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God tells me to copy and paste, so you can't stop me. -- Kate

"You know, I could run for governor, but I'm basically a media creation. I've never done anything. I've worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business ..." -- G.W. Bush

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. -- Galileo Galilei

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Time to play cryptograms!

Cryptograms are so much easier to do on the computer, don’t neeed an eraser.

Hint: If the first line has " T- " then word after is ‘shirts.’

Monday, May 23, 2005

I’m looking for a way to tie my sneakers so that the heel isn’t loose. I know there’s a way. A few years ago there was an article in the paper showing various ways to lace your sneakers to get a better fit. I moved awhile back and can’t find the article at home. Thought for sure that I could find something online.

I found Ian’s shoelace site. His recommended Ian knot is one I’ve done since I was a kid and he takes credit for. I don’t use it often since it doesn’t stay tight enough for me so I only gave it an average rating. I've never rated shoelace knots before today.

I’m still looking for a way to lace my sneakers but Ian’s site was an interesting stop.
"I'm very concerned about cloning. I worry about a world in which cloning becomes acceptable." - PRESIDENT BUSH
And I worry that someone will clone W.

Two W’s, what a scary world that would be.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Well, no duh-uh!

Study: Blogs haven't displaced media

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Web logs, or blogs, may be a powerful new force in U.S. politics but they have not displaced traditional media in terms of information and influence, a study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project revealed on Monday.
Is this really a big surprise? It seems to be a suprise to the mainstream going by all the fuss they’ve made lately about blogs.

The last study I read late last year said that only 4%of people in the web read blogs. It’s a nice a number of people but not really enough to make a huge difference publicly. I think most people take the easy route when it comes to news on the web; they go to the same folks they pay attention to on television and radio. There is no blog tv or blog radio so people don’t know about it so they don’t look it up on the internet.

What bloggers do is raise a ruckus. They tend to be active talky people with opinions, news and information they want to share. When they see or hear something interesting they share it fast and furiously by whatever means are at hand. They blog, link, repost, email and phone anyone and everyone who might be interested. This tends to make the media and the target of all the ruckus sit up and listen. In the end it’s still only a small number of people who’ve made the fuss.

I wrote the previous prior to actually reading the article, boy was I did pretty good.

Charting the discussion of issues during the 2004 presidential campaign, the study found political blogs -- online opinion and information sites -- played a similar, but not greater role, as the mainstream media in "creating buzz" around the candidates' campaigns.

The study dispels the notion that blogs are replacing traditional media as the public's primary source of information, said Michael Cornfield, a senior research consultant at Pew.

"Bloggers follow buzz as much as they make it," said Cornfield. "Our research uncovered a complicated dynamic in which a hot topic of conversation could originate with the blogs or it could originate with the media or it could originate with the campaigns.

"We can say that if people still have that idea that the bloggers are the new fifth estate, that the bloggers are the new kingmakers, that's not the case."

The study charted 40 blogs, online message boards and forums as well as newspapers and television in the last two months of the race between Republican President George W. Bush and Democratic Sen. John Kerry.

It followed topics as they were discussed in the various outlets.

For example, it showed the Bush campaign paid more attention to an Osama bin Laden tape than did the blogs. At the same time, the Kerry campaign made more mention of missing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq than the blogs. The mainstream media made more mention of Vice President Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter than either the blogs or the campaigns.

Political bloggers' power "waxes and wanes" depending on factors like what information is available and what other outlets are doing, said Cornfield.

"What political bloggers are doing is following stories and then amplifying the hell out of them," said Dan Gimor, author of "We the Media."

The results showed blogging functions alongside traditional media, said David Sifry, a software developer at the forum.

"It's not about 'either/or.' It's about 'and,'" he said. "That's why I still read 'The New York Times.'"
Funny, I just thought about what I’ve read prior to today and pretty much came up with the same results as the article. I wonder how much money I would have saved by not doing an actual study. Oh well, the studies are good for the economy; they give jobs to researchers, statisticians and writers.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Bloggers' conference emphasizes tools of reporting

Monday, May 9, 2005 Posted: 1447 GMT (2247 HKT)

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- Bloggers -- those Internet-based writers without rules -- are fighting back against criticism that their work is unreliable, libelous or just poorly done.

More than 300 bloggers came to town Friday for a two-day conference that was heavy on teaching techniques used by journalists in what bloggers term "the mainstream media." One class taught students how to access and analyze government statistics.

Conference organizer Bill Hobbs called blogging "citizen journalism."

"If freedom of the press belongs to those who have the press, then blogging expands ownership of the press," Hobbs said.


