Friday, December 31, 2004

’05 Mind-reading monsters, pop philosophy and books with absurdly long titles - 2005 is already shaping up to be a memorable year in publishing. Stuart Jeffries predicts next year's bestsellers - and pitches a few ideas of his own. But why so many colons?

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Of Tsunami of Biblical Proportions
Please visit petit Laila Lalami's site for her breaktaking reflections.

Since Saturday, I've been trying to figure out what a proper response would be to the disaster currently unfolding in South Asia. I type something, erase it, start over. I can't think of a 'proper' anything-no response, no word, no feeling seems quite adequate. I struggle to find reference points, ways in which the catastrophe could be anchored, compared, examined. But I was not yet born when Agadir trembled. I have only vague memories of television images of Armenia. And Bam was knocked off the news within 48 hours. But this. This is different. The magnitude of the horror seems so great, so unbelievable that no natural disaster of modern times seems to compare. As I write this, the toll is believed to be 80,000, and is expected to climb with the spread of disease.

• Being six feet three inches tall sometimes isn't enough Even as we insulate ourselves, we're not as remote as we think we are [In the world of 50's and early 60's romantic comedy, where Tony Randall first made his name, irony was a tightly boxed thingMr. Irony: sweet nothings]
• · As reported on various literary blogs a number of literary awards have been announced in 2004 … reminding me there’s nothing harder to relate to than success. Your parents were right; an English degree won't get you a job. Old friends say homeless man was literary genius
• · · If languages are living things, as the philologists like to say, then English is a sort of Frankenstein creature, originally built of spare parts - a little French, a little Anglo-Saxon, some Norse and Danish The Year of (Your Catchphrase Here)
• · · · In Coming Up For Air, Orwell contrasts his protagonist’s memories of the English countryside on the eve of the First World War with its reality on the eve of the Second. A favorite fishing-pool has become a rubbish dump full of tin cans; a stretch of the Thames that used to harbor herons and alders has become a wasteland of rowing-boats, canoes, punts, motor-launches, full of young fools with next to nothing on, all of them screaming and shouting and most of them with a gramophone aboard. Orwell for Christians
• · · · · The precise midpoint of the 21st century's first decade will arrive on Jan. 1. As I write, that's five days away. Can we please agree on what era it is we're living in?
• · · · · · A Short Story is Like
… an iceberg: nine-tenths of its meaning is submerged. Ernest Hemingway
… a stone thrown into a pond. Ali Smith
… a slap in the face. It must immediately sting, make itself known at once, and it must leave a red mark for hours to come. -Martin Booth
… lighting your way through a dark cave with a tiny birthday candle. “Avi”
… being in a darkened room, [and] a novel is like being in a darkened field. -Dan Chaon
… a kiss in the dark from a stranger. -Stephen King

… a kick in the teeth in the dark from a stranger. -Cory Doctorow
… a weekend guest, [and] a novel is like a divorced relative staying with you. -Lev Raphael
[via Cup of Chicha]

Monday, December 27, 2004

A single death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.
- Joseph Stalin

In the age of Internet it is easy to prove how wrong the Man of Steel was ... Each and every story counts! *At 7.34 pm, Barista links to some of the hearty personal stories and links in relation to practical help.
*At Midnight the Fairfax Digital quotes a survivor: How the hell anyone survived gets me [Indeed, it is surreal how I identify with that observation. It is exactly what I said in the summer of 1980] Survivors give surreal accounts of lucky escapes
Humbled by nature's power The great wave demonstrated an ancient truth. Now all that we can do is offer to help

In the Eye of Tsunami: Boxing Day Tsunami's ring of death
So far more than *22,000* people were killed after a powerful earthquake unleashed tsunami waves that crashed into the coasts of South-East Asia.

A warning centre such as those used around the Pacific could have saved most of the thousands of people who died in Asia's earthquake and tsunamis, a US Geological Survey official said.
None of the countries most severely affected - including India, Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka - had a tsunami warning mechanism or tidal gauges to alert people to the wall of water that followed a massive earthquake, said Waverly Person of the USGS National Earthquake Information Centre.
"Most of those people could have been saved if they had had a tsunami warning system in place or tide gauges," he said yesterday.
"And I think this will be a lesson to them," he said, referring to the governments of the devastated countries.

Devastated Asia counts its dead [This time Threat to Australia has passed, say seismologists ]
• · Up to his chest in raging water, Boree Carlsson clung desperately to a pillar in a hotel lobby as a giant tsunami pounded Thailand's Phuket island. Quiet island holidays turn to terror and despair
• · · via Google hundreds of links: Subjective judgment indicates that ironically BBC (rather than the geographically situated Australian Broadcasting Commission) seems to have the most detailed coverage Tsunami - the killer waves
• · · · Earth churn spawns killer
• · · · · The Independent has a helpful if horrifying country-by-country report on the impact of the earthquake and destruction. Indian Ocean Erupts

Memeorandum compiled the following links:
There is Something Strange Happening With the Sea
WELLIGAMA, Sri Lanka, Dec. 26:
Disaster struck with no warning out of a faultlessly clear blue sky.
I was taking my morning swim around the island that my businessman-brother Geoffrey bought on a whim a decade ago and turned into a tropical paradise just 200 yards from one of the world's most beautiful beaches on the Sri Lankan mainland.
Joe Gandelman: Far away, yet even with newspaper accounts the Internet made it seem MUCH closer...because some local weblogs...Jeff Jarvis: Later I found out that my friend had been rescued by boat with a mild concussion and lacerations from all the wreckage...Orrin Judd: THE FORTUNATE: It Seemed Like a Scene From the Bible; Tim Blair; Laura Rozen: Michael Dobbs has a startling first person account of being swept to sea by a tsunami while swimming off the coast in Sri Lanka this morning; Rickheller @Centerfield: The Washington Post's Michael Dobbs was caught in it, and is lucky to be alive; Lambert @Corrente

*Update:* The tens of thousands killed by the tsunami which devastated South-East Asia could be eclipsed by the death toll from the resulting epidemics unless the unprecedented humanitarian challenge now in front of the world is met Epidemics threaten to double the death toll

The decision by Birmingham's Rep theatre to call off a play after protests by the city's Sikh community turned violent at the weekend, has reignited the debate on what, if any limits, should govern freedom of speech. What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Suddenly, the literary world is interesting again
David Brooks has done well on his first set of Hookies. David looks at the best political essays of 2004. They are all provocative and a joy to digest

Some people say that the age of the public intellectuals is over, that there are no longer many grand thinkers like Lionel Trilling or Reinhold Niebuhr, writing ambitious essays for the educated reader.

