Thursday, March 31, 2011

'How to steal like an artist' has great advice about creativity

Here's a presentation called "How to steal like an artist (and 9 other things nobody told me). It's really interesting and — at least when I read it this morning — sometimes feels profound. It's by Austin Kleon and it's worth reading all of. Here's a taste:
  • Nothing is original. Ecclesiastes:That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.
  • You are a mashup of what you choose to let into your life.
  • The best way to collect ideas is to read. Read, read, read, read, read. Read the newspaper. Read the weather. Read the signs on the road. Read the faces of strangers. The more you read, the more you can choose to be influenced by.
  • The question every young writer asks is: “What should I write?” And the cliched answer is, “Write what you know.”
  • This advice always leads to terrible stories in which nothing interesting happens. The best advice is not to write what you know, it’s write what you *like*
  • As Flaubert said, “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

Posted via email from edge & flow

Why taking somebody seriously might be the biggest favor you can do for them:

A nine-year old wrote to a favorite TV program asking for help because "I think I no how to make people or animals alive." Their reply didn't ridicule or ignore him. 35 years later, as a professor of rheumatology and tissue engineering, he played a key role in a record-breaking feat of surgery and changed a life.

Says he: 
"If [the letter in reply] had shown any hint of ridicule or disbelief I might perhaps never have trained to become a medical scientist or been driven to achieve the impossible dream, and really make a difference to a human being's life. I remember being thrilled at the time to have been taken seriously. Actually, even nowadays I am thrilled when people take my ideas seriously."

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Launching Angry Birds at the dictator level

Some levels are more easily cleared than others. It's apparently all a question of tools.

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NYRB buys idea of Palin's 'arduous...even dangerous' feats. Alaskans don't.

Janet Malcom in the New York Review of books offers this credulous appraisal of things Sarah Palin did on her television show: "Palin, who is both narrator and star of the series, performs arduous and sometimes even dangerous feats of outdoorsmanship to demonstrate the conservative virtue of self-reliance."

Well, bullshit.

Longtime Alaska outdoor journalist Craig Medred dissects that claim in Alaska Dispatch: " National Park Service rangers and other personnel who monitored the activities of Palin and her producers in the park say no one involved with "Sarah Palin's Alaska" was ever in any danger."

Posted via email from edge & flow

Test takers at Michele Rhee's showcase DC school changed answers

USA Today investigation found wholesale erasures on standardized tests, with answers always changed from wrong to right "The odds are better for winning the Powerball grand prize than having that many erasures by chance," statisticians said.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ballet, Sacramento

Why are we ignoring more than 20,000 deaths in Japan?

As far as I know, the nuclear plant accidents in Japan haven’t killed anybody yet. The earthquake and tsunami killed more (perhaps far more) than 20,000.

Why is it just about all the news I read is about nukes?

Of course the situation at the nuclear plants is serious, and could become much worse — although probably not nearly as bad as you think. It could kill people eventually and demands attention. There are many lessons to be learned and, we prat, applied.

But we’re basically ignoring human tragedy on a vast scale while we breathlessly wonder whether any trace of radiation might possibly reach Hawaii. This speaks very badly about us.

Posted via email from edge & flow

Irish- born, U.S.-raised baseball loving redhead is the voice behind Obama's Libya action

President Barack Obama's decision to back a multilateral intervention in Libya suggests that [Samantha Power’s] voice is being heard. The 40-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Harvard academic is a senior adviser to Obama's national security team. She's also an Irish-born, U.S.-raised redhead with a deep voice, an abrupt manner and a love of baseball.

The United States should not frame its policy options in terms of doing nothing or unilaterally sending in the Marines," Power wrote in her book "A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide," for which she won a 2003 Pulitzer Prize. "America's leadership will be indispensable in encouraging U.S. allies and regional and international institutions to step up their commitments and capacities.”

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Let’s hear it for innovation writ small:

Via Nick Bilton at Bits: "As my colleague Miguel Helft noted recently, although companies that sell cases for the iPad are impressed with Apple’s new Smart Cover design, competitors said they were confident they would be able to offer a better and more innovative solution."