Right now, more than 8 million people write blogs, said Bob Cox, president of the Media Bloggers Association. Blogs, short for Web logs, are running commentaries on whatever their authors are interested in. Content often focuses on politics or media criticism and usually includes feedback from readers.

Participants such as Shelley Henderson said they want to expand their research capabilities to strengthen their commentaries. Henderson, of Los Angeles, dedicates her blog to keeping the Internet unregulated.

Blake Wylie of Nashville was among the participants who took exception to criticisms from politicians and mainstream media pundits that their work is often inaccurate.

Wylie said bloggers often provide links to let readers go directly to their sources of information.

Hobbs noted that blogs entries are corrected more thoroughly and prominently than in other forms of media.

"We write and then our readers edit us," Hobbs said.

Linda Seebach, a columnist for The Rocky Mountain News, said traditional media outlets are experimenting with involving bloggers in their news reports. Her newspaper this week launched a series of 40 community-oriented blogs to serve the Denver area.

Hobbs said bloggers and the news media are linked because bloggers use them for source material and that the relationship could grow closer.

The prevalence of blogs seems certain to expand even more as people explore ventures such as global blogger news services. Hobbs said the usefulness of such projects was shown when the Indian Ocean tsunami struck last year and some early accounts and pictures from the area came from bloggers.

Anymore, mainstream media equals big business. Big business rules aren’t necessarily the rules that I want governing what news I see.

A few months after the Exxon Valdez had it’s little accident in Prince William Sound, Exxon bought out the local newspaper. Somehow I don’t think it had to do with the locals being able to get correct timely information about the accident and what was being done about it.

Those who control the news control the people. I’d rather get my news from a variety of sources. I figure it ups the chances that I’ll see more good information and understand more. Leads to an informed opinion, not something BB wants.

I’m reasonably sure that the big businesses own so much so they can make a bundle of money. I’m also reasonably sure that being in control of the info is in a dead heat with making money.


By the way, it’s been 16 years this past March since the Exxon Valdez accident. Clean up was stopped after four summers and some beaches have not been cleaned up and remain oiled including the beach where the ship hit. Never did see anything on the news about that. Gee, I wonder why?


Off Topic: I really like the Harper’s Index, you can get all kinds of interesting info.


Number of the 535 free subscriptions Hustler offered members of Congress last year that were rejected: 16 [Hustler (Los Angeles)]
I also like this one, also from July 1998:
Number of words in the 1999 Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary whose “offensive” designation will be italicized: 200 [Merriam-Webster Inc. (Springfield, Mass.)]
Gotta make those words easy to find. You know, I don’t think I know 200 offensive words. Maybe I’ll pick up one of those dictionaries and learn some new words.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

White House, Capitol briefly evacuated
'All clear' later given; Cessna reportedly entered airspace


BREAKING NEWS
MSNBC News Services
Updated: 12:23 p.m. ET May 11, 2005

WASHINGTON - The White House and the Capitol building were emptied in a frantic evacuation Wednesday, and initial reports said a small plane had entered the restricted airspace around the capital.

You've got one minute," one officer yelled to a group including NBC correspondent Chip Reid. A few minutes later, officials gave the "all clear" signal.

As soon as the alert went out, a motorcade stormed out of a side street next to the White House, NBC correspondent Norah O'Donnell reported from a cell phone as she evacuated.

As military jets scrambled over the area, officers also rushed through the Supreme Court building and told staff to get into the basement. At the Treasury Department, people were moved across the street.

Initial reports said a Cessna aircraft had entered the restricted airspace, then turned away but returned back.

It was not clear whether the aircraft inadvertently entered the restricted area, but such incidents have happened before.

Two weeks ago, an evacuation was ordered when a radar hit suggested a plane had entered the area. The hit turned out to be clouds.
My stars! I feel safe now. The White House was evacuated because of clouds!

I thought U.S. military technology was better than that.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I haven’t blogged in a week. I used to have no problem finding interesting things to blog about but lately I can’t find good stuff. I did find some bloggable material today though.

Having trouble figuring out what that license plate in front of you says, try Dictionary of Custom License Plate Terms .

My sister told me about The Grocery List Collection The author of the site says, “. . . the internet is a great place to do stupid things.” Good call. I have to say that it’s more interesting that you would think at first. I like this grocery list. The site even includes grocery store related articles.

Maybe you’d like to read a little background on the Family Channel show, Garden of Love. I now know why it’s always dress down day for most of the family.

Here I go with the web cams again. Getting ready to go on a cruise, go here to check out the view from your ship. Just remember, you’re seeing what’s going on now not when you’ll be on the ship. The pictures I looked at were pretty boring. Some shipes are showing docked cruise ships showing views of docked cruise ships.

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