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

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure ;-! Bridget Jones would be weeping into her chardonnay ... the Most Important Emotional Needs

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Theatre of Noise: swallow's truth
The belief that men and women can't be friends comes from another era in which women were at home and men were in the workplace, and the only way they could get together was for romance

If men are from Mars and women ar from Venus, it may explain at least one o their shared beliefs: Men and women can' be real friends. Blame the sexual tensio that almost inevitably exists between an red-blooded, heterosexual man and woman Point to the jealousy that plagues man rational people when a significant othe befriends someone of the opposite sex. Boi it down to the inherent differences between the sexes. It just can't be done. Right

Can men and women be friends? [Love may be blind but marriage is a real eye-opener. Marriage. An expensive way of getting your laundry done for free. Love is a temporary insanity curable by marriage ; A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience Getting Screwed While Everyone Else is Getting Laid ]
• · There are some wacky household/electronics combinations out there (Internet Fridges) but few top the Fireplace TV which will be on display at the Smart Home Show at the NEC Birmingham from next week The Fireplace TV ; Near the end of "Brokeback Mountain," the film widely touted as a breakthrough gay romance for straight audiences, the wife of one of the lovers tells her husband as he is leaving for one of his "fishing trips" that Brokeback Mountain is his pretend place. Movies specialize in such private fantasies, but they are also expert in using the arts of pretending to criticize — in the hope of changing — reality. "Brokeback Mountain" represents this kind of make-believe. Can movies change our minds?
• · · Just add Cold River: The Cold Truth of Freedom as it is yet another opportunity in life to spread pollen: TextbooksRus.com ; Buy.com ; Inkleaf ; Cold River tells readers, over and over again, that not having enough of some things in life—money, space, clothing—is more than made up for by having plenty of another thing, namely, the love of your family: Books For Christians ; Bigger Books
• · · · When a man repeats a promise again and again, he means to fail you anyway: Are you afraid we'll invade your space, rule your life with an iron-stiletto and force you to quit your weekend golf to go shopping for bed-linen? Then you're likely to be a commitment-phobe. Here's a quick question for the blokes: does the thought of being in a relationship conjure up a stream of feelings along the lines of, "there goes my freedom... my privacy... and 90% of my sex life"? Why men won't commit ; Is romance brewing in your office? Czech Freud said happiness was composed of love and work. But combining the two together? That spells more trouble than it's worth. Commitment phobia is a healthy way of avoiding divorce. Let Barranquero be ;-) In the signature homewrecking story of the 20th century, an intern in a humble blue dress seduced a dashing, smooth-spoken president. When Dan Rather asked Bill Clinton why he did it, the ex-president responded, "Just because I could." Almost everyone I know has either been the homewrecked or the homewrecker. Everyone can say, even Minna Monaghan, they've nursed a cheated heart, whether it was their own, a sister's or even a lover's. To be able to talk about adultery without pain, anger and judgment -- that's a tall order ... Lust and Desire: To Honor or Ignore?
• · · · · Sam and the City: The Ultimate Dating Blog ; Engage keen young texters at Ocean St Thirroul or any other street in the world Online Investigation: Why Hire Private Investigators?
• · · · · · Until Debt do us part ; Sexually transmitted debt is a flippant term for a serious problem Sexually Transmited Debt

Monday, February 27, 2006

For blogs, it is the best of times, and the worst of times -- depending on who you listen to. The empowerment of the little media dragon: Blogger Buzz-Kill?

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Diverse wisdom of the bloggers’ democracy
The empowerment of the little guy is one of the most powerful and most democratic benefits of the internet age.

ALL over the world bloggers have toppled leading politicians and journalists. Businesses are the latest targets of their campaigns. Disgruntled customers know that a rubbish reply from a plc’s customer relations department is no longer the end of the road. They can start up a free weblog to highlight experience of a shoddy product or poor service. If that experience strikes a chord, hundreds of other disempowered customers are only a Google search away.

Bottomless Blogs and Cups [Here's how to solve Google's Beijing problem Breaking China; Conspiracy theories about everything from Iraq to Hurricane Katrina to spiked writers are polluting the mainstream media. Gossip dressed up as investigative journalism ]
• · The public editor's office of The New York Times has been busy this year. Byron Calame, the second journalist after Daniel Okrent to fill the post, has so far been called to editorialize on two particularly controversial Times pieces: James Risen and Eric Lichtblau's report on NSA wiretapping and Kurt Eichenwald's article on a teenager involved in child pornography on the Web. (Both first appeared in December 2005.) Empty Promise: the meaningless transparency of the public editor column ; Karl Marx himself saw capitalism in a positive light; in its very progress he saw its demise. There is something anarchic about media dragons and computer viruses. They are chaotic and unruly. To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated at, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about... Anarchistic aspirations
• · · Trashy magazines junked! A limitless appetite for nothing may have been sated at last. A limitless appetite for nothing may have been sated at last ;
• · · · When reporters cloud the truth ; The major difference between my work and Outlaws of America is that Berger writes from the perspective of today's generation of radical activists The Way the Wind Blew: a History of the Weather Underground
• · · · · Liberalism is not conducive to happiness ; What Bloggers are listening to Today's Hot 35
• · · · · · In a Dark Time ... The Buzzing Eye Begins to See What is AuthorBuzz? ; Add a little of universal unconditional love french, brittish, japanese, even german Add Cold River: Truth is On My Side

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Life is all about finesse. Risotto Recipes and Dirty Man Lyrics are on my mind. My Saturday night fever at Pelican River with the stunning view of the city was filled with dancing to the most amazing voices on earth. There are not many star chefs spread across the culinary universe who can match S skills. Not content with the bussiest week at work S slaved all arvo with unshakeable self-confidence to make the table look creatively crowded. It wasn't the place setting, which was a model of simplicity: a glass or two, polished to a shine, a knife and a fork each. And it certainly wasn't the table itself, which was a snowfield of china, custom-made candles. It was the memories of all the other truly great meals I have eaten, clamouring around it, as if trying to get a look. It was the memory of my mum who once cooked funghi porcini mushrooms. Like a moth to the flame, I'm forever circling back to New Zealand blancs, lured by their beauty in spite of the obvious hazards. It's all too easy to get burned by drinking five bottles in one night ... but I keep trying. Ach, I don't just listen to crackly old soul music like Nick Cave Are You The One That I've Been Waiting For? you know. Sometimes I listen to crackly NEW soul music too of Joss Stone variety ...

