Iocane powder and other items

posted by Mike on May 7th, 2006

Happy Birthday Mike Leslie: is happening. See the homepage.

Stop the RIAA: A couple local college students are being sued for downloading music. The EFF says:

We oppose the recording industry’s decision to attack the public, bankrupt its customers and offer false amnesty to those who would impugn themselves. We call instead for a real amnesty: the development of a legal alternative that preserves file-sharing technology while ensuring that artists are fairly compensated.

Conference: I’ll be at Beyond Broadcast next weekend in Cambridge. Like physically there, not virtually there.

Animals: A guy who removed some dying chickens from an egg farm has been acquitted of felony charges. And Dan “Bizarro” Piraro has a movie (.mov) of a talking pig with a goatee explaining physiology.

Retail: A reader sends in this story of people dressing up like Best Buy clerks and infiltrating a store.

Iocane powder: Best stencil ever, via BrewLog.

iocane

Signs: An AP photo from McGovern’s arrest, featuring Worcester’s Scott Schaeffer-Duffy. Good job on the signs.


Worcester Magazine: When the Telegram & Gazette runs an article about homelessness, they interview four sorts of people:

  1. Cops have deep knowledge about narrow aspects of homelessness. They are a good source, but not sufficient by themselves to carry an article.
  2. Heads of social service agencies are too far from what’s happening on the ground to be a helpful source.
  3. City Councilors, like social service execs, have too much second-hand and too little first-hand info. The T&G, to its credit, doesn’t interview them about homelessness all that often.
  4. Guys named Bill should not be interviewed by a responsible reporter.

Worcester Magazine ran a cover story this week about homelessness and real estate. Taking a page from the T&G playbook, the main sources were William Breault, City Councilor Barbara Haller, and a community development project coordinator who described the experiences of his staff.

WoMag, why do you want to be the T&G? Is the T&G raking in money? Is bland local news a growth industry?

(One differentiator is that WoMag uses the word “shantytown” a lot; I never see it in the T&G. Never mind that these places aren’t shanty towns. It’s still a fun word.)

Who should be interviewed for a story like this? Ground level social service workers, people who volunteer at soup kitchens, people who’ve been homeless in Worcester but are on the way up, people who are currently homeless, family members of homeless people, people who’ve been robbed by homeless people, people who hire homeless people to do construction—you can probably think of more. There’s no lack of these folks. Of course, they don’t like talking to reporters, but that’s why a local reporter is supposed to have value; the local reporter cultivates these sources over time, builds trust, and can then write better stories than some outsider.

I like WoMag a lot, and I glance at every single page every single week. Their stories are of a higher quality than those in the daily paper, both more interesting and more skillful. These lapses are frustrating, though. Why doesn’t Worcester have a local publication that features sharp, deep writing and unexpected viewpoints while making good use of the web? Is this just too expensive to be supported by the available ad dollars?

Dominican Today: “Fiery preacher rejects U.S. military on Dominican soil” :

One of Dominican Republic’s most fiery preachers today cast doubts that the more than 9,000 American soldiers encamped in Barahona are going to leave the country, after they conclude the exercises New Horizons.

The Catholic Jesuit priest Rogelio Cruz said that the Government’s announcement on their assumed departure is “politicking,” which seeks to calm the population and obtain political benefit for the upcoming elections.

Stairway at St PaulsStairway: As previously posted here, Jeroen Offerman can sing “Stairway to Heaven” backwards. All hail the power of the Internet! A guy has finally posted the full movie.

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One Comment Leave a comment.

  1. On May 7, 2006 at 11:58 Dr Kaihsu Tai (Oxford, England) said:

    A photograph from Barahona.

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