Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Changes and fixes:

Not perfect yet, by any means, but I've moved several of the pages linked on the left column to a new Webspace on my Earthlink account so they will be visible again. This includes links to the blogs I read, and reference pages like the public records listings, etc.

For some reason my old Earthlink space was being overused each month and cutting off access. It had never happened before and expected after the first month it wouldn't happen again. But each month has been the same for a few months now.

Many of the research/reference pages, even my blog list, need updating. I've put that off while deciding what to do about the space. Today I started a Flickr upload so I can start linking to my photos there. It will take awhile before I get all the photos loaded so I won't start linking there yet.

So if you've bookmarked any of the old pages and hadn't been able to get into them, try the links on left, or change the URL to from and they should work now.

In the next week or so I'll try to get lots of these pages updated.

(I have also been thinking about changing the template on this blog so it'll have more of the new Blogger features, but every time I consider that I decide I like this old template just fine. Hmmm. Keep watching.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Weekend update: Other things found last week:

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend. Obviously, I was too busy to blog at all over the last few days, even to my Herald blog, although I did post links to end-of-year roundups this morning there. I did post some photos, though......
The other links:

  • Saving starts at home, new site from FTC on energy use.
  • 2005 Bankruptcy Act resources from US Courts.
  • Influenza Pandemic Handbook for Journalists from WHO, latest update Dec. 05.
  • Breached Levee map from Times-Picayune, incredible PDF.

  • Lookup area codes and exchange prefixes in a radius, another handy search from Melissa Data.

  • Revenues and Expenditures by Public School Districts: School Year 2002-03
  • Seat Belt Use rising in most states.
  • Preliminary Uniform Crime Reports, Jan-June 2005 from FBI.

  • Poynter's Al Tompkins on how journalism has brought good things from tragedies.
  • Nieman Reports: The Future Is Here, But Do News Media Companies See It?
  • The Fix, new Washington Post politics blog.
  • New News: Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine is coming up with some proposals for changing journalism.

    Public Records:
  • Did you know you can get free 411 information by calling 1-800-free411? Snopes says it's true, and you only occasionally get a short ad. You can search on their Website too. Might be worth making the 800 number a speed dial, saving cost of regular 411.
  • Guidestar UK for looking up charities there.

  • SBA Small Business Search Find businesses by geography, type, company name or identifier.

  • Luminous-Lint, wonderful site on history of world photography.

  • Tuesday, December 20, 2005

    New journalism blog:
    K.Paul Mallasch has decided to drop the old J-Log blog and start a new one: The premise: Journalism is worth saving. I should hope so.

    Saturday, December 17, 2005

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:

    Some days I'm really happy with Blogger. My Herald blog, which has run on Typepad for the last few months, went down along with thousands of other Typepad blogs yesterday, and for a whole day an archived version of the blog was all that was available, as though the last three days of postings hadn't happened. It's back. But it's been a long time since there were any problems with my Blogger blog....cross fingers.

    In other news, The Miami Herald is dropping the 'The Herald' designation it's gone by in Broward county and on the Web, and is now proudly 'The Miami Herald' again. So the Website is now at, and email addresses, like mine, are now (The old address will still work, of course.)

    The other links:

  • USA Today bestseller lists, searchable.
  • Songfacts has song history, origins, lyrics.
  • Mary Farrell Foundation continuing the work of a diligent JFK assassination researcher, with reams of primary materials online.
  • State and Local Intelligence and the War on Terrorism: Rand Corp. study.
  • TSA Security check wait times; get average waits by day, time, and terminal. Here's MIA between 6-7 Mondays.
  • Free databases from AskSam: downloadable e-books, texts, reports and government documents searchable in AskSam; note there is an area code database here too.

  • Yesterday's News: great new project from Minneapolis Star-Tribune putting old stories online. Background on stories in the news, hot news from the past, posted in blog format. Very cool.
  • Stories of the Year, 2005: LexisNexis' free news site offers stories from the day events occurred.

  • Talk Digger: put in a site address and see who's commenting on it or linking to it.
  • Blogs: now another place to check what the blogosphere is saying about current news....