A fresh performance of a 'classic' is only like a new edition of an established masterpiece of literature. And the literary critics do not have to review new editions at any length; they merely publish a paragraph drawing attention to the blue buckram, the gilt-edges, and the bold lettering. They are not expected to sit up late on a chilly night writing a column about nothing new at all. It is a pleasant task sometimes to do this writing about nothing new; it is a challenge to ingenuity, a sort of Chardin problem of setting whites in the foreground against whites in a background that is not far back enough; but the task and the pleasure need not be carried too far—certainly not beyond the extent of a column, with the midnight hour at hand, and the temperature falling, and a distance to cover before the weary scribe gets to his pillow, resigned to the thought that whatever he has written will not be read, ever again, after twelve o'clock the next day, but will go down slowly and unobserved into the general dust.
-Neville Cardus, review of a concert by Sir Thomas Beecham and the Hallé Orchestra (Manchester Guardian, Oct. 20, 1938, courtesy of Richard Zuelch)

Jozef Imrich is no stranger to multiple points of view on book marketing. Two zillion books a year are published, of which top one hundred are given the Big Rush, and all the rest tend to drown without a trace ... In these crazy times, we have to keep our eyes on the things that matter most: the shelf life of our books ... Is Anyone Buzzing Your Book? Get people buzzing, take the BUZZ YOUR BOOK marketing class with international bestseller M.J. Rose. The course is like Prozac for authors… Language of bohemian buzz ups: A whiter shade of grey

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Come Early Morning: How to survive the end of an affair
Your relationship died for a reason, and that should be celebrated, not mourned. But it makes no attempt to gloss over the pain of such splits: Break-ups hurt like a mother------, But they are not the end of the world. The pain is temporary, and if handled properly, they can even be life-changing.

The book's cold-river approach struck more than a nerve among discontented women everywhere. We're two people who have both experienced truly self-esteem-crushing, spirit-breaking, gut-wrenchingly painful break-ups. 'Are you sure you want to make this call, sir?' And I had a moment. No, I don't want to make this call. I've made this call before. This call never works out. The last shreds of my dignity still intact. The next day, he joined Alcoholics Anonymous and began to turn his life around. That relationship changed my entire life," he says. "On the heels of it, I got sober, I made some career choices, I stopped borrowing money. I became a different person.

• Laughing it off: Break-ups hurt like a mother------ The last shreds of my dignity still intact [Free Jozef Imrich! He's been dumped by stoned suburban housewife ;-) Saving Bob Marley from his fans ; Russia: Olga Gurova is helping to fill the information gap on underwear that developed during the cold war. Soviet underwear was not about sex, it was about sport Red stars and bras ; Amerika: Some Christian ministries attempt to spread the word of God on street corners. JC's Girls Girls Girls prefers strip clubs Jesus Loves Strippers ]
• · Verkhoyansk is the iciest city on the globe. It's now trying to use the frigid record to attract tourists. The Cold War at the Arctic Circle ; East to West Migration: Russian Migrants in Western Europe
• · · Influence for fashion has long been sought from the most remote corners of the world. But where might this process be leading us in the era of globalization? A Global Sense of Fashion ; Your taste in music can reveal a lot about you, giving accurate clues to your personality. What's Your Soundtrack? ; And what you don't know about Facebook: It may be more sinister than you think Facebook for Big Brother
• · · · With tougher times ahead, critics are wondering how much of that success is down to the new rules and how much to benign global conditions. The return of macroeconomics ; A n article on the secrets behind the Index of Forbidden Books It was the most ambitious censorship drive the world has ever known
• · · · · In modern academe, leaders face spotlight. There is little forgiveness; School of Hard Knocks Summers Postmortem, Beyond Cambridge ; We didn't think we were hiring Dag Hammarskjold ; What Larry Summers's resignation means for Harvard and the university system. The End of Summers
• · · · · · Eternity is a long time to go without sex Forget the virgins: Is there sex in heaven? ; Moments Of Clarity

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Time and the world, money and power belong to the small people and the shallow people. To the rest, to the real men belongs nothing. Nothing but death ... We have to stumble through so much dirt before we reach home. And we have no one to guide us. Our only guide is our homesickness.
-Hermann Hesse we have no one to guide us. Our only guide is our homesickness ..

Hands up those who have heard more than they ever wanted to hear about Gift of life aka Sam Chisholm and his lung transplant, or Eddie McGuire's Broadmeadows upbringing Google takes the personality out of media

Like US based Digg, News Bump wants you to rank stories specific to trends generated Down Under Everyone loves a good NewsBump

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Ruddock's shield not totally safe
All leaks by federal public servants are punishable under the Crimes Act with two years in prison.

THE Federal Government is planning exemptions to its promised shield law for journalists' sources that are so broad that reporters might still need to go to prison to protect informants in the public service.
The Government had promised to introduce shield laws after Canberra journalists Michael Harvey and Gerard McManus faced the prospect of going to jail last year for refusing to reveal a confidential source.
But details of the Government's plan show that it does not want a federal shield law to protect communications that are made "in furtherance of the commission of a fraud or other serious criminal offence".

