October 11, 2006

Iraq and War on Terror News They Think You Can’t Use

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:56 pm

Read it here, because you probably won’t find it anywhere else until (maybe) November 8.

It Took About 12 Hours

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:19 pm

….. for the first condescending smear and bogus accusation of slander to appear relating to the Strickland 1999 “Present” vote posts.

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UPDATE: It took about 34 hours for someone to do an extensive outraged post on the series without linking back — heaven forbid that his readers see what the person being criticized actually wrote. And folks, this is the SECOND (not the 10th) time the issue is being brought up statewide. It first surfaced in with Strickland’s underfunded and underblogged opponent in the primary. It is totally unknown to the vast majority of Ohioans. The non-linking tells me that the writer is afraid the issue will resonate.

Carnival Barking (101106)

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 2:02 pm

Newshound’s 43rd on Ohio Politics is here.

Boring Made Dull’s 16th on Econ and Social Policy is here.

Light Posting Alert (Relatively Speaking)

Filed under: Business Moves,General — Tom @ 9:01 am

Due to business developments, some of which will be revealed here when the time comes, I’m going to be mostly limiting myself to the AM Positivity posts and four or so short early-morning posts during weekdays for the next few weeks, and keeping the weekend posts short (and hopefully sweet) as well. I’ve probably said all I can (at length) about the upcoming elections (famous last words, eh?), though I’ll still be posting on them from time to time in the shorter posts.

I anticipate sticking more closely (but not exclusively) to business, economic, and personal finance topics in the future (and of course media bias relating to these, when seen). Hopefully in a week or so, you’ll see why.

The Latest of 57 Reasons to Reject the Ohio Learn & Earn Initiative (101106)

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:08 am

From Jill at Writes Like She Talks (original entry relating to Jill’s effort is here) –

  • Reason 31 — “Because Ohio has enough image problems already.”
  • Reason 30 — “Because Issue 3 makes a mockery of the words “learn” and “earn.”
  • Reason 29 — “Because of the very definition of ‘to gamble.’”

Important points being made elsewhere:

Boring Made Dull’s analysis, Part 1

Slots Campaign Admits Exaggerating (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Report Douses Outlook on Slots (from state budget analysts, reported by Columbus Dispatch)

Agonizing Reappraisal Time in Tinseltown?

Filed under: Business Moves — Tom @ 8:03 am

Sure, the theater gross is up over 5% this year, but that doesn’t beat inflation by a lot, and that’s after an awful 2005 at the theaters.

On top of that, this Business 2.0 post from last week refers to a report predicting that DVD sales will flatline next year.

Digital downloads to the rescue? Possibly, but only if their volume ramps up quickly. Wal-Mart’s bullying tactics with the studios are going to make it hard for the studios (except Disney, which has already signed on with Apple’s iTunes) to be too aggressive in such a migration.

No wonder George Lucas “is getting out of the movie biz.” Throw in the success of ultra-low budget movies like “Facing the Giants” (mentioned in the previous post), and you understand where Lucas is coming from.

Hollywood ‘Shocker’: Low-Budget Positive Movie Doing Well, Making Money

Filed under: Business Moves — Tom @ 7:58 am

OK, “Facing the Giants” is not blockbuster stuff (#14 on the list), but it’s still in very limited distribution, and it shows every sign of being a slow and steady performer. Unlike most of the titles ahead of it, it’s making money. You may recall that the movie was controversially given a PG rating because of its Christian themes.

It’s very easy to think that low-budget movies like these are the future (wholesome or otherwise). Talk about upsetting the established order…..

Someone at the Wall Street Journal Should Not Be Saying Something This Dumb

Filed under: Business Moves,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 7:53 am

This is from an e-mail I got overnight about what would be in the Journal today:

BUSINESS, By Alan Murray
Given that there are so few women on the top rungs of the corporate ladder, H-P’s booting of Fiorina and Dunn makes one wonder whether gender had something to do with it.

