wikipedia.(0) comments
Not enough? Try Podcast.net, which seems to be an even bigger directory, and also has links to download podcast software.
(Via Librarians' Index to the Internet.)
posted by liz at 2:50 PM
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
The ACLU's report on Guantanamo finds that President Bush may have authorized illegal torture methods at the detainee camp there. Meanwhile, another ACLU report, on Abu Ghraib finds that the Army interfered with investigations into torture and killing there. Merry Christmas.(0) comments
How Bush Really Won is a report from Florida on the TomDispatch blog:
What's life like in Iraq these days? 'Riverbend' at Baghdad Burning has a Christmas Wish List. What she'd like most, after a year and a half of war: electricity.
Rude Pundit turns Bush's press conference into A Poem.
posted by liz at 10:26 AM
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
HouseBlingers is another site highlighting lavishly decorated homes, based in the UK. Most of the homes are in English towns.(14) comments
(Via Guardian NewsBlog.)
Sheila Lennon is collecting links to games for a snowy day.
Not holiday-related, but this would be fun to spend time reading on a day off: Overheard in New York, in which someone writes down those conversations you overhear while shopping, in restaurants, or in the Subway. Fascinating. Why hasn't someone done this earlier?
(Also via the Guardian.)
posted by liz at 5:14 PM
Monday, December 20, 2004
That's what the folks at the Cockeyed.com Website are having with a set of spam emails and other Web ads. They've found a model they've named Alicia and have made up a whole new life for her. Funny how her photo keeps showing up....(2) comments
(Via Rex Hammock.)
posted by liz at 4:42 PM
Here's a Christmas tale you can't miss: The Night Before Christmas, told by Ernest Hemingway. Well, it was really written by James Thurber, and published in the New Yorker in 1927, but it's worth reading anyway.(0) comments
"What do you want?" I asked.
"We have visions of sugarplums," the children said.
"Go to sleep," said mamma.
..."I saw him," I said.
"I did see him."
"Sure you saw him." She turned farther toward the wall.
"Father," said the children.
"There you go," mamma said. "You and your flying reindeer."
posted by liz at 2:22 PM
Jeff Jarvis has a much more thoughtful post on the question of Christmas and religion in this country, with lots of links to others' posts.(2) comments
posted by liz at 1:34 PM
Soldiers for the Truth, website from ret. Army Col. David Hackworth, is reporting on the question of why Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld couldn't sign condolence letters to families of lost American soldiers. There's also a section on the lack of armor on military vehicles in Iraq.(0) comments
One article on the site also gets into the discussion of whether Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter Lee Pitts should have coached a soldier on his question to Secretary Rumsfeld on the armor. (Pitts' stories are available without registering on the Times' Website.)
Want to help a member of the military this Christmas? There's a guide to relief agencies with addresses of where you can send donations, letters, or gifts.
(Via Guardian NewsBlog, which also links to the discussion of Rumsfeld at Line in the Sand Warblog from a soldier in the middle east.)
posted by liz at 1:14 PM
Planning on going to Washington for George W. Bush's second inauguration in January? Here's the information. Want to know who's paying for it?(3) comments
If you can't get tickets, Jazz Funeral for Democracy is a 'celebration' to be held in New Orleans the day of the inauguration.
posted by liz at 1:07 PM
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Remember the folks at JibJab, two brothers who produced the great "This Land" animation that poked fun at both Presidential candidates, George Bush and John Kerry? Now they've come up with a holiday animation, JibJab's Grumpy Santa. It takes a few steps to get to the film, as it takes you through a Yahoo! site. If you want a copy you can get to faster, you can pay to download.(0) comments
(via Lost Remote.)
Have one, anyway
While we're on the topic of the coming holiday, there's a timely post by regular Vanity Fair contributor James Wolcott, who notes a rash of complaints about whether 'Merry Christmas' is a dying expression. Not so, says Wolcott:
This is probably a surprise to The Committee to Save 'Merry Christmas', which organized a boycott of Macy's this year, despite the fact that, as Wolcott points out, The Macy's Web site "...wishes a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays".
Love of lights:
If you love to look at lavishly decorated holiday homes, here's a great Website that lets you see great light displays all over the country...and the world: Planet Christmas' Showing off in 2004 has photos sent in by proud homeowners, some of them with links to their personal Websites as well.
posted by liz at 5:08 PM
Thursday, December 16, 2004
The Scripps-Howard news service has published a poignant story about children who've lost a parent in the war in Iraq: Children of the Fallen says there are nearly 900 so far, enough to fill 17 school buses. There are also profiles of several soldiers who died leaving kids behind: one of them, Staff Sgt. Wentz "Baron" Shanaberger was from Fort Pierce, Fla.(0) comments
(Via Daily Kos.)
posted by liz at 4:56 PM
Apologies for lack of postings in last few days, but it's not for lack of trying. I just haven't found much that caught my eye. Today, though, there are a few things:(2) comments
There's some gossip about the White House Christmas celebration, too. Wonkette reports that Bill Clinton's portrait was removed to make room for decorations.
