Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Monday, January 31, 2005
Powerlines not just a hazard to planes anymore
A few months ago, I sent this around in an e-mail to friends

Today, we have flying cars

posted by Broadsheet @ 4:21 PM   6 Editorial Opinions
Bring Trader Joe's to the City
I have just read and signed the online petition:

"Bring Trader Joe's to Baltimore City."

hosted on the web by, the free online petition
service, at:

I would love to not have to drive to Towson, fight the traffic, and deal with the parking when I need to stock up on instant Miso soup (TJ's rocks!). Rumor has it that 3,000 signatures will get them to consider it. I was petitioner 945. Even if you don't live in the city, and want to help support it - sign up!

Best wishes,

posted by Broadsheet @ 1:17 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
U.S. students say press freedoms go too far.
A survey of 112,003 students finds that 36% believe newspapers should get "government approval" of stories before publishing; 51% say they should be able to publish freely; 13% have no opinion.

Asked whether the press enjoys "too much freedom," not enough or about the right amount, 32% say "too much," and 37% say it has the right amount. Ten percent say it has too little.
I don't know which is scarier. The 36% who feel we need government approval of the press, or the 13% who don't have an opinion.

posted by Broadsheet @ 1:07 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Caper Berries and Blog Backlash
It's been a fun filled day of drama, glamour, and activity at Casa de Linda. There was much of the sleeping in, followed by much of the watching of CNN and the Sunday morning pundits, whilst drinking much of the coffee, and much of the reading of the Sunday NYT (I can multi task).

This vigorous activity was followed by a refreshing shower, and then an hour long phone call from my friend L. in London, who berated me for dropping off the face of the earth via e-mail. Hmmmmmm, I got the same scolding from my Mom and my friends E. in Colorado, J. in California, and J. in Melbourne, Oz, this week as well. Here I thought the creation of the blog would eliminate the need for the pesky, intrusive, group emails about the tawdry goings on in Charm City and my pet political / media / cultural interests. But, seeing as how none of the aforementioned friends have an interest in stopping by a web page a couple of times a week, they nonetheless want the content of those e-mails sent to them directly.

Apparently, there are three types of people on the internet. E-mailers who don't blog (or read blogs), bloggers who don't e-mail (to a varying degree), and people without blogs who live vicariously through other people's blogs and comments (and you know who you are).

This idea was brought home to me by my Mom, to whom, against all my better judgment (although I am an adult woman), I finally sent the link to this site when she asked me for a recipe for Kedgeree which I had posted a couple of weeks ago. So...I forwarded the post to her via e-mail. Two days later, I get an email: "Weren't you going to send me that recipe?" I did, I replied - it's on the website. "Can't you just cut and paste it, and send it to me via regular e-mail so I can print it out?"


Meanwhile, Mom - if you're out there, I'm dancing the main pole at the Hustler Club on the Block this week. 9:45 pm show... Just in case you're interested.

Guess I need to find a balance between the blog, and staying in touch with the non-blogger types, which admittedly is still the majority of friends and family.

Ah - but what about the rest of your glamour packed Sunday you might ask? Not that you did. There was reading (see sidebar links), laundry, shuffling papers around on the desk trying to pretend that I'm fiscally responsible and won't have to work till I'm 90 (no - I can't get a new car, I can't get a new car...) And the most exciting activity of the day you ask?....Cleaning the fridge.

I made a huge batch of yummy Brazilian Black Bean soup last night, but there was so much stuff in the fridge, that I had to set the pot out on the back porch. Since I couldn't identify many edible items in the fridge that caused this overcrowding, I decided to empty it out and downsize.

It would seem I have an addiction to marinades, and Asian/Indian condiments. I'm sure there is a 12 Step Program for this, I just need to admit I need help. They put all these wonderful sounding ingredients in a bottle for you, and all you have to do is pour it over some seafood or meat, cook it up, and voila! Well, I buy them and use them once and they sit in the fridge. I started with the rule that anything dated with '03 on the label got tossed, and there was one jar of hot sauce that had eaten a hole in the metal lid - yikes. Out you go. Then we moved on to lots of little plastic containers with NYE party leftovers in them. NYE was a month ago = toss it. Of course, there was also the usual assortment of cheeses gone bad (penicillin anyone?), and mystery containers with mystery food in them that went straight to the trash - do not pass go, do not collect $200.

By this time, I had cleared an entire shelf. In the process, I discovered I have four opened jars of Spanish Caper Berries. I effin LOVE caper berries. I eat them like pickles straight out of the jar. I also seem to have a strong fear of running out of them.

At any rate, the soup is now living in the newly voluminous, sparkling clean fridge, and there are four bags of trash and countless recycling containers rinsed and stacked.

Who says I don't know how to have a good time?

Tune in next weekend when we reorganize the basement storage room and clean the freezer.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:39 PM   6 Editorial Opinions
Eyewitness report to the Iraqi elections
This is a snippet from an email I received early this morning from Baghdad:

Robert observed polling with other election officials today at one election station mid-morning in downtown Baghdad (he's back safe now) and there was a line of approximately 150 voters. Women in black were walking in to cast their vote. People were standing in line for 20-30 minutes, he estimated. Thank you for your prayers for the Iraqis' protection and wisdom.

Best to you all -


posted by Broadsheet @ 8:46 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Blog Commenting Service - Liberal/Conservative/Whatever
A political blogger just wants to cash in and get a share of the action.

After all, it seems to be all the rage lately.

posted by Broadsheet @ 5:45 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
This Just in - Whew!!
After being glued to CNN regarding the bombings in Iraq today, I saw a VERY welcome email in my inbox from my friends at the US Embassy in Baghdad a few hours ago:

Press reports about the hit on the US Embassy tonight are accurate. There were casualties, but I can't confirm press reports about numbers. Alison and I are fine*. Elections in Iraq are tomorrow. I hope the people here have the chance to vote and not get killed in the process. Sometimes you see real evil in the world; I saw it in Algeria and I see it here with these insurgents who kill civilians without a thought. My fingers are crossed for tomorrow. I hope all is well with everyone at home - regards - bob
* emphasis mine.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:23 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Child's Play
It's so true. If I can do this - then absolutely anybody can! Blogger doesn't come with a whole lot of choices when it comes to their templates, and they are pretty limited in what you can do with them, especially if you don't have a clue as to what you're doing in the first place. When I started this thing about 3 weeks ago, I didn't have the faintest idea of how to create a link, let alone post a photo, and I probably couldn't have given you the definition for "HTML" unless I looked it up.

By looking at the source codes on a lot of other sites, I quickly figured out the whole Meta Tag thingies and started hacking away at this template. I even more quickly learned to save a backup copy of the most current template when I was editing it, when one of the cats came trotting across the desk, hit an errant key, and sent the whole thing to cyber trash. (Note to cat: One less life for you Peanut, I think you're down to 7 now. )

Today's challenge was figuring out how to put photos in my sidebar. A BIG thanks to tuesdayscoming for helping me out and letting me steal some lines of code so I could figure out how to create book links with cover photos (see the new section!).

Of course, now it's nearly 2:00, and aside from coffee, laundry and a few phone calls - I've gotten nothing significant accomplished today. to run errands. Hope the car starts, I haven't touched it since the snowstorm.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:38 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
U.N. Report Says Darfur Violence Is Not Genocide
U.N. Report Says Darfur Violence Is Not Genocide

A U.N. commission on Sudan has concluded that systematic, government-backed violence in the western region of Darfur was not genocide, but that there was evidence of crimes against humanity with an ethnic dimension.

Can someone, please, please tell me what the hell is the difference???

This article just left me stunned. While they spend 4 MONTHS deliberating over whether or not genocide is taking place, tens of thousands of people continue to die, and all the UN and US government can do is argue about whether or not to prosecute these people? How about stopping them?
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:22 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
NYT Interactive Feature - Election in Iraq
The New York Times has a really outstanding multi-media, interactive piece on the elections in Iraq. Check it out. The color coded map showing attacks per 100,000 people is chilling.

My friend, RF, a Sr. political advisor at the US Embassy in Baghdad has been silent of late. Probably for two reasons; first, knowing him, he's working 24/7 trying to negotiate a peaceful election process to the best of his ability (which is very high), and two, I suspect he's reluctant to comment, even on his private e-mail, anything but the most optimistic outlook for the outcome of the process, both from a personal sense of accomplishment, as well as a sense of loyalty to his boss, Negroponte, and the State Dept., even if he has his doubts about it.

I'm sure he'll turn up after the elections and if I can share his thoughts, I will.

