Saving the Blues..
The Baton Rouge Blues society is organising a very worthy campaign to find paying gigs for the many local musicians without work thanks to Hurricane Katrina Behind the project is blues society president David Couvillon, a man who as the former military governor of Wasit province in Iraq has already demonstrated an aptitude for charitable work. In this mp3 recorded a couple of weeks ago and first broadcast on the pods and blogs segment on BBC Radio FIve Live David tells me why the campaign is so important to keeping local music alive. If you want to hear a good example of the type of music still coming out of New Orleans in spite of all that has happened have a listen to this song by local bluesman Burton Gaar.
A must for all peas recently popped from their pod, our special animation correspondent points us to the Kangacast a weekly animated (and very cute) podcast. Personally I find the whole thing befuddling, but then I'm almost certainly 33years too old for this one.
Squirrels ripped my flesh...
Just returned from a road trip around Arizona, Nevada and Northern California with my Anglo-danish friend Peter. Whilst seeing a burning sequoia was certainly impressive, and the fountains at the Pallagio Casino in Vegas took me on a watery ride through realms of uber-kitsch - the real star was this squirrel at the Grand Canyon. Earlier we had walked past a woman in a gift shop complaining that she had been attacked and bitten by one of the furry little fellows; "pish" we thought, "what stuff!". But standing guard at a cliff-top monument to (I think) John Wesley Powell, we found this squirrel. Forgetting my survival 101 I unwrapped a Pay-day and immediately the little blighter ran up mi' leg and had to be repeatedly beaten off. Had I been wearing shorts I'm not sure I'd be here to tell the tale. More squirrel pics follow
More squirrel action.
This is just the best
Woke up this morning and clapped my hands and bounced up and down like a little girl who's just found a pony in the cornflakes packet. I made Fark with an "obvious" tag too, a fair reflection of my abilities to uncover the news that matters I feel . Yay!
Giant Squid (Architeuthis) Finally Caught on Film
Working some 600 miles south of Tokyo off the Bonin Islands, known in Japan as the Ogasawara Islands, they managed to photograph the creature with a robotic camera at a depth of 3,000 feet. During a struggle lasting more than four hours, the 26-foot-long animal took the proffered bait and eventually broke free, leaving behind an 18-foot length of tentacle.
Evidently while most scientists would give their right arm to photo this mysterious monster of the deep, the giant squid (who admittedly has seven more to spare) gave his to remain anonymous. Still it's a wonderful breakthrough and again makes me wonder why we are to spend billions to send men to a certainly barren rock parked in earth orbit when the creatures of the deep that lurk on our very shores remain so poorly understood and the scientist that study them remain relatively under-funded.
Media notes: Stand-by for anchors cracking the inevitable "that's an awful lot of sushi" pay-off line as another breakthrough in the biological sciences is relegated to an "and finally" slot in the network news.
Update: PZ Myers links to this stomach churning account of recent research in the sex lives of giant squid..don't read if the thought of super-sized cephalopod sperm packets is likely to put you off breakfast
On WGN Radio
I'll be on WGN Radio Chicago as a guest of Milt Rosenberg. We'll be talking about podcasting. If you want to listen live the link's here
WGN has just entered the world of podcasting (more here) which is great news for fans of quality commercial radio in the US
Update: Huh for about the 3rd time in a row the Cubbies have tied the game up. I'm clearly the best mascot they've ever had!
Update: Cubs have just lost...somehow posting about the game must have double jinxed them..sorry cubbies.
Update: But we just don't have enough time to do the topic justice..so we're postponing again _sigh_
The 1947 Project is a wonderful time-travel blog that documents day-by-day LA crime as it happened in 1947. I was lucky to take a tour round downtown with the blog's creators Kim and Nathan. A tour that took us past the demolition and evisceration of more than one period building. This wonderful old photo (more here) gives you a sense of what's been lost in downtown LA. Nathan left the interview with a brick in his hand, a memento of another old haunt found reduced to rubble by real-estate myrmidons.
Update - Kim kindly sent me a link to her own podcast it's Bubble-tastic!
WWII Films on the web..
This is just superb. LA Observed points us to Cinemocracy which is hosting a collection of down-loadable old WWII documentary and propaganda films by the likes of John Ford, John Houston and Frank Capra. Unfortunately on my connection it's a 30minute wait for each film..but well, well worth it.
53% Journalists turn to the blogs
Well I could have told you that the time lag between a link appearing in Fark and an "And Finally" item on the local news was now down to a few seconds. But researchers at Euro RSCG Magnet and Columbia University have confirmed that many journalists turn first to the internet when looking for stories...
Most often, those work-related tasks involve finding story ideas, with 53% of journalist respondents reporting using blogs for such purposes. But respondents also turn to blogs for other uses, including researching and referencing facts (43%) and finding sources (36%). Most notable, fully 33% of journalists say they use blogs as a way of uncovering breaking news or scandals.
It gives you a sense of the power of the blogs in setting the media agenda and again makes me wonder about the much hyped antagonism between bloggers and the mainstream media. The perception of conflict as been built on half-a-dozen high-profile cases. This study shows that the relationship is, as the song goes, "closer than close."