Hookies and Hookers ; [ Here are a few we liked that he missed Orrin Judd ; Not long after my arrest, in 1987, I began thinking of suicide. I was 23 during those weak times of my life. My literary escape from punishment ]
• · As a writer, I have found that reading for pleasure can be either the best of times or the worst of times, to borrowed a hackneyed phrase. In 2004, it seemed to be the best of times for me as I discovered three fabulous authors whose books swept me away How to thrill a thriller author; [ Are sexy mags more important than Cold River? ; The swimmers -- outnumbered by media photographers. The tradition dates back to 1980, the year of my escape Naked Germans Jump in Ice-Cold Lake for Good Health ]
• · · Future of Books ; [The World Wide Web is dead. And Bill Thompson thinks the web sucks, wants to cure the addiction to HTML, and do online publishing properly Ach Based on A True Story ]
• · · · Libraries will survive the digital revolution because they are places of sensuality and power Paradise is paper, vellum and dust
• · · · · Tim Porter and Jay Rosen exchange: Rethinking the News Factory (Again) Assembly Line of Paper Boys ; [Of all the writers of historical mystery fiction, Max Allan Collins has the highest ratio of real people to invented characters. We have long heard of people writing advice to soap-opera characters or sending letters off to Sherlock Holmes at 221B Baker Street
• · · · · · Library of Parliament emerging from cocoon The Library of Parliament, a round, stone wedding cake tucked against the back of the Centre Block, has suffered a half-century of winters since its last refurbishment ; [Google, current heavyweight among systems for searching the Internet]

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Thank you for diving into Media Dragon, and please keep swimming in the virtual river. I am delighted to share with you colourful topics of interest, rainbow of digital links and resources, tips on new search tools, and techniques. This has been a challenging and productive year for dragons, draculas, as well as Google, and I wish you all good health, peace, the joy of friendships and family, and of course, lots of interesting things to read, in 2005! Remember to share the greatest gift of all at your local Red Cross blood bank Best Wishes for the Holiday Season and Happy Hunting

Eye on 2004 Wrap Up: Rich Get Richer Life, Love, and Crossing over the River
'04: Say goodbye to the year of the monkey. ‘04 AD marked two decades of living under the same roof with with the ballerina of my life. If you ask me, the best gift is a daughter. The best of the best of gifts is to have two daughters. That and letting my three girls to wrapp up a muggie Christmas week with full-fledged Feast of Seven Fishes. Seven fish and seafood dishes at a sitting is an awful lot for a family of four. But I've always loved the idea of this Czech-Australian Christmas Eve tradition, a seven-course (or, in Slavic translations, 12- to 13-course)...
Like the famous soccer adage, 2004 was a game of two halves for the Imrich family. The first half was filled with negative changes as we settled back in Sydney while the second half was full of happy moments, culminating in Alex becoming the swimmer of the year at her High School. Swimming, if it is to be executed properly, is a sport that demands much. It is you, H2O and the clock. To survive in a squad a woman must have talent on top of a soaring ambition, she must learn subtlety as well as power, she must have patience alongside a sense of urgency at 4 am most mornings and, above all else, she must have character.

Has the emotional pendulum ever swung so widely between triumph and despair in a poli-cultural year?
Poli-culture would not be poli-culture without extremes, without the contrasts of joy and despair, success and failure, love and hate. And in a stream-of-consciousness kind of way, memories of the 2004 poli-cultural year can pitch the mind wildly from one to the other, both locally and globally.

• The top 20 reasons why 2005 may be the most interesting year in Washington empire - ever. Expect the Unexpected [The highs; the lows; the oh, no's of publishing! A Tale of Two Dragons ]
• · Gone and best forgotten: Adam's only chore in the Garden of Eden was naming the beasts and birds. When you try to choose a name for a new Internet domain or an e-mail account, you're likely to discover that your first choice was taken long ago. Naming Names
• · · Sang in private, Bohemian Art Show Rhaspody; [Do not make New Year’s Resolutions. Sounds ironic, but resolutions are the worst place to start on the path to success. ]
• · · · I often ask my father, the Dowbrigade, why he spends so much time blogging. It seems like such a waste of time. Even if people are reading it, they don't affect your life so what differnce does it make? Many people now accept the computer as the key metaphor for themselves and for their place in the world without any need for "Room 101" Dowbrigade
• · · · · When only the worst will do ... Jack Kelley was the Jayson Blair of 2004 Journalism itself was responsible for much of bad news; [2004: High-stakes as elsewhere even in Praha]
• · · · · · Some of this year's products: iPod copycats, iPod copycats that smell, laser pointers, Sushi discs. Best and worst gadgets of 2004

Naughty and Nice Santa suggests getting naughty pillows for your Girlfriend or Wife This Secret Santa was a Little TOO Secret

Tracking Trends Great & Small: The Persuaders
Men are more likely to want to marry women who are their assistants at work rather than their colleagues or bosses Why men are attracted to subordinate women

Each year, legions of ad people, copywriters, market researchers, pollsters, consultants, and even linguists—most of whom work for one of six giant companies—spend billions of dollars and millions of man-hours trying to determine how to persuade consumers what to buy, whom to trust, and what to think.
Increasingly, these techniques are migrating to the high-stakes arena of politics, shaping policy and influencing how Americans choose their leaders.

Cross Pollination [They spend their days sifting through reams of market research data. They conduct endless surveys and focus groups. They comb the streets, the schools, and the malls, hot on the trail of the "next big thing" that will snare the attention of their prey--a market segment worth an estimated $150 billion a year.
Merchants of Cool ]
• · The Guru of marketing, Jim F. Kukral (Kral means king in Slavic languages) Blog To Riches
• · · Memory loss apparently has its advantages, but I'm here to remind you what 2004 was all about. Remember these? A chemical breast, Christoids vs Halloween
• · · · Love 'em or hate 'em, these guys were hot in 2004Celebs Go Up: Entertainment highs in '04; [John Hart Ely wrote in Democracy and Distrust that the continuance of democracy depends on the meticulous cultivation among citizens of distrust in government. We should all, he argues, be so many jumpy watchdogs. On one level he’s right. We citizens should cast a skeptical eye on all claims made by governing officials and hold them accountable for choices good and ill. But intellectual skepticism about policy is perfectly compatible with efforts to encourage citizens’ trust of one another, and, more importantly, their trustworthiness in the eyes of others. Turning Strangers into Political Friends ]
• · · · · The odds are that when you fire up your browser, you go straight to your favourite search engine The year search became personal
• · · · · · Liberty is indivisible. Our commitment to it is not tested by easy cases: a fair trial for a middle-class Anglo-Saxon accused of driving offences; or a fair hearing for a critic of foundation hospitals or top-up fees. We are tested by hard cases: the potential terrorist who threatens to kill hundreds or even thousands; or the playwright whose work seems to insult deeply held religious beliefs. On such criteria, we often turn out to be less liberal than we thought we were The principles of freedom ; [TRUTH ABOUT TERRORISM ]
• · · · · · Text of Pope's Christmas Day message [An amazing trend is emerging in my old country more foreigners are dipping their toes in the healing springs on my grandfather’s land in Vrbov and tourists love the ancient region of Spis. It is great to see so many strangers to exploit Spis Castle which ovelooks the residence of my cousin Andrej Imrich

Saturday, December 25, 2004

As Krusty, the Klown, would say: ‘Have a Kooky Christmas, a Happy Hanukkha, a Crazy Kwanza, and a...very respectful Ramadan.'
In this holiday season, I love to hear the voices of bright, feeling people. I might not always agree but I enjoy the thinking. These "learnings" from Maya Angelou struck a chord:
-- I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
-- I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.
-- I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
-- I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.
-- I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
Kevin Salwen and Maya Angelou on Making a Difference

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Story Of Nick together with Scared of Santa photo gallery
Bishop, legend, saint, fairy story, retail therapist, and film star ... How did a pile of bones in an Italian basilica become the soft drink-swigging patron saint of brides, and our last remaining link with the original meaning of Christmas?

It is probably true to say that no human being in history has ever become so encrusted with layers of religious and secular iconography as St Nicholas. The pile of bones that has been crumbling away for nearly a thousand years in a basilica in the port of Bari on the heel of Italy has acquired a thick, inscrutable patina: bishop, legend, saint, fairy story, retail therapist, and film star

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!; [We loved the variety of expressions as each expression tells a horrifying story Images: Too much eggnog, Santa? (Foto number 7) ]
• · Mikulas, aka Santa, is a child's window to the world Check this list of the best Christmas films of all time
• · · Two economists say that regular sex brings people as much happiness as a $50,000-a-year raise--so no need to kiss up to your boss if kissing your partner is more fun
• · · · During my first year at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, a few of us were sitting around one afternoon when several of my male classmates announced -- with far less irony than you'd imagine, that they had become writers in order to attract women. You Can't Get a Man With a Pen
• · · · · In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen people... He explains that online sales show that the market size of stuff below the break even threshold for physical distribution is often larger than the market for the "hits" that make it into stores. The Long Tail of Double Dragon
• · · · · · We each view reality from our own unique perspective, only a community of minds can show us the truth; [Looking for a New Year's Eve date? Check under fiction at your local bookstore. Best Singles Scene: Barnes and Noble Bookstores Rated New York's Best Pickup Spot; Festivus began on "Seinfeld" and is catching on. Spreading Darkness Fooey to the World: Festivus Is Come]

There are as many different kinds of blogs as there are human impulses: sex blogs, dating blogs, political blogs, technology blogs and music blo. Sometimes, too, the realization that no one is reading sets in. A few blogs have thousands of readers, but never have so many people written so much to be read by so few. By Jupiter Research's estimate, only 4 percent of online users read blogs. If this were beer, I'd be an alcoholic For Tony Pierce Some, The Blogging Never Stops

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Cyber Salon
Tom Robins cybered that the price of self-destiny is never cheap and in certain circumstances it's unthinkable, but to achieve the marvelous it's precisely the unthinkable that must be thought. Before this year, blogs were a curiosity, a cult phenomenon, a faintly embarrassing hobby on the order of ham radio and stamp collecting. But in 2004, blogs unexpectedly vaulted into the pantheon of major media, alongside TV, radio and, yes, magazines, and it was Power Line, more than any other blog, that got them there.

If 2003 was the year blogs burst onto the scene, 2004 was the year they became respectable. Today, the scribes behind Wonkette, Pressthink, and Powerline (Time magazine’s first-ever blog of the year) share their thoughts on journalism’s most untamed frontier.

Ruthless Media Dragons [Whenever I want to take the pulse of popular culture, I check out some of the sites that list the most popular stuff people search for: Podcasting, iPods, Digital Media Servers/Centers, Juice boxes ... Santa Delivers New Forms of Media Delivery ]
• · Based on billions of searches conducted by Google users around the world, the 2004 Year-End Zeitgeist offers a unique perspective on the year's major events and trends. We hope you enjoy this aggregate look at what people wanted to know more about this year. Zeit (time) + Geist (spirit) the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era
• · · Destiny’s Child spread the story of Survivor and as advertised on Cold River on Christmas Eve (smile); [Honestly Biased]
• · · · With the assistance of like-minded bloggers, we believe we can be more effective and, at the same time, can avoid the money-chasing and other problems that so often hamper effectiveness. BloggerCorps first success story
• · · · · I can only imagine the idiocy he has to deal with from the media after every game. Chad Pennington’s battle with the NY media: You need a place where you can explain yourself. You can write as much or as little as you would like, but the words will be all yours. Hey Chad , get a blog ! ; [ The Blog of the Year, or the Year of the Blog?]
• · · · · · It's a scenario from hell Documentary filmmakers say securing clearance rights is a growing problem, and it will get worse ; [Ben McGrath, The New Yorker: Thomson wasn’t surprised. He had been officially reprimanded in June for publishing a book without the U.N.’s permission. The book, Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures: A True Story from Hell on Earth The Whistle Blows On The United Nations ]

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Hallelejah! Another spam email from uncle Rupert in my inbox
Office of Rupert Murdoch ( Newscorp )
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 10:07 AM
Subject: Holiday message from Rupert Murdoch
Importance: High

Dear Colleagues,

As children we were taught to count our blessings. But corporations also do well to count their blessings, and News Corporation has none greater than each of you: the men and women whose talents and hard work have made this Company what it is today.
2004 has been a banner year for us. Virtually all our divisions - from our satellite, broadcast and cable television operations to our film and print media assets - performed superbly in competitive markets and helped contribute to another year of record revenues and profits.
This year was also marked by the overwhelming support we received from our shareholders for our proposal to reincorporate in the United States. While this move has had little or no effect on the work you do or on our business operations, I am certain it will be remembered in years to come as a milestone in News Corporation's development as one of the world's truly great media companies.
The reincorporation puts us in an even better position to do what we do best - deliver quality news and entertainment to millions of people around the world every day of the year.
The coming year will present its own challenges. As successful as our company is, we operate in one of the most competitive industries on the planet and our competitors are constantly looking to knock us off our perch. But this company does not fear competition. It thrives on it.
The blessings that we share at News Corporation have been earned the old-fashioned way: through our sweat and effort. At this very special time of year, I want to thank you all for making this company what it is - and offer you and yours my wishes for a joyous and healthy Holiday and Christmas season.

