August 31, 2005
Today Is Your Blogday
Happy Blogday, although I'm not sure if that should be two or three words. The rules are simple: Celebrate the day by recommending five good reads - sites to share with others. Ideally they should be sites from other countries or off one's normal route.
The date, picked by an Israeli portal chief named Nir Ofir, is Aug. 31, but since it's 10:41 p.m. as I'm typing this, most likely you are reading this a little late. Sorry. I had planned to do this earlier, but then there was this Hurricane Katrina, and then there was this movie I went to called The Aristocrats.
A guy walks into a talent agent's office....
Back to Blog Day. More than 18,000 bloggers have written about it, and more surely would have had not disaster struck. I was reminded of it by a Phila blogger named B.G. Andersen who was kind enough to recommend Blinq. He writes a blog called Random Thoughts Scrawled on Paper, and I have never seen it before, so this was a double treat for me.
I figure if I'm going to celebrate blogs, I'm going to have to have to look for the lower layer here, and not pick a Wonkette, because too many people know about the potty-mouthed smart girl.
I'm going to start with a foreign one with a local connection. It's called al-Hiwar, with the subtitle: "Locating the political in the mundane, from Beirut to Cairo to Sana'a, and places in between..." Its author is Stacey Philbrick Tadav, a Cairo-based Ph'D candidate in political science at Penn. Her specialty is Yemen and Lebanon, and I cannot resist reading of her travels, because I've never been to either of those countries, and she brings them home in a way you can taste.
Her most recent post begins:
I was having lunch with Deputy Foreign Minister Mustapha No'man today when he was excommunicated. No, really.
Next up in one I've got on my blogroll, Berlin Bites by my friend Ed Ward. I knew Ed for three years in Berlin, and his name might be familiar if you listen to his reports on Fresh Air, or if you happen to have an old Rolling Stone magazine around the house and kept his review of, say, The Worst of the Jefferson Airplane. He tells a good story on Jann Wenner, too.
I've described his blog as doing for Berlin what George Orwell did for London and Paris when he had no money and no prospects and so had to write his way out of his hole. Ed tells delicious stories, whether about bizarre German customs, the awful German language or the maddening red tape of a rule-obsessed land. He also wrote a lovely obit of Chet Helms of the Family Dog. He gives an exhausting 6-hour tour of Berlin, but you will learn about the introduction of the potato to Prussia.
Third? This one will have to be out of my area, which leaves a lot of room. How about a photo blog? It's curated by a guy who works on my floor named Ted Adams, although I'm not quite sure what he does at the paper. He types things into the computer, and when he is not doing that, he engages me in completely unexpected conversations. I hear he used to perform on stage, and I'd pay for video.
His blog is called Heudnsk Blog, though I don't know why. The pictures he shoots are truly bizarre. Often wining shots of the down-and-out. Something Edward Hopper meets Diane Arbus in them. The lead photo in this piece is one of his offerings. Ted might be a genius or he mg ht be picked up soon by people with nets.
Number 4 - and trust me, I am making this up as I go along - goes to Rance. It is the blog of an anonymous Hollywood type, a screenwriter I believe. For a while I thought it was Owen Wilson's blog. It is hilarious, and self-deprecating, and very insider. If they turned his stuff into movies, then maybe Hollywood would be making money, not remakes.
Last up: The Comics Curmudgeon. This dude deconstructs the funnies. That's funny. One of my kids' friends told me about it. The guy can go one for minutes about the je ne sais quoi of Spider-Man. He might have too much time on his hands, but I'm always got time for him.
Blogging the Breakdown
New Orleans mayor says thousands could be dead.... Recovery will take years, President Bush says.... Red Cross preparing its largest effort ever.... Gas prices at all-time high.... U.S. economy to suffer. ...
In Uptown, one the few areas that remained dry, a bearded man patrolled Oak Street near the boarded-up Maple Leaf Bar, a sawed-off shotgun slung over his shoulder. The owners of a hardware store sat in folding chairs, pistols at the ready.
"They broke into the Shell station across the street," he said. "I walked over with my 12-gauge and shot a couple into the air."
In the Bywater, a supply store sported spray-painted signs reading "You Loot, I Shoot" and "You Bein Watched."
