Friday, June 29, 2007

Atlanta blogs today: People talking their language

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 4:16 PM

I would say that 80 to 90 percent of the people here in North Georgia are against any sort of bill to help these people. I am certainly out of the mainstream here. I find no fault in these people, and wonder how my "Christian" neighbors can carry such bitterness in their hearts.

— Aging Hipster on a Washington Post story about how Gainesville and Hall County have dealt with the area's growing Latino population. The article's most painful quotation: "And they don't seem to feel any discomfort when they're, like, six inches from your face and talking to each other in their language, either."

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an anonymous editor monday around midnight reported the death of chris benoit's wife on the the wikipedia more than 14 hours before the bodies were found.

adding to the confusion, the post came from stamford, ct, which is home to the headquarters of benoit's employer, the wwe.

— James at Metroblogging Atlanta is a little freaked out that a Wikipedia contributor wrote about the death of WWE wrestler Chris Benoit's wife 14 hours before her body was found by police. I'm freaked out by Wikipedia because I still don't have an entry.

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It's always a special pleasure to stumble onto great artists from the past whose reputations have faded from cultural memory, but whose work remains to let us know that they, like us, were moved by sexual beauty.

— It's Friday. That means Gloria Brame is posting erotic art.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bruce Willis 'on' CNN

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 8:28 PM

I interviewed Bruce Willis when he was in town for the Live Free or Die Hard press tour. He made an amusing comment about his on-camera interview for CNN that I couldn't fit in the finished story, so I'll present it here in the spirit of the "DVD Extra":

I was just over at CNN? And you would think, CNN, it's a big deal and everything – it's CNN. And I'm looking down to where the monitor is, and first of all, there's fingerprints all over it. Plus, they've got a $1.99 piece of black fabric on it that's easily been on there since the first Gulf War. And I'm thinking, "This is CNN?"

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Not so red anymore

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 7:34 PM

Although 58 percent of Georgia voters chose to re-elect President Bush in 2004, the president’s approval rating is a mere 35 percent in the state now, according to a recent poll by Strategic Vision. The rating still puts Georgia well ahead of Bush’s national approval of 26 percent — the lowest of his presidency, according to Newsweek.

An overwhelming 81 percent of those polled don't view Bush as a "conservative in the mold of Ronald Reagan."

Still, the president’s unpopularity does not translate into support in Georgia of the Democratic-controlled Congress. Only 19 percent of respondents approved of Congress’ performance.

Most Georgians are moderately satisfied with their senators, with Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson earning approval ratings of 50 percent and 52 percent, respectively.

With more than 100 Georgia service members killed in the Iraq war, the desire for troop withdrawal is high: About 45 percent of Georgians support a withdrawal of troops within the next six months, the poll shows.

The company polled 800 people who are likely to vote, and the poll has a margin of error of 3 percent. In other results:

— Gov. Sonny Perdue enjoys an approval rating of 55 percent.

— Hillary Clinton (29 percent) enjoys a slight lead over Barack Obama (26 percent) for the Democratic presidential nomination.

— Fred Thompson (25 percent) enjoys the lead for Republicans over Rudy Giuliani (20 percent).

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Bioenergy Dawgs and alternative fuel Yellow Jackets

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 7:30 PM

The Department of Energy awarded the University of Georgia and the Georgia Institute of Technology, partnered with other research labs and universities, a cool $125 million over a period of five years for the development of one of three bioenergy research centers.

Says Alan Darvill, head of UGA's team:

This research, which uses biotechnology approaches to reduce the high cost of processing plants into biofuels, has the potential to make ethanol a significant replacement for fossil fuels for this country’s future energy needs.

Read more.

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman explained the center's mission to the Associated Press:

These centers will provide the transformational science needed for bioenergy breakthroughs to advance President Bush’s goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive with gasoline by 2012, and assist in reducing America’s gasoline consumption by 20 percent in 10 years.

Read more.

The center will be based at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory at the University of Tennessee.

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DON'T PANIC: Headline translation

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 6:59 PM

Reuters headline from 1:03 p.m. today: "Sept report on Iraq will tell it straight: Petraeus"

Translation: "Previous Iraq War reports full of shit: Petraeus"

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More Atlanta police officers suspended

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 5:09 PM

Three more Atlanta police officers were suspended today for their involvement in the shooting death of an elderly woman in November.

