"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

NYTimes piece on Nolan B.

The New York Times > Technology > At This Restaurant, the Video Games Come With the Meal:
"Nolan K. Bushnell, the creator of the Pong video game and founder of the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant chain, is innovating again. He is about to open a restaurant where the servers will have novel attributes: triple redundancy and backup batteries.

In this case, the servers will not be human waiters but powerful central computers that will record food orders and display video games that customers can play while they eat.

Click Here

Mr. Bushnell calls the concept the Media Bistro, and he plans to open the first one in West Los Angeles this fall. The point, he said, is to get gamers out of the house.

Video games today 'are about social isolation,' Mr. Bushnell said. 'There needs to be a place that brings a little more balance and brings people together.'


Nolan Bushnell launches uWink Bistro's

Playing It Again - Newsweek Technology - MSNBC.com

Hope good ol' Nolan can make this one work ...

Real Estate "investing" has it's problems

Getting Crushed in a Housing Collapse:

Carrying costs, esp if bought on low (or no) downpayment, with such arrangements as "interest only" loans, where there is no equity build up can crush "investors."
Even if you have 10% equity, a drop of 5% can hurt.

"...homes have carrying costs -- taxes, maintenance, and insurance -- that make it much harder for people to carry properties bought as an investment when the market turns south. In 2004, 36% of properties sold were second homes, the bulk of them purchased as investments. 'It's not like a stock,' where investors mainly have lost opportunity costs to holding a loser. With real estate, he notes, 'If prices don't continue to go up, you're 4% or 5% behind every year.' "

Monday, May 30, 2005

hell on 2 wheels

hell on 2 wheels
Originally uploaded by redrevolt.
Way Cool
The late Hunter Thomson with a Duck

More Indy

Woman Makes History at Indy 500 Without Checkered Flag - New York Times:

"No woman had ever led the race, let alone won it. About 300,000 fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway clapped, pumped their fists and screamed, urging Patrick to hang on. She would have loved to, she said, but she also had to save fuel merely to finish the race.

" Asked if she had made the point that female drivers could compete against men, Patrick quickly said, "I made a hell of a point for anybody, are you kidding me?"

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Very Racy

DANICA PATRICK's Official Website - danicaracing.com - Team Rahal Indy Car Driver

Quite a performance at Indy
Bobble, mild crash, still led and finished 4th

Very racy
Very bright future ahead

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Indy 500 History in the making ?

NPR : Danica Patrick Aims to Make Indy 500 History:

Didn't see coverage of her qualifying run, but reports that she got out of shape on the first lap, gathered it up and legged it
Qualified 4th despite the mistake!
Last 3 laps were fastest of the entire field.
And she is with a top team.

"Danica Patrick, 23, became an instant celebrity when she qualified for this Sunday's Indianapolis 500, finishing higher than any other woman in the race's history.

Patrick is just the fourth woman to qualify for the 'Greatest Spectacle in Racing' -- but unlike her predecessors, experts say she has a real shot at winning.

Since rookie orientation began on the raceway May 5, Patrick has been among the fastest of drivers. She posted the fastest practice speed at Indy this month -- around 229 miles an hour -- and would have qualified first if not for briefly sliding sideways during her run.

Instead, Patrick settled for fourth in the 33-car field -- the highest qualifier by any woman in the race's 89-year history. But she says she has the experience to reach the front of the field."

Friday, May 27, 2005

Knife Control

British Medical Experts Campaign for Long, Pointy Knife Control - New York Times:
Now this really is "Looney"

"The authors of the editorial argued that the pointed tip is a vestigial feature from less mannered ages, when people used it to spear meat. They said that they interviewed 10 chefs in England, and that 'none gave a reason why the long, pointed knife was essential,' though short, pointed knives were useful.

An American chef, however, disagreed with the proposal. 'This is yet another sign of the coming apocalypse,' said Anthony Bourdain, the executive chef at Les Halles and the author of 'Kitchen Confidential.'

A knife, he said, is a beloved tool of the trade, and not a thing to be shaped by bureaucrats. A chef's relationship with his knives develops over decades of training and work, he said, adding, 'Its weight, its shape - these are all extensions of our arms, and in many ways, our personalities.'

He compared the editorial to efforts to ban unpasteurized cheese. 'Where there is no risk,' he said, 'there is no pleasure.'"

