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    Overheard on the Web, and other Web links
    From The Herald's Research Editor

    Thursday, April 28, 2005

    Not good 

    Two reports have recently come out that add to the worrisome history of what's going on in Iraq. The British attorney general has released an opinion given to PM Tony Blair before the invasion of Iraq which advised that war might be illegal.
    And, Human Rights Watch has issued U.S.: Getting away with torture? a report on treatment of detainees by U.S. forces.

    posted by liz at 3:04 PM
    (0) comments


    Time magazine has discovered a photo that shows Tom DeLay smoking a Cuban cigar. Delay, who has expressed hatred of the Castro regime and supports the embargo, seems to have violated a law he supports.
    (Via Wonkette.)

    posted by liz at 10:37 AM
    (0) comments

    Tuesday, April 26, 2005

    Another Tampa blog 

    Mark Lane at Florida Blog points out a new blog from the Tampa area, Seminole Heights, and wonders "Odd how the Tampa Bay area seems to have more bloggers than the rest of the state."
    It's true. I know of several, and only a few from the entire Dade-Broward area. Where are the South Florida bloggers?

    (Later:) Thanks to an alert reader, I fixed the link to Florida Blog (just can't remember it's .net, not .com). Note the link in the comments to a nice list of Keys blogs. There used to be a great cooking blog from the Keys, but it disappeared a year to two ago. Note I do have a blogroll of some Florida blogs in the right-hand column (you may have to scroll down a bit).

    posted by liz at 5:58 PM
    (3) comments

    Monday, April 25, 2005


    If you like Vietnamese food, you'll love NoodlePie, a food blog from a resident of Saigon. Bonus: A list of other Vietnam blogs. has just added Miami to the list of cities that has photos attached to the business listings in its A9 Yellow Pages. Search for a type of business in an area or at an address, and you'll see photos of some of the listings. Once you've chosen a business you can browse up and down the street looking at the photos. Not every address has a photo, but they are adding more. Businesses can also upload photos and more information.
    Here are The other cities with photos online in A9's Yellow Pages.

    Steve Kerr is blogging the NBA playoffs for So far no Heat bloggers on the NBA Blog Squad. How come?

    posted by liz at 2:10 PM
    (0) comments

    Friday, April 22, 2005

    Greatest American? 

    There's been a survey going on for the Discovery Channel, getting Americans to choose their nominee for the Greatest American in history. Now a list of nominees is being finalized. The Greatest American Blog is keeping track. First name that came up when I clicked today: Ray Charles. Other names: Johnny Carson, Laura Bush. Funny thing about this sort of survey: usually only people who've been in the news recently get nominated. It's as if we had no memory. What about Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Jefferson; remember them? Tom Hanks? Oh, come on!
    The entire list will be discussed in a seven-hour Discovery program this summer.

    posted by liz at 3:45 PM
    (0) comments

    A couple things I tried to post yesterday, but couldn't: 

    Are you a Neocon? take this quiz from the Christian Science Monitor and find out. This is a pretty serious quiz and if nothing else may help explain just what a 'neocon' really is.

    This is something that was just waiting to be created, very clever. Paul Rachemacher combined Google Maps and Craigslist to find lists of houses for sale/rent by city (with maps, of course). Miami is one of the cities, although it includes other Florida areas. What a great use of these two sites, and what a natural combination. You can browse by the listing or by the map; choose a geographic area and price range; clicking on the property description leads to the Craigslist ad. Smart.

    Florida Online Park Guide is the new site from Florida State Parks. It's the place to go to find out what's happening in the parks.

    posted by liz at 3:37 PM
    (0) comments

    You'll pay for it 

    If Sen. Rick Santorum has his way, free weather reports from the U.S. government will be eliminated. Two Florida bloggers -- Hidden City and Florida Blog have the links.

