Thursday, January 31, 2008

MediaWatch 31 January 08

Politics 2008:And then there were three: Obama, McCain, Hillary... we're getting closer and closer to the shootout on National TV, Super Tuesday. Remember, even if Obama wins, the Clintons are likely to take the fight to the convention floor, where (if you know anything at all about them) they'll be on familiar territory. I love McCain for two reasons: If I were voting Republican, I'd vote for him and he has shaken the boots of folks like Rush and Michelle Malkin. O Sweet politics!

The fall of Mister Nine Eleven. The Ghost of Eliot Spitzer: Obama crusades for illegal alien driver’s licenses... Public Policy Polling’s newest survey, taken before John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani dropped out, shows John McCain leading the Republican side in New York, with Hillary Clinton on top of a gaining Barack Obama.

Another ambulance ride for Britney Spears: the once pop-tart diva now twice-removed from her home. is reporting that Britney allegedly tried to commit suicide last evening... Leave it to ABC News to ask "Could Britney Be Committed Against Her Will?"

Wednesday's Times Union story regarding digital TV could have been much better!
The TU seemed to favor Channel 10 by mentioning it's digital feeds. Let's go the paper one better:

Here are the channels I receive in Albany, with "rabbit ears" as antenna.

17.1-.2-.3 (all differ from 17's analog feed)

So, discounting duplicate programming, City of Albany viewers can choose across 21 channels spanning both digital and analog. It suprises me that the venerable CBS6 doesn't offer at least 3 or 4 digital channels. If this was 1970 you can bet 6 would be leading the pack!

News of three Albany murders traveled fast during the day on Wednesday, but only CBS6 provided viewers with the NAMES of the victims on the 5:30pm newscast... Channel 10, no doubt suffering low morale after a round of layoffs, was still reporting at 6 "police haven't released the names." And keep in mind the TU has handed control of the now oversized and inconvenient TV listings to Albany's cable monopoly.

A volunteer at a community radio station in Austin TX set fire to the station because he was upset that his song selections for an overnight Internet broadcast were changed.

The New York Daily News will offer free music downloads for its readers. The Library of Congress has started posting photos on Flickr. Head to this page, and you can view thousands of historic images.

The Wall Street Journal is making stories available to Facebook members, says Associated Press.

Shades of Atlantis: Britain's Prince Charles recently gave a speech at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, although he wasn't really there. Instead, a 3-D holographic projection of the Prince, recorded last year in the United Kingdom. Click here.


Here's a jinx in action if ever there was one!

On January 30th approx. 0600 hours, Albany Police Chief James Tuffey said crime in the big city was down.

On January 30th approx. 1800 hours, Albany had surpassed the total number of murders in the city in 2007.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Around The Blogosphere 30 January 08

Like most of the best hip hop moments, it was a total surprise to the supertrend crowd when Kanye jumped onstage at the Kid Sister/The Cool Kids/DJ A-Trak show this past friday in NYC: Miss Info was on the scene and has pictures... Minya also offers 50 Cent and G-unit’s “Bottom Girl” (”Diamond Girl” remake)

LifeIsBeautiful has a photo of a UFO snapped flying over Qatar.

Bermudan Police Officer and blogger Allan Palmer reports that he is officially “on suspension” following a blog post that he wrote:
It is a crying shame that this blog which was started to motivate and inspire the people of Bermuda who (is very protective of their country and the traditions that make this island the unique place it is) love Bermuda very much; to do what is necessary to ensure that the uniqueness and tranquility of the island is maintained.
Politics: Team Obama is courting everyone except the press, says the Washington Post. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann discusses why he focuses so much on Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly in a video interview with the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz, posted on YouTube.

Juliana Rotich: To borrow a leaf from the Global voices Sub Saharan Editor's post on cyber-activism in the aftermath of the elections in Kenya; we take a look at how environmental bloggers and activists are using web 2.0 tools to bring attention to issues ranging from deforestation, conservation and global warming, and the Web 2.0 tools being used to share information, photos, videos and raise funds.

Coming soon to a computer screen near you - KoldCast TV, an Internet TV network with a lineup of short, high-energy shows geared to young adults. By 2013, roughly 70 percent of U.S. consumers will have the ability to watch TV shows and Web video on the same device, but it’s not cable companies or telecoms that are best poised to take advantage of this development, according to Business Week.

Lefty, Righty or Bothy? I found this website within the comments section of Izzy's blog: has several questionnaires and tests concened with handedness and lateralisation. You will be able to carry out the tests yourself and will be given feedback on your performance. Most of the tests are discussed in Right Hand Left Hand.
Please note that these tests are not designed only for left-handers, but apply equally well to right-handers. For research purposes it is particularly important that both right and left-handers complete the tests.

On each test you will be given immediate feedback on your performance. Your data will also be stored so that further, more complicated statistical analyses can be carried out.

