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


    Friday, July 29, 2005

    Teele and DeFede 

    (I'm finding more and more as the day goes on. New links being added at bottom of this post.)

    As expected, there's discussion of this story in local blogs, giving a different perspective beyond the journalistic ones I pointed to yesterday evening. The Cuban bloggers, who have strong feelings about DeFede, have lots to say about The Herald, its coverage of this story, and the journalists who are signing the petition of support for DeFede:
    From The 26th Parallel:
      "Let's get to the good first: Their firing of Jim DeFede was the right thing to do. What DeFede did was ethically wrong, and of course illegal.
      ...What's really disappointing to me is the relatively large number of people who've signed the letter, including several current Herald reporters whose work I've been reading for quite a few years now."

    'Conductor' at Cuban-American Pundits has a different take:
      "Now, I'm not a fan of Mr. Defede. He has been consistently against Cuban-Americans and I rarely agree with anything he writes, but that's entirely besides the point. I think in firing Defede, the Herald, embodies journalistic hypocrisy. If the conversations that were recorded, were part of an investigation to a White House cover up like Watergate, then I'm sure they would not have fired him."

    George Moneo at Babalu Blog reacts to those commentators that suggest opposition to DeFede from the Cuban community may have fueled the firing:
      "It's the fault of the Cubans in Miami! The Mafia, los gusanos! Man, are we powerful or what!? I cannot tell you how much this has helped my self-esteem. I feel... well, omnipotent. Thanks, Mr. Rivers, for clearing that up."


    As far as the other blogs, CriticalMiami, is well, very critical of The Herald's role in this whole story. Read it yourself, I'm not quoting it.

    The conservative Peer Review links to the on-line petition, and signs it.

    The comments on the online petition are also pretty heated, and interesting. Among the commenters: Babalu Blog's Val Prieto.

    For more reaction, stories in The Washington Post and the New York Times (registration required).

    And, in blogs outside of Florida, as this story resonates, it looks like it's going to attract the attention that other big media ethics stories got: interesting discussions in C aptain's Quarters, Reidblog, Mark in Mexico, for example. a Technorati search finds much, much more.

    posted by liz at 2:03 PM
    (1) comments

    Thursday, July 28, 2005

    Reaction 

    The Arthur Teele story has been raising a lot of questions in journalism circles; there are several postings and letters on the Romenesko site, for example. Now some journalists have set up an online petition in support of Jim DeFede.

    And, some readers are upset about this story, too. Note this comment was added to the last post:
      How can u ignore the whole art teele thing? It happened in your very building. Are the mafia editors going to fire you too if you talk? The Herald doesn't believe in the 1st amendment, does it?

    In all the discussions about whether what DeFede did was legal or not, there is disagreement. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has a guide, called Can We Tape? which lays out the law on taping in each state. But there seems to be a dispute even over whether the RCFP's account is accurate. This seems to be a case where expressing one's personal opinion isn't going to add much.

    posted by liz at 7:18 PM
    (4) comments

    Remembering a different tragedy 

    Someone posted to Metafilter today that it's the 60th anniversary of the day a plane hit the Empire State Building. It was an Army Air Corps plane, trying to land at Newark airport. The pilot, flying in bad conditions, saw the East River below, and thought it was the Hudson. This was a terrible tragedy, but now mostly forgotten. Many people don't even know it happened. According to this historical report,
      Nearby buildings were damaged by fragments of the impact and one of the planes engines was found on the South side of the building in the top of a twelve story building. The engine had flown over thirty-third St. and had crashed through a skylight in a penthouse. The engine started a $78,000.00 fire in the studio of sculptor Henry Hering. Hotel magnet Vincent Astor owned this 12-story building.

    14 people, including the plane's crew, were killed.

    Speaking of forgotten tragedies, did you know that in early 1953, a runaway train loaded with passengers arriving in Washington, DC for Dwight Eisenhower's inauguration, crashed through a wall and into the concourse of DC's Union Station? 87 people were injured.

    posted by liz at 12:53 PM
    (7) comments

    Wednesday, July 27, 2005

    Watching the shuttle 

    Last night we were sitting outside and looking at the stars, and wondering: would the Space Shuttle pass in view any time during its voyage? Of course, there's help from NASA:
    Realtime Tracking draws a map of the earth and shows you exactly where the shuttle and the International Space Station are in relation. Right now the shuttle is over the Indian Ocean and the ISS over New Zealand. I had no idea how fast they move; a few minutes ago the shuttle was over South America and the ISS over the Indian Ocean. Looks like the shuttle has made one pass over North America since.