Information about Howard

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Samsung poses actors as real people in love with non-existent thinner Galaxy Tab

Friday, March 25, 2011

for every laugh in his book there are five blushes, ten shudders and a vomit

Mark Twain offers his honest opinion about a book written by a friend.

via Letters of Note by Letters of Note on 3/24/11

In 1874, publishers Chatto & Windus asked their most renowned author, the inimitable Samuel Clemens, for a brief but quotable review of 'Nuggets and Dust Panned Out in California by Dod Grille,' the most recent book by another of their authors, Ambrose Bierce. Given that Clemens and Bierce had known each other since the 1860s and remained good friends, the idea was perfectly understandable; if not a surefire way to generate some positive buzz about a book which had, so far since publication, failed to sell in quantity.

What they hadn't considered was that Clemens would respond with brutal honesty.

Transcript follows. Image courtesy of Boston Public Library.


Farmington Avenue,



"Dod Grile" (Mr. Bierce) is a personal friend of mine, & I like him exceedingly — but he knows my opinion of the "Nuggets & Dust," & so I do not mind exposing it to you. It is the vilest book that exists in print — or very nearly so. If you keep a "reader," it is charity to believe he never really read that book, but framed his verdict upon hearsay.

Bierce has written some admirable things — fugitive pieces — but none of them are among the "Nuggets." There is humor in Dod Grile, but for every laugh that is in his book there are five blushes, ten shudders and a vomit. The laugh is too expensive.

Ys truly

Samuel L. Clemens

Posted via email from edge & flow

Disgusting, should be criminal: Gannett doubled CEO pay to $9.4 million

Via Gannet blog:

Gannett just disclosed that it paid Chairman and CEO Craig Dubow $9.4 million last year -- double his 2009 pay -- as the company laid off hundreds of workers and imposed wage cuts on thousands more. His pay included a $1.75 million all-cash bonus.

Chief Operating Officer Gracia Martore got $8.2 million, more than double her $4.0 million in 2009, according to the new shareholders proxy report filed this afternoon with federal regulators. Her pay included a cash bonus of $1.25 million.

via Poynter. » Romenesko by Jim Romenesko on 3/25/11

Gannett Blog
Craig Dubow‘s pay included a $1.75 million all-cash bonus, reports Jim Hopkins. Chief operating officer Gracia Martore was paid $8.2 million, with a cash bonus of $1.25 million. The bonuses were awarded partly on the basis of cost-cutting… Read more

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Excuse me, Google, this is open?

Google says it will delay the distribution of its newest Android source code, dubbed Honeycomb, at least for the foreseeable future. The search giant says the software, which is tailored specifically for tablet computers that compete against Apple's iPad, is not yet ready to be altered by outside programmers and customized for other devices, such as phones. via Daring Fireball @gruber

Posted via email from edge & flow

Sepressing: HuffPo is one of Craig Newmarks standards for journalism integrity

via Nieman Journalism Lab by Justin Ellis on 3/23/11

It’s hard not to be curious when the man some have vilified as mortally wounding the classifieds business in newspapers gets into the business of supporting journalism.

Craig Newmark’s most recently announced project, CraigConnects, is, as best as I can tell, a way of funneling Newmark’s attention capital towards (mostly) nonprofit organizations. In the way Craigslist leveraged a simple, open system to bring together people looking for stuff with people looking to get rid of stuff, CraigConnects will play a similar role in supporting work in areas like technology, veterans issues, open government and community building.

And something else called “journalism integrity.” Newmark explains on the site:

Okay, the deal is that trustworthy media really are the immune system of our country, as Jon Stewart says, “If we amplify everything we hear nothing. The press is our immune system of democracy. If we overreact to everything we actually get sicker and perhaps eczema.

Or, as I like to say it, trustworthy media should be “the immune system of democracy”.

Newmark’s examples under “journalism integrity” reads like a coverage list from the Lab: ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, NewsTrust and Huffington Post among others.

I swapped a few emails with Newmark, and it’s clear he sees attention as a powerful currency. For instance, when I asked him about the issue of supporting HuffPost, which by most accounts got a nice big bag of money from AOL, he wrote “HuffPost is a high integrity publisher, and individuals need to stand up and support that.” (Of course, it should also be noted that Newmark is a regular contributor to HuffPost.) Attention is good for raising awareness of social causes or building the valuation of a startup. But in the business of journalism, getting attention to translate into dollars (and let’s face it, dollars are a primary concern these days) is not an easy science.

What does Newmark mean by journalism integrity? “It means a reasonable adherence to traditional journalistic ethics like fact checking, and truth in advertising when an interviewee is paid to present a position; more so if the interviewee has been caught lying repeatedly,” Newmark wrote.

