On my walk this evening, far out in the country, I came across a sight I was probably not meant to see: a congress of cats gathered in the road. Three of them sat upright, far enough away that I first mistook them for turkeys. A fourth stood poised in midstride, the same color and nearly the same size as a fox. A fifth remained still as a Sphinx, nearly invisible in a stand of Princess Ann’s lace along the far edge of the road.
One by one, the cats in the road slipped off to the sides, then the fox-cat bolted straight across at the Sphinx, and together the two darted up the lawn of a house tucked into the woods.
Until August 3rd CDBaby is selling JDF’s Million Star Hotel and The Pinetops’ Above Ground and Vertical for only $5.00 each for the digital download. Plus they are not taking any percentage of the sale. So get them while they are cheap and help out the artist.
If you don’t have these CDs, this offer is just next to stealing. Million Star Hotel is, in my view, one of the great albums of our generation even though most of you have never heard of it. I know, I know – if you’ve never heard of JDF, how can such a grandiose pronouncement possibly be true? It’s just hyperbole, right? Continue reading →
You couldn’t possibly have seen this one coming. For years, Manchester United and English national team defender Rio Ferdinand has dedicated himself to ridding soccer of its ugly and pervasive racism. Recently, he has seen his brother, Queens Park Rangers defender Anton, embroiled in an ugly did-he-or-didn’t-he case involving Chelsea (and England) star John Terry. Terry was ultimately acquitted of racially abusing Ferdinand the Lesser, although he is now being hauled up on charges by the FA, whose authority apparently supersedes that of the Crown. Continue reading →
If you’ve spent any time on Twitter this weekend, you know about #nbcfail.
NBC has been so roundly and soundly (and rightfully) criticized for its coverage of the London Olympics – primarily its decision to run the marquee events on tape-delay rather than live.
In previous Olympics, tape delay was less of a big deal. I can sort of understand tape delay if the time difference is so great that running events live would put them on in the middle of the night. But London is just five hours ahead of the east coast. There’s no excuse except for greed (and if NBC continues to pull strong ratings like it did over the weekend, what incentive does it have to change?). Continue reading →
As landlocked as it is, some 650 miles from the Atlantic and 1830 miles from the Pacific, Indianapolis isn’t the first place I think of when I think of battleships. Then again, there are few battleships more storied in American imagination than the WWII ship that bore the city’s name.
Like millions of other moviegoers, I first heard the story of the USS Indianapolisfrom Robert Shaw in Jaws. If you haven’t seen it, it’s one of the best-delivered bits of storytelling an actor has ever offered on screen.
At 12:15 a.m., July 30, 1945—sixty-seven years ago today—a pair of Japanese torpedoes slammed into the Indianapolis’s bow. She sank in 12 minutes. Nine hundred of the ship’s 1,196 men made it into the water. For four days, they were lost at sea. Only 321 of them survived. As Shaw explained: “Sharks took the rest.” Continue reading →
Well, we don’t actually have any sporting events to go to until Tuesday (when we get to see both the Brazilian men and women beach volleyball teams in action), but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy with Olympic stuff. There’s an astonishing number of non-athletic events going on, and, what the hell, we live there, so we’re going to try to do as much as we can. For example, yesterday we wandered over to the Austrian and Danish food events that many countries are having. Austria’s was at Trinity House, which is actually about a two minute walk from my office, so I know where I’ll be having lunch for the next two weeks. Denmark’s food stuff is going on down in St. Katherine’s Docks, also nearby. And they’re having a Viking ship show up next week.
The sun was in my face. Which is not to say I was facing it. Rather, I was standing in line on a baked sidewalk with the sun like a heat lamp to my left. It was in my face like a bully getting in your face: “You don’t like me? You don’t like me? Well, what are you going to do about it?”
What I planned to do about the cruel sun in this drippin’ hot hour before sundown was buy a Mexican sundae at the ice cream drive-in where I was standing in line. The girl at the window who took my order had been gone so long I figured she was looking for someone from Nezahualcóyotl to make the sundae, and the guy who was next in line stood off to the side in a sliver of shade. If he had walked up to me, stuck out his hand, and said, “I’m Mr. Don’t Mess With Me. Don’t even look at me,” I would not have been surprised, nor would I have looked at him. I would have turned and stared into the sun, even at the risk of blindness. Continue reading →
The plagiarism rule I learned in the newsroom 45 years ago is this: Don’t steal. It has a corollary: Never deceive readers.
Earlier this month, the Kansas City Star fired columnist Steve Penn “for using material that wasn’t his and representing it as his own work.” Penn, at least a dozen times, the paper says, took material from press releases and did not tell the readers he did so. The paper was correct to fire Penn; he is suing.
