October 24, 2007

You are currently browsing the daily archive for October 24, 2007.

As with yesterday’s map, this is a .jpg I put together from this .pdf at the San Diego County Emergency Homepage. Click on it to see it in full size. Other maps are at taoe.org, map.sdsu.edu. and SignOnSanDiego.com.

Here’s the latest Ranch Fire map.

And, speaking of the demand side supplying, dig Network News in a Box: a free grassroots news collection/distribution tool in response to breaking news events.

Consolidated #sandiegofire Twitter Tweets.

Red Sox Rout

The Red Sox are up 12-1 in the bottom of the 5th, an inning that’s lasted half an hour, with runners advancing nearly every at-bat. Eight out of nine starters have at least one run. Two out right now, bases loaded.

The reliever just walked a guy home. 13-1.

Reminds me of a story from Ball Four, the classic book by Jim Bouton. Jim was a former fastballer who lost his stuff, but came back after learning how to throw a knuckle-ball. He was pitching for the late Seattle Pilots in a losing game. The manager, Joe Schultz, came out to the mound. Jim said Joe Schultz was the perfect name for a baseball manager, and the guy had the perfect manner as well. Ever wonder what managers tell pitchers out there on the mound? In this case it was something like, “Hey, kid. Whaddaya say ya throw ’em some low smoke, we’ll go across the street and pound some Budweiser.”

It’s one of those times for the Rockies.

[Later…] Thanks to Glenn for the corrections (including the quote).


  “I have a theory that ‘user generated content’ is a last-gasp of the regal outlook of silicon valley, where we’re all chumps or slaves.” (Before UGC we were just supposed to be eyeballs, consuming their shovelware, buying stuff we see in ads. They had to adjust their thinking when it became apparent that we were also interested in creating, though we’re positioned as generators not creators.)

Exactly. Here’s another nugget:

  People who don’t want to learn about bugs in their thinking go through life with a lot of bugs. Today, and beyond, everyone has great tools for saying what they think. If you can’t stand to hear it, you’re not going to like the future very much, sorry to say.

It’s not so much a power shift from supply to demand, but the increased ability of everybody to supply (not “generate”) products, opinions, ideas, whatever. This is much bigger than Silicon Valley, or anybody into Big Supply, can imagine. Even after living on the Net all these years.

I know there are exceptions. But the rules stand.

1) Ignore traffic rules. They are advisory and not binding, unless a cop wants to get technical.

2) Drive in the middle. You need to keep your options open. If a rare dotted line actually marks a boundary between lanes, straddle it.

3) Don’t look for street signs. They aren’t there. Only side streets have signs. And only some of those.

4) Be ready to dodge pedestrians. They don’t look and are dumb as geese, crossing anywhere they feel like it, in complete oblivity to danger.

5) Block intersections. Otherwise the cross traffic won’t stop for you.

6) Pull in front of moving traffic. There are no breaks. You have to make them for yourself.

7) Don’t signal. You might give something away.

8] Park anywhere. There aren’t enough spaces anyway.

9) Don’t expect road names to make sense. The “Mystic Valley Parkway”, for example, appears and disappears in many places all across Boston. And not just in Halloween season.

10) Expect construction delays and detours. It sometimes happens that all bridges and tunnels in Boston are closed at once, with no signage hinting toward alternatives.

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1) Cross any street, anywhere, any time. Your species was here first. The fast metal things just have to adapt.

2) Don’t look left or right. Stay with your purpose. You’re here to cross the road. Nothing else matters.

3) Ignore pedestrian traffic signals. The little white walking guy and the red hand are displayed at random and have no relationship to the signals for cars.

4) Follow the others. The bold and fearless pedestrians near you can show the way. Cross with them, but downstream a bit. If they misjudge, they get hit first.

5) Be preoccupied. Use your phone, study the pavement, lose yourself in thought. You have a life. Watching traffic isn’t part of it.

Northwestern’s Medilll School of Journalism has long been in the first rank of J-schools, right up there with Columbia, Missouri, Berkeley, Texas, Michigan… In fact, Google puts Medill right behind those, in that order, in a search for “School of Journalism”.