I worry about him and his wife, AB, every day.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:14 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday, January 28, 2005
Fashion Faux Pas
As Aretha says - R-E-S-P-E-C-T - show a little respect Dick Cheney.

Cheney attended the 60th Anniversary Memorial Service of the Auschwitz Camps wearing a knit ski hat, military parka and hiking boots. What was he thinking? That maybe he'd get to go to Home Depot afterwards?

PS: It's the same temperature in Krakow, Poland yesterday and today as it is here in the DC/Baltimore area.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:54 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Hmmm - hidden agenda much?
The Bush administration, in a blatant act of "the body's not even cold yet", has decided to abandon efforts to relax media ownership rules, less than a week after FCC Chairman, Michael Powell announced his resignation. Media deregulation was a central agenda of Powell's, and dropping it is a very clear slap at his tenure by the Bush Administration.

But the real reason behind the retreat on this issue, may be more insidious.

Officials said one reason the administration decided not to seek Supreme Court review is that some lawyers were concerned that the case could prompt the justices to review related First Amendment issues in a way that could undermine efforts by the commission to enforce indecency rules against television and radio broadcasters. Over the last year, the agency has issued a record number and size of fines, and has been pressed by some conservative and other advocacy groups to be more aggressive.

Powell had argued that deregulation was needed in light of increasing technologies and the advent of the Internet, which would keep competition healthy, despite inevitable consolidation of large media empires. To be fair, the deregulation package had been opposed by a broad coalition of Democrats and Republicans, but it's defeat is likely to mean even harsher fines for wardrobe malfunctions, the cancellation of Sponge Bob, and banning PBS children's shows that feature happy, well adjusted families.

posted by Broadsheet @ 9:31 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Carnival of the cats
I didn't have time to dig up a Friday cat blog of my own, so I give you Carnival of the Cats, whose theme this week is "Music and Cats".

To see previous Carnival collections go to the Carnival of Cats homepage. Like other Carnival collections, it takes you to a lot of neat sites you may not have been before.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:09 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Blog Overkill
Jack Shafer DOES get it. In an excellent review of last weekend's Blogging, Journalism, and Credibility conference at Harvard, Shafer makes the point that Bloggers might be getting a little too full of themselves in claiming the coming apocalypse of mainstream media. He sites the comparison of Shamberg's proclamation in Guerilla Television over thirty years ago that the advent of portable video devices would be the demise of network news. It never happened.

It never happened because a well defined business / economic model never evolved to support the new technology. This is precisely the point that was made repeatedly at the conference. Without a solid economic model to support blogging, it will enhance and create more "open journalism", but the NYT and Washington Post should not be shaking in their boots just yet.

He makes a good point, that today's journalists are in many ways, paid bloggers. Sure, they don't have the freedom of expression and opinion that us private citizens do, but as Shafer points out:

I think most practicing journalists today are as Webby as any blogger you care to name. Journalists have had access to broadband connections for longer than most civilians, and nearly every story they tackle begins with a Web dump of essential information from Google or a proprietary database such as Nexis or Factiva. They conduct interviews via e-mail, download official documents from .gov sites, check facts, and monitor the competition including blogs the whole while. A few even store as a "favorite" the URL from Technorati that takes them directly to what the blogs are saying about them (here's mine) and talk back. When every story starts on the Web, and every story can be stripped to its digital bits and pumped through wires and over the air, we're all Web journalists.

It may be that the internet has certainly changed society and the way in which we live for the better, and certainly blogging has advanced a new frontier for more voices to be heard, more opinions to be offered, and information travels even faster, but until a sold economic model is developed where those voices can be supported with revenues, they're just more water pressure from the firehose of information already deluging us.

I encourage you to read the entire piece, it's very good.

UPDATE: So is this this piece by Frank Bajak. He succinctly puts it: "[bloggers]are benefiting public discourse and making the journalism ``franchises'' more accountable." He warns media not to ignore them, but to embrace them in getting more information faster, more accurately and more thoroughly, but he cautions that big media is only in danger of becoming a dinosaur if they don't adapt to, and adopt this new media. Yeah - pretty much.

UPDATE#2: Clarification. When I say the economic model failed or was lacking for Shaumberg's video proliferation meltdown, I mean specifically that they had a product with no distribution channels. The networks owned all the bandwidth. Not so with the internet, anyone and everyone with a computer can publish, but now the economic model shifts to getting an audience to read you (hello to the couple of dozen or so that do regularly!), link to you, and make it worth your while from a cost /revenue perspective to do so.

That said, did Jay Rosen and I read the same Slate article today?? I like Jay Rosen a lot generally, and I think he also had a really worthwhile summary of the conference on his website, which I assign you to read as homework. In fact, the part that I thought was the most interesting bit of all at the conference was something Jill Abramson of the NYT noted:
Neither those of us from the mainstream media, especially print, nor you in blogworld, have figured out a business model on the Internet that could pay for and sustain the kind of deep, global news-gathering operation with highly experienced, trained reporters that is the lifeblood of the Times.

Let's face it, while journalists can learn a lot from bloggers, we're linkers, not thinkers - at least not neccessarily original ones for the most part. The political and media bloggers depend on linking to already published (almost exclusively on-line) stories, and then write pithy opinions about them or critique them (this site excluded from the pithy bits). Journalists edit and post, bloggers post and then edit and update.

OK, make your damn point Linda. My point is that in a response to Shafer's article in Slate, Jay slammed Shafer and attacked him on a personal level for lacking decency and making artificial characterizations. Me thinks he doth protest too much. Lighten up man! I for one, didn't read the Shafer article that way AT ALL - and perhaps it is just me, but I felt he simply took one look at a very broad range of issue and opinions presented, and I certainly don't think he mischaracterized anyone personally - least of all Jay Rosen. Jay's characterizations / interpretations of Shafer were equally overstated and unfounded if that's the case. Listen - I think they're both right and had a lot of good things to say. Let it go at that.

The passion of Jay's response reflects the passion that played out in the blogosphere from the moment this conference was announced. (Note to organizers: you can't have a public forum for discussion and then make it "invitation only"). But the level of vitriol and the fracas that this thing produced was amazing. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion at times.

I'm sorry if I've bored everyone to tears on this topic, but I find it absolutely fascinating.

Talk amongst yourselves.

UPDATE#3: In an email to Jeff Jarvis, a reader notes"

I must have read something different because the point I got from the Slate article was simply to not overhype a new medium and accept that change is often incorporated into woolly institutions like The Media. I also got that Dave Winer was being his usual self and perhaps Jeff got a wee bit excited at one point.
The transcripts Shafer points to in his article seem to back up his claims which, again I must say, didn't seem to be negative about blogs at all, just about the importance of seeing change as an inclusive process not necessarily as a revolutionary one.
The follow up from other people doesn't match what I would have expected from the article and the paraphrasing and accusations of dishonesty seem over the top. Is this oversensitivity and bias or some different reality being discussed? I'm not sure.

Yep - exactly.
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:54 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Drunken robins bobbin' along
Apparently, it's not just college kids who go to Florida for the warm weather and to party hearty!
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:49 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Rwanda remembers the Holocaust
Never Again. But it will, and it's happening right now in Darfur - unless this changes:

But many Rwandans who saw UN troops stand aside in 1994 are sceptical that the world would act differently today.

Tom Ndahiro of the Rwandan Human Rights Commission says western countries are still not ready to prevent genocide in African countries - unless their national interests are at stake.

70,000 and counting are dead in Darfur. How many more need to die before someone does something??
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:40 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Philip Johnson, Elder Statesman of U.S. Architecture, Dies at 98
I grew up with the specter of Philip Johnson, Frank Lloyd Wright and others around our house as a kid. My Dad was nominated for the Pritzker Prize one year.

Philip Johnson may have been a son of a gun, but he left a real legacy to both the art and the business model of architecture and large architectural firms.
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:08 PM   10 Editorial Opinions
Modells donate $10 million to create heart institute at Hopkins medical school
Can I just say I'm having a good day?!!

I'm also gonna be mighty busy.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:54 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
The Legacy of a Literary Lion
The Paris Review is undergoing yet another shakeup with the looming departure of Brigid Hughes. The identity crisis taking place at the magazine is reflective of the cultural leadership that Plimpton provided, and that died with him.

Without Plimpton to call the shots, the future of the Review seemed up for grabs...."Everyone is trying to set the tone now, and that's what's causing some of the difficulty."