  • Volunteering in the U.S., stats from BLS.
  • NCAA race & gender data 2004-5.
  • State of the World's Children 2006, from UNICEF.

  • Crunks of the Year, 2005, best media errors and corrections of 2005 from Regret the Error blog.
  • What will happen to Knight Ridder? discussion from Lou Alexander and Stephen Lacy on Grade the News.

    Some interesting stories/blogs:
  • Katrina Index: Tracking variables in reconstruction from Brookings Inst.
  • Going to War with the Allies you have, from Army War College's Inst. of Strategic Study.

  • Thursday, December 15, 2005

    The Wikipedia story continues....

    Now comes an article in Nature, Internet encyclopaedias go head to head, in which researchers compare articles in Britannica and Wikipedia for accuracy on science topics, and find that accuracy is about at the same level in both sources. Also included: an interview with Jimmy Wales, and a list of articles checked and number of inaccuracies found:

    Only eight serious errors, such as misinterpretations of important concepts, were detected in the pairs of articles reviewed, four from each encyclopaedia. But reviewers also found many factual errors, omissions or misleading statements: 162 and 123 in Wikipedia and Britannica, respectively.

    Sunday, December 11, 2005

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:

    Now here's what newspaper journalism is good for. The New York Times' Katherine Seelye, who quoted news researchers in her story about the false John Seigenthaler Wikipedia entry, has found the person who wrote the entry, with help from Wikipedia Watch. He thought Wikipedia was a 'gag' site, and did it as a joke. He's lost his job over it because he posted it from a computer at work. Some joke.

  • America's Most Literate Cities, 2005: Miami ties at 27th with Lexington, KY.
  • NHL Rulebook, with changes for 2005-6.
  • Merriam Webster Open Dictionary for postings of new words and uses from reader submissions.
  • MemoryWiki, a place where people can post their memories of important events.
  • Pages Jaunes: Photos de Villes: has photos of buildings along a street. Covered: France and Spain (major cities). You can search for address or click on map.

  • Morgan Stanley research report on Knight Ridder Inc. on Poynter site (PDF).
  • TruthDig: researchers try to find truth behind the news, in new site edited by Robert Scheer.

  • ConvertPlus, a new online conversion tool.
  • Airport Maps: largest airports in each state, from Mapquest, with driving directions.
  • BlinX TV lets you search for videos with a unique display showing sample screens. Searches news, European TV programs and commercials, lots more.

  • Hispanic Population of the U.S., latest stats from Census.
  • Survey of Mexican Migrants: Economic Transition from Pew Hispanic, part 3 of a series.
  • National Agricultural Statistics Service: site has been updated with easier access.
  • Powerplant data: Excel databases from EIA, new format for this data on 'monthly and annual data on generation and fuel consumption at the power plant and prime mover level.'
  • Monthly Energy Chronology, 2005 from EIA.
  • Short-term Energy Forecast, latest from EIA.

    Governments, Politics:
  • Congressional Votes Database 1991-present, compiled by Washington Post researcher Derek Willis.
  • U.S. Government Podcasts and RSS
  • Supreme Court nominations documents from Library of Congress.

  • Housing Tracker collates housing data from MLS listings thruout the country.
  • Baseball America Executive Database has names, info on all front-office team execs going back to 1960.

  • Slashot article/discussion on how to save newspapers. Includes several 'Slashdot Lessons' like this one: 1. No matter how much I or any other reporter or editor may know about a subject, some of the readers know more. What's more, if you give those readers an easy way to contribute their knowledge to a story, they will.
    Public Records:
  • Florida Dept of Law Enforcement background check: old address no longer works.
  • Social Security Number Watch, from Carnegie Mellon, check validity of an SSN. (with first 5 digits, get place/time range issued).

  • Florida Laws relating to newspapers, searchable database from Florida Press Assn.

    Some interesting stories/blogs:
  • Why Iraq Has No Army, Atlantic article by James Fallows, PDF on a Quantico site. Also: Why the Strong Lose, from Parameters journal of Army War College, Carlisle.
  • Grokking Woodward by Jay Rosen, good roundup of what's being said.
  • Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize lecture is getting so many hits on the Nobel site the video may not be available for awhile. Text here. It's on truth and politics: "Political language, as used by politicians, does not venture into any of this territory since the majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed."