Yet here’s Medill committee to explore suggestions for new name, in The Daily Northwestern.

It begins,

The Medill School of Journalism is forming a committee to explore a possible name change.

Dean John Lavine said the committee will consider altering the name to better represent the school and what it offers.

“We’re really exploring what the name should be, could be, what people think about it,” he said. “There will be a process for people to have real input on it, and that’s what is important.”

Lavine did not comment on specific names being discussed, but said that in informal conversations he’s had with students and others, adding “Integrated Marketing Communications” to the name was a popular idea.

The piece goes on to quote a number of students on the matter, and closes the piece with the only source that makes complete sense:

Chardae Davis, a Medill junior, said the possible change really bothers her, and that the school was too old to change its name.

“It’s a brand in a way,” she said. “Medill has a reputation and the name stands for something.”

While she understands that journalism is evolving and so the curriculum is changing, Davis said that doesn’t mean the name should be altered.

“We came to Medill for Medill,” she said. “Not for the Medill School of Journalism and insert rest of name here.”

Back in the middle of the piece, there’s this:

“This is not something that any school at NU gets to decide,” Lavine said. “Only the trustees get to decide the name. That’s the way it should be.”

Let’s hope the trustees listen to Ms. Davis.

Meanwhile, “School of Journalism” has already been dropped from the Medill home page. It’s just MEDILL now. The About Page says,

Since 1921, Medill has been recognized worldwide as one of the real jewels at one of the nation’s elite universities. At Medill, young men and women have been shaped for the incredible successes they have achieved in journalism and the Medill-invented field of integrated marketing communications. Here, journalism students are taught on the streets of Chicago and Washington, D.C., and marketing students are taught through projects for real-world clients in for-credit residencies. Something else about Medill: Our values. They are: 1.) Be respectful of the school and of yourself and of others – which includes personal and professional integrity; 2.) Be the best – which means making no small plans, being bold and taking risks; and 3.) Be distinctive; be you – which includes resisting conformity, thinking uniquely.

I’m sure they teach well and do good work. But Journalism and “Integrated Marketing Communications” — a buzzphrase if there ever was one — should, at most, have squat to do with each other. Here’s what Medill says about the latter at its page:

Pioneered at Medill, the graduate program in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern educates students for careers in marketing communications and marketing management. The program combines the traditional areas of marketing communications with business skills in marketing, finance, statistics and organizational behavior to form a unique program on the cutting edge of marketing communications and customer relationship management. Top marketing and media organizations need forward-thinking professionals who understand the changing marketplace and who can implement a customer-focused approach that is critical to their future success. They look to Northwestern’s Integrated Marketing Communications master’s degree program to find these professionals.

Well, the one upside I see here is that maybe I could talk to some of these people about VRM, and how “relationship management” should go two ways and not just one. But I’m sure, if we have that conversation, it won’t be anywhere near the subject of Journalism.

Terry Heaton has similar thoughts on the matter.

Lanna Action for Burma, a new Thai blog, is running a Panty Power Campaign against the government next door, in Burma. I’m not making this up. Here’s what it says:

SPDC is the State Police and Development Council, which rules Burma, brutally.

The pointer comes from a friend in Thailand who says this thing is serious — or about as serious as things like this can be. Except there is nothing else like this. But I’m not there and have no idea.

Meanwhile, Violet Cho of The Irrawaddy writes this in “Panties for Peace” Campaign Wins Wide Support:

The “Panties for Peace” campaign aimed at Burma’s military regime is gaining momentum, with the establishment of a committee to drum up support in Thailand.

The campaign began on October 16, with women throughout the world sending packages to Burmese embassies containing panties. Burma’s superstitious generals, particularly junta chief Than Shwe, believe that contact with any item of women’s wear deprives them of their power.

“Panties for Peace” campaigns have sprung up in Australia, Europe, Singapore—and now Thailand, where a Lanna Action for Burma committee has been formed in Chiang Mai to support the feminine protest.

Ying Tzarm, a co-founder of Lanna Action for Burma, told The Irrawaddy that the campaign was aimed at undermining the superstitious beliefs of the military regime.

