Archive for February, 2005

We’ve been having a great visit with Dan Gillmor, author of We The Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People this weekend.
Today Dan will be speaking to my class in Emerging Technologies and Issues.
Then later today:

Dan Gillmor public talk
We the Media: Grassroots Journalism for the People, by the People
Monday February 14, 3:30
Freedom Forum Conference Center
Carroll Hall, UNC
Learn More

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[to be filled in later]
Visit with Dan Gillmor to the News and Record. Escorted by Ed Cone, we meet with a good number of the N-R staff lead by John Robinson and a fair number of G’boro bloggers including a reconnection with Dave Wharton who is now a Classics Prof at UNC-G and a blogger.
More on the very interesting Town Square idea that N-R is working to develope, etc later.
[to sleep perchance to dream]

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So the News and Observer didn’t cover the Triangle Bloggers Conference (that I can see) despite the 150 folks showing up (see conference blogging notes — they are all over now). Great feedback and surprising folks. Who knew that Henry Copeland lived here now (he of blogads) or Blog for America‘s Matthew Gross – just for starters.

But the News and Observer did take about 1/2 a page and dedicate it to my Valentine’s poem, Unapproachable Edens, in the Sunday Reader section.
The online version doesn’t preserve the stanza breaks so I made an improved version (the copyeditor in me insists on it being right).

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For dinner last night, some of us from the the Triangle Bloggers Conference went to a great Turkish restaraunt in town called Tallula’s. I had made reservations in advance (you have to and still you are likely to wait a while). The person taking my reservation asked me to spell my name. I did.
When we got there, we had no reservation! But someone did named “Conis” and that person had my same phone number.
I reminded myself that Turkish is a phonic language. The C in Turkish is closest to our J. Made sense to me, but the hostess was confused. “I am “Conis” and you can call the number and I will answer.”
We had a great window seat.

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It all came off rather well despite having grown to over 5 times the size of attendance that we had originally anticipated. Good discussions. Good behavior. Good people meeting good people. Props to Anton for getting this going and making it happen. Props to Fred for being on top of the wireless access and much more. Props to Jen O’Bryan who made it possible for us to know each other’s names and sites. Props to TJ and John for taping the event. Special thanks to Ed Cone and to Dan Gillmor for leading discussions. Thanks to the folks at lulu.com for providing the drinks and donuts.
What was it like? There is a nice collection of live-blog postings on the conference wiki. If you have notes, pictures and/or live blog entries, please add yourself.
I’m learning what went on from the wiki myself. When you are in the middle of things, you don’t get to pay the attention that you’d like to –especially if you are me and the laptop that you brought ends up being the one projected for folks to see the blogs in question and then it starts dropping the wireless at random intervals –grrr. my ancient T-book needs to be traded in.
Sally Greene took some pictures.

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First here’s what Murphey Hall looks like from the outside and what the room for the conference looks like. You enter from the middle of the building and go behind the Ashcroft-offending status. Do not show these statues on televisions during the Super Bowl. Dave Winer is here blocking David so that he will be decent for viewing.
Anton reports news coverage on WCHL, this morning in Chapel Hill Herald. I did brief interviews for the Daily Tar Heel and for WUNC. Blogomania continues.
Jen O’Bryan is printing name tags based on the sign-ups on the wiki, so sign up or look like a luzer with a hand written tag tomorrow.

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Nice story in the Chapel Hill Herald about the Triangle Bloggers Convention tomorrow! Arrgh! We need signage and more. But all will be great in time. The room is very high tech and very nice. Power outlets are built into every seat. The place is covered by a wireless mesh. There are cameras. There are projectors. There are cushioned seats. This is uptown.
Lulu.com is bringing coffee and pastries. Don’t bring them in the auditorium tho.

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Dr John and friend on the Piano
His piano is done up like a casket and he has his mojo working.

9 skinners
Keep it simple
Don’t Mean a Thing (If it ain’t got that swing)
Black Widow
Cotton Fields/Good Night Irene
Makin’ Whoopee
Dis, Dat or D’udda
Holdin’ Pattern
Tell Me You’ll Wait
The Monkey Speaks
–break–
One 2 am 2 Many
Witchy Red
Shadows (the Shadow Knows)
Barber Blues
Right Place, Wrong Time
When the Saints Go Marchin’ In
Glory, Glory Hallelujah (When I lay my burden down)
Ain’t My Fault
So Long
–encore–
Such a Night (If I don’t do it, Somebody else will)

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Gwine ta see Dr. John! over at the ArtCenter’s American Roots Series.