The board has set up a selection committee, name that has been floated by staffers, sources say, is former New Yorker literary editor Bill Buford. Buford would be on a lot of short lists, I'm sure, says Guinzburg. Also being eyed are former American Scholar editor Anne Fadiman, who has won three national magazine awards, and the author John Jeremiah Sullivan.
Well, I can certainly tell you who WON'T be on the short list!
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:41 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
XM and Sirius merger?
A merger between these two is probably inevitable. A satellite radio receiver was hands down the most popular gift among my family and friends this past Christmas. Everyone from my Dad to my friend Andrew got one, and those that didn't got iPods, which if the Podcasting thing takes off - could also be a boon to satellite radio as well.

As mobile technology in the United States advances, XM and Sirius are hoping the FCC will consider satellite radio as part of the broader industry of delivering music and other content through mobile devices, such as cellphones, say sources.

A merger between XM and Sirius (neither of which is yet profitable) would alleviate a price war for premium content and allow the two companies to save significant amounts of money on marketing costs.

And with the advent and spread of media such as the internet and satellite radio, will the FCC soon become obsolete? One hopes.

UPDATE: I find it amusing that CNN links to the NY Post as breaking this story.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:41 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Stella Awards - Mea Culpa
Thanks to a personal comment from Orac, this is a humbling example of having a blog for a mere 2 weeks.

I have deleted a recent post regarding outrageous medical lawsuits known as the "Stella Awards" because it was (1) a hoax, and (2) it was one of those internet e-mails that sounded too good to be true.

In all matters of fairness and disclosure, I will link to:Snopes for full disclosure.

Just as I was quick to forward this to my e-mail list of friends in the past, this is a perfect example of the impact and relative importance of weblogs and the responsibility that accompanies them in posting stories that have been vetted. I stand corrected and I apologize.

Learning as I go.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:05 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
Let them eat cake
If Krispy Kreme really wants to turn their company around, they might consider paying their new CEO and President something a little less than $1.58 and $1.45 million per year repectively. Sheeshhh.

And this is for a "part time" position for the CEO!:

The hourly rates are subject to adjustment semiannually and don't include reimbursement for "reasonable out-of-pocket expenses," Krispy Kreme said. Cooper will remain as interim CEO of Enron and has said he plans to spend about half his time on Krispy Kreme.

Did we learn nothing from the Enron scandal?

posted by Broadsheet @ 11:12 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Denial is not a river in Egypt.....
Grand Rounds is up over at "A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure". Link to the article over at Orac regarding patient denial. Strong stuff.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:56 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Monday, January 24, 2005
Mainstream Media goofs again
I'm being generous calling the UK Guardian "mainstream media", and I'm sure they're trying to act in good faith, but the fact is, they report on this:
The arthritis drug Reminyl is being investigated by regulators in the wake of a recent trial that showed that patients taking the drug suffered three times the death rate.
Reminyl is an Alzheimer's medication - NOT an arthritis med. Come on guys - even the name SOUNDS like an Alzheimer's med - "Reminyl" - remember?
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:31 PM   6 Editorial Opinions
I'll be right back....
I wasn't going to comment on the death of Johnny Carson, only because I didn't think I could add to any of the coverage or comments flooding the internet and airwaves. But then I thought, there are 2 things not being mentioned.

First, how many Americans of a certain age, owe their very existence, or at least, had Johnny Carson present in the room, at the moment they were conceived? Or, years later, as he was present at the moment we came of age under similar circumstances? I'm guessing the number runs in the tens of millions over a couple of generations in the thirty years that he was on the air.

The second thought may be an overstatement (something I've never done - trust me), but Johnny Carson was really the first blogger of sorts. Every evening you could tune in, and he would put his own personal twist on whatever was going on at that particular moment in time. Politics, people, animals, humor, local and national news, quirky stories,...whatever everyone seemed to be talking about - he touched on it, and made it his own. In doing so, he brought a lot of obscure, important or humorous issues into the mainstream. He made the sad and serious something approachable, and skewered everyone and everything - with taste. Jon Stewart has commandeered this idea:
[Carson] knew when a bit had bombed so badly that it could only be salvaged by insulting the audience; when it had just missed and could be goosed into working; and when it had killed and could be ridden triumphantly into shore. (The only current host with the speed and agility of Carson in his prime is Jon Stewart, who goes politically where Carson feared to tread.)

...and so have Johnny's successors - Leno, Letterman, Arsenio, etc... But Johnny was the first, classiest, and I think there is no doubt - that he was also the best. The difference between the age of Carson, and today's blogosphere, is that instead of having one - we now have millions to choose from.

It's a good thing.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:06 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
Career Calling
Career Calling

Hat Tip to Kos - click on image for larger view
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:44 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
The blizzard claims a victim
Ahh - man, this is sad news out of Boston. David Nyhan, 64, collapses and dies.

We're very busy here today with our share of snow shoveling heart related patients as well.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:24 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Blizzard dumps snow on NFL playoffs
Monday morning UPDATE: Sigh....Never mind. It was nice while it lasted. Congrats Patriots - they kicked my Steeler's ass. Damn, I watched a lot of football yesterday.

Do I even NEED to explain just how awesome it would be to have two Pennsylvania teams vying for the Superbowl??!! The Stillers vs the Iggles. Beautiful.

Having lived in both towns, and appreciating the cultural dichotomy between Western Pennsyltucky and Eastern Pennsylchussetts - the rivalry is right up there with the Dems and Republicans, and equally as nasty.

NFL Playoffs
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:32 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Blogging, Journalism & Credibility
I was only able to tune in for an hour or two on Saturday morning, but the conference was interesting to say the least. Transcripts, podcasts, and links to people commenting and live blogging the event are on the website, but I haven't had the time to sift through them all.

David Weinberger's comments were very good:

As Weinberger says, the interests of the people communicating on the web will drive the evolution. But if this "interest" largely represents the interest of middle-class, white, affluent, early adopters, we are in danger of creating a feedback loop that would become less and less inclusive of people who were not in on the conversation at the beginning.

The "echo chamber" idea has garnered a lot of press and interest both in mainstream media and in blogging, and it was played out well in the conference.

The issue I was probably most fascinated by, and the one that Jeff Jarvis was right to describe as "the elephant sitting in the room" during the discussion, was the business, or economic model, of blogging. (A) is there a successful business model to be built? - Dan Gillmor is obviously betting this is true, as are the venture capitalists backing his Grassroots Citizen Media venture, and (B) can current mainstream media like the NYT survive and compete with the blogosphere if they don't adapt their current business model to meet these challenges? Also, issues with this new economic model bleed quite readily into legal models as they relate to intellectual property rights. Is a license from Creative Commons enough to protect people's ideas and opinions?

I also enjoyed the discussion on the notion that perhaps mainstream media should use the blogosphere to their advantage by linking to blogs and blog posts that they have vetted out journalistically. Again, the business issues of paying bloggers for links, and the ethical issues related to that one can go round and round (and did).

I learned a lot about Wikinews, and Wikipedia that I didn't know before - even though I use these sites a lot. I also learned a lot about Podcasting.

All in all - without having thoroughly read all the transcripts and opinions, I think the conference raised a lot of good issues and ideas, and certainly generated a lot of buzz. I'm sure there will be a lot more said about it, and I'm sure it generated a lot of follow up discussions and research issues.

Stay tuned. The future is now, and I think it's pretty damn cool.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:07 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Snow Buddha
This is a Snow Buddha that my sister and I made over Christmas at home. I hope to get out and play in the snow today, but it's REALLY cold and windy out there now, and the snow is so light and fluffy, it's just blowing and drifting everywhere.

posted by Broadsheet @ 8:52 AM   5 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Write your name in the snow
Come on guys - you know you want to!

Write your name in the snow.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:48 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Shortcomings and Comfort Food
Well, leave it to a bunch of male meterologists to promise us 10 inches and only deliver 7.

Still - it's very pretty, and very quiet. The snow is very light and dry since it's so cold outside.

Was SO nice to spend a day doing nothing but reading, surfing (tuned in to the live webcast of the Harvard blog/journalism conference - will comment later), chatting on the phone to friends and family, and cooking.

Tomorrow, I'll get outside and get some photos. Lord knows the city won't be around to plow our streets until days later. We're stuck.

There is a rack of lamb in the oven with a caramelized shallot and thyme crust, a good bottle of shiraz opened, two movies ready to go, and my all time favorite comfort food: my recipe for porcini and gorgonzola risotto is on the stove. A fire in the fireplace and two cats. Life is good.

Well, except for the 10 inch thing.
posted by Broadsheet @ 6:41 PM   5 Editorial Opinions
The recipe for Bacalhau fritters on Carnival of the Recipes, made me remember the recipe I got for this dish in Portugal.

