Bookmarks for December 31st

Some additional reading December 31st from 12:58 to 18:02:

  • The Parting Glass: Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash – "Cuchulainn was a powerful leader in Irish mythology (click the link for more details). He is the central figure in the "Ulster Cycle" of poems which is roughly the Irish equivalent of the Arthurian legends in England. One of the poems in the cycle is "Serglige Con Culaind & Oenét Emire," or "The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn" "
  • Flickr: Discussing Photographer's rights tutorial in Photography is not a crime – "I can't fathom a way of tying trespassing to taking a picture. You might have a camera in your hand, but the act of trespassing is you physically being on the property. You could be taking pictures, or picking boogers, it doesn't matter, it's the physical act of being on the property, regardless of what you're doing.

    Oh, and in most US states, the one asking you to leave must be the property owner, or a authorized representative thereof. And yes, a hired security guard at a mall is considered an authorized representative"


Up Yours Illinois!

Up Yours Illinois!, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

A defiant prick.

Based on today’s Chicago Tribune headline.

Apologies to X-Ray Spex

Rod “the Impaler” Blagojevich continues to amuse…

Advertising Blogtopia

Mrs O Has No Regrets

Interesting write-up of the Mrs. O blog

Michelle Obama-at Blackbird

ON the blog Mrs. O, fans of Michelle Obama’s style can view photos of the outfit she wore on a recent date with the president-elect and find out where to buy the same purple designer coat.

The advertising agency behind the blog, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, does not work for Mrs. Obama or for the fashion designers the site features. In fact, is not for a client at all. It is an entirely new business created by the Zag division of Bartle Bogle, which the agency started to invent new brands.

Mrs. O and Zag are part of a business model transformation in the advertising industry. Agencies are parlaying their expertise in marketing the brands of other companies into creating and marketing their own.

Zag got into the fashion blogging business in September, after Mary Tomer, a 27-year-old account planner at Bartle Bogle in New York, hatched the idea for the blog. She noticed Mrs. Obama’s style during the Democratic convention, yet could not find information on what she wore.

She decided to create a Web site, which she described as “a central resource for tracking her style and providing as much designer information and commentary as possible.”

Instead of writing the blog in her spare time after work, like most bloggers with day jobs, she approached her employers to see if they would bankroll her new hobby. They readily agreed.

“Mary was very sure about what she wanted, and when you read about the best brands, they are unrelenting,” Mr. Jenkins said. “That’s what I preached to my clients for the last 10 years, and now we have the chance to do that ourselves.”[Click to read more Advertising – Ad Agencies Create and Market Their Own Brands –]

and this is how my photo ended up there:

Ms. Tomer and the site’s other writers find pictures of Mrs. Obama in newspapers or on the photo Web site Flickr and get permission from the photographers to post the photos free. They research her outfits by calling designers, searching on sites like and, when stumped, turning to the blog’s readers.

At first, Bartle Bogle thought of the site as an experiment in new media. Quickly, though, “there was a realization that there was a bigger idea here that was a very viable business opportunity,” Ms. Tomer said.

Ms. Tomer was very polite, professional, and of course I was pleased to be affiliated, even tangentially, with her website. I hope she’s able to parlay Mrs. O into a great success, for at least eight years…


Crowne Plaza at Night

Crowne Plaza at Night, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

from Skybridge

View large on black


Bookmarks for December 29th through December 30th

A few interesting links for December 29th through December 30th:

  • Flickriver: swanksalot’s most interesting photos – takes forever to load, but I’m still baffled by Flickr’s algorithm
  • An Illegal Bridge? on Flickr – Photo Sharing! – “print these out on Avery stock #8871 and carry the cards with me.
    ——————————————– ———————–
    I am a freelance photographer

    I am a photographer, not a terrorist

    My activity is protected by the United States Constitution.

    I do not consent to any search of my camera, photos, bags, or self without a proper warrant.

    If you are a police officer objecting to your picture being taken, your objection is hereby denied under USDC Robinson v. Fetterman. No. 04-3592 Civ.A. (E.D. Pa Order Dated May 5, 2005)
    ——————————————– —————————-
    I am going to add this:

    I am excercising my 1st Amendment rights and any denial of those rights will be a violation of 42 USC Section 1983 ”

  • Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection: Port of Long Beach Responds to Incident of Photographer Harassment – Still in CYA mode at Port of Long Beach “The fact that the Officer would suggest that he forced us to stop shooting because he “thought we were trying to enter a private area,” is a bald faced lie. This Officer is a liar who is trying to justify his act of harassment in some way after the fact. I would encourage staff at the Port of Long Beach to examine the photograph of the Officer, the bridge above and the Google Map link. They should know the location where we were shooting and should also know that we were nowhere near any private areas whatsoever when this incident took place.”
  • Yes, Virginia, Bloggers Are Not Journalists, Usually – “Yeah, anybody can offer opinions, but not everybody can be a news reporter.