As well as being for interest and amusement, these tests also form an on-going part of Chris McManus' academic research. Each participant will be asked to register before taking the tests.
Palestinian blogger Haitham Sabbah accuses Bloggies 2008 of not including Middle East blogs in their categories for this year's awards.

Mike Abundo is urging fellow netizens to support Friendster social networking platform.

For anyone wondering, most text messages disappear rather quickly, reports Associated Press.

Social Networking Protection, New York Style

New York Senate Republican leader Joseph Bruno, Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement tuesday on a new law that would protect kids from predators on social networking sites like

Here's the complete TEXT.

"I see it as a Megan's law for the age of the Internet," said Cuomo, who described it as the "most comprehensive, toughest law" regarding sexual predators on the Internet in the country.

Sex offenders also would be required to register all of their Internet accounts and online identifiers, such as instant messaging accounts, with the state, Cuomo said. That information would be turned over to social networking sites to prescreen for online predators.

Cuomo announced the legislation at a press conference in Albany with New York Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno and State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

"This is an issue that transcends politics," Silver said.

Facebook and MySpace have agreed to use the registry to block sex offenders from their Web sites when the registry becomes available, Cuomo said.

In recent months, MySpace and Facebook have both agreed to adopt new safety procedures to protect children from sexual predators.

Hemanshu Nigam, MySpace's chief security officer said in a statement Tuesday, "We applaud Attorney General Cuomo's leadership, both on this legislation and on the development of precedent-setting social networking safety principles in which MySpace and 50 state attorneys general recently joined. This bill complements technology we've already put in place to remove registered sex offenders from our community and is a comprehensive approach to protecting Internet users from predators. We look forward to continuing our work with Attorney General Cuomo to make the Internet a safer place."

In a statement, Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly said, "The e-STOP Act will enhance Facebook's existing use of technology and social rules to build a safer and more trusted environment for its users. We applaud the leadership of Attorney General Cuomo, Majority Leader Bruno and Speaker Silver in introducing such effective legislation in the effort to protect kids online."

Via Juridique - La Cnil considère que le réseau social présente des risques au regard de la protection des données privées. Elle lui réclame des informations sur la conservation des données de ses membres et sur leur utilisation à des fins publicitaires. (complete article [fr])


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Amazing Race: Counting Clintons

In light of the most recent events leading up to Super Tuesday primaries, you may want to read "The Amazing Race" in New York Magazine. Keep in mind that the Clintons have been in tougher situations. You can count on them to have more than one plan, more than one trick up the old sleeve. However you count Clintons, NEVER ever count them out!

Hillary downplays Obama endorsements...

NOW-NY Slams Ted: 'Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal'...


SPEECH: Backing Obama for President...

'Through Barack, I believe we will move beyond the politics of fear and personal destruction and unite our country with the politics of common purpose'


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Monday, January 28, 2008

Around the Blogosphere 28 January 08

My Blog of the Day / Global Voices'Blogger of the Week: Salam Adil!

Regular readers of Global Voices Online have become familiar with Salam Adil's pleads: If you read no other post this week, read this. A blogger since May 2005, Salam joined GVO at the beginning of 2006. Global Voices kicks off a series of weekly interviews with the bloggers and cyberactivists who amplify the voices of citizen journalists in their countries on this site. The first interview is with Salam Adil!

Brazil: Countdown to Carnival There is a popular belief that in Brazil the year only starts after Carnival. Be this an exaggeration or not, there is not much else being talked about on the country's blogosphere: everyone is dusting off their costumes, getting into the mood and counting down the days for the biggest street party on Earth. Here's a round up of bloggers expectations in Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Pernambuco, and the lesser known carnival in Minas Gerais.

Duane Francis writes: recently it came to my attention that there is actually a Jamaican Dog Sled team.

Tech Dirt is reporting that recently announced numbers by Apple and AT&T suggest that there is a large gap (1.7 million) between the number of iPhones being sold and those being activated. [Math on iPhones Just Doesn't Add Up?]

Poundy writes: Ten words I did not know were real words until I played Scrabulous: qat, ghi, hup, taw, pah, gey, ors, yoni, mana, and cowbird.

In an excellent post about Meg Whitman's retirement, David Galbraith succinctly summarizes the most important thing about eBay's potential.

Yomi blogs about Internet access in Nigeria: “The internet landscape in Nigeria is fast changing. Ten years ago, we did not have the kind of access to internet services that we have today. Neither did we have the diversity that is on ground today.”

Just on the fringes of the blogosphere, the Capital District's "Jewish World" publishes a column "Teen Scene (Naareem Nook)" by Anna Holop Kaufman, who writes about the USY convention and a delegation of 21 teens from upstate NY and western Mass who attended the December event. Not available online, to the best of my knowledge.

Uansett hva årsaken måtte være, ser det vitterlig ut til at dette fenomenet ikke er så sjeldent likevel. Ettermiddagens var praktfulle og ble dokumentert av Jorunn, jeg holder kameraet klart til morgendagen.

