May 21, 2005 | 12:32 AM ET

The idea of a site that deals in blogger gossip and celebrity bloggers calls to mind an interesting question.  At what point does a blogger give up the expectation of privacy and become a public figure?  Provided it's not a parody, Blogebrity, or its corresponding blog, may answer that question.

One of the many things I've learned in the course of writing this blog is that it's not very polite to speculate that someone else's site is a parody (particularly if it isn't one).  In this case what sparks my suspicion is that Blogebrity is participating in the Contagious Media Showdown.  We clicked on the Showdown when it was announced, but the official kickoff was last night.  Basically it's a contest to see who can create a site and get the most traffic without advertising.  (Read the rules, it's more specific than that.)  So basically everyone on the list is trying stunts and strategies to get attention on the Web. 

Already Crying While Eating is showing up on all the popular lists -- not without reason, it's weird enough that it spread even without a contest.

I also got a kick out of Farting Saucers, but only because it's Friday and I'm tired.  But already in just these three examples you can see the different strategies being employed.

Can bloggers on the right "Eason" another loose talking media person?  If they do, will "Eason" really become a verb?  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile on the other side of the pundit blogging rainbow, if you clicked anywhere on the left of the blogosphere today you know that Senator Santorum compared Senate Democrats to Hitler.  ( C&L w/ the PMT)  It seems like every few days some new person is comparing someone to Hitler and then quickly apologizing for doing so.  Earlier this week it was Wal-Mart.  The pattern is so common I can't help but think it's deliberate, but after reading Eugene Volokh's mention of Godwin's Law, I'm wondering if perhaps it's just part of human nature.

Star Wars links (hang in there, these are bound to go away soon):

Yesterday I complained that I didn't know what to make of the new "My Google."  One explanation is that all they've done is reinvent the Web portal.

The smarter you are, the dumber you get -- Actual headline: Too much knowledge can be bad for some types of memory, study finds.  The idea is that the more you know, the more you assume and end up taking for granted so you stop noticing actual real details.

How to (for purely educational experimental purposes) phreak with your iPod Hey Jason, is this on your list?

Blogging 101 -- you don't need a blog -- This is a little old, but I didn't see it when it came out and it really is great advice.  Basically he's saying the odds are good that your blog will suck, so don't bother.

U.S. gives Anchorage $1.5M for bus stop -- I don't understand this.  Everyone knows Ted Stevens is abusing the system.  With all the watchdog groups and all the shame-on-you media reports this stuff still gets through.

The American Street gives big media a pep talk.

Yesterday we saw a post celebrating newspapers.  Today we find one promoting old fashioned paper book research.  All this "the future is now" stuff is exciting, but maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves.

Bill Whittle has a lengthy two part essay on his blog.  ( Part 1, Part 2)  I was hesitant to post them here because it's hard to summarize and it is pretty long.  Having read through Part 1, he's expressing his frustration with people he feels aren't contributing to, or are actually obstacles to progress in the war on terror.  Some might deride it as a blog rant, but the sincerity and the authenticity is such that if you want to understand that perspective this paints the picture well.

Michael Totten shares the news that Lebanon's "Cedar Revolution" is being felt in Syria.

I can only assume this is done with some extreme contortionism, but it's really hard to see a body in there.

Video of the Day:  Deere John -- Backhoe Ballet -- This is also my first time visiting the films of Mitchell Rose.

Chromasia may be the most popular photoblog on the Web.  I can't figure out a specific reason why it showed up on my radar today, but I'm happy to include it because photoblogs generally aren't part of the link trading game, so we don't see them here very often.

From the site for an RSS conference that just happened here in the City I clicked this explanation for why bloggers may not be so quick to dump the New York Times if they move their Op-Eds behind a subscription wall.

