Month: April 2004

Fox News: Republican Television

Flag-draped Coffins of US Soldiers

The big story today happens to be the (accidental?) release of 361 images to the Memory Hole that show dead American soldiers’ arrivals and departures at air bases. Apparently, photos of these honor guards are not released to the press—nor are the media allowed to photograph these quiet non-ceremonies—because the Bush Administration does not want the public to see the images for fear of upsetting the families of the dead. However, the images are not graphic in any respect (flag-draped coffins) but rather sad testimonies to this unnecessary war.

More likely, Bush & Co. don’t want the public to see the real results of the war in Iraq. I’m glad the images were released under the Freedom of Information Act, but it should be easier for the public and media to show what really happens when we go to war. Sadly, the New York Times reported that Fox News reaffirms that it is truly the GOP propaganda machine:

Among the national television news organizations, only the Fox News Channel had no plans to use any of the photos or explore the issue of why they had been barred from use in the news media, a channel spokesman said.

Update: the Memory Hole site has been down for the past few days, most likely due to an overload on their servers. This mirror has been provided by Warblogging.

Eisenhower’s Secret Pastime

I have a Page-A-Day calendar that features “365 Amazing Trivia Facts for 2004” that I received this past Christmas. Yesterday (April 20) the calendar had this to say:

Which U.S. president played minor league baseball?

Dwight D. Eisenhower, in 1911. He played in 14 games as an outfielder for Junction City in the Central Kansas League, using the assumed name of Wilson to protect his amateur status so he could play football at West Point. He quit abruptly when local news accounts of his impressive play attracted several major league scouts.

Alexa Favelet

In the past few months, favelets (or bookmarklets) and I have become good friends when exploring this World Wide Web. I like a lot of the favelets found here and here, but I have not found one that looks up Alexa information for the page you are viewing. I now present my Alexa Favelet: Alexa.

Just click and hold on the favelet link and drag it to your Links toolbar in IE or Personal Toolbar Folder in Mozilla or Netscape. When you visit a page and would like to look up the Alexa related info for that page, just click the Alexa link on your toolbar.

Better than Speed Weblog?

A few months ago, I decided that I was going to develop a weblog system and offer it as a free download like Movable Type. Unlike MT, the system I was going to create would be simpler, completely dynamic, and powered by PHP and MySQL. I’m not a big fan of Perl and I don’t like some of the problems that come about with MT’s comment spam and static page rebuilding.

I looked around (not very thoroughly) and didn’t find any PHP/MySQL blogging systems so I started some early planning for my system. Well, I picked out a name—that I later second-guessed because it was pretty boring: Speed Weblog. I wanted my system to:

  • Be entirely web-based
  • Allow easy posting and editing of entries
  • Allow categories and sub-categories for entries
  • Automatically date entries, but allow for posts to be dated in the past or the future and not appear until that future date/time came about
  • Allow “worthwhile clicks” to be added to a sidebar
  • Allow commenting
  • Generate RSS feeds dynamically for the recent entries

Well, this week I discovered WordPress. It does just about everything I wanted my system to do but it also does more and does it better. I’ve been running a test version to see what it’s capable of accomplishing and it really is quite impressive. I may still develop a CMS in the summer when I have more time to kill, but I will definitely be switching this site to WordPress sometime soon (within two months). It’s going to be a little sad to say goodbye to the system that is running this site right now—which I wrote from scratch—but this system is a crude mockery of a true CMS; it was my first dynamic site, after all.

Riding a Caffeine Wave

These past two weeks have been hectic and the next two weeks are going to be worse. I’ve been involved in 30 different things and haven’t had any time to write here, despite the fact that I have a lot that I want to write. In fact, I shouldn’t be writing now, but I’m procrastinating and the lack of new stuff here is getting on my nerves.

I launched the new version of to little fanfare on April 1. It was a long time in the works but well worth the effort, I believe. It’s now much easier for me to add new categories and businesses and lends itself to unlimited expansions. I’m in good company too: both Kinja (here’s my digest) and Gmail launched on April 1.

The following weekend, I visited Annie and we went to her last Spring Formal; I know, we’re just precious, aren’t we? Unlike some people, Annie will be graduating on time. It was good times, despite the small turnout and hot air blower aimed directly at our table.

Easter break was nice, but way too short to be relaxing. Also, I had plans to accomplish some much-needed work over break and little was done with the exception of some initial design work on a brand-new Speed Web Design. I like it a whole big bunch; it’s bright, clean, and it’s gonna have some flashy stuff, to boot.

Oh yeah. There’s also the Studio Series that I’m directing on April 23. I’m directing a staged reading of Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park. It’s going to be quite interesting getting that all together in a week and a half; needless to say, that’s upping my blood pressure exponentially. I wish I had more time. I wish I didn’t need to sleep. That would be nice.