Editor and Publisher:
BBC to put TV programs simulcast on the internet, leaving them up for a week after date of broadcast.
FBI demands library records; Request in Connecticut, allowed by Patriot Act, is first of its kind.
WSJ Opinion Journal:
Tales Out of School. I know I’ve told this tale before. I accompanied my late father on one of his Sunday walks, and we returned through some of the historic eating clubs on the Princeton University campus. We heard shouting coming from one of the clubs, and we peeked in the side door from which the noise was coming. A dozen young men in white boxer shorts were holding an individual upside-down and dunking his head repeatedly in a bucket of beer while chanting some inane rhyme. My father looked at me, I looked at him. “I don’t understand it either.” We walked on, comfortable in our shared silence and thought.
NY Times Editorial:
Snowmobile Deceit. Call a spade a spade. Lying with statistics.
NY Times Science:
Scientists Say Earth’s Center Rotates Faster Than Surface. “The thing is acting like a huge rotor in an electric motor ... [snip] ... Except this one is running a billion amps.”
Inside Higher Ed:
Students read less. Should we care? “Why do we assume depressing short stories or over-hyped formulaic bestseller novels represent more significant cultural artifacts than the film version of The Lord of the Rings, the Star Wars series, or the computer game community’s imaginative products?” Hmmphf. I think a better argument would be, should kids wade through hundreds of pages of fiction for a couple of ‘novel’ insights, or read biographies and other non-fiction for learning real-life realities (albeit often revisionist, a lesson in itself)? Not that I don’t enjoy fiction. Just throwing another argument out there.
NY Times Washington:
Top Official Urged Change in How Parks Are Managed. The point of the parks, I believe, is to preserve heritage for the future ... not encourage reckless ‘recreation’ in valuable landscapes. How about allowing skateboarding in Arlington National Cemetery, bozos? That would seem an appropriate parallel, to me.
London Review of Books:
NY Times Business:
Merck settles for settlements over Vioxx, it seems ... as predicted.
NY Times Business:
Even in Summer, Americans Dread Winter Heating Bills. Yes, our local TV news stations have been scaring the bejesus out of us with doom and gloom predictions.
Black and white ... and red all over. “If it is true that history is not the past—merely what we have now instead of the past—then we must tip our caps to Mr Schama for reminding us of the grotesque events whose scars still sting today, more than a century afterwards.”
South Africans beef up at gym to battle AIDS, crime. Interesting, in that the stereotype in America is weight-lifting among prisoners is merely making a stronger criminal element; it has no beneficial element. In this story, weight lifting is a beneficial discipline. Culture?
Homeopathy no better than placebo, according to a current study in Lancet. It is probably not the end of the controversy, however. Placebo effect renders relief itself, requiring ethical considerations on the part of the prescriber ... is it ethical to mislead a patient in order to relieve symptoms?
Fed eyes asset-price rises closely, says Greenspan. The most important comment here, IMHO, “From his comments, it is clear that the Fed will keep raising rates, hoping to bring the housing market to a very soft landing ...” My italics.
Senator Frist is targeted by evangelicans in Iowa. With friends like this, who needs enemies?
What time is it?
SF New Mexican/AP:
Hawaiian Lava Sledding. “You can’t even imagine what it’s like to be headfirst, 4 inches off the ground, doing 30, 40, 50 miles an hour on rock ...” Oh yes I can, which is why I put this in the category of “health” in addition to sports and travel ...
Has anyone used a search engine placement company, and if so, did you like them? Were they worth the cash? I’ve got a client who might need such services. Just curious. I usually do it the hard [less expensive] way ...
Four legs good, two legs bad. “It is hard to avoid the conclusion that reducing animal suffering is not the activists’ main concern. If it is, they have made a poor choice of target. Domesticated cats alone kill around 300m animals each year in Britain, including around 80m mice, 15m rabbits and 3m rats. And forcing British suppliers of laboratory animals to close will lead to more animals being imported, with an increase in suffering.” My italics.
No doubt this analysis will cause some hysterics; perhaps an honest inward analysis also. The usual argument I encounter is, domestic cat hunting is ‘natural’, replacing lost top-level predators, while human-research-imposed suffering is not.
If that were so, then we should be accepting domestic dog attacks on cats as being ‘natural’, no? And then, following that further, we could munch on wandering pit bull burritos a la Lewis and Clark [they enjoyed dog meat more than venison or elk] ... all in the name of ‘nature’ and ‘reducing suffering’ ...
[being purposely obtuse]
has a Canon 5D hands-on preview with samples. I note something I hadn’t noticed before ... it goes to ISO 50, vs. 100 on the 20D. The increased distance between the grip and the lens mount is very welcome, for those of us with anything larger than cat paws. The new BG-E4 vertical grip now has a metal plate (the 20D’s BG-E2 grip was denounced in forums for enough flex to break battery contact and turn off the camera). A new battery charger is welcome; my version tends to be intermittent (requiring repluggings or repeated battery insertions to top off the battery).
My issues with the 20D seem to have been largely corrected. I’d like to see a microprism on the focusing screen, though the larger pentaprism should go very far to making visual verification of focus easier. I find the 20D’s AF pattern OK, but not stellar. I’d like to try out the 5D’s new ‘extra points in the center’ concept, but desire to see more sensors scattered around the four corners of the frame, not just a diamond shape over the center. Spot metering, true spot metering is all good. The size of the camera is larger, fits a large hand like mine better. I admire solid Nikon-like construction, so heavier build is welcome to me. The LCD is woefully small on the 20D, and zooming images to check for critical sharpness in sunlight is a crapshoot. Even in dim light, it’s a crapshoot. With my eyesight leaning towards reading glasses, larger LCD is much appreciated. I was considering purchasing an Epson P-2000 or a light notebook for on-site sharpness verification. Losing the built-in flash on the 5D? The 20D’s flash is good for snapshots, and that’s about all. There’s not enough power, recycle ability or working range for the professional. You don’t capture spontaneous looks with a long recycle time. You’d be buying a 580EX anyway.
It is merely the price that gives pause. Otherwise, I think this is a nice upgrade to a 20D [though it’s not intended as a direct upgrade, from my understanding], more ambitious with MP than I had expected ... and certainly more expensive than I expected.
I desire one, in other words. But only if the AF performance is significantly better. That’s my bottom line. Otherwise, I’ll bite the bullet and save for one of the true professional models.
Don’t forget to appreciate the sounds of the season.
The Vioxx award. In my original post on this subject, I made the comment that Texas caps the award. News articles since then have continued to trumpet the jury award, not the actual award as dictated by state law. CSM does, and gives better information on the real effects of caps, too.
Times Literary Supplement.UK:
Why not Shakespeare? Looking for another Grail.