Salt Cod, or Bacalhau, is essentially the national dish of Portugal. It's sold in the abundant markets everywhere from Lagos to Oporto, and is fervently consumed in huge amounts. The Portuguese are proud to claim that there are over 1,000 ways to prepare this fish, but this is my favorite - served in a restaurant in the Old Town of Lisbon. There is a very well-known street in Lisbon (close to the river), called Rua do Arsenal (Arsenal Street), but it is better known as Rua dos Bacalhau (Codfish Street) both for the different stores that sell it and the smell in the air around them.

Bacalhau A La Viscaina

1 lb Potatoes, small new scrubbed, boiled, peeled cut into 3/4" chunks
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 Large Onions, peeled, chop fine, makes 2 cups
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
4 medium Tomatoes, coarsely chopped about 2 lbs, or two 14.4oz cans of tomatoes
1/4 lb Ham diced
1/4 cup Parsley, Italian, chopped
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Cinnamon, ground
pinch Ground Cloves
1 lb Salt Cod
4 Pickled chiles Jalapeno sliced into thin rings (or 2 fresh jalapenos)
4 tbsp Liquid from pickled chiles (or red wine vinegar if using fresh chiles)
12 kalamata olives sliced in half

6 Servings

Soak the Bacalhau for 24 hours, changing the water every four hours, this is critical, or you'll end up with a salty mess.
Gently rinse, to remove the salt.
Do not break up fish.
Boil the potatoes till just tender when pierced with a fork, 15-20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, reduce the heat to very low and slowly saute about one hour. Stir occasionally, watching that the onion doesn't burn.
A few dribbles more of oil may be necessary.
Turn up the heat, add the garlic and tomato and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes thick and the liquid is substantially reduced, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the ham, parsley, pepper, cinnamon and cloves, then gently stir the cod, potatoes, jalapenos and their juice into the tomato mixture.
Transfer to a 1 to 2 quart casserole, preferably clay (the Portuguese sell special pots just for this purpose), sprinkle with the olives and bake for 30 minutes at 300F
Bacalao a la Viscaina can be made ahead and re-heated in a 300F oven for 20 minutes or until thoroughly hot.

Good French bread and a good red wine (preferably from Rioja) are essential accompaniments.

posted by Broadsheet @ 11:10 AM   10 Editorial Opinions
And finally....
WILL Saletan (thanks Mark) at Slate has a really nice examination and summary of the Larry Summers controversy, and it's the last thing I'll say on the issue.

The only implication I'd draw immediately is that it may prove easier to equalize gender representation in math and science in high school than in college, and easier to equalize it among students than among professors. Equal representation should be a goal that prods us toward equal opportunity, but the two mustn't be confused. Last year Harvard offered only four of 32 tenured positions in the arts and sciences to women.

While I don't think Summer's comments were as outraging as first reports might have lead you to believe, I do think that as the President of Harvard, he could have used more common sense regarding his position and how it is viewed, in making them. Having the President of Harvard stand in front of an audience and give even the hint of discouragement to women in academics is poor judgement at best and in poor taste at least.

Oh, and hop over to Ann Althouse and read her take on this too.

I don't oppose legitimate scientific research into biological differences or think people should be gasping with horror at offhand speculation about biological sex differences, but we can properly demand that presidents of universities do a first-rate job of speaking in public about such things.

Yeah - what she said.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:28 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Or Nuclear Winter if you believe the news reports. The threat of the first major snowfall of the season here on the East Coast turns the local newstations into ratings whores. Live! On the scene! 24 hour coverage!

It's not even snowing yet.

Last night, I was forced to run all the errands I so carefully procrastinated about all week. The line at the video store was 20 people deep, and the pickings were mighty slim. I mean, I was forced to rent "Troy", OK? Wasting an hour or three watching Brad and Colin isn't the worst way to weather a storm I suppose. Anyway - I come out the door, and there's the local ABC affiliate shining a massive camera light in my face interviewing people "stocking up" for today's natural disaster. I should note that this particular shopping plaza is near "TV Hill" - a high spot in the local geography with a plethora of radio and TV towers and stations planted on it, so it was tres convenient for these folks to schlep over and check things out.

On to the grocery store. Madhouse. No milk - at least not skim. Daft people leaving shopping carts in the middle of the aisle while they peruse the selection of frozen pizzas. I thought it somewhat amusing that the largest crowds were in front of the ice cream freezers. I mean - it's a SNOW storm, not a heat wave. Whatever.

Finally make it out the door and - guess what? Channel 11! The NBC affiliate is running their own gauntlet of interviews and peering into people's carts. Luckily, they were mesmerized by a family of four they were interviewing and I was able to sneak by in the background on that one.

On to the wine shop - no cameras there thankfully.

Live! On the scene! First snowflakes are falling - it's 8:50 a.m.

Time to make coffee and light a fire.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:35 AM   5 Editorial Opinions
Friday, January 21, 2005
Blogging, Journalism & Credibility - Webcast & IRC
Since we're supposed to get a big snow here tomorrow, it might be a good time to tune into the Blogging, Journalism & Credibility Webcast and check out what the pundits have to say.

There's been a lot of controversy over this conference from the left wing bloggers - primarily since none of them were invited. Add to that the uproar over the Zephyr Teachout and WSJ smear article involving Kos and comparisons to the Armstrong Williams blogola scandal, and they've been pretty vocal in their criticism.

Should be interesting.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:56 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
The Carnival of the Recipes-- 23rd Edition
The Carnival of the Recipes is up over at Caltech girl. The Bacalao fritters sound good. I fell in love with Bacalao on a trip to Lisbon, Portugal one summer.

And while it may not be Haggis - there is a recipe for Scottish Meatloaf, Campbell. ;-)
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:54 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
And more...
Tim Worstall has two good posts up on his blog. The first one comments on the Larry Summer's controversy, and the second one, is an interesting observation on the effects that blogs may have on the upcoming UK elections (as well as a good primer for us Yanks trying to stay abreast of the UK politics).

UPDATE: I fixed the links. Not that anyone used them. Well, OK, maybe one of you tried.... :-)
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:47 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Scientists Find Sex Differences in Brain
".....some studies have shown that women may use more parts of their brain at once while men are more inclined to have focused responses."

Ummm, yeah, well, this would go a long way in explaing the singular focus on things like beer, sex, and football.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:28 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Blogging Cats
Thanks boys, very helpful. Now, move!

Happy Friday.
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:53 AM   4 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, January 20, 2005
The Transcript
I had to visit some of our satellite clinics this morning and was driving on the Beltway during the inaugural address. I nearly drove off the road a couple of times. The hyperbole and hypocrisy were almost laughable. America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling (??!!)

Yes - he actually said that with a straight face (or voice - I was driving).

Other gobsmacks:

America's influence is not unlimited, but fortunately for the oppressed, America' influence is considerable and we will use it confidently in freedom's cause.

Fortunate for who?

We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people.

Everyone - repeat after me: ABU G'HRAIB

All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.

Unless, of course, you live in Africa, and then you're on your own.

In America's ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character, on integrity, and tolerance toward others, and the rule of conscience in our own lives.

Unless, of course, you're gay and want to get married. THAT would be wrong.

Wake me up in four years....
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:25 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
I'm squishing your head!
Wonkette : heh!
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:15 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Most depressing day of the year
I think they got it wrong by a few days...

Tomorrow sucks.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:58 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Long cold winter nights
I'm not sure what this says about Icelandic and Norwegian men, but it can't be good.
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:33 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Home Court Advantage
Sorry folks - this issue is near and dear to my heart - pardon the pun. An article over at American Medical News, discusses efforts in my industry to avert a shortage in Cardiologists.

I can remember a time when the words "shortage of" and "cardiologists" were not used in the same sentence unless linked with the words "jobs for". How times change. One controversial proposal would involve the creation of a cardiology track which would eliminate the third year of an internal medicine residency.

Right now residents spend 3 years in an internal medicine program, followed by a 3 year fellowship in cardiology, followed by a year in a subspecialty (like Cath, EP, Echo, Etc.). Hopkins has added a fourth year in our fellowship for a full year of dedicated research. So AFTER you graduate from a 4 year medical school, you can look forward to another 6-7 years of post graduate training before you head out on your own (in academic medicine anyway). The ACC wants to replace that with a 5 year residency program which cuts out the 3rd year of training in the high-tech cardiology procedures such as cath and electrophysiology.

