Found Photos is the latest website that I'm addicted to. Rich Vogel, the webmaster, searches peer-to-peer networks for photos that people are sharing, then posts what he finds. Fascinating; there's some oddly compelling things on there.
Rather never fit the TV mold. He was "hot" where the prevailing style was cool. He took chances where the prevailing ethic was risk adverse. He was willing to be weird; is Brian Williams willing to be weird?
Part of the reason he generated such intense dislike is this refusal to become the "smooth" TV type we so expect these days. Not only is there value in that; there's something courageous about it. The pressure to be predictable is huge in network television; in the anchor's chair even more so. Rather remained an edgy figure, a creature of emotion, an individual.
Some of his other achievements I question. I don't see it as some journalistic advance that he was the first to take his broadcast to big events and anchor the newscast on location. It was an enlargement of the anchorman's celebrity, a stunt that had nothing to do with reportage and everything to do with ego, Bigfoot-ism and the ideology of hype. He wanted to do both: anchor the broadcast and be the star reporter on location. If the show remained in New York he would have to choose.
In talking with the New York Observer Rather made much of his interview with Saddam Hussein before the 2003 war. "The Saddam interviews—I know not everybody thought they were good or worth doing or what have you," he said, "but by any objective standards, any journalist worthy of the name would’ve killed to have those interviews."
I think this quote gets to the heart of my problem with Rather. He had no idea why he was interviewing Saddam, or what he hoped to accomplish. His reference point for it was not Saddam within history, but Dan Rather within journalism.
I think it'll be very interesting to see Rather's work as a correspondent once again. I think he'll do a very good job, and he'll be free from having to wrestle with these two contradictory parts of his self-image: to be the anchor and public face of a broadcast, vs. the dogged investigative reporter.
As a serious food toxicologist with 17 years of experience as a University of California faculty member, I enjoy conducting research and developing food safety educational programs.
For the past eight years, I have combined my previous background as a musician with my scientific and communication training to develop an innovative, humorous, and effective musical approach for food safety education.
Technological advances is music synthesizers and computer-based sequencing programs have allowed me to become a "one-person band." I develop parodies of popular songs by re-writing their lyrics, composing and recording musical arrangements, and producing the music.
It actually sounds interesting, and it looks like they've modeled everything incredibly thoroughly.
Now here's the sick aspect: Traffic, the British game publishers that released JFK Reloaded, are giving away up to $100,000 to the person who most closely duplicates Oswald's actions (as depicted in the Warren Commission report.) Monumentally bad taste, if you ask me.
All of life seems to be about denial - the denial of death, the denial of reality, the denial of everything that it is convenient for us to deny. Photography, because of its causal relationship to the world, seems to give us the truth or something close to the truth. I am skeptical about this for many reasons. But even if photography doesn't give us truth on a silver platter, it does make it harder for us to deny reality. It puts a leash on fantasy, confabulation and self-deception. It provides constraints and borders. It circumscribes our ability to lie - to ourselves and to others.
The great documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, writing in the NYT about the videotape of a U.S. Marine shooting an unarmed wounded prisoner, and how seeing isn't always believing.
People think they can all be pop stars, high court judges, brilliant TV personalities or infinitely more competent heads of state without ever putting in the necessary work or having natural ability. . .
This is the result of social utopianism which believes humanity can be genetically and socially engineered to contradict the lessons of history.
And that if you don't display your license tag, you risk a fine of up to three hundred dollars...and/or fifteen days in jail.
Seems like an overly stiff penalty to me. Registering bikes isn't a terrible idea (especially if proceeds from the bike registrations go to improvements such as bollards and better bike lanes), but we should encourage bicycling, not throw the book at people who don't comply.
WASHINGTON -- The White House has ordered the new CIA director, Porter Goss, to purge the agency of officers believed to have been disloyal to President George W. Bush or of leaking damaging information to the media about the conduct of the Iraq war and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, according to knowledgeable sources.
"The agency is being purged on instructions from the White House," said a former senior CIA official who maintains close ties to both the agency and to the White House. "Goss was given instructions ... to get rid of those soft leakers and liberal Democrats. The CIA is looked on by the White House as a hotbed of liberals and people who have been obstructing the president's agenda."
That's a great policy -- get rid of all of your suspected political opposition from your intelligence agency (an agency that's actually supposed to be unbiased and apolitical), and replace them with people who are only going to tell you what you want to hear. As a commenter on dKos said, "[D]oes this sound like the behavior of a democratically elected leader of a free nation?"
I guess Bush will spend the next four years burrowing even deeper inside his custom-built echo chamber.