All best wishes,
Rupert Murdoch
News Corporation chairman and chief executive

Kapitalism: He who dies with the most toys, wins.
Hari Krishna: He who plays with the most toys wins.
Judaism: He who buys toys at the lowest price wins.
Katholicism: He who denies himself the most toys wins.
Anglicanism: They were our toys first.
Greek Orthodox: No, they were OURS first.
Branch Davidians: He who dies playing with the biggest toys wins.
Atheism: There is no toy maker.
Objectivism: Toys are Toys.
Islam: You must force the world to play with this exact toy, other toys are forbidden.
Polytheism: There are many toy makers.
Evolutionism: The toys made themselves.
Socialism: You will have toys eventually.
Taoism: The doll is as important as the dumptruck.
Mormonism: Every boy may have as many toys as he wants.
Fascism: We have ways of making you play with your toys.
Libertarianism: You can do anything you like with your toys as long as its consensual.
New Labour: We have firm evidence that masses of toys do exist somewhere.
Voodoo: Let me borrow that doll for a second...
Jehovah's Witnesses: He who places the most toys door to door wins.
Pentecostalism: He whose toys can talk wins.
Existentialism: Toys are a figment of your imagination.
Confucianism: Once a toy is dipped in the cold river, it is no longer dry.
Buddhism: What is the sound of one toy playing with itself?
Bussorah of Wicked Thoughts Cracks the Toy World

Search engine Google has offered geeks and non-geeks alike an early present this Christmas. Launching Google Print, the company hopes to begin the long task of integration between searching offline content in the online world. Google Launches Print Service

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Tapping Reservoirs of Raw Emotions
Causes of failure are always more complicated and varied than are the reasons for success. Science teaches are that humans are more alike than different, with the primary differentiator being culture. A great writer is not made simply by his delivery, though superb story-telling is prerequisite. Rather, what sets a great writer apart is his ability to be different and to share that difference when he observes people in real life situations. The artful storyteller holds a unique mirror before our eyes; and we recognise truths, revealing truths, about ourselves.
Strangely, it is mostly Slavic writers who create a pulpable sense of energy and expectation. They teach me how to open my eyes and my mind. They know how I feel and exactly what I need. Boing Boing picked up yet another interesting/creepy angle on a slightly different story we all need ...

Boing Boing randomly happened to read Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code right when it came out. When he told my pal Vann Hall about the novel, he said the basis of the plot sounded like a non-fiction book from the early 1980s called Holy Blood, Holy Grail. A few months after Da Vinci Code hit it big, he noticed that Holy Blood, Holy Grail had also made it to the bestseller lists, more than twenty years after it was first published. Now it seems that the Holy Blood, Holy Grail authors are suing Dan Brown for ripping off their research.

Da Vinci (Legal) Code ; [Free eBooks for your PDA ; Looking for a rare read? Just Google it ; Juvenile Nonfiction: Cold River as Top 12 at Christmas 2004; River name: Morava; Street name: Imrychova (surburb of Prague called Kamk) named after Karel Imrich (1907-1944), a leader of an illegal group Meopta, Karel was killed during the WWII on 11.10.1944 at Draanech]
• · Apparently, publishing house Random House is thinking about jumping into the online retail business themselves , trying to sell books directly to the public. Cold Rivers Going Digital
• · · Oprah's impact on book sales bigger than expected
• · · · Exclusive: Google Apparently Considered Online Store
• · · · · New Matilda is a weekly newsletter of independent political commentary: Spoil Your Loved one or even Better Surprise Your Enemy Give them a gift to remember you by Want a different tune?
• · · · · · Fly Away: Cold River Causing Floods @ Amerikan Airports ; [Nothing attracts scrutiny so well as size and success, so welcome to the majors, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). Much Ado About Google ]

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Six sleeps to Christmas and the nights are anything but silent. Community carols

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Balance in the Service of Falsehood
The Media's Failure to Challenge Official Deception Over Iraq was the Product of a Journalism with Built-in Bias

The British and US governments stand accused of lying their way to war on Iraq, both at home and abroad. But while a series of what were widely regarded as nobbled inquiries have at least gone through the motions of holding them to account, there has been no attempt to hold the media to account for its role in making war possible. To his credit, George Monbiot argued on these pages earlier this year that "the falsehoods reproduced by the media before the invasion of Iraq were massive and consequential: it is hard to see how Britain could have gone to war if the press had done its job." But an examination of this failure, and its roots in a mass media with a long history of protecting and promoting the powerful, is conspicuous by its absence.
Like egomaniacal rulers forever, dating back to the cave, our pollies demonized the people they wanted to kill. They have "weapons of mass destruction," they asserted. Yeah, like we don't. Like India doesn't. Like Israel doesn't. Like Pakistan doesn't. Like China doesn't. Like Russia doesn't. Why don't we invade them? Or ourselves?

WMD [The Plight of Whistleblowers]
• · BzzAgent.comis a company which creates marketing campaigns for consumer product clients. There is no such thing as bad buzz.
• · · Best Of The Web Forbes: Extreme Blogging
• · · · 100 most useful websites Cream of the crop
• · · · · The Best Legal Web Sites
• · · · · · Promise and pitfalls of e-printing

Saturday, December 18, 2004

If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains. This was a message my youngest daughter received at her primary school graduation on Friday night. We send children to school to find meaning. Everything else is secondary. We humans want to believe in our own species. On nights like that the joys of parents and their fears come out of hiding. Words in certains songs do that to parents: “We are the feeling in your song; We are the rhythm that color your song; We are the pain that makes the melody strong.”

Stephen Covey said that there are only two lasting bequests we can give our children; one is roots, the other is wings. However, a faith is often what holds people's lives together. It is an attempt to resolve the tensions of everyday life by promising an idealized future in which one will be rescued from all the problems of ordinary life.