Newmark isn’t indicting the media for a lapse in ethics — at least not completely — but more pointedly directing light on organizations that are built specifically for investigative work and transparency. It’s not enough to keep government honest, but journalists have to keep themselves and their organizations honest, putting everything on the table and letting the audience decide.

Newmark told me that means disclosing conflicts of interests not just of reporters, but also their sources. “There are many news outlets competing for our attention and only a limited amount of news any day. That motivates sensationalistic reporting, and devalues traditional values like fact checking and the firewall between reporting and advertising,” he wrote.

The continuing struggle for news organizations, aside from making money to support news gathering, is gaining a foothold or step up on competition. What CraigConnects can offer to some degree is a Craig-approved vetting of reliable news sources for readers to consider. (I asked Newmark what he reads on a regular basis. His list includes HuffPost, TechCrunch, BoingBoing, Buzzmachine, Mashable, and The New York Observer among others.) It’s an extension of the recommendations you get from friends or a fine-tuned Twitter feed, but in this case there’s an implied suggestion to give more than your readership and clicks. I asked Newmark whether he thought news organizations can operate as nonprofits. “I think so, a lot of people are willing to pay for trustworthy news, as in the case of NPR,” he wrote.

Talking with Newmark, I get the sense he hasn’t fully defined the extent of how CraigConnects can help journalism, but he senses it’s an important time to start backing the journalism you use and can trust. And as he makes plain on the project’s website, he’s still figuring out how CraigConnects will work as a platform for all the areas he’s trying to support. Either way, he’s committed to a 20-year calendar for CraigConnects.

We know that one of the ways Craigslist revolutionized classifieds was by getting the buyer and seller in direct contact, eliminating the need for the newspaper. With CraigConnects, it seems Newmark wants to put a middleman back in play for the sake of journalism.

Image courtesy of Stephanie Canciello, unali artists.

Posted via email from edge & flow

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stan Lee has good advice for budding comic artist:

From Stan Lee’s advice:

“...if you really wanna become a pro, you're kidding around too much...Do real serious stuff. For example, pick a character you think you could handle--HULK for example. Then do a serious, no-kidding story about him-- using your own drawings and layouts (no swipes). That's the only way to really tell if you have the stuff or not."

Posted via email from edge & flow

Friday, March 18, 2011

Obama on his Libya shift: "This is the greatest opportunity to realign our interests and our values."

The key decision was made by President Barack Obama himself at a Tuesday evening senior-level meeting at the White House, which was described by two administration officials as "extremely contentious." Inside that meeting, officials presented arguments both for and against attacking Libya. Obama ultimately sided with the interventionists. His overall thinking was described to a group of experts who had been called to the White House to discuss the crisis in Libya only days earlier.

"This is the greatest opportunity to realign our interests and our values," a senior administration official said at the meeting, telling the experts this sentence came from Obama himself. The president was referring to the broader change going on in the Middle East and the need to rebalance U.S. foreign policy toward a greater focus on democracy and human rights.

Read more from Foreign Policy:

Posted via email from edge & flow

Time management: the xkcd plan

Time Management: the xkcd plan

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Progressively more astonishing Cassini footage from Saturn; keep watching (via

I'm very excited to present the first test from "Outside In" that actually represents real footage in progress from the film. Camera moves are still being tweaked and this is cropped version as IMAX-sized stuff does not play well online. But thanks to the new version of Adobe After Effects, "Outside In" can be made as I have always envisioned.

Posted via email from edge & flow

FOMO: How the Fear of Missing Out fuels social media

There is a company that sells radar equipment to the police as well as radar detectors to the public. Clorox is one of the world’s worst polluters of water, and also sells Brita filters to get the bad stuff out of the water again. Lawyers create mazes that you have to hire a lawyer to escape. Similarly social software both creates and cures FOMO. If you didn’t know that party was going on, you’d be home contentedly reading your latest New Yorker. But since you do, you hungrily watch each new tweet.

Posted via email from edge & flow

Is 2011 the last year of the album and start of a whole new music concept? Kaplan thinks so.

Last week marked  the release of an album I have been associated with in some form for two years now. That doesn’t mean that I had anything to do with its creation, just that I was associated with it. To that regard, I was there for mixing, marketing and release. The record is from a group of people collectively known as R.E.M.

