Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Thoughts for a new year...
Miniature Earth is a presentation on the 100-people on earth concept. Watch this and think about how we live, and feel blessed.

...and then Create your own snowflake and send it out for all to see.

Why we drop a ball on New Year's eve: interesting story in Toronto Star.

Al's Iraq links:
Poynter's Al Tompkins published two collections of great links for covering Iraq, in yesterday's Morning Meeting column, and in Friday's. Add these to your Iraq reference lists.

Monday, December 30, 2002

Another diverson:
Beautiful New York City photographs by Quarlo are featured on the website (highlighted on Gawker today). Lets's hope posting this will cure the large white space problem which appeared after my last post...

A Monday diversion:
Use the arrow keys to make The Fly Guy escape gravity....this is lovely. Make sure he stays away from the guy with the boxing gloves, and keep going til you get to the island! (via IDO3).

Sunday, December 29, 2002

And one more thing in Sunday's paper:
Don't miss Dave Barry's 2002 review...

The scandal continues:
Today's massive report in The Herald, Neglect, Death, and DCF focuses on children under supervision of the state Department of Children and Families who died. A long investigation by Carol Marbin Miller, Manny Garcia, and CAR guy Jason Grotto produced this report.
Lots more on the Raelians today, too.
For more: Raelian profile at; Yahoo! Full Coverage

Saturday, December 28, 2002

More on Saturday:
Since the Raelian announcement happened in Hollywood FL, lots of coverage in The Herald:
And, from Miami-Dade County, a new address for property searches, replaced the old property appraiser search site a couple weeks back but was erratic at first. This site, called My Home, allows for property and tax info searches, and automatically displays aerial view of the property, with zoom and neighborhood browsing capability. There's also a quick link to the "My Neighborhood" application, which displays crime, capital improvements, code violations, sexual predators, property sales, and landuse information, by searching for an address or browsing the county map.

Friday, December 27, 2002

More tidbits:
Alphonse Vinh is a reference librarian at NPR, and the NPR website is now featuring a column by him, called Musings with Alphonse Vinh. In true Weblog style, it features links on various topics, book recommendations, and more.
Nice to see Alphonse's site added to a growing list of librarians/researchers on the Web. This one will be on the links list.
For health reference, a link from the UK: National Electronic Library for Health has useful health news and links.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Another interesting new use of Google to create something different: GoogObits takes obituaries and enhances them with Google searches, a new kind of Weblog (via J-Log).
For bloggers who wonder whether it's worth the trouble, a nice tale from JD Lasica on selling 4 year old photos to someone who found them on his website archives...
A couple good links from Gary Price the other day: Latest U.S. population estimates, by state from Census; and Who Represents America's Biggest Companies? from Law. com.
I love this: someone's converting Samuel Pepys' diary into a Weblog format, a new entry every day. (via Boing Boing.)

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Help for the holidays:
The Poynter Institute does a lot to encourage and assist journalists, and this week Al Tompkins' Morning Meeting column is going the extra step with his column of story ideas. Unlike some (Jim Romenesko, and me) who are taking Christmas week off, Al says:
Note from Al: I know that the holiday season is a tough time for a lot of you. Lots of your newsrooms operate on a shoestring staff and you need story ideas. That is why Al’s Morning Meeting publishes every weekday, including holidays.
For more help from Poynter, Dave Shedden's list of holiday links is available there too, updated earlier this month.
Since I'm not collecting links this week, there won't be a Saturday update, so I'll post a few things I find during the week. Actually, I really would rather see beautiful photos at top of the page this week, so I'll look for more:

Sunday, December 22, 2002

A little holiday cheer, Miami-style:

Snowflakes on the Bank of America building; holiday-hued crotons.

Also, in The Herald today: First of series on investigation on tainted murder confessions. A lot of research went into this one. Monday story, Tuesday story.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

The weekly update:
This time of year we're thinking about those end-of-year roundups. And on the NewsLib listserv, someone was looking for new sources of upcoming news event listings since OCLC's has gone away. Gary Price listed several of them on his Resourceshelf site: 2002: The year in Review; and upcoming news events. This has everything from Information Please's year in review to the BBC's, as well as BBC Monitoring's Week Ahead. Of course Google 2002 Zeitgeist is also a useful monitor of what's been important in the news and culture in the past year, especially the fascinating timeline. Lycos 50 is also focusing on the year's searches.
On the upcoming events front, someone also recommended ABC News' The Note, which has daily rumors and links about the news, as well as a list of upcoming news events through the next year.

