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The Raw and the Raw

Oh the stinging raw emotions rumple through offices along the Northeast and West Coast. The Kerry crowd is none too happy about Tuesday’s election results. I talk to lots of really angry people, during the course of a work day. My advice: Drive the speed limit (to avoid road rage), stay out bars (to avoid a table aside the head), and read a trashy novel (to separate from all the post-election anxiety).

Me, I’m ambivalent. I live in the metro-D.C. area and just don’t take politics too seriously. Besides, I didn’t much like either candidate. I’m also pretty emotionless about the election. In the end, I just wanted a winner, whichever candidate that turned out to be. 

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Why Offensive ‘Team America’ Rocks

Without question, movie “Team America: World Police” is one of the most offensive pieces of filmmaking to be released in a couple of decades—and what a delightful offense, too. The movie had me crying to tears within the first 30 seconds, and laughing and crying and laughing for the next hour and a half. I’m waiting for the news story that some poor movie goer either laughed or was offended to death. Either is likely.

I could see the aftermath audience reaction as the lights lifted in the theatre. A group of young black men whopped, “America, Fuck Yeah!”; from the movie’s theme song. About 10 rows behind them, several older, black and white couples sat immobile. Stunned I think, because they were so offended by the movie’s philosophical conclusion. 

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If It Looks Like Bias, Walks Like Bias, Is It Bias?

Oh PLEASE! What is the New York Times doing? This morning, I clicked on a story by reporter Todd Purdum headlined, “Best Defense: More Offense”; I had been reading different stories around the Web about the second presidential debate. Before I could get to the story, a banner ad touting John Kerry’s success in the debate filled a separate page; the Democratic National Committee had paid for the ad.

Now as a former journalist, I do know something about boundaries between editorial and advertising content. In print, placement of an ad next to a related news story is a big no-no. Reputable newspapers or magazines would never place, say, an ad about Microsoft Windows in the same spread—or two-page layout—as a positive review of the product. In politics, this rule is typically more strictly followed in the United States. In broadcast journalism, the now defunct “Fairness Doctrine” helped ensure political fair play. 

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My First Canon EOS 20D Tests

I am working with my new Canon EOS 20D digital SLR, which I bought after a buddy snatched up my Nikon D70 for his dad. I highly recommend the camera to anyone who can afford it and either takes pictures professionally or, like me, is moving into serious amateur photography. Warning: This camera could easily be more than what most people need.

For me, the 20D is a rude indictment about how ill-prepared I am to move to digital SLRs. My problem isn’t so much photo basics but understanding lenses, their idiosyncrasies, and what might be right for this camera and my shooting needs. 

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Toidy Bowl Packing

They say that kids do the darnest things or that kids growing up with newfangled technology take to it differently than do adults. These two pictures are evidence of both.

Looks like a toilet boil, doesn’t it? Turns out this Styrofoam wonder is from a first-generation, flat-panel iMac box. Flip the toidy boil over and it fits over the iMac’s lamp-like base. I must have no imagination, because I had unpacked a couple iMacs without seeing the resemblance, flipped over, of course. 

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Law and Disorder

Good thing I was interested in live TV last night rather than using the DVR. Disappointing would have been the recording. I turned off the TV about half way through the first of two “Law and Order” episodes, disgusted how one-sidedly political the show has become. Naively, I had hoped for respite with the cast change. No such luck.

Episode one sought to put alleged Iraqi prisoner abuses on trial. The timing and context had to be deliberate given the election year. As if we hadn’t watched or read enough already about the prisoners’ treatment for it to be repackaged as entertainment. Geez. I tuned into episode two during the last 20 minutes, which made nonsense out of people devastated by the 9-11 attacks on the Twin Towers. 

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A Switcher Recants

Earlier this year, I blogged about my troubled switch back and forth between PCs and Macs, eventually moving to the Mac for good. Not so. A good buddy bought the PowerBook I purchased back in March, and I put that money into buying a Sony S150, which is a Windows notebook that I’ll blog about sometime soon.

The switch came for many reasons. For one, my boss expressed concerns about a difference in the quality of analyst my reports. I attributed the problem to my working on a Mac fulltime and becoming too distanced from the Windows world; of course, I used a Windows machine everyday, too, but the Mac proved a distraction. I saw the same problem back when I worked as a reporter covering Microsoft. The problem: I like my Mac and didn’t want to switch.