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Scary Stuff

The New York Times > Real Estate > Is It Worth It?:

"Mindy Schuss, an ex-Upper East Sider, moved six years ago to Dix Hills, on Long Island, with her 2-year-old twins and husband, Dean, from whom she is now divorced. 'It was very lonely,' she said of the five-bedroom home she found with Maddy Camay, an associate broker at Re/Max North Shore. The house sits on an acre about a 10-minute drive from the nearest shopping area."

Oh My 10 Minutes
Bet she has one of those Gawd-Awful SUV's too!

Frankly - stay in the city!

Remember that Madison Ave is in THE CITY
And they (think) that they know what is best for the rest of us
At least how to cram it down our throats

"It's a springtime ritual: Like pollen shaking loose from the trees, many young Manhattan families are preparing to scatter toward the suburbs and a new phase of life. Others are merely thinking about it, wondering about the tradeoffs, and the psychic toll.

Is there any way to know in advance whether moving to the suburbs will work out - or be a big, expensive mistake? Will fine schools, backyards and breathing room compensate for tedious commutes, fewer conveniences and a possibly somnolent lifestyle? Will the suburbs be populated by like-minded transplants or insular unsophisticates? Are the restaurants really that bad?"

Conclusion ?
Beth Little of Summit, N.J., said a good selection of restaurants is "the one thing we always say we miss."

"The food is definitely not as good; I cook all the time now instead of ordering," said Ms. Little, who lives with her husband, Bill, and four children aged 10 months to 6 years, in a house they found with the help of Elizabeth Crosby and Ms. Cavazini of Lois Schneider Realtor. "I think it's healthier and it's better and good in a lot of ways, but there's certainly times when I wish I could just pick up the phone and call."


Comment : fits the NYTimes mindset of RedState-BlueState
City is sophisticated, non-city is for hicks.
Rural is Scary ...

And the "Sound of Silence" (thank you Simon & Garfinkle) is much scarier than the Sound of Sirens ...

Stick to the City!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Late May Photos

Early Morning
Not mountains across the lake, just the morning fog lifting
Sun just coming up, Full Moon, Full Flower Moon or Milk Moon, just set.

Morning Clouds lift

Later, mid afternoon, a beautiful day.
Little activity on the lake yet.

Sunny Spring Afternoon

But with Memorial Day coming up, the pace will quicken.

Bloggin Burnout

A VC: Bagging the Post

Interesting ideas

I've chosen to set up several blogs
One "semi-public" with various rants, mostly lightweight, one internal, family and friends for serious stuff (investments, data etc.) one straight internal for hard core rants (stuff that pisses me off) mostly for bookmarking and annotating.

Haven't moved to categories nor tags... yet

Furthermore, suspect that sometimes, those of us new to blogging have a pile of "stuff" to get off our chests. After a few months we've pretty well said those things and feel better.

note to self : gotta learn this trackback stuff

Monday, May 23, 2005

Outrage of the day/week/and at least Month!

Trump University - Welcome

University ?

University: definition

So what degrees are granted ?
Institution of Higher Education and Research ?

No wonder the perception of education in America is so low.
If anyone truly believes this crap is a University, they are delusional.

But with some of the ongoing mania for Real Estate, per some prior posts, maybe they are.

I think I hear the Fat Lady warming up, if she isn't on stage already.

WSJ story on RealEstate Mania

WSJ.com - As Prices Rise, Homeowners Go Deep in Debt to Buy Real Estate:

Economists Say Move to Tap
Equity May Inflate Bubble;
Like Buying on Margin

"Those rapid profits reflect surging house prices, rising at a double-digit rate in the Epsteins' area near Washington. "It's a wonderful market out there," Mr. Epstein says.

Five years into a housing boom that has boosted U.S. home values an average of 50% and added an estimated $5.5 trillion to the total market value of residential real estate, many Americans no longer think of their home as just a place to live. Instead, it's a cash machine that can be used to rapidly build wealth. To that end, a growing number of people are tapping into their home equity to invest in more real estate.

That's a lot like using a margin account -- a line of credit backed by securities in an investor's portfolio -- to buy stocks. During the 1990s, many investors used such accounts to buy shares in fast-rising tech stocks. When the dot-com bubble burst, the value of the shares bought on credit cratered and investors' borrowing worsened their losses. Economists say today's debt-fueled investment binge in real estate is fanning the flames of an already overheated housing market, and making demand from people who actually need houses to live in seem stronger than it truly is.

