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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Net Neutrality event in Montpelier

Posted By on Thu, Aug 31, 2006 at 4:14 PM

If you, like me, could not be at the net neutrality rally today, feel free to check out the event's video stream on the Channel 17 website.

Here's a report from WCAX and preview coverage from the Vermont Guardian

Meghan's last day...

Posted By on Thu, Aug 31, 2006 at 11:02 AM

...as a localvore. Don't know how she made it a month without chocolate or coffee.  Reading her blog, sounds like she's been feasting pretty well, though.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Online Journalism Awards

Posted By on Tue, Aug 29, 2006 at 1:37 PM

I just saw this list of finalists from the Online Journalism Association. It's worth checking out to see what kind of work is considered exceptional in this field.

I scrolled down to the Outstanding Use of Multiple Media (large) category, and wound up reading the BBC's coverage of the London bombings last July. The diary of Londoner Rachel North kept me reading all the way to the end. She was on one of the trains that was bombed. Amazing — isn't it? — that we can just press a button or whatever and read such an intimate, compelling account of a far away tragedy.

Tuesday! Deadline Linkdump

Posted By on Tue, Aug 29, 2006 at 11:07 AM

For most people, the week begins, when, Sunday? Monday? For me, it more or less begins on Wednesday, so Tuesday is like my Sunday. Er, except I'm at work. But I work Sundays, too, most of the time...

Anywho, I usually have a little time Tuesday to read yer blogs. Hence the linkdump.

They're back: The Bad Colonies guys made it all the way to Ulan Bator and back, and you can read all about their adventures, via Bad Colonies Motoring Cooperative.

A short disquisition on what is real: Cartoonist Alison Bechdel explains the recent "speculative" episodes of her comic strip. Did Sydney really arrange an affair with Madeleine while Mo was listening? The short answer is no. Writes Bechdel,

"Being very fond of the first formulation of Kant’s categoricalimperative–”Act only according to that maxim by which you can at thesame time will that it would become a universal law”—I like to take itout for a test drive occasionally.

Not often that you see a cartoonist citing categorial imperatives, via DTWOF.

The secret hold: Carpetbagger Steve Benin Benen explores the mysterious secret hold some Senator put on a bill that would have created a searchable database of government grants, contracts and types of financial assistance, worth $2.5 trillion last year. It's a crazy little trick that's holding up a bill with broad barpartisan support, via Carpetbagger Report. Go Steve! I want to search that database.

Weekly Hum, via Vermont Hum.

My last Pluto post, via Tom's Astronomy Blog.

• Sky Barsch of the Burlington Free Press writes a love note to Snarky Boy, via Gadabout.

"This isn't a racist comment...": Yeah right. You knew those Essex shootings would provoke some kind of outrage on the gay gun nut's blog — indeed, Jeff Soyer describes alleged shooter Chris Williams as "a mutant" and "a low-life thug." But the comments attached to his post say so much more... Via Alphecca.

• More on that mysterious Montpelier performance artist, via False 45th.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Online Debate is on

Posted By on Mon, Aug 28, 2006 at 12:34 PM

Green Mountain Daily's online Lt. Governor debate between John Tracy and Matt Dunne is happening right now. Find out how you, too, can join in here.

It got started a little late, and it looks like there's only about 38 people in the chatroom, and that includes the candidates.

Here's question number 2. Writes Odum,

"Matt, my property taxes are kicking my butt. Any thoughts?"

Saturday at the Fair

Posted By on Mon, Aug 28, 2006 at 6:51 AM

Ann-Elise and Graham and I went to the Champlain Valley Fair on Saturday. This is my explanation for why I haven't finished my blogroll changes yet.

And look! Ann-Elise won first place in the "other" houseplant category for her remarkable haemanthus albiflos (right), which is blooming for the first time in, like, 8 years. She won a bunch of other awards, too, for her cut flowers and her cacti.

I never knew you could win money by entering plants and flowers in the fair competitions, but it's true, you can. There's not even an entry fee. It's not that hard, either, because not that many people enter. There's another round of judging on Wednesday, so there's still time to cash in.

Not to diminish Ann-Elise's achievement. She actually won us back our entire price of admission and parking — a whopping $24 total. Unfortunately she didn't make enough to pay for our kielbasa dogs, onion rings and butter pecan ice cream. Maybe next year.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Monday's Online Lt. Guv Debate

Posted By on Fri, Aug 25, 2006 at 3:39 PM

The online debate between John Tracy and Matt Dunne is happening at noon on Monday. Some details, via Green Mountain Daily:

There will be only 9 questions. Approximately 5 will be issue-based... Another couple questions will be onleadership-slash-character topics. There will be a "philosophy ofgovernance" question, and also a question that will invite eachcandidate to contrast themselves with the other. For this contrastquestion, each candidate will be given a 30 second rebuttal. In thecase of the other questions, a 30 second rebuttal will only betriggered if a candidate characterizes their opponent in the course oftheir normally allotted 90 second answer. Candidates will be given abrief opportunity for opening and closing remarks.

These time limits are not hard and fast - that is, there wont be abuzzer if they're a little off. There will also be a parallel "liveblogging thread" on GMD proper for folks who want to make comments.

Jack McCullough and Vermonter will be onsite with each of thecandidates to verify they (or their appointed typist, if they don'ttype very quickly) are indeed answering the questions themselves andaren't doing any cutting-and-pasting from crib sheets.

Interesting. To find out how you can access this debate, follow the link above.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Essex shooting on Free Press website

Posted By on Thu, Aug 24, 2006 at 2:45 PM

Is anybody else following the alleged shooting at Essex Elementary School that's apparently in process? The Burlington Free Press is updating their website every few minutes or so with new news. Looks like they're posting stuff directly from the police scanner. Sounds like they're also in contact with neighbors.

Nobody else has any details yet, so I am refreshing the page every few minutes.

A good way to get web traffic, but I wonder how reliable the info is. Not sure if they have anybody on the ground there.

UPDATE: WCAX is also reporting the shooting. The Free Press says there has been more than one.

UPDATE II: The WCAX page has mysteriously disappeared, and there's no link on the homepage. What happened?

UPDATE III: A report from CNN.

Economist says newspapers are getting it

Posted By on Thu, Aug 24, 2006 at 2:15 PM

I feel like I've seen other articles recently about how newspapers are finally picking up on online trends. This one from the Economist — More Media, Less News — is a good one. It summarizes some of the latest trends, and offers some rays of hope for our struggling industry, though not many.

Here's something I hadn't heard before:

Gannett, theworld's biggest newspaper group, is trying to make its journalism morelocal. It has invested in “mojos”—mobile journalists with wirelesslaptops who permanently work out of the office encamped in communityhubs.

One question: what the hell is a "community hub" if it's not an office? Is it, like, a shack in the woods somewhere? I mean, it's gotta at least have internet access, right? Am I a "mojo," since I often work from coffeeshops and libraries and places that have wi-fi access? I prefer the term backpack journalist.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

How newspapers can use video

Posted By on Wed, Aug 23, 2006 at 2:42 PM

This is fantastic. The Willamette Week had one of its interns steal his own bike 7 times throughout the city of Portland, OR. Nobody tried to stop him.

He wrote a story about this experience, which appears in the print version of the paper. And he had somebody shoot videos of him snapping the bike chains with giant bolt cutters. They've posted the footage to YouTube. Smart!

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