Charles Oliver - Econ/Media-Boy
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Charles C. Watson - Science/Tech-Boy
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Ron Campbell - sushi-bait.
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Even a blogger needs to eat. This blog is primarily Charles' hobby. But if he is intent on continuing to woo the Hooter's waitresses in Chatanooga he needs something that pays.... wings don't come free you know. Here's a link to his day job where he works the education beat and, assuming he can't annoy enough people that way, is sometimes allowed to write opinion pieces.


Need perspective? Watson offers readers all they could possibly eat. For a unique view on current events, namely how they look from orbit, here's Chuck's Real-Time(ish) Satellite Imagery of Areas of Interest. Whenever it strikes his fancy, and there's good telemetry, Chuck will process and post near real-time images of locations in the news. Eminently engrossing.


Wanna get into the head of a Japanese salaryman? Why, for Chis'sakes?! Well, assumin' you do, feel welcome to check out the on-line journal of Campbell's English class. Everyday, a group of disaffected salarymen are required to spill out their inner-most thoughts about life, the universe and everything in broken English. Amazingly prosaic.




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Shoutin' across the Pacific
Chiizu taberu koufuku shiteiru saru ga kangei-saremasen.
 
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
 
Ron Lives!
Got a barely readable call from Ron. He survived Typhoon Chaba. But another is on the way . . . my guess is somebody offended the Sea God.


posted by Chuck at 7:50 AM
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Friday, August 27, 2004
 
SatBlog is Up
First I started blogging here. Then I dabbled at a web page with some satellite images, then made a brief stab at setting up an image based blog, then I ran out of time and energy and said I wasn't going to blog any more, but continued to make occasional posts here despite the frustrations of using alien software and stuff breaking all the time (no doubt partly due to being unfamiliar with the system, as well as being reluctant to mess too much with Ron and Charles' code).

The other serious problem is how to manage dealing with processing and posting images from the production computers, setting up external links, etc. During the course of redesigning my corporate networks, I realized how easy it was to set up an in-house system. So now I've set up a full blown blog: SatBlog, at http://satblog.methaz.org. Images of Hurricane Frances and Tel Aviv, Israel, are up now; expect data and images on Iraq's oil fields to appear this weekend. The focus will be on imagery and interpretation of events, as well as occasional political/military/intelligence rants (you can filter these out any only look at the pictures if you like).

It uses WordPress - a system I'd recommend for anyone setting up a blog on their own systems. Literally took me 15 minutes.

We'll see how long this lasts. It seems the key to blogging is to make it easy to do. And by flip-flopping so much, I vastly improve my chances of a future run for president . . .



posted by Chuck at 9:49 AM
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Wednesday, August 18, 2004
 
What's wrong with the news media?
Charles, maybe you can answer this:

Friday midday, well before Hurricane Charley made landfall, Dr. Mark Johnson and I sent press releases to the usual suspects (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, NPR) showing that Charley could be the most expensive storm in US history at over $30 Billion in damage. Sent a link to our real time damage estimate page - the same data that is given to the state of Florida under a project we are working on (the page is archived here.

Not a single response. Even as Florida and FEMA were saying "we don't have a good estimate" that evening (they had these numbers), and through the weekend as the numbers climbed from "a few billion" to now over $20 billion, our data was up and on-line. The only place our estimates ran were in the Savannah Morning News.

Now, I know, there are lots of nut cases out there, and the media are probably swamped with them. But here are two recognized researchers who have published literally dozens of scientific papers on the subject, who are or have been consultants to every hurricane prone state in the US (incl. Hawai'i), who are under contract from two of the states that were hit by the storm to produce damage estimates, and are ignored.

I just don't understand. It would be one thing if there were other estimates out there, but as far as I know there were no damage estimates until well after landfall (like Monday). So did you guys want to ditch your insurance stock before reporting the damage, or what?


posted by Chuck at 3:17 PM
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Friday, August 13, 2004
 
Michelle Malkin's Ethics. Interesting post from Eric Muller. And for a sample of her "research," check out the comments. And just why is Michelle so catty towards other attractive women?

posted by Charles at 7:38 PM
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Thursday, August 12, 2004
 
Pictures of the Russian Euro2004 Team
Photos of the Euro2004 team. Original in Russian is here.