    Bonus: Hidden City's Marc Kevin Hall has some nice photos of the National Hurricane Center, too.

    posted by liz at 1:48 PM
    (0) comments

    And more 

    (Apologies for light posting, but the Blogger software has been balky lately and I've been having a lot of trouble getting posts to go through. Trying again:)

    Amid all the discussion of the new Pope Benedict XVI, a few writers and bloggers are pointing to his influence on the last U.S. election. As head of the Vatican doctrine committee (formerly the Inquisition), he issued a statement telling American bishops that any Catholic politician that took a pro-choice stance should be excommunicated. Salon discusses the effect Cardinal Ratzinger had on the U.S. election. (You'll need to read an advertisement to see the whole story.) Text of the memo he sent to U.S. bishops is on the PriestsforLife Website.

    posted by liz at 1:42 PM
    (0) comments

    Wednesday, April 20, 2005

    Florida blogger owns pope's Website 

    Rogers Cadenhead registered '' a couple weeks ago, along with several other names he thought might be chosen. He links to comments from others who think it was a tacky thing to do, and now says he's already had offers to buy it. He says, however:
      "I will be running any plans I have for this domain by my own Catholic doctrinal enforcer, my never-miss-a-Sunday grandmother Rita."

    (Added later:) This story in Wired says he's been getting emails accusing him of committing a sin.

    posted by liz at 1:22 PM
    (0) comments


    Lots of discussion in the blogging world about the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI. Many are pointing to Andrew Sullivan, whose comments as a catholic are always relevant. Sullivan makes his feelings plain:
      "This is the religious equivalent of having had four terms of George W. Bush only to find that his successor as president is Karl Rove. Get it now?"

    Of course, Ratzinger's time in the Hitler Youth is disturbing to many. The background is explained on BeliefNet:
      All German teens were obligated to participate in the Hitler Youth. Ratzinger joined when he was 14 and remained in the group about a year, leaving as soon as he was permitted. He was later drafted into an anti-aircraft unit of the German army, though he deserted two years later without having fired a shot.

    posted by liz at 12:08 PM
    (0) comments

    Tuesday, April 19, 2005

    Habemus Papam 

    No need for the chimney cam in the previous posting, it's done. Some links to help you find out more about the new pope, Benedict XVI:

    posted by liz at 3:18 PM
    (0) comments

    Live from Rome 

    The Vatican has a live Webcam from St. Peter's Square which is focused on the chimney which will announce the results of the papal vote. Gives you a choice of Real or MS Media players. It's a clear image, but if you have low bandwidth it may be too small and far away to see the smoke clearly.
    (Via Morning Meeting.)

    posted by liz at 10:10 AM
    (0) comments

    Monday, April 18, 2005

    Schlndlers' list 

    The research group Media Transparency reports Deathbed Dollars, on how the groups campaigning to save Terri Schiavo will profit from the names and contributions donated:
      "In a few months, when the Terri Schiavo case has drifted into the ether inhabited by such cultural cataclysms as the Elian Gonzalez case, those who sent money or a supportive message to the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation will discover that they've made Schindler's list. Their e-mail boxes and snail-mail boxes will be stuffed by a host of appeals from organizations pushing everything from the privatization of Social Security to school vouchers to an anti-gay-marriage amendment to the constitution."

    posted by liz at 2:44 PM
    (0) comments

    What did they pay? 

    So you got through tax day on Friday...or did you? If you want to know what the powerful people paid, the Tax History Project keeps a database of presidential tax returns. George W. Bush's and Richard Cheney's 2004 tax returns have been posted.

    posted by liz at 1:10 PM
    (0) comments

    Back to baseball 

    Now that the season's off to a running start, here are a couple resources to find out how your team's doing financially.
    Team Marketing Report has put out its annual Baseball Fan Cost Index for 2005. According to this ranking, Marlins fans pay less than the league average to go to a game. Most expensive team this year? Boston Red Sox. The Marlins' ticket prices have gone up 30 percent, up to a little over $15 for the average ticket; but in Boston you're going to pay nearly $45 to see the world champs.

    And if you want to see what the team's worth, Forbes has this year's 2005 Baseball team valuations. The Marlins, despite two world championships, are 26th in value, after (guess who?) the Yankees and the Red Sox.