  • all the information you'll need?
  • Toy recall database from (Consumer Federation of America).
  • resources on animals, including photos or drawings, videos and links.
  • Elephant resources: news, links, books, research. Also: Eleblog, an elephant Weblog. More news (more current).
  • News from Oxford English Dictionary: Lots of new words added to the dictionary this quarter, List of new entries here.
  • Boeing Photostore has a great gallery of aviation images.
  • Grocerteria: Supermarket history and architecture.
  • everything on the War to End all Wars.
  • Demographic trends in the 20th century long (240-pp.) PDF book from Census.
  • State alcohol related fatality rates: new report from Highway Transportation Safety Admin.
  • Capital Punishment 2001 new report from Bureau of Justice Statistics.
  • Vera Project: Police crime stats online. This page has links to big city police departments' regularly posted crime stats.
  • Governing: Today's News a nice place to find interesting news reports about city and local government.
  • this site focuses on news for government employees with a recent concentration on homeland security issues. A correspondent called "DesertDweller" has been recommending articles here...
  • HotBot the search engine has been redesigned. It now lets you do searches in 4 of the best search engines from one page; start with one and then click the others to toggle to their results. Searches are in Google, Teoma, FAST (AlltheWeb) and Inktomi. Doesn't allow you to limit search to news, images, etc. but has a nice Advanced Search to filter your results.
  • Remembering Jim Crow; a useful reminder of what Lott's comments mean.
  • "Disarming" Iraq under international law Australian government brief.
  • ProMed outbreak news this newsletter page, from International Society for Infectious Diseases, was a good source during Anthrax news. Could be useful for cruise ship infections, West Nile, etc.
  • Iraq: Related Readings from Council of Foreign Relations.
  • Brookings Institution brief on preemptive war policy
  • Buddy Cianci an 8-part series on the recently convicted former mayor in the Providence Journal. (need to register to read, though).
  • The Calvin Shedd Papers new UM library exhibit of Civil War letters from Florida.
  • On the new Miami police chief John F. Timoney: A good profile, "The last cop in Camelot" ran in Esquire, June 2000; Commissioner's Biography
    from Philadelphia PD; John Timoney biography from American Immigration Reform; Quotations from John Timoney and Timoney archives from PoliticsPA. A great photograph from Esquire article (click on 'back' on this photographer's page for another); Timoney has made a career of cleaning up police messes in LA Times, 9/02; 1998 interview with CityPaper. Government/Technology interview with William Bratton on NY force 1999 and Compstat system he and Timoney brought to NY/Philly.
  • Richard Prince's Journal-isms this column from the Maynard Institute focuses on journalism and diversity.
    Public Records, Business, People: no links this week.

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • a new Weblog/magazine celebrating New York.
  • Atlanta Journal Constitution investigation on illegal alien criminals.
  • Segway diaries what it's like, from one of the first owners.

  • The Talking G.W.Bush Doll (when I saw this last week I thought it was a joke...guess not, since there've been news stories since about how it's selling out); and the John Ashcroft snow globe (a Pure Product).
  • A Day in Radio all the U.S. radio programming from September 21, 1939.
  • Underground London history. I've always been fascinated with these kinds of histories, and love the old tube lines. This one explores old unused tunnels and stations.
  • Life Magazine covers major entertainment in the '50s and '60s. See today's covers for several years.
  • Snoop Dogg's Shizzolator put in a URL and Snoop will shizzolate the text. (not working very well when I tried it.)
  • A history of Christmas lighting.
  • Menu image collection database from LA Public Library.

  • Thursday, December 19, 2002

    Not to be missed...
    ...but now gone from the Website, a photo of dawn over a stone circle in Cumbria, England, from Tony Richards at Lakelandcam, along with a Lake District winter scene. . Now that Tony's added an archive page (this week on the Cam) the photos last a few days now but these, and some beautiful sunrise and sunset photos from the day before, are gone now.