May 20, 2005 | 2:24 AM ET

I read a new-to-me term today, neoluddite, which I think refers to  people who reject technology on purpose because they fear a sort of attack of the machines future like the Terminator/Matrix movies.  Reading about gridswarms and ultraswarms and the CIA killing people with drones, I can sort of see where they're coming from.  (I wonder how much the military recruiting shortfalls are a catalyst to developing more unmanned devices.)  Note: the swarms link doesn't mention military uses, I'm just being dramatic.

A lot of bloggers are linking to this Guardian article about the U.S. role in the UN food-for-oil scandal.

"The United States was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions," the report said. "On occasion, the United States actually facilitated the illicit oil sales."

When I read it I thought, woah, did we have that story on our site?  Yup.   I guess I wasn't paying attention.

And that's along the lines of what Al Franken writes about in this Huffington Post entry (which, by the way, is a counter example to yesterday's "fodder for Hollywood haters" ).  At least I was already aware of the missing 8 billion.

Speaking of all that, the transcript of Galloway's opening remarks is here.

Now let us praise daily newspapers -- "Newspapers are the only consistent source of real reporting we have."

Spot the hoax:

(OK, it was kind of a trick question.)

Josh Marshall on why the (some?) Senate Republicans are looking to declare the filibuster unconstitutional rather than just changing the rule.

Speaking of the filibuster bluster, The Top 10 filibuster falsehoods  (not exactly an impartial source, but still interesting)

On becoming a woman, circa 1951 -- I was more fascinated by the follow-up chapter on homosexuality, lesbianism specifically.

Photoshopping Darth Vader -- Mostly political themed.  For a broader contest of a similar nature, check out the folks at Worth 1000.

Y'know, this Star Wars hype is running out of steam.  I reckon Harry Potter will be the new hype soon.  They still have a lot of movies yet to come and the new book will be out July 16.  Have you started planning your Potter Party yet?

Plogress:  "This site was built to provide current information on what our representatives are doing in Congress!"  The only thing I wish it has was a link to the legislation itself so we can read it, but the site just started, so maybe that'll be added in later.  Perhaps working with the GovTrack folks would be a good idea.

Awesome! New Hapland game!  The link for the first one is here, but it's taking a while to load.  I imagine they're using a lot of bandwidth to serve the new one, so if you didn't get a chance to play the first one you may have to come back to it in a few days when things calm down.  Not that you need to.  Hapland is one of those figure-it-out-by-clicking-on-things games.

Real-time Forecast of Earthquake Hazard in the Next 24 Hours -- That's cool and probably even life-saving, but the recent quake map is the one that really blows my mind.

Porn Valley goes blogging -- Since the general rule for this blog is no nudity on the first click (any clicks after that are your own fault) this is probably about as close to linking to porn blogging as Clicked will ever get.

Top ten favorite words that aren't in the dictionary

You know the Newsweek story is over when it's degenerated from being a story about Guantanamo to a story about a story about Guantanamo to a story about the stories about the story about Guantanamo.

Speaking of meta, I'm not familiar with the music site called Pitchfork, but today I kept running into this review on Pitchfork that makes fun of Pitchfork reviews.  Thankfully, arriving late to the party does not make the pieces less funny.

You may recall, not too long ago we clicked a survey from the Pew folks designed to tell you where your fit in the political spectrum.  They've now compiled those results into a sizeable report.  Choice quote:

The typology study's finding of significant cleavages within parties not only runs counter to the widespread impression of a nation increasingly divided into two unified camps, but also raises questions about political alignments in the future. In particular, the study suggests that if the political agenda turns away from issues of defense and security, prospects for party unity could weaken significantly.

Screen cleaner

"Some web addresses (URL) are very long and complicated. doiop creates for you a short URL with a keyword you choose, making it easy to remember or give away. This link will not break in emails and never expire."  I haven't tried it yet, but I admire the idea.

