Dual Loyalty

As writers and bloggers are so fond of saying; you couldn't make it up. You don't cross the Iron Curtain and come out without scars ...
· Jozef Imrich, Survivor of the Iron Curtain Crossing

Monday, January 31, 2005

Voters flock to blog awards site: Voting is under way for the annual Bloggies which recognise the best web blogs - online spaces where people publish their thoughts - of the year Bloggies

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Iraqi Election Bloggrage
Buzzmachine compiles a roundup of blogs covering the Iraq election.

Friends of Democracy has citizen correspondents in each province filing reports, mostly in Arabic, which are translated and posted here. Michael J. Totten is acting as anchor-blogger through the election. Note that they will have a webcast show about this starting at 2p ET Sunday and it will also be aired on C-SPAN.

The election in Iraq this coming Monday is easily the biggest story of the year thus far and could arguably be one of the most consequential events since the attacks of September 11 or the fall of the Berlin Wall. Given its importance, you would expect the mainstream media to devote a significant amount of resources to covering and analyzing the run up to the election. But aside from a few notable exceptions, that just isn't happening - especially in the major daily newspapers across the country.
Unbelievable Coverage from the Ground [Mainstream Coverage: What little coverage we get of the Iraqi election is either bundled into or completely overshadowed by astonishingly negative stories that get front page treatment with blaring headlines. ; The Blog Search Engine]
• · John Cameron MeMo The verdict on the ABC News revamp ; [At the end of this column each week I ask you blogfans to let me know what bloggers are most in need of mention in this space.]
• · · Bill Haas says he may kill himself; [Norwegians might want to use a reality check before trusting directions from Microsoft's online MapPoint service. Ultimately, Microsoft evangelist Robert Scoble posted a blog item of his own, apologizing for the error ]
• · · · The Blog's New Role in Crisis Communications So, why a blog in a crisis? ; [Extreme bloggers are so hip and cool they can make fun of the poor and disadvantaged while working out of paneled bank offices Beware of the Blog ; Tim Blair ; Jolly Jelly Fish on Australia Day ]
• · · · · Tekrati Debuts Directory of Industry Analyst Weblogs Analyst blog directory and special report debut in conjunction with New Communications Forum 2005 ; [Tekrati ;]
• · · · · · If you've been wondering who was behind The GM Fastlane Blog, General Motors' step into the public blogosphere by executive blogger Vice Chairman Bob Lutz. Insights On GM Executive Blog ; [Don't call Jossip a blog, even though, well, it is. Hauslaib prefers "online magazine." B**g as a dirty word]

Sunday, January 30, 2005

The average adult has about five liters of blood living inside of their body, coursing through their vessels, delivering essential elements, and removing harmful wastes. Without blood, the human body would stop working.
Blood is the fluid of life, transporting oxygen from the lungs to body tissue and carbon dioxide from body tissue to the lungs. It’s as hard to find a universal blood donors as it is to find a great espresso. According to Karl Landsteiner, my blood type, type O blood, is said to be a universal donor. (smile)
One of the reasons my blood at the Red Cross Bank has a consistently good level of hemoglobin is because I tend to discover great baristas not only in the virtual world, but also in the real world. Robust, fragrant, and surprisingly versatile, espresso is more than simply the world's favorite beverage, it is hearty and distinctive ingredient in its own right, enhancing the flavors of everything from cakes and cookies to candies, ice creams, and sauces. Without any doubt, Richard Calabro is one of Australia's finest Baristas. Every drop of his espresso shows a burning passion and the photo mosaics on the walls ooze out with smiles and exotic atmosphere from every single shot. At summer time, Richard surrounds himself with bohemian artists who are part of the furniture at his cafe Grind down on Cronulla Beach. On Saturday and Sunday, it is there that coffee lovers congregate from all over Sydney to go and experience his charm, charisma and of course his famous blend of coffee, all garnished with latte art! In Richard's words "It's like Mona Lisa in a cup" If you are lucky, he may even play you a song on the guitar... Robust espresso props go out to this amazing Barista who is a true testament to his craft!
At the Nulla Grind, Richard treats coffee addiction with respect. In fact, he will show you how to elevate your coffee drinking habit to a higher level of sophistication. During the week Richard explains what it takes to become a world class barista... Well, it takes a great passion for espresso, dedication, technical skill and a way of making people feel relaxed and welcome. Behind the cool facade of a great barista serving cup after cup of perfection lies years of practice and dedication. It is not something that is learned simply by reading a book or watching a instructional video, even though they might be a good source of inspiration :) First of all, to make a perfect cappuccino you first have to start by making a perfect espresso.
I am happy to say that if you really want to stand out from the Coffee Crowd Richard will show you how to create your very own signature drink. This is an opportunity of a lifetime to learn the rich skills and useful techniques from the man who not only practices, but also preaches. Email Richard at espressoheads@hotmail.com or ring him on 0403 844 533 to book your spot at his espresso of mona lisa classes. Ach, in April 2005 you could find yourself sleepless at the World Barista Championship
[I'd Rather Be At Grind Espresso Bar - Base of Royal Rydges Hotel 20-6 Kings Way; Cronulla NSW 2230]

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Red Cross Calling: Royal Blood Transfusions
This year marks the 90th anniversary year of the Red Cross on Australian shores - 90 years of Australians helping Australians.
Australian Red Cross proudly announces the attendance of their Royal Highnesses, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark at the Australian Red Cross 90th Anniversary Gala Event to be held on 2 March 2005.
In June 1859 Dunant, a Swiss national, witnessed the horrifying aftermath of the Battle of Solferino - a fierce and bloody conflict in Northern Italy between 300,000 soldiers, among them ten thousand Czechs and Slovaks, from Imperial Austria and the Franco-Sardinian Alliance. Convinced that the power of humanity could be engaged to alleviate suffering and distress on a global scale, Dunant founded the International Committee of the Red Cross in October 1863.

Typically, each donated unit of blood - referred to as whole blood - is separated into multiple components, such as red blood cells, plasma, platelets, and cryoprecipatitated AHF (antihemophilic factor). Each component can be transfused to different individuals with different needs. Therefore, each donation can be used to help save as many as three lives.