In some markets, this buying is adding to a glut of rental housing and causing rents to fall, which will make.ENAmore difficult for investors to break even. Already, there are signs that a few investors are starting to get burned."


"In another sign of growing concern, the Federal Reserve and other bank regulators last week issued guidelines calling for lenders to tighten their criteria for making loans backed by home equity by looking more closely at borrowers' ability to repay under various possible future market conditions. The regulators are starting work on similar guidelines covering mortgage loans used to purchase homes. Among regulators' top concerns: the surge in popularity of interest-only loans, which allow people to pay only interest in the initial years and face the burden of paying back the principal later."

If not the top, it's getting damn close.

Salsa Dancers and Stunt Men? Must Be a Miami Condo Project - New York Times:

"MIAMI, May 22 - In the last month alone, you could salsa with dancers in fringed hot pants at Aqua, hear a drag queen D.J. at Cynergi or watch stunt men ricochet off a trampoline at Soleil.

Nightclubs? No. Carnival acts? Not quite.

These were launch parties for condominium projects, one of the stranger forms of nightlife in a city obsessed with real estate. Alcohol and music were abundant, but so were sales agents and brochures with statements like, 'It is the impeccable aesthetic of textures and calming shades - limestone and blue marble - that further distinguish these voluminous spaces.'

Deep-pocketed developers, forced to be ever more creative in the pursuit of buyers for condos still years from being built, pay for these lavish affairs - another take on the 'froth' in the housing market that Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve chairman, described last week. Though the parties emulate the club scene, most take place in hastily erected sales centers or parking lots near the future construction site. Guests encounter model kitchens and scan price lists while sampling mojitos and tuna tartare.

'Everyone needs to one-up each other more and more with these things,' said Jorge Luis Garcia, a real estate agent attending a party for Vitri, an unbuilt project in South Beach where prices start above $600,000. 'The food's got to be better, the lighting's got to be better, the D.J.'s got to be really good. The new norm is the quarter-million-dollar party.'

No expense is spared because the stakes are high: about 70,000 condo units are planned, under construction or newly finished in Miami proper, home to fewer than 400,000 people. Builders need early deposits to get construction loans, so they work hard to entice the buyers they covet - image-conscious people, many from Latin America and Europe, with money to burn on a second home, a speculative investment or a status symbol."

Follow up to the Fortune piece (below)

Pie in the Sky

Seth's Blog: When advertisers insist on interruption

Don't know if the FAA got spooked by this or not:
"When advertisers insist on interruption"

MoonriseThe sky's the limit.

MoonriseThe sky's the limit.

Government: No billboards in space
FAA says it lacks authority to enforce existing law prohibiting 'obtrusive' ads in zero gravity.
May 19, 2005: 4:37 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government does not want billboards in space.

The Federal Aviation Administration proposed on Thursday to amend its regulations to ensure that it can enforce a law that prohibits "obtrusive" advertising in zero gravity.

"Objects placed in orbit, if large enough, could be seen by people around the world for long periods of time," the FAA said in a regulatory filing.

Currently, the FAA lacks the authority to enforce the existing law.

For instance, outsized billboards deployed by a space company into low Earth orbit could appear as large as the moon and be seen without a telescope, the FAA said. Big and bright advertisements might hinder astronomers.

"Large advertisements could destroy the darkness of the night sky," regulators said.

Coincidence that the announcement arrives at the same time as Star Wars?

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Now this looks like the real Looney Tune - RealEstate Madness

Investing - Can You Still Cash in on the Real Estate Gold Rush? - Intro - FORTUNE
Riding the Boom
"They snap up real estate, flip it, then chase the next hot market.They’re the new day traders—and they’re dancing on the edge of a volcano."

Stories of residential real estate "investors" who look to flip houses, condos etc.
All assume that they are not the "greater fool"

Likely exagerated, esp with tales of those who have lost track of how many houses they own.

Note that tax laws (no cap gains on flipped property if you are continuing to trade up) encouage "bad behavior"

Wonder what happens to tax reciepts when the music stops.

Seth Godin - on Politics

Seth Godin - Liar's Blog - All (successful) politicians are liars:

Really couldn't put it any better myself !