Giving journalists' sources a right to confidentiality [I am Stoked Watermarking Streets: BlogStreet : Top 500 ; The most unusual example of an inherited housing supply is undoubtedly Cairos City of the Dead, where one million poor people use Mameluke tombs as prefabricated housing components. The huge graveyard, the burial site of generations of sultans and emirs, is a walled urban island surrounded by congested motorways Inspirational Quotes ; Say what you will about John Richards' salary , you can't fault the guy on his altruistic side. Beginning in March, Richards is launching an ambitious series of benefits for local charities--with plans to produce more throughout the year. They're highlighting one cause per month through on-air promotions The Stranger's Blog ]
• · There's increasing concern that teens are finding trouble online at social-networking sites. Dark side of the web ; If Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, authors of Naked Conversations, are correct, any management that looks askance at corporate blogging is similarly trapped in the past. "Our passionate advice," they write, "is to join the conversation now. The Suite Spot; Zillow Gets Zillions of Users
• · · Mark Bahnisch: Research cited in the Atlantic Monthly suggests that a study of productivity across nine countries found that 37% of time at work was wasted - but laid the blame at the door of poor management and supervision, rather than blog addiction It’s Monday and time to get back to work ; After waiting for the humour and fallout from the Dick Cheney quailtards and lawyers shooting spree to subside, it becomes clear that the back story coming out of this incident is how the rules of the media game have changed - Jay Rosen at Press Think: Rolling back the real quailtards ; Don’t Fence Me In - Findory : Media Dragon ; Which is a better indicator of blog networking Social Networking in the Blogosphere: Blog Roll vs. Links in Posts
• · · · Signs and Blogs Never Sleep ; 27,999,999 blogs Theme competition; E.L. Doctorow has been given the PEN/Faulkner Award for THE MARCH. He won the award in 1990 for BILLY BATHGATE. Blogger Doctorow ; Jason Kottke reflects on a year as a full-time problogger. Oh, what a year ; Oh, what a FeedProfit.com
• · · · · Dragon Media ; Thinque The Secret to Success ; Guest Blog Column: Part 1- WHY I BLOG
• · · · · · The Media Dragon Loves When : Scoble goes topless to sell books ; How to get Robert Scoble’s attention: Scoble invites developers to excite him ; Are newspaper columns about blogs dying dying?

Friday, February 24, 2006

I know a man who gave twenty years of his life to a scatterbrained woman, sacrificing everything to her, his friendships, his work, the very respectability of his life, and who one evening recognized that he had never loved her. He had been bored, that's all, bored like most people."
-The Fall (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, Borzoi Books, 1960.) Tr. Justin O'Brien. p. 37

Perfection, which is the passion of so many people, does not interest me. What is important in art is to vibrate oneself and make others vibrate.
-George Enescu

On a whim the other day, I bought a paperback called Improbable. Of course, if you read this blog at all and happen to be aware that I enjoy reading quite a bit, you would understand that it wasn't very improbable that I would buy it, even though I wasn't looking for a new book Shit happens: Improbable by Adam Fawer

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Lust for Life: Give it up for Moravian Mendel
With all the hoopla over Darwin Day (justified in my opinion) I thought I'd point you to this article, Gregor Mendel: The father of genetics.

Mendelian genetics was an inevitable discovery, as the nearly simultaneous rediscovery of "Mendel's Laws" around 1900 show us

Czech Boy Gregor Mendel [Hip-hop has gone to sleep. It needs more active dreamers if it is to prove that it is now more than merely another Internet menu item. The Color of Money ; Rembrandt’s late self-portraits: that intimate, unflinching scrutiny of his own sagging, bloated visage. Life may have bashed him, says Robert Hughes, but it had not beaten him Connoisseur of the ordinary ; Literature can have a powerful influence on political culture - just look at how often the term “Orwellian” gets an airing whenever issues like state surveillance, the mangling of language or the power of propaganda are being discussed. Nineteen Eighty-Four has done a lot to define the terms of these debates Kafkaesque nightmares ]
• · Can society demand what it's owed, the happiness of the scientists be damned? My students are so smart ; When I was having lots of cybersex, I kept a notebook by my computer so I could jot down details about my cyber partners More Sex With Girlfriend X Publishers want authors to be young and photogenic, but booksellers are democratic pragmatists; they are interested not in you but in your book, particularly the price and the cover. Then they ask who the distributor is and whether the wholesalers have it in stock. Young and photogenic
• · · Quail Hunting with Dick Cheney Contagious Film Festival ; Scientists are split on the different ways men and women think Getting lynched ; You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby Words of Today
• · · · Type "Czech brides" into Google, and you get more than 27,000 Web sites promising romantic life partners, subservient women "unspoiled by feminism," and everything in between Former model brings real life to romance biz ; Jordan - A Whole New World by Katie Price
• · · · · Why Jim Born balances life as a cop and life as a writer Lawman fights crime on the page and off ; Everything the Shakers made is breathtaking in its beauty and simplicity. Why these lovely things so bewitch us is a mystery Shining Tree Of Life
• · · · · · Book reviewers impressed by a new work’s “honesty” can only rely on the aroma test. Alas, a pile of literary manure can smell like a bed of roses. Bluff ran like a river through his schemes ; “I’m not a grammar freak,” writes Jeremy Clarkson. “But when someone says myself instead of me I find it more offensive than if they’d said spastic wog”The worst word in the language ; OH Baby! Where were YOU when I was single? Dating has been around forever. But with the emergence of a new set of rules for Generation Y, dating has never been so confusing Luv for Generation Y: Just a game?; Little Mother's Milk in the shops ? ; With few exceptions, of which the Pickwick Papers is the finest example, happy writing rarely makes good and enduring literature 'The Bohemian Bourgeois

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Anyone who's paid attention to this blog for longer than seven seconds will understand why I am super excited about the sentiment expressed in an email from a friend from the good old Czechoslovak army: Have no mercy. Your enemy doesn't: We both knew about violent reactions as we both lost many teeth during the fights with older soldiers ;-) Provocative director takes us to the edge of Cold River

David Cronenberg's films are full of images that make us recoil. But what we are really trying to hide from is the messy business of being alive. Cold River tells readers, over and over again, that not having enough of some things in life—money, space, clothing—is more than made up for by having plenty of another thing, namely, the love of your family. Forget marrying a selfish Australian ballerina: Where have all the babushkas gone?

