Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Fun with links:
I found this in the comments from last weekend's postings. It's too much fun not to put out here. Researcher Mary Lou White of the Washington Post comments that she found an interesting coroner's report in the Missouri records now available online. It's a report on the death of a William Lyons, better known as Billy.
Thanks, Mary Lou!

Random links:
More terrorist lists via Genie Tyburski's Virtual Chase Alert newsletter: World Bank list of Ineligible Firms; Bank of England financial sanctions; Canadian lists of terrorist names.

The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma is a site for journalists who cover violence.

Your Right to Know is a 'First Amendment Watchblog' from the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Lots more on the Herald blog.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Blogger problems:
Starting last evening, some problem in the Blogger system is causing this blog (and others on Blogspot) to be unavailable. I can get it to open up occasionally, though. When this has happened recently, hitting 'refresh' has usually worked, but in this case the blog just seems to be missing. This morning I've gotten to the blog a few times and gotten the 'missing' message a few times. Blogger's blog says there is a problem, and they're working on it.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Of interest:
  • The state of Indiana is giving all residents free software and file storage, so they can access and work on files from anywhere. This is very cool. Will every state do this? Why not?
  • As an example of how Wikis can enhance a topic, here's a Useful profile of John
    , the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq, from Wikipedia. Compiled by a consortium of Web users, the profile includes details that probably don't come up in official biographies...
  • And in this, The Roe Effect, the Wall St. Journal runs an analysis of how many voters have been lost due to legal abortion. Apparently they would have been liberals, and Al Gore might have won the last election. No word on where all those millions of extra people would have lived. Would urban/surburban/rural sprawl be even worse?

  • Saturday, June 26, 2004

    Amazing color today: Posted by Hello

    Golden shower: cassia. Posted by Hello

    ...and bougainvilla. Posted by Hello

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:
    Via BRB publications: news that Choicepoint has purchased
    "ChoicePoint, the leading provider of identification and verification
    services, has acquired Investigation Technologies, LLC, which operates
    Rapsheets Criminal Records, a provider of online criminal records
    searches. Rapsheets' products complement ChoicePoint's National Criminal
    File and advance the company's leadership position in the area of criminal
    records retrieval."

    It's just another example of the consolidation of public records databases, putting almost all of them in the hands of just three or so companies. Along with the continuing removal of access due to privacy restrictions, journalists now are finding less choices, along with loss of data we once used. Disturbing.
    The links....
    Reference :
  • RefWorld is a database of research documents from the UN High Commission on Refugee. Search by country and get a good collection of reports, stats, etc.
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • African Digital Library
  • U.S.AID: Iraq get information on infrastructure/development in Iraq.
  • Washington Post puts administration torture memos online.
  • Database of skincare product safety from Environmental Working Group.
  • Olympic Games Resources: great collection from Librarians' Index to the Internet.
  • Lightning Injury research program at U. Ill.
  • Abandoned and Little-Known Airfields: amazing research on this site, which among many nationwide listings, has two separate listings of Miami-area airfields, including some amazing old photos of Dinner Key, several others.
    Governments, Politics:
  • Black members of the U.S. Congress, 1879-2004
  • Political State Report finds latest politics news, by state.
  • Congressional Research Reports archive now available at U.Md.'s Thurgood Marshall law library.
  • DocuTicker: a new resource from ReferenceShelf, lists extra news and releases.
  • a new site for getting conversion calculators (ounces to gallons, acres to sq. miles, etc....)
  • State of Missouri Coroner Inquest Database covers 1842 to 1932.
  • Forbes' Celebrity 100 for 2004.
  • First Amendment Library from Vanderbilt's First Amendment Center.
  • The Photographer's Right: a one-page sheet listing legal rights to photograph, from a law office.
  • Latest bankruptcy stats from American Bankruptcy Institute. Says personal bankruptcy filings have doubled in last decade.
    Public Records:
  • List of parties debarred for arms export control act violations
  • Newslookup is a new news search engine that lets you choose type of source and do other advanced searches.
  • BBC video archive is now online with thousands of videos for sale, including CBS News video.
    Statistics, Florida: no links this week

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • Ronald Reagan's FOIA Legacy: column on LLRX law research site.
  • The U-Turn that saved the Gipper: fascinating column in the Guardian by Sidney Blumenthal says Reagan shed Iran-Contra and neocons and embraced Gorbachev.
  • The Water Barons award-winning investigative project from Center for Public Integrity and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
  • Bill Moyers' NYU speech on poverty in America
  • On that Iraq-al Qaeda connection? Nevermind. In the Post.
  • AP Story on reaction to newspaper online registration in SF Chron.
  • Unfarenheit 9/11 on Moore, by Christopher Hitchins, in Slate.
  • has a database of magazine covers going back to 1850 or so.
  • NBA Blogs by players, coaches, actors, commentators. No one from Heat, though.