I predict it is the last “Album” they will release.

In fact, I predict that 2011 is the last year of the Album (capital A).

Read more at BLACKRIMGLASSES by Ethan Kaplan.

Posted via email from edge & flow

Why watch TV networks at all? You don't go to movie listings and say, "I wonder what Paramount is showing this week"

From Time’s Tune In television blog:

The entertainment-biz press, led by a report in, has the news this morning that Netflix may be about to acquire a high-profile original drama—political thriller House of Cards from David Fincher and Kevin Spacey—by outbidding the likes of HBO. Does this mean, if the deal pans out, that Netflix wants to become a TV network?

Actually, it could mean something bigger: the beginning, albeit the very beginning, of a much-theorized about move to a business model in which TV networks are optional.

Why do you watch TV networks at all? You don't go to the movie listings and say, "Gee, I wonder what Paramount has showing this week!"—you just look for a movie. The reason for TV's configuration was, first, technical and practical. A network controlled the means of distribution: it had the hardware and the system of affiliates that were necessary to literally beam a program from a tape somewhere into your living room.

Posted via email from edge & flow

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Font Aid : Designers selling a font of 400 ampersands for Haiti relief

Font Aid : The Society of Typographic Aficionados​/fontaid​/

Posted via email from edge & flow

"US, Europe focused on nukes rather than thousands actually killed"

"... in the United States and European Union, what’s happening at the power plant is receiving more attention, and generating more anxiety, than thousands of innocents crushed or drowned."

Japan’s real disaster​/gregg-easterbrook​/2011​/03​/1...

Posted via email from edge & flow

Jon Bon Jovi blames Steve Jobs for ‘killing the music industry” (via @gruber)

From the item: "You know who never complains about the shift to digital music? People who buy and listen to music.”

Posted via email from edge & flow

Something in the alleyway


Doubtlessly there’s a story behind this abandoned couch and stylish shoes in the alley behind an upscale apartment complex here in downtown Sacramento. Any ideas?

Posted via email from edge & flow

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hit by Japan's worst earthquake & worst tsunamis...Not one reactor container has failed.

Japan's nuclear crisis and the 2011 earthquake tsunami: Let's cool the political meltdown.​/id​/2288212

For 40 years, they've quietly done their work. Three days ago, they were hit almost simultaneously by Japan's worst earthquake and one of its worst tsunamis. Not one reactor container has failed.

Posted via email from edge & flow

Kansas GOPer: Let's shoot illegal immigrants like pigs

NPR on string video: you can't buy coverage

The message that [NPR's Shiller] said most often — I counted six times: ... (was) that you cannot buy coverage,

Posted via email from edge & flow

Elements Of NPR Gotcha Video Taken Out Of Context : NPR

text size A A A
March 14, 2011

Footage posted online last week by conservative activist James O'Keefe III captured NPR's chief fundraising official, Ron Schiller, disparaging conservatives and the Tea Party and saying NPR would be better off without federal funding.

Fueled in part by the attention given the video by the conservative Daily Caller website, an 11 1/2-minute version of O'Keefe's hidden camera video ricocheted around the blogosphere Tuesday.

It mortified NPR, which swiftly repudiated Schiller's remarks and in short order triggered his ouster along with that of his boss, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, who is no relation to Ron Schiller.

A closer review of those tapes, however, shows that many of Ron Schiller's most provocative remarks were presented in a misleading way.

'There Are Two Ways To Lie'

O'Keefe's tapes show Ron Schiller and his deputy, Betsy Liley, at an upscale cafe in Georgetown for lunch in February. They meet with two men posing as officials with an Islamic trust. The men are actually O'Keefe's associates — citizen journalists, he calls them.

O'Keefe also posted a two-hour tape that he said was the "largely raw" audio and video from the incident so people can judge the credibility of his work.

The Blaze — a conservative news aggregation site set up by Fox News host Glenn Beck — first took a look late last week and found that O'Keefe had edited much of the shorter video in deceiving ways.

"There was certainly a lot there for conservatives and people of faith and Tea Party activists to be bothered about — but we felt like that wasn't the whole story," said Scott Baker, editor in chief of The Blaze. "There were a lot of other things said that may have been complimentary to conservatives and to people of faith and Tea Party activists in the same conversations."