Liz Hilton, a supporter of the Lanna Action for Burma and a member of the Empower foundation, said that by sending underwear to the men of Burma’s overseas embassies women would be delivering a strong message to the regime.

Beats going to war, seems to me.

I have a paranoid but helpful habit when I travel: When I get out of a taxi, I always memorize the number of the cab, just in case. For example, right now I see two cabs off to my right, lined up at Mt. Auburn Street at JFK in downtown Cambridge, where I’m sitting on a park bench in front of Peet’s Coffee. One is Cambridge 119, the other is Cambridge 129.

I usually remember the cab number for only a minute or so at best, but I figure that gives me enough time to make a call if I suddenly remember I left something on the seat. (Yes, this is a Know Thyself lesson.) Now I’m going to do the same with buses.

Because a few minutes ago, soon as I got off the #77 bus at Chauncy Street, I knew I had left my wallet on the seat, under some cast-off newspapers. In an instant, the whole sequence of events replayed in my mind: How had just walked out of the bakery with a fresh cappuchino and picked up a free paper. How the bus pulled up almost immediatly, so I had to hurry to pull my Charlie Card out of my wallet while stuffing the paper under my arm and holding my coffee while getting on the bus. How I stuck my wallet in my mouth like a beagle chomping a stick while I held the coffee in one hand and used my other hand to press the Charlie card onto the card reader, and doing that while the bus lurched forward. How I felt good about keeping my balance while working my way back to the seats behind the rear door. How I set down my wallet on the aisle seat, moved some newspapers off the window seat and onto my wallet, then set the coffee down on the papers before setting my bag at my feet, all while sitting down at the window seat and starting to read a sports story in the newspaper and taking my first gulp of coffee.

Now the wallet was on the bus, and I was on the sidewalk, breathing the fumes of the departing 77bus.

So I did the only sensible thing: I ran after the bus. Stops are frequent on Mass Ave, so maybe I had a chance of catching this one. I began to gain as the bus approached the stop at Cambridge Common, but the bus had the light and zoomed right through the intersection. Then it did the worst thing: it leapfrogged another 77 bus way down near Church Street, turned left to burrow into the ground under Harvard Square, and went out of sight.

Then I spotted two other busses approaching Mass Ave on my side of Cambridge Common, so I ran up to the first one and jumped on as the driver let off a passenger. Between gasps I told him what had happened and asked him what I should do.

“Stand behind the yellow line,” he said. “It’s safer.”

I moved back.

“Did you see the number of the bus?”

“It was a 77 bus.”

“No, the number on the bus. Every bus has a number.”


“Was the driver a white guy or a black guy?”

“White, I think.”

“Okay. Hang on.”

He drove the bus down the ramp and past the stop under Harvard Square, to emerge on the far side, facing a series of busses queued up across the intersection, ready to start their routes.

“See? Two 77 busses in the back there. I think the second one is yours.”

I jumped out, ran across the intersection, and knocked on the door of the first 77 bus. The guy let me in. I told him what happened, and he waved toward the back. I looked. Sure enough it wasn’t the right bus.

So I got off through the back door and went to the bus the other driver said would be mine. The driver, who was white, said “Yes, I remember you. Check back there.”

I did. The pile of papers was right where I left it, with my wallet under them. The driver was impressed.

“Wow”, he said. “It was really there.”

“I knew it was”, I said, and re-told my part of the brief saga.

“Glad it worked out for ya. Doesn’t always happen.” he said. “Have a good day.”

“You too,” I said, and got off the bus. It was #4109.

The map above is a .jpg I put together from this large .pdf at a link off the San Diego County Emergency page. It’s from 6pm today, Pacific time. I like this one because it gets down nearly to the street level, and answers specific questions in the minds of millions of people who either live there, or know people who live there (as do we, for example).

Other excellent maps are at taoe.org and map.sdsu.edu. Some are more recent than the one above.

The Ranch Fire also continues to grow. This map shows its perimeters. And this aerial photo, taken in January 2006, shows that same area, still covered with vegetation, now mostly burned off: