Archive: August, 2005
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....
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."
"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."
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:
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.