Saludos a todos, soy el creador de un juego y me gustaria hablarles de un proyecto que empecé hace tan solo unos dias. Se trata de un juego de rol que hice llamado "La Luna Muerta", su publicación no fue posible porque las editoriales no estaban interesadas en nuevos juegos de rol medievales al menos en mi país. [La Luna Muerta]

Via Creative Commons comes the Make Textbooks Affordable Campaign to Reduce College Textbook Costs.

The Mortgage Crisis and Wall Street

You can't turn on a TV without seeing a commercial for a credit counseling or "debt reduction" company. America, we're in a mess! I have the solution, and I got it from looking at my own paycheck. The temporary "boost" (even if one could call it that) Americans might get from any tax rebate or refund will not fix the problem. When those checks arrive, I see families and individuals catching up on bills fallen behind.

Eliminate the high cost of health insurance from a paycheck like mine, and personal spending power would be increased anywhere from 33 to 50 per cent! Keep in mind that the cost to insure a family of four is the same, approximately $600 a month or more, whether gross pay is $20K, $40K, $70K and on... get the idea?

"The little guy" (as he lovingly referred to by entities who claim to be fighting for him) on the lower end of that scale is the one who would really benefit from lower cost or government-sponsored or subsidized health insurance. People scraping by, eating Ramen Noodles and hot dogs until the next check might actually be able to afford chicken and hamburger meat!

Until "the big guys" understand this, they will continue to scratch their pointed little heads, trying to figure out "what went wrong" and "how to fix" the economy and the housing market.

I'll share this with you: it's all going to get worse before it gets better! With gasoline at $3.59 and milk at $4.39 a gallon... YOU do the math!

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Obama Train Picks Up Steam

The Obama Victory and record turn-out of voters in South Carolina is made to order for newspapers, "Meet the Press," Dave Letterman, Oprah, Michelle Obama, Michelle Malkin and anyone else out to make the Democratic presidential primary contest one of race vs. gender.

Had Hillary won, nothing would have changed. The media (like that callous woman announcer for NBC's figure-skating championships: you could detect the glee in her soft-spoken monotone whenever skaters screwed up their routines) would have plodded merrily along the course that had been set after New Hampshire. Of course, this latest turn of events makes Obama "the annointed one" once again, and thrusts Hillary back into the role of one who needs to make a "comeback." Again! Warning: Don't sell the Clintons short. Ever.

"The battle over the Democratic candidate for president is being fought not only in San Francisco and in Houston, but also in Safed and Holon," writes Nechemia Meyers from Rehovot, Israel. Meyer's column this week in the local "Jewish World" notes that the "Israel branch of Democrats Abroad is the fourth largest in the world of that organization, and will be sending delegates to the Democratic National Convention." Hmmmm... I never knew such an organization existed! Perhaps this is why:
"Democrats Abroad, an official branch of the party representing overseas voters, will hold its first global presidential preference primary from Feb. 5 to 12, with ex-pats selecting the candidate of their choice by Internet as well as fax, mail and in-person at polling places in more than 100 countries.

Democrats Abroad is particularly proud of the online voting option — which provides a new alternative to the usual process of voting from overseas, a system made difficult by complicated voter registration paperwork, early deadlines and unreliable foreign mail service... Members get a personal identification number from Everyone Counts Inc., the San Diego-based company running the online election. They can then use the number to log in and cast their ballots.

Their votes will be represented at the August Democratic National Convention by 22 delegates, who according to party rules get half a vote each for a total of 11. That's more than U.S. territories get, but fewer than the least populous states, Wyoming and Alaska, which get 18 delegate votes each."

Nechemia goes on to mention "propaganda put out by elements in the United States" about Barack Obama, designed to "frighten Jewish voters" by portraying Obama as an "anti-Semitic Black Muslim" and a "fervent enemy of the Jewish people." We here in the USA know already how politics can get down and dirty. Meyers: "It is pretty clear that if all Israelis were to vote in the Democratic primaries--- and not just members of Democrats Abroad--- Hillary would emerge victorious."

I love Meyers' commentaries: he shoots from the hip. On Bush: "...a decent man who can win votes and charm voters may turn out to be inadequate when tough decisions are to be made." I THINK THAT DESCRIPTION FITS OBAMA TO A 'T'!!!!

So who would Nechemia Meyers vote for president? He says for the very first time in his long life he'd be tempted to vote Republican, namely, John McCain! Meyers: "He has a record of independent thinking that sets him off from the other candidates and potential candidates. While he is no warmonger, he is not afraid to use military force to defend the U.S. and western civilization." If I were to vote Republican in 2008, I think I would vote for John McCain too! is it my imagination or isn't McCain (along w/Hillary & Obama) also on Michelle Malkin's S***list?

Obama's Primary Speech {transcript}

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GI Jill Stevens Update

There she goes, Miss . . . Stevens.
Jill Stevens, the Utah tomboy turned combat medic turned beauty queen, was unable to take another improbable turn into the Miss America crown Saturday night. That honor went to Kirsten Haglund, 19, of Michigan, a more conventional contestant for the stately 87-year-old institution.