That's from Cobalt Green, a New Orleans blogger on a group site named Katrinacane's friends, formed by those who decided to brave the storm. Some have broken into details - recon, security, fuel, food. Others are finding ways to post, like the above picture of the line at the local Wal-Mart -- a lines of people pushing loaded-down shopping carts. Prices couldn't be beat.
Cobalt Green continues:
At the Bywater studio of Dr. Bob, the artist known for handpainted "Be Nice or Leave" signs, a less fanciful sentiment was painted on the wall: "Looters Will Be Shot. Dr. Bob."
Here's Mark posting for ScyllaCat:
She's fine, after a very harrowing experience (the building really did fall down around her!). The French Quarter has not been flooded, though it's now an island in the midst of a vast toxic swamp. They're not letting anyone in or out until they get the pumps and levies repaired, which will probably take several days. Meanwhile, she has a warm, safe place to sleep, food, etc.
On a LiveJournal site, called Insomnia, Interdictor describes the drill and the mood - this, Tuesday, as night fell:
One of the reasons it's so easy to collapse during a crisis situation is that even the most minute tasks can be desperately frustrating. For instance, you need to move fuel from a 55 gallon drum into a generator fuel tank. First you have to have tools to open the drums and the tank. Someone has to go find some if there aren't any available. Then you have to have pumps to draw it out and pump it into the tank. That means you need extension cord. Have to move the drums and that means you need a dolly. Every step requires items and equipment that could be missing. . . . I keep being told that CNN and the Slate reported our "moods" as something other than upbeat. The city is falling apart, no doubt. The looting is rampant. . . . The water is still creeping in. But you know what? My team's mood is not negative. We're focused. We've got things that need doing and we're gonna get them done. That's all there is to it. We need diesel. We'll find some. We have people depending on us and we are not going to let them down. That's all there is to it.
At Metroblogging New Orleans, Craig Giesecke, whose decision to evacuate we noted Monday, last night wrote:
What bothers me this evening, in watching the goings-on on TV and in reading a series of stories, is how quickly the social order has broken down in my beloved city.
I'm a pretty laissez-faire kinda guy. I know the police, fire, National Guard and other official agencies are more than overwhelmed by this once-a-century type of event.
But damn, y'all....
I am well aware the logistics of providing help in this situation in this city are unprecedented. And the levee breach is potentially catastrophic, even more than the hurricane itself. But it also seems to me that we've been overly eager, as a nation, to rapidly deploy needed manpower to just about anyplace in the world to face a perceived threat. From what's I've seen and read so far today, now would be a good time to employ this same kind of quick action to at least provide a little protection to folks who just want to get through the next difficult day.
I know -- it's only been 48 hours or so. And conditions are uniquely staggering. But authorities have to get a handle on, well, their authority.
Another poster at that site, Chris Martel, seemed to be desperate for news from the city where he (or she) found safety.
Literally on television right now in Memphis:
CBS - Big Brother 6
NBC - Tommy Lee Goes To College
FOX - House
ABC - According to Jim
These are the same networks that were airing commercial free tsunami coverage for days during that tragedy. What the ...?!?! People need to be informed about this situation. This is quite possibly the worst disaster to ever occur in the history of this country, maybe not in terms of loss of life, but easily in terms of economic impact.
Just to drill it in, nobody is talking about death tolls right now but they are certain to be in the THOUSANDS. Nobody has even begun to consider it because they are still rescuing people, not recovering. It's bad, people. Get Tommy Lee off the ... television.
At least they're not still talking about those goddamned dolphins.
Eyes on Katrina, the blog put out by reporters at the Sun Herald in battered Biloxi, has received 173,500 page views as of 9:30 this morning. Those are enormous numbers. Land lines, cells and Internet are down in the Mississippi city, and the reporters haven't been able to update.
But another Sun Herald blog, Eye Of The Storm, is up and running. A post from this morning:
Just got back from a morning run with one of the Knight Ridder photogs. We made it down to the beach at Cowan Rd. Apartment complexes were torn to shreds and the Fun Time amusement park doesn't exist anymore. The smell of gas is thick in the neighborhoods.