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The depths of pleasure: a hormonal storm in a tea cup
Literary snobs have always been rude about romantic fiction, but the genre is one of the oldest and most distinguished in literature and the writing has never been more interesting ... As Jane Austen put it, to hazard all, dare all, achieve all

Like Valentine's Day itself, it is seen as something slight and sentimental, aimed primarily at women. What's romance? Usually, a nice little tale where you have everything As You Like It, where rain never wets your jacket and gnats never bite your nose and it's always daisy time. We all know that at different times in our lives love assumes a greater or a lesser importance. There are times when we ache, rejoice, weep, make fools of ourselves and possibly even die for it; and times when it recedes to being negligible, inconsiderable, risible, a hormonal storm in a tea cup. Great books about love remind us of the former; bad books about the latter.

• Arranging the blind date The language of love - Dangerous Minds [ Ejaz Haider will stay away from a living intellectual if he can help it; Eleven French writers demand the right to poke fun wherever and whenever they want The right to blaspheme ; If you've ever watched a movie and thought "as if", Larry Williams is with you on this one ... ONLY in the movies does everybody take their coffee "black". And people are always saying "keep the change" when they buy something. Only in reel life ; IT IS tough being a yuppie in Sydney; or, to put it more kindly, it is tough being a member of the creative class ... Academics, scientists, writers, multimedia whiz-kids and other "culture workers", especially the mortgage-strapped younger ones, are confronted with a Hobson's choice: stay poor and disgruntled in the inner city, or move to a cultural wasteland up or down the coast. The problem with NSW is that there is only one Byron Bay - and it's full We can find happiness in this urban life ]
• · Custom has long been the authority in matters of love. Men and women have turned almost unthinkingly to tradition and prevailing social norms for guidance in the tender passion Restatement of Love ; I'm in love, and at this moment I'm making some heart-shaped fried eggs in a rare and extensively considered collision of love and irony. Consuming goods is only a displacement activity for our eternal appetite for sex The cost of loving
• · · Beware, be wary on your hunt for the perfect (you name it); for you are the hunted Shopping Paranoid ; In praise of Jozef Imrich: I’m a romantic—a sentimental person thinks things will last—a romantic person hopes against hope that they won’t. - F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise Men We Love; The boomer taste in movies tells the story. In the 1970s they loved "The Graduate," with Dustin Hoffman as the guy with the freshly minted college degree who indulges in an affair with Mrs. Robinson, but marries her daughter. In praise of a few ladies.
• · · · Love in the conservative world. ; The most romantic libertarian valentine? "I'll treat you like property! Do you mean public or private property?
• · · · · A new issue of American Sexuality is out, including an article on Benefits Of Adolescent Sexuality and female sexual frustration ; You are a 35-year-old heterosexual woman, married to the same man for eight years ... What if this is not the first time that desire has led to arousal, to excitement, and finally to disappointment? What if you have not climaxed in a few days? Or weeks? Or what if you have never experienced an orgasm? You start worrying about why you cannot reach that elusive pleasure point that seems so easy for everyone else. What’s wrong with you? You start to dread sex with your spouse because you fear orgasm will never come. What’s a girl to do?
• · · · · · Laura M. Carpenter's landmark study, Virginity Lost, appears at a time when being a virgin, incredibly, might be a marker of Cold River and coolness Not That Innocent ; All the good ones are taken ... you're in your 20's, single, straight and looking for love, the statistical odds of finding a full-time partner are better if you're a woman So Many Men, So Few Women ; What's so hot about 50? Sex and the female boomer is not booming. With apologies to Jane Austen, I would venture that it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman of 45 and upward in possession of a good libido must be in want of a partner. What's So Hot About 50? ; The inexact science of penis measurement On the Matter of Size

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Progress celebrates Pyrrhic victories over nature. Progress makes purses out of human skin. When people were traveling in mail coaches, the world got ahead better than it does now that salesmen fly through the air. What good is speed if the brain has oozed out on the way? How will the heirs of this age be taught the most basic motions that are necessary to activate the most complicated machines? Nature can rely on progress; it will avenge it for the outrage it has perpetrated on it.
-Karl Kraus, The Discovery of the North Pole

It's as if there were an A-list of a few extremely lucky, well-trafficked blogs--then hordes of people stuck on the B-list or C-list, also-rans who can't figure out why their audiences stay so comparatively puny no matter how hard they work. "It just seems like it's a big in-party," one blogger complained to me. ... Coda - The Haves and Have-Nots of the Blogging Boom

The Blog, The Press, The Media: How to Almost Live on Blogging
It's easier than ever to earn money blogging. But it's not a recipe for quitting your day job, says the author of a new book on keyword advertising. Wired News interview by Joanna Glasner

Enter a Google search for Harold Davis, and some resulting links will inevitably lead you back to Google.
As the author of two books on Google, operator of a blog called Googleplex and longtime user of Google's keyword advertising program, Davis is among the more hard-core followers of the popular search site.

Google Advertising Tools: Googleplex blog [ Googleplex ; ]
• · What's the best way to bring digital tools to young people in the developing world? One Laptop Per Child? One Cellphone Per Child? One Simputer Per Child? The race to bridge the digital divide is heating up Building something that can pass Koffi Annan's cursory inspection ;
• · · When social values collide, the results can be cataclysmic. But for the internet to become a true force of democratization, we must accept that we'll all be offended by it eventually In Defense of the Culture Clash ; Sam Decker, a veteran marketing and e-commerce pro from Dell, wound up at Bazaarvoice
• · · · For awhile, I've wanted to combat the news overdose by summarizing the day's stories in 10 words or less. Here's a first stab, from MediaPost's Online Media Daily: Today's Online Ad News: 10 Words or Less; The Internet makes markets more efficient and people more free, says Milton Friedman. It’s the best means we have to foster globalization Free Markets and the End of History
• · · · · Tim Blair is currently doubled up with laughter about the fact that someone submitted a Leunig drawing to an Iranian newspaper running a Holocaust cartoon competition. As I say, Tim Blair thinks all this is hilarious, though he was somewhat less keen to see the funny side a while back when he accused blogger Tim Lambert of misappropriating his work. Alarmed and amused ; If Australia is to keep pace with international production trends and to provide viewers with the range and quality of television experienced around the rest of the world, argues the committee, then now is the time to get serious about getting digital Digital television: who's buying it?
• · · · · · Digital TV growth and policy ; Whistleblowers, and governments, need more protection ; Last year in May bloggers and Crikey were warning Qantas managent about staff rorting. Nothing new under the Finnish sun ... Is Qantas in business for staff or customers? All things being equal, we read in the AFR that CEO Geoff Dixon is determined to remain at the helm until the beijing games are over. So expect more much More staff troubles for Qantas

