Posts from October 2004

Internet Veterans for Truth

You know all those political video clips you've downloaded over the past couple of months? The group of folks at Internet Veterans for Truth has a good collection of them in one place. Let's Blogroll!

More info at waxy: Internet Vets for Truth.

Hello again

Server moved. New DNS settings propagating. It's good to be back online.

onfocus server offline

This site is going to be down for a few days while the server physically moves closer to home. This site should be back up on Wednesday, October 27th. I set up a temporary blog*spot blog in case I *really* need to blog during this time: onfocus II.

Newshour MediaWatch

The Newshour with Jim Lehrer is the only nightly newscast I've seen that tries to seriously cover the media itself. (And they do it infrequently.) Last night they had a segment about fact checking. It mentioned that being "balanced", or having 1 fact-check for one side and then 1 fact check for the other side in coverage isn't accurate if one side is actually lying or exaggerating more than the other. It's great to see this kind of critique happening on a major newscast because it helps viewers evaluate future news coverage they see (including Newshour coverage).

Related? Bush Supporters Still Believe Iraq Had WMD.

I voted!

Thanks to Oregon's mail-in ballot system, I voted early last night. (Actually, I dropped it in a ballot-box at the courthouse.) The only drawback to Oregon's system is that I don't get one of those "I voted" stickers.

I voted

(And I didn't vote for Kodos this time.) It was especially gratifying to vote for Kerry and against Oregon's Measure 36.

Orkut at OSU

Hey fellow Oregon geeks, Orkut Buyukkokten from Google (yeah, his namesake Orkut) is going to be speaking at OSU on Monday night. The talk is called: Google: A Computer Scientist's Playground. See ya there!

Yosemite Blizzard

A few groups of hikers were rescued in Yosemite this morning after a blizzard snowed them in. SFGate: Three groups of missing hikers rescued. Sadly, two men scaling El Capitan weren't as lucky.

Area Man's Television Sends Distress Signal

Note to self: don't broadcast on 121.5 MHz. Area Man's Television Sends National Distress Signal (aka Mystery signal traced to TV). Television malfunctions, hilarity ensues.

Update: This story is now international news. (Corvallis is world-famous for a malfunctioning TV!)

Jon Stewart

As I was describing Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire with sk, I was comparing him with Andy Kaufman because he's pushing the boundries of the audience. And David Weinberger's post—Stewart on Crossfire—compares him with Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor. I think Stewart is making the leap from great comedian to icon.

Subversive T-Shirts?

What country do we live in, again?
"President Bush taught three Oregon schoolteachers a new lesson in irony - or tragedy - Thursday night when his campaign removed them from a Bush speech and threatened them with arrest simply for wearing t-shirts that said Protect Our Civil Liberties..." Teachers' T-shirts bring Bush speech ouster. [via Jack Bog]

William Gibson blog

William Gibson is blogging again.

Yosemite Photos

Here are 16 photos from my trip—Yosemite Oct. 2004.

Half Dome (click for more)

Jake's Yosemite Photos

My friend Jake just let me know that he was in Yosemite this last weekend too. He posted some great photos from his trip.


I just got back from a quick trip to one of my favorite places, Yosemite National Park. Not only was I in one of the most beautiful spots in the world, I was away from politics, TV, and the web—and it was good. I have a mountain of photos to sift through, and I'll be posting some. I couldn't decide which one to post first, so I just grabbed the first photo I took on the drive into Yosemite Valley.

Evan leaves Google

Evan is leaving Blogger (Google).

Hacking Books

An article I wrote for O'Reilly Network is up: Hacking Books with Safari Web Services. You can get book catalog info via Amazon's API, but Safari's API is the first to make some of the contents of books available to developers. The article is about creating RSS feeds with the Safari API to track what offline books are saying about specific technologies.

Oregon Voter Registration

If you're in Oregon you only have eight days left to register to vote. The deadline is October 12th. It only takes a few minutes, and then you get to brag for four years that you didn't vote for the guy who won. If you don't vote, you don't get to talk about politics with anyone, ever. Those are the rules as I understand them. You can register in Oregon here. If you're somewhere else, check out Jason's Voters Information Guide for the 2004 US Election to find out how you can register.

Giving Away the Plot

Foucault's Pendulum Last night I finished Foucault's Pendulum. It's been on my bookshelf for years, but I have a tough time reading fiction—especially something this long. So I feel like this is a good accomplishment, and fiction may not be a lost cause for me after all. One thing that was really disappointing though, was that the plot was revealed in the summaries of the book. If you read what the book is about on Amazon, or even on the book jacket, they give away the last 100 pages. So I knew what the preceeding 400 pages were leading up to. The surface-level plot wasn't the best part of the book, but I was still curious about how the main character got into his predicament laid out in the first chapter, and that was the structure holding the book together as the story moved to different points in time. So throughout the book I felt that I knew more than I should while I was reading. I guess that's why if there's a movie I really want to see I'll do everything I can to avoid reviews and previews because I want to be in the experience rather than aware of it. Anyway, that aside, it's a great book that demonstrates the complete flexibility of truth, meaning, and history—and that's all you need to know going in. Now, on to the nonfiction books that have been piling up on my "to read" list.