The ACC says that:

The money saved by cutting out that year could be used to train more cardiology residents or fellows, according to the ACC. More cardiologists would be turned out over time, and such a program would attract medical graduates who might be turned off by either the length of the six-year program or the high-intensity lifestyle of a proceduralist.

But the cardiologists' gain would be the internists' loss, Dr. Fye conceded. Residents would spend two years in internal medicine instead of three, leaving internal medicine residencies short on third-year housestaff who handle the bulk of patient care.
Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

In the meantime, if you know any good cardiologists - send 'em my way, I'm hiring.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:10 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
The Hillbilly Coronation
The masterminds at Jib Jab are at it again. A bit of humor in an otherwise humorless day tomorrow. Click to watch The Second Term
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:23 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Aw come on! I was only kidding!

Jon Stewart to Replace Dan Rather?

I don't know what Les Moonves is smoking lately, but at least Nick Denton thinks this is a bad idea too, and when Gawker thinks it's a bad idea, you can be pretty sure it is.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:29 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Pimp Juice.
I had to work late last night to prepare for a 7:00 a.m. presentation this morning, so I never accomplished any of the errands I suggested I might in the post below.

But, seeing as I was out of both cat food and human food, I stopped at the little Korean market around the corner from my house on the way home. It's a nice little shop. They have a little deli, carry all the basic necessities of food and sundries, and also stock a decent, if not high end, selection of wines and liquor. It's run by a really sweet Korean fellow named alex, and what I assume are an assortment of his relatives since only Alex speaks English.

I also like the store because it's such a melting pot. Art students from MICA, law students from UMBC, gays, yuppies, pensioners, every ethnicity and socioeconomic strata you can think of, and the local police hang out in the deli for coffee and sandwiches. Anyway - I made my selections, and I'm standing in line for checkout and I see a poster, which at first I thought was a joke - or at least a parody of the popular energy drink "Red Bull". The poster featured the rap star, Nelly, promoting Pimp Juice.

The website even links to promotional articles from CNN and an interview with Nelly and Rush Limbaugh.

I know I was tired and it was late, but this was just a little surreal.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:41 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
CBS May Use Multi-Anchor Format
Hmmmm - this is interesting.

Replace Rather with a series of "guest anchors"? Why not just steal an idea from "American Idol" and have "American Anchor" where amateur Cronkite wannabees try their hand at reading the evening news?

I dunno. On the one hand, I don't think I would tune in to see someone as perky as Katie Couric every night, but on the other, I don't want an endless stream of talking heads either. Remember when Regis had to replace Kathy Lee? Ugh. Or when Barbara Walters had an opening on "The View"?

I just don't think CBS has anybody in their stable right now that's ready to step up to the plate. Maybe it's time they did a little cherry picking from another network. I mean, there's always Jon Stewart - right?
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:33 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Baby it's cold outside
I usually take the Metro to work. The Metro stop is a 2 block walk from my house, I go three stops, and voila - it let's me off directly at work. My commute is a whopping 12 minutes or so.

But - it was 9 degrees Fahrenheit this morning with a windchill making it feel like zero and the "high" today is 20. That's when the heated seats in the Jetta seem very attractive. I rationalized the thought of paying $10 to park for the day in return for heated seats by thinking I could accomplish all the errands I so successfully ignored all weekend like grocery shopping, returning DVDs, the dry cleaning, and mailing some gifts and correspondence at the post office after work. So I packed my lunch (leftover Korean delivery - why cook when it's a phone call away?), gathered the laundry, found the DVDs, got the packages together, went out to heat up the car, and fed the cats.

The car hadn't been touched in over a week. I simply haven't had the need to go anywhere that I couldn't walk or take the Metro (I had a lift to a social event or two), and hence another reminder why I don't need a new car. My locks were frozen shut on the driver's side so I had to get the car open from the passenger side, and the car sounded really annoyed at being awakended in such cold weather (much the way I felt this morning).

Went back in the house - fed the monsters, and got in my nice toasty car with the heated seats.

Of course, I left my lunch, the laundry, the packages and the DVD's on the kitchen counter......

Oh well, I hope my housekeeper likes Korean food....
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:57 AM   8 Editorial Opinions
Grand Rounds XVII
As promised, Medical Grand Rounds is up over at Waking up Costs. this week's theme is medical errors. Read at your own risk....
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:43 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Dead Man Walking
Do I even need to explain how I feel about THIS???

The president of Harvard University has caused a stir among academics by suggesting women have less "innate ability" at science and maths than men.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:13 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Monday, January 17, 2005
This sums it all up - for today at least...
Via Instapundit:
On the anniversary of Dr. King's birth, and putting aside all my partisan views, it's worth noting that tomorrow, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will open hearings on the nomination of Dr. Condoleeza Rice to succeed General Colin Powell as Secretary of State.

It's a stunning juxtaposition that offers those who knew King, lived that history and ponder his legacy an opportunity to wonder: How might they explain Rice's rise to him? And what would he make of it?

She is, after all, the literal fulfillment of King's dream -- a woman judged not by the color of her skin but by the content of her character. She is also living proof that King's eulogy was present, that "these children -- unoffending, innocent and beautiful -- did not die in vain."

Go get 'em girl......

I may not agree with / or admire, your politics or policy, Condi, but I do admire you for your strength, intelligence, grace and loyalty.

The same way I admired your predecessor, Colin Powell.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:31 PM   9 Editorial Opinions
Marjorie Williams (1958-2005)
Damn.... I knew Majorie through friends, and had met her on a couple of occasions at DC cocktail parties and events, but I can't actually call her a personal friend. I first met her at a party or two back in the late 90's when my social circle was centered around the Washington Post, State Dept., and World Bank types.

Despite my brief encounters with her, and knowing her colleagues, I can't imagine a more fitting tribute than Jack Shafer's obit.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:50 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
This is News?
BBC reports that at least 2.5 billion people have been affected by natural disasters over the past 10 years - an increase of 60% over the previous decade, the UN says.

I'm not sure why this is a surprise given the population growth data.
The 2000 growth rate of 1.4 percent, when applied to the world's 6.1 billion population, yields an annual increase of about 85 million people. Because of the large and increasing population size, the number of people added to the global population will remain high for several decades, even as growth rates continue to decline.

Between 2000 and 2030, nearly 100 percent of this annual growth will occur in the less developed countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, whose population growth rates are much higher than those in more developed countries. Growth rates of 1.9 percent and higher mean that populations would double in about 36 years, if these rates continue.

I'm not saying this isn't a serious issue or that we shouldn't be concerned and attempt to address it, but we shouldn't be surprised and should have been planning for it long before this.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:05 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
The New Yorker Style.
I got a nice e-mail from Ann Althouse today, thanking me for commenting on her recent Maureen Dowd posts.

On her site today is a hilarious send up of the New Yorker's overly literate style, and I have to say I couldn't agree more.

Somebody, somewhere along the line at that magazine, a long time ago, decided the writer has to paint a picture for the reader. So whether you're interviewing a movie star or a scientist, you've got to give us some words about the person's face, what the room was like, what food was consumed, whether a dog trotted into the room. What was the reason for this stylistic policy? To thin down difficult material with easy-to-consume trivia? The readers are going to skim anyway, so what the hell? Make the nonfiction in the magazine more like the fiction for an overall, classy, literary effect?

Read the last bit about Judge Richard Posner - I was cracking up. Poor man, I personally can't stand the guy, (look, he's brilliant and accomplished, but I disagree with his views and politics as they relate to healthcare, morality and ethics vehemently), but no one deserves this....
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:42 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Corporate Director Accountability
Kos reports about a precedent setting ruling regarding WorldCom, where the NY State Comptroller, Alan Hevesi ruled that 10 of the former corporate directors will have to pay $18 million of their own personal money as a settlement in the case.

Kos goes on to note that this is precedent setting, and I agree, but it's not the first time.

When I worked for Hahnemann Univ. in the 90's, it was sold to the Allegheny Health Education and Research Foundation (AHERF), whose CEO, Sharif Abdelhak, and three directors were all held personally accountable for malfeasance and misuse of charitable funds. This was the largest non-profit bankruptcy in the history of the country in the late 1990s. AHERF was the parent company of Allegheny General Hospital, then Pittsburgh's largest hospital.

Among many other shady financial dealings, the thieving CEO and CFO -- Sharif Abdelhak and David McConnell -- diverted some $50 million in restricted funds from two of AHERF's smaller affiliate hospitals (Forbes Health System and Allegheny Valley Hospital) to pay off a loan from a consortium led by Mellon Bank. The story is unbelievable and can be read here.