My review was conducted with several colleagues. I also relied on outside people, including Baker, who have expertise in analyzing video and audio to review the two tapes.

Broadcast journalist Al Tompkins said he was initially outraged by what he heard in that first, shorter video by O'Keefe. Tompkins now teaches ethics at the Poynter Institute, a journalism school in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"What I saw was an executive at NPR expressing overtly political opinions that I was really uncomfortable with," Tompkins said. "Particularly the way the video was edited, it just seemed he was spouting off about practically everything."

But Tompkins said his mind was changed by watching that two-hour version.

"I tell my children there are two ways to lie," Tompkins said. "One is to tell me something that didn't happen, and the other is not to tell me something that did happen. I think they employed both techniques in this."

Sacramento, Calif.-based digital forensic consultant Mark Menz also reviewed both tapes at my request. He has done extensive video analyses for federal agencies and corporations.

"From my personal opinion, the short one is definitely edited in a form and fashion to lead you to a certain conclusion — you might say it's looking only at the dirty laundry," Menz said. He drew a distinction between that and a compressed news story.

O'Keefe's 'Investigative Reporting'

O'Keefe hasn't replied to several requests for comment for my stories on his tapes. On Twitter last week, he replied to me that his editing was no different from what other journalists do in crafting their stories — including my own.

On Sunday, he told CNN's Howard Kurtz that his use of hidden cameras is in the finest traditions of muckraking journalism.

"Journalists have been doing this for a long time," O'Keefe said. "It's a form of investigative reporting that you use to seek and find the truth."

O'Keefe said on CNN's Reliable Sources that his sting was inspired by NPR's decision to drop longtime news analyst Juan Williams last October after Williams made comments on Fox News about Muslims.

"The tape is very powerful," O'Keefe said. "The tape is very honest. The tape cuts to the core of who these people are."

But 26-year-old O'Keefe's own record is checkered. His takedown of the community organizing group ACORN relied on undercover videos that the California state attorney general's office concluded significantly distorted what occurred. Last May, O'Keefe pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after an attempted video sting at the offices of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

'A Big Warning Flag'

In the review of the NPR tapes, O'Keefe's edited video triggered criticism right from his introduction. He ominously describes the phony Islamic group, saying that its website "said the organization sought to spread the acceptance of sharia across the world." (Shariah is Islamic law based on the Quran, although there are wide disparities in how different Muslim sects and cultures interpret what that entails.)

On the tape, Ron Schiller is then shown and heard creased with laughter, saying, "Really, that's what they said?"

In reality, as the longer tape shows, that laughter follows an innocuous exchange as Schiller and Liley greet the two supposed donors at their table.

"That to us was a signal that they were trying to condition the person watching the piece to feel as though there was assent to these ideas," said Scott Baker of The Blaze. "That was a big warning flag."

Tompkins said O'Keefe sought to portray the fundraisers as though they would do anything to appease donors.

On the shorter tape, for instance, one of the fake donors is heard assailing a "Zionist" influence on the media — and Liley, NPR's senior director of institutional giving, is heard responding affirmingly.

The O'Keefe associate posing as potential donor Ibrahim Kassam says NPR is "one of the few places that has the courage to present it [fairly]. There's kind of a joke that we used to call it National Palestinian Radio."

Some laughter follows. But the shorter tape does not include Ron Schiller immediately telling the two men that donors cannot expect to influence news coverage.

"There is such a big firewall between funding and reporting: Reporters will not be swayed in any way, shape or form," Schiller says on that longer tape, in one of several such remarks.

Tompkins found that meaningful, noting that Ron Schiller was a fundraiser, not an official affecting the newsroom.

"The message that he said most often — I counted six times: He told these two people that he had never met before that you cannot buy coverage," Tompkins said. "He says it over and over and over again."

Confusing The Context

In addition, several times the donors seek to goad Schiller and Liley into making inflammatory statements about conservatives or Fox News personalities, and they deflect them. At one point, Liley explains that she attended Purdue University, which she describes as a conservative and respected research university, and that people there relied on Fox to get much of their news.

Menz, the digital forensics consultant, said he found some of Schiller's actual remarks disturbing. But by analyzing time stamps, Menz concluded that many of Schiller's remarks in that shorter video are presented out of sequence from the questions that were posed.

"For me, in my background, it immediately puts things into question," Menz said. "You really don't know what context these were in, what was going on in the 20 minutes before and after this question was asked."

