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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

physics for the washington times

it’s things like this that give news media a bad name among… well. people that know better.

U.S. doubts Korean test was nuclear [washington times, 2006.10.09]

A successful nuclear detonation requires a properly timed and triggered conventional blast that splits atoms, setting off the nuclear chain reaction that produces the massive explosions associated with atomic bombs.

the thing about conventional blasts is that they don’t split atoms… unless someone out there is aware of a neutron-producing conventional explosive?

posted by roj at 4:10 pm  

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

waiting for an apology

i found the 24/7 news coverage of the 10-year-old dead 6-year-old news story completely unavoidable, despite the fact that it wasn’t news. so, now i’ll just wait for my personal apology from all the major news organizations that did wall-to-wall coverage of the story that wasn’t.

failing a personal apology, 5 minutes for every other child killed in america in the past 10 years will do.

posted by roj at 3:05 pm  

Sunday, May 29, 2005

be careful where you show your bush

mtv (as viacom) is uncomfortable displaying the image of the united states president.

“We were set to perform ‘The Hand That Feeds’ with an unmolested, straightforward image of George W. Bush as the backdrop. Apparently, the image of our president is as offensive to MTV as it is to me,” Nine Inch Nails’ leader Trent Reznor said in a statement posted on the band’s Web site.

that statement is here.

posted by roj at 7:55 am  

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

newsweek as the new ministry of truth

several times i’ve had passing thoughts about this, but today i finally stumbled into something that pretty much clinches what i was just going to speculate on.

to make this brief… once upon a time, newsweek ran a story that included a bit about american interrogators doing unfriendly and disrespectful things to the koran. then a bunch of people got upset. and then some people died. and then the bush administration got out in front of the world and said to the world “no way! can’t be!” and newsweek quickly took two steps backwards and said “ok, maybe we got some details wrong” and then “no, we were wrong about that whole flushing the koran thing.” ultimately issuing a full retraction.

i was going to speculate that newsweek caved under pressure from the aministration – perhaps under some sort of threat to cut off access. i dunno. just speculating.

An FBI agent wrote in a 2002 document made public on Wednesday that a detainee held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had accused American jailers there of flushing the Koran down a toilet.

so maybe there is something to this story after all. and maybe newsweek shouldn’t jump so quickly into the arms of the bush administration. i dunno. just speculating.

posted by roj at 9:44 pm  

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

moyers on tomlinson

the ministry of truth gets a small poke in the eye from bill moyers here.

”So I put this on as a modest repose to men with flags in their lapels who shoot missiles from the safety of Washington think tanks. or argue that sacrifice is good as long as they don’t have to make it, or approve of bribing governments to join the ‘Coalition of the Willing.’ I put it on to remind myself that not every patriot thinks we should do to the people of Baghdad what bin Laden did to us. The flag belongs to the country, not to the government, and it reminds me that it’s not un-American to think that war, except in self defense, is a failure of moral imagination, political nerve and diplomacy. Come to think of it, standing up to your government can mean standing up for your country.”

posted by roj at 7:10 pm  

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

another girl missing

today i came across a headline on a wire service – “For 5th Day, No Clues on Missing Fla. Girl” (look up the story yourself).

now, i don’t mean to be cynical, but i’ve heard about this missing florida girl a few times now, despite being mostly unplugged from the world lately. she’s been on the wire services several times. and i guess that’s a good thing. maybe someone will find her….

… but i can’t help wondering about all the other missing girls out there that aren’t making the wire services. and boys. and adults.

so, let’s dig up a statistic:

how many missing children are there? [national center for missing and exploited children]

According to NISMART-2 research, which studied the year 1999, an estimated 797,500 children were reported missing; 58,200 children were abducted by nonfamily members; 115 children were the victims of the most serious, long-term nonfamily abductions called “stereotypical kidnappings”; and 203,900 children were the victims of family abductions.

so what makes this florida girl more worth my attention than all these others?

posted by roj at 1:17 am  

Thursday, February 24, 2005

reuters goes with splash ads

in yet another conspiracy to keep my blogging limited, has implemented a splash-ad mechanism.

i’m not willing to sit-through or click-through ads for sexual enhancement products just to see a news summary, so exits my browsing habit.

it was fun while it lasted…

posted by roj at 4:31 pm  

Monday, February 14, 2005

satellite photos sting at cnn

coming from bradblog, via metafilter, a little confusion about pictures of nuclear facilities.

my observation, of course, is that the ‘suspected iranian nuclear facility’ is probably in north korea with saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. so, of course they look the same. they are the same.

it’s a slam dunk.

brad’s catch is a lot better than my own from the new york times.

posted by roj at 2:06 pm  

Thursday, February 3, 2005

planting softballs for the president

White House-friendly reporter under scrutiny [boston globe, february 2, 2005]

The Bush administration has provided White House media credentials to a man who has virtually no journalistic background, asks softball questions to the president and his spokesman in the midst of contentious news conferences, and routinely reprints long passages verbatim from official press releases as original news articles on his website.

Now, the question of how Gannon gets into White House press conferences is coming under intense scrutiny from critics who contend that Gannon is not a journalist but rather a White House tool to soften media coverage of Bush. The issue was raised by a media watchdog group and picked up by Internet bloggers, who linked Gannon’s presence in White House briefings to recent controversies over whether the administration manipulates the flow of information to the public.

i, of course, have missed the bloggers simmering on this story, but, now that it’s made the boston globe, it’s probably worth mentioning (add my blog to the fire). at the moment, technorati is reporting 362 links from 272 sources. so, as one measure of the blogosphere’s ability to influence mainstream media, less than 300 bloggers can drive a story into the boston globe (it’s actually much less, since several dozen of the posts appear after the globe article).

oddly enough, you can find a citation for talon news (gannon’s mouthpiece), even here on the meta-roj blog. back in july, i wrote about the ketchup wars, and left it in the humor category. now, i’ll be the first to say that i hope the whitehouse would credential anyone that’s not a threat. that is, oddly enough in this time of perpetual war, part of the first amendment.

sadly, i’m not surprised that gannon gets called on a lot, particularly when the official white house mouthpiece or the president gets uncomfortable questions.

posted by roj at 10:39 am  

Monday, December 6, 2004

gullwing doors for modesty

from the “you can’t be serious” department here at the rojisan empire, comes the ycc (your concept car) news item from

Chickmobile Concept Car [, december 2, 2004]

For those with short skirts, there are gull-wing doors to help preserve modesty.

my first thought was… huh?

my second thought was… i bet a bunch of women designers got together and decided that they wanted cool doors on their concept car, and when someone asked about it, they came up with some bogus story about short skirts as an explanation/inside joke. i mean, it’s not like volvo management is going to try wearing short skirts and see how it works with the gullwing doors (or will they? i mean, they are swedish, right?)… anyway. i think

then, i considered the source… so i decided to see if there was an alternative explanation available…

“We chose a gull-wing door with a modest wingspan to help us showcase the YCC’s interior solutions,” says Elna Holmberg, Technical Project Manager. “And it brought other advantages – it makes it easy to lift a bag in behind the driver’s seat and it increases your visibility over your shoulder to the side because the B-pillar has been moved towards the rear. And when the door opens upwards, the dropdown door sill rotates simultaneously, so getting in and out is so much easier.”

yeah, ok. so is full of crap. no surprise there.

i still think the designers wanted cool doors.

more on the ycc from volvo is available here.

posted by roj at 2:41 am  
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