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk being called sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement..
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self
To place your ideas, your dreams before the crowd is to risk being called naive.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair, and to try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken because the greastest hazard in life is to risk
The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, and becomes nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.
Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave, he's forfeited his freedom.
Only the person who risks is truly free.
- Leo Buscalia

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Donna’s Year 6 Self Examining Book & Powerpoint of Memories
The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.

I mentioned the other day that Dvorak’s String Sextet was written in “A major, that most divinely innocent of keys." Now a reader writes to ask:
Is there something intrinsic to the key of A major that makes it more innocent than any other? Is it innocent only when strings are playing in it?
Keys are often said to possess characteristics associated with various extra-musical emotional states. While there has never been a consensus on these associations, the material basis for these attributions was at one time quite real: because of inequalities in actual temperament, each mode acquired a unique intonation and thus its own distinctive “tone,” and the sense that each mode had its own musical characteristics was strong enough to persist even in circumstances in which equal temperament was abstractly assumed. Though highly specific with respect to different repertories and listeners, these expressive qualties fall into two basic categories, which conform to the basic difference—often asserted as an opposition—between major and minor: major is heard to be brighter and more cheerful than minor, which in comparison is darker and sadder.

D minor: it's not just a key, it's a living!
• · Picture a mundane aspect of everyday life that most readers will recognize: you're in touch with a coworker on the other side of the planet via email or IM, and at the same time you get an SMS telling you to bring home a carton of milk Sociology of Mobility
• · · The earth is always changing as man develops and has to deal with new combinations of elements; and the writer who is to be anything more than an echo of his predecessors must always find expression for something which has never yet been expressed, must master a new set of Phenomena which has never yet been mastered….
• · · · So did you really read all those Christmas stories, or just set them out like decorations? Here's a quiz from the Guardian for you holiday/lit know-it-alls. Literary Scrooge: God bless us, every one

Friday, December 17, 2004

Every immigrant is broken, sometimes beautifully.
-Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan, de Kooning: An American Master Find another migrant in the world who is as beautifully broken as I am (smile)

There is a strange phenomenon. Britain is getting older. In fact, the population is older now than it has been for over a century. Yet at the same time our culture has never been more adolescent. Young people may be a dwindling minority, but they exercise an extraordinarily powerful influence on the cultural stage, from television and newspapers to film and art.

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Kafka on the Shore of New Castle
Swimmers of the year at a school do not just happen; they are natured. When was it last time you experienced a truly great mentor? You know - someone so engaging that it simply captured your child imagination and drove you to tell others about it? Characters like Marta Chamillova, Russell Cope, Patricia Azarias, Jim Collins and Mary Wood do not swim in many rivers of our lives. Their leadership and teaching is never accidental. Among those whom I like, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I admire, I can: all of them make me feel like there is a miracle in every simple feather. Somewhere, somehow, a swimming coach and water polo coach created an atmosphere for my 14 year old daughter to value champions. The intangible value of coaching ebb and flow in our lives, but there is no question that without these great personalities who take genuine joy in the successes of those under them we would be very poor (no pun intended). No opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible. Enjoy the swimmer of the year award Alex... so never ever stop dreaming and always treat triumph and disaster in the same way. St Patrick’s mentors assert, We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope...

Kafka on the Shore is many things: the title of a song, for one, a painting for another. And the novel's central character is Kafka Tamura -- though he doesn't actually spend much time on any shore. Not any real one, anyway. But this is a Murakami novel and, as in all Murakami novels, as one of the characters observes: "The world is a metaphor, Kafka Tamura". No doubt: the kid is practically drowning in that metaphor -- but then aren't we all?

More like a curse than a prophecy
• · Sydney Taxi Literary Drive to Ryde
• · · Gone are the days when the air here used to be permeated with the elements of community and innocence. In the past few years, something strange has happened. Thanks to the spread of mobile phones, digital cameras and the internet, surveillance technology that was once mostly the province of the state has become far more widely available. Move over, Big Brother - via Tomalak's Realm
• · · · AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT... GOOGLE, whose mood seems to parallel mine today, directs my attention to the news that Tom Wolfe's I Am Charlotte Simmons has won Britain's 2004 prize for bad sex in fiction. "We all knew this was coming," she says. So to speak. The Inevitable Is Announced
• · · · · There Ain't No Sainty Claus

Sunday, December 12, 2004

With four girls in our heavily biased household, I am from time to time exposed to the zodiac lines shedding light on the theatre of my horoscopic life. The hard copy of Sunday papers (Terror?) wants to know answers from Taurus born bohemians: Are you surrounded by enemies? Are those friends really enemies in disguise? Or do those apparent enemies actually have your best interests at heart? We are all supposed to intuitively know the difference. Yet sometimes even the sharpest among us cannot be sure ...
I follow three basic philosophies on life and I am informed that the Liberal Party Tzar Graham Morris is also keen on two including one heralded by Elbert Hubbard. Elbert instructs us Never explain--your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.
Abraham Lincoln, whose ghost invaded the Press Party at the Strangers Dining Room at the NSW Parliament House last week, used to ask his directors of communication: Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
Seung Sahn, Zen Master, sums it all up for me: The one who praises you is a thief. The one who criticizes you is your true friend. In this context, I am grateful for every communist apparatchick ever born and some of the dopy bullies at Parliament House and offices in different part of our taxing lives.

The theatre is an attack on mankind carried out by magic: to victimize an audience every night, to make them laugh and cry and miss their trains. Of course actors regard audiences as enemies, to be deceived, drugged, incarcerated, stupefied. This is partly because the audience is also a court against which there is no appeal. Art's relation with its client is here at its closest and most immediate. In other arts, we can blame the client: he is stupid, unsophisticated, inattentive, dull. But the theatre must, if need be, stoop—and stoop—until it attains the direct, the universal communication which other artists can afford to seek more deviously and at their ease.
-Iris Murdoch, The Sea, the Sea
Sea of Leaves

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Faust: experiments in living
Rarely in the field of poetry have so many stories been published about a 31 year old Australian woman:

This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary.
The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue.
The grasses unload their griefs on my feet as if I were God. . . .
I simply cannot see where there is to get to.

I have fallen a long way. Clouds are flowering
Blue and mystical over the face of stars.
. . .
And the message of the yew trees is blackness -- blackness and silence.

