July 2008 Archives

McCain vs. Reality

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Dan Abrams has a set of clips of McCain gaffes in this one that really drive home the point that others have been making in various forums today.

Kaboom ... great writing happens

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I was drawn to this milblogger via a story on Wired about his being told to stop blogging. So, of course, I went to check it out.

Kaboom: A Soldier's War Journal

His last post explains what happened and ends with this note:

If you think, please think of us. If you pray, please pray for us. The second half of our deployment will be just as challenging and dangerous as the first half.

Thank you for caring. Agree or disagree with the war, if you're reading this, you are engaged and aware. As long as that is still occurring in a free society, there is something worth the fighting for.

So I scrolled down and read a little more and found his two entries about his 2 weeks of leave away from Iraq: European Interlude II and European Interlude III which I read in the reverse order, first - III and then - II. Talk about delightful writing.

I kept scrolling down and kept on reading.

You will too.

Hope LtG ... now CaptG ... makes it home safely to Citygirl.

Thanks CaptG.

For Flickr enthusiasts

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The NYTimes Technology blog notes that Getty Images is striking a deal with Flickr to review and use photos posted at Flickr for their professional stock photo images business. That's pretty cool in itself because there are some very talented amateur photographers like this one who was linked to in the comments section.

And then there's my long-time flickr favorite rebekka from iceland. Check out her scenery set and her long-exposure set.

When I first saw this one, you could vary the size and get the original large-size photo. It was incredible. Look for it in the long-exposure slideshow.

Absolutely stunning.

Items of Interest

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-- You've probably seen the "rising sun" flash ads that show up at the top of webpages like Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish blog. Well, this pic just reinforces the comment that someone made earlier about how unified the graphic design is on the Obama campaign. Talk about a paint job.

H/T to BarbinMD at dailykos

-- Predicting earthquakes got a huge break per Time.com reporting on an article in the July 10 edition of the journal Nature:

An accidental discovery has brought seismologists one step closer to being able to predict earthquakes. As part of an unrelated effort to measure underground changes caused by shifts in barometric pressure, a team of researchers found that increases in subterranean pressure preceded earthquakes along California's San Andreas Fault by as much as 10 hours. If follow-up tests advance the findings, seismologists may eventually be able to provide a few hours' notice for people to find safe haven prior to quakes. As the horrific images from China demonstrate, the effort is well worth the alternative.

-- JibJab has a new video out.

Items of Interest

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-- Just ran across Stranahan's video on the FISA bill. Check out his brand of humor.

-- Here's a video of Obama's appearance in San Diego at the NCLR conference from a local station that sums it up pretty well.

-- And how to learn history from the peeps at collegehumor.com

The tune is catchy! Was catchy the first time we all heard it played on the radio.

Fun with McCain on Youtube

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McCain's computer illiteracy has yielded some great youtube items. First here's Jeanne Moos of CNN with the background:

Then Jed of JedReport does a 3 AM commercial parody on the theme.

And then there's the Video Professor commercial parody.

I'm sure there'll be some more good ones as McCain and his spokespeople keep serving up the lines. Like this one that sums up his bad week:

Chris Dodd is my hero

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Bill in Portland Maine reminds us all of what was happening last year at this time when Bill O decided to trash Daily Kos and the Yearly Kos conference. In stepped Chris Dodd who obviously gets it to set O'Reilly straight. He didn't let BillO shout him down.

It was surprising to me how disrespectful BillO was to a US Senator. Guess he only extends courtesy and respect to those who support his agenda of hate.

In any case, you did a terrific job standing up to a bully, Senator Dodd. Thanks once again for taking him on.

Changing how we process information

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Nicholas Carr has written an Atlantic Monthly article which documents something that's happened to me and if you're reading this, you may realize that it's happening to you too.

I'm not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I'm reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I'd spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That's rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I'm always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.

I think I know what's going on. For more than a decade now, I've been spending a lot of time online, searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet. The Web has been a godsend to me as a writer. Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes. A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I've got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after. Even when I'm not working, I'm as likely as not to be foraging in the Web's info-thickets--reading and writing e-mails, scanning headlines and blog posts, watching videos and listening to podcasts, or just tripping from link to link to link. (Unlike footnotes, to which they're sometimes likened, hyperlinks don't merely point to related works; they propel you toward them.)

For me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind. The advantages of having immediate access to such an incredibly rich store of information are many, and they've been widely described and duly applauded. "The perfect recall of silicon memory," Wired's Clive Thompson has written, "can be an enormous boon to thinking." But that boon comes at a price. As the media theorist Marshall McLuhan pointed out in the 1960s, media are not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.

I'm not the only one. When I mention my troubles with reading to friends and acquaintances--literary types, most of them--many say they're having similar experiences. The more they use the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing. Some of the bloggers I follow have also begun mentioning the phenomenon.

I've found that staying focused on a long article is more difficult, as is reading a non-fiction book. I've bought several that I want to read in the last six months but I'm no further than the second or third chapter in any of them. Though it doesn't seem to have affected my recreational reading of science fiction and fantasy. I dug all my old books out of boxes last fall, alphabetized them by author and started re-reading. It's been fun.

Dancing around the world

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Matt Harding had a smart dad. The NYT wrote about youtube's current phenom.

There are no weekend box office charts for online videos. But if there were, near or at the very top of the list right now might well be a four-and-a-half-minute video called "Dancing," which more than four million people have viewed on YouTube, and perhaps another million on other sites, in the just over two weeks since it appeared.

Of course, NYT doesn't include links or embeds so I had to go looking and found out that there are multiple versions of Matt Harding Dancing, shot at different times.

Here's one of his early ones posted in 2006:

And here's another 2006 version:

And here's the most recent version and the one from which NYT picked out the stills for the article (which is how I knew I hadn't found the version that they were referring to when I started searching).

What's amazing is just how many different places Matt has travelled. I'm envious.

Economic Anxiety Disorder

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-- Barry Ritholtz at the big picture blog points out Dana Milbank's narrative on a Treasury Department briefing he attended.

The accompanying article is ok but the video is priceless.

Items of Interest

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-- Every now and then someone does snark just right. Here's a great example from Andy Borowitz: Liberal Bloggers Accuse Obama of Trying to Win Election.

-- I was checking out something else at ABC video and found this clip of John Edwards' surprise visit with the PDF (Personal Democracy Forum) people. It seems Elizabeth was scheduled to speak at PDF but couldn't because of weather-plane issues. PDF, being the good techies that they are, hooked up a live video chat for Elizabeth instead. John happened to walk by in the background, and, voila ... he stopped in and talked for a few minutes.

I'd embed the video clip here except that ABC video annoyingly does not set up embed code for easy sharing and viewing.


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A 'cool technology' Geek Alert courtesy of Sully: a new video technology called Chronotopic Anamorphosis

H/T to Ben Smith

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I usually open up a post called Items of Interest and then cut and paste in the items I find interesting but not worth a whole post by themselves. If it was a one I found by reference from another blogger, I usually try to give hat-tip credit. This time it seems all my hat-tips for the items below belong to Ben Smith.

-- Sometimes all you have to do to make fun of the ludicrousness of Faux News is to post the dialog itself.

-- Seems the Rural Vote people are hanging onto Al's DNC blogger credential in addition to the money raised to send Al to the DNC convention.

-- Stephen Medvic has a different take on what really constitutes "Swift Boating".

-- McCain gave a speech and nobody heard him ... literally.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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