(Original Post) (Newspaper account)


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Showtime for "G.I. Jill" - From Combat to Catwalk

She walked the front lines of war, and tonight she walks the runway: one of the U.S. Army's own takes her shot at the "Miss America 2008" Title tonight in Las Vegas. A combat medic and Miss Utah 2007, Sgt. Jill Stevens is a member of the Utah National Guard's 1st Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment. Who says the army can't be pretty? Video: GI Jill Amry SGT for Miss America (Interview)

As Miss Utah, Sgt. Stevens travels the state and across America to spread the word on emergency preparedness and give motivational talks. The chance to serve and help others - much like she does in uniform - attracted Sgt. Stevens to pageantry.

Jill's BIO:

For the past 6 years, Jill Stevens has been serving in the US Military as a Combat Medic in the Utah National Guard, while earning her degree in Nursing at Southern Utah University. In November 2003, Jill was deployed to Afghanistan, returning home in April 2005. She has earned 5 medals for her outstanding service, and was the first female finisher of the inaugural Afghanistan Marathon, making a total of 12 marathons she has completed together with earning the highest Fitness award during Army Basic Training. In representing the Army National Guard, Sergeant Stevens recently addressed Generals from 40 different nations gathered at Hill Air Force Base.

In addition to her US Military service, Jill recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Nursing program at Southern Utah University on a four-year leadership scholarship. Last summer, she placed 3rd in the Cinco De Mayo Sailboat Regatta in Mexico, and this summer, Jill was chosen one of four women for the “Women of Strength” featured in Muscle and Fitness Hers Magazine September/October 2007 issue. Additionally, Jill has been a fitness instructor for Gold’s Gym for several years, as well as a bread baker for Great Harvest.

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Digital Soup Kitchen: Grab A Bowl

Downloads of music, movies and television shows is part of the new frontier: the Wild, Wild West of 2008 Online. Downloads is us? For pirateers and purveyors of digital content, it's manna from heaven. A gift from the gods. Meantime: Record companies, TV networks and newspapers are scrambling to interpret how best to respond to the new digital technology that is upon us. One thing is for sure: music, TV and newspapers will never be the same (unless we move backwards as a society)... If you've ever wanted to download youtube videos, streaming TVshows, movies, music, or really anything that streams, you can turn that FLV flash content into avi's, mpeg's, or even mp3's. This is a step by step guide to achieving that goal, from Omneity.

Metallica v. Napster revisited: When true electronic books, e-magazines, and e-newspapers become readily available, their rules of operation may well be shaped by the creation of the heavenly jukebox. Music, according to a National Research Council report released last November, is the "canary in the digital coal mine." - The Atlantic Monthly (Online) September 2000

CBS will be making its Internet music unit more like radio, says the New York Times.

Dan Gillmor writes that "There are plenty of reasons to wonder about citizen media’s business model." He is "bothered by part of an announcement of some interesting new features that will give users or reddit, a news-recommendation site owned by the parent company of Wired magazine, new ways to help each other understand the news." Gillmor also notes that "Adrian Holovaty and his team at EveryBlock (subtitle: “A News Feed for Your Block”) have launched in Chicago, New York and San Francisco. This is a solid start to a project that has enormous potential."

See Also:
The Album, a Commodity in Disfavor
Plunge in CD Sales Shakes Up Big Labels
Music Industry Slide Continues
Plastic Internet
Digital Dilemmas

Readership of newspapers online increased 7% during 2007, reports Associated Press. Online readership is at record levels, says Media Daily News. We already know that "pay to read" newspaper websites don't work. Locally, The Daily Gazette (Schenectady) abandoned "pay to read" during 2007. But how do the papers fit in the digital soup pot? A panel analyzing the current status of media - appearing on Colorado Public Radio - said the picture is not pretty, and one of the most serious problems is that newspapers have not found a way yet to make money on the Internet, reports the Denver Post.

Despite recent speculation that it might drop its charges, the Wall Street Journal will continue to charge for viewing most of its stories online, says the New York Times. Rupert Murdoch says some Wall Street Journal features might become more expensive. If Murdoch makes the online content of the Wall Street Journal free, it would endanger Yahoo Finance, says Business

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Blog With A Grain of Salt

Think of your blog as a grain of salt and the blogosphere as one of those round boxes of salt. A few grains will spill onto the table or floor as others join the crowd being poured into the salt shaker. Some will land on the "meat" while others drop elsewhere. The point is, just blog. Don't stress about rank, or advertising or even ethics for that matter. Just be yourself, and if to thine own self be true, good or bad, the blogosphere will eventually find you.

Now all we need is a "reality" TV show about bloggers...


As financial uncertainty grips world markets, its effects ripple and engulf individuals and corporate entities alike. We see it in the headlines: Wall Street Ends Dramatic Week in the Red; Dow Slides 171 Points; French bank loses $7.2 billion in fraud; Federal Reserve created sub-prime mortgage crisis and Greed is the word to describe mortgage 'crisis'.