Half in love with easeful death [HENRY VIII was forever scribbling in the margins of his books. This most literate king collected an extensive library, and regarded the margins of his books as useful places to demonstrate his learning, pass billets-doux to his lovers, or simply to vent the royal ire Edges and Marginality ]
• · Florida's message is that economically successful cities are those that attract creative people. The boom towns of the 21st century. Barista with the mask of David Tiley pours out his soul: Blogging in a hair shirt munching on locusts
• · · My first book -- a literary adventure My first novel, thank God, was never published
• · · · In a country where one of the most popular genres of music is called alternative... We think of Goethe's immortality-seeking bad boy Faust. We think of Robin Hood and his merry band of Weathermen. We think of Alfred E. Neuman Counterculture Through the Ages ; [Rock That Man in His Little Boat]
• · · · · Traditions are important, even when, like this one, they're only a year old Xmas between the Covers or… ; [ All this month I'm posting letters to Book Biz Santa from readers of this blog ]
• · · · · · Al Pacino as a kinder, gentler Shylock

Saturday, December 11, 2004

How much was known about Hitler before he came into power? How much was on the record about the nature of the Nazi regime in its early days? How pervasive was its anti-Semitism, and how much of that was documented long before the outbreak of the war? What was known about Hitler's dreams of conquest? Was the Holocaust foreseeable?
A common answer to all these questions has often been "We never knew....," as if somehow the entire history of the Third Reich took place on a distant planet, unknown and unknowable.
Our aim is simple: To puncture this myth.
Our target audience: Anyone with curiosity about an unspeakable time.
Somewhere between the ring of Hell reserved for extreme right and left wing bloggers and the one reserved for revisionists is the likely future of our final solutions

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: An Idea Whose Time Has Come Back
Until recently, I thought electronic books were sharing a graveyard with eight-track tapes, Betamax video recorders and record players. Industry predictions five years ago that e-books would quickly replace paper never came to pass. I figured the digital book had failed because everyone shared my distaste for the first generation of clunky, book-sized devices designed for viewing them.
But it turns out the e-book market has been changing course and, though still tiny, has been growing at double-digit rates. It is, in fact, the fastest-growing segment of the comparatively static publishing world. Between 2002 and 2003, the number of e-books sold rose 71 percent, according to the industry's trade association, the Open eBook Forum. The industry posted record sales in the first quarter of 2004, a 46 percent increase compared with the same period last year. Still, last year's sales of 1.4 million downloadable books are minuscule compared with the more than 2.2 billion books sold in the United States in 2003.

The explosion of cellphones and other hand-held devices with small screens capable of displaying text [Malborro Man of Fallujah - via Barista ]
• · It is a great book -- you really should read it ... few statements inspire more dread. The more fervently a friend urges a book on you, the more suspect it becomes, and the more fraught the fact that you almost certainly won't read it. Your Best Friend's Reading List; [Now I published my Cold River, I am finding out the hard way that nobody needs it (smile). There's one book -- no, he won't name it -- that spoke so deeply to me about what I thought was sad and funny and beautiful about the world, that I didn't want anyone else to know about it. If I were dating someone and truly felt a profound connection, I wouldn't go to my friend and say, 'You've got to try sleeping with X. It's fantastic! There are some books that I don't want to whore around. Dating and whoring aside, Sometimes a River is just a River Trivia: Freud was born on the banks of the Morava River without a cigar in his mouth]
• · · Kogarah boys never laugh: Clive James
• · · · Let me finish Suicide notes become a bestseller
• · · · · 1980: John Lennon shot dead

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

There are those who oppose any government that claims to be always right and on the other hand there are those who keep silent because they fear acquiring a reputation for cowardice or lack of patriotism. In the fourth century, Demosthenes addressed the crowd by stating” "Do not consider those who urge you to take the field to be for this reason brave, nor those who undertake to oppose them to be for this reason cowards”. Obviously, he was striking out against the atmosphere of intimidation that the rhetoric of andreia could induce.
Sydney might be left in the dark. TransGrid has some difficulty in tracking project costs from project inception to completion, undertaking and providing adequate economic project justifications, and reviewing project costs after approval Picnic Point consumers face higher bills

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Liverpool Kiss of Death and Sartor's Waterloo?
Bob Carr is ultra-sensitive about his reputation, particularly his reputation for integrity, and any perceived blemish on that reputation is fiercely resisted, which makes the Orange Grove affair and redevelopment of Redfern two particularly tricky issues for the Carr Government.
December’s supposed to be the start of the political silly season in New South Wales. In fact this is the last week of Parliamentary sittings, with the social highlight of the year, the Press Gallery Christmas Party, scheduled for tomorrow evening.
But the Carr Government is staring down the barrel of a series of events that may well determine its fate, and its future leader...

Some times, it's just not your time in history
• · When the Czech secret police (StB) came to arrest me one night in 1981 and as they were leading me away in handcuffs, I quoted to my son the words of Jan Patocka: "Our people have once more become aware that there are things for which it is worthwhile to suffer, that the things for which we might have to suffer are those which make life worthwhile." During a house search, the wife of the Protestant pastor Jan Simsa tried to hide a personal letter from the philosopher Jan Patocka by putting it into the top of her blouse. When the secret police agent carrying out the search went to reach for the letter, her husband, the pastor, slapped him in the face. For that he was sent to jail for a year. Only people close to him and a few hundred dissidents knew the real reason for his sentence. We admired him for it. The Power of the Powerless
[Heroic deeds are not appropriate to everyday life," leading dissident and writer Ludvik Vaculik wrote at the time; "heroism is acceptable in exceptional situations, but these must not last too long”
Havel opposed those who expressed such antiheroic views in secret or semipublic debate and indirectly repeated the opinions he had published--openly--in the autumn of 1968, shortly after the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. "On account of what will happen tomorrow we ought not forget what will happen in twenty years time."
Many people are devoid of convictions, ideals, or opinions or fear failure; they prefer to withdraw into themselves and not be an actor, or an active subject of history. So even when they do not agree with that which is occurring around them they simply accept the role of being objects of history. They defend this position on the grounds of "achieving what is possible," saving lives and enabling the majority to survive. And as Havel had already written in November 1968, "I always realize that no lives were saved, that the moral consistency of the nation was dislocated for a long time, being racked by the reproach that it had failed to assert its will and stick by it to the end."
As early as 1989, the Swiss philosopher and political scientist Hans Magnus Ensenzberger wrote that nowadays the intellectual cannot simply criticize and go against the stream, because the significance of deeds and decisions, as well as the flow of information, actions, and their interpretation, are changing all the time.
"Flexibility is gradually being elevated into a cardinal social virtue." Those who think that the only way to confront "the system" is through frontal attack, whether conservatives or revolutionaries, are deluding themselves; this stance makes sense only if one believes one knows the meaning of history. Events and deeds constantly change their context. It is virtually impossible to go on holding the same opinion indefinitely. The subject has the right and duty to adopt a different evaluatory stance when viewed against his or her knowledge of other facts and circumstances. The question as to whether one should swim with the current or against it seems outmoded to Enzensberger because it can only be asked at the cost of major oversimplification. More natural, in his eyes, is to "windsurf through the sea of opinions," going now with the wind, now against it. If an active individual is not simply to conform, the anti-establishment nonconformity--what the Czech vulgarly describe as "pissing into the wind'--is not enough. Nonconformity can be a fashionable and even narcissistic stance if one fails to match one's deeds to one's conscience or internalized convictions. In my view, one can only speak in terms of courage if someone's proclaimed stance is not mere gratification of his or her ego, but instead is aimed at preserving and upholding supra-individual values and solidarity with the community at large. But this takes me away from postmodernism again.]
• · · In a number of cases Stasi collaborators began or even maintained an unshakable trust in communism or in the individuals who tried to bring them into the Stasi. What is the relationship between resistance and civil courage?