    Is the FBI watching you?
    5 'technically legal' signs for your library; The FBI's new tracking tool ( this will drive you crazy).

    Miami has a new police chief:
    John Timoney has had a fascinating career from Dublin to New York to Philadelphia...and now Miami? (Friday A.M: link is to today's story in The Herald.)

    Ah, fame!
    Nice to know the Nation's best decorated home holiday display is just a few blocks from home. (Interesting that this would occur in tropical landscape. The second best decorated home was in S. Fla too. Is it just easier to get outside and hang all those lights? Or is the award because Al Roker really preferred to travel to Miami than, say, Detroit?)

    Tuesday, December 17, 2002

    And more...
    Sheila Lennon reports that Funditry blog is compiling a list of those calling for Trent Lott's resignation (including links to each column/editorial/blog entry).

    One-Minute Vacation lets you tune out by listening to sounds from a different place. (via Lightningfield).

    December in Vermont from Vermont Daily.

    Random hits:
    Fascinating story from BBC on a study revealing that older MPs are more savvy Internet users than younger ones. Is this true of other politicians too?

    Found while browsing: a column at the Maynard Institute by Richard Prince on journalism and diversity. This runs a few times a week, it appears, and highlights lots of interesting news. Richard Prince's Journal-isms. I expect to add this one to my list of regular journalism reads. (Prince was a colleague many, many years ago back in Washington, so I'm delighted to find this.)

    Elephant blog: we've been covering an elephant attack at Miami Metrozoo, so this is on target: Eleblog highlights news about elephants and has some good links too. With the drunken elephant attack, elephant news has been bad lately. On this topic, I recently read an excellent book which really gets into the questions of our relationship with the animal: Shana Alexander's The Astonishing Elephant.

    Back again:
    The Miami Herald Online is now, again, at It's been a year since Knight Ridder's Real Cities tried to unite all the newspapers into a standard format with new URLs reflecting cities, not papers (this was, and The old URL still works, and individual pages will have a address. An explainer page and index of popularly bookmarked pages is at, and a story in The Herald's business section elaborates. Other KR papers will probably be following suit, although so far and (Mercury News) retain the Real Cities look.

    Monday, December 16, 2002

    On top of it...
    In The Herald, Sunday and Monday, Joe Mozingo writes on an investigation into patronage and bribery at Miami International Airport: Sunday's story; today's story. Also, Audra S. Burch tracks the return of African Americans to the South: Sunday: Reverse migration to Mississippi and elsewhere; today's story on Orlando's popularity.

    Saturday, December 14, 2002

    .....And weekly photos:
    This week, from the deadly Everglades....

    Monument to Valujet crash victims, and a recently killed egret; also: gators and more.....

    The weekly update:
    It was a slow week for hard reference links (although some good ones here) but the holiday season is producing lots of fun stuff (at bottom):

  • CDC Factsheet: Smallpox
  • Spices profiles from UCLA library.
  • Know your money from Secret Service, how to identify valid bills.
  • National Health Observances, 2003 find dates of days, weeks, months devoted to promoting health concerns.
  • Holiday Season Facts from Census.
  • AAA daily fuel gauge report daily pump prices national and by market.
  • World Weather Information Service new worldwide official forecasts from UN World Meteorological Assn. Also has climatological data.
  • Cold War archive from UK govt.
  • Census Metropolitan Areas Census data broken down by Metro area, from Mumford Center at U. Albany.
  • America's Most Dangerous and Safest Cities another ranking from Morgan Quitno Press. Most dangerous: St. Louis Post-dispatch story, safest: Amherst NY (Buffalo suburb). Most dangerous in Florida: Tampa 9th; West PB 20th, Miami 21st. (But Miami comes in 2nd after Memphis in Metro areas....)
  • Senate Intelligence Committee final report on 9/11: Conclusions, and Recommendations
  • Congressional Directory has been revised to reflect changes in 107th Congress.
  • Bill of Rights Defense Committee organizing against the Patriot Act....
  • Two new experiments from Google Labs: Google Viewer lets you view the Web pages from your search results in a "slide show" format. Google Webquotes gives you annotated info about a site from other sites.
    Public Records
  • covers property records in New Jersey, Maryland, and two Pennsylvania counties.
  • DC Area property, taxes and sales at
  • Tennessee Felony Offender Lookup from state Dept of Corrections.
    Business, People, News, Florida,Journalism: no links this week.