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Today Bronte was buzzing with the sound of happy and sad reunions ... a group of friends gathered to pay respect to million pieces of memories created by Kate. I will never look at large earings in the same way ...

OpinionJournal announces the launch of the OpinionJournal Federation of top political Web sites and blogs. Sometimes in journalism, the medium is the story. So it is with the ongoing saga of The Blogs vs. The Mainstream Media. With Web 2.0, the second generation of the Internet has arrived. It's worse than you think. America's free press has been threatened with violence before. The Ghost of Horace Greely

The Blog, The Press, The Media: A noble lie —Ishtiaq Ahmed
Plato wanted the ruler, the philosopher-king, to tell his citizens in Athens that God had ordained a perfect social hierarchy consisting of rulers, auxiliaries (warriors) and farmers. Of course Plato, like other Greek thinkers, did not consider the slaves, who were always a large segment of the population, as human beings. They were living instruments as his rebellious pupil, Aristotle, defined them.

The idea of a noble lie descends from the founder of political theory, Plato (427BC-347BC). He spent a lifetime trying to prove that truth is better than untruth, but deviated from this principle when dealing with the best interests of the state. He argued that it was permissible to tell a lie if it made the state strong and stable

Political power vested in the philosopher-king [Winter Olympic Games The day before the BIG day - Opening Ceremony ; Journalism is the discipline of collecting, verifying, analysing and presenting stories and images in a fair and neutral manner Abusing freedom of expression]
• · When deciding whether to broadcast offensive material, the BBC must weigh up giving a platform to extremism against the journalistic duty to inform Regulation, responsibility, and the case against censorship; Extremists are not interested in distinguishing between artistic merit and gratuitous provocation: they want total silence Schmucks and miniskirts
• · · One thing publishers and editors have to ask themselves when faced with the prospect of publishing something highly contentious or inflammatory is: what good will it do? Pictures, provocation, and free expression ; Say what you think. The importance of giving offence We live in societies, so the argument runs, that are more diverse than ever before
• · · · Jacob Weisberg on Dick Cheney's assault on the public's right to know Smoking Gun ; Filled with headless nudes, upside-down legs and vast, inflated breasts, Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue is a giant package of artificial cheese. Topless bodies found in brainless magazine
• · · · · US plans massive data sweep: Little-known data-collection system could troll news, blogs, even e-mails. ADVISE ; Gregory Rodriguez on why there's no such thing as free speech (but is it a good thing, too?). Mark Twain once wryly observed that Americans had the great good fortune to enjoy the freedom of speech——and the good sense never to use it. No Such Thing as Free Speech ; But who says freedom of speech isn’t a little negotiable?
• · · · · · Husband, father, and blogger, Michael Bérubé hardly looks like a menace to society. But is he? Dangerous Minds ; A couple of days ago Chris Pirillo lamented that in the blogosphere scoops no longer matter Scoble lamented the devious power of blog networks ; Do Scoops Matter? Does Attribution?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I am grateful to June, Richard, Gina, Steve, Gwynne, Christopher and Lidka as well as Michael for the extended family they provided for me this week.

In my bohemian Freudean eyes and mind, S stands for Sweetheart - Chef extraordinaire, connoisseur of oysters, champagne, pinoir noir, ancestoral scotch and politically correct havana cigars ;-PPP What a cultural week peppered with Indian monsoonish birthdays, Kobe Jones japanese dining and Golden Coast stories of Norwegian proportions ....

Successful publishing is often described as a balance of art and an ugly science. There is one thing worse than being exploited ? not being exploited. Not only are physically unattractive teenagers, like Jozef Imrich, likely to be stay-at-homes on prom night, they're also more likely to grow up to be criminals The Ugly Face of Publishing Crime - I'm too ugly to get a job ;-)

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Authors in a flap over cut to book royalties
In Australia, it is the industry norm for authors to maintain a 10 per cent royalty for first and subsequent editions.

PENGUIN, the nation's biggest publishing house, plans to cut the royalties of Australian authors whose books go into reprint in a move writers say will punish them for success.