Das Keyboard for uber geeks -- no letters on any of the keys.  If a store-bought blank keyboard is for uber geeks, what kind of geek has a keyboard with all the letters worn off through use?  I inherited my keyboard from whoever worked here before me, so by now, not only are the letters worn off, but the keys themselves are misshapen.  That's geek pride.  (The Das Keyboard also has variable weighted keys, which I've never heard of.  I wonder if that makes up for it being flat.)

Google launches My Google, which makes news outside of search engine blog circles.  I often miss what the big deal is about things like this.  No doubt next week sometime I'll be posting a link to a tech blogger who explains why this is either evil or the greatest idea ever.

Speaking of making mainstream news, Waxy.org finds itself once again under the crush of a mainstream traffic frenzy, this time with news and a peek at a leaked "workprint" of the new Star Wars movie.  If you're not able to see the clip, it's brief and just shows the quality and what a workprint is.  It has the counter numbers on it, probably for editing or something.  Reading through the comments on Waxy and sites where the file is actually being traded, this leaked version is generally being seen as a fan item, not really worth the immense download for the casual viewer.  There also appears to be a general expectation that there will be a higher quality version out there shortly anyway.

Speaking of movies, The All-Time Top 100 Voices in the Movies

Artist spends 500 hours to draw a calendar photo using MS Paint.  It sounds stupid they way I just described it, but really, it boggles the mind.

How to speak gangsta

The matter of UFOs on the Google Sightseeing site is not quite settled.

Speaking of Google Maps, Search Movie mixes Google Maps with movie listings.  It loads a little slow and it got my neighborhood movie theater wrong, but those are work-out-able.  Cool idea.  (From the same folks who do Cheap Gas, which again, doesn't quite work for me in my area, but is still really interesting to compare gas prices around the country.)

The Morning News announces its 2005 Editors’ Awards for Online Excellence -- A great list of cool sites.

Feeling in a rut?  12 ways to think differently

Video of the Day: Learn to Dance with Napoleon Dynomite -- The names of the moves are funny.

Predator at the Chessboard - A field guide to chess tactics

BitTorrent has a trackerless version in beta.  The explanation on the site of what this means is pretty clear, but in brief, the only way to offer a torrent file is to have access to a server.  This new version aims to make that no longer the case.

Commuter Click: Behind the Scenes of Phishing Attacks -- I understood the first part and then it got real technical, so I have to print this one out and see what I can get out of it.

Less hard to understand Commuter Click: Completely Rethinking the Web

Mailbag!

Hello,
I was aboard Alitalia flight 618, diverted from Boston to Bangor when a no-fly suspect was, well, flying. The FBI later declared there were no terror suspects aboard, but among the passengers there was... a blogger!  My account of the diversion is up here.

Plus there's already some interesting comments from a Bangor resident and an airline pilot.
Thanks,
Nick Genes
blogborygmi.com
medgadget.com

Dear Nick,
What a great story.  I'm glad you shared this because I definitely would have freaked out if I looked out the plane window and didn't see the airport we were supposed to have landed at.
Thanks,
Will
P.S.  Readers may be interested to know that I passed Nick's note on to the cable folks and they've invited him to tell his tale on the air some time Friday during the day.  I'll keep an eye out for a video clip.

UPDATE: The aforementioned clip:

Video: Diverted to Bangor

People always talk about the hit music ratings.  This page lists the most requested songs (music tablature) that guitarists are wanting to play.  The list is re-set daily.  The #1 most requested on 5/19/05 (by a long shot) was BYOB by System of a Down.  Now that is a song that is not even on the radar of most people.  Just goes to show that musicians and the music marketers don't see things the same way.
-Jan and Scott

Dear J&S,
What a cool site.  I see there are bass tab offerings as well.  I love the idea that people are figuring out songs and sharing their notes with each other.  I'm sure the music publishers are freaking out, but I think this is a worthwhile community.
Appreciatively,
Will

May 18, 2005 | 11:58 PM ET

Powerline shows what blog story digging looks like.  Their model for using the help of their readers to develop a story could be in a text book.  (In this case I'm not so sure the story is quite the outrage it appeared to be in the beginning.  The message of 'you represent the U.S., people will draw conclusions about the country from how you act so don't be a jerk' seems like a valid one to make to business school graduates.)

