300 years of history for $2, plus a boat ride...
...and we missed it! At least we got to take pictures for free. Today the Working Watercraft Committee of New York and New Jersey and North River Historic Ship Society were offering tours of the working New York harbor waterfront, aboard replica paddleboats, culminating in a parade of vessels including 4 cruise ships and the retired Fireboat John J. Harvey, which came out of retirement during the attack on the World Trade Center, first helping with the evacuation, then providing water when the water mains there were knocked out. We didn't find out about it in time. Maybe next year. The John J. Harvey joined FDNY in 1931, and retired in 1994. She began a second career as an educational vessel after being restored to complete working order in 1999. She was hardly the first of her kind; the first FDNY fireboat, the William F. Havermeyer, went into service in 1875.
(Blogger's note, August, 2003: The fireboat shown here, originally identified as the John J. Harvey, is actually the John D. McKean, still an active FDNY vessel.)
Blogrolling, Chapter 5: Weblogs.com
Weblogs.com is a blog of blogs. The Dagley Dagley Daily shows up on its list of recently updated blogs at least once a day. If you go there, reload the page frequently because it's updated every minute, and it changes quickly. Weblogs.com offers another easy way to explore the blogosphere: just click on its "random" button to be taken to a random blog, then use the back button to take you back to the main page, where you can choose another random blog, and so on: it can be addictive. Caution: neither the DDD nor Weblogs.com is responsible for the content on any of the listed or randomly chosen blogs, and some of it might be offensive to some.
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @5:17 PM
We'll get to our next blogrollee in a moment, but first, I have to stop laughing. The only way that can happen is if I stop looking at this ludicrous, but deadpan-serious, report in The New York Times, a report by the Times' media writer Jacques Steinberg (i.e., an employee of The New York Times) on Wednesday's "town-hall-style" staff meeting at that institution, part of a massive damage control effort in the wake of revelations that ex-reporter Jayson Blair plagiarized and fabricated many of his reports, and several layers of editors failed to either discover his fraud or stop it until another newspaper, one of many Blair plagiarized from, complained.
If you're sitting at your computer with a beverage, and you've just taken a gulp of that beverage, you'd better swallow before you read this "editor's note" that accompanied Steinberg's report, just to make sure you don't spit it out with your first guffaw:
"The Times meeting was closed to news coverage. As a result, Mr. Steinberg, The Times's media writer, did not attend it."
What on earth was that supposed to accomplish? Apparently somebody at the Times is operating under the delusion that a pretense of fairness and objectivity about itself, by a person who depends on that organization for the money to pay his bills, will help repair rather than exacerbate the damage caused by the Blair scandal. OK, so Steinberg did not attend the meeting. But then he goes on for 21 paragraphs, reporting about it as if he were there, with direct quote after direct quote from the discussion with no explanation of how the absent reporter heard those quotes, and sentence upon sentence of description detailed and vivid enough to rival Blair's own creative writing. Steinberg does throw in the occasional vague attribution here and there: "according to notes taken by an audience member," apparently pretending for a moment that "audience member" in this case does not mean "the reporter's co-worker."
As all regular readers of The Dagley Dagley Daily already know by now, I don't think much of Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch, nor do I trust his company's products (Fox News, The New York Post, among others). But I got a bonus giggle out of a Post headline yesterday that referred to the Times as a "scandal broadsheet." The Post, of course, is a tabloid.
Here's an essay question for anyone and everyone at The New York Times: In what ways, if any, would Steinberg's report on the meeting have been better, or worse, if he had covered the event himself rather than relying on other people's notes? 500 words or less, please. If anyone at the Times tried to answer such a question, we couldn't publish the answer here because the Times owns all rights in all media for all time to all work by its employees, and tries to claim those same rights for writers who AREN'T its employees. It also owns the rights to Blair's work, unless the plagiarized news organizations take action to reclaim their property.
Blogrolling, Chapter 4: Lawrence Lessig
We now return you to our regularly scheduled blogrolling. Today's featured blogger can fit his entire resume onto a single page, that is if the page is at least six feet long. He's currently a professor of law at Stanford University, formerly the Berkman professor of law at Harvard University. And he's chairman of the board of Creative Commons, which is working to preserve a public common area in the increasingly privatized, copy-protected world of intellectual property. The Creative Commons license allows creators of intellectual property: writing, music, films, web sites, etc., to make their work freely available or to reserve certain rights in an open-source sort of way. Instead of "all rights reserved," a Creative Commons license is "some rights reserved."
Lawrence Lessig has taken on both Microsoft and Attorney General John Ashcroft and lost both times. He's now taking on an even more formidable opponent: spam. Lessig has proposed a simple, wild-West solution, a law requiring simple labeling of e-mail ads, and a bounty of $10,000 for each cyber-vigilante who tracks down a violator of that law. Lessig believes so strongly in his spam solution that he's betting his job on it: if such a law is passed, and if it does not substantially reduce the amount of spam showing up in our mailboxes, he will resign.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced just such a bill earlier this month. Lessig is hopeful: "The key to this idea is, as Congresswoman Lofgren puts it, that the Act would enlist a bunch of 18 year olds in the battle against non-complying spammers. 'Between the 18 year olds and the spamsters,' as she puts it, 'I’ll bet on the 18 year olds.' Me too."
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @3:45 PM
What were they thinking? WERE they thinking?