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Dave Winer writes that he will be in Chapel Hill Friday thru Sunday of the Triangle Bloggers Convention. That’s tomorrow for the Friday and the day after for the TriBlogCon.
Dave’s organizing a Sunday brunch at Crooks.
Dave also writes that his talk at the News and Record will be podcast thanks to Brian Russell.

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Larry Lessig writes that he will be portrayed by actor Christopher Lloyd tonight on West Wing.
The West Wing site describes the show like this:

THE WAKE UP CALL
9pm 2005-02-09 ALL NEW!

IRAN SHOOTS DOWN PASSENGER JET AND IGNITES CRIES FOR RETALIATION; ROGER REES, CHRISTOPHER LLOYD GUEST-STAR –

On Valentine’s Day, an Iranian fighter jet accidentally shoots down a British passenger plane — killing 100 people — but C.J. (Allison Janney) is reluctant to awaken the President (Martin Sheen) even as the hawkish British prime minister considers bombing Iran’s nuclear reactors in retaliation. After learning that the passenger jet was mistaken for a U.S. spy plane, Bartlet calls in British ambassador Lord John Marbury (guest star Roger Rees, “Cheers”), as they debate whether a strike is the perfect excuse to wipe out the atomic sites or if it will set back reform movements in the rogue nation. Elsewhere: Abby (Stockard Channing) and C.J. war over the President’s schedule for rest; Toby (Richard Schiff) and a legal professor (guest star Christopher Lloyd, “Taxi”) try to pound out a new democratic constitution with representatives of Belarus — and everyone keeps dodging the traditional White House appointment with Miss Universe. TV-PG

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Donald Sizemore who grew up in Oxford, NC. Took some pictures of the sites described in Blood Done Sign My Name. Lynch or Lynching Hill. The Teel Store now the Red and White. The Teel House (not protected by Klansmen now). The building behind which Henry Marrow was murdered (now Triangle Plaza).

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A friend writes that he is tired of old recordings he made and digitized sounding like crap. The problem is that they were digitized using early versions of RealAudio when doing any sound at all that you could receive over dial-up was a welcome accomplishment. Now we expect more. Much more. At least MP3.
But so many of us, including collections on ibiblio, went straight to .ra files that much of that information will be lost soon as technology improves and our demands for quality increase.
Saving sounds and pictures in proprietary formats like .ra wasn’t brilliant but it seemed the only way at the time.
In the Internet Poetry Archive, we have rare readings by Czeslaw Milosz and Margaret Walker for example. You will hear them in .ra, but I have tapes hidden here in a safe place. But not safe enough. They need to be in an atmospherically controlled archive. A few more years and the tapes will be sticky.

While I’m at it: Does anyone know a a way to migrate from .ra to any other format? I know the quality will be terrible, but to have the sound at all would be great.
One idea is to take the audio out from a computer playing the .ra and route it into the audio in of another computer capturing the audio.

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Melva Fager Okun writes to tell about photos taken by her son, Will, in Chicago of an unusual gathering. One in particular caught my attention. The Rubber Band Man, himself, Bootsy Collins (this is Will’s photo), the star of P-Funk and member of the George Clinton messengers for the true Funk. Take me up in the Mothership!
For all of Will’s photos from the last month see his site.

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President Bush’s proposed budget completely zeroes out the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The Society of American Archivists explains the Commission and recommends actions at their website.
If you have been using the web to do personal or professional or scholarly or family research, you will be poorer for this. Access to our history in the form of primary documents is one of the keystones of our democracy.
Unfortunately this is not a new behavior by this Bush’s administration. Ashcroft’s resistance to Freedom of Information Requests and Governor G. Bush’s move of his records from the Texas Archives to the G.H.W. Bush Library where they are sealed are two examples of removing access to immediate history.
The official language killing the National Historical Publications and Records Commission reads:

“National Historical Publications and Records Commission Grants.—This program provides funding for grants that the Commission makes, nationwide, to preserve and publish records that document American history. The Budget proposes no new grants funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission in 2006.”

