Saturday, May 10, 2003

Sunday's New York Times contains a stunning article about how 27-year-old reporter Jayson Blair frequently fabricated articles during his five year career with the newspaper. Blair used reports from wire services, photos from the paper's internal archives, and telephone interviews to create the impression that he was traveling around the mid-Atlantic region reporting stories, while in reality he was camped out at his home in New York. Remarkably, despite a history of known accuracy problems and the fact that Blair's expense reports didn't match his supposed work assignments, no one at the Times caught on to the depth of the deception until another paper lodged a plagiarism complaint. Since then, a team assembled by the paper has found significant problems with 36 of the 73 articles the reporter wrote since last October, including major stories about the DC sniper and the rescue of Jessica Lynch.

I find this amazing from many angles. I have trouble understanding the thought process that would make someone behave this way. And it's hard to imagine how a young reporter could pull this off in such a way as to not arouse suspicion from his editors or others at the paper. I wonder if there is a cultural bias where editors assume that someone good enough to work at the Times must be an accurate reporter. Plus, I'm amazed that members of the public who were misquoted in the paper or who obviously knew that the reporter was lying failed to contact the newspaper and let it know about these problems.

Thanks to The Last Page for the link.

Friday, May 09, 2003

-----Original Message-----
From: Kumquat, Newton
Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2003 3:43 PM
To: Coworker, A
Subject: italy pics

You can see my mind-numbing pile of pictures at  Put "DMD" in the album search box to find my stuff. (Note that you click to get into the actual albums, and that there are two pages of them.)

I'm planning to put together a "best of" album, but I haven't done it yet. My friend went in and started captioning a few of them, but most have not been captioned. I can fill in the blanks, though!


-----Original Message-----
From: Coworker, A.
Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2003 4:43 PM
To: Kumquat, Newton
Subject: RE: italy pics

The naked tourists and don't ring the bell and double bra signs are a hoot

What's up with the bag of chips?

-----Original Message-----
From: Kumquat, Newton
Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2003 8:37 PM
To: Coworker, A
Subject: Potato chips

Just being silly!  :-)

They are actually Worcester Sauce Potato Chips. When we left my friend's aunt's house in Monaco, she packed a bunch of food for us to take. We eventually ate everything else, but neither of us could quite stomach the idea of worcester chips. So instead we started taking pictures of them instead. They traveled to all sorts of interesting places, including:





The Vatican

When we got to the Vatican on the last day of the trip, we decided that time was up and we had to finally eat them. They weren't as bad as we expected!

Aaron thinks we should send the photos to the company.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Reasons not to have kids...

pelican case I was just reading the instructions that came with a Pelican case we purchased to transport computer equipment. At the bottom is the following warranty note:

Pelican Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee of Excellence

If for any reason you are not satisfied with the quality or performance of any PELICAN product, we will gladly replace the product or refund your money (at your option) within 30 days of purchase through the original retailer/dealer. PELICAN PRODUCTS will continue to guarantee the product directly for a lifetime against breakage or defects in workmanship. The case is guaranteed to be watertight when properly closed with O-ring in place and undamaged. (Replace O-ring annually or when damaged.) Any liability, either expressed or implied, is limited to the replacement of the case and not its contents. This guarantee is void only if the PELICAN product has been abused beyond normal and sensible wear and tear.


Based on the behavior I've seen from some three-year-olds, I think the case might stand a better chance against the bear!
The weather service has determined that at least 10 tornados struck Tennessee in a 15 hour period on Sunday and Monday. This included the F-4 tornado in the Jackson area, and a number of smaller ones. (Tornados are rated on a scale of F0-F5) There was also major damage in Montgomery County, where 100 homes were damaged, and in Springfield, where about $5 million in damage was recorded.

And it's still raining. So flooding is becoming a big problem. Even the normally-tamed Cumberland River in Nashville has risen to the point where it's causing problems. Equipment from this weekend's "Riverstages" music festival is now underwater, including lights, generators, Porta-a-Potties, and a Budweiser beer truck loaded with 600 cases of beer was stranded beneath the water. A team tried to fish out some of the stuff yesterday afternoon, with partial success.

Images from Jackson

Road to Jackson, Monday, 2:21 PM: After driving through pouring rain, strong winds, and grape-sized hail, suddenly the sun broke through the clouds.

Downtown Jackson, Tuesday, 11:40 AM : Onlookers gaze at the remains of the Mother Liberty Church.

Downtown Jackson, Tuesday, 11:45 AM :Overturned postal trucks lay strewn about a parking lot near the post office.

Downtown Jackson, Tuesday, 12:57 PM: One of many demolished buildings in the city.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Tennessee got steamrolled by intense storms last night. Our company has a division in Jackson, TN, which was struck by at least one tornado. Most of the city is without power, including our office. So I got called in with a van-load of computer equipment to help set up temporary quarters.

I'm in a hotel room in Jackson right now. I happened to pick up a Sunday copy of The Jackson Sun. Hooters Logo I was slightly amused to see most of a page devoted to the important civic issue of whether or not Hooter's should be able to open a reastaurant in as fine and upstanding a place as Jackson.

Here are two of the many letters printed on the page:

I think it's wrong for women to look "sexy" instead of settling down with a good husband and raising a family. They, and whoever brings that restaurant to Jackson, should be ashamed and will have to answer for their actions someday.

Cletus Barnes

Sounds plum wonderful! Them ladies are good people, just waitresses. I say we should let them work if they want to.

Shane Heart

Hmm... It appears there is some disagreement about this issue. Will the good people of Jackson allow such a vile establishment in their midst? Will Hooters destroy the moral fiber of yet another city? Are people named "Cletus" for real? You'll just have to tune in next week for the exciting conclusion of this little drama!