In a quirky twist the agency and crew behind the Australian Red Cross’ new TVC also star in the ad ...
Do as we do: BMF art director Andrew Ostrom gives blood in the new Red Cross ad ; [credits: Red Cross ; One enchanted evening... ; To purchase tables please contact Robyn Dinners on 02 9699 2000, robynd@marksonsparks.com, or visit www.marksonsparks.com and click on 'One Enchanted Royal Evening'. www.marksonsparks.com ; There may be no greater act of bravery for someone with a fear of needles than to donate blood. Of course, it's this kind of giving that is so important to maintaining the Red Cross's life-saving stocks. In many ways giving blood is like blogging. I assume that is why not many politicians give blood or blog on a regular basis ... Icon links to Red Cross ]
• · Brett Sheehy can be proud of his four years in the Sydney Festival director's seat Thanks for the memories
• · · He is the all-time giant of Russian literature, who shaped the literary heritage of the world’s biggest country. But now Alexander Pushkin’s legacy is in danger of being tainted by an argument over whether some of his early work is pornographic, and whether his ‘adult verses’ even came from the pen of the ‘National Poet’. Russian literary giant Pushkin labelled as a peddler of porn
• · · · Christopher MacLehose warns, 'Publishers are sheep. They think: something is going on in Japan. They're right. But there has always been something going on in Japan. Lonely pleasures of fiction from Toky
• · · · · Claudia Karvan is considering a leading role in Footy Legends, the feature film that is expected to propel director Khoa Do towards mainstream success. Do, who was celebrating his award as Young Australian of the Year last week, has pulled together a promising potential cast for his new movie - the follow-up to his critically acclaimed independent film The Finished People. Footy Legends
• · · · · · For a rather long time now -- approximately, since the Berlin Wall came down, the name Durs Grünbein (b. 1962) has been the answer to the question: who's the leading young poet in Germany ? From The burning issue in The Guardian by James Fenton

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The danger of hyping a good thing into the ground. Slate's Shafer likes to think of himself as a slow blogger

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Blog Overkill

Chill, blogophiles; you're not the first to do what you're doing. Thomas Paine was basically a blogger — in 1776

Sometimes I'm so slow -- as this Wednesday dispatch from a Friday-Saturday ["Blogging, Journalism, and Credibility"] conference proves -- that I resemble a conventional journalist," says Jack Shafer. He writes: "The premature triumphalism of some bloggers indicates that they haven't paid attention to how Webified journalists have become. They also ignore media history. New media technologies almost never replace old media technologies, they merely force old technologies to adapt and find new ways to connect with their audiences

Jeez. Take a pill, all you blogomaniacs [Jay Rosen - It’s Decency Jack Shafer Lacks. ; grooming - More sources are great, but we need to arrange them better]
• · Jill Abramson writes after attending the blogging conference: Big Wigs From the Blogging & Journalism Conference Say What They Found; [Rick Edmonds : Not so long ago -- three or four years -- online operations were a business afterthought at newspapers. Revenues from the sites were tiny, one percent or less of the total.An Online Rescue for Newpapers? ]
• · · I try to look at big issues that I don’t think are being well covered and then cover them," he says. Taxes was just one of the big issues I looked at and said, boy this is just not well covered at all. David Cay Johnsto: doing investigative work his entire life ; [When is a multi million dollar organization forced to react to a rag-tag group of bloggers "waging politics online? Rat Bags ]
• · · · Cash For Comment; Ministerial Positions for Great Spins: Now that two syndicated columnists have admitted taking government money for promoting certain points of view, is the growing scrutiny of all commentators long overdue? Pundit Payola: Williams, Gallagher Were Wrong, But What's Right?
• · · · · The Imagining the Internet Predictions Database examines the potential future of the Internet while simultaneously providing a peek back into its history Searchable and browsable database of over 4000 predictions made about the Internet ; [A new First Amendment Center Online research compilation examines the ins and outs of filing requests for government information Freedom of Information Database ]
• · · · · · I'm often asked how I stay motivated to blog every day (well, almost every day). I tell them that if you have a passion for something, then the motivation will just come naturally Staying Motivated ; [Critics and supporters debate success of fast-rising PublishAmerica Self Marketing Void]

We like to believe in progress, but the truth is that the electronic age may be just a return of the manuscript age, and the print age may come to be seen as a 500 year abberation -- an island of fixity in an ocean of loss.
-Michael Gorman

A multi-million pound lottery grant has secured for Scotland the most important literary archive to become available in the last 100 years. Lottery saves literary who's who
Over 3000 visitors to a Washington DC arts festival picked up postcards (just like this one) inviting them to share a secret anonymously

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Editors: there is no Gentleman's Safety Net
M .J. Rose's January at Buzz Balls & Hype presents what, for Mad Max a heartbreaking letter from an anonymous
literary writer.
Dynamite Dexter, Sad Saxe and many others out there may not admire Dan Brown's THE DA VINCI CODE.

But what started the fire that lead to TDVC becoming one of (if not the) bestselling hardcovers in modern history was not some by-the-numbers calculation by some hooded group of marketing executives, but the passion--yes, I'll say it again: the PASSION, and follow-through, of one editor; of his belief in an author's talent; of his confidence that the author had a book in him that could catch fire at a larger level.
If Jason Kaufman had NOT taken Dan Brown with him to Doubleday; if another editor, equally smart and talented but perhaps less personally invested in Dan's career--me, say--had inherited, edited and published it, THE DA VINCI CODE almost certainly would not have become anything like the phenomenon we all know it to be now.

An editor's passion guarantees NOTHING--except, perhaps, an honest chance [The Quills Awards are a consumer-driven celebration of the written word created to inspire reading while promoting literacy ; Wait. Let me get this straight Flickr coincidence; Wikipedia: Unusual articles ]
• · Prague's leading-locale status for Hollywood films is under threat unless government does more to keep them here, say producers Lights, camera, inaction; [The self-published books that go on to become bestsellers are few, but they never cease to inspire ; Self-publishing companies are in the business of selling dreams. But what if the dream becomes a nightmare? ]
• · · Every day for eight months Tomas Radil cheated death Dark humor marks concentration camp survivor's tale ; [The imminent return of Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib has sparked a debate over anti-terror laws which could stop him from making money from selling his story. Proceeds of criminal legislation may well cover any payment to him ]
• · · · Hottest Young Screenwriter: Stuart Beattie: On his way home from the airport to his home in Sydney, Stuart Beattie had a homicidal thought while sitting in the backseat of the taxi... First Novel: A 35-Year Literary Odyssey ; [THE ULTIMATE SCREENWRITING EXPERIENCE SINCE 1996 ]
• · · · · Roll out the red carpet: the publishing industry is trying to apply some glitter to its image with a new book awards program that is a cross between the Oscars and the People's Choice Awards. Quills Literacy Foundation ; [Steve Martin ]
• · · · · · My auntie was married to Jozef Slivka: I'm interested in human culture, what we do, where we have been, what we have left behind, what we have learned or not learned from past experiences. Ruins are a window into human histories, they tell the stories of the past through the stark presence of objects and architectures. An Exhibit of Judaica in honor of the opening of the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale

Friday, January 28, 2005

Congratulations to the winners of 2005 Best Media Dragons Overall: Australian Blog Awards Reasons You Will Hate Me
And the First Annual Best of Blog (BoB) Awards!
Confessions of sore tropical winner/loser Parish

Dylanesque times at the Blue Mountains:
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide,
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who that it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The River is Real, the Word is still Fake
The world has, to its shame, failed more than once to prevent or halt genocide - for instance in Cambodia, in Rwanda, and in the former Yugoslavia

The world has not absorbed the lessons of the Holocaust, and genocide occurs today as if it had never happened. That was the message delivered to a historic session of the United Nations on Monday by the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, and the Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, who is a Holocaust survivor.