Abdelhak received a, 11 1/2 - 23 month jail sentence in a minimum security federal prison that allowed him to leave during the day and only report at night, and he was released after serving only 9 months.

And Martha got 5 months of 24/7 time for lying? Spare me.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:16 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, January 16, 2005
One million Rwandans to face killing charges in village courts
This is timely given the previous post. It would appear that this horror is far, far, from being over.

I have no idea how they can actually prosecute this number of people.

In the 10 years since it was set up to try the masterminds of the genocide, the tribunal has only indicted 81 people for genocide-related crimes.

Twenty people have been convicted and three have been acquitted.

They have a lot of work to do.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:48 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Hotel Rwanda
As noted in Friday's post, a group of 7 of us got together for dinner at a new Ethiopian restaurant a few blocks from my neighborhood prior to attending a screening of "Hotel Rwanda".

The food was good, the place was packed (and we were a bit cramped as a large party since they do not take reservations), and service, while pleasant, was evolutionarily slow. Normally not an issue on a Saturday evening, but we had a movie to catch, and the line outside the theatre snaked for about a block when we arrived where we met up with 3 other friends.

There's not a lot I can say about this movie that hasn't been said in the reviews other than you really, really, owe it to yourself to see it. You can toss all the adjectives at it that you want: moving, important, gripping, heart-breaking, touching, horrifying, etc..., but in the end, it's an experience, not a movie. Don Cheadle portrays an amazing human being, and does it beautifully with all the strength and dignity it requires.

The thing that gets to me most about war movies - in particular, those that portray genocide - is the brutalizing effect it has on children. The orphans created and left behind from this horror dwarf the numbers from the tsunami. An entire generation was destroyed.

As one review noted: "...although "Hotel Rwanda" has a grim backdrop, it's also a stunning testimony to the power of just one individual. The film defines how, using cunning and courage, a person can change the course of history -- and stand up to the inhumanity in our midst.

Take tissues - this movie will break your heart and make you think.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:56 PM   5 Editorial Opinions
Blogging, Journalism & Credibility
I've been following this for the last couple of days, and while it's no Rathergate, it's REALLY getting childish.

Take the time to link to some of the articles. Much better yet, the eye raising stuff is in the comments. You'll be shaking your head. I mean, some of these people are trying to "legitimize" blogging as journalism, but can't even act like respectful, professional adults.

This debate is doing nothing to promote the credibility or respect of the blogosphere. As Instapundit notes - the conference is becoming a self-parody.

That said - you can bet I'll be tuning in to the cat fight.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:08 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Tryst turns torrid
If it weren't for bad luck, they'd have no luck at all.

Money quote: "This is so embarrassing," said Leo. "We had never done that before and now she's in the hospital and my cat's dead."
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:49 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Prague Mayor, Disguised as Tourist, Overcharged by Cabbie
This actually happened to me. My sister and I were headed to Prague from Berlin a few years ago. She was in Germany working on research for her dissertation, and I was dating a guy in Vienna at the time.

We got a late train out of Berlin, and by the time we got to Prague, it was 2:00 a.m., and all the local trams and buses were long since shut down. We had been warned about the cab overcharge issue, and decided to negotiate a rate up front. We also got another guy on the train to split it with us, since his hotel was a few blocks from the old canal boat B&B we were staying in on the river. We set a rate of something like $20 and agreed to split it. Oh - that was the other thing. At 2:00 a.m., the currency exchange was closed, so all we had were marks and $$. The $$ was very strong that summer (unlike the ass kicking I took with the exchange rate in London back in November), and the drivers were anxious to get paid in US currency.

Well, we get to the first hotel and the driver wanted $20 from EACH of us, and then another $20 from my sister and I to take us on to our hotel, claiming it was now a separate trip. (Keep in mind that this conversation is being negotiated with my sister's fluent German, my pidgin Russian and the cab driver's mix of Turkish / Czech / German / Russian).

Long story short. We gave him the original $20 period. He angrily dumped our luggage out of the trunk onto the street at 2:30 a.m. and sped away. Despite the language barriers - I understood his rant perfectly at this point. "Bitch" is a pretty universal word apparently. The guy we were with offered to let us crash in his room until morning, but we decided to keep going. We had to haul all our luggage, not exactly sure of where we were going (it's a boat right? So we headed toward the river), for about a mile and a half on a hot summer night through the middle of Old Town.

Anyway, we get to the boatel and the night clerk insists he needs our passports to "register" us with the police. I don't know about you, but having my passport leave my sight when I'm traveling abroad is not something I am particularly fond of. Now it's after 3:30 a.m. and we were exhausted, so we gave them up - after I got the name and ID of the desk clerk since he would be gone in the morning.

After this inauspicious start, we really had a fantastic time in Prague. The boatel was terrific. We had a great view of the castle and fed the swans from our window on the river every morning after breakfast. It's a magical city with wonderful atmosphere, architecture, history and people. And you can't beat the fact that you could get a liter of REALLY good Czech pilsner for about $.75.

Just don't grab a cab.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:17 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Tallest, Fastest Roller Coaster on Earth
OH man, I am SO going to ride this!

Kingda Ka's tower stands 151 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty and dwarfs London's Big Ben.

Kingda Ka will shatter existing world records for speed and height, launching from 0 to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds, and reaching a maximum height of 456 feet.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:20 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday, January 14, 2005
The Gay Emancipator?

When will we be able to judge historical figures based soley on their legacy and their contributions to society without salaciously delving into their personal or private lives??

What matter would it possibly make that Lincoln was bisexual (what's worse - a mentally ill, bi-polar wife? or being gay? ummmm), or that Eleanor Roosevelt was a lesbian, as opposed to FDR being in a wheelchair? None of these issues had anything to do whatsoever with their respective contributions or legacy.

It's every bit as outrageous and unacceptable as reviling JFK and Clinton for their infidelities (Were they stupid? Yes. Affect the Presidency? Not so much, and certainly no more than what goes on in day to day life - grow up people. What ultimately affected their legacy was the media inquisition into these issues).

I'm much more concerned about the policy issues and day-to-day decisions that they made/make, and in may cases are influenced by, religious and moral beliefs and tendencies as opposed to sexual ones, and I do not think that is acceptable either - perhaps even less so. (yes - this is messy - so is art). And yet, this great country was based on the fact that those freedoms are accepted, recognized, and protected. When will we add sexual freedoms and rights to that list? Perhaps the most private and least threatening of all? I'm just saying.

Unless a physical condition, affliction, or relationship, can be conclusively SHOWN or PROVEN to have affected or significantly influenced someone's ability to carry out their office. LEAVE THEM ALONE.

And have some respect for the dead while you're at it.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:57 PM   6 Editorial Opinions A Disaster Creates Mass News Agency
My good friend, Steve McGookin, has posted his latest column over at

As usual, he makes very good observations about the impact that media, the internet, and other new technology had in both covering the recent tsunami disaster, and in helping to raise funds.

One item not mentioned in Steve's article, was the impact of cell phones and their usefulness in text messaging during the disaster. It was through this medium, that I discovered that one of my best friends, who I had just visited in London (in addition to the article's author), was alive and well on Holiday in Bangkok just hours after the earthquake - and before anyone realized the devastation it had/was about to cause. It was also how I was able to keep her up to date over the next week as the disaster's enormity became all too apparent and she was traveling down the coast of Vietnam with limited access to English newspapers and TV broadcasts (and for a news junkie like her - it was real withdrawal).

SMS messaging was also critical in helping loved ones communicate with family members after the disaster, and a number of relief agencies were distributing cell phones in the region at various locations, just for this purpose.

Anyway - enjoy the article. He's always an interesting read and a very bright guy.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:17 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday Cat Blogging
Yeah - those would be the CLEAN clothes. Thanks a lot. Pumpkin "helps" me put away the laundry.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:46 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Carnival of the Recipes
This week's Carnival of the Recipes is up courtesy of One Happy Dog Speaks, and links to my Kedgeree recipe!

posted by Broadsheet @ 1:05 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Hotel Rwanda Movie Invitation - Saturday, 1/15
E-mail me @ to RSVP and for more details

Dukem Restaurant

Charles Theater

Hotel Rwanda Movie Invitation
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:50 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, January 13, 2005
William Shatner - Has Been
Oh. My. God.

Play the Sneak Peak.

Joe Jackson, Aimee Man, Ben Folds....
posted by Broadsheet @ 7:14 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
Free the Grapes!
Free the Grapes

Uncork Free trade!