    If you want to know what time you can go out and see the shuttle (or ISS) overhead, check out NASA's Sightings site. There's a Javascript application to show you, or you can check a text index by city. Here's Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
    Unfortunately the shuttle won't be over the east coast during dark hours until this weekend, and it will require getting up really early in the morning, and hoping it's not cloudy.

    Want to keep up on other things going around the earth? NASA's J-Track tracks satellites, Hubble and Mir.
    (Thanks to Gary Price for the hints.)

    posted by liz at 11:12 AM
    (1) comments

    Tuesday, July 26, 2005

    Bloggers jump on Microsoft's map service 

    Lots of posts everywhere about this, but a new blog scanning site from C/Net, Blogma, seems to have the best summary. When Microsoft released their beta version of MSN Virtual Earth just a few weeks after Google launched Google Earth, bloggers were bound to try to compare them.
    Funny thing. They looked up the Apple headquarters in Cupertino, CA, and found that it showed a bare piece of land there. Google Earth clearly shows lots of buildings. Did Microsoft try to eliminate any trace of their competitor? Not likely. It turns out they're using satellite images from 1991. Not what their copyright notice says. Either way, MS is the butt of blogosphere jokes right now....

    posted by liz at 3:15 PM
    (0) comments

    Florida blog news 

    Finally, the blogging bug seems to be hitting Florida. You may have noticed I added a couple more blog links to the Florida list on right side: here's another, and it's local. Critical Miami has been around since April, and posts on South Florida news and living. (Check out their recipe for Miami Hummus, for example. Now I know I've had this before...)
    (Via Metafilter.)

    I also found a link here to another site: Coconut Grove Grapevine. Wonderful photos of the Grove, with news and links. The first posting was in early May, according to the archive. What better place than the Grove for a photoblog?
    I'll be adding these to the blogroll too.

    (Added later:) Speaking of statewide blog lists, there are a few organized ones. Check out Rocky Top Brigade for Tennessee bloggers, for example, or NC Blogs or North State Blogs for North Carolina blogs. Sheila Lennon at the Providence Journal is putting together a list of Rhode Island bloggers.

    posted by liz at 2:08 PM
    (4) comments

    Follow the money 

    Here's an astonishing story, from The London Review of Books, Where has all the money gone? (a shorter version is in The Guardian: So, Mr Bremer, where did all the money go? ) The story actually ran a couple weeks ago; the link from Digby , says "I urge you to read the whole story. It was published earlier this month and fell down the memory hole. It's simply unbelievable."
    I've seen some references to this but never this detail. It's stunning. From the Guardian's version:
      "The auditors have so far referred more than a hundred contracts, involving billions of dollars paid to American personnel and corporations, for investigation and possible criminal prosecution. They have also discovered that $8.8bn that passed through the new Iraqi government ministries in Baghdad while Bremer was in charge is unaccounted for, with little prospect of finding out where it has gone. A further $3.4bn appropriated by Congress for Iraqi development has since been siphoned off to finance "security".
      ...Both Saddam and the US profited handsomely during his reign. He controlled Iraq's wealth while most of Iraq's oil went to Californian refineries to provide cheap petrol for American voters. US corporations, like those who enjoyed Saddam's favour, grew rich. Today, the system is much the same: the oil goes to California, and the new Iraqi government spends the national wealth with impunity."

    Meanwhile, Knight Ridder correspondents report that things are worse than ever in Baghdad: people are finding worms in their drinking water.

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

    Bloggers clearinghouse 

    Artist, marketer and blogger Hugh Macleod of Gaping Void (check out his cartoon cards if you haven't seen them yet) has come up with a genius idea for bloggers who have a need they'd like to get spread around. Have you written a restaurant or movie review? Have a freelance business, need a job, want to find a date? If you've posted it on your blog, Hugh's created the HughPage Wiki where you can post links to your announcement or information. He calls it "an open-source 'Craigslist' for bloggers".
    (Via Doc Searls.)

    posted by liz at 12:18 PM
    (1) comments

    By the way.... 

    There was a blog on Herald.com that lasted over two years before this blog switched over to a Blogspot address (see below for coming changes). The links to the old blog somehow disappeared along the way, but yesterday I was Googling something and ran across a link to one of my blog pages from 2003. Lo and behold, there were all the links to the entire two-year run of the blog! I haven't checked every link to see if they all work, but for a look at what this blog used to look like, it's here.

