In response to an incest case in which a man imprisoned, raped and fathered two children with his own daughter, Poland's Lower House of Parliament has approved an amendment to their penal code which makes chemical castration of pedophiles mandatory in certain cases. [more inside]
The Terrorist Within is an in-depth look at the story of Ahmed Ressam. There's an interesting look at the lives of Ressam and other would-be jihadis and the way the authorities dealt with the information obtained about Ressam's activities.
Thousands of students, faculty, and staff have walked out today in protest of the University of California's budget cuts. [more inside]
In response to the declining quantity and quality of science journalism in U.S., a group of 35 universities have created their own online wire service called Futurity.org to distribute research results directly to news sites like Yahoo and Google News. [more inside]
Inside Somalia. Mike Thomson of the BBC makes a rare visit to the refugee camps in one of the most dangerous places on earth.
"But after five months, something clicked. The monkeys picked out red and green, again and again." UW researchers use gene therapy to give squirrel monkeys trichromatic vision. “Not only might we be able to cure disease, but we might engineer eyes with remarkable capabilities. You can imagine conferring enhanced night vision in normal eyes, or engineering genes that make photopigments with spectral properties for whatever you want your eye to see.”
Google Fast Flip: Newspaper Stand 2.0
Chinese news site dispense with user anonymity. Includes an updated list of sites China actively blocks, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International (?!? - both links work only outside of China). prev
TARP investments yield 15% returns. Almost trom the start, critics characterized the TARP program that first began under the Bush administration and that continued through early this year under President Obama as a taxpayer funded giveaway, while government officials insisted it was a long-term investment program whose initial costs would eventually turn a profit as economic recovery began. Now the NY Times reports that the program has already yielded $4 billion in profits, and a separate report reveals that related Federal Reserve loan programs aimed at economic stabilization have returned $14 billion in profits.
Was it triage or murder? A disturbing NY Times story about the choices made by certain medical staff at a New Orleans hospital during Hurricane Katrina. Long and not easy reading.
Long form journalism on the Web is "not working." - TIME.com Managing Editor Josh Tyrangiel ..Among the detractors of this statement is David Sleight, Deputy Creative Director of BusinessWeek.com: "Really? It’s 2009 and we’re still having this conversation?" Scattered industry advice on this topic varies from moderate to extreme, and while web analytics paint a convincing picture of web readers, some wonder if long form journalism has EVER worked. Of course there seem to be other factors at play, like methods of presentation and quality of content.
US News reports that in a new tell-all book, Tom Ridge admits manipulating terror threat levels for political motives. In the forthcoming book, Ridge reportedly acknowledges for the first time that he was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush's re-election, something he "saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over." But as The Atlantic points out, Ridge apparently gave in to the White House demands anyway, resigning only after the election. Huffington Post also provides additional discussion on this developing story.
What you don't know about your friends: The problem, [Francis Flynn, a psychology professor at Stanford] says, is that interacting with people and sharing experiences with them doesn’t necessarily translate into knowing lots of things about them. The main hurdle is the way we talk to those we’re close to: our conversations are usually meant not so much to gather information as to establish rapport and to bond - in short, to make friends.
The NYT reports that GE has brokered a deal between MSNBC and Fox News to "reconcile" Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly, preventing further criticism of each other or GE. The deal went into effect June 1, the very same day Olbermann declared he was "quarantining" Fox, avoiding discussion of the channel in the future. Mr. Olbermann, who is on vacation, said by e-mail message, “I am party to no deal.” Glenn Greenwald breaks down the political consequences of the deal.
Can the New York Times and Washington Post survive on a pay-wall business model if they do it together?
In a new essay entitled Build the Wall, David Simon (who was a Baltimore Sun reporter before he produced The Wire) argues that if the larger newspaper industry is to survive, The New York Times and Washington Post must start charging readers for access to their websites (preferably done as a single action in concert with each other) — John Gruber, Dave Winer, and the folks at Gawker disagree, and Steven Berlin Johnson argues that while the future for newspapers might be quite bleak, the future for journalism and high quality analysis is actually quite bright. Meanwhile, the Times is currently doing market research to see if it's readers would be willing to pay $5 a month for online access, and the Associated Press announced it's intent to build a new news DRM system that will enable users to “consume, mash up and share AP content based on rights”.