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • Devil's Excrement a weblog from Venezuela, keeping up with events there....
  • BBC: Websites spread al-Qaeda message quotes OutthereNews' Paul Eedle, who's compiled links on militant Islam.
  • FarrellMedia Weblog by former Boston Globe reporter and columnist David Farrell and his brother.
  • The Wi-Fi Boom: special report in NY Times.

  • Powers of 10 watch the image for an amazing tour of outer and inner space.
  • Stewardess Uniforms a Dutch collector has hundreds....
  • Earth as Art great photographs from Landsat.
  • Worldview Desktop this site tells you how to set up your desktop to have views of the globe, satellite images, weather radar, and weathercams at your fingertips.
  • Biz-o-rama the Wall St. Journal launched this promotional website....
  • Aspen Magazine: there were 10 issues. It came in a box.
  • For an English Christmas.....Delia's Christmas recipes and tips from England's star chef Delia Smith.
  • The Letter Project: put in words, any words......

  • Friday, December 13, 2002

    Kissinger Redux:
    Mark Fiore on Cryogenic Staffing. It's already old news, though, as Henry has resigned.
    For more on some other hawks: The Perpetual War Portfolio.

    And if you include GWB in that category, here's Madeleine Kane's song, "Bush Loves Things Just The Way They Are ":
    "Won't go trying
    Some new fashion.
    Won't change his viewpoints on a dare.
    mmm......... mmm........
    He'll always have his
    Oft spoken passion
    For launching wars with Tony Blair. "
    (via Regions of Mind.)

    Another chicken story....
    By Kelley Benham in the St. Petersburg Times. This time, the chickens get rounded up. Another nice piece of writing:
    "All was quiet for a second.
    Then there was a whump and a whoosh and a blast of air and a streak of white, and the net came down and the squawking began.
    The chickens hopped like they'd stepped in hot grease. They bounced and clucked and frantically fluttered their trapped wings. Little heads poked through the net in alarm, jerking from side to side, blinking furiously.
    Somebody said "Omigod," and somebody else said, "Whoa," and the chickens just jumped and screeched."
    About the original story...

    Today's news:
    Cardinal Law will dominate, I'm sure (link is to Boston Globe coverage); Yahoo! Full Coverage (news and links)
    Comments on the Trent Lott situation, in The Herald: from Leonard Pitts and Jim Morin (who, as usual, has a solution); this story has been slow to build, it seems: the most commentary I found early was in the conservative Weblogs. Yahoo has news and links.
    Also in The Herald today: an interview with Haiti's President Aristide.

    A nice tip today from Brian Haas, Bradenton Herald reporter, who's used The Internet Archive to find information on a company whose Website had been taken down. Gary Price suggested this site last week, too, for anyone looking up info on the raided Mass. company with possible al-Qaeda ties. It's tempting to think of the Archive (also called The Wayback Machine) as a fun trip down memory lane, but for research on businesses it can be priceless. I'll add it to business reference links. (And, amazingly, they even have several versions of my Website from 2001 archived: this one's from Oct 27 that year. If this is archived I'd expect to find nearly anything you can look up....)

    Thursday, December 12, 2002

    Signs of the season:
    Christmas lights, shopping in London and environs, from Hampshirecam: (Regent Street)
    Christmas urban legends from, including Did Coca-Cola invent Santa Claus?
    Holiday Season Facts from Census.
    And for shopping, Google introduces Froogle: Search for a product and get a list of stores selling it. A fine compliment to Google Catalogs.