Sixty years on, lessons of Holocaust ignored [A 'Tsunami' in Private Giving This shameful indifference we must remember ; High Hopes, Hard Facts For the dead it is too late, but it is not too late for today's children, ours and yours ]
• · Simple things should be simple. Complex things should be possible. -Alan Kay If you stumbled out of bed in the dark this morning, fell over the cat, found no milk in the fridge for your porridge, had a row with your partner, received a rude letter from the bank, got covered in snow at the bus stop and finally arrived at work in time to be made redundant, you will already know that today is the most depressing day of the year. It's The Moustache That Matters; [New beginnings: Sometimes I look at taxes similarly Left Brain Matters: Telling the Tax Story; My old work address in Manhattan (45th and Madison) has 169 stores within 5 miles. Put your address into the Starbucks locator and see what your Starbucks density is.Ashes to Ashes ]
• · · Tim Porter: After a road trip, it takes me a while to get caught up on my reading, electronic and other. Here's what caught my eye: Reading List: Bloggers, Economics, Humans and Pogo ; [Movies. No matter their theme, budget, or cast, they all start out in pretty much the same way. They start out with dreamers—just like you—sitting in darkened theaters around the world and imagining what it would be like to see their names scrolling up the credits after the words The Year of the Screenplay]
• · · · Google headhunting Ben Goodger Dragon and Fox Fire; [Google and the Video ]
• · · · · You and Jack Benny taught me about generosity toward other comedians, about the appreciation of the plight of the pro, as valuable as any lessons I ever learned. The Man in Front of the Curtain
• · · · · · When I have one martini, I feel bigger, wiser, taller. When I have the second, I feel superlative. When I have more, there's no holding me; William Faulkner
Fear not, faithful Mac believers. We have found it. We have found what seems to be the only copy of a public TV broadcast on that very day. It was recorded and preserved by Scott Knaster, the "legendary Mac hacker", as Amazon puts it. There is no holding the Apple: EveMac Coming Soon

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Mark your diaries as many gurus from different corners of the world will be sharing their stories at Blogtalk Downunder Conference which will be held in Sydney, Australia from May 19th-22. The conference will be hosted by the UTS Centre for Language and Literacy. Also note that Conference organizers are accepting submissions of abstracts until the end of next week and papers by 28 February Among the drawcards are Mark Bernstein whose essay is the biggest hit at the moment Writing for the Living Web. Another speaker was named in UK as one of the Web's "Hot Faces" (right between Beck and Bowie), and Sweden's Internet World ranked her as one of the world's Top Ten Bloggers. She was once Goth Babe of the Week. Rebecca Blood draws karma and cool crowds. The superstar status goes to Thomas N. Burg, the founder of Blogtalk. Thomas, who swims and lectures at the Danube University Krems, had to issue a press release stating that the Conference was not held in Austria but in Australia. Krems is a delightful city a shortish drive (by Australian standards 80 km) from Vienna or Morava River.

The Blog, The Press, The Media: A Question of Detail and Trust
Richard Lambert discusses the state of journalism in Britain. His general drift is that media businesses should operate with to the same sort of standards for corporate responsibility that are set for other institutions

Although most media groups are happy to make high-minded statements about their commitment to their viewers and readers, only a very few take their corporate responsibilities seriously enough to spell them out in detail, and to disclose the standards against which their editorial decisions should be judged.
Even fewer then report back on how well they have met their key performance indicators. The oil and the chemical industries have not been able to get away with behaviour like this. Why should the media be different?

The media is owned. The blogosphere isn't. We together are building it. The media have to try to get us interested in what they do, but the blogosphere is constructed out of our interests. It's ours not (just) in the sense of ownership but in the sense of what we care about and what we are.
• Guardian Media No String Attached [Credits: Onora O'Neill challenges current approaches to accountability, investigates sources of deception in our society and re-examines questions of press freedom. ; The Encyclopedia Britannica is a $350M operation, but Wikipedia is kicking its butt without having a single employee ]
• · Newspapers that charge for their sites
• · · My very great mate Verne Kopytoff of Chronicle fame writes: Before the southern Asian tsunami hit, the PunditGuy blog was an Internet unknown. But after its owner posted video clips of waves turning buildings into splinters, the Web site's modest traffic leaped 500-fold. Bill Nienhuis: Web logs come of age as source of news ; Bloggies 2005
• · · · Photos from Iraq via bloggers
• · · · · Blogging continues its march on the mainstream. It's considered essential to consume a steady diet of weblogs to keep up with what's hot on the Web. Blogger at Work ; [Buzz Index ]
• · · · · · Google revolutionised the internet. Now it is hoping to do the same with our phones. Clearest and sweetest sound on earth coming near you soon Google gears up for a free-phone challenge to BT ; [Google greatly advances its web search by raising the word limit to 32 words. It almost accommodates every letter in the Slavic Alphabet ]

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Flourish a sprig of wattle. Bone up on the lyrics of the national anthem ...

One of us wants to write, one of us wants to sing, one of us wants to get exceptionally fit. One of us wants find enduring love in another. One of us wants to draw and paint and sculpt and take photographs. One of us wants to do absolutely nothing... Link of Medlow Bath fame: the divided River of US

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: We Are All New Australians
As one of the Czech mates once said, after a few glasses of Becherovka, You know we are all Australian some new some old, but some of us were just born in wrong places.

The Governor-General, Major-General Michael Jeffery, has called for school children to be taught Aboriginal culture to better understand Australian history.
He flagged the idea yesterday during a dawn ceremony at Uluru to kick off the week's Australia Day celebrations. He said it was important all Australians learned more about Aboriginal culture and urged education authorities to introduce a uniform indigenous culture curriculum. Major-General Jeffery said he had a strong desire to see the best aspects of Aboriginal culture being enshrined in our education system.

My city of exiles, Sydney, is a place of multiple identities, where one in four residents were born in wrong places and more than 140 languages are spoken, no matter how tragically. The Museum of Sydney, corner of Phillip and Bridge street, a stone throw away from the Circular Quay brought all the questions what this dynamoic city ultimately will mean to our children and each of us alive and dead. Czech it out...
Australia did not rise from the ashes of revolution or civil war. Aside from Anzac Day, which carries a solemn significance unsuited to a day of celebration, there is no momentous event that serves to galvanise national pride. January 26 commemorates the day Governor Arthur Phillip sailed into Sydney Cove in 1788 with a fleet of convict ships and colonised the fifth continent in the name of a British monarch.
Of greater import is the fact that the founding of our first city entailed the subjugation of the indigenous population by a European civilisation. For Aboriginal Australians, January 26 is not, and will never be, a day of celebration.
Many cultures and Australia Day [Goggle of Uluru; Australia Day was an opportunity to acknowledge the country's generosity of spirit in response to the Asian tsunami disaster Australia Day about friendship ]
• · Boy, was I wrong. Or more precisely, ignorant about how to tell the world that the book is out! When writers and would-be writers asked him to read and comment on their work, William Faulkner used to tell them that he only read the bible—a lie finer by far than those of which blurbs are made Blurbs for Goops: It Happened One Night Cold River Came Out ; [A review of books on copyright ; Many things in the world have not been named; and many things, even if they have been named, have never been catalogued. For book lovers: Readerware: because Cataloguing and Reading Is Sexy; -) ]
• · · Police believe the Sydney home of Nicole Kidman may have been bugged following the discovery of a listening device opposite her Bugging Nicki Darling Point mansion bugged; [Monk used in net sex sting; Moviegoers can thank Austin Powers for killing off the martini-quaffing sexoholic The silly spy whose mojo overpowered James Bond; New device to treat chronic pain also brings pleasure to his female patients Freud of Orgasmatron ]
• · · · A new documentary hitting video store shelves this year may explain why Cold River is No Longer An Oprah Favorite. I get paid for being myself on television, and that connects to a lot of people because people see themselves in me All About Oprah Inc. ; Who tells Oprah "no"?
• · · · · Prof John Sutherland Booker chairman `gags himself ' until winner is named ; As longtime readers know, we're not only interested in what's happening every day, but in how traditional news organizations decide what to cover. Ooooh Index of controversiality by Comrade Mikhail Gronas
• · · · · · Publishing ideas come and go in such fleeting fashion ... New York publisher faces fierce opposition to al-Qa'eda tome ; Pick up a Penguin? Not easy these days. But with walk-in bookshops doomed, soon it will be hard to pick up anything. Penguin books were scarcer than Penguin's teeth. No more bookshop idyll ]

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Inauguration Blog Images 2005 Majestic Austrio-Hungarian, Roman, Empire Scenes

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Bos(to)nians Not Outraged by NYT Co.-Metro Deal
Boston Globe Globe ombud Christine Chinlund says she's received just seven e-mails and one phone call about the New York Times Co.'s plan to buy part of Boston Metro.

Maybe the racial slurs used by Metro execs were an aberration -- but maybe not, she writes. The Globe and its Times Co. parent need to find out before they buy in to the operation, she adds. "If they find something systemically rotten, the deal should be canceled. If there are no new revelations, and a clear promise to do better, there may still be an argument for getting out -- but perhaps a better one for staying in

Okrent: Circ story could have been more candid re NYT's practices (NYT); Seattle Times editor: We're forced to make painful cuts in content (ST); TV section cutbacks anger some Akron Beacon Journal readers (ABJ); Getler says WP did the right thing in re-reporting Hanna story (WP); Clark says the ethics code is taken seriously at the Times-Union (FT-U); Oregonian's '04 errors included misreporting first publisher's name (O); Some papers have databases that track and categorize errors (SacBee); San Diego Union-Tribune offers survey on controversial photos (SDU-T) [Credits: still life - Romenesko ]
• · If you're reading this, I have already looked upon the face of God. And I pray that he has nodded his head in a positive way. In my last days, cancer changed me. I believe it made me a better man. It brought me closer to my wife and daughter. It made me more compassionate to mankind Lifelong dream ends in final column But maybe I can hear a few prayers coming my way, writes ; John Whiteside, who died over the weekend Words on the Whiteside of Life ; [Reading their stories on rather regular basis, I feel I knew these writers Ex-Boston Globe columnist Nyhan dies after shoveling snow ]
• · · No Place to Hide: America's New Surveillance Society: New Brave Digital World; [Beheading the Messenger... ; Photoblog: Student's provocative pictures of dorm life lead to his eviction and fuel discussion over a photojournalist's rights and responsibilities]
• · · · Johnny Carson and An Era Remembered ; [via Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc. ]
• · · · · Why am I bidding Op-Ed readers farewell today after more than 3,000 columns? Two bits of counsel might help explain the path I'm now taking A Columnist’s Farewell; [At last I am at liberty to vouchsafe to you the dozen rules in reading a political column: Beware the pundit's device of using a quotation from a liberal opposition figure to make a conservative case, and vice versa... Never look for the story in the lede... Do not be taken in by insiderisms: Where they lede, do not follow]
• · · · · · Blogging pioneers unite in online journal boom ; Bill Ives Searches High and Low on the Blogging Ground ; [Rather than competing for audience, the increasing synergies between movies and games are delivering big returns Joining Forces]

Ministers of course have a whole range of dazzling qualities including ... um ... well, including an enviable intellectual suppleness and moral manoeuvrability.
- Sir Humphrey, The Death List (Yes Minister / PM series)

The real power of Jazz... is that a group of people can come together and create... improvised art and negotiate their agendas... and that negotiation is the art
- Wynton Marsalis from 'Jazz, a film by Ken Burns.'

If you gotta ask what kind of jazz and blogging Backpages is passionate about you just have to open the pages of the Sydney Morning Herald or Wrong Side of Death...
When Alice Walker was eight, growing up in Georgia, her brother shot her in the eye while playing with a pellet gun. A passing white motorist in the Jim Crow South refused to stop, and by the time she reached a doctor, her right eye was blind. Yet she came to see the wound as a gift. On a spiritual level it's as though with my sighted eye I see what's before me, and with my unsighted eye I see what's hidden. It's illuminated life more than darkened it. Redemption songs
You really don't understand the internet until you understand blogging craze for folklore music. Once you do, then you should have a conference on blogging ... William Hung has met his match and the unstoppable NumaNumania continues as even the Japanese get into the game. This is something from Vychodna Folkloric Festival held each year in July. Words like 'Dragostea din tei' or 'Love in the lime-tree' and nu m iei 'you don't take me away with you' rock Wanna sing??? Dragostea Din Tei (Romanian Macarena Gypsy song on the lips all over the world: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference especially if they make you laugh!)

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The Double Dragon: Someone Had to Sing it
You know a dream is like a river, ever changing as it flows.

And a dreamer's just a vessel that must follow where it goes.
Trying to learn from what's behind you and never knowing what's in store
makes each day a constant battle just to stay between the shores.
And I will sail my vessel 'til the river runs dry.
Like a bird upon the wind, these waters are my sky.
I'll never reach my destination if I never try,
So I will sail my vessel 'til the river runs dry.

Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tides. [credits: write locally; publish globally I'll never reach my destination if I never try; Hornby's love of reading, flair for writing There's bound to be rough waters, and I know I'll take some falls ]
• · Man reduced to nothing, to being a mere survivor, is not tragic but comic, since he has no fate. Imre Kertész’s bleak vision Beyond Good and Evil ; [Love for Sale: A Global History of Prostitution For the words of the prophets were written on the Iron walls ...]
• · · Here it is again, that great Aussie trumpet blown so powerfully that the rest of the world drowns in the spittle. Australia stops our feet from getting wet. That's it [ The Sundance Film Festival Independents turn in the sun, and Hollywood takes note ; At a nation's heart: Dance as if no one's watching. Love as if you'll never get hurt. Sing as if no one's listening. And live like heaven on earth. Mexico's best-known painters did more than create great works of art - they helped define a nation Walls of fame]
• · · · A previously unknown 1892 novel by McCullogh, which tells the tale of a man who sleeps until 2000... [is titled] 'Golf in the Year 2000, or What We Are Coming To,' and predicted the advent of both golf carts and golf professionals... Other ideas were the digital watch, high-speed bullet trains, working women who dressed like men and a large glass screen that plays images, much like a television. Book of Predictions 1892; Northern Tanganyika 1953, the year Aga was born The Lesson is We can All Be Subhuman
• · · · · A study into the case of a statue of the Madonna reported to have shed tears of blood a decade ago near Rome concluded the event has no human explanation. There's the hand of G-d here Tears 'beyond human explanation' ; [Gloria Steinem surprised the world when, at 66, she signed up for an institution she had spent previous decades attacking: marriage 'Feminism? It's hardly begun ]
• · · · · · A Czech man is being taken to court after he hid in a restaurant bathroom until the employees had left and then hooked up beer kegs directly to his mouth. This is almost as good as winning the race number 13 during the Bondi Iceberg season. Your handicap is your strength or weakness. A tall man with a glass eye who holds a record by drowning 256 beer in a week was known around the Iceberg Club as Lofty. Being fit is not always an advantage ;-) Only in Moravia: Man from Morava River hides out to scull kegs; [Over a year, a family of four spends around $4,135 on alcohol, guzzling on average 44 slabs of beer, 14 bottles of spirits and 77 bottles of wine]

Monday, January 24, 2005

Is Anyone in America Not Writing a Screenplay? Weekend in the Blogosphere

The Blog, The Press, The Media: My Yahoo Ticker: Controversy opens Harvard blog meet
An invited group of bloggers and journalists began a two-day conference Friday morning at Harvard University amid cold weather (3 degrees) and controversy.