According to an e-mail sent by Atlanta Police Department spokeswoman Judy Pal, "The United States Department of Justice notified the department that Investigator Holly Buchanan, Investigator Paul Vignola, and Officer Brad Burchfield are the subjects of a federal criminal investigation involving their conduct as police officers. The officers were suspended today."

Chief Richard Pennington said in a statement that the department is fully cooperating with federal authorities. "It is important that every avenue of the Neal Street incident is fully and thoroughly explored," he said.

To read more about the Atlanta Police Department and the aftermath of the shooting death of the elderly woman, click here.

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The Blotter: Shoulda stayed at the Pink Pony

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 3:26 PM

A police officer was writing a ticket at I-75 North near Deering Road when he heard a loud crash. The officer turned around and saw a car go up a dirt hill and into some trees. The car then rolled down the hill backward and crashed into a ditch, the officer noted. “Upon arrival, I noticed the driver had moved over to the passenger seat and was attempting to get out of the car.” Both air bags had deployed and the driver’s-side air bag had blood all over it. A man had blood all over his face and a cut on his head, the officer noted. The officer asked, “Are you OK?” The man replied, “I’m DUI.” The officer asked, “Were you driving the car?” The man said no, it was his car, but another guy was driving. The officer asked, “Where is this other driver?” The man said he didn’t know. “He did not even know his name or what he was wearing,” the officer wrote. “He did say the car was his and he was coming from the Pink Pony. I noticed [the man] had a lot of money in his pockets. I took it all out and counted it in front of him.” The cash totaled $412. Eventually, the man admitted that he was the driver and it was all his fault, the officer noted. The man, a 28-year-old from Decatur, was arrested for numerous charges.

Read more Blotter.

Items in the Blotter are taken from actual Atlanta police reports. The Blotter Diva compiles them and puts them into her own words.

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YouTube clip of the day

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 3:00 PM

The NBA draft is tonight, and the latest from ESPN.com's Andy Katz is that the Hawks could roll the dice on a trade. Or two:

The proposed deal between Seattle and Atlanta, with the Sonics sending Luke Ridnour to the Hawks for the No. 11 pick (which would have likely been used for Eastern Washington's Rodney Stuckey), is dormant but may not be totally dead. Multiple sources told ESPN.com that the Hawks weren't interested in the deal. The Sonics were waiting for the Hawks to show their interest Wednesday but to no avail. But if the Hawks can't move their two lottery picks (Nos. 3 and 11) for Amare Stoudemire with Phoenix, who in turn would get Kevin Garnett with the Timberwolves receiving the picks, then the Ridnour trade could resurface.

However it shakes out, the Hawks have the chance to go a long way toward pulling this team together ... or setting back the franchise another five years.

Hours before the draft, here are YouTube clips on the ones that could have been: Greg Oden and Keith Durant.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/DlembAk7HSQ" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/4g0vxW4Wfh4" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

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Children have fun with deadly diseases

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 2:20 PM

"I will trade you my staph infection for your tuberculosis."

"I don't have any tuberculosis, but I will trade you SARS for your staph infection."

This could be something you hear kids on the playground saying in a rousing swap of disease trading cards. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have created a set of disease trading cards in an effort to get kids interested in science and health. The cards display a photo and information about the card's disease to inform children of each illness.

Some of the cards' more graphic pictures include a large, open sore for ulcers, a suspended, naked infant for tetanus, and a raw, infected mouth and throat for diphtheria. You would think with some of these startling images that parents would shy their children away from the cards, but the CDC can't keep them on its shelf.

The CDC gives the cards away for free at its visitor center and has not been able to keep the cards in stock. Pictures of the cards are available for download at the CDC's website, www.cdc.gov.

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Atlanta blogs today: Grady, baby

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 1:52 PM

If these other counties owe Grady some money, then they need to cough it up.

— Andre at Georgia Politics Unfiltered on a proposal by Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts to sue Georgia counties that use but don't pay for Grady Memorial Hospital

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From water to women, immigrants to local economies, fair trade to anti-war, all sorts of people defended all sorts of rights on Atlanta’s streets today. Thousands of people had come together not for one cause, but in recognition that all of these causes are interconnected and worth working for.

— Jessica Lind-Diamond at YES! describes the first day of the U.S. Social Forum.

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Dirty hippies, get a job.

— Erick at Peach Pundit will likely not be attending the U.S. Social Forum.

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