    (Added later:) Speaking of baseball, there's a new network of sports blogs out there, called SportsBlogs Nation. It was started by the Daily Kos creator, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga. Kos Explains.
    The Marlins blog is called FishStripes.
    (Via the Guardian Newsblog.)

    posted by liz at 12:52 PM
    (0) comments

    Wednesday, April 13, 2005

    More on Google Maps 

    Lots of mixed feelings out there about the 'eyes in the sky' whose results you can easily download using Google Maps. Can these images be used to invade your privacy? One blogger worries about it, but also finds it's a great tool to see exactly how much environmental devastation is being wreaked by logging in his part of British Columbia. He also includes links to other bloggers' comments.
    (Via Metafilter.)

    posted by liz at 12:58 PM
    (1) comments

    Thinking about religion 

    What with the Pope and Terri Schiavo and all, it's a topic we're probably all thinking of these days. More food for thought:
    National Day of Reason is a humanist response to the national day of prayer, to be held the same day, May 5. From the organizers:
      "Many who value the separation of church and state have sought an appropriate response to the federally-funded National Day of Prayer, an annual abuse of the constitution. Nontheistic Americans (including freethinkers, humanists, atheists and agnostics), along with many traditionally religious allies, view such government-sanctioned sectarianism as unduly exclusionary."

    There are some good resources linked from this site, including one to

    Also, an interesting column from Glenn Reynolds (of Instapundit fame) at Tech Central Station: Religioso, Ma Non Troppo.
      "That's a longstanding strain of American thought, too. In fact, the traditional American attitude toward religion -- and especially religion in politics -- might be summed up this way: "Religious, but not too much."
      This is captured in two provisions from the Tennessee Constitution, adopted in 1796. Article IX, Section 2 provides that "No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state."
      On the other hand, Article IX, Section 1 provides that: "no minister of the Gospel, or priest of any denomination whatever, shall be eligible to a seat in either House of the Legislature.""

    posted by liz at 12:39 PM
    (0) comments

    Suggestions for W 

    Lots of talk around on the recent New York Times story listing the songs our president carries on his IPod. In a twist, The Guardian asked for suggestions of songs GWB should be listening to: Here's that list.

    posted by liz at 12:00 PM
    (0) comments

    Tuesday, April 12, 2005

    Fun from the sky 

    Everyone's talking about the new feature on Google Maps that lets you zoom in on the world's geography from satellite photos. Depending on the place you're looking, the satellite images can be very detailed (good detail in Miami and other major U.S. cities; not so good in rural or smalltown areas; some places, like the White House and Kennebunkport, are blurred for security reasons).
    For an example, here's the area around the Miami Herald building in downtown Miami. Use the scroll bar and arrows to move in and out/around, neat features of this site.

    I hadn't linked to this earlier since everyone else is, and besides, there have been several services, from Mapquest to Miami-Dade County's My Home that can show you good aerial images, around for awhile.
    But people are having lots of fun with this one, and are sharing what they found with others: here's a Google Sightseeing blog that posts lots of fun images from Google Maps. Sheila Lennon at the Providence Journal's site also found lots of fun stuff using the maps.

    posted by liz at 7:26 PM
    (0) comments

    Tons of fun 

    Seems like every week or so someone links to a new program that generates a silly piece of Web fun. Today several blogs are linking to a site that puts your name or slogan on a picture of an air conditioning company van. Well, now you can keep up with all these things with The Generator Blog, from the creator of Presurfer. Things you can do from the latest postings: put your name in neon lights. Create some Silly Winetasting Notes. Or create a George W. Bush press conference response:
      "The Generator asked: If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
      'Er. I mean... (long pause) I wish you would have given me this written question ahead of time, so I could plan for it. You know, I just... I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hadn't yet.'"

    posted by liz at 7:17 PM
    (0) comments

    Around the blogs 

    Links to a report in Forbes on Where Billionaires live; there are tours of the homes of 15 of the world's richest people, from Warren Buffet's modest Omaha home to the palace of a Saudi prince.