Speaking of Powerline gotchas, the other day I linked to a Powerline item in which they accused CBS of taking a Ken Starr video quote out of context.  Actually Starr himself apparently made that accusation in a letter to Rush Limbaugh.  In a strangely cyclical turn of events, Slate's Mickey Kaus now catches Limbaugh abusing a Starr quote on the same matter.  Frankly, I don't care what Ken Starr thinks about filibusters, but I am interested in the practice of transparent media.  Welcome to the sausage factory.

Crooks & Liars offers a bit of poor man's Tivo on the show British MP George Galloway put on in the Senate yesterday.  Is there video of the whole thing floating around out there?  It was a pretty bold performance.

Luke's last supper -- The idea of Jesus Skywalker won't sit well in some quarters.

Your knife sucks -- insightfully described at Collision Detection.

Complete guide to anonymity on the Web

What ever happened to the baby on Nirvana's Nevermind album cover?

Ernest Miller talks about video advertising on the Web and argues that technology should be such that the entire phenomenon takes place on TV instead of on a computer monitor.  New-to-me vocab word: Broadcatching.  It's the name of using RSS and BitTorrent to distribute media.  I didn't know it had a name.

Speaking of viral video ads, Life in stunt City

Speaking of video and new-to-me, I had fun wasting time at a new-to-me video site today.  It's always nice to find a video site that isn't draped in porn banner ads so I can link to some of the video here.

For example, have you seen the Iraq sandstorm video?  How did this not make it to TV?  Not sound-bite enough?  Amazing.

This guy's experience is not unlike crossing the street in New York City sometimes.

This brings me to today's Video of the Day.  On Compfused it's here, longer and with a funnier soundtrack than a different version, here, on Putfile where the action is edited closer together and the sountrack is Xtreme.  Who would bother to re-edit this?  It makes me realize that I don't know anything about the work that goes into producing all these (there are many) video clip sites.  (I don't know why I'm so chatty today.  The video is of frat guys jumping out of windows into snow.  No knuckleheads were harmed in the making of this video.)

Newsweek to blame again, this time for riots across the Midwest.

On the serious side, Publius Pundit continues to be a useful resource in following and understanding popular movements/protests around the world.  I went there looking for Uzbekistan coverage and found it.

When the Huffington Post came out last week, skeptics said that the only attention the site would draw would be ridicule from Hollywood haters.  Looking at links that showed up on popular link lists today... well...

The 50 worst hairstyles of all time

Glenn got into it a bit with Andrew Sullivan yesterday over how much attention Glenn is giving to the Newsweek story versus the Abu Ghraib story.  Specifics aside, I've seen this type of accusation aimed at Glenn before.  It's interesting to see how the Instapundit blog is significant enough to almost straddle the line between blogs and mainstream media.  No one would ever think of telling a blogger what to blog about, but at some point on the media scale people develop expectations of responsibility.  Glenn, it seems, sits right around that point.

Speaking of big blog names getting into it, so much in the blog community is done cooperatively and for free and often results in a free product for everyone to use, that the real currency is respect and giving credit where it's due.  (I don't mean to be cryptic.  The link is Dave Winer angry that Adam Curry is taking too much credit for inventing podcasting.)

The new DaVinci Code trailer is out.  Not very revealing other than to say that the movie itself comes in a year.

How to order food in a restaurant -- Jason Kottke uses the philosophies of recent pop science books to solve the problem of deciding what to order.

Quote of the day: " The female orgasm, she said, 'is for fun.'"

"In a new interview series, Newsweek talks to a leading ecological architect whose goal is nothing less than eliminating waste and pollution."

