“What’s So Great About Really Deep Thoughts?” Wiki Wiki!

Posted in Blogging, Observations, Technology on May 15th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Here’s a compelling and interesting essay from Andrew Grumet: Deep Thinking About Weblogs.

:: I didn’t buy shoes tonight, but gave the idea some deep thoughts.

:: Seen this term popping up lately?: social software. Here’s an article about it by Stowe Boyd. There is a social software blog. There is a Social Software Alliance Wiki. Wiki?

:: In an effort to keep up with developments in all things web-like, Wiki came up in conversation today. I investigate a few sites before my brain exploded, including the original site and the FAQ, which notes that “this Wiki thing” is: “A collection of web-pages which can be edited by anyone, at any time, from anywhere.” Wiki Wiki is Hawaiian for “quick”. One major project is the Wikipedia, a “multilingual project to create a complete and accurate open content encyclopedia. We started on January 15, 2001 and are already working on 120,700 articles in the English version.” How did they create 120,700 entries in just over 2 years? Regardless, the creators think Wikipedia is great. A Wiktionary is also being created.

:: An entrepeneur in Spokane purchased 10 Segways, and is renting them to people looking for cheap, quick transportation. He couldn’t do this if he lived in San Francisco, however. In the end, it may not matter.

:: We try to stay in at least the slow lane on the information superhighway, but lately I feel like I’ve pulled over on the offramp to change a flat tire.

The Friday Five

Posted in Observations on April 26th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: 1. What was the last tv show you watched: L&O: SVU.
2. What was the last thing you complained about: making errors transposing chords on a music chart
3. What was the last person you complimented, and what did you say? My musical colleague, Amelia (fiddler); I told her that her new glasses looked very good on her and suited her face quite well.
4. What was the last thing you threw away? A pizza box.
5. What was the last website (besides this one) you visited? Tonya’s.

Tim Robbins censored on The Today Show (NBC)

Posted in Observations on April 18th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

I’m tiring of posting negative stuff lately, but this is just too weird to pass up. I was reading Jen’s blog this morning, and came upon this entry from April 14 (her archives aren’t working, so I can’t link to the exact post):

Just as I was leaving for work today, I caught the first half of “The Today Show” interview between Matt Lauer and Tim Robbins, who came on the show to discuss his affiliation with the Baseball Hall of Fame. Predictably, the discussion turned to politics. Lauer and Robbins debated back and forth for a few minutes until it was obvious the censors were going to unleash their cruel powers. Just as Robbins started, “And what about the war in Afghanistan? Did we all forget about that?” the bad theme music interjected and the program segued into commercial.

Robbins has already made the news recently when Dale Petroskey, president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and a former Reagan aide, cancelled a 15th anniversary celebration of the movie “Bull Durham“, scheduled for 26-27 April. The reason for cancelling, according to Petroskey, was that the Hall is not a place for pro- or anti-war statements, and that given Robbin’s and Susan Sarandon’s track record of criticizing the Bush administration, the Hall didn’t want the take the chance that one or both of them might actually say something in an anti-war vein. (Robbins responded, noting that he was looking forward to “a weekend away from politics and war.” Also, baseball writer Roger Kahn cancelled an appearance at the Hall in protest of Petroskey’s actions.)

But getting back to the Today show incident, here’s the weird part: try searching for reports on this incident – there’s nothing out there. I searched Google News, Poynter/Jim Romenesko, I Want Media, AlterNet.org, CNN, Reuters, AP, Drudge, NYTimes, etc etc etc., to no avail. Are news reporting agencies self-censoring this story? Is there collusion? When is it going to warm up in Edmonton?

The day after he was censored while being interviewed on live television, Robbins spoke to the National Press Club in DC.

All RSS, All The Time

Posted in Blogging, Observations on April 16th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

Props to Heavy G for his extended entry on RSS (Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary – where RDF means Resource Description Framework). Head hurting already? Well, mine has been for some time, as I try to stay on the information superhighway, rather than in the ditch, changing a virtual flat tire.

Geoff cuts through the quagmire of RSS, RDF, XML with a few timely tips and lucid explanations. (Am I lucky that his office is right next to mine? Duh.) Take the time to read his posting and you’ll see a reference to an experiment I tried a few days ago. Suffice it to say that it hasn’t worked, but it was worth the try. I realized afterwards that trying to move an extended discussion spanning five listservs at once, over to a blog set up to collate the responses, isn’t going to work unless you convince the participants to join you, in advance. That said, the idea of creating a subject-specific library blog for, say, engineering librarians, continues to intrigue me.

I am working through Geoff’s entry in an attempt to learn more about this subject and its applications. If you are interested as well, take the time and learn from an up-and-coming master.

In other exciting news, I met with the sports physician today re: my continuing tennis elbow condition in my left arm. While it could take months to heal, I can play guitar and mandolin without too much difficulty, while at the same time abandoning free and machine weight exercises involving those muscles for the time being. I will return for a shot of cortisone in May, which given the area of injection, is predicted by the doctor to be very painful. Am I having fun yet?

The good news is that after six weeks of Stott Pilates classes, I’m already noticing an improvement in the form of the absence of lower back pain and stronger muscles in the abs region.

Photojournalism Ethics Take A Hike

Posted in Observations on April 4th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

My brother Chris advised me of an incredible story about what happened when it was discovered that Brian Walski, an award-winning photographer for the LA Times, submitted a photo for publication on the front page of the 31 March 2003 LA Times that was actually a composite of two pictures. Covering the war in Iraq, he shot two photos moments apart, then merged them to improve the composition. The subject was the use of human shields. Check this fascinating photo ethics case study (requires Flash), which highlights the flaw in the composite photo, and then shows you where the two photos were cropped. The Times has printed a retraction of sorts.

Did you hear about the giant Antarctic squid?

It’s All Too Looney

Posted in Miscellaneous, Observations, Pop Culture on April 4th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

The 30 March 2003 Herald published a brilliant rebuttal by Silver Donald Cameron to the national spanking US Ambassador Paul Cellucci gave Canadians recently about our lack of support in the war on Iraq. I think we need to be reminded often of the points made in Cameron’s letter, and Americans need to know more about the history between our two nations. The again, all that matters in the States these days is the now. It’s as if Canada is only as good as the last war it supported. After reading Cameron’s letter, with its historical detail, I’m prouder today to be a Canadian.

On a more serious note, Warner Bros is asking fans of the classic Looney Tunes to complete a survey on upcoming LT home video and DVD products. Check out some of the packaging options being considered by WB for the LT DVDs.