Penguin's stable of Australian writers [Publisher cuts royalties to Australian authors ; The book-selling industry remains competitive Barnes & Noble CFO says growing online sales profitably ; I have more confidence in the dead than the living ... Cold Water aka Cold River finds its mark mark in Barnes & Noble: Women Who Do Elvis and Jozef' Iron Curtain Brought to Book ; Damn those Communists! They're trying to win the Cold War in retrospect. Another World Was Possible: A Century of Movements ]
• · Maureen Dowd's 'Are men necessary?' - dumb and dumber ; Czech born - Tom Stoppard on Free speech as inherent right or group consensus ... How did the concept get into such a mess? Playing the trump card
• · · Getting work down under; To quote a minister, ... a group of academics is no substitute for commonsense Why Australians dislike academics
• · · · The utopia of cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism, and mobility brought about by the liberalization of the Soviet bloc during the 1980s, which climaxed with the collapse of communism, to a great extent legitimated the process of the destruction of the state. Another frequent reason to return is the wish to be buried "at home" Fluid citizenship ; The news about CIA "torture flights" and secret prison camps on European soil currently occupies public debate all over Europe The neighbour as spy
• · · · · David Copperfield couldn't keep these kids from running around wild. I can do that Do you want me to refund your money and leave? ; Gathering to discuss bills to promote competitiveness, House members end up talking about dating and culture. Everybody agreed on one thing. I concede that the Democratic Party is also plagued by 24-year-olds who are remarkably self important. But can they get a date? Sex and the Single Scientist
• · · · · · Positive Psychology is the most popular course at Harvard. Is happy the new sad? I want to reawaken people?s desire to do good, people?s desire to improve their lives and the lives of other. I wasn?t depressed. It was closer to what Thoreau says, that most men live lives of quiet desperation. I was okay, but okay wasn?t enough. It wasn?t enough for squash and it wasn?t enough for my subjective well-being. People have lost their sense of awe and idealism ... They?ve lost their sense of gratitude, wonder. The Science of Smiling ; Joel Marks discusses a moral moment: Real epistemology, or on being your own scientist The words ?and other? are a part of the name of this column because occasionally I like to discuss topics other than morality and ethics Real Epistemology, or On Being Your Own Scientist ; With the Beatles On Ringo, a Passage to India, and a Wonderful, Ink-Stained Life
• · · How life on Earth got going is still mysterious, but not for want of ideas In the beginning... The origin of pieces ; Michael Gazzaniga on why all clones are not the same All Clones Are Not the Same
• · · · A look at how blade escalation and plastic have feminized today's young men Shaving Like a Man ; I've always been proud of my irrelevance. Someday the Sun Will Go Out and the World Will End (but Don't Tell Anyone) ; As the back cover blurb of this book states, 'suicide is an ageless concern that has been with us as long as man has existed Suicide

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Thanks to rebellious S Jozef Comes Alive ;-P AND SO IT IS ... the sexiest voice on earth could never accuse him of being boring or so she says... He would have regarded that as the most vile of insults. He made his characters larger than life, their foibles greater, their failings sharper and sometimes he made them much funnier than they were. Sometimes even if you had played in the day's events they were more colourful on the replay, when S of GMV fame was commentating about them. It was cutting but not malicious, it was informative without being labored. It was terribly, terribly cynical, but he always left you with a laugh or a scoff ... She had a price on her head by CIA. He had a price on his head by KGB and on the night of the violence they melted the opposites into ashes. How true opposities do attract even if it is peppered with mischief ;-PPPP

I know that not everyone is interested in blog navel gazing, but this study by Lada Adamic and Natalie Glance about blog behavior is pretty interesting — and it has a cool blogo-diagram too. Let's look at the diagram first BLOGS AND BLOGGERS

The Blog, The Press, The Media: We’re going to be the establishment
Can Media Dragons revolutionize progressive politics?

We have no interest in being anti-establishment,” says Matt Stoller, a blogger at the popular Web site MyDD.com. “We’re going to be the establishment.”
That kind of flamboyant confidence has become the hallmark of blog evangelists who believe that blogs promise nothing less than a populist revolution in American politics. In 2006, at least some of that rhetoric is becoming reality. Blogs may not have replaced the Democratic Party establishment, but they are certainly becoming an integral part of it. In the wake of John Kerry’s defeat in the 2004 presidential elections, many within the Democratic leadership have embraced blog advocates’ plan for political success, which can be summed up in one word: netroots.

• Aggressively pioneer Internet outreach Netroots: Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night [Literature has been slow to grasp the implications of Einstein's theories: a difference between a piece of literature that unavoidably provokes and one that is merely provocative Relativity and responsibility; Work is a dirty word unless you hold public office The refuge of the descendents of the rich and noble families who squandered the fortunes acquired through slavery ]
• · The European media may have behaved in a provocative fashion this week, but it was provocation in a good cause Drawn into a religious conflict ; The Politics of Personal Self-Destruction
• · · It may seem odd that scientists in the Internet age spend years on a line of research without having first determined that their mountain had not already been climbed Pity the Scientist Who Discovers the Discovered

Friday, February 10, 2006

Artists are not, on the whole, intellectuals; they do not try to be particularly articulate and, when they do speak of their art, they do not do so in the terms of the critic or connoisseur. But that is not their job. They simply do it.
-Peter Ackroyd, J.M.W. Turner

Many contemporary novelists are drawn to the subject of millionaires and their money; Auchincloss' concern, however, is not with wealth per se but with the ways in which rich people's means of earning, preserving, spending and losing their fortunes illuminate the principles by which they live. Principles of Interest

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The Geography of His Imagination
Though he has been hailed by critics as one of Ireland's major living novelists, and though this year marks the 20th anniversary of his first book, John Banville has remained unfamiliar to American readers. Why?

We're all related," a nurse comments near the end of the novel, "only people don't take time to think about it. In his novels, truth is elusive, but it matters; the self may be a prison built on shifting ground, but it exists - a cannily constructed novel about sex, betrayal and self-deception ...

A Murderer's Life [A screaming comes across the sky: Call me Ishmael 100 Best First Lines from Novels; Social capital is in itself neither good nor bad; it may be put to both positive and negative ends Is social capital declining? ]
• · Our television networks are required to show a certain amount of Australian content each year and also an Australian drama quota The drama about Australian TV drama ; Who is the greatest artist of the 20th century? This economist has figured out the answer. The Count loves to count
• · · From the people who brought you The (unofficial) Latham Diaries Latham Diaries ; Childlessness is one of Australia’s current national preoccupations Oh no children, we forgot motherhood, did we?
• · · · This one wins, in my opinion Kid's allright : Indy environment; We live in a strange world, don’t we? And to this Jozef quickly adds, with a lot of strange people. Knowledge is Not Power and Other Paradoxes
• · · · · Is creating virtual slaves for sex and possibly housework wrong? In 2068, robots could subjugate humanity to their infernal will. Instead of being scared, why don't we marry them?; We ask: what is time? The question of all questions for which we have never had so much time. Like the wind, we are always in its midst but can’t get a grip on it and yet everything that exists is enfolded within it. Cold Truth of Time
• · · · · · Moral Heuristics or Moral Competence? Reflections on Sunstein ; BMW has recruited four authors from Random House UK, including Karin Slaughter, James Flint and Simon Kernick, to write 45 minute audio books featuring their cars BMW Test-Drives Audio Books ; Harper's Brian Murray says in the announcement of the "pilot" initiative, "Our goal is to develop new digital products based on our books while creating new revenue streams for our authors." As Harper Pilots a Free Book on the Web