posted by liz at 10:27 AM
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Tired of the Red/Blue state thing yet? If not, here's more: BuyBlue.com is a campaign to encourage Democrats to buy from companies that haven't given huge campaign contributions to the Republicans. Interested in which companies those are? Their Blue Christmas page has the lists. Turns out there are a lot of familiar names on both but some really big ones in the Republican column; think Wal-Mart, Penney's, Sears, Target, Amazon....(Nordstrom, Starbuck's, Whole Foods on the other side). Fascinating. (Via Lynne)(0) comments
For more, the OpenSecrets Website from the Center for Responsive Politics has the data. They have an open letter on their site saying they are not behind an email going around supporting political shopping. But you can use their site to get more data on who gives what to whom, and lots more about political finance.
posted by liz at 6:15 PM
For those interesting in learning more about the Bernard Kerik story, Joshua Micah Marshall at Talking Points Memo is gathering all the stories and gossip. There's a whole lot more to the ex-NY police commissioner and erstwhile Homeland Security secretary nominee than met the eye, and this one, with tales of ex-wives, affairs, and financial problems as well as involvement in dubious business ventures, has something for everyone.(0) comments
And, on the sad story of the California reporter who committed suicide last week, Sheila Lennon is collecting links. Gary Webb reported a story for the San Jose Mercury a few years back that tied the CIA to drug money in Central America. Webb may have never recovered from the backlash.
posted by liz at 10:44 AM
Friday, December 10, 2004
Here's a fascinating report on injuries suffered by our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan: Casualties of War: Notes from a Surgeon, in the New England Journal of Medicine. It has statistics on numbers of wounded, types of injuries, and discussion of whether care is sufficient, considering that at any time the military has somewhere from 60-100 surgeons in country. Fascinating stuff here, like this:(1) comments
Surgeons also discovered a dismayingly high incidence of blinding injuries. Soldiers had been directed to wear eye protection, but they evidently found the issued goggles too ugly. As some soldiers put it, "They look like something a Florida senior citizen would wear." So the military bowed to fashion and switched to cooler-looking Wiley-brand ballistic eyewear. The rate of eye injuries has since decreased markedly.
posted by liz at 5:40 PM
Remember Ali Abbas, who lost his arms in the U.S. bombing of Baghdad? He was a sad reminder of how even a 'surgical strike' has innocent victims. After evacuation and healing in Kuwait, he was taken to the UK for rehabilitation. A year and a half later, and despite being fitted with artificial arms, He's painting pictures with his feet. More on Ali from the Limbless Association.(0) comments
posted by liz at 5:27 PM
The twelve days of Christmas continue to reflect inflation. PNC Bank has been analyzing the cost of the items and services in the traditional song, and in this year's study, have discovered that the partridges, dancers, golden rings, etc. would now cost over $17,000 (they were about $12,000 when the survey started in 1984).(0) comments
posted by liz at 10:49 AM
Among bloggers, UM's Michael Froomkin is keeping up the interest in what's going on at our facility in Guantanamo. In his latest post on the topic, he's reacting to Carol Rosenberg's story predicting a permanent facility there.(0) comments
Froomkin, among others, is calling what's going on there torture. In a new site, Torture American Style, Historians Against the War posts several documents outlining what's going on in Guantanamo along with stories of other instances of torture in American history.
And, Amnesty International's information on Guantanamo is headlined 'A Human Rights Scandal'.
Guantanamo.com (part of the World News Network) is an entire site devoted to concerns about the Guantanamo camps.
posted by liz at 10:19 AM
Monday, December 06, 2004
There are reports that the U.S. military is using napalm in Fallujah. Let's hope this isn't true. Talk about not learning from the Vietnam lesson....(0) comments
posted by liz at 6:35 PM
Veterans for Common Sense is rerunning a Story of an Iraq vet's homecoming that ran originally in Daily Kos. It's heartbreaking.(0) comments
My wife had warned me that I might not be happy with the neighborhood when I got back, and I could see why when I pulled on to my street. There were only two yellow ribbons on display in our neighborhood. One was in front of my house, and the other in front of the Vietnam vet at the end of the block. The rest were a mixed bag of "peace" signs, and each and every one of them felt like a kick in the gut. I had a deep and viscerally angry reaction when I saw them. I believed in what I had done in Iraq, and I was insulted.
Do we never learn? We could have looked back at the aftermath of Vietnam and taken steps to assure we didn't do that again. Why can't we blame the people who sent these guys to war and don't take care of them when they come back, and not the ones who have to suffer it?
posted by liz at 10:07 AM
Now that the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese sandwich is safely home in Las Vegas, now we can look elsewhere for inspiration. There's picture of Jesus in a dental X-ray in Phoenix....(0) comments
posted by liz at 9:48 AM
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
In Iraq:(0) comments
Jeff Jarvis has posted a startling example of how blogs may sometimes report news that doesn't make it to the mainstream media. According to Jarvis, Iraqi bloggers predicted the current violence a long time ago. If there had been more notice in American media, perhaps some of this could have been prevented? In particular, he cites Zeyad's Healing Iraq blog, which was reporting chaos in Baghdad at last posting over a week ago:
And, an interesting comment from this posting:
And, in the Ukraine:
If you're wondering what's going on there (considering it's another election crisis like Florida went through) and not finding much in the news media, try the blogs: Neeka's Backlog is a blog from a journalist in the Ukraine; she's writing a lot about the election crisis. Good Ukraine links here too. And, another Ukrainian blog: Orange Ukraine.
posted by liz at 4:08 PM