We interrupt Blogrolling Week with this breaking Wild Art: Yesterday morning I was walking along the Hudson River waterfront when I saw and heard something that literally took my breath away: a huge passenger jet, flying low along the river, then circling even lower around New York Harbor, then back toward Lower Manhattan. "Nooooooooooooooooo!" I said aloud, only then remembering to breathe again. From where I stood, It appeared the plane was headed straight for the Empire State Building. By the time it turned back toward Manhattan, I had the camera out, and I shot a sequence of 9 photos as the plane passed almost literally through the space once occupied by the upper floors of the World Trade Center. There were no other planes in the sky at the time; two helicopters seemed to approach the jetliner, then back off. I lost sight of it after it circled back toward New Jersey and dropped below the Palisades on its way to Newark.
All over the New York City metro area, people like me were watching in shock and awe. Thousands of them called 911; all of us couldn't help but think 9/11. The police didn't know what was going on, because no one had bothered to tell them or anybody else. When I got home and saw no black clouds on the horizon, no breaking-news bulletins on CNN, I figured there must be no emergency, and eventually my heartbeat returned to normal. Only this morning did I discover that the plane was a Continental Airlines 777 full of troops returning from Iraq. The troops said they wanted to see the city, so the pilot requested and received permission from air traffic controllers for the low, meandering flight path. New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg was outraged: "You would think that they would have had more sensitivity than that. They should have at least asked for permission or at least given us some notice so that we could have told the public," WABC-TV quotes him as saying. The Federal Aviation Administration has since issued an apology, but only to some of those who were affected: "The FAA regrets any negative effects this flight had on New York Residents."
What about those of us over here in New Jersey? Don't we get an apology, too?
Click on the numbers to see the photos: 1 2 3 4 5 6 (The photo above is #7 in the sequence) 8 9
And on the very same day, the BBC reported that an artist near New York's Ground Zero who depicted a low-flying plane along with a warning on the side of a building was ordered to remove the artwork and apply to make it legal after neighbors complained.
Blogrolling Week will continue tomorrow, news permitting.
Copyleft notice: These photos are free for use by any news organization or individual, online or off, in exchange for the following credit, which includes a link to this site:
Photo by Janet Dagley Dagley, courtesy The Dagley Dagley Daily (the link is http://dagleydagley.blogspot.com)
No other copyright notice may be attached, and no user may sell any of these photos in any form.
All violations will be reported to tomorrow's blogrollee.
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @12:17 PM
Chapter 3: Jim Romenesko
Correction: A few weeks ago here in The Dagley Dagley Daily, we were mistaken when we wrote these words: "You can't make this stuff up, and why would you want to?" We've since learned that disgraced reporter Jayson Blair made a career out of making it up for The New York Times, which some still consider the pinnacle of the profession. But pinnacles, by their very nature, tend to be narrow, rocky, uncomfortable spots, unprotected from the elements, dangerous and exposed, better suited to rugged individuals than large organizations. Not coincidentally, it was one of those rugged individuals, the Poynter Institute's Jim Romenesko, who blew the whistle on Blair April 30. Other individuals within the Times' large organization tried blowing whistles on him numerous times before that, but their alarms went unheeded, all of which left Times Executive Editor Howell Raines uttering these words on television: "This system is not set up to catch someone who sets out to lie and to use every means at his or her disposal to put false information into the paper."
That does explain a lot of the problems that yesterday's blogrollee, Bob Somerby, is always howliing about, doesn't it? One of the world's most respected news organizations is apparently not set up to deal with publicists or politicians, let alone rogue fiction-writing reporters.
The Poynter Institute is a candle in the darkness of the current media landscape, promoting "excellence and integrity" in a profession that, these days, seems to think that's somebody else's job.
Romenesko is Poynter's senior online reporter.
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @3:40 PM
Chapter 2: Bob Somerby
Somerby's bio says he makes his living as a comedian, following a stage family tradition going back to his grandfather, 19th-Century traveling showman Rufus "Colonel Al" Somerby. It says he used to make his living in other ways, such as teaching school or writing op-ed pieces for the Baltimore Sun. In any case, he doesn't blog for a living. He just blogs. His blog isn't funny, but it includes lots of outrageous things, and Somerby's outrage in response. He's very smart, very well-informed, always right, but the outrageous things he's always outraged about just keep going on despite his daily howls. Undaunted, he blogs on.
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @4:03 PM
Chapter 1: William Gibson
So many new words have emerged from the blogosphere (there's one) that Bloglish (there's another) might someday become a full-fledged dialect of English. This week, The Dagley Dagley Daily is focusing on only one of those new words: blogrolling. Blogrolling occurs when one blog makes reference to, or even recommends, another blog. Many blogs feature blogrolls, or lists of recommended blogs. We might get around to doing that eventually, but meanwhile, we'd rather focus on a few of our favorites, so this week we'll be featuring a different blog every day. Blogrolling can be very important to the success of any blog, since most of the blog-rating sites score blogs according to the number of other sites, particularly blogs, that link to them.
If you're a regular reader, you know we've already blogrolled the site of Baghdad blogger Salam Pax. So have a lot of other bloggers; Salam's "Where is Raed?" blog is currently ranked #2 by the Daypop search engine. One of the bloggers who has frequently mentioned Salam Pax is William Gibson (yes, THAT William Gibson). The man who coined the term "cyberspace" has his own cyber-outpost, for now. Though Salam Pax has returned (and even mentioned William Gibson), Gibson is now exiting the blogosphere: he announced a few weeks ago that he will soon stop posting long enough to write another novel. Meanwhile, he's still touring to promote his latest and most-acclaimed work so far, Pattern Recognition.
As if to illustrate that everything (and everyone) in cyberspace is connected, Gibson even mentions Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in his blog bio.
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @3:28 PM
Thanks, Jesse & Kamil!
Happy Mother's Day to all mothers (and their children) everywhere. Did you know that Mother's Day was started by the same person who wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic? Julia Ward Howe issued the first Mother's Day Proclamation in 1870:
<<Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.>>
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @6:48 AM