    Time Goes By is the blog of Ronni Bennett, a former radio and TV producer who writes about the aging process and sometimes muses as 'Crabby Old Lady'; recently 'Crabby' wrote about blogging and its ramifications: women bloggers, friendships made through blogging, and how it reveals our natures. A lovely posting, and it speaks truth:
      "A good blog is work and the whiners would do well to tend to their own blog knitting....
      More often, however, it is an agreeable process to gradually come to know bloggers through their interests, attitudes, likes and dislikes, senses of humor, photos selected, general outlook, how they carry themselves in this public venue and their styles in expressing it all. And some become friends."

    So here's one of my current obsessions these days: Battlestar Galactica, the incredible ongoing space series on the SciFi channel. Praises everywhere for the series, which emphasizes human dilemmas rather than sci-fi glitz; but to me one of the most fascinating thing about it is the Battlestar Blog by creator Ron Moore. Not just a gossipy, newsy blog, Moore discusses the deep questions brought up on the show. The latest posting discusses the bad things the characters do in the series, like torture and killing: is it making a statement on the current world situation or American politics?
      I firmly believe that what Kara Thrace did to Leoben in "Flesh and Bone" was wrong. I believe that a society which employs torture on the defenseless captives in its custody has crossed a bright shining line that civilized people should not cross. Likewise, I think that Laura Roslin promising a man freedom only to kill him in the end is abhorrent to the ways in which I want my president to behave. However, I also understand why each of them did what they did...
      ...These are the debates that I hope you have among yourselves, your families, your friends. I want the show to provoke you into thinking about the times you live in and the choices that are being made all around you every day. In a time when the President of the United States actually asserts that he has the power to arrest without warrant and detain indefinitely without charge or appeal, any citizen (indeed any person on the face of the Earth) simply by designating them as an "illegal combatant," we should all be engaged in a vigorous and energetic debate about who we are as a people and as human beings and exactly how we do intend to respond to the very real threat posed to this nation and to the foundations of liberal democracy posed by people capable of, and willing to, fly airplanes into buildings.

    There's an online bulletin board, too, where these questions are being discussed.

    posted by liz at 6:17 PM
    (1) comments

    Thursday, April 07, 2005

    Florida Photography 

    The St. Petersburg Times profiled Florida photographer John Moran, whose Website is full of beautiful pictures of water, birds, animals, and plants. Thanks to a tip from Derek Willis at Blandiose, who links to the story calling Moran 'Florida's photographer laureate' and displays an incredible photo of a comet.

    posted by liz at 1:02 PM
    (0) comments

    There's always a Florida connection 

    Bloggers have been claiming that the Republican 'talking points' memo alerting senators to the political hay to be made from the Terri Schiavo case is a fake. (Previous posting.) Now comes a report that the memo is real and was written by an aide to Florida sen. Mel Martinez. The staffer has resigned.

    New and interesting
    Here's a roundup of some new things found on the Web:

    SPLOID is the new online tabloid from Gawker/Wonkette/Engadget genius Nick Denton. It looks and reads like one of the British or German tabloids. Fun.

    YaGoHooGle: this is an interesting concept which puts the two searches next to each other: like this one, for Miami Herald.

    On the Pope front, Dream of Italy blog has news about travel in Rome, closings, housing, etc. Also interesting: The Pope Blog, We Want a Black Pope, and Get Religion.

    World Wind from NASA, is a new satellite imaging database software that lets you 'fly' over terrain around the world. (Similar to FIU's Terrafly?). I haven't downloaded and tried the software, but a World Wind Wiki has tips and samples of screenshots from users.