  • Thursday, June 24, 2004

    Newspapers bite:
    Wonderful column in the Orlando Sentinel by Kathleen Parker: Newspapers looking for love in all the wrong places. (Via Romenesko, registration required.) Among the gems:
    With television offering headlines -- and Internet blogs offering inspired commentary -- why do people want to get their hands dirty reading stale stories that fail to ring the chime of truth?

    Also: The Goodness, Tyranny of Journalism: Tim Porter writes in a similar vein on First Draft.
    And: Is online newspaper registration inevitable? Steve Outing suggests alternatives.

    Registration is quickly becoming a huge pet peeve of mine. I thought I had been smart about using IDs and passwords I could remember, but twice in the last two days I've been thwarted on getting into the Washington Post and the Orlando Sentinel on other PCs, including once in the middle of a training session. I've decided to use BugMeNot, and find if you drag the the Bookmarklet to your toolbar, you can just click on it once you're on a site with registration and it opens up a window with suggested passwords. Makes it easy. (BugMeNot gave me an amusing logon for the Orlando Sentinel, check it out.)

    People finding tips:
    I found a couple useful tips here: The Best Internet Web People Finders are Free; article in PC Magazine. (And Earlier related article: Learn (Almost) Anything About Anybody .)

    Tuesday, June 22, 2004

    Handout excellence:
    Among the many reasons I encourage researchers to go to the IRE conference are the many and varied panels, with accompanying handouts. Some are topnotch, like the examples posted on Neil Reisner's Web site, especially the one titled Using the Internet on Deadline/the Beat from a panel with Alan Schlein. This one is so on target. Example:

    • Learning to research is a lot like learning to drive. You start by driving around the block and you practice a lot before you hit the Interstate.

    • In both cases, it’s a matter of practice.

    • Got a project on a subject with which you’re entirely unfamiliar?
    Pre-web, you would have called a librarian for help. You still can! That’s what librarians do; makes friends with a good one.

    • Check sites like Glossarist a browsable and searchable directory of web-based glossaries and subject-specific dictionaries.


    • Get one.

    • Free advice and fee-based resources for nothing.

    And, if you know Neil, you'll really appreciate the caricature; it's perfect.

    My hero:
    I LOVE this. William Grieder, former Post reporter, sends A letter of condolence to the Washington Post: "I had no idea you felt so deeply about Ronald Reagan. I was a reporter and editor at The Post during the launch of Reagan's "revolution," and we had a somewhat different take on his presidency then."

    Photo break:
    In Miami, it's mango season again... Posted by Hello

    One more photo from the mountains; more photos from this trip posted on my home pagePosted by Hello

    Monday, June 21, 2004

    A Real Problem:
    Oh, and BTW, the problems at are also affecting Dave Barry's blog. So don't panic. It will be fixed.....sometime.......

    My suspicion: this is all caused by registration. Hateful thing that that is.......

    Pages down:
    If you've tried to get on my Herald blog, or open any stories at the Miami Herald Web site, you may have gotten error messages. There is a problem with the site and no stories will open. They are trying to fix it. Meanwhile, you can get on to a new Web Cam, from the top of the Wachovia tower, Miami's tallest skyscraper -- or at least it was, til recently. Nice panorama of Biscayne Bay, the Port of Miami, and parts of downtown north and Miami Beach.

    Saturday, June 19, 2004

    Weekend update: Other things I found this week:
    A long list this week, catching up from a couple weeks away.