"[When marketers talk about politics (and when politicians talk about marketing) it almost always ends up as a degraded conversation because people get emotional over their points of view. That's not what I'm talking about here. What I'm talking about is the consistent bungling of the Democratic Party as they fail to tell stories that people want to hear.]

John Kerry lost to an unpopular incumbent seeking reelection for just one reason: he insisted on focusing on facts, on issues, on position papers and on nuance. He acted like an intellectual bully, refusing to worry about the story he told. George W. Bush, on the other hand, was absolutely masterful in the way he told a story that a portion of the electorate wanted to hear.

It may be, that like me, you wish that all issues were decided on facts and reliable data. They never are. We're people, not machines, and we believe stories, not facts.

On Newspapers

hyku | blog - Out with the Old Media in with the New Media - by Josh Hallett:

"Out with the Old Media in with the New Media

I recently had a conversation with a newspaper vet about the changing times within the newspaper business. He echoed the comments I have heard from a number of reporters/editors at a number of papers, the managing editor or publisher just does not get new media. In some cases it's the publisher, in other cases it's the editors.

As new blood comes into the newsroom change is slowly happening, but it needs to be top-down effort to adapt quickly enough. The old-guard does not believe in/or refuses to learn new media. It was then that I made the following observation.

If these editors or publishers were interviewing for their jobs now, they would not be hired.

How is it they still have their jobs then?"


My reaction to all this Journalism stuff.

I recalll years ago, learning from friends in the press, that what I was reading the papers for, in other words "the news" was referred to within the business as "the news hole". That which needed to be filled after all the ad space was filled.

Now this may be a bit of an exaggeration, but essentially covers the point.
The point being to move newsprint ( or electronic images (aka time) ) which was the carrier of ads.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Jim Harrison

Featured Author: Jim Harrison

Series of links within NYTimes on one of American's greats.

Ran into a friend last night, he's close to Jim and says that Jim got them into Mario's Babbo
Something I haven't managed to do yet

We did get to Lupa last fall. Wonderful dinner!

GM trims - good move!

The New York Times > Automobiles > G.M.'s Brands to Cut Back on Variety

Looks like GM is taking action:

"Facing its worst financial outlook in more than a decade, General Motors outlined a new product development and sales strategy Thursday, saying that from now on Chevrolet and Cadillac would be the company's only brands to offer a full lineup of vehicles.

That means G.M.'s other six brands marketed in the United States will focus on a narrower selection of segments. GMC and Hummer will continue to sell trucks while Pontiac, Saab and Saturn will focus mostly on cars and smaller S.U.V.'s, with Buick offering some of both.

The plan indicates that G.M. is trying to wean itself from what has been a highly criticized product development strategy of keeping costs down by developing the same basic vehicle for many of its brands. It will also probably mean consolidation of the company's more than 7,000 dealers."

I can see Pontiac surviving, being the "sporty" division, GMC looks solid (trucks and SUV's still strong despite fuel costs, and likely will get Hybrids), but not sure of placement of Buick.

Saturn, Saab and Hummer as niche products.

More coverage, from Detroit, here:
GM shifts strategy for brands

"The move marks a shift away from GM's long-held philosophy that nearly every brand should offer a full array of cars, trucks and minivans, said Mark LaNeve, GM North America vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing.

The automaker's goal is to clearly differentiate each of its brands and phase out cars and trucks that don't fit in with a brand or are too similar to other vehicles in GM's lineup.

"People say we have too many brands," LaNeve said in a recent interview. "We have too many brands if we try to do the same things with all the brands."

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Backyard Trio

Mid March, a nice little trio in our backyard

Then went out to catch a few more ...

Trillium - Lots of Trillium

Up North Cookin'

Up North with Mario Batali: Chef helps Leelanau cause

Mario splits time between NYC and Northport
Word is that he and his wife are building new place here.

Of all the places I've taken Shirley in NY, Lupa has been her favorite.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

NMich Rocks On

Northern Express

Bit in Northern Express on Tom Wright (photographer)
Tom Wright Photography

For the uninitiated, the Grande was a rock palace in the inner city of Detroit which hosted some of the greatest bands in the world at a time when the city's own rock scene was at its peak.

"Part of me wanted to go but another part of me knew that musically Detroit was the place to be," said Wright. "So I told Pete (Townshend) I was going back to Detroit and he agreed that is was a good thing. We decided to connect up when they returned to the U.S. for their next tour."

