Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Governor signs bill banning 'texting' by motorists" - San Jose Mercury News

When can we expect any governor of North Carolina to sign a similar measure into law? It cannot come too soon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Two out of three N.C. residents support offshore oil drilling" - Elon Poll

I find this result startling. It is an indictment of so many things that I hold dear. In the end, it shows that our education system (and others) have failed to produce citizens who are capable of taking on board important facts and then processing it toward the formation of an opinion. I only hope that it is limited to a failure of the education system.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"DAY ONE: HONG KONG « The Ground Truth"

This seems to be a new blog for Global News Enterprises by its editor. My first impression of the blog was that someone had died.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Les quotidiens gagnent des lecteurs, mais perdent des ventes" - Le

Theatrics in television "news"

I get very discouraged so often when I watch television news. Today, it was NBC "covering" an important story about an American woman in Italy who may face a trial and charges of murdering her roommate at school there. How does NBC cover it? With ruffles and flourishes, they bring up a reporter in London, who seems to have tape from someone of the accused being led into court. Do I have any more confidence in a report about this that comes from London because it is only one hour difference in local time than New York which is 6 hours behind? No. If television reporters cannot be in the place where news is unfolding, they are better off working from a central office and using the communications and other resources there to do the best they can. To make believe that a reporter in Rome is on top of the story because she is there is ludicrous.

"Why Experience Matters" -

"Controversial film on Islam delivered nationwide" -

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Monetization platforms

This week, I listened to a speech by Ken LOWE, the ceo of Scripps Interactive Networks, the company that includes the Food Network and HGTV, among others.

It was an interesting sales pitch for his company, but the words that stuck in my mind were newspapers, journalism, monetize, platforms and the food and home categories.

One could have a conversation today with a lot of super jock media people and they could move among some of those words very easily. At least, there would be no comprehension problem.

But I think they illustrate a big problem. They do not comfortably hang together and the worlds they represent - the world of serious journalism and the world of glitzy gizmo marketers - are like oil and water. They really do not mix.

In Mr. LOWE, we in the audience saw a tortured effort to bring the two together. It did not work, and it left me more discouraged about the capacity of the electronic media - of all kinds - to preserve principles and priorities that have served us so well in less animated forms.

"Global Food Trends"

Here is another good resource from the World Bank for understanding what's happening with food prices.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Haiti, Struck and Struck Again, Stunned by New Suffering" -

Why shouldn't we be treating this as the disaster that it is, and seeing nonstop coverage of it, and being told all of the things we can do to help? It's so disheartening to see this relegated to the dustbins of so many news organizations. If we did not have The New York Times (and National Public Radio), who would tell us all that is in this story? I shudder to think that we may be headed to that point. Even the Christian Science Monitor no longer seems able to cover the country, our neighbor.

"Panels tell history of Fermanagh chiefs" - The Fermanagh Herald

My late grandfather's name was Hugh MAGUIRE, no doubt picked by his parents to remember another who lived 300 years earlier, but only some miles to the north.

Monday, September 08, 2008

"Ike flooding kills 58 more in rain - soaked Haiti" -

If this were Louisiana, how would the US and Americans, and their media, be reacting? What, exactly, is the difference between someone who dies or is left homeless in Haiti and someone in Louisiana who dies or is left homeless?

Consider this....

The distance between Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti and New Orleans is 1,359 miles.

The distance between Port-au-Prince and Washington, DC is 1,438 miles

The distance between New Orleans and Boston is 1,348 miles.

"Evidence Points to Civilian Toll in Afghan Raid" -

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Designing for what you see from inside....

It has always seemed to me that what you see from inside a house is far more important than how the house looks from the outside. The only exception to that rule is when you have an outside area in which you sit a lot and gaze back at the house. Otherwise, the rest of it is all for show, and if that's where your ego sits, have at it. For me, I'd much rather profit from what I can see when I am actually in and using my home.

That said, I have not seen a good book that approaches home design from this literal perspective.

An item on CBS Sunday Morning today about architect John LAUTNER came close in touching on the point of his designs.