    Wednesday, December 11, 2002

    The secret's out...
    South Knox Bubba has the info from the Iraq document release:
    News Flash: Iraq comes clean
    Iraq has released a 12,000 page document detailing all weapons and weapon development programs in their possession. The report is accompanied by CD ROMs containing 500MB of additional data.
    SKB operatives have gotten a first look at the report. Following are some highlights of Iraq's weapons inventory:

    - 238 Daisy Red Ryder BB guns
    - 487 Whammo Wrist Rocket slingshots with steel pellets
    - 82 Jart lawn dart sets
    - 23 stink bombs, ammonium sulfide
    - 86 packs of Black Cat firecrackers
    - 144 packs of Moon Travel bottle rockets
    - 429 assorted billy clubs, baseball bats, and big sticks
    - 52 sets of brass knuckles
    - 3268 assorted rocks, bricks, and chunks of concrete
    - 1 H&R .22 revolver, six shot, rusted
    - 12 grams of radium scraped from the dials of surplus 1940 era Timex glow-in-the-dark wristwatches
    - Plans and diagrams for fuse ignited propane potato launching cannon, also capable of launching assorted stink bombs and smoke clusters

    Ari Fleischer announced that President Bush and his national security advisors are reviewing the report to assess the strategic implications of these potential threats and to formulate a response, which could involve a military component.


    Tuesday, December 10, 2002

    Technical difficulties and an apology from the U.S. at This from IDO3 through Presurfer. Check the latter out for "your daily dose of diversion".

    Sunday, December 08, 2002

    A Fairchild ramble:
    Photos from a walk around Fairchild Tropical Garden:
    ( I took some Everglades photos on the way to Bradenton, too, which I'll post later...along with more Fairchild photos, which were taken last Saturday, a brilliant day (unlike today).)

    Saturday, December 07, 2002

    The weekly update:
    Traveled to Bradenton this week where some Herald reporters and I talked to newsroom staff at The Bradenton Herald. I've always liked Bradenton, it still has the feel of an old Florida town, where the main industry is still citrus, but has a lively downtown, and a good newspaper. It's always encouraging to talk to journalists outside the big-paper mainstream. They're involved in their community and dedicated. I like that kind of journalism, too.
    To Herald folks checking this site, hope you're finding useful stuff here: I'm updating the Florida public records list and have found a few more links to be updated: the addresses on handout may be correct if you find bad links here. I'll get those all updated in a few days.

    So although I spent only a couple days this week browsing the Web, some interesting things showed up:

  • Discover Peru a good country guide (history, etc.)
  • guide and directory of Japanese websites.
  • CDC page on Cruise ship illnesses and sanitation.
  • Sky Chart from Sky and Telescope, see the night sky in your area.
  • Fuel search car brands and find fuel ratings. Data recently updated.
  • Yahoo! Year in Review: 2002
  • AutoIndex a giant database of cars and car topics from all over the world.
  • Gang Rule has a database of organized crime figures and gangs; lots of images, including of original newspaper articles; documents and articles; and bibliography, links, and contact info. So far not a comprehensive database by any means, but interesting nevertheless...
  • National Poinsettia Day is December 12.
  • Federal land patent records redesigned page, easier to search and display. These records include Florida land patents previous to 1908. Later records may also have been added.
  • The Official (UK) Charts track pop music hits in the UK going back 50 years.
  • The Writings of George Washington now online at U.Va.
  • U.S. Racial and ethnic segregation, 1980-2000 from Census.
  • Crime stat links from Sree Sreenivasan at Poynter. One nice list I haven't seen before: Criminal Justice Journalists' Information Center.
  • How they Got the Story new feature on Poynter features stories or series from various newspapers.
  • Saddam Hussein: crimes and civil rights abuses British Foreign Office pamphlet in PDF.
  • Homeland Security Information Center
  • The Fiscal Survey of States new report from National Governors Association.
  • Federal Lobbying Directory improved page from Political Money Line (FECInfo). Has searches, rankings, and legislative info.
  • Labor Contracts Database browse lists of contracts by state or union. From Inst. of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  • DIALOG Domain Names Database this new file in Dialog (file 225) carries both current URL records and historical ownership records for Internet domain names. The source matches records held in WhoIs and WhoWas files. Records can contain as many as 78 fields; more than 50 are fully searchable. Fields include registrant name, domain name, e-mail address,
    phone number, ZIP code, etc.
  • can't make the newest version of your favorite software work on your old machine? You can download older versions here.
  • Specialty search engine directory from SearchEngineWatch.
    People, News, Florida, Public Records: no links this week.