Contributing to the popularity of the above link is Inhabitat, "your online source to innovations in technology, design practices and materials that will push architecture and interior design towards a smarter and more sustainable future."

MacGyvers of the world take note, "A handful of clay, yesterday’s coffee grounds and some cow manure: the ingredients that could bring clean, safe drinking water to much of the third world."

Funky Jamiroquai video

To the mailbag:

re: Koran flushed - so *not* busted...
Penguin Classics' edition of the Koran is substantially smaller than Silent Running's choice of Stupid White Men - and when I was in my teenage 'must discover world religions' phase, I owned a pocket-sized Koran I picked up at a second-hand book store. Sorry - not busted.
-- Carter Wickstrom
   Seattle, WA

Dear Carter,
D'oh!
I have trouble believing the Pentagon uses pocket Korans at Guantanamo, but I suppose anything's possible.
Cheers,
Will

P.S.  The original item did say, "flushed a Qur'an down a toilet" but does that necessarily mean the flush was successful?  If it didn't go down, would the item have to say "flushed a Qur'an in a toilet"?

You chose the wrong quote from the New Yorker Story, this one is priceless:

"The general opinion of “Revenge of the Sith” seems to be that it marks a distinct improvement on the last two episodes, “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones.” True, but only in the same way that dying from natural causes is preferable to crucifixion."
-Randall Kopchak

Dear Randall,
That piece was definitely ripe with stinging lines, but I have to say, funny though they were, I can't abide the dissing of Yoda who is probably the one character who actually got cooler over the course of this whole series.
May the force be with you (or as Anthony Lane might put it in Yoda terms, Force may you with be the),
Will

May 18, 2005 | 2:06 AM ET

The Newsweek story continues to make waves in the blogosphere today.  Here's what else I clicked:

Silent Running busts the "down a toilet" myth.  I didn't take it that literally, but at least that question can be laid to rest.  I did receive a letter from reader Bill Evans who asks, "How were they able to flush a book the size of the Koran down the toilet?"  There ya go Bill.

I probably could have saved myself some time if I'd seen the mail from La Shawn Barber about her huge round-up.

The Light of Reason sees the attacks on Newsweek as the beginning of the descent down the slippery slope of censorship.  "Censorship is what they’re after, and don’t let them tell you otherwise."

Chicago Boyz wants a congressional investigation.  If Congress finds the Guantanamo leaker before they find the Valerie Plame leaker, we'll be in for some fireworks.

Commuter Click: Journalism professor Jay Rosen on the Newsweek affair.

Dean Esmay looks a little deeper at the political (for lack of a better term) situation in that part of the world.

Something I'd been wondering about this whole story is how the connection was made between the protests and Newsweek.  As it turns out, one guy in particular has been pressing the matter,  Imran Khan, a former cricket superstar who's found his political voice.  I read an interesting excerpt from a May 11th article in an Indian paper by way of Beyond Wonder.  And I also clicked this longer piece at the Republic of Tea that takes a more detailed look at the politics of Imran Khan.  The story is much more interesting with some context.

Speaking of working a source for a story:  Dear blog, I'm not having an affair with Cameron Diaz.  I'm sure there's a lesson for the average person in here, but I'm not sure what it is. 

Looks like the next version of Internet Explorer will have tabs -- For folks who aren't familiar, tabs let you open a new window without opening the browser again.  For example, if you're like me, when you read through this page, you right click everything and open it in a new window.  Then you're left with a billion open windows to sort through.  Tabbed browsing lets you do this more cleanly and efficiently.  Disclosure:  IE is made by Microsoft, Microsoft pays me, I like well done bacon, Kevin Bacon has put on some performances that were well done.

Professor Bainbridge gives the details on the interstate wine shipping ruling.  A shorter version of the post can be found on the professor's wine blog.

Speaking of wine, here's a bonus classic click:  Waiter Rant on the Sideways "Pinot" trend (with Star Wars references).