Free the Grapes! supports augmenting, not replacing, the current three-tier system with the controls and regulations necessary to respect local laws, to avoid underage access and to provide provisions to make tax payments. We think it's wrong that the distributors are telling consumers which wines they can and cannot enjoy. America's 2,100 wineries produce over 10,000 new wines each vintage, more wines than distributors can stock and sell. Less than 5% of wine production is ever likely to be shipped directly to consumers.

Wouldn't it be nice to go to and order wine?

posted by Broadsheet @ 4:59 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
More Fuel on the Fire
Maureen Dowd picks up where Ann Althouse left off last week:

"As Dr. Stephanie Brown, the lead author of the study, summed it up for reporters: 'Powerful women are at a disadvantage in the marriage market because men may prefer to marry less-accomplished women.' Men think that women with important jobs are more likely to cheat on them.

'The hypothesis,' Dr. Brown said, 'is that there are evolutionary pressures on males to take steps to minimize the risk of raising offspring that are not their own.' Women, by contrast, did not show a marked difference in their attraction to men who might work above or below them."

Sigh....this is so depressing.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:47 PM   9 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Pittsburgh: A Big Happy Company Town
Let's go Steelers!!

My home town team :-)
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:04 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
This really deserves it's own post......
Welcome to the sport of Haggis Hurling.

A demonstration sport at the 2004 Olympics.

The present World Record for Haggis Hurling has been held by Alan Pettigrew for over 18 years. Hardly surprising if you consider he threw a 1lb 8oz haggis an astonishing 180' 10'' on the island of Inchmurrin on Loch Lomond in August 1984.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:48 AM   6 Editorial Opinions
Ellen MacArthur rounds Cape Horn
This girl is my hero. She's gonna pull this off - I'm certain of it. She is already the fastest woman to sail around the globe - and will soon be the fastest PERSON to do so!! All at the age of 28. She was one of Time magazine's Heroes of the Year for 2004. You can say that again. à donf Ellen!!

You can follow her progress and see her most recent video feeds here.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:01 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Cha Ching....
So: Saturday morning was a dark-cold-pouring-rain-after-the-holidays-no-excuse-to-get-out-of-bed-before noon- kinda day. A true "read some of the stuff you got for Xmas, dammit !" kinda day (will post on these later).

This actually means - try to hide under the comforter from the cats between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00, and then make coffee, head to the study, and catch up on e-mail, blogs, and my Russian.

So...... I'm drinking coffee, surfing Car Max (максимум автомобиля - see? I was studying my Russian!!!) and fantasizing about a BMW 325ci, to replace the '97 Jetta with 72,000 miles on it, that's been paid for since 2000. (note - I take the Metro to work and this is the third Jetta I've owned - dating back to 1988 - yes, - I'm that old. )

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the current car - other than the fact that it's a '97.

While I was fantasizing a new car, the phone rang, and it was Kevin from the company that installed my windows last spring. You see, I got such "good" (read- really $$$$) windows, I could only afford to get the windows in the back of the house replaced last spring, but had the presence of mind to lock in the pricing to get the remainder of the windows in the house done during the next 12 months.

Wouldn't you know they would call while I was car shopping? During a downpour?

Given that my kitchen window was draining into a bucket, I quietly said "Yes, Please..." to Kevin and closed the browser to максимум автомобиля ....

posted by Broadsheet @ 11:23 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Carnival of the Recipes and Grand Rounds
Carnival of the Recipes is up. This collection of recipes from bloggers will be a weekly feature of this blog. So will the feature Grand Rounds, which is a collection of what's going on in Medicine and Healthcare blogs each week.

posted by Broadsheet @ 10:01 AM   9 Editorial Opinions
Monday, January 10, 2005
NASA - Get Ready for the Largest Demolition Derby on the Planet
An iceberg the size of Long Island is set to collide with a glacier in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica by this weekend. Cool!

Yes, I am a geek.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:24 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
The Latest from Baghdad
Dear friends of mine, Alison and Robert (I bought my house from them) , are currently stationed at the American Embassy in Baghdad. Bob is the Sr. Political Liaison for Negroponte, and is one of the top Arabists in the State Dept. Alison is the Sr. Operations Manager and has the thankless task of trying to make sure there are enough people and resources for the Embassy to function. They've been in Baghdad since the Embassy opened last July.

A Baghdad exchange I wanted to share - these two are heroes in my book:

I don't know how Bob stands it. I keep my head happily in the sand and hum my little hum as I stay in my lane... My work is going great as I figure out how to make life and work a little better for my clients each day.

Bob, on the other hand... It was a terrible, terrible day when the Governor of Baghdad Province was killed last week. Bob knew him very well. He says the man was the best and the brightest - a true Iraqi hero. He'd been attacked three or four times before, and left a wife and two young children. One of Bob's colleagues, who was here during CPA, had appointed the gentleman to his post. Andy was so upset he had to leave work for a couple of hours.

It's very hard to watch good people who you've worked alongside die. Two of Bob's other contacts were kidnapped a couple of days ago; no word yet on their fate.

Bob keeps right on going, just like the Energizer Bunny. Given an absolutely impossible task, he works away, maintains perspective (everything from his sense of humor to his fair and honest analyses), and continues to impress. People I barely know have stopped me in the corridors to tell me how much they enjoyed and learned from Bob when he briefed them; marvel at his cool and camaraderie under stress; explain how he was able to give an outstanding press interview in Arabic at two hours' notice; and compliment his leadership.

The job is extremely satisfying. The task is ridiculous. I wouldn't be here if I didn't fundamentally believe in our system at the macro level, but I do, and I am, and it affords me unreasonable joy.

Love, Alison

posted by Broadsheet @ 2:34 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Too little, too late
"Myopic Zeal"? Yeah, you could say that, although "arrogance" was pretty overwhelming too. Now, if only Dan Rather would announce a date for his departure. (UPDATE - it's March 9th - sorry)

I must say - it's rather sad that his career ended on this note.

(CBS) Four CBS News employees, including three executives, have been ousted for their role in preparing and reporting a disputed story about President Bush’s National Guard service.

The action was prompted by the report of an independent panel that concluded that CBS News failed to follow basic journalistic principles in the preparation and reporting of the piece. The panel also said CBS News had compounded that failure with a “rigid and blind” defense of the 60 Minutes Wednesday report.

The panel said a "myopic zeal" to be the first news organization to broadcast a groundbreaking story about Mr. Bush’s National Guard service was a key factor in explaining why CBS News had produced a story that was neither fair nor accurate and did not meet the organization’s internal standards.
The complete report is here.

UPDATE: the right wing of the blogosphere is bitching about the fact that the report does not address the issue of what they all claim was political bias in Mapes and Rather's behavior. The report does an excellent and damning job in and of itself with the FACTS of the case. Trying to PROVE something as subjective as political bias would be too difficult, and as bad as this is, uneccessary.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:13 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, January 09, 2005
Kedgeree and Scones
When I was in London back in November, I had the opportunity to go to Sally Clarkes, a very swank restaurant around the corner from my host's house in Kensington. We went for brunch on the weekend, and I was tempted by the offer of Kedgeree on the menu, which is a very traditional Brit breakfast / brunch dish.

Kedgeree dates back to British colonial times in India and is a wonderfully strange combination of curry (d'oh), eggs, rice, onions, other spices, and finnan haddie (smoked haddock that's been poached in milk). Now don't knock this till you've had it. It was - as they are wont to say over the pond - smashing. Really, really, good, and I've been wanting to make it since I returned.

So today I did.

Finding a recipe turned out to be a bit of a chore, there are as many variations for this dish as there are for a good spaghetti sauce, but I finally found a couple that sounded good, took some elements from all of them, and damn - this turned out great.

The hardest part was the finnan haddie. Not something you'll find at Superfresh, and not something you'll find at WholeFoods either (trust me - I looked everywhere). Then I remembered Mark telling about a place here in Baltimore that specialized in smoked fish and meats - so I called him on the cell, and voila! Neopol at the Belvedere Market.

Well, even Neopol failed me on smoked haddock, but they did have a lovely smoked bluefish, so I punted.

What to serve with it? Well, it's pretty spicy and savory, so I found a recipe for Scones with Cheddar and Cumin. They rock. UPDATE: I forgot to link to the scone recipe and people are asking for it. Here you go!

So - if you feel adventurous, try this sometime. Since it's an amalgam of a couple different traditional recipes - I'll claim it as my own (although Jamie Oliver's version is pretty good!).

