Know Thy Neighbor
--playing hardball with those who sign a petition amending Massachusetts' Constitution to end same-sex marriage there. All who sign it will have their names and addresses posted on the site. It's the brainchild of Thomas Lang and Alexander Westerhoff, one of the first gay couples married in Massachusetts. A little more here, including this: ...altering the state Constitution is a big deal, and if the backers of this (or any) constitutional amendment can't find 66,000 Massachusetts residents who feel strongly enough about doing so that they're willing to make their support public, then maybe the measure shouldn't be on the ballot after all. ...
posted by amberglow
on Sep 9, 2005 -
Do you know your rhetoric?
You can hear how it is used in the top 100 American speeches of all time
, 63 of which have the original audio recordings! (prev.)
The list has some odd omissions, such as the Gettysburg Address
(and here in convenient presentation form)
and non-American speakers like Churchill,
so this shorter international list
may be useful. While the slow decline in the quality of presidential addresses is much lamented
are stepping up, see for example, top movie speeches of all time
("Smells like victory" beats "You can't handle the truth"). So, MeFiers, do any of these still inspire, or is rhetoric dead?
posted by blahblahblah
on May 24, 2005 -
Chicago's current archetectual and artistic showcase, Millenium Park
seems to be causing some problems. The pedestrian bridge
was closed because the hardwood used to build it can not take the salt used to remove ice from pedestrian walkways. But it also seems that the massive sculpture Cloud Gate
aka "The Bean" is a copyright elephant in public space. Park security are shaking down
photographers for permits. As is typical, the copyright shakedown appears to be less about protecting the rights of the original artists, and more about the rights of the distributor
(in this case, the city's desired monopoly on postcards and prints). See boing boing
for editorializing and Slashdot
for the typical herd reaction.
posted by KirkJobSluder
on Feb 12, 2005 -
"We offer the only comprehensive approach to eBooks that integrates with the time-honored missions and methods of libraries and librarians." Want an account
? If your library system is a participant, go to the site from on a library computer, create an account, and you can then log in remotely too. Interesting! [via soup du jour of the day
posted by mwhybark
on Oct 6, 2004 -
No Pity. No Shame. No Silence.
"I wondered for a moment what it would look like if just for one day, everyone who had survived sexual violence were visible as a survivor, if we could actually see the extent of it, if we could all know just how very not-alone we are. I wondered how angry and sad it would make me to know. I wondered how much power there might be in the truth."
LJ user, misia decided to out herself as a survivor of sexual violence, and offer a place where people could stand up and become visible as survivors as well. The results are a compelling and haunting read.
posted by FunkyHelix
on Aug 3, 2004 -
Voice of a Superpower
--Foreign Policy magazine puts together an interview with John & Jane Q. Public on us, the world, terror, and stuff--based on our responses to public-opinion polls from a wide variety of sources.
posted by amberglow
on Jun 7, 2004 -
Ping Pong Pang Pong ...
(MIDI file). Archives of public transport departure chimes and announcements. From Japan, MIDI files [+
] (via Boingboing) and live recordings [+
] of various elaborate tunes (no I don't speak Japanese, just keep clicking the blue links until you hit an MP3!). European recordings [+
]. The very excellent Shonen Knife
used a sample of the Osaka subway chimes
in their rockin' cover version of the Carpenter's 'Top of the World.' (WFMU archive here, click "Hear the show", song starts with Osaka chimes at approximately 15:23)
posted by carter
on Mar 3, 2004 -
An extensive customizable list of (almost) all public radio stations that offer streaming audio and what they have playing now and in the future.
posted by Mick
on Oct 28, 2003 -
in a free market. Southern California
is being gripped by crippling strikes by transit workers
and grocery clerks
-- both over health care -- that has stranded thousands of mostly poor commuters across Los Angeles and is expected to sap millions from the local economy.
As a person who can't drive due to a visual disability, I am personally effected by the MTA transit strike (that is rumored may last several months). State employees are not allowed to strike. Shouldn't that also be the case for essential services, such as public transit?
posted by lola
on Oct 14, 2003 -
24/7 webcam pointed at a phonebox somewhere in UK, dial 01926 424110 or 0044 1926 424110 to see for yourself who answers the phone (I guess a videophone)
(it's night in UK right now so you won't see much)
posted by bureaustyle
on May 3, 2003 -
The Public Conversations Project
"promotes constructive conversations and relationships among people who have differing values, world views, and perspectives about divisive public issues." They offer guidelines
in discussing issues with your community
as well as a resource in creating dialogue
. When I find myself reduced to name calling, I need these sort of communication tools.
posted by ericrolph
on Apr 4, 2003 -
This saturday is the 2002 National Day of Action
Online communities have done a good job of covering stories about big corporations abusing their powers online to squelch the efforts of programmers, researchers, designers, music enthusiasts, etc. But what about their offline agenda? Masquerading beneath the guise of the Adventure Pass program
is an attempt to extend corporate control to our public lands.
From the press release:
"Among others, primary sponsors of the fee demo and Adventure Pass are Walt Disney Corp., KOA Campgrounds, and Coleman Co. If the fee demo becomes law, the legislation will allow these companies and other to develop
commercial enterprises on public forest lands in partnerships with the Forest Service."
posted by johnjreeve
on Jun 13, 2002 -
Congress is now calling for public comments
on the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA). EFF
has a new action alert
about it and a sample letter. Everyone should write, even if you have already.
posted by rhyax
on Mar 29, 2002 -
Good news on the pollution front.
Town in Northern California finds a way to turn its sewage into non-polluting water and make a wildlife refuge. If you live in Arcata, you can flush your toilet with pride! Quick overview here
or the full flush.
posted by keithl
on Mar 12, 2002 -
Convict Heart Transplant
A 31 year old 2 time felon just got a heart transplant, costing tax payers close to $1 million dollars. With an annual additional cost of $15,000.
Right? Wrong? I'm not so sure.
posted by SuzySmith
on Jan 30, 2002 -
Bush's bullhorn speech
The most genuine public show of emotion I think I've seen from the president. There has been a lot of criticism of his cue-card reading, but to me this was a refreshing change!
posted by smt
on Sep 14, 2001 -
It's that time of year again...
Here's a friendly reminder. When you go caroling this holiday season, be sure to get all your copyrights in a row before venturing about the neighborhood. You never know when someone might turn you in. [caution, the preceding was laced with sarcasm]
posted by ZachsMind
on Nov 18, 2000 -