Monday, December 06, 2004

Precisely what happened to Victor remains a mystery... Cast your memory back to the time of my escape across the Iron Curtain when the headlines screamed: The KGB’s Ghostly Umbrella Murder: The assassination on Waterloo Bridge, London, of Georgi Markov using a poison-tipped umbrella. Every spywatcher knows about Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov, who was assassinated in London in 1978 in a ploy that James Bond or Austin Powers would appreciate: a shadowy stalker jabbed Markov in the leg with an umbrella rigged to inject a pellet of ricin under his skin (the killer was never found, but the KGB and the Bulgarian secret service were prime suspects).
It has been estimated that 10 grams of anthrax could kill as many people as a metric ton of the nerve agent Sarin. We know about this too - Anthrax accident at Sverdlovsk, Sopviet Union. More than 66 civilians and an unknown number of military personnel are killed. Their faces said it all. I was in the Czech army in 1979 when the leak at Sverdlovsk happened and the photos that were circulated in the underground showed how the faces of the civilians who survived the accident aged dramatically in less than a week...
Viktor Yushchenko is the face of Ukraine's "orange revolution". And it is not a face he is proud of.
The man who was once described as the Bill Clinton of eastern Europe for his charisma and good looks is now horribly disfigured by an attempt to poison him during the political battle for control of his country.
As he sat in the office of his wood-panelled dacha in the suburbs of Kiev on Saturday, Mr Yushchenko vowed to expose all the details of the plot that has left his face scarred with pock marks and a complexion the colour of dark blue bruising.
The scars of a peaceful revolutionary

A piece on the front page of the Times' Week in Review section suggets that part of the problem we have with the rest of the world right now is that, unlike the Cold War, which provided a lens for viewing international relations and events that the whole world shared, the rest of the world just doesn't see the War on Terror as the overriding threat we do.
An Obsession the World Doesn't Share [Opinions of Men are almost as various as their Faces; an Observation general enough to become a common Proverb, So many Men so many Minds. Amanda Butler writes from the ex-Soviet republic ]
• · Tennessee fails test to provide public records
• · · Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne – James Russell Lowell Who's supporting the thugs in the Ukraine
• · · · There are things we can learn from the recent Presidential election, if we are willing to listen to people like Rabbi Kolko of Warren, Ohio, who urges us to hold onto a willingness to see the good in the other, the ability to temper the certainty of passionate conviction with the humility to concede doubt, [and ...] the heart of our democratic heritage Perhaps

Sunday, December 05, 2004

As a food and travel writer, what I do for a living may seem trivial, but whenever I think of it as ephemeral to the great issues of the day, I am reminded of a scene in the play 'The Diary of Anne Frank.' Isolated for months in an attic but still believing they will soon escape, the family fantasizes about the first thing each member will do when they return to the world outside.
Anne says she yearns to go to a dance. The teenage boy wants to go to a movie, a western movie! And the adults all start remembering and dreaming of a wonderful pastry shop, a good stew, a romantic restaurant with thick linen and fine wines. None, not one, declares that the first thing he wants to do is to change the political structure of Europe.
John Mariani: "Gluttony, Reconsidered"

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Street Fighting Men
I forgot to mention that in addition to reading tons of expresso stories, I digest a pretty fair-sized chunk of interviews every week.
Back in the late 70s Manchester was a stronghold of Britain's premier far-right party, the National Front. As factories and communities went down they went up, recruiting at pubs and football matches, bolstered by a backdrop of fear, poverty, ignorance and desperation. They strutted through the town's grey streets by day, cudgelling random blacks and gays in dark alleys at night. Kicking around and insulting lefty paper sellers was another hobby. That was until a few young working-class activists, centred initially round the Socialist Workers Party and the Anti-Nazi League, decided to fight back.
No Retreat is a memoir from two veterans of these struggles [The gear is casual, but the faces are hard, sullen, full of mistrust. Angry-looking tattoos poke out from under smart shirt sleeves. The talk, in a melting pot of accents from across London’s council estates, is of football ‘firms’, lads and ‘jobs’ [robberies] ]
• · Again and again, Palm Digital has proven that the lives of ordinary people provide limitless material for stories Best Palm Books from Palm Digital Media; [One of the enduring mysteries in literary history is how a unsophisticated Slav tricked Canadian Publisher into shedding light on the the mess and tragedy of existence Then I Looked Alive: existential allegory This postmodern sole
survivor story is as absurd as it is disturbing.]
• · · Bridget Jones' 1920s diary found 17-year-old Miss P grew up during the "roaring" decade
• · · · Whenever I tell somebody what my plans are--and I’ve been talking about this for a year now--the inevitable question is, ‘Well, what are you going to do?’ And I say, ‘Nothing.’ I guess the work ethic is so pronounced in this country that the idea of doing nothing seems almost a crime, or a sin or some kind of blasphemy ; [Best-sellers: The art of screen advertising ]
• · · · · The most important is that the writer's original perception of a character or characters may be as erroneous as the reader's. Running a close second was the realization that stopping a piece of work just because it's hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it, and sometimes you're doing good work when it feels like all you're managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference
• · · · · · ImRich Site Summary (RSS) What the Blog?: Literary Blogger Summit

Friday, December 03, 2004

We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results. A perfect description of blogging, don't you think?
I started blogging some years ago largely to pass time and share experiences. A small part of me, however, was selfishly hoping for admiration and affirmation; a shallow attitude I've long abandoned.