Saw National Guard trucks rolling into town and Red Cross just mobilized the largest recovery effort they have ever done. Lots of Long Beach has been destroyed. Point Cadet has been largely destroyed. Popps Ferry Bridge is shut down. The hurricane bent the steel part of it bad enough that it can't close all the way. Ocean Springs bridge is gone and I've heard that the Pass got hit very hard. I think their bridge is down, too. Pass Road is the only one that is drivable and it is barely that.
One of the reporters was just told her house is gone.
And in Carrollton, La., where looters have armed themselves with stolen guns.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune devoted a five-day series in 2002 to what would happen if a hurricane hit. It wondered about levees - two of which have broken. "It's only a matter of time before South Louisiana takes a direct hit from a majur hurricane. Billions have been spent to protect us, but we grow more vulnerable every day," the headline went. Read the series here.
Approaching 1,300 citizens photos of the hurricane and its aftermath here at this Flickr site.
Ok, everyone's tired, but please, folks. Video of CNN's weather guy losing it after being interrupted by the anchor.
Katrina Check-In is a place to go online and post messages. Separate pages for "I'm Ok" and "I'm Searching For." As of 1:30 p.m., 134 posts for OK and 519 for SEARCHING.
NOLA.com has a forum for the missing. Last time checked, more than 1,200 were listed. Some examples:
Entry 106. Ricky Lehrmann/2201 Paris Road in Chalmette
by Mazeyfish, 8/31/05 9:29 ET
We are looking for information on Ricky Lehrmann.
Ricky was last spoken with at 4:00 pm Tuesday. He was stranded on the second story of his home at 2201 Paris Road in Chalmette. He said there was water flooding the entire first floor of his home. His battery on his cell phone was about to go dead. Haven't heard from him since. We would like to know his whereabouts or if he has been rescued. If anyone is in contact with an emergency rescue team member, please check his home at 2201 Paris Road in Chalmette.
58. Looking for Aunt Milly Maranto from metarie
by alisonlong, 8/31/05 8:57 ET
Someone please check on Aunt Milly. 734 Athania Parkway. Metarie, Louisiana. She is 85 years old and would not leave. We are desperate to hear any news about her.
41. Roberta Kalmanson
by eddiewid, 8/31/05 8:42 ET
My mother-in-law and her 17 year old daughter may have been stranded at 4131 Hamilton Street. My sister-in-law is in a wheelchair, as she has cerebral palsy. Any information on them would be greatly appreciated. Also, if any of the rescue teams are monitoring this, please send someone her way. Thanks!
Monday, we brought you John Strain, blogging as Katrina approached, and his Covington, LA., house shook. He's updated by audio post:
"The devastation is beyond belief. It's going to take years. It's going to have to be rebuilt. It's going to be a different town." The psychiatric social worker says he dropped patients of in Baton Rouge. There's no food, no water, no electricity in Covington. Thousands of trees are down. "We're fine, good spirits good atitude, got to get back. Rebuild. Life moves on."
A Gas Of An Idea
Before you do that, stop by Snopes, the urban legends site.
Boycott Gas emails are circulating, again -- variations on this one, which arrived at the paper recently:
"IT HAS BEEN CALCULATED THAT IF EVERYONE IN THE UNITED STATES DID NOT PURCHASE A DROP OF GASOLINE FOR ONE DAY AND ALL AT THE SAME TIME, THE OIL COMPANIES WOULD CHOKE ON THEIR STOCKPILES.
AT THE SAME TIME IT WOULD HIT THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY WITH A NET LOSS OF OVER 4.6 BILLION DOLLARS WHICH AFFECTS THE BOTTOM LINES OF THE OIL COMPANIES.
THEREFORE SEPTEMBER 1ST HAS BEEN FORMALLY DECLARED "STICK IT UP THEIR @$$ "
DAY AND THE PEOPLE OF THIS NATION SHOULD NOT BUY A SINGLE DROP OF GASOLINE
Snopes sees this as an annual rite, which typically rises with gas prices.
"First of all, everyone's 'not purchasing a drop of gasoline for one day' will not cause oil companies to 'choke on their stockpiles.' Oil companies run their inventories on a weekly basis, and since the 'gas out' scheme doesn't call on people to buy less gasoline but simply to shift their date of purchase by one day, oil company stockpiles won't be affected at all."