Take the political remarks. Ron Schiller speaks of growing up as a Republican and admiring the party's fiscal conservatism. He says Republican politicians and evangelicals are becoming "fanatically" involved in people's lives.

But in the shorter tape, Schiller is also presented as saying the GOP has been "hijacked" by Tea Partyers and xenophobes.

In the longer tape, it's evident Schiller is not giving his own views but instead quoting two influential Republicans — one an ambassador, another a senior Republican donor. Schiller notably does not take issue with their conclusions — but they are not his own.

Fueling The Public Broadcasting Funding Debate

Upon their release last week, O'Keefe's videos gave fresh life to the push by Congressional Republicans to strip federal funding for public broadcasting. In the shorter video, Schiller appears to be saying that NPR would do just fine without federal dollars, though some stations would go dark. On the longer tape, it's clear Schiller says it would be disastrous in the short term.

Tompkins said O'Keefe's editing is repeatedly and blatantly unfair.

"Except for a couple of unfortunate forays for political opinion, I think that Ron Schiller actually did a fairly remarkably good job of explaining how NPR works and what you can and cannot expect if you contribute money to the NPR Foundation," Tompkins said.

Blaze editor Baker said he emerged from analyzing the tapes with a surprising degree of respect for the professionalism of the two NPR executives, Ron Schiller and Betsy Liley.

"I think if you look at two hours in total, you largely get an impression that these are pretty — they seem to be fairly balanced people, trying to do a fairly good job," Baker said.

In recent days, several influential journalists have written that they regret giving O'Keefe's NPR videos wider circulation without scrutinizing them for themselves, given his past record and some of the objections that the Blaze first raised. They include Ben Smith of Politico, James Poniewozik of Time magazine and Dave Weigel of Slate.

"The speed at which the media operates when a video comes out is a problem," Weigel said Sunday. "I mean, the rush to be the first to report on a video — and, let's be brutally honest, the rush is to get traffic and to get people booked on [cable TV] shows to talk about it — and that nature leads you to not do the rigor and fact-checking that you would do in other situations."

An Accelerated Departure

Late Sunday night, NPR Senior Vice President Dana Davis Rehm wrote in an e-mail that the videos unfairly present several innocent comments by Ron Schiller and Liley as inappropriate.

"No one should be surprised based on O'Keefe's record that the video was heavily edited with the intention of discrediting NPR," Rehm said.

But from the outset, Rehm wrote, NPR confirmed that "egregious comments were made that were not distorted, doctored or fundamentally misrepresented."

Ron Schiller had already announced in early March that he would be leaving NPR for a job at the Aspen Institute in his hometown in Colorado. He had been commuting across the country, at his own expense, since joining NPR 18 months ago. But in the wake of the backlash to the videos, his departure was accelerated to take effect immediately. And then the Aspen Institute announced Schiller would not be joining its ranks. Liley has been placed on administrative leave.

Neither has commented — save for Ron Schiller's apologies for some of his political comments on the day the story broke last week.

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Team Burgers (TeamBurgers)

Team Burgers (TeamBurgers) wrote:

Silke Lipp (frauleinschuss) wrote:

@Bunny Guy I'm curious to know how you reconcile your posts with the deceitful phone call made by an imposter the Gov. Walker of Wisconsin. (Again I'm not on the Right.)

Well for one thing the call to Gov. Walker was not distorted.

March 14, 2011 2:20:39 PM PDT

Bob Potter (watches)

Bob Potter (watches) wrote:

Art Aficionado (Art_Aficionado) wrote: "... Juan Williams' trivial remark ..."

That's not right. It must be a typo. I'm sure you meant to say "... Juan Williams' repeated violations of his employment contract ...". I know you're not one to distort the truth, Art.

March 14, 2011 2:20:30 PM PDT

Dale Keys (DaleKeys)

Dale Keys (DaleKeys) wrote:

I didn't have too much of a problem with what Schiller said in the edited tape. It was inappropriate for him to say the things he said because of the nature of his work and position, but I pretty much agreed with him. Tea Partiers are gun-toting inbreds.

Dale Keys

March 14, 2011 2:20:01 PM PDT

Ryan Holdor (landsmatter)

Ryan Holdor (landsmatter) wrote:

Doesnt matter how you slice it: What was said by Schiller is true. Furthermore I might add manipulative, subversive and purely inane. It does come as no surprise that NPR is backpeddling on the issue. Deep pockets will do that.