Eventually, I discovered the joy found via "invisible threads" and "sympathetic fibers" - those human connections made along the way. Blogger tend to be a lovely comfort of strangers. Digital self publishers

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Walkley for expose of literary hoax as Herald writers shine at awards
The Sydney Morning Herald was recognised by the media industry, at the prestigious Walkley Awards in Melbourne last night, for its international expose of the author Norma Khouri.
The Herald's literary editor, Malcolm Knox, and its New York correspondent, Caroline Overington, won the Walkley award for investigative journalism after revealing that Khouri had lied about her past in her best-seller Forbidden Love.
The leading sports writer Phil Wilkins, who started his reporting career as a Fairfax copy boy in 1958 and worked for the Herald and The Sun-Herald covering Test matches, cricket world cups and rugby internationals, won the senior Walkley award for the most outstanding contribution to journalism.

[AFR Team, The Australian Financial Review, "Rivkin's Swiss Bank Scandal" - Neil Chenoweth, Shraga Elam, Rosemarie Graffagnini, Andrew Main, Colleen Ryan AFR INVESTIGATION: OFFSET ALPIN (subscrivers only) ]
• · It's not hard to get nominated for the Walkley Awards, the nation's premier prizes for excellence in jounalism. Just sign a form and send it in to the journo's union, the MEAA. The real trick is getting shortlisted. This is the cream of the crop, and the highly anticipated list is to be announced tonight by the good comradesd at the Mee Too union
• · · The Media Company I Want to Work For-- Not Someday, But Now Had to say about it
• · · · Let's get this party started. As usual, Rex Sorgatz has collected the "Best Of" lists this year. Last year, The Times wrote about it, so he is obliged. Of The Year ... Entire List: The Best Of 2004 List
• · · · · 2004 Weblog Awards ; [ And Eugene Volokh on how you can blog, but you can't hide]
• · · · · · Tim Russert is a great journalist, but he made a mistake last weekend

We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results. A perfect description of blogging, don't you think?
I started blogging some years ago largely to pass time and share experiences. A small part of me, however, was selfishly hoping for admiration and affirmation; a shallow attitude I've long abandoned.

Eventually, I discovered the joy found via "invisible threads" and "sympathetic fibers" - those human connections made along the way. Blogger tend to be a lovely comfort of strangers.Digital self publishers

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Walkley for expose of literary hoax as Herald writers shine at awards
The Sydney Morning Herald was recognised by the media industry, at the prestigious Walkley Awards in Melbourne last night, for its international expose of the author Norma Khouri.
The Herald's literary editor, Malcolm Knox, and its New York correspondent, Caroline Overington, won the Walkley award for investigative journalism after revealing that Khouri had lied about her past in her best-seller Forbidden Love.
The leading sports writer Phil Wilkins, who started his reporting career as a Fairfax copy boy in 1958 and worked for the Herald and The Sun-Herald covering Test matches, cricket world cups and rugby internationals, won the senior Walkley award for the most outstanding contribution to journalism.

[AFR Team, The Australian Financial Review, "Rivkin's Swiss Bank Scandal" - Neil Chenoweth, Shraga Elam, Rosemarie Graffagnini, Andrew Main, Colleen Ryan AFR INVESTIGATION: OFFSET ALPIN (subscrivers only) ]
• · It's not hard to get nominated for the Walkley Awards, the nation's premier prizes for excellence in jounalism. Just sign a form and send it in to the journo's union, the MEAA. The real trick is getting shortlisted. This is the cream of the crop, and the highly anticipated list is to be announced tonight by the good comradesd at the Mee Too union
• · · The Media Company I Want to Work For-- Not Someday, But Now Had to say about it
• · · · Let's get this party started. As usual, Rex Sorgatz has collected the "Best Of" lists this year. Last year, The Times wrote about it, so he is obliged. Of The Year ... Entire List: The Best Of 2004 List
• · · · · 2004 Weblog Awards ; [ And Eugene Volokh on how you can blog, but you can't hide]
• · · · · · Tim Russert is a great journalist, but he made a mistake last weekend

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and drown.
-Woody Allen.
Ohio Tally Fit for Ukraine Fishing at the pedestal of the Ohio Statue of Liberty

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: D-Party ever-accelerating death spiral
Can you ever really pinpoint the moment when a democracy falls apart?
The staggering defeat of the Democratic Party and its ever-accelerating death spiral weren't obvious from the election results. Two factors masked the extent of the party's trouble. Without the innovation of Internet-driven small-donor fund-raising and a corresponding surge in support from the youngest voters, John Kerry would have suffered a dramatically larger defeat. And the true magnitude of the Democrats' abject failure at the polls in 2004 would have been more clearly revealed.
Only the Grassroots Can Save The Democratic Party ;
Yuval Rubinstein Joe Trippi has written an op-ed (in the friggin' WSJ, of all places) discussing how the Kerry...; Orrin Judd: NEED ANY HELP LOADING THAT GUN? : The Grassroots Can Save Democrats: Howard Dean paved the way to future victories; Taegan Goddard: Democrats Defeat Was Worse Than You Think — Joe Trippi argues that the "staggering defeat of the Democratic Party and...;Pejman Yousefzadeh: SHORTER JOE TRIPPI — If it weren't for people like me, John Kerry would have lost by a lot more; Lorie Byrd: Trippi Discusses Future of Democrats — Before you dismiss this WSJ article by Joe Trippi as the rantings of a loser, give it a read; Charles Johnson: Dean has paved the way to future glorious victory: The Grassroots Can Save Democrats.
• · · Revealed Blankett: Minister’s Mistress and Nanny got visa in 19 days
• · · · A message for politicians wondering what the hell a weblog is and why the hell they need one Why Politicians Need Weblogs
• · · · · While UN inspectors may have failed to find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Greenpeace has today expressed concerns such weapons could be manufactured in Australia Silex: Lucas Heights nuclear facility in Sydney
• · · · · · As rich and delightful as Media Dragon is, you're missing out on so much more if you are not totally into Webdiary: At once whimsical, daring, insightful, and simply interactive