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • The Writer's Almanac website of the Garrison Keillor radio program on Minnesota Public Radio has daily entries.
  • Irish bookmaker Paddy Power is taking bets on next Pope.
  • Virtual Tours Tired of traveling? Visit world landmarks without leaving your computer. 360-degree tours. Includes several Miami landmarks...or for even more unusual travel, tour the U.S. with Mr. Toast.

  • We Didn't Start the Fire a Caltech programmer created this nice accompaniment to the Billy Joel song....
  • Torture a Spammer: get it off your chest.
  • Advent Calendar 2002 every day a new treat.
  • Tate's 2002 Advent Calendar. This one tells the story of Tate, a French cheese shop cat, day by day (so start with Dec. 1) and is available in several languages.

  • Friday, December 06, 2002

    A new newspaper blog:
    (Found on Hypergene): Check this out: 2 Cents: A really wide world of opinion, from the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. Some interesting links here, including this page of news blogs they've found. Also found there, this song, posted by Zeke, which he says is making the rounds of the Web:

    Sing it to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands."
    If we cannot find Osama, bomb Iraq.
    If the markets hurt your Mama, bomb Iraq.
    If the terrorists are Saudi
    And the bank takes back your Audi
    And the TV shows are bawdy,
    Bomb Iraq.
    If the corporate scandals growin', bomb Iraq.
    And your ties to them are showin', bomb Iraq.
    If the smoking gun ain't smokin'
    We don't care, and we're not jokin'.
    That Saddam will soon be croakin',
    Bomb Iraq.
    Even if we have no allies, bomb Iraq.
    From the sand dunes to the valleys, bomb Iraq.
    So to hell with the inspections;
    Let's look tough for the elections,
    Close your mind and take directions,
    Bomb Iraq.
    While the globe is slowly warming, bomb Iraq.
    Yay! the clouds of war are storming, bomb Iraq.
    If the ozone hole is growing,
    Some things we prefer not knowing.
    (Though our ignorance is showing),
    Bomb Iraq.
    So here's one for dear old daddy, bomb Iraq,
    From his favorite little laddy, bomb Iraq.
    Saying no would look like treason.
    It's the Hussein hunting season.
    Even if we have no reason,
    Bomb Iraq.

    Among the blogs they list, this interesting one from an Omaha World Herald editorial writer, Geitner Simmons: Regions of Mind

    Friday morning in The Herald:
    On top of the plane crash at the Federal Reserve (and AP) office in Miami: will this turn out to be more than it appears?
    Jim Morin has a definitive take on the state of the Boston archdiocese.....

    Thursday, December 05, 2002

    Important Move:
    Gary Price's Resource Shelf site has moved to So far the old address is still working too.

    Researchers and roosters:
    Two notable stories in the St. Petersburg Times: A Note for Daddy is the story of a little boy who sent a balloon into the air for his father, and a reporter and news researcher who tracked it. A nice nod to researcher Caryn Baird who gets prominent mention in the story. (This was posted on the NewsLib listserv a couple days ago.)
    And: In Mopsy and Rockadoodle Two Poynter's Dr. Ink says The Times' Kelly Benham can write a chicken story as well as her mentor Rick Bragg. Here's her story about Rockadoodle and a little girl.

    Monday, December 02, 2002

    Monday comic relief and more:
    Doc Searls links to Dave Barry's Holiday Gift Guide so I guess I should too. Can't miss this story in The Herald, even if you don't click on the other ones I link.....if only for Raul Rubiera's photo of Santa squatting in an avocado grove....
    Apparently this is on top of Blogdex, so you may have seen it. If not, check out the flash version of Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire by a Caltech programmer.
    Daypop is back, and the Fire flash is right up there in the Top 40, too.
    The Christian Science Monitor library's LibLog reviews the Bush pardons and John Poindexter's felony conviction overturning. Does anyone remember Iran-Contra? Get a refresher here.
    I'm off to Bradenton to do some training (and for a drive across the Everglades) so no updates for a couple days.