March 14, 2011 2:19:42 PM PDT

Silke Lipp (frauleinschuss)

Silke Lipp (frauleinschuss) wrote:

@Bunny Guy I'm curious to know how you reconcile your posts with the deceitful phone call made by an imposter the Gov. Walker of Wisconsin. (Again I'm not on the Right.)

March 14, 2011 2:17:40 PM PDT

Robin B (RockinRobinHood)

Robin B (RockinRobinHood) wrote:

Team Burgers (TeamBurgers) wrote: Robin B (RockinRobinHood) wrote: Where is the proof what O'Keefe did was misleading? #1 he is O'Keefe...#2 The article is full of examples. Read it.
I read it an there is no proof of anything misleading. If you think there is then you are engaging in wishful thinking.

March 14, 2011 2:17:38 PM PDT

c g (cdgraves)

c g (cdgraves) wrote:

Ken Vee (KenV) wrote:

Didn't Ron Schiller say "hey, hold on, there is more to this story"? Or was he not even consulted?

He did, but apparently that was not as important as getting the scoop on FOX and CNN.

My only criticism of NPR with regard to this is that their journalism is suffering trying to compete with corporate news. Let FOX and CNN get the first headline wrong. I listen to NPR for thorough coverage. Save the rushed deadlines and breaking news for strict documentary coverage. That kind of hurrying can be excused when important things are happening RIGHT NOW, but not when there is ample opportunity to investigate and find decent sources (including the actual video!) before putting up the main story.

To the constant NPR critics: What course of action could NPR have taken that you would find appropriate or admirable?

If NPR waits to put out a more thorough story, you're upset that they're being sluggish and taking their time to get the slant right. If they put out a story right away, they're being hasty and clamoring to defend themselves. So which is better? What's the ideal course of action?

March 14, 2011 2:15:50 PM PDT

Bob Potter (watches)

Bob Potter (watches) wrote:

Hideo Katsu (Tamotsu) wrote: "Funny, there is no link to ANY of the videos on this post."

NPR is primarily a radio medium. As such, it doesn't do links. You should learn about this new-fangled thing called "Google".

March 14, 2011 2:14:58 PM PDT

Jeff Schmidt (JeffFromOhio)

Jeff Schmidt (JeffFromOhio) wrote:

Is anyone that surprised? When that video first came out, and I watched a few minutes of it, I could tell with about 90% confidence that the video was a lie. Most of the time, highly editted videos that show 5-10 second clips of video in montages, are carefully constructed lies.

Ironic that O'Keefe's organization calls itself Project Veritas when it works so hard to lie. It's Orewellian NewSpeak. "Lies" are truth and the "Truth" are lies.

I'm just somewhat relieved that such conservative sources as Blaze are speaking up for the truth - sometimes I'm not convinced that the viewers/listeners of Beck, Limbaugh, et al. have any interest in the truth. I consider myself moderately conservative, and it disgusts me when people have as much disregard for the truth as O'Keefe and his crew obviously do.

Schiller and Schiller (Ron and Vivian, respectively) should both be getting lawyers - Ron to sue Project Veritas and O'Keefe; Vivian to sue NPR for wrongful termination.

March 14, 2011 2:14:37 PM PDT

Art Aficionado (Art_Aficionado)

Art Aficionado (Art_Aficionado) wrote:

A knee-jerk reaction to Juan Williams' trivial remark is followed by a knee-jerk reaction to an edited video. There's a pattern here.

March 14, 2011 2:13:41 PM PDT

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Posted via email from edge & flow

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Earthquake survival: we can prepare or we can die. Your choice.


Catastrophic earthquakes are inevitable, a certainty of life on earth as unavoidable as the seasons. We’re not yet very good at predicting them, but we’d better get much at better at being ready.

The Sendai disaster in Japan is both a warning alarm and a potentially priceless lesson. When an earthquake like this hits another major population center —and it will — the death toll will almost surely be orders of magnitude larger. Such a quake in Jakarta or Istanbul or even Los Angeles would destroy far more buildings, and thus take more lives as well.

Japan is a model of smart engineering and disciplined practice. Having lived with the inevitability of destructive earthquakes for millennia, they’ve taken seriously lessons most societies shrug off. 