Talking Points Memo exposes a talking points memo.

New York Times is talking about charging $50 bucks a year for online access to what looks like all of their columnists.  Such a move can only hurt them in the blogosphere (which will probably come up with a hack eventually anyway), but I can see how the bean counters would think it's a good idea.

Jason Kottke comes up with 50 fun things to do with your iPod.  Some of them are extra fun I guess, so the math gets a little iffy at the end.

The Downing Street Memo has its own site now.  This isn't really a blog story as far as the research and legwork goes, but if it does manage to find its way into the mainstream American spotlight, I have to think some credit will go to the folks on the Web who just won't let it die.

Roomba as robot babysitter -- Also gets along well with Rosie.

Bill Moyers Responds to Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Tomlinson Charges of Liberal Bias: "We Were Getting it Right, But Not Right Wing"

Six perfect sideburns in five minutes --  What, you have a better idea?

With all the assorted wars going on I'd forgotten about the war on drugs.  TalkLeft alerts us to a new bill that could put you in jail for 5 years for passing a joint.

Speaking of ... well, nevermind that.  CityRag shares a link to something called Secret Wall Tattoos.  Says the letter, "Here's the deal... you rent a hotel room, remove a mirror or piece of art, create your own art piece on the wall underneath, and then put the item back on the wall.  And the flip side is it's creating an army of people peaking behind stuff on the walls of their hotel rooms."

Well, I know I'll be looking behind everything next time I'm in a hotel.  I'm always paranoid in hotel rooms anyway.  Is that a light in the smoke detector on the ceiling or a camera?

Do you support gun control?  Banana Oil challenges you to explain why.  (It's a little more detailed than that, so you're better off going there before you start composing your answer.)

The latest hot iPod viral is called Pop-lock.

the new Star Wars.  Scrolling through quickly, it doesn't look good:

I keep thinking of the rueful Obi-Wan Kenobi, as he surveys the holographic evidence of Anakin’s betrayal. “I can’t watch anymore,” he says. Wise words, Obi-Wan, and I shall carry them in my heart.

Top 100 American speeches

A freely browsable database of crimes reported in Chicago.  And woah!  Check out the map!  This has to be a benefit to both police and citizens.

Two guys fly a balloon about ten miles high.  Reminds me a lot of kite aerial photography.  ( More.)

" KnitPro is a web application that translates digital images into knit, crochet, needlepoint and cross-stitch patterns.  Just upload jpeg, gif or png images of whatever you wish -- portraits, landscapes, logos... and it will generate the image pattern on a graph sizable for any fiber project."

How to avoid crying when chopping onions.  I knew it had to do with protecting your eyes from whatever it is that comes out of the onion, but this trick is new to me.

"Yahoo just turned possession of a controlled music substance into a misdemeanor.  Payable by a $5 per month fine." -- This is an interest argument, which basically says that if the RIAA was suing file traders with the claim that the stolen songs were costing them thousands, now that download sites like Yahoo's new one have actually put a price on downloads (5 bucks a month, all you can eat), they can only claim the music to be worth that much - at the most.  No more suing little girls for thousands of dollars.

Have you ever heard of circuit bending?  I hadn't.  Click the "how it works" link for the page with the best explanation.

Speaking of electronic sounds, there are so many podcasting links buzzing around it makes my head spin.  PodNova is a huge categorized index of podcasts.  And...

Podiobooks: "[S]erialized audio books which are made available in podcast format. Subscribers to the podcast feed for each book will receive a new chapter each and every week."  Oh yeah, and it's free.

Speaking of free online books, I thought I was a smart guy for knowing to put quotes around specific phrases I search for in Google.  Check out the string this guy puts together to search Google for free eBooks.

Popular photography:  The Great DSLR Shoot-Out -- All the top fancy cameras compared on the same page.