"I went to the offices of Eye Magazine in New York, which was the music magazine in those days, and told the editors that the music scene wasn‚t happening in New York or California but rather in Detroit," said Wright.

"They looked at me and said okay you go there, photograph the bands, check out the scene and write an article."

It had taken only one show at the Grande a few days earlier to convince Wright that Detroit was at the center of the rock music universe. "The Who just hadn't been recognized until that night they walked into the Grande. Sure, concerts were selling out and their songs were on the radio, but when they took the stage at the Grande it all changed," said Wright.

"They walked in and played three notes and everyone knew the song. That had never happened before, not even in England. The crowd went crazy and I saw what it did for the band; to this day it is among their best live performances ever."

Wright sensed that Detroit and the Grande would be at the center of the emerging rock scene, the crossroads where British and American rock musicians would revolutionize music for years to come.

His perceptions were correct. To this day many legends including Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, The MC5 and Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac have all said that their best performances ever were at the Grande.

"I thought after that first Who concert at the Grande it was the first time the crowd had seen anything like that," said Wright. "Then after the show the stage manager said it is like this every night, he mentioned the night before when Cream was there. He also told me about all the great bands in Detroit. So I started thinking that there must be something to this city."

"After Goose Lake, Wright and his three closest friends, 'Chuch' McGee (roadie for the Rolling Stones), Russ Schlagbaum (Pete Townshend's accountant for 10 years and currently in charge of tour logistics for the Rolling Stones), and Patrick Culley (who'd go on to various management responsibilities with Ted Nugent, Rolling Stones, Bill Graham, and The Eagles) boarded a Polish freighter and went to Europe for several months before Wright returned to the states to tour manage and photograph several bands including the The Faces and The James Gang.

'Chuch' McGee lived in the U.P. and passed away last summer during a Rolling Stones rehearsal in Toronto. He had been with the Rolling Stones for 30 years and was Ronnie Wood's guitar tech. Chuch is considered by many as the best roadie ever and his death stunned the group, leaving a usually talkative Mick Jagger speechless as the group left rehearsal.

Chuch was so valued that the whole band flew to his funeral in Marquette and played 'Amazing Grace.

Wright brought the last photo he had taken of Chuch to the funeral and every member of the band asked for a copy of it. When Keith Richards was given a copy of the photo he responded: 'Ah, Tom Wright is a fine photographer with a special touch, he captures the true essence of people.'

When asked about why Wright's photographs were so important to the artists, guitarist Joe Walsh of the James Gang and The Eagles responded: 'You had to have been there and Tom was. Tom Wright is the 'Jack Kerouac' of photography.'"


Mulling over some old "images"

Whit has some of the posters, after all, she "discovered" them in the basement

Doubt that they are truely collectable

But here are two in my office: (links from http://www.sixtiesposters.com)

Sixties Posters Fillmore Poster BG-57 The Byrds


Sixties Posters Fillmore Poster BG-51 Grateful Dead

Also looking into work by "Mouse"
Use to do TShirts with "Hot Rod" themes
Looks like he did stuff for Gratefull Dead later
Mouse Studios - Store

Related: local (Glen Arbor) Artist did work for the Dead
Welcome to Kristin Hurlin Illustrations

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Yahoo forces RIAA staff cutbacks…

Yahoo forces RIAA staff cutbacks… - Blog Maverick - www.blogmaverick.com _

Mark Cuban on Yahoo's $5/month music subscription service and death to RIAA lawsuits.

Good !

Newsweek Blunder

Newsweek Says It Is Retracting Koran Report - New York Times

And the Beat Goes On (to quote Cher)

From Blair (Witch - NYTimes) to RatherGate and now WashPost (NewsWeek)

"After a drumbeat of criticism from the Bush administration and others, Newsweek magazine yesterday went beyond an apology it issued Sunday and retracted an article published May 1 that stated that American interrogators at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, had tried to rattle Muslim detainees by flushing a Koran down a toilet."

Soooo - it's the administration, not NewsWeek that is at fault.

" The original article was blamed for inciting widespread protests and riots in the Muslim world, where desecration of the Koran is viewed as an incendiary act, and where at least 17 people were killed in the ensuing violence.

"Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation had uncovered Koran abuse at Guantnamo Bay," the statement from Newsweek said.