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

    Terrorism, intelligence, and war costs 

    Londonist discusses the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes and has some interesting things to say about what this will mean for people in London, and the rest of us:
      "It definitely wasn't a random event and of course it's still happening - the poor bastard was only on his way to work. This morning 7 million other people are doing the exact same thing. Already wary of others around them following the attacks are Londoners now going to have to think twice before running for a train in case plain clothes armed police have them in their sights?"

    A commenter says one enterprising Web entrepreneur is already selling T-shirts that say "Don't shoot! I am not a terrorist!"

    A neighbor of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, who is also their attorney, tells what the family is really like and how the leak to the Novak column devastated them:
      "As I finished reading the column, Joe ventured out onto his deck and offered a neighborly hello. I held up the paper and yelled over, "I had no idea about Valerie!" Joe looked stricken and gestured to me to keep my voice down. I immediately realized the "outing" of Valerie as a covert CIA operative had had a devastating effect on the Wilson family. In the weeks to follow, I came to understand just how harrowing the disclosure was. Obviously, the identification of Valerie meant an end to her decades-long career. It also meant the country had lost an essential part of the services provided by someone who was an expert on weapons of mass destruction."


    Left I on the media wondered why only one newspaper mentioned one thing that Lance Armstrong said after winning the Tour de France:
      "The biggest downside to a war in Iraq is what you could do with that money. What does a war in Iraq cost a week? A billion? Maybe a billion a day? The budget for the National Cancer Institute is four billion. That has to change."

    I hadn't seen this site before but they do seem to link to news I haven't seen anywhere else.....
    (The following story is about Jane Fonda's new antiwar protest: "In a related story, right-wingers across the land died of an overdose of ectasy.")

    posted by liz at 11:51 AM
    (12) comments

    Monday, July 25, 2005

    Monday morning roundup 

    Alright, everyone always says they're tired of all the bad news in the media. So, here's a new news site with just happy news. Enjoy the story about the 1-eyed dog who watches TV.

    Lewis and Clark: the voyage of discovery continues, from the U.S. Geological Survey, satellite images of the route L&C took. We've been hearing a lot about Lewis & Clark for the 200th anniversary of their trip, and no wonder: it took 3 years. The anniversary continues until next year.

    The Wilson-Plame-Novak-Rove Blame Game: finally, someone tries to make this mess easier to understand. Factcheck.org, which tries to make sense of what's in the media, has a great chronology of the case with links to news stories.

    The Harry Potter Webguide, from Time Magazine, has links to all the best sites for Hogwarts fans.

    The 20 hamburgers you must eat before you die, a definitive list from GQ. The number one burger is from Hollywood, FL, the sirloin burger from Le Tub. (Via Sheila Lennon at the Providence Journal --- but we knew that.)

    Time to Check: are you using the right blogging tool? Susannah Gardner writes in Online Journalism Review, details pros and cons of the major blogging softwares and why you might want to pick one over the other. There's also a Blog software comparison chart.

    The Disney Blog keeps a tab on all things Disney. It's been around for awhile but lately seems I've been seeing lots of people linking to interesting stuff there. This weekend the blog linked to the Wikipedia entry on the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the entity that controls the land Disney World is built on. Boing Boing found that interesting enough to link to.

    Moving soon:
    It's good news that this blog will soon be moving back to the Herald.com address, at blogs.herald.com/infomaniac. This means that once again the blog entries will be found in the 7-day archive search. Commenting will be easier, not requiring Blogger registration, and Trackbacks will be activated. Right now there's just a placemarker blog there but will let you know when to change the bookmarks.

    posted by liz at 10:44 AM
    (12) comments

    Friday, July 22, 2005

    Blogging/journalism flap in Miami 

    The media gossip site Romenesko led today with a Daily Business Review story about several New Times staffers being suspended after complaining about comments in blogs by a couple editors there.
    One of the blogger/editors, a former Tampa-area librarian, has been noticed before for her comments on her blog; the blogs by both editors seem to have been deleted.

    posted by liz at 4:20 PM
    (0) comments

    Diversion for a hot summer day 

    Ever think about why we have ice cream sodas, sundaes, or banana splits? The Christian Science Monitor has a wonderful story, Where does a sundae come from?, on the origins of these distinctly American treats. Would you ever have known that the 'Sunday' was created because there was a ban on drinking carbonated drinks, so sodas weren't allowed on Sunday? Or that marshmallow really was once made from the sap of marsh mallows, a wildflower? Or that maraschino cherries came from that distinctly Mediterranean cherry liqueur?
    A great read for anyone fascinated by the history of food.

    posted by liz at 4:05 PM
    (1) comments

    Thursday, July 21, 2005

    Glorious photos 

    There was lots more on the Web about yesterday's moon landing anniversary. But the best of all, I think, was this Apollo 11 Panorama posted to Hans Nyberg's Panoramas site. If you want to see what the moon really looked like to those who landed there, this is probably as close as you can get.

