Monday, April 30, 2007

Pic of the Day

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2007 at 10:24 PM



Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2007 at 7:59 PM

Look at what they served to CL Editor Ken Edelstein at Octane Coffee this afternoon:




The transparency of Ira Glass

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2007 at 7:32 PM

As he once again proved Sunday night at his WABE-FM-sponsored appearance at the fairly packed Atlanta Symphony Hall, Ira Glass is a master interloper who revels in counter-intuitiveness. Supposedly cursed with a radio-unfriendly voice — with all its nasally nerdiness and stutters and mumbles — Glass sounds oddly comfortable behind the microphone because he favors naturalness over the predictable stiltedness of the anchorman or reporter in the field. And in a popular culture cursed with short attention spans, “This American Life” succeeds with a winning combination of intimacy and sense of scale for its subjects, offering humor when you expect the somber, and reflection from the seemingly mundane.

When he’s not hosting the popular public-radio program “This American Life” (Sundays at 6 p.m.) or its new Showtime spin-off (which just completed its first season Thursday) and working on various compilations and book projects, Glass often hits the road to promote public radio, “This American Life” and its primary mission: thought-provoking, narrative storytelling that offers surprises and revelations.

Continue reading »


More bad news for the AJC

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2007 at 5:45 PM

I wrote last week that an industry source predicted that nationwide newspaper circulation numbers would show a 5 percent decline for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Sunday edition. The source was a little optimistic.

The actual Sunday loss was 6.7 percent, declining to 523,687, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Meanwhile, daily circulation fell 2 percent, to 357,399.

When the AJC reports this, it will be with the explanation that most dailies saw plunging circulation, and that's true. The smoke screen of explanation by the newspapers is that all of these weird things have conspired to starve them of readers, things like the Internet. What they won't admit -- especially over at the AJC -- is that for years they have slashed news staffs and dumbed down their publications. Savvy readers have left.

Don't expect the AJC to give you historical perspective. Nineteen years ago (the earliest I could dig up complete records), the combined daily circulation of Atlanta's then two newspapers was 458,700. The Sunday edition was 650,500.

That's a 22 percent loss for daily, 19.5 percent for Sunday. Meanwhile, from 1990 to 2006, the Atlanta metro area has added more than 2 million people, an increase of more than 67 percent. Thus, the AJC has gone from reaching about 1 in 6 potential subscribers to 1 in 14.

If you're an advertiser, the AJC likely refers to you as "Hello, sucker." The more circulation that vaporizes, the higher the advertising rates go (the opposite of what logic would indicate). For the billionaire Cox family owners, lost circulation is a plus. They spend less publishing the newspaper.

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Norah Jones, April 27, 2007 at the Tabernacle

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2007 at 5:39 PM

More photos after the jump.


Atlanta blogs today: Getting personal

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2007 at 4:56 PM

most of you who have met me know that i have a pretty obvious port wine stain birthmark on the right side of my face.i’ve gotten so used to mine that i barely even notice it anymore. it’s just part of what i see everyday.

-- James at Arc of Time on seeing someone with a birthmark similar to his.

I ordered two eggs (over easy), chicken sausage, potatoes, and a biscuit and washed it all down with coffee. The eggs and coffee were really the only things done right. The chicken sausage was bland. The potatoes were diced and home fried, but most of them were coldish and crunchy — blech. And finally, the biscuit. This was the second worst biscuit that I have had in my life (the first was blogged about here).

-- Paulie at Inside The Perimeter on a recent breakfast

So keep your fucking kids away from the fucking bar. What kind of fucking parents are you? Is your white zin so delicious that you care not about the character of people at the bar, where you sent your precious children to play?

I’m gonna fuck/kill this underage kid next to me.

-- David P. Brown at warning parents to keep their kids away from Taco Mac. Jokes and fantasies about rape (examples 1, 2, 3, 4) are common on Dave's site. He has also suggested that Mexican immigrants be murdered en masse.

Last year, he posted a rape fantasy about the girlfriend of one of the people who operates the local blog aggregator Dave removed the post and apologized.

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Templated love

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2007 at 3:57 PM

I discovered today that one of the preprogrammed text message templates on my cell phone is "I love you too."

Being loved is nice.

Relying on Nokia templates to express your deepest feelings? Not so nice. And let's not even get into the missing comma.


Ga. police with military equipment

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2007 at 3:29 PM

"It gives us a capacity that as a small agency we normally wouldn't have," said Pelham Police Chief Nealie McCormick. His South Georgia agency of 14 full-time officers and eight reservists has received M-16 rifles, camouflage uniforms, night-vision devices and generators.

The quotation is from a crappy AJC story describing how the Pentagon gives leftover military hardware to local police. The equipment is given to police for "Homeland Security" and "War On Drugs" operations.

The repeater reporter quotes five people who think the program is a good idea, but doesn't even hint at, let alone quote somebody who thinks otherwise.

There are plenty of people, from all corners of the political universe, who don't jump for joy at the thought of local police with military weapons. Libertarian think tank The Cato Institute published a paper last year on the increasing number of botched military-style raids carried out by local police departments. I'm offering it as an example of the type of dissenting viewpoint the AJC might have tried to include in its story.

In the meantime, I'll sleep much better knowing that Pelham (pop. 4,000-ish) now has the firepower to defend its Huddle House against al-Qaeda.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Vick fishing in wrong pond

Posted By on Fri, Apr 27, 2007 at 9:31 PM

In what has been an off-season from hell for Falcons QB Michael Vick, the star football player has found himself up the wrong shit creek this time, literally.

Both the AJC and have reported that as of early Thursday morning, Vick is yet to pay a fine that he was given for a misdemeanor trespassing citation back in February for fishing in the Western Branch lake in Virginia. He was due in Suffolk County Court today to settle the matter. Odd.

But even stranger is the new AJC story reporting that the charges have suddenly been dismissed. More odd.

The AJC reported that it is not known whether Vick or a representative appeared in court today, just that the court papers document the case has been dismissed.

This is really no big deal and just seems fishy. The strangest thing is, coming only a few days after Vick's AirTran mishap, this has been an off-season full of headlines for Vick as he has found himself in small pieces of trouble far too often. He has never been convicted of any sort of violent crime, nor has he really done anything wrong, but his record of missing breakfast with Congress, giving the finger to the crowd and fishing in the wrong end zone just seems out of place for the Falcons QB — whose name usually only appears in box scores.

Opening day is just over four months away ... how about laying low for a while, Vickster?

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Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln ...

Posted By on Fri, Apr 27, 2007 at 8:06 PM

The White House and its allies have been claiming that the so-called surge is reducing violence in Baghdad.

Apparently, that's a load of crap.

According to a McClatchy Newspapers report published yesterday, the touted drop in violence is just a White House accounting trick:

Car bombs and other explosive devices have killed thousands of Iraqis in the last three years, but the administration doesn’t include them in the casualty counts it has been citing as evidence that the surge of additional U.S. forces is defusing tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

Other than the bombings, the violence is down!


James Denselow of the U.K. think tank Chatham House sums it up thusly:

Since the administration keeps saying that failure is not an option, they are redefining success in a way that suits them.

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