Here you go:

Linda's Kedgeree

1lb. of smoked haddock or bluefish
2 cups of milk with a bay leaf and some peppercorns added

3 cups of cooked basmati rice (cooked in chicken broth and a couple of bay leaves)

3 hard boiled eggs (6 min. and the yolks are still a little soft - that's the best)

1 tablespoon ghee or butter - try to get the ghee if you can - WholeFoods
1 large yellow onion - chopped
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. black mustard seeds (I get my Indian spices at the Punjab market on Broadway in Fells Point)
1 tsp ground cumin
2-3 heaping tsp fresh grated ginger
2 bird's eye or thai chilis - chopped
2-3 tsp good curry powder - I like more rather than less
a handfull of cilantro chopped - stems and all
Scallions - chopped
1/3 cup of cream
Fresh lemon wedges and cilantro for garnish

Poach the fish in the milk mixture for about 4 minutes.
Cool, take the skin off and flake it up with a fork.
Chop the eggs
Make the rice
So - brown the onions and all the spices, chilis, and cilantro in the ghee for about 8 minutes or so.
Add the rice, fish, chopped eggs, scallions and cream and warm everything through thoroughly.
Serve with the lemon and cilantro.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:22 AM   7 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, January 08, 2005
Guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses
I've been following a series of posts over at Ann Althouse's blog for the last few days. I like Anne. She's a little on the right, but her views are generally well balanced and thoughtful and the fact that she's a prof at my alma mater - Univ. of Wisconsin at Madison, makes her right leaning tendencies palatable.

The first post started with the notion that a high IQ is a hindrance for women.

Great. This comes on the heels of my post yesterday about women and body image. 0 for 2 Linda.

The article she links to summarizes as this:

The study found the likelihood of marriage increased by 35 percent for boys for each 16-point increase in IQ.

But for girls, there is a 40-percent drop for each 16-point rise, according to the survey by the universities of Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The study is based on the IQs of 900 men and women between their 10th and 40th birthdays.

The professors theorize that high IQ types work hard at demanding careers and this causes the women to find the men around them "not interesting enough," while the men are going to want "an old-fashioned wife [who] looks after the home, a copy of his mum in a way."

Anne goes on to blast away at this notion, and I've gotta say - go girl!

The next post, covers the pros and cons of marrying someone smarter than you (amusing), and then today, we get "the search for a smart mate, cont."

I still think the best advice is to seek equality in a marriage. I think we are good at recognizing when people are on our level and make mistakes when we want either an idol or someone we can dominate. Equality is a good principle all

Ditto. However, I remain cautiously pessimistic that this is NOT, in fact, the opinion of a lot of men out there.....sigh.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:23 AM   5 Editorial Opinions
This is gonna get ugly folks....
Medical Economics has an excellent article regarding the current medical malpractice crisis that's being debated nationwide, and especially here in MD now.

Nationally, physicians believe overwhelmingly that the liability system is broken and needs to be fixed, preferably through federal legislation modeled after California's Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), enacted in 1975. The centerpiece of that law is a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages — which limits compensation for pain and suffering. (Twenty-two states now cap noneconomic damages, although only a handful have adopted the strict MICRA limit. For a breakdown of states.)

Opponents of tort reform—plaintiffs' attorneys, consumer groups, moderate and liberal Democrats—say it won't work because it doesn't get to the root of the problem. The real problem, they insist, isn't only a broken liability system but the insurance "underwriting cycle"—the periodic fluctuation in premiums that reflects the strategic decisions and fortunes of companies doing business in the professional liability market.

posted by Broadsheet @ 10:00 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday, January 07, 2005
Friday Cat Blogging

New Year's Day

Meet Peanut and Pumpkin. They have taken to the habit of dragging the blanket off the couch, onto the floor, and then creating their own nest to sleep on. This, in the middle of the aftermath from my New Year's Eve party (note bottles and glasses on the table.)

PS There you are Diane!
posted by Broadsheet @ 6:47 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Baltimore CD Release Party - Tonight!

Lawnchair CD Release Party

Friends of mine have a band -


Tonight is the CD Release party for their first CD - Truckstop Madonna

ALSO- Big News: Lawnchair just teamed up with Atomic Twang!

The Baltimore (Hampden) based record label/imprint will be helping us to get the record "Out There".

Some of the Atomic Twang bands include: June Star, The Barn Burners and Chester Stacey among others.

So check out our CD release party, get a copy of Truckstop Madonna, maybe a cool new Lawnchair T, drink some Evil, and have a good ol' time.
posted by Broadsheet @ 6:43 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Feminists and Body Image
The always provacative Laura Kipnis talking about why feminists can't make peace with fat, and the even better commentary about this piece over at The American Scene (read the original post too).

The core of the issue might just be that like attracts like:
Confident men are attracted to confident women -- and see them as no less feminine for it -- while insecure men prefer insecure women. In that case "femininity" doesn't have much to do with either self-confidence or lack thereof; it's whatever a
particular man happens to find attractive in a woman, and there's plenty of
variety in that.

D'oh - you think?

posted by Broadsheet @ 1:07 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Don't let the door hit you on the way out.....
CNN Lets 'Crossfire' Host Tucker Carlson Go.

Just one more reason to love Jon Stewart. Money quote from CNN President Jonathan Klein: "Mr. Klein said last night, "I agree wholeheartedly with Jon Stewart's overall premise." Referring to the head butting that Jon gave Tucker on air during the campaign.

posted by Broadsheet @ 12:00 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
New Law Allows Tsunami Contributions to be Deducted on 2004 Tax Returns
This is a great idea.

"The House and Senate yesterday passed by unanimous consent legislation (H.R. 241) to permit taxpayers to claim charitable deductions in tax year 2004 for donations they make for tsunami disaster relief until January 31, 2005, instead of having to wait until next year's filing season. Only cash gifts made specifically for disaster relief are eligible."

posted by Broadsheet @ 10:25 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Keep Your Jesus Off My Penis
Yep - thought that would get your attention....

Seriously, or rather, not seriously at all - check this video out (unless you're a right wing Christian, and then....ummmm...not so much).

Keep tongue firmly in cheek, "attitude" firmly in hand (hey - I'm NOT watching!!), and enjoy. Think Jimmy Buffett.

Oh - and I owe this link to my sister Leesa, the Art History Phud professor type in upstate NY and the only other liberal feminist in my family....thanks sis!

UPDATE: hmmm - that link isn't working on my view. Try using just

and then select the download your system requires. Trust me - SO worth it.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:22 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Health Care and Technology roundup
Once again, Bill Saletan at Slate gets it right : - and provides an excellent summary in the process.

His second piece is the one that's been getting a lot of hallway discussion here at work today:

Gist: Two studies suggest "C-reactive protein," an inflammation marker, may correlate as strongly with heart disease as cholesterol does.

Skeptical view: CRP may be the symptom, not the cause. Either way, the less you have, the safer you are.

Lifestyle implications: To reduce CRP, quit smoking, exercise, eat healthy, lose weight, and take statin drugs. Oh, wait—that's the same stuff you're already supposed to do. ...

posted by Broadsheet @ 2:43 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
It's a Good Thing
I'm not sure a "gift tax" from the HMOs to settle the current malpractice mess in MD will work, but I do agree that Erlich needs to take the bull by the horns and freakin TAKE CHARGE of the situation to get this done before all the OBGYNs and Orthopedists move out of state like NV, PA and IL.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:18 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Performance Issues
Even Bill Gates has trouble keeping it up.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:25 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Monday, January 03, 2005
A Broad Comments....
Well, here I go. A New Year's Resolution to join the blogosphere (and my blog friends ) and stop annoying people with constant mass forwarded e-mails and posts to the links and forwarded messages they already receive en masse. So, please bear with me as I develop the blog and hopefully contribute interesting, educational (and the occasional naughty bits), to the maelstrom / fire hose stream of information you already receive.

Look at it this way. It's passive - take it or leave it as you see fit. I hope you find it interesting enough to forgive me not sending out Holiday / New Year's cards on a regular basis in its stead.

Of course, one of the other great reasons to have a blog is to provide links to other sites and blogs that inspire and inform - hopefully, you'll link to some of my friends and let them know. I'm relatively late in the game for this and following in their (very large) footsteps.

I'll warn you in advance: The blog will be liberal (as in agnostic, GBLT friendly, moderate /leftist, feminist viewpoints) heavily swayed towards healthcare policy and issues, US politics, ethics, the internet, food and wine, and just about anything else I can think of.

Stay tuned for links (and you know who you are) and other developments.

Comments are the whole reason of having a blog - so chime in, damn it!

Here's to a great 2005.

And away we go!!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:36 PM   21 Editorial Opinions

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