Japan's public broadcaster NHK is embroiled in controversy, after revelations of insider trading by three NHK employees on shares of Kappa Create Company.

Blogger and economics professor Ikeda Nobuo, who has intimate knowledge of the internal pre-broadcast system at the center of the scandal having once been an NHK employee, wrote a number of entries on the topic (on Jan. 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22), some topping the charts at goo blogs.

In the first entry, titled “NHK's IT literacy” and posted on Dec. 18th, he writes:

News about police questioning by the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission, due to suspicions of insider trading by employees of NHK, was the top headline on yesterday's 7 o'clock news. What was President Hashimoto, who's term ends in one week, doing for these past three years? In a certain sense, the current incident is more serious than the embezzlement scandal three years ago. Because while there are other industries with more embezzlement, a news organization using information for individual gain cuts right to the heart of “public broadcasting”.

At the press conference, [NHK Managing Director] Ishimura [Eijiro] said that: “Beyond a system-wide problem, the main cause was that there was no sense of ethics,” but this acknowledgment is false. [Prior to this incident], there was extreme price fluctuation just before the stock exchanges closed on March 8th of last year, so the surveillance committee requested a securities company to submit a record of questionable transactions. Because of this — and it would appear that they discovered this by chance — they learned that it had happened independently at Tokyo, Gifu, and Mito, and the mistake was thus in the administrative system, which had allowed employees from across the country to see the information connected to the crime twenty minutes early. I guess there may have been other incidents like this in the past as well.

More from Global Voices' Chris Salzberg

Friday, January 25, 2008

Around The Blogosphere 25 January 08

anastasia: "Tonia sent me a link about Meghan McCain's blog (daughter of Republican candidate John McCain) and to a commentary piece on how this blog adds authenticity to his campaign. The piece also asks why Chelsea Clinton appears to be muzzled from public comment on her mom's campaign." [read Where's Chelsea's Blog?]. Good question! Matthew Mosk blogs that Chelsea's parents have long guarded her from the public spotlight, but after Iowa she started to emerge. So let's the gal blogging, already!

Citizens of many Nations take blogging for granted, but it's not always "all that"---

Hamid Tehrani: The Afghan Association Blog Writers (Afghan Penlog), a community established by a group of Afghan activist bloggers, has expressed deep concern for a young journalist Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh who was condemned to death by a local court. He has been a reporter for Jahan-e Naw (New World) weekly and a student [...more...]

Shisaku despairs at the arrest of Nakatsuji Masato, allegedly for programming a virus when in fact there are no laws against virus creation in Japan. The arrest is connected to a new campaign by the Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry, who has placed ads in trains and on TV featuring Ueto Aya in a Sherlock Holmes outfit encouraging better computer security to combat copyright infringement.

Rebecca Wanjiku: After the unfortunate crisis following the presidential election in Kenya, Kenyan bloggers are back to normal business writing about a variety of non-political subjects

Jillian York: 2006 was a rough year for Moroccan internet freedoms, with several sites being blocked; 2007 wasn't much better with sites that were previously open becoming only sporadically accessible. Moi, dans tous mes états (fr) summarized freedom of internet (as well as other forms of media) in a recent post.

Juliana Rotich: Environmental blogs around the world are addressing a myriad issues specific to their region, but of global concern. In DRC the Gorilla Protection blog is pondering what a peace deal would mean for Gorillas. From China Dialogue, a look at what is next after the Bali climate change conference, and from South Africa, we have reactions to the recent power shortages and an eco-car competition. [...details...]

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This Weekend In Woodstock

The Great Nebula in Orion from a play by Lanford Wilson, music by Kenneth Fuchs. Five more performances: Fri & Sat Jan 25 & 26 @ 8pm, Sun Jan 27 @ 4pm, Fri & Sat Feb 1 & 2 @ 8pm. All performances at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South (Thompson Street). Tickets $15 (general admission), $10 Students & Seniors. Presented by JudsonArts in association with Woodstock Fringe. The cast features Watson Heintz and Lynelle Johson. Stage direction by Wallace Norman, music direction by Michael Conley.

Originally staged at the Circle Repertory Company in May of 1988 and featured as the kickoff to the Circle Rep’s 20th anniversary celebration, this is the first New York City revival of this work in 20 years. The Great Nebula In Orion was produced for a two-week run in 2003 at the inaugural season of the Woodstock Fringe Festival of Theatre & Song at the historic Byrdcliffe Theatre in Woodstock, NY.

For more information see To purchase tix, call (845) 810-0123 or purchase tix online by clicking here.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Around The Blogosphere 24 January 08

Bloggers have been busy typing following the death of actor Heath Ledger. CBS 2 HD's Scott Rapoport spoke one on one with the actor back in December 2005 about his movie "Casanova." The lost interview is even more compelling in light of Ledger's tragic death in New York City on Tuesday. Opening his radio show with funeral music yesterday, Fox News host John Gibson mocked the death of actor Heath Ledger, calling him a “weirdo” with a “serious drug problem.”Playing an audio clip of, “I wish I knew how to quit you” from Ledger’s Brokeback Mountain, Gibson disdainfully quipped, “Well, he found out how to quit you.”