For a long time, Japan’s primary way of coping was to build matchstick-and-paper houses that did relatively little damage in collapsing and were likewise easy enough to replace. As geology and structural engineering knowledge increased, so did the capacity to prepare better. Japan is the world leader in doing so.

Alaska’s Good Friday Earthquake in 1964 was even bigger than Sendai’s, with a 9.2 reading, but its destruction fell across a mostly unpopulated landscape and thus killed only 131 people. Twenty-one years later, Mexico City’s far less powerful quake (Alaska’s was 10 times stronger) left an estimated 10,000 people dead. In 2008 the even smaller Sichuan quake in China killed 70,000 by official count, and many believe it claimed far more.

The range of variables involved makes it impossible to speak with scientific confidence about all the anomalous death totals, but from a public policy perspective a few common sense observations demand attention.

For one thing, Anchorage was just lucky. I was there that March afternoon, a 13-year old waiting on the street outside a downtown movie theater to be picked up by mom. The quake occurred on Good Friday, a school holiday, which doubtless saved hundreds of lives. Several empty schools were devastated and fatalities there and in public buildings surely would have been much greater on a work day. Knowledge of substrata soils and building codes was scant in the booming frontier town, and property destruction was widespread. Still, only a handful of the 131 fatalities attributed to the quake were in the state’s largest city. The lack of preparedness and warning systems made the subsequent tsunami far more deadly.

A good friend who lived in Mexico City and spent days on search and rescue after the 1985 disaster remembers how he was struck by incongruous examples of adjacent building with hugely different levels of damage. One skyscraper would stand entirely in tact while a neighboring building collapsed to complete (and deadly) ruin. One key difference: privately owned buildings tended to survive, while the biggest death traps were government facilities. The likely culprit? Corruption that meant government projects didn’t follow the building codes private owners insisted on, and thus they shook and fell.

The March 11 quake centered offshore from Sendai, Japan by contrast seems likely to result in far fewer deaths; more than a day after the main shock, fewer than a thousand of the millions in its path were confirmed dead. That will certainly grow considerably, but also seems certain to total far fewer than similar quakes in Mexico, China and elsewhere.

Japan’s buildings are constructed to very high engineering standards specifically designed to withstand earthquakes. Tsunami warning systems are advanced and widespread. Japanese people are educated and drilled in survival skills, and apparently they apply those lessons when needed most.

The conclusion, even at this cursory level of analysis, seem clear. 

Deaths from major earthquakes can be reduced hugely by smart planning and preparation. Sadly, I’d bet most societies are unable or unwilling to apply those safety lessons with rigor, and will instead hope, like Anchorage, to get lucky. Not all of them will.

Posted via email from edge & flow

Friday, March 11, 2011

Millions saved in Japan by good engineering and government building codes:

Millions saved in Japan by good engineering and government building codes

via @kottke

Posted via email from edge & flow

I think this is a possum jawbone ...


Any expert out there know for sure?

Posted via email from edge & flow

Well, this ought to help the obesity epidemic...

In the Future, Why Walk When You Can Wheel Around on the Peugeot XB1?
The XB1 is a cross between those hovercrafts from Wall-E, a robot, and a silver Honda Civic. The fully electric tri-wheeled concept vehicle would include GPS and smart phone integration, and top out at 35 km/hr. If the slew of recent concept bikes, trikes, and scooters are any indication, it looks like future humans won’t have much use for their legs.

Posted via email from edge & flow

Major networks are sending their A-list anchors to Japan, after scrambling to provide coverage in the early hours

March 11

Celebrities Bottle Water for Unicef Sweepstakes

As part of an effort by Unicef to deliver clean drinking water to developing countries, celebrities will bottle tap water from their homes to be offered as prizes in a fund-raising sweepstakes.

What a waste. Why not invest in reporting?

Posted via email from edge & flow

Downtown Anchorage


This was the scene in downtown Anchorage, about four blocks from where my little brother and I rode out the 1964 quake. I know something about how people in Iapan feel today and can’t stop thinking about it. They need our help.

Posted via email from edge & flow


Thinking back to a terrified afternoon in Anchorage in 1964. I was 13. The quake was 9.2. When you can't rely on the earth beneath your feet, everything is in doubt. Our biggest aftershock came almost exactly a week later and my fears resurfaced in a millisecond.

Posted via email from edge & flow


Posting as a twitter test.

Posted via email from edge & flow

This is just a test.