Penn has a defender — Gerard Corbett, chairman and chief executive officer of the Public Relations Society of America. Corbett says it’s okay to take material from a press release (within limits) and use it without attribution. Corbett is wrong, wrong, wrong too. Continue reading →
There’s a kind of myth-making happening in Robert Olmstead’s novel Coal Black Horse.
Published in 2007, I had the chance this past week to journey with the horse once more, and it was a trip well worth taking.
Set in the middle of the Civil War—itself a fertile era of American mythology—Olmstead’s story follows a fourteen-year-old boy sent from Virginia to find his father in the Confederate army and bring him home. “You must find him before July,” the boy’s mother tells him as she sends him on his quest
I don’t think anyone in this town believes that repealing ObamaCare is going to increase the deficit.
— John Boehner, speaker of the House, Jan. 6, 2011, at his first press conference as speaker.
The Congressional Budget Office, in response to a request from John Boehner, opined Tuesday in a letter to the speaker that GOP-sought repeal of the Affordable Care Act would increase the nation’s federal spending deficit, adding $109 billion from 2013-2022.
And, as might be expected following the release of the CBO’s letter, partisan voices are either assailing the nonpartisan CBO estimate as illusory or using it as a cudgel against the health care law’s opponents.
Virtually all miss the nuances of the CBO’s letter regarding the fiscal impact of H.R. 6079, the Repeal of Obamacare Act. No one really knows if the deficit will increase or decrease whether the ACA survives or is repealed. Continue reading →
Two years ago, I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Social Work to advance my career path toward more service-based work. While eager to move into a field I felt more passionate about, I applied to graduate school with a lingering hope – that I could become part of Tulane University’s Global Social Work Certificate Program and spend my final semester completing an internship overseas.
Last November, Tulane’s staff members officially welcomed me into the GSW program and, two months ago, I received my abroad placement. I will spend the fall semester in Kigali, Rwanda helping in the development of a social services program at an organization called the Rwandan Orphans Project (ROP). The orphanage serves nearly 100 vulnerable boys from around Rwanda and provides housing, clothing, food and healthcare to these children. My role will aid in the development of a program that helps to better reintegrate these orphans with families. Continue reading →
I’ve been passing by the highway exit for the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, outside Albany, NY, for the better part of four decades, shuffling back and forth between family in western Pennsylvania and family in Maine. I keep saying, “I’m gonna stop there someday”—and this morning, Tuesday, July 24, I decided today would be the day.
And by sheer coincidence, it happened to be the 150th anniversary of Van Buren’s death.
Except it’s probably the wrong thing. First up, here’s the US drought monitor from last week—these get posted on Thursdays. I imagine the one to come out this Thursday will look pretty similar. Notice that the only state not seeing some sort of abnormally dry weather conditions is Maine. That’s it.
The New England Media Group — which oversees The Boston Globe, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Boston.com and a few other papers — is whacking its workforce again.
At The Globe, 43 people are leaving — 23 in advertising and 20 in the newsroom — through buyouts. Another 10 are victims of “involuntary reductions.” (Wonder if an HR person actually said to a staffer: “We’re sorry, but we’re involuntarily reducing you …”)
And the reason? From the memo circulated by Globe publisher Christopher Mayer:
This move, difficult as it is, is part of a program to rebalance the business and will allow us to reallocate resources toward the investments we need as we innovate and introduce new products. This will also assure that we continue to meet the needs of our advertisers, and provide readers the high-quality journalism they expect from us. [emphasis added]
Like millions of other Americans I first heard about the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado Friday morning. It was a sobering moment in the middle of my morning at work. Without more facts at my disposal, all I could do was think about the survivors and their families, even the family of the suspect in custody. I thought of the witnesses. I thought of the witnesses’ confidants. I thought of the employees. I thought of the first responders. I thought of people I know who may have been in the area. I thought of people that people I know may know who may have been there. When something horrible like this happens, the list of people to think of seems nearly infinite. This is the kind of event that leaves permanent scars on so many in so many ways. A survivor of my own traumas and intimate of other survivors, I could even then only guess at the pain and suffering felt by all involved. Work being work, however, I didn’t have the first-world luxury of distant rubbernecking and so didn’t hear any more of the massacre until later in the day. Continue reading →
I owe my medical provider money. I think. I had some tests run and my insurance doesn’t cover it all, so I owe a few extra bucks. I’m trying, as hard as I can, to pay the bill. And for all I know, I may have already. But I can’t prove it.
My first instinct was to pay online. Boy howdy, talk about fucked. If Douglas Adams were still alive this is the interface he’d be writing trilogies about. It’s ugly, it’s clunky, and “counter-intuitive” barely begins to describe the workflow. For instance, the bills you owe are hidden under the “Paid Claims” tab. The ones you still owe are labeled “Completed,” which is also how the ones you’ve paid are labeled. Continue reading →