Alex Jones, head of Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, acknowledged "contentious" comments have been made about the event's guest list of about 50 people.
Among the critics was a conservative blogger who said the meeting "is a hopelessly biased group of center-left academics/journalists who are once again getting overwhelmed by the marketplace." That statement was made to Ed Cone, one of the conference's participants.

• I see it as a chance for a handful of bloggers who get journalism and journos (journalists) who get blogging to explain this real slow to the journos who don't get it yet [Credits: still life - Blog here, blog there, blogs are everywhere ; grooming - The Ethics AdviceLine for Journalists]
• · Strange what people find interesting. My excuse is that I crossed the Iron Curtain: Follow the same rules as one would walking down the street: Don't make eye contact with someone who seems crazy: When Bloggers Make News: As Their Clout Increases ... ; [Why credibility matters even if you write for free Blog nice, everyone; Listen to the "Blogging, Journalism & Credibility" conference (BJ&C) ]
• · · Media Matters’ chart showing the relative numbers of liberal and right-wing commentators deployed in the cable networks’ inaugural coverage No room for progressives on cable news inauguration coverage ; [Maine newsman who uncovered Bush DWI is now a trucker ]
• · · · SIliconValleyWatcher has the scoop: Google is opening up API support for AdWords. [Isohunt is a BitTorrent search engine, one of the many sites the MPAA is attempting to scare and/or litigate out of business. But the fellow behind Isohunt isn't folding his tent and going home, he's fighting ]
• · · · · Senators trying new communications tool: Blogs
• · · · · ·
Blog Search Engine Boosts Traffic and Searces Via New Toolbar

Hence the despotic and all-absorbing power of art, as also its astonishing power of soothing: it frees from every human care, it establishes the artifex, artist or artisan, in a world apart, cloistered, defined and absolute, in which to devote all the strength and intelligence of his manhood to the service of the thing which he is making. This is true of every art; the ennui of living and willing ceases on the threshold of every studio or workshop.
-Jacques Maritain, Art and Scholasticism
Lets be friends ;-)

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Mes llibres, mes lliures means (roughly) More books, More freedoms
Born, alas, in an evil time,
I missed that pleasant haven,
For the hair has grown on my upper lip
And the clergy are all clean-shaven

On this day in 1950 George Orwell died, aged forty-six. Whatever Orwell achieved in his last years seems over-balanced by what he suffered. Against the acclaim earned by the two famous novels -- Animal Farm in 1945 and 1984 just seven months before Orwell died -- stands a withering series of personal challenges. In 1945, a little more than a year after their adoption of a one-month-old boy (their only child), Orwell's wife died on the operating table

Orwell on Orwell [That you can't have it both ways?What are the flour and salt, and what is the fool's mistake? ; Natural Phenomena Named After Frank Zappa ]
• · Dearth of Slovak on contemporary Czech TV a pity, says Czech language expert Prior to the split of Czechoslovakia, Czechs and Slovaks understand one another's languages without any difficulties whatsoever; [At Lunch with John Grisham: The Lawyer Enters a Plea of Lucky]
• · · Right now most of you feel your job in life is to be a promising college applicant. But that means you're designing your life to satisfy a process so mindless that there's a whole industry devoted to subverting it. No wonder you become cynical. The malaise you feel is the same that a producer of reality TV shows or a tobacco industry executive feels. And you don't even get paid a lot. What You'll Wish You'd Known
• · · · Sponsored by the Darker Side of River - Powell.com: Too often are literary awards arbitrary, dull, or meaningless. Too rarely are they determined by an NCAA-style Battle Royale of bloodthirsty competition. It’s time for a change. Rosecrans Baldwin and Kevin Guilfoile announce The First Annual TMN Tournament of Books The Rooster, The Dragon ... ; [Czech born Tomas Straussler or Tom Stoppard and London Library” The library I love ]
• · · · · Phaswane Mpe, who died late last year at 34. If I’m carrying a lot of money, I’ll carry it in a book. For some reason criminals don’t like books," he laughed. "There was one day, I had just come back from Germany, where I received a stipend, so I ended up not having to use my own money. I had about €1 000. I carried it inside The Tin Drum by Günter Grass, which I was reading at the time, and walked quite safely to deposit it in the bank Among much else, it shows one of the advantages of literature not being highly regarded by one and all; [ via Literary Saloon
• · · · · · Like the little gural of Tatranka folkloric fame, whistling children save ancient language Silbo, the ancient whistle language native to one of the Canary Islands ; [What is your ancient Element? Air like me?; Shorter than Czar Peter the Great or Thomas Wolfe but taller than Gene Roddenberry How tall are you? 188cm or 6’2?]

Sunday, January 23, 2005

[Television] business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side ...
Hunter S. Thompson

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Winter of Black Art: What women want
It is summer of 2005 and the unthinkable has happened in Australian television. The landscape of our vision will be without the benefit of Jim Waley. Numero 1, veteran Jim, has been reporting and presenting news and current affairs since beginning his career as a cadet journalist in regional radio and television even before the the Prague Spring of 1968 and even before Mark Ferguson was born. Channel Nine will be like a channel, the deeper part of waterway, without water or opera without the songs those operatic, fat, old man sing.

Sixty is old in terms of the way of thinking of Kerry Packer (around 68), Nine CEO, David Gyngell (early 40s) and John Alexander, the CEO of PBL, who's around 54!
So what about those older people on air: Peter Harvey in the Sydney newsroom, Laurie Oakes from Canberra, Jana Wendt and Helen Dalley, are their times up?
Laurie Oakes would be the last person to be flicked by Nine, if there's any sense still left at Willoughby. He brings credibility to Nine News, and The Bulletin at ACP. Without him they would struggling.