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Artists are by nature versatile and precise; they only repine when involved with the monotonous and the makeshift.
-Evelyn Waugh, The Loved One

In the early 1990's every Bell company . . . made commitments to rewire America, state by state: The manipulations, deceptions and broken promises are documented in detail The $200 Billion Broadband Scandal, by Bruce Kushnick

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Fresh insight with a kick: What Are Op-Eds For?
What are op-eds for? It is neither illegal nor immoral to write about something while having financial ties to private industry

Ever since the Cato Institute fired syndicated columnist Doug Bandow over the revelation that disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff had asked and paid him to write articles favorable to his clients, the Left and some in the media have launched a witch hunt against conservative writers with links to private industry. Yet, during this burning time, no one is asking the question: What are opinion pieces for? The question has not arisen because some on the Right, by acquiescing to the Left's desire for blood, are building the pyres themselves. The question needs to be asked, and the Left will hate the answer.

• When journalists go from keeping secrets about sources to expecting sources to keep secrets about them, something in the media has begun to stink with self-importance Fact-checking investigative reporters [On February 1, 1979, the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran after fifteen years of exile The University of Chicago Press has a new blog The Chicago Blog ; Luxury car maker BMW has had its German website blacklisted by Google after it was caught trying to artificially boost its popularity ranking on the world's leading internet search engine Google 'death penalty' for BMW site ]
• · In the absence of hurricanes, terrorist attacks, or lawyer-led coups, I don't watch any TV news programs, and haven't for years ... Maximum Amount $1,000 Blogging for Progress Scholarship; How Citizen Reporters Work
• · · Findory Neighbors: Media Dragon ; Truck Art
• · · · A fresh approach to giving the news Philly Inquirer changes its thinking on news presentation; Google sells its soul, and ours
• · · · · Yale Gets Million To Train Journalists I think j-school is a giant waste of time; More than 40 per cent of school students are chronically sleep deprived Tired teens tap in to SMS
• · · · · · White Pages - We Surrender Free Australian Blogs ; An Australian website has published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammed that sparked riots among Islamic militants Political commentator Tim Blair : Cartoons by Blair ; Danish Cartoon Furore: Links post

Sunday, February 05, 2006

It was worth missing Friday night sleep:
S, the Blower’s Daughter, might have said it: We all drew on the comfort which is given out by the major works of Mozart, which is as real and material as the warmth given up by a glass of brandy.

The Blower's Daughter Lyrics
And so it is
Just like you said it would be
Life goes easy on me
Most of the time
And so it is
The shorter story
No love, no glory
No hero in her sky

I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes...

And so it is
Just like you said it should be
We'll both forget the breeze
Most of the time
And so it is
The colder water
The blower's daughter
The pupil in denial

I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off of you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes...

Did I say that I loathe you?
Did I say that I want to
Leave it all behind?

I can't take my mind off of you
I can't take my mind off you
I can't take my mind off of you
I can't take my mind off you
I can't take my mind off you
I can't take my mind...
My mind...my mind...
'Til I find somebody new
- 'Til I find somebody new: The hottest songs from Damien Rice

Friday, February 03, 2006

“Perhaps the strangest aspect of life is the sense it conveys of having a pattern—everything falling into place, nothing happening by chance; outward phenomena an image of the inward reality; and therefore inevitable in their relation to that inward reality.”
-Malcolm Mugggeridge, Affairs of the Heart (courtesy of Christopher Porterfield)

One of the most important books of our time? Like Imrich’s Cold River, Milton Mayer’s story has been bubbling through the online zeitgeist for a little while now—most recently is was passed around the social bookmarking sites del.icio.us, reddit, and stumbleupon They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Extraordinary power of compassion
The blockbusters and feel-good movies are out in the cold this year

At the78th Academy Awards, mass-appeal commercial movies are as hard to find in the main categories as heterosexual cowboys.
Yesterday's nominations established the gay western romance Brokeback Mountain as clear favourite to dominate the Oscars, with eight nods including best picture, Ang Lee for best direction and Heath Ledger for best actor

Politics, racism and sexuality - Oscar gets serious [What's the hot new frontier of neuroscience? Buddha on the Brain ; Well, it was fun while it lasted Established in 1886 and known for selling men's clothing, knick-knacks and housing a popular barber shop, the store was placed into the hands of administrators in November last year. Dr Cope introduced me to $5 haircuts back in 1982 when I first started working at the NSW Parliamentary Library. My last haircut took place on 4 October 2005 and it cost me $15. After my last symbolic haircut I incurred a lot more expenses ;-P Iconic Gowings closes forever ]
• · Supreme Court justices who sign memoir deals risk squandering the impersonal respect on which the judiciary depends. Judicial Exposure ; From Truthdig, an article on the Year of the Queer: Hollywood and homosexuality. Brokeback Mountain: A Dig led by Larry Gross
• · · Alan Turing not only saved countless lives by breaking a Nazi code, he conceived the computer, and rethought the nature of mind CODE-BREAKER ; Harper Lee, who lives in a small town in Alabama, is one of the most reclusive writers in the history of American letters. But she does get out Harper Lee, Gregarious for a Day
• · · · One More Time: Making Amends Frey's Agent Goes on the Record with 'PW' ; Vera Wang is passionately in love with every aspect of clothes. “I like the gritty parts of fashion, the design, the studio, the pictures Vera Wang’s Second Honeymoon
• · · · · Steven Spielberg's film "Munich" deals with the 1972 Olympic hostage taking and its bloody aftermath. The film is a blend of cliches and originality, wisdom and presumptuousness. A vampire at the neck of reality Munich: We have lost Spielberg ; A year after its police force melted away and the streets descended into anarchy, Mosul has climbed up from the abyss Mosul Makes Gains Against the Chaos
• · · · · · Clitoral satisfaction for every woman on the planet, by all means. But no, Shere Hite, this will not give us world peace Will better sex bring world peace? ; Dating presents itself as a kind of education in human relationships. It’s not. There’s no worse preparation for love than the tireless pursuit of the perfect partner Dating