Wonder why soccer isn't more popular here.


posted by Chuck at 3:29 PM
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Swift Boat Vets for Bush
The more I think about this, the more it bugs me. I don't like JFKerry, and won't vote for him. I suspect his war record isn't quite as glorious as it is portrayed (few are). But the swift boat vets that suddenly came out of the woodwork to publish this book and try to zap Kerry strike me as a partisan hit squad (pun intended).

If they really cared about our country (and not just Bush or the Republican Party), they would have done this the day Kerry declared himself a candidate. That way, the Democrats could have considered their perspective, and possibly come up with a better candidate for President (like the head janitor of the Fleet Center). Then we might have a rational choice for the office, instead of the present situation of the lesser of two evils. But no - they lurked until he was formally nominated, then struck. If they cared about the nation they would have been doggin him during his senate career as well, not just waited until now. It just looks like a hit job, no matter how good their facts are.


posted by Chuck at 7:46 AM
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Monday, August 09, 2004
 
Bombing the blog
I've noticed that the blogger software sometimes blows up and does weird things like clone 5 or 6 copies of one post when I try to post from a Linux based browser (Mozilla or Konqueror). Probably a Microsoft Conspiracy (tm).


posted by Chuck at 10:13 AM
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Sunday, August 08, 2004
 
Lost Highway I'm watching this CMT series now. As a documentary, I haven't been too impressed so far. It's too scattershot. But some of the old clips of acts like the Carter Family, the Louvin Brothers, Ray Price, etc. have been terrific.

posted by Charles at 8:52 PM
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Friday, August 06, 2004
 
Dropping the Bomb
Interesting series of articles at Editor and Publisher on "Managing the news at the dawn of the Atomic Age".

In general, I think the media is easily managed and misled on technical issues, especially military and space affairs. There are some good people in the media business, but from my perspective as a technical specialist in several areas that end up in the news (and as an occasional source), a key problem is that not enough journalists have techncial backgrounds in science and engineering, and are forced to rely on outside "experts" - most of which have serious conflicts of interest (consider the warheads that appear on the news channels).

Part of it is probably money - I charge more per hour than many reporters I've worked with make in a day. Of course, the real outrage is that my base rate is more per hour than my wife, a nationally recognized teacher, makes in a day. Not that I don't deserve it (naturally, I'm underpaid), but our society doesn't value some professions as much as it should.



posted by Chuck at 4:23 PM
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Wednesday, August 04, 2004
 
When Pretty Ladies Write Ugly Things. Michelle Malkin has a new book out defending the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II. Over at The Volokh Conspiracy Eric Muller is slowly tearing it to shreds. He writes in one post:

I was, frankly, amazed at the speed with which Michelle researched and wrote the book, and then brought it to publication. She mentioned yesterday that she had been led to do much of the research for the book by a weblog dialogue (a "diablogue?") between me and Sparky at Sgt. Styker that took place 16 months ago.


..........................

I can't imagine how Michelle--or, indeed, anyone--could have done the primary research necessary to understand the record, let alone "correct" it in the manner the book attempts to do, in five or six years, let alone in one. Especially while doing anything at all in addition to researching the book (such as writing a nationally syndicated newspaper column). ....


Well, our paper carries Malkin's column, and judging from it, she likely didn't do the sort of intensive primary research Muller talks about.

Malkin essentially writes two columns over and over again. In the first, she finds some immigrant, preferably illegal, who has raped, murdered or been caught jaywalking and turns that into 700 words indicting U.S. immigration policy. And if the story doesn't warrant 700 words, don't worry, she pads it out with lots of ad hominem attacks on anyone who thinks there may be ways to cull out criminals and terrorists without barring everyone yearning to breath free.

In her second column, she takes some attractive actress, singer or model and gets all catty about her brains, morals or looks.

Malkin has basically become a younger, (much) more attractive, less talented (yikes) version of Ann Coulter. She mistakes anecdotes for arguments and delights in being controversial for its own sake. She'll never win any friends and won't influence anyone who doesn't already agree with her.


posted by Charles at 11:08 PM
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Sunday, August 01, 2004
 
The Smartest Person Ever? Tyler Cowen and Virginia Postrel are very, very wrong. Aristotle is head and shoulders above any other candidates for that honor. Hume? Heck, I wouldn't even rank him in the top 100.

posted by Charles at 10:34 PM
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