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Anton just sent out a news letter to help folks who have signed up for the Triangle Bloggers Conference this Saturday February 12. The wiki is still the very best way to get and give information about the Conference.
I listed several eating places on the wiki. If you have others and/or if you have opinions, add ‘em in.
See you Saturday.

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Susan Gladin showed up in two different newspapers with two different pieces of writing today. Susan and her husband Peter Kramer let me use their chicken house as a place to work on poetry — well, the house is a small room writer’s cottage that Peter built in the middle of the chicken pen. Note to self: Get your schedule set so you can get out there at least once a week.

In the News and Observer’s Sunday Journal, Susan has a short piece of fiction, “Lips like Wine.”

In the Chapel Hill Herald where Susan is regular Sunday columnist, she writes of giving up sugar in sympathy with her sister’s giving up smoking. (for whatever reason, the Herald doesn’t put their correspondants’ articles on-line).

At first, I was sure this would be a Lenten article. Afterall Susan is a Methodist minister and this Wednesday coming will be Ash Wednesday. But it seems that Susan has instead chosen a substitute for sugar, stevia, with no season or penitential excuse offered.

Susan notes that the history of stevia and the FDA has not been an easy one as does Henriette’s Herbal Medicine site.

I’m now trying to reconcile the two writings. One chastizing sweetly a Baptist preacher about his unnuanced attitude toward wine. One drunk with information about a herb that caused more than a little reaction from the FDA. Is there a mapping between the preacher and the FDA, between wine and sugar or stevia, between the first person narrator of the story and the personal journalist of the column? Have I been reading too much Paul Auster?

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I just received a box of socks from my parents. At least in their minds, I may celebrate birthdays, but I remain stuck in my teens and in need of assistance in maintaining my stock of acceptable personal apparel.
In the mind of the White House, I am among the last to be entitled for Social Security benefits.
In the mind of AARP, I should have joined 5 years ago.
In the mind of the intelligent treadmill at the gym, my heart rate should not exceed 165.
In the mind of my son, I am already in my dotage and have been since he had his 10th birthday.
In the mind of the North Carolina Employee Retirement System, I have to keep working if I want full benefits.
What I want to know is: where do I go to collect those famous senior citizen discounts?

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Ossie Davis died at age 87 still acting and still an activist. He’ll be remembered for his part in bringing new black movie making to us in “Cotton Comes to Harlem,” for advising Spike Lee on “Malcolm X,” for his parts in “Malcom X” and other Lee films, for his long marriage to Ruby Dee (1948 – present) and more. He was a tireless worker in his art and in politics and social change. He gave eulogies at the funerals of both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.

For me, oddly enough, his turn as John F Kennedy in the wonderfully touching story of aging, dignity, and Egyptian Soul-sucking mummies, “Bubba Ho-Tep” is the most memorable. The story could not have been carried off without Ossie’s ability to bring something deep out of something potentially so shallow, something surprising out of something so potentially predictable. He has great help from the main lead, Bruce Campbell as a man who might be Elvis, writer Joe R. Lansdale, and director Don Coscarelli. But for me Ossie is the presence that keeps Bruce/Elvis on his toes, that keeps you believing when it’s obvious you shouldn’t be believing, that takes the movie where Lansdale’s story wants to go. Ossie like his character in Bubba Ho-Tep was active to the end, never stopping to be involved, Unlike his character, Ossie was never confused about who he was. He never accomodated and never wavered.

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The upcoming Triangle Bloggers Conference has grown far beyond what we originally invisioned. And this is a good thing. The new room in Murphey Hall (aka the Classics Department where you are greeted on entering by Ashcroft offending statues) is one of the best small auditoria on campus. If you had been in 166 Murphey before the renovation, you will not recognize the room now. It’s a padded seat odium full of techno-magic.
The good folks at Bob Young’s new company, lulu.com, are bringing the coffee and pastries.
George Morgan of the Bull’s Head will have plenty of Dan Gillmor’s books to be signed and sold.
We have very very good folks signed up including, Dave Winer, John Robinson, Ed Cone, Ruby Sinreich and more.

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