"Next, merely shifting the day of purchase will not 'hit the entire industry with a net loss of over $4.6 billion.' Consumers won't be buying any less gasoline under this 'gas out' proposal; they'll simply be purchasing gas a day earlier or a day later than they usually would. The very same amount of gasoline will be sold either way, so the oil companies aren't going to lose any money at all."
What would work better?
Snopes makes this suggestion: Pick a day to do without your car -- "an act that could effectively demonstrate the reality of the threat that if gasoline prices stay up, American consumers are prepared to move to carpooling and public transportation for the long term."
By te way, cheap oil is almost gone, says this piece re-posted this week by Harper's.
August 30, 2005
Road To Nowhere
Twice now television images from Katrina have stopped me in my tracks, as the death toll rises toward 100, as 80 percent of New Orleans is under water, and as those left are ordered to evacuate amid reports of looting and shooting.
The first, a rooftop rescue, posted by MSNBC. An aerial embrace, as a woman is lifted by helecopter from the last part of a house that is not under water. Flood water has breached two levees in New Orleans.
No human drama is evident in the second video, available on CNN's site. It's a static shot - of a car on Interstate 10. It is a road to nowhere. The next stretch of highway has been ripped away by the water. Behind is no better, the pavement broken up into little rectangles sticking out of the water. The viewer is left to fill in the holes -- how the driver got out. If the driver got out. What happened to everyone else.
An AP reporter found a Philadelphian in the chaotic Big Easy:
"It's downtown Baghdad," Denise Bollinger told the wire service. She watched looters and snapped pictures in amazement. "It's insane. I've wanted to come here for 10 years. I thought this was a sophisticated city. I guess not."
E! Online News finds a local angle: Katrina's Wrath Hits Hollywood tells how crews for two Disney films had to flee by charter jet before the hurricane's landfall. The making of two other films is up in the air.
After Ivan ravaged the area last year, Inquirer reporter Paul Nussbaum traveled to New Orleans to write about how unprotected the city was from a "perfect storm." "We are at the mercy of chance for the foreseeable future," an Army Corps of Engineers official said. Read it here.
A September announcement for a pocket-sized video player, perhaps at the Apple Expo in Paris?
The Wall Street Journal has reported this is the toy that Apple is developing. Jeremy Horwitz in iPod Lounge writes: "After years in the shadows, portable video is about to go mainstream: according to reports out this week from respected journalists, analysts, and columnists, Apple is rapidly preparing to sell digital video content and new portable devices that will play it." His piece examines the possibilities. The New York Times says a Sept.7 announcement will concern playing iTunes on Motorola phones.
The second item is contemplative, and more fun: Have iPods ruined "rock snobs?" The piece, by Michael Crowley in The New Republic wonders, what the easy downloading of formless digital files is doing to what philosopher Walter Benjamin called the "thrill of acquisition." Building collections, gazing at CD spines, unpacking memories -- gone like favorite record stores.
A snob's last gasp: "We are suddenly plagued by musical parasites. For instance, a friend of middling taste recently leeched 700 songs from my computer. He offered his own library in return, but it wasn't much. Never mind my vague sense that he should pay me some money. In Rock Snob terms, I was a Boston Brahmin and he was a Beverly Hillbilly--one who certainly hadn't earned that highly obscure album of AC/DC songs performed as tender acoustic ballads but was sure to go bragging to all his friends about it."
I hear you, brother.
Clean Up Time
An excellent one-stop to read blogs about the storm is a special Truth Laid Bear page. It tracks the latest and most-linked pages - 963 in all. (via Tattered Coat)
Some facts distilled from those pages: Martial Law declared in the Big Easy. 1,600 Miss National Guardsmen called up. 2.3 million-plus without electricity. Red Cross mobilizing its biggest effort for a natural disaster. Monday the New Orleans Times Picayune staff ate red beans and rice. Tuesday they were evacuated.
