Aerial, the ace photography pigeon

Hey gang. I'm Aerial, the ace photography pigeon. Did you know pigeons were once used to take secret pictures? They took pictures to help gather intelligence.

My family started taking secret pictures in 1903. They worked in the Bavarian Pigeon Corps. Some of my relatives worked really hard and took a lot of risks to help their country.

Me? I'm all-American, just like an eagle. And I still get up and take a few pictures with my trusty camera.

A Bird's Eye View of CIA History — Central Intelligence Agency

Posted by Jeff at May 17, 2009 1:51 PM

I love Hans Rosling

Update: A really interesting presentation on new AIDs data.

Posted by Jeff at May 12, 2009 12:27 AM

Space and Time

Posted by Jeff at April 30, 2009 12:16 PM

Not for you

thanks J.D. Love the tube amp repair t shirt -- "keep on bloggin' it till the power goes out"
"It's just the rhetoric got out of control at times."

"I don't know why," Bush, the detached observer, replied. "You need to ask those who used the words they used."

Where Some See Mistakes, He Sees Disappointments

Posted by Jeff at January 16, 2009 7:07 AM


I really hope to see Al Franken in the senate soon.


Posted by Jeff at January 5, 2009 2:40 PM

Hard Times

The troubled Village Voice laid off three employees Tuesday, including Nat Hentoff, the prominent columnist who has worked for the paper since 1958, contributing opinionated columns about jazz, civil liberties and politics.

. . .“Nat Hentoff wrote liner notes for every great musician that I’ve ever loved, from Billie Holiday to Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin, and that’s not even what he’s been writing about for the last 30 years,” said Tom Robbins, a Voice staff writer.

. . . “I’m 83 and a half. You’d think they’d have let me go silently,” he said. “Fortunately, I’ve never been more productive.”

Village Voice Lays Off Nat Hentoff and 2 Others

Posted by Jeff at January 1, 2009 11:30 AM

Green is officially over

Two years ago, spurred on by a groundswell of interest in all things eco-friendly, green-related content was sprouting everywhere. For magazines, that meant a flurry of green-themed issues. But the economic downturn, coupled with cooling consumer interest, have some publishers pulling the plug on those products.

Among titles holding off on green issues in ’09 are Condé Nast’s Domino, Time Inc.’s Sunset, Mariah Media’s Outside and indy Discover. Active Interest Media’s Backpacker, already seeing the concept as tired, did not produce a second global-warming issue this year. “My sense is the idea of doing a green issue has been done so much it feels anachronistic,” said Backpacker editor Jonathan Dorn.

Green Fades to Black

I really wonder what the next trend will be? Hopefully something more stimulating than middle-class self congratulatory eco-nazism. But I suppose that there isn't any alternative to "alternative" posturing:

"Undecided individuals are biased toward also taking the option that is more popular, and this choice becomes amplified."

The unfortunate side effect of implementing consensus is that in a few of the trials, the fish tended the follow the less attractive model. The authors attribute "...submission to peers and occasional cascades of incorrect decisions...[to] a by-product of what is usually accurate consensus decision-making."

Fish select leaders by consensus
"I go to meetings and all I hear is, 'Oh my God, they just keep coming and coming,' " Judy VanSlyke Turk, president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication, said of the students. She added, "I'm really not sure they understand how competitive the job market is."

Who, what, when, where and why is J-school so big?

Posted by Jeff at December 15, 2008 10:47 AM

Coming soon to the Twin Cities

I am not looking forward to the RNC— more details at the Minnesota Independent. It remains to be seen if "Minnesota nice" will prevail, this isn't LA after all. But somehow, I doubt that will make any difference. The Saint Paul police purchased something like a half a million dollars worth of brand new shiny tasers just for the occasion.

Posted by Jeff at August 7, 2008 2:10 PM


I think a lot of people go through a sort of utopian phase— I know I did. Joseph Duemer pointed at a NYT obit for Kathleen Kinkade today, and it brought back memories. While I was in high school, I read both Walden Two by B.F. Skinner and A Walden Two Experiment. I definitely preferred the latter; it had a pragmatic edge that wasn’t as “hippy” as most of the other commune experiments of the time.

What I remember most was the idea that the more disgusting a job was, the more it should be worth—garbage collectors should make more money than CEOs. It seemed reasonable to me at the time. The arc of the obit is interesting, and the memorable spots for me were:


Posted by Jeff at July 29, 2008 12:52 PM

Telling Stories

Chris Abani: February 2008 in Monterey, California. Duration: 16:14
"Art is essential," he says. "It's what is human in us. People have always tried to create narratives. Through stories, rock painting, sons. Trying to make sense of what it means to exist in this often-painful life, what it means to be human. Art becomes a way to meditate the terror. It connects us. Like James Baldwin said, 'Your pain has no meaning unless you can connect it with someone else's pain.'"

Black Issues Book Review, May-June, 2005 by Michael Datcher

Durban, 4am is oddly compelling as well.

Posted by Jeff at July 23, 2008 10:19 AM

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