The carefully worded retraction came after the White House said the Newsweek article had damaged the image of the United States abroad. It reflected the severity of consequences that even one sentence in a brief news article can have at a time of intense anti-American sentiment overseas and political polarization, as well as extreme distrust of the mainstream media at home."

In other words, if everybody overseas loved us, journalistic integrity would not matter as much.

How about just calling it a stupid move on the part of Newsweek?

From StratFor:
Why would a devout Muslim prisoner, having seen the Koran flushed down a toilet, turn and say, 'Well, that convinces me. I'll talk'? If anything, desecrating the Koran would stiffen the resolve of believers. There are two ways to induce a prisoner to talk: One is coercion -- applying physical or psychological pressure that weakens him; the other is befriending him -- showing him that you are his friend and ally. Desecrating the Koran is not going to weaken anyone's resolve to resist, nor will it make you his friend.

Wrapup from NYTimes :
" Analysts said Newsweek was also damaged by the timing of this event, coming after a spate of high-profile journalistic scandals involving fabrications and plagiarism by reporters at other news organizations, including The New York Times.

"I think that this has the potential to be one of those so-called tipping points," said David Gergen, director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and a senior aide to four presidents. Mr. Gergen also works for U.S. News & World Report, a competitor to Newsweek.

"There is a lot of anger, both here and abroad," Mr. Gergen added. "The Muslim world is going to continue to believe that this actually happened and that Newsweek is only issuing a retraction because of the reaction."

He said the magazine was smart to issue the retraction, but that it would not quell the outrage. "If anything, it is mushrooming and becoming uglier by the hour," he said."

Monday, May 16, 2005

At first it looks like a Victory, but may be a can of worms

Supreme Court Strikes Down Bans on Wine Shipments - New York Times:

"In a 5-to-4 decision that struck down laws in New York and Michigan, and by extension calls into question the laws in 22 other states, the court held that laws that discriminate against out-of-state vineyards violate the Constitution's Commerce Clause, which empowers Congress to regulate interstate commerce.

'Laws such as those at issue contradict the principles underlying this rule by depriving citizens of their right to have access to other states' markets on equal terms,' the majority held, in an opinion by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

Today's ruling does not leave state lawmakers powerless to regulate direct shipments of alcohol, but if they do so they must not favor their own states over other states. Indeed, Nida Samona, the chairwoman of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, told The Associated Press that her commission would urge lawmakers to bar direct shipments for both local and out-of-state wineries."

Hopefully it helps smaller, quality producers like Larry Mawby
Mawby Vineyards

Apple Matters : interview with Seth (Godin)

Apple Matters

Interesting little interview

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Creating Passionate Users: Think... or be afraid

Creating Passionate Users: Think... or be afraid:

Discussion of how the brain works on short notice.
"You can't be afraid and rational at the same time. Pick one."


"You're about to step into the street when out of the corner of your eye a car appears. There is a gap between when your brain perceives the car and when you are consciously aware of the car and can think about it. That gap could mean the difference between you being flattened by the car and... not. There are simply too many situations where you just don't have time to wait for your cortex to kick in, so your brain has another mechanism for acting without the overhead of involving your cortex first. And even if your cortex did get the news, taking the time to think could get you killed... by the time you come up with a plan, it's too late to execute.

And thousands of years ago, the humans who did NOT stop to think were the ones who stayed alive long enough to... breed. Their "wait, I have to weigh the tradeoffs here" counterparts were clubbed to death, eaten by tigers, and flattened by falling boulders. Darwin won, and here we are stuck with legacy brains.

So how does it pattern to the "Evening News"?
Put on the strong fliter - "if it bleeds it leads"

"It works on people, too, but there's something else to consider... the dark side of the equation. Imagine that you did want someone to be afraid, because you specifically do not want them thinking rationally and logically. What if your goal is to convince them to do something that's not in their best interest? One approach is to make sure that they stay as fearful and anxious as possible, to make it more difficult for them to focus and think rationally. It's a trick that's been used by governments, managers, manipulate family members, and advertisers for ages.

