Tuesday, December 20, 2005

COM: Blogarithmic #81

I'm starting a new blogarithmic here in order to save #80 for the science news of the day. Whew, three in 24 hours . . . too much is happening all at once around here.

There is a petition available here that allows you to sign on to a FOIA request to see the documents that supposedly allowed the M-i-C to authorize secret spying. You have to provide a street address to sign so you'll likely end up on some list you don't want to be on, but that risk may be worth it if down the line we clean up this wretched government. Thanks to Erik Breden for passing this along.

Bora Zivkovic at Science and Politics tells of a class devoted to blogging with some superb writing in the result and not a few new bloggers. Check the story out here. I'll be blogrolling a bunch of these myself.

Clare at The House & Other Arctic Musings posted a very cool podcast of an Ivory Gull -- after that oh so cool video of Narwhals from a few days ago. Of the 1000+ birds i've seen (all in America N of Guatemala BTW) -- this is one that i've not. That's a testament to its rarity and the fact that it is so highly tied to the snowpack. The bulk of the North American birds that i've not seen are boreal and arctic species -- you know my allergy to cold. So this one counts for me as a pie-in-the-sky species. Still a very cool video -- i've never seen but still pictures.

So here's today's first oddity -- i was eating at CiCi's tonight when a flash came on the big TV (tuned to CNN) there saying a jet was circling Boston Logan airport with landing gear troubles (roughly at 7:40). [Oddly they also told the flight number and the origin and destination, which must be horrifyingly surreal if you happen to have someone on that flight!]. Anyway, i finished eating, spent some time talking to friends, and drove home (which for you who don't have a personal handle on my life, means about a 30 minute drive once i've driven through the river and waited for the gate, etc.). The report was on CNN television, and yet when i got the computer fired up (and my browser opens automatically to CNN at about 8:26) there was no word, no hint, no nothing about any plane. Nor was there any on any of the other MSM news sites i keep handy, until just minutes ago ABC (8:27) put in a Breaking News banner. CNN still has no word 45 minutes after they announced the details to the world on TV. And they wonder why blogging is usurping public media . . .

Okay, it's 9:08 and ABC reports the plane has landed safely at Logan, and has a short story to boot.

The New York Times, CNN (online) and MSNBC have yet (9:16) to report that there was even a plane in trouble. I'm going to keep an eye on this and see if and when they do.

At 9:24 it appears on MSNBC as the ninth news story from the top. And, just in case it seems odd because we think of it as a print newspaper, The New York Times' banner on my browser says "Breaking News" before it lists world and national news. That's what CNN's banner leads with also.

9:32 -- the number 6 story on CNN. Still nothing on "Breaking News" The New York Times at 9:40 -- giving up on them.

Of course, a by-product of my searching was finding a choice headline at ABC -- "Fl. Plane Lost Wing" (and i'd link to it but it's on the ephemeral front page -- the linked story page has the marginally more descriptive "Ill-fated Miami seaplane lost wing: NTSB"). Well, my gosh, anyone who watched the amateur video saw the plane bank and, unless it was designed to fly with only one wing, knew it had lost a wing. And what did they think we thought that big flaming thing was that followed the plane into the water? Reminds me of that headline from a few weeks back that said roughly 'FBI says Bigotry causes Hate Crimes.' Yup. You guys at NTSB and FBI can collect your guvment check and go home for the holidays now -- we're enlightened.

Did get to see and visit with Sammie Highsmith, who i also saw at the theatre the other night and forgot to mention, and Garrett Whitten, who was out eating with Jeffrey Ache and a few others.

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