Those of you seeking souvenirs of the destruction and human tragedy left in Katrina's wake can choose from several versions of "I survived Hurricane Katrina" t-shirts; shirts with the satellite map image which extol survivors to "Prepare, Endure, Rebuild" (20% of profits donated to relief funds!); numerous Katrina & the Waves items which may or may not have been posted in reaction to the hurricane; several seashells washed up by Katrina; the seemingly ill-conceived "NOReliefFund" .net, .org and .com domain names (10% of selling price donated to the Red Cross!); the HurricaneKatrina.BIZ domain name (no mention of any donated percentages); hurricane photos on CD; containers of real Hurricane Katrina rain; Atlantic Ocean coral from Hurricane Katrina; a keepsake described as "HURRICANE KATRINA ENGRAVED TAG < BLING BLING!!> HOTTT!"; a Segway-knockoff called an Electric Chariot, described as "Fast & strong like HURRICANE KATRINA"; and one apparently genuine offer of shelter from someone in a small house with one spare bedroom.
With no electricity, a leak in the newsprint storage area and no phone service, the Biloxi Sun Herald needed help telling its stories. It's sister paper in the Knight Ridder chain, the Miami Herald, sent a couple dozen staffers to help. News types left from Charlotte, N.C., Columbus, Ga., Macon, Ga., and San Jose, Ca., stood ready in Montgomery, Al., with chainsaws and generators. Page designers and editors traveled to the Columbus Ledger Enquirer, where The Sun Herald was to be composed and printed. The Biloxi paper's blog, Eyes on Katrina, continued to pump out reports as power permitted. The New Orleans Times Picayune published only electronically Tuesday.
There's this delightful snark from Steve Safran at Lost Remote: "Mobile, Alabama, is taking a beating tonight. Mobile Bay is overflowing into the city. The Alabama National Guard has been activated. So logically, it would follow that Nancy Grace is covering the Natalee Holloway story tonight (after all, it's Day 92). Cute White Girls can apparently trump an entire Alabama City in the eyes of Ms. Grace. Going to the break, Nancy was visibly choked up ("Beth - we are rallying behind you. Don't stop fighting, friend.)"
Looking for another recap of the disaster? I mean the fashion disaster at the Video Music Awards. (Delicious, but slightly risky for work.)
His project: a hamster-powered cellphone charger.
August 29, 2005
Katrina and the Waves
"The wind is really picking up now and I hear the roof above me wobble," wrote John Strain, a psychiatric social worker as Katrina bore down on Covington, La., yesterday. "The sound is like a waterfall or rushing river. It is a fine noise. It is a powerful noise. It is a noise that reminds me how small I am and how big God is."
Have spent the day reading blogs and mainstream sites, while watching TV - mostly with the sound down. The mediums served best when taken in tandem. Put together, a picture emerged of a double-wide disaster.
There were reports of floor-to-ceiling water in some coastal Louisiana homes. In Gulfport, Miss., roofs were hurtling through the streets, boats crashing into buildings. Hundreds of thousands of properties lost power.
The hurricane peeled away part of the protective covering over the Superdome, where about 10,000 New Orleans residents are hoping to wait out the hurricane. Water is leaking through at least two holes. Civil engineers inside the building say there is no structural damage. WDSU's blog has it covered.
Reporters from the Times-Picayune have been blogging the beast from their un-air-conditioned offices and shooting pictures from the rooftop of their building. A recent entry: "Reports of widespread flooding now, although not at the doomsday scenario levels. But we've got several hours to go before we've seen the worst past. Scanner traffic is busy with calls of rising water, including 18 inches and rising against the levee in the French Quarter."
This image of Katrina, which was a category-five storm at its fury, is straight out of The Day After Tomorrow. By mid-morning the hurricane was reclassified as category-four, with winds at 125 mph.
The picture moved Raymond P. Ward, who writes the Minor Wisdom blog in New Orleans, to summon two great muses Sunday evening - the Clash (he asks, "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?") and humorist Roy Blount Jr. Blount warrants some room:
New Orleans is nobody's oyster. It is situated, however, like a served-up oyster—the half-shell being the levees that keep Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River from engulfing the city. New Orleans lies several feet below river and lake level, and it sinks a little farther every year. When the big hurricane hits—and it will, New Orleanians assure you, with what suffices locally for civic pride—the waters will finally rise over the shell and inundate the town, killing tens of thousands.
Some hope arrived for New Orleans as the hurricane made landfall this morning. It looked like Katrina, slightly weakened, had turned eastward, and the brunt of its 150 mph winds would not hit the city directly. The western eyewall was due to batter the city. "It's not as bad as the eastern side," a National Hurricane Center official told AP. "It'll be plenty bad enough."