We all need to recognize when someone's doing that to us. And I would start with the television 'if it bleeds it leads' news. Unlike television shows, movies, and video games--which your brain knows aren't real--a brain perceives the news as 'real' and often concludes that things are far more dangerous than they really are, thanks to the dramatic statistic imbalance (reality distortion field) between what is displayed on the news and what is actually happening outside your front door. It's not like you'll ever hear, for example, a nightly new run down of all the people in your city who were NOT in fact killed in a drive-by shooting that day. The 'good news' is usually a 20-second spot at the end about a rescued kitten."

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Rock & Roll is Here to Stay

Rolling Stones

Stones tour yet again
Mick and Keith are 61, still rocking

Then Jimmy Page (Lead Zeppelin) opens the NY Stock Exchange today (May 11th)

"MAY. 11 10:18 A.M. ET Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, jamming in the midst of the suit-and-tie executives of Warner Music Group Corp., helped ring the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday as the music publisher celebrated its initial public stock offering." BWeek

Monday, May 09, 2005

NYTimes on Ethics... ? Continuation

Times Panel Proposes Steps to Build Credibility - New York Times:

Interesting piece, following Sunday's Editorial questioning the Ethics of Bloggers, and review of Gawkster as a questionable business model (publishing and advertising) :

"The committee, which was charged last fall by Bill Keller, the executive editor, with examining how the paper could increase readers' trust, said there was 'an immense amount that we can do to improve our journalism.'

As examples, the report cited limiting anonymous sources, reducing factual errors and making a clearer distinction between news and opinion. It also said The Times should make the paper's operations and decisions more transparent to readers through methods like making transcripts of interviews available on its Web site.

The report also said The Times should make it easier for readers to send e-mail to reporters and editors. 'The Times makes it harder than any other major American newspaper for readers to reach a responsible human being,' the report said.

The report comes as the public's confidence in the media continues to wane. A recent study from the Pew Research Center found that 45 percent of Americans believe little or nothing of what they read in their daily newspapers, a level of distrust that may have been inflated because the questions were asked during the contentious presidential campaign when the media itself was often at issue. When specific newspapers were mentioned, The Times fared about average, with 21 percent of readers believing all or most of what they read in The Times and 14 percent believing almost nothing."

Sunday, May 08, 2005

NYTimes on Ethics... ?

The Latest Rumbling in the Blogosphere: Questions About Ethics - New York Times
Running Scared ?

Jeff Jarvis takes it apart pretty well at Buzz Machine
Navel Boring

Then there is the review of Gawker
A Blog Revolution? Get a Grip

I too would question the publication model, trying to mimic the print world and gather advertising

And having "editors" post 12 times a day ... gimme a break!

Timing strikes me as interesting
Ongoing shriking of the publishing model ...

I'm reminded of the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz, when dowsed with water ..."I'm melting, I'm melting..."

Friday, May 06, 2005


eNature.com - Nature and Wildlife Field Guides

Annual visit to the cove by a couple of Terns
Winter in Fla, summer further north than here.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Drunk Raccoons

Oh, Brother: 'Car Talk' Guy Puts Mouth in Gear

Thanks Pete
Brief review of the Magliozzis brothers (Click & Clack)
"...radio shtick is indistinguishable from their real-life conversations, say people who know them. "People say, 'You sound just like those shmucks on the radio,' " Ray says. In other words, they sound like drunk raccoons with Boston accents who cackle perpetually and occasionally dispense car-related wisdom."

And another set of "Drunk Raccoons"
The link is for those truely obsessed with The Friendly Sons of the Raccoons!
Hint : The Honeymooners

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Operating Systems and Recent History

Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc.: Operating Systems and Recent History:

Good piece by Dan on history of Windoze, Mac OS & Linux and the value of competition to force ongoing improvement in products offered.

Great comment :
"This is just a repeat of the predatory pre-announcement strategy MS has been using for over 15 years: 'We swear we've learned how to Do It Right, so pleasepleaseple-e-ese put your plans to switch on hold, and just hang on until the next version. We promise it won't suck like the current one'.

And, indeed, it doesn't: instead, it sucks in new and amazing ways that require users to learn/invent entirely new strategies to protect themselves from the effects of Microsoft's screw-ups.

If this continues, some crazed administrator, driven mad by years of endless patching that never quite makes his users' PCs safe to let loose on the net, will shoot Gates at one of his keynote speaker apperances, and make history as the first successful non-spousal use of the 'Battered Wife Syndrome' defense..."