    For more wonderful photos, there's Square America.This site takes photos found in old photo albums and posts them by category: Proms, kitchens, sleeping people, neighbors, with guns. These are ordinary Americans doing ordinary things but the combined effect of these faces and lost way of life is beautiful.

    posted by liz at 12:02 PM
    (1) comments

    Wednesday, July 20, 2005

    More on casualties 

    Iraq Body Count has released a new study, done with the Oxford Research Group, and published it as a 28-page PDF: Dossier on Civilian Deaths. The report collates reports from news media and other sources and finds that over 67,000 Iraqis were killed or injured in the two-year period from the March 2003 invasion until March of this year. Of those, over 24,000 were killed, at a rate of 34 a day. BBC report on the study; Another report (with links) from AFP via Yahoo!.
    The details of the report are just sad; for example: 51 of the dead were babies. The most killed by occupation: Iraqi security forces and police; and nearly 40 percent were killed by U.S. forces.

    Comments on the report from Iraqis: Raed Jarrar, who helped carry out a survey of civilian dead last year in Iraq, has a lot to say. Jarrar is also the subject of discussion these days as his brother disappeared recently and has been discovered in custody of the security police after being abducted from his university. Raed and his family are bloggers and he says:
      My dad said that Khalid mentioned something about his writings or his blog. We're not sure whether our blogs are the reason behind the abduction of my brother, but it's one of the possible scenarios. In case if they were, we'll stand for our political values of anti-violence, anti-occupation, pro-dialogue, pro-free speech, and all of the other honourable stands that my family has taken in our lifetime.

    Khalid's last post was July 10. His mother's blog hasn't had a post since her return from a trip to the U.S. There's some speculation that the arrest of Khalid is some sort of retaliation for their opinions on the war. Here's what the mother said about how she saw the U.S:
      Is this the Capitalism?
      How ugly it is, and how I found the people in the west struggling under its weight in their lives; running, panting to supply the minimum level of life. That is the majority of people, and there is a rich, fat minority that sucks the people's money, controlling the market...whom you won't see on the streets; for they travel by private planes, live in special neighborhoods, and use special restaurants...in a far away world...

    posted by liz at 2:39 PM
    (1) comments

    The judge 

    Via Rex Hammock, a site already devoted to the confirmation of John Robers to the Supreme Court: JudgeRoberts.com. Does this site have an agenda? Well, the 'about' page says this is one of the goals of the group that posted the site: "Forcing the media to report the facts about President Bush's commonsense conservative agenda". OK then.

    And more, also via Hammock: WashingtonPost.com is blogging the reaction to Roberts' nomination (registration may be required).
    And here's a wonderful example of why you should be careful about what you find in an Internet search: Vetting John Roberts.

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

    Nostalgia 

    For the anniversary of the 1969 moon landing, Google has created a moon logo on the Google homepage. But, even better, they've created a version of Google maps of the Moon which shows the sites of each moon landing. Very cool.
    Seems like everyone's excited about this anniversary, but not sure why the 36th would attract so much attention...

    Well, 1969 was a good year, after all, at least if you were a Beatles fan. They were still together, although it was their last full year as a group. Beatles.com has put together a Flash timeline of the Beatles with wonderful art, new videos and photos. It includes an announcement that the Cirque du Soleil will be producing a new show based on Beatles music. What a combination.
    For more nostalgia, whether the 60s, 70s or 80s are your thing, there's Nostalgia Central where you can look up movies, music, TV, or just get a rundown by year.
    Here's what happened in 1969.
    (Via Guardian Newsblog.)