Click here to listen to the audio of John Gibson’s distasteful handling of Heath Ledger’s death.

Feel free to email and let him know your thoughts!

You can email his show at and Fox network at

And, if you want to check in with the CEO of Fox News, his e is

Film director Shekhar Kapur has said that he was due to meet Heath Ledger the day after he passed and was even supposed to supply a wake up call in the AM. He did. But it was too late.

Hazel Sanchez: Ledger's Ex, 2-Year-Old Daughter Back In Brooklyn (from Sweden).

Whitney Matheson was really touched by Ellen DeGeneres' simple tribute to Heath Ledger yesterday.

- A preliminary autopsy on Ledger's body was inconclusive.

- Production on Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus has temporarily shut down. Ledger's role could be recast.

- What exactly did Jack Nicholson's comment mean?

David W. Bowles: Why should we care about Heath Ledger’s death when so few of us thrive in life?

In other celebrity news, Miss Info has put one and one together: "My first thought was…Chris Brown in Barneys? Weird. My second thought was…..well that seals it. They must be dating..."

Race permeates the Race: Liz Benjamin blogs that Bill Clinton is fed up with the press and questions about racial politics... Obama slammed Hillary Clinton on NAFTA while trying to distance himself even further from his indicted "slum landlord" campaign contributor, and Bill Clinton says it was the Obama campaign, not his wife, who first injected race into the presidential debate.

We'll go out with a little JIMI HENDRIX...


Adds to my Blogroll...

Time for a little bit of changing and re-arranging the old sidebar blogroll! Many of the blogs and bloggers listed there have been with me since the days of my old Capital Region People blog! So nice to know that 98% of my original blogroll is still actively blogging! Now, join me in welcoming Annie Paul, who once wrote a column for the Sunday Herald (Jamaica) called Style and Passion. She's just begun her blogspot blog, Active Voice. Welcome to the blogosphere, Annie, I hope you'll keep in touch!

Next to Annie is Tze Yin, whose blog you're sure to enjoy, and that handsome dude pictured in the middle is none other than Geoffrey Philp, who types "Geoffrey Philp's Blog Spot - Interviews, poetry, fiction, essays, podcasts, and information about literary events in the Caribbean and South Florida." I've really come to appreciate Geoffrey's posts, especially his interviews with other authors!

I've been reading Julai's blog for several months now... she writes two others: ( and (julaitravels.blogspo...)

花水木Hanamitsuki's blog is last but not least: is a girl's music production and website-tech blog

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Around The Blogosphere 23 January 08

From the Times Union Capitol Confidential Blog: "Morgan Hook is poised to join the Second Floor’s press operation in a few weeks. He’ll be coming from WRGB-TV Channel 6 in Albany where he’s been covering the political scene for the past few months." #

Good for you, Morgan! I've encountered Mr. Hook a few times while out and about reporting. He'll be a great addition to the Spitzer team. But where does this leave CBS6? First, Rene Marsh books for Florida, now Hook... My friend Sumi has left CapNx9 for a sweet position out west... On an upnote I hear Ken Screven is back at CBS6 after illness...

Another TV new soperationbites the dust: A bureau in Santa Barbara is being closed down by NBC affiliate KSBY channel 6 San Luis Obispo, reports the University Of California's Daily Nexus.

“Do you think you know little about community radio stations or those that are called “pirates” on TV? Don't be surprised”. Luiz Carlos Azenha [pt] interviews Guilherme Canela about a research by him that shows that community run radios stations were subject matter for only 0.8% of the reports published by newspapers and magazines on the Brazilian media.

The News At Eleven on the New York City cable news channel New York One is one year old, says the New York Daily News. Spanish language Univision TV station in New York, WXTV channel 41, won the 6 and 11 p.m. ratings in key demographics, reports TV Newsday.

“Several blogs will be publishing texts about online journalism this Wednesday, in the first round of ‘Ciranda de textos' and every month one of them will make a kind of guide to reading: a summary of each text and a link to where it is”, announces Andre Deak [pt] on the Brazilian version of Blog Carnivals. The linked post will be updated whenever a new blogger takes up the challenge.

Barbadian blogs are some of the most outspoken in the Caribbean, regularly taking politicians and mainstream media to task for issues such as transparency and public accountability. Are they in danger? Barbadian bloggers are typing about it...

From Pambazuka: Prof. Wangari Maathai, a nobel laureate (Environment) speaks out against the loss of lives and property in Kenya. “She said although such clashes had a history, the Government had failed to deal with its instigators and perpetrators. Prof Maathai said the Government should ensure the rule of law is respected by all. More than 600 Kenyans have been killed and thousands displaced in clashes that erupted after President Kibaki was declared the winner of last December General Election.”