Like being surrounded by vultures: Yes, we're in a war. We have our armies and weapons. They have their armies and their weapons and you look at it as two armies at war. The spokesman was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald Friday as saying Jim Waley was not ' dumped' but could not say what his future with Nine would be. Jim Waley has been dumped as presenter of Channel Nine's 6pm news bulletin, to be replaced by his understudy, Mark Ferguson. It's like we haven't come out of the barbarian age
• Prefering to tread water Marking Jim [Credits: television life - 'Where Thieves and Pimps Run Free...' ; grooming - Waley and Nine's youth obsession]
• · A blog isn't any one thing for people, but I do like the idea of a blog as a house -- or as the facade of the house that says something about the person inside; or its front porch. I keep all sorts of stuff here, and there is even more on the inside. Colourfull thoughts on blogs by Stuart Henshall Giving Up Traditional Blogging [We’re taking suggestions: What does liberalism stand for? Anybody who's ever had to raise money knows the meaning of the phrase "elevator pitch": You're in an elevator with a potential moneybags, and you have, say, seven floors to tell him why he should write you a czech ... The Liberal Media Agenda; This did not necessarily make the backlash more palatable or justifiable. The backlash is something rightwing people do. Like "kempt hair" and "couth behaviour", references to a "leftwing backlash" are rare indeed But the notion that a backlash from the right should first be provoked by a lash from the left certainly made the backlash more logical]
• · · Amid the media din about the tsunami, Dan Rather's implosion, and the usual grim news from Iraq, an amazing story has been unfolding — but has received scant appreciation from the chattering classes. Democracy is on the march. The Right Side of Media story ; [It's a good time to step back and examine a commonly argued, yet totally fallacious, concept from left and right and beyond Any Way You Look At It, You Lose]
• · · · The backstage peek may comfort many of us who wish we spoke as clearly as NPR interviewers and guests. On the other hand, it might disturb folks who think they're hearing exactly what was said. Pulling Back the Curtain ; [Vandalism more likely than data harvesting says administra Australian company takes blame for Panix domain hijack ]
• · · · · Daughters of the 1950s political prisoners remain silent. This is unfortunate for them -- and for society at large. Being the daughter of a political prisoner during the 1950s in Czechoslovakia meant being "bad." After all, the family of a political prisoner was considered unworthy to coexist within communist society. The sustained silence surrounding the experiences of the "daughters of the enemy" suggests that the true horror, or irony, of their situation may never be heard. Silence of the Political Lamb ; [Our Stories ; Killings on Czechoslovak border during Communist era examined in new report ]
• · · · · · I've been following some of the coverage of the Blog Credibility Conference Change is gonna come ; [Notes on Harvard Journalism/Blogging Conference ; After spending $170 million to create a program that would give agents ready access to information on suspected terrorists, the bureau admitted last week that it's not even close to having a working system. In fact, FBI may have to start from scratch. ]

I want you to know you are looking at a blanket woven from human hair, made for the Nazis in Auschwitz. It was the only thing I had when repatriated back to Czechoslovakia.
The blanket is Horak's Auschwitz. Time has worn it down and dirt has been washed away, but stains persist.
I still don't touch it now. Maybe by washing it in shampoo I was able to wash out the basic filth, the filth you can touch, but as for the emotional filth - I don't think so.
You can't get rid of Auschwitz. Never (Horak derives from a word Mountain in Slavic)

This weekend John McDonald, who is the new Sydney Morning Herald’s visual art critic, serves a thought provoking essay on page 9 (not on line yet) in the section of Spectrum 22 January 2005. John argues that civilised society relies on its rule-breakers. It is one of history’s ironies that the barbarity of terrorism seems to licence barbarous acts on behalf of the civilised world, aas demonstrated by the premeditated abuses of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, let alone the ongoing carnage in Iraq. In Australia, refugees and asylumn-seekers are treated as barbarians, as a threat to our civilisation that has to be kept behind bars.
Who are today’s barbarians?
When anthropologists asked this question in 1971, the most popular candidates were politicians. They were felt to be duplicitous and opportunistic: laying down rules for everyone, and constantly breaking them...
Here’s the paradox: As long as we are in the dark, blind to our source, we remain the ‘lowest world’, a world of darkness, suffering and evil.

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: God's Hand: Wait and See
Human success at social cooperation results from three distinct personality types: Cooperators, Free Riders, and Reciprocators

Whether it is barn-raising or crafting a business plan, humans are among the few creatures that are able to work well cooperatively. According to an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, our success at cooperation results from three distinct personality types.
In any given group of people, youl find three kinds of people: Cooperators, Free Riders, and what we call Reciprocators. Cooperators do the most work and Free Riders do as little as possible, but most of us are Reciprocators. We hold back a bit to determine the chances of success before devoting our full energy to a project. We found that these traits remained fairly stable among people, and you could reliably predict how a group might perform if you know the percentage of each type of person in that group.

Who We Are When We Work Together [credits: His name is synonymous with Cold River: He's just not that into you if he only wants to see you when he's drunk Losing Mr. Wrong ; Human communication proceeds from two fundamental assumptions - that the people you interact with are both co-operative and truthful in intent Admit it, the truth is in denial ]
• · David Dale nominates the country's genuinely real Australian idols - the top 50 who, for better or worse, really matter to the world. New Advanced Australians; [Can we talk about sex differences in math and science aptitude without yelling? The New Advanced Sex Scorecard ]
• · · Words may be a clue to how people, regardless of their language, think about and process emotions Slavic Languages may be clue to all emotions ; [ And a proverb a day may make you healthier ; Children love to be alone, because alone is where they know themselves, and where they dream. Roger Rosenblatt]
• · · · The ability to perceive or think differently is more important than the knowledge gained.David Bohm: Dumbed down and robbed of the old taboos, contemporary art has lost its ability to move or stimulate us, writes John McDonald. The battlelines were drawn when Ivan Massow, the chairman of London's Institute of Contemporary Art, described much of the work shown in the gallery as pretentious, self-indulgent, craftless tat that I wouldn't even accept as a gift
• · · · · The masks of Malawi They know their own culture is disappearing ; Guggenheim's global vision costs it a benefactor
• · · · · · The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination. Elizabeth Hardwick: I think there is a little battle just beginning between people who are social scientists and passionate about understanding the mind, yet who are creative and write stories, versus 'writers' without such a knowledge or drive to understand our human nature in such a particular way Evolutionary fiction-fiction that is informed and written through the lens of an evolutionary understanding of human nature-is better ; [Problems with the "missing link" evidence: On the level of Wisdom, past, present and future have not yet been separated Hence, on this level, one can see the future just like the past and present Kabbala was the key for Albert. Nowhere have the celebrations of Albert Einstein's life provoked as much tortuous soul-searching as in Germany ]

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Cory Doctorow found himself asked for a list of the names and addresses of every single person with whom he’d be staying in the U.S.
Doctorow sounds Rather Russian

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Either a Predator or Target: Publisher Out of a Bind
Bloggers and media in historical discussion about the end of objectivity ...

