Monthly Archives: January 2008

Spoken Wikipedia Articles

I was just reading a Wikipedia entry about Thomas Pynchon. Scrolling to the bottom to look at some sources I noticed a link to some audio. (YES teachers wikipedia is cited.) Of course its in the open source audio format OGG. I had to find an app to open it. Fortunately I have the VLC media player installed on my Mac and it handled it easily. You can also listen to the OGG audio with a java applet in your browser. I think QuickTime may do it too. Soooo… while I was listening to the audio I realized it was a recording of the text of the Thomas Pynchon article I had just been reading. Wow! Audio recordings of spoken Wikipedia Articles.

Turns out anyone can record and submit them. There is a process for this outlined on the Wikipdedia:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia page. Plus links to articles already recorded and ones people have requested be recorded.

I hope I find time to record some of these soon. I’ve recorded long writings before and let me tell you… it ain’t easy. People who record books for tape professionally have talent and skill! What a wonderful resource this is for the blind and people who learn well by listening.

An Obama/Edwards ticket?

No disrespect to my friends who support John Edwards. I believe he is a excellent Presidential candidate. But imagine this. What about a Obama/Edwards ticket? What if John Edwards ran with Obama as his Vice President? A white Southern man who serves beside a black President from Chicago. We could have this soon. It could amplify the already powerful potential for healing that a black President will bring. It would say, YES! We are equal. North and South. Black and White. Because I believe equality is a kind of give and take. Whites have taken way to much from Blacks. Its time we gave back. Please give back with humility Mr. Edwards.

Its not only time for a black President but for white men to serve him. (Myself included.) The 21st Century American South can do this and not be ashamed. We can be proud that we work together for the same causes. Social and economic equality for everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or physical ability!

935 Lies

A new report from The Center for Public Integrity called Iraq: The War Card says:

President George W. Bush and seven of his administration’s top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.

On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both. This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration’s case for war.

Its time that a bipartisan group of US Representatives and Senators IMPEACH George W. Bush and Dick Cheney!

Interestingly I learned about this report from two VERY different blogs. A small demonstration of the diverse kinds of people who want Bush held responsible. Thanks Craig Newmark and Stan Goff!

WordPress Consulting

Yah! I’m doing a bunch of WordPress consulting. I’ve gotten several jobs recently to help people tweak this wonderful bit of software. Everything from creating whole themes to adding plugins to making changes in existing themes. Hopefully in the near future I’ll be able to show you my work and update my portfolio. So if you need help with your WordPress blog let me know. Thanks.

Update: Right now I’m completely focused on running a brick n’ mortar business called Carrboro Coworking. So no wordpress consulting right now. 😦

Palestinians break out from Gaza seige

Check out this amazing video of tens of thousands of Palestinian people rushing into Egypt to feed themselves and find supplies. Amazingly a major section of the Israeli wall has been torn down. My first look at major American news media reveals few reports. But the NYTimes has a few slide shows. Amazing pictures. Plus goto Democracy Now and read Tens of Thousands of Palestinians Seeking Basic Supplies Flood Egypt for Second Day.

Thousands of Palestinians are pouring into Egypt from Gaza for a second consecutive day after militants destroyed most of a border wall in the town of Rafah on Wednesday. Gazans are rushing across the border to stock up on food, fuel, medicines and other basic supplies, which have become scarce or unaffordable after months of economic isolation.

Power to the (Palestinian) People!
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Changes in the Local Political Blogosphere

There has been a flurry of activity in the Orange County political blogosphere this month. Changes that interest me as much as who is wining the presidential primaries. (Go Obama!)

First, the big news is the disappearance of the Squeeze the Pulp forum. In its place appears to be a site that could have a community, but it isn’y very clear how. The new site is based on software called DokuWiki. It looks like a bunch of semi-static pages can be created and edited by a group of people. So people will write rants and others will edit them. For what, grammar? The two-way communication of a forum has been lost.

Part of me is sad that all the STP writing is gone. Mainly because it would help people remember the slander and hateful crap. Why would we want to remember that? To inform the context of our local political history. For example, the dirty tactics some supported there. It could also encourage more long-term responsibility. Politicos won’t forget, trust me. But the new resident to Carrboro may like to know how that candidate got elected or defeated. I think the blog of record will be Orange Politics.

Last year sometime I reminded the folks at STP that all that content would be remembered. If not by Google then by us. A great example of the fear mongering some STP posters facilitated is here in my post Political attack from the Squeeze the Pulp forum. In the end, most of me is happy the STP slander against people is off the web. But I’m sure there will be more.

Second, there is a new community site set up by George Entenman called Orange Citizens or Orange County, NC. (depending on how you look at it.) It’s on the Ning software platform, a quality bit of social networking software. My first impressions are of the software mainly. I enjoy the look and feel of the theme but am not crazy about the threaded comments. It’s easy to have several off-topic threads, but it’s growing on me. It’ll be interesting to see how this site evolves. Especially from a usability standpoint. Already there are several local politicos there like Terri and MarkM, plus Chapel Hill Council Member Mark Kleinschmidt. Hopefully we’ll see lots of local elected officials participate in this new community.

Finally, we have a major upgrade to Orange Politics. At just over four years old Orange Politics has become the most-read local politics site in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. It started off using MovableType and then moved to the open source WordPress blogging software in 2004. Now it’s powered by Drupal, a complex and very powerful open source, PHP-based content management system. I was a bit concerned about the move at first, but now that its full speed ahead I’m way impressed. One reason is there are more ways for people to get involved. There is real power in letting people publish their own blogs a la community sites such as Daily Kos. We should have more viewpoints now. Plus there are new OP community guidelines. I think Ruby has done a great job of balancing lots of factors. I would still like to see all commenters have a real identity (ie: no anonymous posters). But I see where in some cases anonymity is valuable on OP.

Broken Plugin

Apologies to all of you who subscribe to email updates about my new blog content. (You won’t get this via email.) Seems I might have just spammed you. I discovered that every time I make a change to a post it sends out a new email. I just got 12 emails from myself. Doh! I’ve turned off the plug-in until I can fix this. Thanks for reading!