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

    Tuesday, July 19, 2005

    Personalize your Web 

    It's a phenomenon that's growing by leaps and bounds, and isn't yet part of most people's lives: Personalizing your Web. Over the last few years there've been projects like Friendster (and Dogster, and Catster), and Orkut, and others, where you could link together all your online friends, their photos and messages; and places to post your photos (like Flickr) abound. Of course there are community linking sites like Craigslist, Freecycle, and lots more (like the restaurant review site I linked yesterday).
    But there's a new generation of sites coming online. Amoung them, Ourmedia, where you can upload your videos and sound files for free. One of the founders of Ourmedia, JD Lasica, was interviewed for a Boston Globe story which he excerpts on his site, including this: "Ourmedia could become the Internet's richest and most user-friendly multimedia site -- and for publishers, definitely the cheapest. It's such an appealing vision that it's sure to enrich someone... certainly the rest of us"
    And Lasica today also points to a new upcoming site which will have even more ways to personalize, allowing you to basically create 'your life on the web'. It's called GoingOn and will be available soon through the AlwaysOn site.
    The big boys are getting into this phenomenon too, with Yahoo! offering Yahoo! 360 where you can blog, post photos and link your friends. And last week I saw rumors that Microsoft's working on something like this.

    posted by liz at 10:11 AM
    (1) comments

    Monday, July 18, 2005

    Monday roundup 

    Here are some of the things bloggers are pointing to today:

    NOAA has posted satellite photos of destruction from Hurricane Dennis including photos of Pensacola Beach and Gulf Islands National Seashore.

    New Yorker article by Seymour Hersh on whether the U.S. manipulated the election in Iraq.
      In my reporting for this story, one theme that emerged was the Bush Administration's increasing tendency to turn to off-the-books covert actions to accomplish its goals. This allowed the Administration to avoid the kind of stumbling blocks it encountered in the debate about how to handle the elections: bureaucratic infighting, congressional second-guessing, complaints from outsiders.


    The Environmental Working Group reports on newborn babies and finds that researchers find up to 200 industrial chemicals in their bloodstreams.

    The World's Healthiest Foods site provides 100 healthy recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less.

    DinnerBuzz is a new 'social networking' site that allows people to rate and comment on restaurants in a city. Lots of cities included here, including Miami, where there are no posts yet. Go out to eat and contribute! The folks in Rochester, for heavens sake, are doing better.

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

    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    London remembers 

    This morning in London, the entire city stopped for a pause to remember the victims of Thursday's bombings a week later. The Guardian Newsblog reports, and has comments from dozens of people who report what it was like for them.
    What the Guardian said:
      Just before midday today, a steadily growing stream of Guardian staff trooped silently down the five flights of stairs from our offices onto Farringdon Road, normally one of London's busier streets. A crowd gathered in front of the building, matched by similar silent gatherings all along the road. A double decker bus, a No 63, pulled over and switched off its engine. The driver stepped outside his cab and his passengers rose from their seats and stood with clasped hands. Just in front, a taxi driver stood by his vehicle. Cars stopped, and but for the unanswered ringing of a telephone and the incongruous sight of a young man jogging through the crowd, there was, for two brief minutes, silence as this small corner of London paid its respects to the people who died in last Thursday's attacks on our city. It was incredibly moving.

    And, from a reader, about another street in London:
      Everything seemed relatively normal until all the cars stopped, the buses turned their engines off, people stopped moving, and silence ensued.
      I've been on Oxford Street at all hours of the day and night and this was the quietest it has ever been.
      The silence was broken by a solitary bus engine starting and then respectful applause as people recognised London's show of unity.

    posted by liz at 2:12 PM
    (0) comments

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    FEMA concerns 

    Also found via the Facing South blog, this report from the Mobile, Alabama Register: Probe: FEMA has 'serious shortcomings'. A timely concern as Floridians begin to recover from yet another devastating hurricane.
    This investigation finds "Among FEMA's problems (not specifically mentioned in Sean's piece) was a too-cozy connection between disaster relief and President Bush's re-election campaign, especially in Jeb-governed Florida.", according to Facing South's report.

    posted by liz at 1:36 PM
    (0) comments

    War for hearts and minds 

    News on the London bombings becomes more and more upsetting as reports come in that the bombers were British-born, normal seeming young men. In a frightening report from The Times Online, leaked British government memos say extremism is on the rise due to the war in Iraq:
      "The Iraq war is identified by the dossier as a key cause of young Britons turning to terrorism. The analysis says: "It seems that a particularly strong cause of disillusionment among Muslims, including young Muslims, is a perceived 'double standard' in the foreign policy of western governments, in particular Britain and the US."