Growing Online

Not so very long ago, you couldn't walk more than a city block without encountering "neighborhood kids." There were various places to hang out, play and pass the time. But times change, and time changes everything. And everyone.

The internet of 2008 with Twitter and Blogs and Social Networking is different from the Infobahn circa 1993-4, with IRC, BBS, telnet, the original iPhone, ftp, Gopher, Archie, CuSeeMe, Veronica, etc. I miss many of the old school Internet tools, but I love new web2.0 technology! That's one reason this is not a "pigeonhole" blog. I can't limit myself to just blogging about politics or technology or any single subject. I like the road wide and open! That's why you'll find something for everyone here!

Somewhere in 2005 or 2006 I blogged about how I'd noticed that the city streets that had always been filled with kids of all ages and stages were now virtually deserted, even during summer vacation. I blamed this on two things: the proliferation of games such as Nintendo and Xbox, and the presence of predators who trolled streets even in broad daylight looking for young victims.

Others have picked up on this phenomena, but they are assigning blame to a different culprit: "the computer." While I agree that we truly are living in a digital age, I believe the video games and the dangers presented via the media regarding sexual predators impacted the trend, making parents feel it was perfectly alright to keep the kids INdoors, with computers in their rooms.

A researcher from the City University of New York visited a small Vermont town back in '72 to chart the geography of children and their play time, and more than three decades later returned to the same town to research today’s child. He is chronicling his findings in a new book and film. The Boston Globe has details. Snippet follows:

THINK BACK TO the secret places of your childhood -- the quarry; the climbing tree; the junkyard full of treasures; the clearing in the woods where you went to be alone. Now imagine how many of those places still exist, and how many kids in your old neighborhood still go there -- nature-averse, electronics-obsessed, overscheduled youngsters that they are. Chances are, your old stomping grounds are silent, the paths you wore between them long ago grown over.

Roger Hart knows this wistful territory better than anyone. In 1972, as a graduate student at Clark University, the young researcher set out to understand the geography of childhood. He journeyed to a not-so-exotic locale -- a village in Vermont -- and spent two years tracking the movements of a species that, remarkably, had never been closely studied in its natural environment: the human child. (At the time, says Hart, "we knew more about the ecology of baboons than the ecology of children.") Running, playing, and digging in the dirt with packs of kids from 5 to 12 years old, he discovered that virtually all of them had outdoor places they considered their own, where they went to hide, reflect, or commune with nature.

When Hart returned to the same town two years ago, to repeat his research and learn how childhood has changed in 36 years, he discovered a universe transformed in a single generation. The children had moved indoors, and the intricate, outdoor play-world they had once invented and inhabited on their own was gone.
To all those traditional developmental stages in a child’s life, like learning to walk, talk and read, we can now add technological milestones like using a mouse, downloading music and surfing the Internet. The New York Times reports.

Children under 10 – including a large number of pre-schoolers – are listening to music on iPods, says the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Perhaps most disturbing is a program broadcast last night over PBS (WMHT/17) I taped Frontline , which presented Growing Up Online. I just finished watching it about a halff-hour ago. The saddest part was about a youngster who hung himself after being "cyberbullied." The program is a must-see for parents AND kids. But I don't think the chasm seperating teens from parents is as wide and deep as this program would have you believe. It has received major nationwide press, including reviews in Free Press, Variety, the Boston Globe, Boston Phoenix, New York Times, Morris County Daily Record, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Louisville Courier Journal, Daily Herald of suburban Chicago, Denver Post and San

Take Growing Up Online with a grain of salt. Other than lack of physical activity, I see no harm in kids engaging one another socially via computer, although I do agree the PC should NOT be located in children's bedrooms.
The internet and the cellphone are powerful, valuable tools of the trade of immediacy and offspring of modern digital technology. they are to be used and embraced, not feared and scorned!

Although I've lost track of them, several years back I communicated regularly with a group of senior citizens in Alaska who had formed their own computer club. I met them on IRC. (Anybody under 21 may not know that Internet Relay Chat is the ancestor of Instant Messaging!) I also met some people in Africa I lost track of. If any of you should come across this post, please leave a note in the comments or try to contact me ! I'd love to hear from you!


Bettina Perroni: Adventurebound!

Holidays ...

Porrrr fin, Llegó la hora. Porrrr end, arrived an hour. Después de algunos momentos de estrés, de tristeza, de agobio, puedo decir: ME MARCHO!.

After a few moments of stress, sadness, overwhelmed, I can say: ME MARCHO!.

Contaba los días, las horas y esa espera por fin terminó. He counted the days, hours and the waiting finally ended. Que más da esperar en un par de aeropuertos.

That gives more hope for a couple of airports.

Finalmente me ofrecen 2 cosas que me agradan.

Finally, I offer 2 things I like.

Mirar el ir y venir de los desconocidos mientras intento descifrar lo que piensan… y la otra: que son un medio efectivo que pone al alcance de mi mano cualquier paraíso lejano.