By turning eastward, Katrina headed toward Biloxi, Miss. The Biloxi Sun Herald is keeping a storm blog, called Eyes on Katrina. It's working without electricity. A morning excerpt from Hancock County, via a civil defense official:
"It's getting ugly over there. They've got 9 feet of water in Waveland. She thinks they've lost part of the back of the courthouse over there. There are houses in Bay St. Louis that don't normally flood that have water up to the doorknobs."
A blog called Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher bottled the angst as Katrina approached the Big Easy:
"I don’t want to lose New Orleans ... I love this city, and it scares me that many places that i accepted would exist long after i’m dead may be destroyed in a matter of hours in my lifetime. The other scary fact is that a lot of people evacuating are still trapped on the interstate, and the winds are beginning to pick up. I cannot comprehend why anyone would have headed east on I-10, if they have had any previous experience with hurricanes, but they did. The real death toll might wind up being on the roads. The footage of the evacuees at the Superdome is still making me wince at the possibility at how monstrous this could be. I doubt if that structure is as safe as they are estimating it is."
Metroblogging New Orleans is shaping up as an essential communal destination to read about the storm.
There, Craig Giesecke wrote of his decision to flee:
This house has been here since 1853 and I'm sure it will be here when we return. But, given the amount of loose debris in this old city, I'm not going to remain inside as a potential target for whatever is flying around. Katrina is a living reminder that Mother Nature always bats last. Good luck for those of you choosing to brave it. I'll be looking forward to hearing your stories and I'll be adding my own from the evacuation and recovery. But I've reached the point in life where safety trumps adrenalin.
Follow the storm with New Orleans television meteorologist Bob Breck of WVUE.
Also, this hurricane page, which includes Dr. Jeff Masters's prediction: "I recommend that if you are trapped in New Orleans tomorrow, that you wear a life jacket and a helmet if you have them. High rise buildings may offer good refuge, but Katrina has the potential to knock down a high-rise building."
The BBC has an animated page that shows how hurricanes form.
Following the storm from the safety of Philadelphia, bloggers weighed in with links to first-hand accounts and a Red Cross site that channels donations to Hurricane victims. Some wondered whether global warming could be blamed.
I was not alone in wondering what so many reporters were trying to prove by doing their storm-tossed two-ways. They might have had more to add if they'd logged into a computer.
August 28, 2005
Yellow Elephants on Parade
It's holding a Blog Your Campus back-to-school contest, soliciting posters that promote OYE's mission "to expose the hypocrisy of hawking College Republicans and other conservatives who are too cowardly to fight in the war they demanded." By way of encouragement, it offers some examples of the Freeway Blogger's work. Prizes include an iPod Shuffle (small version) and various T-shirts.
Locally, OYE is encouraging recruitment of the Montgomery County Young Republicans, posting brief pictures and bios of the officers, and generally ridiculing the whole lot. The post was written by the Spin Dentist, a member of the All Spin Zone, the lefty Philadelphia political blog. OYE is waged by a coalition of bloggers at lefty sites, and commanded by General J.C. Christian, of Jesus's General.
A sample of the dentist's drilling: "Next is James C. Saring, and among his accomplishments is being named the Pennsylvania Young Republican Richard M. Nixon Man of the Year in 2004. (As an aside, these folks give tons of awards -- or maybe the officers here are hogging all the awards. . . ) James has quite a square jaw there, and also a bit of a Charles Manson gleam in his eye. I'm thinking he's a candidate for service in Tikrit. Anyone agree? Encourage him to enlist by emailing ..."
Someone must have alerted Jim Saring to the campaign, because he replied:
"For your information, one of our former Montco YR officers is serving in Iraq in the Army JAG and an officer of our neighboring federation (Bucks County) has just enlisted in the Army Rangers. Several YR federations in Pennsylvania have sent care packages to our troops and are continuing these efforts. Tell me sir, what have you done."
Lab Coat Larry replied to the reply. "Too bad that care packagin' and flag-waving is negated by the fact that you actively support a party that lied to start a war. I'm sure troops would forgo the Oreos and blankies if they could be led by a competent administration that doesn't treat them like a neo-con lab project and doesn't send them into battle without armor."