I know not to bother reading it (UPDATE: If you want to suffer through the subscription-only column, it’s here). If this is what they will typically get from this point on, the Journal know better than to let Murray continue to bother writing for them.
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UPDATE (noon): Don Luskin wonders if Dunn’s ascension on H-P’s board isn’t really an affirmative action disaster:

Why wouldn’t Murray wonder whether gender had anything to do with why Pattie Dunn was invited to join the board of H-P in the first place? She had no appropriate experience or qualifications whatsoever — except that she was female, at a time when corporate boards were desperate to add women to their ranks.

Good point.

Positivity: A Blind Photgrapher

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:02 am

Really.

A little research indicates that the subject of this post is not alone, as there was a photography exhibition of new work by partially sighted and blind photographers in San Francisco back in July.
This story about Pete Eckert is from February of 2005:

It wasn’t until after Pete Eckert went blind that he really started to see things.

“I can see lots of … really weird things,” Eckert says, slowly lifting his left hand toward his face and gazing directly at it. “I feel light so strongly that it allows me to see the bones in my skeleton as pulsating energy, or like in an X-ray. At times I can sort of see sound. Sometimes I can even see things from the back of my head.”

With eyes in the back of his head, you’d figure Eckert might make a good schoolteacher. But that would be too easy.

Wearing jeans, a leather jacket and aviator sunglasses and standing more confidently than Uzu, his giant Bavarian shepherd guide dog, Eckert, 48, gives the impression that he likes a challenge. So after the former carpenter went blind from retinitis pigmentosa six years ago, he did the first thing he wasn’t supposed to be able to do.

He became a photographer.

“The idea of a blind guy taking photos just cracked me up,” Eckert says as he and Uzu visit Eckert’s art photography exhibition at Varnish Fine Art studio on Natoma Street in San Francisco. The exhibition runs through Saturday and he’s preparing for another in April at the Badé Museum in Berkeley next month.

About five years ago, when Eckert was still coming to terms with his loss of sight, he was cleaning out a drawer at his Sacramento home and found a camera with infrared settings. He thought about how invisible wavelengths might influence a blind person trying to use the camera. A lightbulb came on in his head, and it made him smile.

“I’d have my wife and my friends take me out in the middle of the night so I could shoot photographs,” Eckert says. “Of course, they thought I was crazy, which was fine by me.”

It wasn’t the first time someone took Eckert for a nut.

Eckert was 28 when he was deemed legally blind, meaning that, from 20 feet, he could see less than what a person with perfect vision could see from 400 feet.

“At first, I freaked out,” Eckert says. “I had two immediate fears: that I wouldn’t be able to take care of myself and that I wouldn’t make any money.”

Eckert spent the next decade earning several degrees, including one each in sculpture and ceramics at the Art Institute of Boston and one in design and industry from San Francisco State. He also became a black belt in tae kwon do.

He was so good in the self-defense arts that he started to teach a class. When some of his students didn’t believe that he could fight at full speed, Eckert picked a few of the more experienced troublemakers in the class and scheduled a day to spar. To prepare for the match, Eckert memorized the room. He took mental notes of how sounds bounced off each corner and where light and warmth entered into his blind picture. He kicked the students’ butts.

“If I can learn this much about one room,” Eckert says he thought, “why not do the same in the rest of the world?”

Eckert implemented that idea directly into his photography. With his brain rewired in a way that light allows him to see the skeletal structure of parts of his body, Eckert says, he paints with light and navigates through touch while listening to sounds.

“Imagination fills in the details,” he says.

After completing a photo shoot, Eckert develops contact sheets, has friends give verbal feedback and then memorizes each print before choosing the final slide. Sometimes he draws on the film to add effects. He credits Time- Life Books on camera techniques and some very friendly and very patient experts at his local camera store for helping him fine-tune his craft.

He often returns to places that he frequented when he was younger and could still see well.

….. Blind photography is not a gimmick to Eckert.

“My pictures make you question the limits blind people face,” Eckert says as gallery visitors admire the work without realizing that the blind man standing nearby is the artist. “Look. I’m competing with sighted artists.”

So what’s next? Driving a car?

“No way. I only ride motorcycles,” he says seriously. “But just in my backyard.”