Watch the comings and goings of strangers while I attempt to decipher what they think… and the other: they are an effective way that brings the ultimate in my hand any distant paradise.

Todo está listo: Pasaporte y visas, boleto de avión, cámara fotográfica, maleta con alas escondidas y lo más importante: Mi tiempo libre.

Everything is ready: Passports and visas, plane tickets, camera, suitcase with hidden wings and most importantly: My free time.

Me preguntaba que lugar podría ofrecerme tanta dicha en estos tiempos?.

I asked myself that this place could offer me so much these days?

No me quejo de tener que hacer una escala forzosa en Houston, Tx.

I am not complaining of having to make a forced scale in Houston, Tx.

Después de todo, es necesario. After all, it is necessary.

¿Qué lugar podría curar mis males?

What place could cure my ills?

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee… Brasil!!!!!!!!

Así es queridos amigos… me voy en busca de un poco de color pa´l coração , un poco de caipirinha pa´ lejar la depre, carnaval pa´la monotonía, unos bikinis coloridos para el ocio y una maravilla conocida como Cristo Redentor...

So my dear friends… I go in search of a little color pa'l coração, a little caipirinha pa 'lejar the depression, carnival pa'la monotony, some colorful bikinis for leisure and a marvel known as Christ Redeemer .. . en caso de que después necesite pedir perdón jajaja. If you need to ask for forgiveness after jajaja.

Ooodio volar pero no importa...Ya me ví...

Ooodio fly but never mind ... And I saw ... ya me viiiii! I viiiii!

Tres semanas desconectada del mundo ajeno a Brasil no son nada...

Three weeks disconnected from the world outside Brazil are nothing ...

sé que me extrañarán como yo a ustedes pero amenazo con volver y compartir con ustedes fotografías e historias de mi estancia en tan bello país que ya me espera con los brazos abiertos.

I know you like me extrañarán but threatened to come back and share with you pictures and stories of my stay in such a beautiful country and I am awaiting with open arms.

Como primer destino Rio... Eu sei que eu estarei em amor com você.

As a first destination Rio ... Eu sei que eu estarei em love com você.

Amigos... Friends ... Ahí les dejo vinito, botanas, musiquita y aprovechen a conocerse unos con otros. That will leave vinito, snacks, and seize musiquita to know each other. Esta casa queda en sus manos... This house is in their hands ... favor de poner desorden.

Y antes de decir... Até logo (es que tengo que practicar mi portugués jeje), quiero darle las gracias a Angie por que me llegó esta mañana esa linda tarjeta que me envió desde Bolivia. And before you say ... Até logo (is that I have to practice my Portuguese jeje), I want to thank Angie that I got this morning that beautiful card sent to me from Bolivia.

Ahora si... Até à vista baby! Now if ... Até to view baby!


Sympathy For The Devil

WARNING - The title of this post has nothing to do with race or gender. "Devil" is, in this instance, another word for "criminal." Good news reporting dictates that in certain situations you must BALANCE your story. Think of leaving a few ingredients out of your favorite dish: cook it all you want but it just won't taste right!

In the Albany area, CBS6 (WRGB) had a policy (I'm not certain whether it is still in effect) of leaving out one bit of information if police were asking the public's help in finding a suspect. If that suspect happened to be African-American, CBS6, the folks who ask tough questions, wouldn't tell you! That's like NOT telling the public that a suspected child kidnapper was [insert ethnic qualifier here]. Or putting those crazy pixels over a police sketch of a suspect. And what about those individuals routinely described as "middle eastern men" who pop up in police alerts?

This morning I was shocked to see WTEN Channel 10's report about two incidents where UAlbany students were mugged in the vicinity of the downtown campus. In Incident #1, (originally reported Tuesday PM on the Albany Times Union website) "two black men" followed two female students and then robbed them. In Incident #2, "two students" whose genders were not given, were mugged by a gang of teenage girls. The only "teenage girl gang" that I know of that hangs out in the area of the Central Avenue McDonald's is of a particular ethnic make-up. I think everybody else who knows the area is also aware of this.

Headscratchin' part: WTEN interviews a few African-American FEMALE students about campus safety. ????? DUH! Here are my "tough" questions:

1 - Why not interview Asian or White or Indian female students? And what was the ethnicity of the two victims? Was it black-on-black crime? Or something else? Did race or gender even matter? What about interviewing white and black MALE students? Or gay male students?

2 - Were the two student victims in the McD's case MEN, and as some have suggested, were they "gay guys?" Or were they also white or black or asian or indian????

3 - Why do I care? Because: the media mentioned "two black men" which sets off a chain-reaction of legitimate questions. If that description is germain to the investigation, then shouldn't EVERYONE's race be accounted for? Likewise with gender. If we must know that two men mugged two women, shouldn't we know the sex of the two victims mugged by that gang of teen girls?

Your comments, your POV is welcome!

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