    The story has links to the fulltext of this document.

    For more on why the Iraq war has raised so much anger (see also the report on civilian casualties posted earlier today, below), it's worth reading Facing South on the looting of Iraq, from the Institute of Southern Studies' blog.

    For more on this topic, CorpWatch has created a site just for news and reports on War Profiteers.

    posted by liz at 12:48 PM
    (0) comments

    Zell! 

    The buzz in Georgia these days is over Senator and former Governor Zell Miller, who was a sensation at the last Republican National Convention where he spoke in favor of candidate George W. Bush, despite being a long-time member of the Democratic party. Now an Atlanta TV station reveals Miller took funds when he left the governorship that were not rightly his. The Macon Telegraph, a Knight-Ridder newspaper as is The Miami Herald, has an opinion about Miller's conduct, and is not pleased:
      However, folks, don't write this off as just another run-of-the-mill TV tale. This is about the Paul Bunyan of Peach State politics - a Georgia giant who in at least three recent books ("Corps Values," "A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat" and "A Deficit of Decency") set out to establish himself as an arbiter of moral behavior in public office.

    I guess the unbelievable political stories aren't just from Florida....

    posted by liz at 12:40 PM
    (0) comments

    Iraq civilian deaths 

    There's a new study out from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, which publishes research called the Small Arms Survey. Their latest annual report has a new estimate of Iraqi civilian deaths. The report is in PDF format with each chapter, including the chapter on conflict deaths, downloadable. There's a news report on the study from Reuters, that says the report estimates 39,000 Iraqis killed since the 2003 invasion. The story also mentions other civilian casualty estimates.

    posted by liz at 12:09 PM
    (0) comments

    Progress from Space 

    In case you're wondering why we need to send up a Space Shuttle again, here's a couple sites devoted to the good that's come from the research done by NASA: NASA Spinoffs, from The Space Place website, lists inventions that couldn't have happened without space voyages. Included: computer technology, home improvements, health, clothing, and lots more. here are a couple you might never have guessed:
      STUDLESS WINTER TIRES - Viking Lander parachute shroud material is adapted and used to manufacture radial tires, increasing the tire material's chainlike molecular structure to five times the strength of steel should increase tread life by 10,000 miles.
      GOLF BALL AERODYNAMICS - A recently designed golf ball, which has 500 dimples arranged in a pattern of 60 spherical triangles, employs NASA aerodynamics technology to create a more symmetrical ball surface, sustaining initial velocity longer and producing a more stable ball flight for better accuracy and distance.

    Also, NASA has a magazine called Spinoff which is devoted to this sort of technology and has lots of links to sites which highlight this technology.
    (Via Al's Morning Meeting.)

    posted by liz at 10:05 AM
    (0) comments

    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    Beaches 

    Although Floridians have access to some of the best beaches in the world (see Dr. Beach's ratings for proof), some just must go explore beaches in other parts of the world. Where to get a real change of scenery than Great Britain, which has miles and miles of beaches that most people don't even think about visiting when in England? To find some of the best beaches there, check out The 2005 Seaside Awards which rates dozens of beaches in England and Northern Ireland. There's a separate link for beaches in Scotland.

    For something to do while at the beach, here's a great barbecue reference page, Barbecu'en on the Internet where you can get grilling guides, recipes and tips.
    (Both via Guardian NewsBlog.)

    posted by liz at 12:04 PM
    (0) comments

    Monday, July 11, 2005

    Courage 

    There's plenty of inspiration to be had in the Statement from the Lord Mayor of London, Ken Livingston, about the terrorist attacks, which concludes:
      "They choose to come to London, as so many have come before because they come to be free, they come to live the life they choose, they come to be able to be themselves. They flee you because you tell them how they should live. They don't want that and nothing you do, however many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our city where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another. Whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail."


    Also, someone has set up a site called We Are Not Afraid, where people can send photos of London with the motto superimposed. I couldn't get into the site because the server was too busy, but there's an example on Jeff Jarvis' BuzzMachine blog.

    posted by liz at 10:54 AM
    (0) comments

    Sunday, July 10, 2005

    Blogging the storm 

    Here are some links to Florida (and other) bloggers who are reporting on Hurricane Dennis:

    posted by liz at 6:32 PM
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    Friday, July 08, 2005

    Mangos! 