John Fairfax Holdings clearly wants to be a predator in the wake of any relaxation of Australia's media ownership laws

A truck driver walks into the restaurant and orders a hamburger, a cup of coffee and a piece of pie.
As he sits down to eat, three rough looking bikers also come in. One grabs his hamburger and begins to eat it. Another picks up his coffee and spills it on the floor. The third one takes a bite out of his pie, then mashes the rest on the plate.
The truck driver says nothing, gets up, pays the cashier and leaves. One of the three bikers turns to the cashier and says:
"Not much of a man, is he?"
"Not much of a driver, either", said the cashier. "he just ran his truck over three motorcycles."
Moral of the story? First, action speaks louder than words. Second, a smart person will choose his own field of battle. The field where the odds are better.
Fairfax tries predatory role: analyst [Credits: spying life - This Sydney institution is still a place to plot and to spy (and be spied upon) Fit for a Prince ; machiavelli grooming - John Laws, John Howard, Jeff Kennett, James Packer, Gough Whitlam, Graham Richardson, Mark Taylor, Bob Carr, Peter Collins, Bob Muscat, Trevor Kennedy, Ita Buttrose, Liz Hayes, Stephen Loosley, Carla Zampatti, Mike Munro, Nick Whitlam, Barry Humphries, John Singleton, Bruce Gyngell and Anne Fulwood. Trevor Sykes noted this week how the media world was too small. Fairfax directors Ron Walker and Mark Burrows lunched at Machiavelli restaurant in Sydney, while at an adjacant table sat Kerry Packer and son James with their investment guru Ashok Jacob. Machiavelli Ristorante Italiano]
• · I don't think Belle de Jour is a call-girl. I don't think he's even a woman A real sex scandal; [Print it out, send it to Harry Reid, or just read it and weep. Sydney might have 34 surf beaches, but Salon has compiled 34 scandals from the first four years of George W. Bush's presidency -- every one of them worse than Whitewater. Surf the scandal sheet; Every month it shows up in the list of top page views Free Porn Magic for You! ; Czech Composers Free Porn ]
• · · They threatened to run for the border if Bush was re-elected. But how many did? Today, as the President is sworn in on the steps of the Capitol, Andrew Buncombe meets the Americans who are choosing to begin new lives in self-imposed exile Vesely in Slavic languages means "cheerful" or “joyfull”
• · · · In her charming, "Mash Note to the Blogosphere," Arianna Huffington writes: "When bloggers decide that something matters, they chomp down hard and refuse to let go. They're the true pit bulls of reporting. The only way to get them off a story is to cut off their heads (and even then you'll need to pry their jaws open)." Charming, right? Mash Note ; further developed by Jay Rosen ; [Like It or Not, Blogs Have Legs]
• · · · · It’s one thing to have people looking at your sex tapes, but having people reading your personal e-mails is a real invasion of privacy Defining privacy: Paris Hilton’s Blackberry was hacked ; [Google Page Ranking ; Blogging, Journalism & Credibility ]
• · · · · · Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal Nancy McKinstry; Member of Wolters Kluwer Executive Board discusses transformation into information and solutions provider. The company’s role is to help filter the relevant content and deliver it in an easy format. Professionals need to be able to digest information in a certain way, so while the internet gave us the growth in information what we hear them to say is help me understand what is important. Paying close attention to the local market is what sets the company apart from its competitors. Our approach is to leverage things that customers do not see Content is King: CCH Publishing

Death, with its undercurrents of farce, is brought to mind in Simon McBurney, Marcello Magni and Jozef Houben's A Minute Too Late. The production might be described as a kind of fantasia on the idea of dying. Simon, aptly characterised by the critic Michael Kustow as "a compendium of our clumsiness in the face of death", meets up with undertaker Jozef, is offered a lift and is borne away in a hearse, its back seat occupied by a splayed corpse. As in the Fawlty Towers episode where the dead guest that Basil is trying to smuggle out of the hotel becomes a stage prop, the corpse slumps over their shoulders as the vehicle gathers speed, and has to be shoved back.
Look at me - I'm dying!

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: One Death, One Book, One Sandwich
One writer you should know before we are swallowed by the dark matter

Consider whether this is a man,
Who labours in the mud
Who knows no peace
Who fights for a crust of bread
Who dies at a yes or a no.
Consider whether this is a woman,
Without hair or name
With no more strength to remember
Eyes empty and womb cold
As a frog in winter.

Is anything sadder than a train; [Primo Levi Primo ; Primo ]
• · Everything you thought you knew about the universe is wrong. It’s made of atoms, right? Wrong. Atoms only account for a measly 15% of everything that exists. The mass of the universe consists of something so mysterious and elusive that it has been dubbed ‘dark matter’ Dark Stories; [A Different Planet: Titan of Cold Rivers ]
• · · I'm a huge fan of the Soprano. One of my favorite exchanges: Meadow: “Are you in the Mafia?”; Tony: “I'm in the waste management business. Life is putting the Prozac to the test
• · · · Feel the ripple in the zeitgeist? Two new slogans are busily burrowing their way into popular cult. Steven P. Jobs introduced one last week: "Life is random." It's attached to the iPod Shuffle, Apple's teeny new music player. The second comes from Malcolm Gladwell, a writer known for seeing revolutions in small things. The slogan is "Blink, don't think. These two marketing aphorisms - ad-phorisms, if you will - pull so insistently at the brain that they feel more like an affirmation than a pitch, and bear a slight tang of wisdom. You couldn't control all the choices; you couldn't control all the noise: Life is a random blink
• · · · · One Book One Sandwich continues. All Sandwich residents are urged to read "In the Heart of the Sea" by Nathaniel Philbrick. As part of One Book One Sandwich, special events include. Massachusetts town is reading Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea under the banner of, One Book, One Sandwich? ; [What is Bush Reading ; Kabbalah of Numbers ]
• · · · · · Cutural concepts go in and out of style, sometimes quite swiftly. It was fashionable a short while ago to proclaim we had entered an age where the old cultural certainties had been thrown into disarray; it has become just as fashionable now to dismiss the postmodern as yesterday's news Relativism is still relevant ; [Cat Lovers Collection :-) ]

Friday, January 21, 2005

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming: WOW. What a Surf. What a Read. Of Sydney’s 34 surfing beaches, Cronulla is probably the one you will visit first. If you are a serious surfer that is ... No Glamarama here!

Dragon Tales Newsletter

It is good to discover new surf, but it is even better to meet new dragons. You get an insight into lives lived other than your own. Double Dragon is on Hollywood’s lips New Year New You: New Dragon Tail Newsletter
We all know the joy of stumbling across a real gem of a bookshop. Cronulla might have the best surf, but Bondi has the best bookshop in the world. Czech out Gertrude and Alice at 40 Hall Street down by the Beach. Shelves and shelves of books from all genres. Even has a non-fiction room called the Hemingway room, which boasts an amazing chess table for patrons to sit and play; lots of other games are also available. The cafe-bookshop-rumpus-room all in one is just soooo bohemian one just does not want to leave, even if your teenage daughters czech mate you at the chess table three times in a row (smile) Karma everywhere like no other Calling all bookworms

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Koorie Dhoulagarle: Aboriginal Spirit
Our country correspondent one and only, Gianna . Forget about reading Readers’ Digest and dive into the Country Digest. This story deserves the widest of readership in the blogosphere.

"Take a look in the bedrooms back there," he said to me. I hesitated, feeling uncomfortable at the idea of going into a stranger's bedrooms. "Go on, take a look."
So I dutifully ventured to the rear of the house and looked in the bedrooms. In one, there was a neatly made double bed. In the next, there were three single beds, again perfectly made up. Each bed had a teddy bear sitting on the pillow.
I came back and touched the man's shoulder. He had tears in his eyes. The baby ate another biscuit and listened as the man and I got talking about the plight of the suburban Aborigine. He told me how it felt to have grown up with no links with his traditional culture and yet, not ever feeling part of white man's Australia either. He said he'd once had a group of Italian friends staying with him. Over dinner, they had got into a spirited conversation between themselves, but had stopped talking when they noticed him crying. They'd asked if he was upset that they were talking in Italian. He had said no, he was upset because he had lost his own language.