  • Thursday, December 08, 2005

    Advances in information:

    I've really been enjoying Mark Schaver's Depth Reporting site (formerly called CAR report) for the last few months as a great place to find some new and interesting information sources I may have missed. Now the site has undergone a change, and is now part of the Louisville Courier-Journal's web presence. Along with the blog, the C-J will also be running a print column by Mark with some of the links. As Mark says, "Although it has always been an outgrowth of my work, my blog up to now has been a personal project. But the newspaper's editors, as well as myself, think many of the things I write about here would interest readers too..."

    Congrats to Mark. FYI, note the link to a database he's put online of Louisville Metro Council votes.

    In more news from CAR specialists, here's Chicago Daily News, a new citizen journalism project started by Geoff Dougherty, who did CAR at the Miami Herald and at the Chicago Tribune. Goeff's left the Trib to run this. Steve Doig is a director.

    Here's another manifestation of the continuing online research innovation that is happening at the Washington Post: Congressional Votes Database 1991-present, compiled by Washington Post researcher Derek Willis and put online by Adrian Holovaty.

    Sunday, December 04, 2005

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:

    Lots of discussion among news librarians this week in reaction to the John Seigenthaler, Sr. column in USA Today about his erroneous biography on Wikipedia. This topic (links and discussion on my blog) really gets librarians on edge.

    The other links:

  • The Online Dictionary of Wisconsin History.
  • Hurricane Katrina/Rita Web archive: The Internet Archive collected Web pages from the aftermath and is preserving them here.
  • Where to get ethnic foods online, article from
  • Music from TV Commercials company, product, title and artist, with link to sample. Reader-contributed.
  • the Poetry Archive, includes historic recordings of poets old and modern. The even have one of my favorites, Roger McGough.

  • National Geographic's Style Manual in PDF.

  • Country Analysis Briefs: USA, latest energy stats from Energy Inormation Adminstration.
  • America's safest and most dangerous cities from Morgan Quitno. Safest: Newton, MA; most dangerous: Camden NJ. Coral Springs and Port St. Lucie make 25 safest; West Palm Beach in 25 most dangerous.
  • Hate Crime Statistics, 2004 from FBI.
  • Selling Online, 2005, Pew Internet report.

    Governments, Politics:
  • National Strategy for Victory in Iraq, PDF.
  • Leadership Directories: Information on agencies/govt offices, etc. affected by Hurricane Katrina. This subscription site has pulled out data from all their directories for free. Mostly address/phone/contact info.
  • Gulf of Tonkin recently released documents from National Security Agency.
  • database of Federal Criminal Proceedings Against Mining Companies, 1979-2005, found and made available at The Memory Hole.
  • Felons Voting Rights Laws, report on enforcement state by state from Sentencing Project.

  • Industry Analyst Blogs: need to find an expert? This list has over 100 blogs listed.
  • Hispanic Media Share: What Top Advertisers Are Spending...or Not? from Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies.

  • Friends of the Times Picayune still needs help for the 180 T-P families who have registered.

    Some interesting stories/blogs:
  • Hardship Indicators Point to a Difficult Holiday Season: National Policy Response is Off Kilter, report from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
  • Active Military Sonar and Marine Mammals: Events and References from Congressional Reference Service.
  • Mexico is Becoming the Next Colombia, report from Cato Inst.
  • Who Bears the Burden? Demographic Characteristics of U.S. Military Recruits Before and After 9/11, study from Heritage Foundation; also: Is Iraq a Poor Man's War?
  • Seeking the Roots of Terrorism: An Islamic Traditional Perspective; from Journal of Religion and Popular Culture.
  • Amusement Parks and new technology: Florida Today investigative series on the quest for thrills and possible dangers.
  • Randomised controlled trial of animal facilitated therapy with dolphins in the treatment of depression, new report in British Medical Journal.
  • Global Language Monitor: Fascinating blog-type entries on new words and language changes.
  • Behind the Yellow Tape, blog from PBPost crime reporter Andrew Marra.
  • TV Scoop, blog on UK television.