    How about a happy diversion from all this awful news?
    This weekend is the 13th annual MangoFest at Fairchild Tropical Garden. Here's the Herald story about MangoFest.
    And, just in time, MangoFest was featured in the latest issue of Saveur magazine, which carried several stories and features on mangos, with photos of the Fest. Unfortunately Saveur's articles aren't online.
    Let's hope the Fest isn't rained out this weekend...

    posted by liz at 10:33 AM
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    Reactions 

    A couple more notes from the blog world on yesterday's London bombings: The blog search service Technorati, which I could barely get into yesterday, has now put up a special London Bombings page which links to interesting posts from bloggers. Reading the bloggers has become the best way to get the latest or most personal news, as many journalism blogs are noting today. Technorati is highlighting the most notable posts, such as this one, Surviving a Terrorist Attack from the PFFF blog:
      "I boarded the train at King's Cross after a series of line closures forced me onto a Circle Line train; little did I know at the time that this was probably the worst thing I could have done.
      Travelling just past Edgware Road Station the train entered a tunnel. We shook like any usual tube train as it rattled down the tracks. It was then I heard a loud bang.
      ...The fire concerned me and the acrid smoke never seems to fully dissipate. I calmed passengers playing down the issue as a bad tube network and a network derailment. Naturally people were in a mixture of states from quiet to abject panic in all its colours.
      People could be heard screaming from all around; people were trapped, yet no-one could move and do anything..."


    The Global Voices blog is posting links to messages from Muslim bloggers about the bombings.

    posted by liz at 9:39 AM
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    Thursday, July 07, 2005

    London bombs 

    On the terrible news from London this morning, some links (new entries are being added at the bottom):

    The Guardian Newsblog is on top of the bombing story with constant updates, including eyewitness reports, messages from around the world, photos, mood at the G8 Summit in Edinburgh, and lots more. The Guardian also has a page of comments from bloggers.

    There's already a Wikipedia entry on the bombing, which I'm sure will be constantly updated over the next few days. The amount of information and links here is incredible, including transport info, eyewitness photo links, lots lots more.

    BBC news on the explosions, includes a reporters' log, witness photos, lots more.

    Perfect.co.uk is collecting lots of links, photos, and more, in chronological order.
    The London Underground blog is blogging the story, too.
    A guide at About.com has lots of links to news compilations and London guides.

    Yahoo! News Full Coverage of London Bombings will, as usual, contain lots of links to news stories and Websites with useful information.

    The BBC says it has found a website with the al-Qaeda claim of responsibility for the bombings.

    CNN's minute-by-minute timeline.


    Middle East expert Juan Cole
    speculates on reason for bombing and ties it with recently started trial of imam Abu Hamza Misri in Britain.

    Metroblog: London has lots and lots of comments from various bloggers, including lots of good links. One blogger said:
      "Call me a coward if you like, but the first instinct was to get as far away from London as possible. And I was not alone. I have NEVER seen so many taxi's on the motorway heading west away from the city."

    Someone has created a site that shows Bombing locations on GoogleMaps; also has news links and timeline.

    There are some more links and observations on the Observer Blog from The Guardian's sister paper.

    Houston Chronicle's NewsBlog: London Blasts. Some interesting stuff here, including a post about a photo that seems to becoming the definitive image of these attacks.

    Also found via the NewsBlog, above: A homeland security blog has lots of interesting links on the bombings and security reaction, including one really useful post about how to use a cell phone during an emergency (London's cellular networks were overwhelmed today):
      What should they have done?
      Use short SMS text messages to reassure relatives they were safe (texting not only uses minimal bandwidth, but can also route around disruptions in the network, since it's packet-based) and then get off the phone.

    Useful advice for everyone to keep in mind when something important happens.

    UK Resilience is the official government emergency response website and has information on disaster plans.

    Boing Boing has some more good links to photos, blogs, etc.

    posted by liz at 12:37 PM
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    Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    No brass knuckles at MIA 

    A Boing Boing reader writes that his girlfriend bought a purse decorated with brass knuckles after seeing it on the Website, and then she got arrested at Miami International Airport for trying to carry it onto an airplane.

    posted by liz at 2:32 PM
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    Growing fast 

    The Census has released its latest list of America's fastest-growing cities and of course, a Florida city tops the list again. But now the focus has moved to the east coast: for years the fastest-growing city was on the west coast, places like Naples or Fort Myers. This year, the dubious honor goes to Port St. Lucie, where the population increased 12 percent between July 1, 2003 and July 1, 2004. Also on the top 10 list: Miramar, in Broward County, and Cape Coral (which is on the west coast). The full list of the 25 cities is available at the Census site, in spreadsheet format.

    posted by liz at 12:16 PM
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    Where they came from 

    The Palm Beach post took military casualty data from Iraq and Afghanistan and mapped it by hometown. It's a new way to visualize the deaths and gives you pause to see where they all came from. Hold cursor over the dots on the map to see the name of the town.