There's More To Life [credits: ATO rules on business and pleasure; Taxman can no longer give artists the brush-off]
• · Hollywood icons are a peculiar breed. Their shelf life is not so much short – although most often it is – as it is defined by the sheer abruptness of the end. Few screen legends are afforded graceful long goodbyes Don't box me in; [ Master refreshes Machiavellian monster]
• · · The music industry has done the "unthinkable" and turned a dollar from online sales
• · · · It's a Hardluck Life: Those who returned say life post-tsunami has new meaning ; Couple says miracles saved them; Strong Currents: Father Drowns
• · · · · Ach, the pharmaceutical Jekyll and Hyde, caffeine can be a wonder drug or a health disaster. When rubbed onto skin caffeine and green tea it can stop skin cancer in its tracks ... The new pleasure seekers
• · · · · · Whether it's sunny or raining, and we needed last night’s rain, there is usually plenty to do around the Cronulla beach specially during the summer. Many good places to be entertained and do some shopping. A creative way to feed the thousands in the Shire through the miracle of the Kuchina ... We mentioned it in passing once but will blog about it again: Cucina Deli Indulge your passion for food - Nina and Michael Alfredi will soon have a new fish supplier in Michael Egan Apolitical Number 52 on President Avenue: Cucina of Caringbah

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Attempt to create a Meme:-) How About A Blog Day on the seventh day of the seventh month ... Number Seven is the only number which stands for completness. We have the 4th of July, we also have the French Revolution in July. How about Bloggal Digital Revolution on the first Sunday of July? (smile)

As journalists have been duped so often, admittedly duped, how can anyone say the media system in America is working? In times of foreign crises, the press doesn't report. It is politically exploited. It is supposed to reflect truth and reality but, by treating politically motivated White House words with face-value reverence, it is distorting that truth and reality and succumbing to patriot games. Patriot game, media shame

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Bloggers vs. Journalists is Over
Jay Rosen announces that "Bloggers vs. Journalists is Over" -- and of course it is.

I have been an observer and critic of the American press for 19 years. In that stretch there has never been a time so unsettled. More is up for grabs than has ever been up for grabs since I started my watch.
Bloggers vs. journalists is over. I don't think anyone will mourn its passing. There were plenty who hated the debate in the first place, and openly ridiculed its pretensions and terms. But events are what did the thing in at the end. In the final weeks of its run, we were getting bulletins from journalists like this one from John Schwartz of the New York Times, Dec. 28: "For vivid reporting from the enormous zone of tsunami disaster, it was hard to beat the blogs.

Ending One Fruitless Debate [Credits: still life - Explode the Newsroom: Six Ways to Rebuild the System ; grooming - Our Velvet Revolution A growing number of Americans are beginning to identify with the pro-democracy activists whose courage opened much of the world to freedom in the final decades of the 20th Century]
• · It was encouraging to read about transparency, public relations ethics and the insidiousness of spin at various points of this PR Blog Week; via Defining Participatory Journalism
• · · http://www.globalprblogweek.com/archives/jay_rosen_pr_needs_t.php
• · · · She wanted to stop reading it- but she had nothing better to do! Produced by average people who seem to think their lives are interesting. Guess It Was Inevitable: The Blog T-Shirt ; Gillmor Gang
• · · · · Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers Committee to Protect Bloggers
• · · · · · While Iraq's many newspapers get little notice in the American media, the country's citizen bloggers are drawing increased attention, as reporters in the United States try to gauge views within that country during the lead-up to this month's elections. One reason for the interest: Many of the Iraqi bloggers' postings are written in English, unlike the commentary in local newspapers. Reporters read blogs. A lot. Bloody Oath ...

Google: Search the contents of the book

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Measuring Literacy in a World Gone Digital Dragon

There was a time when researching a high school or college term paper was a far simpler thing. A student writing about, say, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, might have checked out a book on the history of aviation from the local library or tucked into the family's dog-eared Britannica. An ambitious college freshman might have augmented the research by looking up some old newspaper clips on microfilm or picking up a monograph in the stacks.

River Campus Libraries [credits: Work avoidance is one of the major paradoxes of the writing profession ; Literature of Tennis: It was safe to assume ear plugs were required in the delivery room. Focus of attention shows Maria's in with a shout ]
• · Great sexpectations: Vacation stress and partners' differing desires can push passion to the wayside here are a hundred ways bad sex--or no sex--can happen to a good vacation; Nice handwriting, but
• · · Google will introduce new technology controls to thwart people using blogs to manipulate rankings in its search results
• · · · People don't always judge a book by its cover. Often, they're more swayed by how many pages it has, a Dartmouth College professor studying Amazon.com's customer reviews has found. Limbaugh, Franken: Something in common?
• · · · · Havel, Lou Reed: A friendship goes public for art
• · · · · · Reel River ; via Movie Maker

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

In 2004, readers voted with their clicks on what stories mattered most--whether for hard news on viruses or lighter fare on unexpected uses of everyday technology
Never underestimate RSS and Atoms. Surfers go online to do two things. Pick up email or surf for specific information. Booming Blogs!

Tracking Trends Great & Small: Wrapping Up 2004; Looking Forward
Young people are feeling overworked, overstimulated and ready to get away from it all, and they're heading for the figurative hills and taking design inspiration from mountaintop lodges. Though they might not be able to climb a mountain or hike through a forest in their backyard, they're living out their yearnings for nature through fashion, home decor and blog trends

It’s a contemplative time of the year. If you send out one of those traditional Christmas or New Year’s letters to family and friends, you’ve reviewed the good and bad occurrences in your life and decided what you wanted to include. It’s generally time to take stock of what we’ve achieved and to look forward to goals for the new year. The media outlets tell us what have been the hot stories, topics, and trends of the year, while the search engines report on the most popular search terms. In case you’re interested, Google’s annual Year-End Zeitgeist can be found at [http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/zeitgeist2004.html ]; Yahoo!’s Top Searches 2004 is at [http://tools.search.yahoo.com/top2004]

The Hot Stories of 2004 [As a marketing consultant in London, I get a lot of blank, glazed looks when I talk about blogs, blogging, the blogosphere or even the much more respectable sounding Citizen's Media or the 5th estate A Growing Voice: Citizen's Media is one term, and the 5th Estate is another ]
• · Unlike earlier promises of self-publishing revolutions, the blog movement seems to be the real thing. A big reason for that is a tiny innovation called the permalink: a unique web address for each posting on every blog. Ezine Trends For 2005 - Email Publishing Predictions
• · · No Gadget Safe From Home-Style Hacks; [Check out John Battelle's predictions for what's coming up for us next year A Look Ahead ]
• · · · Born Again Christian No Barrier to Divorce ; [With the new year a new national defense law came into effect in the Czech Republic - one that marks a change from most such regimes in the Western world in that it no longer discriminates between the obligations of men and women On the War Path ; Bohemian Women Warriers ]
• · · · · Can you blog something that doesn't exist?
• · · · · · New Link: Christmas Traditions Around the World