Yesterday we saw an anti-piracy video contest so I have to wonder if there's some connection to running into this parody today.  (The third one is a jokey clip about behind the scenes on porn movies.  Other than some dirty puns, there's not much that wouldn't be SFW.  Keep the volume low, but it's not very porny.)

Video of the Day:  The Ariel Atom is basically a 4 wheeled motorcycle (um... but with a car engine).  Note: I tried to watch this as a video stream a couple times today and the play was choppy.  I went and tracked down the source site and I recommend you do the right-click/save-as technique.  I watched the one with Jeremy Clarkson.  Holy moly can you imagine if these things came to the U.S.?

On that note, we'll give the final word to the mailbox:

It's amazing how smart people think they appear when they only provide part of the facts. In Kevin Tibbles' article for MSNBC.COM, Motorcycles push the limits of speed, safety, he informed us that motor fatalities increased 71 percent from 1998 to 2004. What he didn't provide is the fact that new motorcycle sales have increased over 130 percent in that same time frame. Should we expect fatalities to remain flat when there are an additional 600,000 motorcycle on US roads?  If the average age of a motorcyclist is rising, do we not expect the average age of a killed motorcyclist to increase?  Kevin Tibbles must be doing his article research on his cell phone as he is driving to the donut shop for a hot cup of coffee that he will be sipping as soon as he pulls out in to traffic.  I hope he doesn't do much research in central Ohio.
Donald Wells
Reynoldsburg, Ohio

Dear Donald,
You tell 'em.
Keep the shiny side up,
Will

May 17, 2005 | 2:30 AM ET

If you've seen the news at all today, you know that Newsweek somehow killed 17 people and there's a Koran and a toilet involved.  In trying to make better sense of the story than that, this is what I clicked:

The Newsweek links:

Disclosure:  MSNBC.com is a content partner with Newsweek, which basically means we host their site but we don't have any editorial input with them.  I have worked with several of the Newsweek.com folks.  (I still don't know anyone involved in this story, but at least this is a more appropriate disclosure than pointing out my corporate connection to Conan O'Brien.)

Blog reaction:

  • Austin Bay -- He's the source of the "Press' Abu Ghraib" line.
  • Cox & Forkum -- I saw this cartoon all over the place today.
  • Kos diaries -- While Newsweek's sourcing for the Koran-in-the-toilet claim is unsupported, the story itself has been reported elsewhere before.
  • Roger L. Simon -- A focus on the anonymity of the source.  Should the media accept tips from people who won't take responsibility for what they say?  Should Newsweek hang their original source out to dry?
  • Being American in T.O.  -- Titled her post, "It led and they bled" which doesn't directly mock any anti-war slogans, but does have a catchy rhyme and does, more appropriately, mock a popular news business expression - plus, it doesn't require qualifying quotation marks or an asterisk.
  • Juan Cole also mentions the other reports of Koran abuse, but the more interesting part of his post is a reprinted letter from someone familiar with training on resisting torture.
  • The Radio Equalizer (where I see the footprints of my cable cousin Tony Maciulis) shows how quickly the economic pressure comes.
  • Speaking of my cable cousins, Keith Olbermann just filed a unique perspective.  He cites this Pentagon press conference at which General Myers says that the commander in Afghanistan "thought [the violence in Jalalabad] was not at all tied to the article in the magazine."

Speaking of reading the source material to make sure you understand the story, Billmon puts together another string of quotes that makes the U.S. look mighty cozy with Uzbekistan's President Karimov.  I kid you not, we got letters to the editor today blaming Newsweek for the deaths of hundreds.

New Survey Finds Huge Gap Between Press and Public on Many Issues  -- ("...with a significant number making more than $100,000." ?!?!  How can I join this thing they call "The Press"??)

Speaking of the gap between the press and the press, how about this: A magazine quits itself.  "The entire senior editorial staff of LinuxWorld Magazine has today announced that they will be leaving the magazine, effective immediately."