On MuSoft and attitude

Julie Leung: Seedlings & Sprouts: Thanks to Doc Searls, I burned the soup..but it was worth it

Maybe good insight to Bill G's attitude (note: found Julie's site via Doc)

"Doc's piece impacted me enough that I am willing to reveal something I've been reluctant to write on this blog in the past. He begins with a critique of Microsoft's belief in the bell curve.

What's wrong here isn't simply the focus on Microsoft in a country where open source is a huge phenomenon. It's that both Tom and Microsoft continue to believe IQ tests are important ways to measure citizens in a flat world. Because if there's one thing the world is flattening fast, it's the old caste system we call The Bell Curve.

Although I've never worked at Microsoft, I may be able to understand part of the company's culture and values. Why? I attended the same high school founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen did. Lakeside was the only school where Bill G received a diploma, dropping out of Harvard after a year. It's been called the Ivy League high school of the west coast, or something similiar, and the brick-and-ivy campus in north Seattle as well as the tuition of close to $30k a year, only encourage the comparison. To survive the competitive admission process, kids must score well on exams and demonstrate talents.

a reputation and an identity

School shapes us. The reason I haven't mentioned Lakeside by name on this blog is because it has a reputation. My mom sent me there after years of frustration with public education, thinking it would be best for me. I wasn't a typical student: I commuted miles across towns each morning on metro buses and received loads of financial aid. Although I'm biased as an alum, I'd guess that Lakeside School has two prominent associations in people's minds: if you went to Lakeside, you must be wealthy and smart, in an elite way.

So Microsoft's use of IQ tests or emphasis on the word "smart" doesn't surprise me. Lakeside kids, which Gates and Allen still are somewhere inside, as we all are still children - can start attending the school in fifth grade, at age 10, and grow up in a culture where intelligence becomes identity. Why are we all at this school? Because we're smart. It's an identity that requires significant investment, both financial and otherwise, so it reinforces itself out of necessity.

I am thankful

Lakeside did provide me with a challenging academic education. Teachers at the school played important support roles in my life when I needed other adults to care for me. For those two factors I am grateful. The private school helped me survive adolescence, mentally and emotionally. I also became active as a runner on sports teams, developing physical abilities I wouldn't have discovered if had I stayed in a larger school.

But Lakeside is also a culture - or at least it was a culture - that emphasized the belief in the elite, rather than belief in everyone. With words the school may say otherwise, but de facto, by definition, it values intelligence that can be measured on tests, prizing and thereby preserving belief in the tip of the bell curve."

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Newspaper Circulation dives

BuzzMachine... by Jeff Jarvis

Jeff comments on the spiral down:
"If they depend just on the old, big, one-size-fits-all product then, yes, that's bad news. And if, in the case of one of at least one of the companies listed in the story, a big drop comes from cleaning up circ fraud, well, that's very bad news.

But if print media spread out across new media -- online, mobile, multimedia -- and new, niche products -- ethnic, entertainment, handout -- then that's good news: the mass market becomes the mass of niches; the audience is served where and when it wants to be served. And if that happens, circulation in the big, one-size-fits-all print products will decline and it will not be bad news. Lot of if's there. "

Monday, May 02, 2005

Print Insists It's Here to Stay

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Print Insists It's Here to Stay

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Does this mean that Print really is nervous about the Internet?

Newspapers should be, first eBay cuts into the most lucrative business, classifieds, now Bloggers eat at editorial content. With shrinking readership (Tribune admits that LA Times lowest since the '60's) they should be worried.

Magazines - still a handy form factor.
While I can, and occasionally do, take my laptop to the "library" (john), it's more usual to browse the small stack of magazines there for a quick read.
The argument of "stickiness" appears to be valid for magazines.
"The magazine industry is extremely healthy," said Jay Kirsch, vice president of AdMedia Partners, financial advisers to magazines. "The newsweeklies are in tough shape, but the monthlies and lifestyle and enthusiast magazines are doing fabulously."

For "newsweeklies" I tend to zero in on columnists - could be reading thier blogs instead.
Much of the rest is old news by the time it hits the mailbox/newstand

"...research showed that when people are reading magazines, they are unlikely to be using any other form of media. But when they watch television, listen to the radio or wait to download something from the Internet, they are more likely to be listening, watching or reading something else at the same time."

For advertisers, this might work. Esp. for the "brand awareness" type.

More:The Economist on the Future of Journalism