Endangered pangolins (scaly anteaters) have been heavily hunted in China to supply a large demand for food, particularly fetus soup (warning: graphic photos), and Chinese medicine. "Proceedings of the workshop on trade and conservation of pangolins native to South and Southeast Asia" [PDF] a report from TRAFFIC (Wildlife Trade Network) was released yesterday. More on pangolins previously on MetaFilter
Gordon Waller of British duo Peter and Gordon had died at 64 Gordon Waller, from the British duo Peter and Gordon has died of cardiac arrest in CT this past weekend. The songs I really like to listen to from them was the one Paul McCartney wrote "A World Without Love" and "True Love Ways". Sad to hear he's passed.
Auto-Tune the News #6. I know the Autotune folks aren't exactly new to Metafilter, but, damn, this one's pretty catchy, and it's about the only time I've loved what came out of Rep. Boehner's mouth.
The Onion is funny because it imitates life. However, life is not as funny when it imitates The Onion.
Michael Jackson penned and recorded lots of songs, many of which remain unreleased. Perhaps the most infamous, and rarest recording, is his version of Behind the Mask. Legend has it that upon hearing Yellow Magic Orchestra's original track, somewhen around 1979, Quincy Jones fell in love with the track, and he and Michael worked together on their own version. Jackson wrote new lyrics for it - adding to those of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Chris Mosdell - and eventually recorded it during his Off The Wall sessions. For unknown reasons the track never made the final cut of, arguably, Jones' and Jackson's greatest work. Not long afterwards Greg Phillinganes, Jackson's keyboard player, released his own version of the song, which was later taken up and re-recorded by Eric Clapton for his 1986, Phil Collins produced album, August. The track has since been recorded/remixed by Human League, Senor Coconut, Orbital and others. Does an original Jones/Jackson recording of the song even exist? Perhaps, as the world continues to mourn the star's sad death, someone will finally allow us a listen.
The Pirate Bay will be sold to a Swedish listed software company. The press release states that the intention is to "introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site". Other stabs at this worked out less than brilliantly. The purchase amount (60MSEK of which half cash/half in stocks) matches the fine a bit too closely, but the founders states that the money are going into a foundation to promote freedom of speech, freedom of information and the openess of the nets. Pirate ideals or gold loot on Booty Island? Stay tuned...
Following a 30-year trend, bear sightings and human encounters in certain US cities seem to be on the rise. But when Cleveland's Fox Channel 8 (WJW) needed to report about recent black bear sightings in a NE Ohio neighborhood, they had to get a stand-in. Perhaps the bear refused to sit for an interview with intrepid reporter Todd Meany? [more inside]
A bad day in the news gallery? Talkback recording of everything going wrong during The One O'Clock News from the BBC in 1986: Part One, Part Two, Part Three. Unless of course, this was a typical day ... "I haven't got any scripts Mike! How am I supposed to run a show?" "Animate quantel or whatever you want to do..." [via]
Bleeding Cool, the new comics journalism site of Rich Johnston, formerly of CBR's rumor column Lying in the Gutters.
NPR Backstory is an automated Twitter feed providing helpful links to news items from the past 14 years that might be relevant to current events. For example, when masses of people started googling medical information after a news item about 200,000 patients' medical histories being accidentally exposed, NPRbackstory linked to an April 2008 analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of storing patient records online. [more inside]
Maybe the world isn't as good as this (more on that), but there's still ... good news, everyone! [more inside]
"The newsroom collectively screamed—via a chain of famous quotes with not too subtle undertones that staffers e-mailed out to the all-staff list. We designated a dog as the employee of the month." An Insider's View: The Strange Final Days Of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. There's a loss of dignity when you lose your job. Those who stayed at the online PI faced a different indignity. And what to do with thousands of newspaper racks. [more inside]
60-foot penis painted on roof Sorry. I tried to resist posting this, I really did. But you don't see that headline every day. And then I discovered it was not the first. And then I stopped laughing when I read what this "Christian" blogger thought about it. Then I read the subsequent comments and also this page and felt better again. And as a headline it beats all of these.