Dave Chappelle isn't in a mental institution.  Since I linked to a story last week that said he was I figure I ought to follow up.  Not if I could just get that song out of my head.  "All I wanted was a Pepsi.  She wouldn't give it to me."

A New York Times article yesterday compares guest blogging to "what David Brenner used to do for Johnny Carson."  Since most bloggers, by virtue of their age, don't know who those people even are, it's not surprising to find criticism of the article from a few.  (These bloggers I've linked to actually probably do know who Brenner and Carson are.) 

"A Japanese research team has developed a fuel cell that runs on blood..."  No, it's not a statement about the violence and death resulting from our dependence on foreign oil, it's about powering artificial organs with the body as a power source.

"As has been reported on a variety of blogs around the net, IBM today is publishing an announcement on its Intranet site encouraging all 320,000+ employees world wide to consider engaging actively in the practice of 'blogging'."  How long before we see our first "fired for not blogging" story?

Dan Gillmor brings his citizen journalism celebrity to a new local news project called The Bayosphere.  The idea is that San Francisco Bay Area bloggers will report on their local experiences.

Boing Boing points to NY Times story about a self-heating can of coffee.  ::coughlawsuitwaitingtohappen::  Check out the URL of their link to that story. I wonder what the NY Times site stat guys think when they look at their logs.

Force ministries -- Checking some of the posts pointing to this site it looks like mostly people dreading the idea of being forced to accept Christianity.  After looking through the site though, the "Force" concept is mostly just "Xtreme"-style imagery to draw attention.  Kids who aren't drawn to Ned Flanders might be drawn to Ned Flanders jumping out of an airplane on fire with a knife in his teeth.

The Litblog Co-op:  "Uniting the leading literary weblogs for the purpose of drawing attention tot he best of contemporary fiction authors and presses that are struggling to be noticed in a flooded marketplace."  They've started a new series called "Read this."

Links for aspiring writers

Speaking of writers, The Stupidity of Worrying About Piracy is written by a science fiction author who weighs the potential damage in offering his entire book for review on Amazon.

How Battlestar Galactica killed broadcast TV -- Bonus vocab words:  "Swarming" and "Hyperdistribution."

And still speaking of piracy, it looks like some distant corporate relatives across the sea are trying to mount a new campaign against "intellectual property theft."

Speaking of using other people's content, today I clicked two variations on the classic Star Wars Kid, here and here.

But I think Video of the Day goes to this Lego movie, Revenge of the Brick.  **Note, I haven't seen the new Star Wars, but this looks like a summary of it, which may mean spoilers.

Thirty-eight ways to win an argument -- "Winning an argument" is putting it nicely.  Another title for this might be  "Thirty-eight ways to be a jerk."  It does reveal quite a bit about the state of discourse in our culture today however.

Tips for improving your handwriting -- I thought this would be about penmanship and letter shapes, but it's really about grip and hand posture and other physicalities.

Check the speed of your internet connection.  I've seen these around before but not one that does it so graphically.  It basically told me what I already knew, or at least what I expected, but still neat to watch.

Random creativity tips -- The tips themselves aren't random, they're pretty good actually.  But you arrive at them randomly by clicking a button.

Google-Traffic.com -- I saw this last week and I couldn't get it to work, but tonight it works great!  Basically this guy figured out how to mix Google maps with various online traffic reports and put them all in one view.

"Welcome to A Hamburger Today, a new weblog dedicated to hamburgers."

Speaking of edibles, I've seen Latte art before but this is the first time I've seen the steps shown for how to do it.

Also on the food theme: The top 50 things every foodie should do -- This is like one of those "things to do before I die" lists, only for food fans.

Commuter click: Ontology is Overrated: Categories, Links, and Tags -- Clay Shirky is an influential voice among folks who try to think of ways to make sense of the chaos of information on the Web.  Bonus vocab word:  Concatention.

We'll do some mail tomorrow after I take a machete to my German speaking mailbox.

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