    The links....
    Reference :
  • A map of languages in the United States from Modern Language Assn.
  • Extreme Heat: useful information from the CDC.
  • Mayo Clinic drugs and supplements database.
  • Military spending database: worldwide data, recently updated, from Stockholm Intl Peace Research Inst.
  • Hurisearch: a human rights search engine.
  • Mealey's litigation reporter has news about recent and archived litigation, by topic or by state.
  • Big Class Action database
  • For Bloomsday: Ulysses for Dummies
  • RadioScout Public Radio Search: find upcoming programs.
    Governments, Politics:
  • CIA World Factbook, 2004: latest edition now available.
  • new site from UVA has biography, history, details on adminstration.
  • A History of Presidential Campaign Commercials, 1952-2000. From American Museum of the Moving Image.
  • Kerry campaign is detailing effect of the Bush policies on each state's economy. Here's the Florida report. (Other States.)
  • For Your Political Opinion is a news service that pulls press releases from policy groups's Web sites. This is a sample page, you can sign up for the service (free).
  • Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change.
  • Human Rights First issues a report that says U.S. has several secret prisons.
  • The Secret World of U.S. Jails in the Observer.
  • Senderbase is a database of the most prolific email senders....a way to trak spammers?
  • Register of known spam operations from Spamhaus.
  • The Findory Blogory: Findory is a news service that personalizes the news according to what you click on; Blogory does the same thing for blogs.
  • What's on When: put in a city and date and it tells you about events.
  • U.S. Geocoder: put in an address, get latitude/longitude.
  • BlogsNow: another service that tells you what blogs are linking to.
  • Tools for Investigative Research from legal researcher Genie Tyburski, from her presentation at SLA.
  • HTTrack Website Copier is free software that lets you download an entire Web site.
  • Higher Education National Info Center has stats on state of higher education by state.
  • Energy Statistics from International Energy Assn.
  • Uninsured Americans a statistical report from FamiliesUSA. Includes state fact sheets.
  • Kid Friendly Cities: a report from Population Connection. Here's Miami (rated C+).
  • World War II Army Enlistment records from U.S. Archives.
  • GI Bill page has lots of news info on aid for military and families. They also have a Military locator search which you must register to use. Wonder if this is identical to the Buddy Search at
  • Web site of Assn of Capitol Reporters and Editors.
  • News Page Designer: from the Sun Herald in Lewiston Maine, a place for designers to show off their work.
  • new site from Sun-Sentinel.
  • Florida Faces Election Fracas: in Wired, on the felons database.
  • Growing the Middle Class, the Brookings Institution's report on Miami-Dade.
  • a new business search site, with some searching for free.
  • Highbeam Executive Research uses data from Eliyon, which scans news and Web sites to compile profiles. Must register for basic subscription (free) to read the stories.
  • tracks companies outsourcing offshore.
  • find out what people make, cost of living in other cities, benefits info, etc.
    Public Records:
  • How to use FOIA: from Reporters' Committe for Freedom of the Press.
  • Ohio's Public Records Audit (as reported in Plain Dealer series. This was just held and many Ohio papers have stories.
  • California Physician License Lookup includes disciplinary actions.
  • Excluded Parties Listing System has lists of people, companies, like Specially Designated Individuals and Blocked Persons, and the Bureau of Industry and Security lists. These are people/entities blocked from receiving Federal contracts or aid.
  • Certified Financial Planner search: has disciplinary action info.
  • NASD Broker check: get regulatory action info plus employment record.
    News: no links this week

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • One page of Ulysses a day: read on Web site or via RSS in celebration of 100th anniversary of Bloomsday.
  • Time Goes By: a blog about getting older, by Ronni Bennett, a TV and online producer.
  • Audubon's Harmony this is a beautiful site that takes pieces of this bird painting and illustrates them with words, music and animation, or click on Catalogue for links to each painting. From Musee de la civilisation.

  • Friday, June 18, 2004

    Things I linked to once before and am thinking about again:
    Thinking about 9/11 in light of the commission report, I'm reminded of An Interesting Day, the incredibly researched analysis of President Bush's movements on that day, done for the Center for Cooperative Research.

    Also, Jeff Jarvis pointed today to Gaping Void, the blog by marketer Hugh McLeod, who draws wonderful cartoons on the back of business cards. They're great. Jarvis encourages bloggers to buy Hugh's 'Blogcards', business cards for bloggers with cartoons included.

    More research:
    Speaking of incredible research, I'm fascinated by this: A to Z list of Massachusetts gay marriage applicants' occupations compiled by Boston Globe's Bill Dedman.

    Also of interest:
  • When will old media grasp the revolution? in Wired.
  • History of the Internet from the FCC.

    More over the weekend, as the weekend update resumes. (And maybe some pictures too.)

  • Thursday, June 17, 2004

    Blog discussion:
    Media Savvy has concluded a series called "Why can't a newspaper be more like a blog?". See links to the series in right-hand column. This is an interesting discussion of how newspapers fear news aggregators, the lack of comments on news Web sites (although comments suggest a couple of places that do...or will), changing URLs, and community links. On this, he says:
    The typical newspaper web site's home page is a roach motel: readers can enter, but they can't get out, unless they click on an ad. Some news stories may provide a few relevant links in a news story, but it feels like noblesse oblige.