LiveNewsCameras.com ― international live streaming television news aggregator.
Fantasy Meets Reality. The very best works of science fiction illuminate controversial current events and the intricacies of human nature. So, it's no surprise that the United Nations Public Information Department and the Sci Fi (SyFy?) Channel co-hosted a panel yesterday evening on "humanitarian concerns" at the UN, with the creators and actors of Battlestar Galactica -- a show which regularly explores those themes. A 2-hour video webcast is archived here. (RealPlayer video). Entertainment Weekly has an additional write-up. [more inside]
They call themselves Visual Journalists. Prime among them is the Bombay Flying Club, a group of photo-journalists who are using the latest web and flash technologies to frame their online news gathering and documentary storytelling. [more inside]
For those who haven't already heard, Facebook has recently changed their terms of service. Some people are uneasy about this, others want to lodge a federal complaint. But should we really be worried?
The death of the news.
What is really threatened by the decline of newspapers and the related rise of online media is reporting -- on-the-ground reporting by trained journalists who know the subject, have developed sources on all sides, strive for objectivity and are working with editors who check their facts, steer them in the right direction and are a further check against unwarranted assumptions, sloppy thinking and reporting, and conscious or unconscious bias.
The Canadian Journalism Project (CJP) and its websites, J-Source.ca (English) and ProjetJ.ca (French), provides a source for news, research, commentary, advice, discussion and resources about the achievement of, and challenges to, excellence in Canadian journalism.
Metro Collective is an international coalition of independent photographers. This website is an ongoing compilation of features and portfolios that represent the individual visions of Metro photographers and their commitment to particular subjects. Their weblog features Metro news and single images, plus interesting outtake images, tearsheets, and behind the image commentary.
Newspapers rush to deliver news online. A look at the future from 1981.
The Nieman Journalism Lab is a collaborative attempt to figure out how quality journalism can survive and thrive in the Internet age. At Harvard they are working with the Business School on new business models, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society on understanding online life, and the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations on one potential path for news organizations.
Oh those vaunted "first 100 days," they are finally upon us. Roosevelt's legendary time period has long been applied to new administrations, but never so emphatically or with such hope as to the Obama administration. And now you can follow them! For commentary, there's The First 100 Days, for mainstream media there's Obama's First 100 Days, for a comparison between old and new there 100 Days: Starting the Job, From FDR to Obama, for new media there's Obama's First 100 Days, and finally, for a government perspective there's First 100 Days. I smell an idea for an ironic t-shirt...
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave of absence until June, saying his health-related issues were "more complex than I originally thought."
Prominent blogger Andrew Sullivan develops an unhealthy obsession over the (lack of) details surrounding the birth of Sarah Palin's youngest child. Sullivan really, really won't let it go. Persistent rumors lead the editor of the Alaska Daily News to, "finally decide, after watching this go on unabated for months, to let a reporter try to do a story about the 'conspiracy theory that would not die' and, possibly, report the facts of Trig's birth thoroughly enough to kill the nonsense once and for all." Palin releases press release slamming the paper. Editor of paper publishes email from Palin's office along with his response. Palin complains about "bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie," says episode is, "more indication of continued problems in the world of journalism." She also thinks Katie Couric is bad at journalism, not the center of everybody's universe, and is exploiting Palin. Mike Huckabee disagrees, says Couric was "extraordinarily gentle" with Palin. Political pundits and journalists are left scratching their heads - is she crazy? Or a crazy genius? 2012 is just around the corner.
Global Museum is sort of a daily paper for the museum world. The site, which marked its tenth year in 2008, aggregates museum news, job listings, and links from around the world, helping readers stay up-to-date on issues and events like artifact repatriation, art theft and trade, archaeological discoveries, innovative programs, unusual museums, threats to collections from war and natural disasters, and plenty of stuff just for fun. [more inside]