    And, on another casualty mentioned here last week, The Philadelphia Inquirer's Trudy Rubin writes about her friend Yasser Salihee and his death.

    posted by liz at 12:05 PM
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    Friday, July 01, 2005

    Monday morning roundup 

    Here are some of the things bloggers are pointing to today:

    NOAA has posted satellite photos of destruction from Hurricane Dennis including photos of Pensacola Beach and Gulf Islands National Seashore.

    New Yorker article by Seymour Hersh on whether the U.S. manipulated the election in Iraq.
      In my reporting for this story, one theme that emerged was the Bush Administration’s increasing tendency to turn to off-the-books covert actions to accomplish its goals. This allowed the Administration to avoid the kind of stumbling blocks it encountered in the debate about how to handle the elections: bureaucratic infighting, congressional second-guessing, complaints from outsiders.


    The Environmental Working Group reports on newborn babies and finds that researchers find up to 200 industrial chemicals in their bloodstreams.

    The World's Healthiest Foods site provides 100 healthy recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less.

    DinnerBuzz is a new 'social networking' site that allows people to rate and comment on restaurants in a city. Lots of cities included here, including Miami, where there are no posts yet. Go out to eat and contribute! The folks in Rochester, for heavens sake, are doing better.

    posted by liz at 2:05 PM
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    For the Fourth 

    James Heintze at American University (in Washington, DC) has compiled a database of Fourth of July celebrations. It's a database of historical celebrations of the Fourth from the very beginning of the American republic to the present (including President George W. Bush's last four 4th speeches in various cities across the U.S. and the famous speech given by Frederick S. Douglass in Rochester, NY, July 5 1952, What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?).
    It's a nice way to review what this holiday has meant to Americans over the years.

    On another note, the National Council of Churches has issued a statement expressing their feelings for this Fourth of July: A Call to Speak Out asks for "peace and justice in Iraq" and says:
      "As people of faith, we believe in the transcendent sovereignty and love of God for creation, and that the responsibility of human beings is thus to pursue justice and peace for all.

      ...The time has come to say:

      - NO to leaders who have sent many honorable sons and daughters to fight a dishonorable war;

      - NO to the violence that has cost over seventeen hundred American lives, left thousands grievously injured, and killed untold numbers of Iraqis whose deaths we are unwilling to acknowledge or count;

      - NO to the abuse of prisoners that has shamed our nation and damaged our reputation throughout the world;

      - NO to the price tag for this war that has rendered our federal budget incapable of adequately caring for the poorest of our own citizens; and,

      - NO to theologies that demonize other nations and religions while arrogantly claiming righteousness for ourselves as if we share no complicity in human evil. "

    posted by liz at 11:37 AM
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    Following up 

    Yasser Salihee:
    On the story about the Iraqi Knight-Ridder correspondent killed in Baghdad, Knight Ridder's Hannah Allam writes in Editor & Publisher magazine about the loss of Yasser Salihee:
      "Little is known about the innocent Iraqis who pay the ultimate price for a war conducted in the name of their liberation. But because Yasser happened to be a journalist, a dogged chronicler of every milestone in his country for the past year, his story survives.
      ...Yasser had hoped to travel to London soon on a journalism fellowship. He showed me a copy of the essay he'd written for the application. He described the dangers that journalists in Iraq face, writing that the obstacles were enough to make anyone want to quit. Then he added:
      "But for me, I decided to carry on as a doctor and a foreign reporter at the same time because I found it very important to tell the people outside about what's really going on." "


    Deep Throat:
    And, on the Deep Throat story, Bob Woodward has rushed out a book, The Secret Man, which will be in bookstores in a few days. Some first looks are coming out, though, including this story in the Washington Post identifying the Arlington parking garage where the meetings occurred. Another of Watergate's long mysteries solved.
    (USA Today obtained an early copy of the book and writes about it here.) There are also rumors that Robert Redford has been seen with Woodward in last few days, does that mean there's another movie in the works? Redford would make a great Mark Felt.

    posted by liz at 9:47 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 Herald.com 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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