    It's why it seems so important to have at least one blog on a newspaper site (ahem!) that helps lead readers to places of interest. It's my contention that if you provide that to readers they will continue to come back looking for more. It seems a little late in the game to still be saying this, still needs to be said.

    Tuesday, June 15, 2004

    Catching up:
    Have started posting again to the Herald blog; a few things there today.

    Of note: after bemoaning the loss of Jim Fletcher's Smoky Mountain Journal for lovely mountain photos, nice to find out (via South Knox Bubba) that Fletch is back with a new photo blog covering his new hometown: Austin Country Limits.

    So you were wondering.....what award? (News Division description; The article (inside the newsletter).

    Monday, June 14, 2004

    A new week:
    And I haven't posted anything new yet, here or on the Herald blog. I was a lot busier today back at work than I expected, so have had little chance to browse. I collected a few things last week and will post soon but right now not getting connections I need to do so. Back later.

    A Good Week:
    Getting to go to the SLA conference and see old (and new) News Division friends: Great.
    Getting an award from the News Division at a wonderful dinner: Incredible.
    Getting to bring the award table flowers to the mountain house and have them on my deck: Priceless. (Dinner and other conference photos on the NewsliBlog site.). Posted by Hello

    (You may have noticed this post is identical to one I posted on Friday. I had screwed up the Bloggerbot settings for photo sizes in switching from one blog to another, and wanted to change the photo. Back to normal later today...)

    Thursday, June 10, 2004

    What's up?
    I've been doing a lot of running and just can't find time to sit down and get postings done. All my online time is being used deleting spam from my work email. Will get something more up soon. Have posted a few News Division conference photos on the NewsliBlog....

    Monday, June 07, 2004

    Blog heaven:
    So I'm sitting in the Cybercafe in Opryland posting to my blog. On one side of me is Derek Willis, of The Scoop and on the other side, Gary Price of Resourceshelf. I assume they are posting to their blogs as I type. Is this cool, or what? Talk about your powerblogging.......

    Sunday, June 06, 2004

    A reminder:
    SLA News Division attendees will be blogging the conference on the NewsliBlog. I was hoping to post photos there but have discovered that Bloggerbot doesn't work thru least that's my theory. Opryland is awesome! You'll just have to wait til Thursday to see the photos.

    One last mountain photo before heading to Nashville.... Posted by Hello

    Weekend update:
    Not a lot this week, and you've probably already seen this stuff on Resourceshelf or elsewhere.
    I'm having connection problems (DNS errors) so haven't been able to get online a lot. Not sure what's going on, the connection was perfect until Friday.

    The links:
  • A Family in Baghdad writes about their life. Also: Pictures in Baghdad from a couple of the family members.
  • Quotation and Proverb Search from Michael Fagan, searches 50 Web-based quotations collections.
  • Baseball Scorecard includes a tutorial in scoring.
  • Meta-efficient: a guide to the most efficient things in the world.
  • 2004 hurricane forecast from Prof. Gray.
  • Federal contractor misconduct database from Project on Government Oversight.
  • State Education Reform a guide and resource directory from Dept. of Ed.
  • D-Day heroes online British Archives site on 600 cited heroes of WWII. Site will list 12,000 eventually.
  • NYT archive, 1851-1995 now has advanced search available.
  • Back to Iraq 3.0 Christopher Allbritton returns to Iraq and blogs the trip.

  • Friday, June 04, 2004

    Strange things:
    Cyberjournalist has a great collection of cicada links, including some recipes and cooking tips! They say the run should be almost over around here as they've been out nearly three weeks. The alien sound starts up every morning so far, though....

    We wouldn't have seen these in Miami: the woods sound like there are hundreds of little car alarms going off. (I've spent too long in the city!) Posted by Hello

    Thursday, June 03, 2004

    Blog news:
    Sad to say, another journalist gives up blogging. Tom Mangan has retired his Prints the Chaff blog. Tom, how could you? I relied on you for cool links to editors' blogs. Now will I have to read them all myself? Tom says he can't blog at 33k bps. Hmm. How rural can that be? I'm in the far western Smokies area and getting 52k. Blogging is a little slower. I need to get my RSS reader loaded with more blogs so I can go faster. But actually, it's messaging back and forth to work that's taking most of the time.....

    A couple interesting new blog things:
  • Autoblog about the auto industry.
  • Mark Cuban is counting refs' calls in the NBA playoffs.
    (both via JD Lasica).