That sort of back and forth is typical of the discussion since the Yellow Elephant campaign began in early summer. The Baltimore Sun quoted Young GOPer chair Nathan Taylor saying: "Most of our members either serve, have served, or plan to serve in the United States Armed Forces, or have participated in events or projects supporting the United States Armed Forces. We will not be intimidated."
Which prompted this retort from Atrios, the Philly blogger born Duncan Black: "There you
go. Most serve, have served, plan to serve, OR HAVE PARTICIPATED IN EVENTS OR PROJECTS, such as Operation Drink a Beer for the Troops, Operation Burn a Dixie Chick CD, or Operation Put a
Yellow Ribbon on my SUV, supporting the United States Armed Forces."
A Philly blogger called The City Troll finds the whole operation offensive:
"I find it amusing that the so called free thinking Liberals are starting a public campaign to harass people who have a different point of view than yourselves. The same old stupid cries over and over. If your going to support the countries military actions you can't speak about it unless you serve. Do you know how pathetic and silly that makes you all sound? The so called supporters of free speech and minority rights have created a campaign to attack others that don't think as they do.Your actions are the same as giving prizes to people for putting up posters to harass Blacks, Gays, Women, etc.. The only difference is that your replacing one of those groups with conservatives. What would your reaction be if a campaign that plastered posters ostracizing any whites for supporting Civil Rights? and prizes would be given to the best poster."
Woman Smart, Man Smarter?
The BBC has one that concludes woman smart, man smarter. The British Journal of Psychology will come out with a study later this year that says men score on average 5 points higher on IQ tests, the BBC reports. The differences begin to show up after age 14, and are most pronounced among the highest scorers. For instance, for every women scoring 155 - a level associated with genius - there were 5.5 men.
The Countess takes this one on, tying (thanks to Atrios) one of the study's authors to The Bell Curve, discredited by many as being racist. The comments are fiery.
The other piece to chew on is Faye Flam's Carnal Knowledge column in today's Inquirer. She debunks the conventional wisdom that it is men who are biologically wired to sleep around.
We quote: "The latest research suggests the mechanics of sexual intercourse and the shape of the human penis evolved as a countermeasure to the infidelity of our female forebears."
What do we take away from this? We males are relatively smart. And faithful. So we having trouble believing this?
August 27, 2005
Similar theme to lots of Monday Morning Quarterbacking on the Eagles victory over Cincinnati -- especially regarding the home team's first play from scrimmage, a TD bomb from Donovan McNabb to Terrell Owens, who aren't speaking, as you may have heard.
First two non-sports bloggers. Like Like Weeds, in "T.O.: I Hated You, Now I Love You," writes:
All the weeks of preseason frustration wiped away in seconds. I guess the quarterback and wide receiver don’t need to talk to each other to play the game. Hey, whatever works.
Matt in The Tattered Coat concludes of Owens:
He’s an insane, ego-maniacal jerk, but the man can play football.
For The Birds puts it this way:
"Everybody’s happy how the Eagles offense picked up right where it left off last year with T.O. back in the lineup, but … But, and you know everyone’s thinking it, when will the other shoe drop? Will it be the first time Owens opens his mouth in public again? Or after McNabb has a bad game? We don’t know, but you really can’t believe T.O. had some kind of epiphany during that week off that will keep him flying under the radar off the field all season long. You just can’t."
Can you be a championship team when your quarterback and wide receiver aren't talking?
As T.O. and McNabb were deep in their separate celebrations, I wondered. And then, I wondered what sort of advertising campaign could bring them back together - it's clear T.O. could use the revenue source. I'm not sure why I think like this - why when Maria Sharapova won Wimbleton and fumbled with her cell phone to call her mother at center court, I imagined a mob of mobile phone companies pitching their signal strength to her agent.
T.O. and D-Mac doing "Can You Hear Me Now" commercials is too easy. I asked my wife, and she returned with a bottle I'd never seen before. Something to use in the laundry room.
Spray 'n Wash with Dual Power.
Its two ingredients, Spray 'N Wash and Oxi Action, are different colors and kept in separate chambers. They pour separately to fight tough stains. And when they interact, "a highly visible fizzing action is created, signifying the powerful formula is activated."
Still working on a winning slogan.
Any other bright ideas?