Saturday, July 16, 2005

Weekend update: Other things found this week:
I've discovered a fascinating copyright story I didn't remember, in reading a book called The Pirates and the Mouse, by Bob Levin. It's the story of Dan O'Neill, who did the Odd Bodkins cartoon for the San Francisco Chronicle in the late 1960s (which I read in The Washington Post), and a band of rogue cartoonists he gathered to publish underground comics, several of which used Disney characters in -- um -- compromising positions.

Disney sued for copyright violation, and the case went on for years; the Air Pirates lost but eventually most of the financial claims were dropped. If you're interested in copyright, this story has lots to recommend. Levin, an attorney, discusses the history and background of copyright, particularly in parody. I didn't know a lot of this story, didn't remember the case (although I do remember when, in violation of a court order, O'Neill published a 4-page spread featuring Mickey in Stewart Brand's Co-Evolution Quarterly a couple years later: Brand was then also sued by Disney). Other cases cited involved Jack Benny and the 'Gaslight' movie (I always wondered why he joked so much about that film).

Haven't quite finished the book but am really enjoying being carried back to those heady days of underground comix and everything else that went on in those years. And am pleased to find out that Dan O'Neill is still drawing Odd Bodkins at Dan O'Neill Comics. (And they're as strange now as ever). O'Neill, an inveterate renegade according to the book (blamed on his Irishness) has also posted scans of the offending strips here. As he says, 'funny thing about committing a crime... there's always evidence left behind'...especially now on the Net.

Oh, and, if you can't get the book, here's a shorter version of the story by Levin in Reason.

  • Trailers of Historically Significant Films from Digital History. Losts of other historical resources here, too, at main Digital History home (from University of Houston).
  • Good compilation of disaster recovery links from Resourceshelf.
  • UN News Centre: The Middle East
  • Space Shuttle links: Good collection from Al Tompkins including's package. More shuttle links on NewsNet, and Links on the Columbia disaster including lots of background links.
  • Arab expert Juan Cole has lots of links and news on the London bombings investigation on his website. (There's a report that this site is blocked to U.S. military computers in Iraq.)
  • GDP Rankings, 2004, from World Bank
  • Small Arms Survey has released their annual report which includes numbers of Iraqi civilian deaths. This figure is higher than many but lower than the Lancet report. Small Arms Survey also has databases on countries' weapons policies.
  • If you missed The Yost story (where a Knight-Ridder editor criticized news coverage from Iraq and KR correspondents reacted): lots on Romenesko, of course, but Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine called for discussion and got lots and lots of comments and emails. Links to Jarvis' comment and emails from CJR; click on 'comments' to read more.
  • Lots of reaction to story that Plain Dealer's Clifton won't publish stories because of illegal source.
    Governments, Politics:
  • UK Home Office has news, information about the bombings investigation.
  • FTA safety and security covers transportation terrorism safety issues.
  • Can't Find it on Google: fascinating posts from people looking for weird stuff. Amazing what people think they should be able to find on the Net.
  • SiteSEER, a database of journal articles and citations in the computer/information industry.
  • MedBioWorld has links to medical journals, associations and databases; the 'largest medical and bioscience resource directory on the Internet' with 35,000 links.
  • Florida Statistical Data Resources, an article in BEBR's Florida First magazine about where to go for statistics in Florida.

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • The Blogometer from National Journal's The Hotline, this is a useful summary of what the blogs are saying. (Posted daily at noon.)
  • MediaNetwork is a blog with good shuttle news and trivia links.

  • Get your pimp name: need a handle? This will calculate one for you based on your real name.


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