    2005 Congressional Pig Book reveals waste in spending; from Citizens Against Government Waste.

    On the president beat....:
    Some attention being paid to the amount the president's Social Security reform campaign is costing: in David Sirota's blog; and a Washington Post story about Congressional queries (registration may be required). Sirota estimates that just the cost of flying Air Force One to these rallies for one hour would pay the benefits of 5 retirees for a year.

    posted by liz at 10:13 AM
    (1) comments

    Wednesday, April 06, 2005

    Back to the Gannon story 

    This is incredibly weird, but just too interesting not to pass on: The Des Moines Register has a story about a billowing Internet rumor that Jeff Gannon/J Guckert is really Johnny Gosch, an Iowa boy who was kidnapped at age 12 in 1982, said to have been by a pedophile ring.
    Gannon, The White House correspondent for Talon News, was later revealed by bloggers to have had a male escort/pornography background and quit his job. He's lately caused a stir by being invited to a National Press Club event. Johnny Gosch seems to resemble Gannon, but would be several years younger. That apparently hasn't stopped dozens of bloggers from noting the coincidences.

    posted by liz at 11:11 AM
    (1) comments

    Tuesday, April 05, 2005

    Last Schiavo link? 

    I'd like to hope that I won't be posting any thinks to discussion of this case any more, but of course this one will be in our consciousness a long time. Note the post below, and this one, both of this which are definitely worth a read to fill in the parts of this story that no one seems to have noticed: Before the Circus, a story by the St. Petersburg Times reporter who was the last reporter to spend time with Terri 5 years ago. Anita Kumar says:
      "Back then, both sides were civil to one another. No one disputed that Terri was in a persistent vegetative state and had been for a decade. Or that an eating disorder probably had led to Terri's cardiac arrest and collapse, not physical abuse by Michael as some now contend.
      Nobody was a murderer, an abuser, an adulterer, a fanatic, a liar. They were just family, trying their best to do right by their daughter, wife, sister.
      ... After all these years, what haunts me is something Terri's brother once said: "If Terri knew what this had done to this family, she would go ballistic."
      And he told me that before things spun out of control."

    posted by liz at 11:50 AM
    (0) comments

    Florida blogging news 

    Florida attorney Matt Conigliaro, author of the Abstract Appeal blog, is interviewed in Online Journalism Review, where he discusses his explanatory postings on the Terri Schiavo case. Of these postings, one clears up a lot of questions about who made the decisions on Terri's fate: Schiavo Thoughts: Myths, Inexcusable Myths shows why the oft-repeated statement that Michael Schiavo was the only one who claimed Terri would not want to have been kept alive is not true. This post was posted Saturday:
      "It is unfortunate, to say the least, that so many people -- particularly media figures -- who have publicly doubted the result of the trial do not appear even to have been aware of these other witnesses' testimony, let alone viewed it live or even reviewed it in transcripts."

    (Via Florida Blog and South of the Suwannee.)

    In other Florida blogging news, email announces a new blog from South Florida, The 26th Parallel, by Robert, who calls himself 'Miami Native. Cuban-American version 2.0'. Just a few postings so far, on topics from rednecks to Mariel to baseball. With a beautiful tabebuia photo.

    posted by liz at 10:50 AM
    (1) comments

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    Google Gulp 

    On Friday, Google announced the release of a new soft drink, Google Gulp. The bottle is programmed to read your DNA, making 'Gulp' "a line of "smart drinks" designed to maximize your surfing efficiency by making you more intelligent, and less thirsty."
    But before you go running out to your local supermart to ask for these, remember what day Friday, April 1, was.....

    posted by liz at 11:38 AM
    (0) comments

    What are Catholics saying? 

    Just back from a trip out of town, so will be adding posts soon. Meanwhile, it might be interesting to see what Catholics are thinking about the previous and coming popes on some of these Catholic blogs
    (Link to this list via Doc Searls.)

    posted by liz at 11:03 AM
    (0) comments

    Elisabeth Donovan

    Elisabeth (Liz) Donovan was a Herald librarian for 10 years, and Research Editor for 13 years. She came to The Herald in 1981, following several years at the Washington Post. She started blogging in 2000, with a news research blog, followed by the blog at in 2003. A frequent speaker and writer on news research, she was honored in 2004 by the News Division of the Special Libraries Association for her contributions to the field.

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    Florida Blogs:
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