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Against stupidity the very gods
Themselves contend in vain.
-Friedrich von Schiller, The Maid of Orleans

Making the cover of Media Dragon or Double Dragon has long been a milestone in public recognition - for issues and people: How Women and Men Use the Internet, Pew Internet & American Life Project, 28 December 2005. Women are catching up to men in most measures of online life. Men like the internet for the experiences it offers, while women like it for the human connections it promotes.

More than 2 million broadband services connected, ACCC, 6 January 2006. The take-up of broadband services has passed 2.5 million, according to the latest Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Snapshot of Broadband Deployment issued today Blogs are the most overhyped phenomenon of 2005. How do I know this? Because Google has never lied to me. Blogging in the Wind: Same Zoo, Different Animals

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Leaving A Trail Of (Sparkling) Blog Dust
Journalists have the right to blog about whatever they choose, but management has the right to impose standards against anything that would "impair their ability to be seen as evenhanded, fair-minded reporters working for us.

Depending on the local media Web site you visit, blogs of all sorts can be a daily fixture or a future promise, and the rules governing employees' contributions to unaffiliated sites are equally varied, if they exist at all.

Blogs eyed for interest conflict [Google CEO Eric Schmidt has promised that the web search giant will make some "really big bets" in a bid to turn around the negative response to its latest results Google fails to deliver perfection ; Papers take aim at Google ]
• · Senator Andrew Bartlett is the leading political blogger Taking the sharp edge off our fears ; In April, CMF will begin our long-awaited evaluations of House and Senate personal office, committee, and leadership Web sites to identify our Congress Online Gold, Silver, and Bronze Mouse Award winners Congress Online
• · · Congressional staffers are editiing their bosses' bios (sometimes rather aggressively, so) Wiki tricki: Rewriting history under the dome ; Present-day politicians are condemned to live and die in the ever-intrusive gaze of the media and its eagerness to damn. You're in the public eye, but can you afford to live there?; Elections law is unclear on Internet content Could blogs get tangled in web of ethics rules?
• · · · No one expected Daley to personally field the blizzard of entreaties, compliments, insults and offers that certainly poured in to that address -- just one reason Daley has never announced a deal between the City of Chicago and the wife of a deceased Nigerian dictator -- but it was a useful, easy-to-remember way to get a message to City Hall ...and he doesn't have a blog,either ; Is ABC's PR chief directing network's Woodruff coverage? ; ABC News shouldn't have sent Woodruff to Iraq, says critic
• · · · · Today the web is busy with news that its coolest engine and the darling of the cybersoothsayers, namely Google, has failed to live up to the expectations of Wall Street's financial analysts Time to analyse the analysts ; How easy is it to hack your company?
• · · · · · Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the world's richest man, said today the tax office in the US has to store his financial data on a special computer because his fortune is so vast Tax office needs a special computer for me: Gates ; Microsoft Revises Blog Policy ; Dover Reporter Fired Over Personal Blog Comments

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The corporate teams that are overdependent on research averages often see their brands fail at a spectacular rate. Their new product introductions seem caught in a revolving door -- what's in and what's out based on "researched" hypotheses that have little to do with actual market behavior. Who Are the Dumbest People in the World?

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: How To Build A Word-Of-Mouth Marketing Campaign
By embracing word of mouth (WOM), marketers can motivate consumer communication and discussion about their brand and generate buzz. Despite a jumble of confusing terms and concepts, planning a WOM campaign comes down to some basic marketing concepts: the audience, the message, the vehicle, and the metrics. Finding the right combination will give a WOM marketing campaign the greatest chance to spread faster than a hot stock tip at a cocktail party.

Many firms have created buzz by making the right target, channel, and content choices. These companies got outstanding results in terms of awareness, participation, and traffic online:
Virgin Mobile; Audi; ebookers.com Virgin Mobile provides insight into its viral marketing activities: Visit http://dmc.co.uk/ for more information on this campaign.

Marketers: Wake Up To Emotive Network Users [ LiveVault; Cetelem is the first financial services company to launch a viral campaign online and through mobile phones Cetelem ]
• · Explanation of over 400 management methods, models and organizational theory Management methods; Brave New Branding World Same Customer, Different Channel and more links
• · · He won the battle, not just against the underdog ... and then the dam burst. THE vast world audience who watched the men's final of the Australian tennis open on Sunday night saw an extraordinary spectacle. One of the all-time greats, possibly the greatest player ever, Roger Federer, convincingly and coolly won the title, then broke down and cried The force behind the serve … and the tears ; Lenton record upstages Thorpe
• · · · Speaking about the value of creativity Same Zoo, Different Animals ; Increasingly uncomfortable living in a material world
• · · · · The debt we owe our teachers and mentors One Part Inspiration ; On the pages of medical journals and the cover of Time magazine, in feature stories on network news and nightly jokes in Jay Leno's monologue, there's been a swell of media coverage this past year concerning "the teenage brain." You want mind-blowing? Look at the middle age brain
• · · · · · Warner Bros. President Alan Horn said Friday "We're reevaluating our position on what to do" about the planned film adaptation of James Frey's A MILLION LITTLE PIECES Hollywood Reconsiders Frey, Too ; Company counts royalty, celebrities, children among clients Havel Buggy blazes trails