Skaters Jump In as Foreclosures Drain the Pool

Reminds me of that movie that came out a couple years ago called “Dogtown.” At least these foreclosed homes are being used for something.

Across the nation, the ultimate symbol of suburban success has become one more reminder of the economic meltdown, with builders going under, pools going to seed and skaters finding a surplus of deserted pools in which to perfect their acrobatic aerials.

Link via Skaters Jump In as Foreclosures Drain the Pool – NYTimes.com.

If a war loses its coverage will anybody care anymore?

Word today that all three major networks are pulling correspondents out of Iraq and shifting them to the “new hotspot” in Afghanistan.

Of course, the Iraq war has evolved and violence in the country has subsided. At the same time, President-elect Barack Obama and senior military strategists generally agree that tensions have risen in Afghanistan, leading to more violence and unrest.

In short, the story, certainly on television, is shifting to Afghanistan.

We saw what happened to public knowledge about the Afghanistan war when we invaded Iraq in 2003 is it too much to expect the public to forget about Iraq in a few years? It is tremendously irresponsible for the media to choose between covering one war or the other. It was irresponsible to forget Afghanistan in 2003 and it’s irresponsible to forget Iraq now. This proves to me that the media does not prioritize actual journalism and coverage, but rather works toward creating the most interesting and topical situation out there. Seems as though they are taking the attitude of “Yeah, the U.S. is in Iraq, but it’s been there for 5 years and frankly, we’re bored with that. We need something new and exciting.” This all reaffirms the often used saying that the media takes what is interesting and makes it news instead of taking the news and making it interesting.

Link via TV News Winds Down Iraq Operations – NYTimes.com.

MoveOn.org progresses

An article over at Politico describes how MoveOn has shifted its priorities to better reflect those of the President-elect. Joe Trippi, the head of a multimedia company that managed Dean’s 2004 campaign and advised Edwards in 2008, sees it as a shift toward pragmatism:

“At least in the initial stages, they’re going to try to work together [with Obama] to see what parts of their agenda they can get through,” he says. And they recognize, he adds, that they will get more of their agenda passed if they don’t start trouble when they don’t need to.

If anything can be read into MoveOn’s silence on Rick Warren — the anti-gay-marriage pastor Obama has chosen to deliver his inaugural invocation — Trippi is correct.

Seems to me that MoveOn has become more about accomplishing the small things and neglecting the larger issues. Among the issues they put on the top of their priorities are health care, financial recovery, and climate change. What they neglected to work toward is campaign reform and the rights and equality of LGBT.

In my opinion MoveOn ought to be pushing the President-elect to address these issues and to force the administration to make significant progress on things like LGBT equality. Instead, they are putting these aside (maybe it’s just for the moment) in order to work toward what seems more achievable. But these goals that they have put on top of their priority list will probably be achieved (at least to some extent) anyway. Doesn’t it make more sense for a Political Action Committee to advocate priorities that politicians might otherwise forget about?

Link via Will MoveOn live up to its name? – Andie Coller – Politico.com.

One small step

More news from the BBC of one small step in the process that is adequate rights for gays across the world. This story comes out of Uganda where homosexuality is still illegal. The two women were awarded $5,000 from a judge for undergoing what she said was “arbitrary torture.” They were both arrested and then one was undressed so that they police could prove she was a woman.

It makes me take heart to hear of stories like this. No matter how small of steps they are the fact is that they are steps in the right direction and maybe one day soon more countries will recognize gays and lesbians as full and equal. Here’s hoping.

Link – BBC NEWS | Africa | Gays welcome Uganda arrest payout.

Stalin voted third-best Russian

Through a poll conducted by a Russian TV station to determine the “best Russian” in history, Stalin placed third. The BBC has an article up about it and has the following quote:

“We now have to think very seriously, why the nation chooses to put [Joseph] Stalin in third place,” said actor and film director Nikita Mikhalkov, one of the contest’s judges, after the results were released.

Seems to me that it probably doesn’t involve that serious of thought to see why Stalin, despite his atrocious crimes against humanity, finished third. If these crimes are not publicized and are in fact suppressed within Russia (which I think is a pretty safe assumption), then how can we expect the Russian people to make judgements that fit with out knowledge of Stalin?

Link via BBC NEWS | Europe | Stalin voted third-best Russian.

Fontcase

For any designers out there here’s a tip for a new font management application for Macs. It’s called Fontcase and claims to “Manage your fonts, the Apple way.” The app is currently in beta but you can get a copy by simply subscribing to the newsletter. Even if you’re not someone who does a tremendous amount of design and typographical work (like me) the app can still be pretty interesting and scrolling through it can reveal some fonts that you may have otherwise forgot about.

Check it out here.