    The conceit on the Right Blogosphere — I really haven’t seen as much of this nonsense on the Left — is that an army of “Davids,” or little-guy bloggers, could replace journalism. If by “journalism” one means “reporting,” I say, not likely. Reporting for the most part is the daily slog of going forth to cultivate and talk to sources, interview insiders, assume the sources and insiders are all lying and talk to other sources and other insiders, check police blotters, chase ambulances, and otherwise dig through a lot of boring documentation so that you are as certain as you can be that what you say is true before the copy deadline, because your highest mission is to be accurate. That’s what reporters do.”


Goodby Blue Porkpie Hat

Goodby Blue Porkpie Hat, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

Beau Barry and friends at the Village Cafe & Pub

[ ]

[view large on black: ]


Cadillac Palace – fisheye

Cadillac Palace – fisheye, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

faux-fisheye that is.

government Photography

Long Beach Harbor Patrol Says Photography Is a Crime

Thomas Hawk and David Sommars fight for photographers rights, again, and Johnny Law wins, again, because Johnny (and Jill) Law had side arms, and Thomas Hawk and his buddy only had digital camera gear. Such a ridiculous belief on the part of police: they feel they are able to manufacture new laws on the spot. And of course, real terrorists wouldn’t be as conspicuous, even if they wanted to photograph industrial machinery (and there is exactly zero evidence that any terrorists have ever done so – it only happens in the movies). Photography is not a crime!

2nd Long Beach Harbor Patrol Officer (shrugging her shoulders): Oh, well, you’re just going to have to leave. Photography is not allowed here without a permit.”

During this altercation both David and I were asked to present identification to the police. They used our IDs to run background checks on both of us.

Now personally I have no problem with the cops stopping to talk to us and check out what we were doing. I also had no problem with Securitas photographing me earlier or following me to get my license plate number. But I think that it went too far when the Long Beach Harbor Patrol ran background checks on us and I think it also went too far when they required us to leave our shoot location. As far as I’m aware there is no law which requires permits in order to shoot the Long Beach Harbor from a public sidewalk. And to kick us off of the bridge that we were legally on was not justified and violated our constitutional rights.

We repeatedly tried to argue for our right to shoot at this location for about a half an hour. The entire time the cops were insistent that we were not allowed to shoot there without a permit. David showed the cops in question photos of his on his iPhone in order to share the type of photography that we were after, but none of this seemed to matter. We were on their turf and they weren’t going to stand for that. He just kept repeatedly bringing up 911 over and over telling us that we were going to need to leave.

What bothers me even more is that this is not the first time that David (who shoots in Long Beach Harbor more regularly than I do) has been harassed by the cops there. David has had lots of previous run ins there. David told me that he’s been stopped about 10 times in the last six months while shooting in Long Beach Harbor. About half of those stops involved actual police in addition to security guards. On one occasion the cops actually handcuffed him and in another incident 4 police cars and a black SUV converged on him. He’s also had FBI agents call on him over his photography. Personally I think it’s wrong to handcuff peaceful photographers for the “crime” of photography while questioning and detaining.

[Click to continue reading Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection: Long Beach Harbor Patrol Says Photography “Not Allowed” From Public Sidewalk]

Some photos of this incident and other similar incidents can be found here.

And Groucho Glasses Too

And as Thomas Hawk concludes:

What I am tired of though is the harassment that photographers face on a regular basis while out documenting our world. Photography is not a crime. 911 didn’t suddenly magically turn photographers into criminals. And as long as photography is not a crime, I think that cops, security guards and other authority figures should be required to live within the legal system as it now stands. Maybe some day they will pass a law that shooting Long Beach Harbor is in fact a crime. Or maybe they’ll actually pass a law that permits *are* actually required to shoot there. But until that day happens (and I’d be one vocally opposing any such rule like that) this sort of harassment ought not take place. And it’s unfortunate when it does.


Parallel Worlds

Parallel Worlds, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

amused that I didn’t bother to straighten this out

humor Music

Straight Outta Glasgow

“Straight Outta Compton” (N.W.A)

This amuses me, probably for the mental image (rappers in kilts, haggis studded with bling, yadda yadda)

A professor has theorized that rap music, by way of the dozens, originated in medieval Scottish pubs…

Professor Ferenc Szasz argued that so-called rap battles, where two or more performers trade elaborate insults, derive from the ancient Caledonian art of “flyting“.

According to the theory, Scottish slave owners took the tradition with them to the United States, where it was adopted and developed by slaves, emerging many years later as rap.

Professor Szasz is convinced there is a clear link between this tradition for settling scores in Scotland and rap battles, which were famously portrayed in Eminem’s 2002 movie 8 Mile.

He said: “The Scots have a lengthy tradition of flyting – intense verbal jousting, often laced with vulgarity, that is similar to the dozens that one finds among contemporary inner-city African-American youth.

“Both cultures accord high marks to satire. The skilled use of satire takes this verbal jousting to its ultimate level – one step short of a fist fight.”

[Click to read more Rap music originated in medieval Scottish pubs, claims American professor – Telegraph]

and to fulfill any lingering grad student impulses:

The most famous surviving example of flyting comes from a 16th-century piece in which two rival poets hurl increasingly obscene rhyming insults at one another before the Court of King James IV.

Titled the Flyting Of Dunbar And Kennedy, it has been described by academics as “just over 500 lines of filth”.

Right? So just imagine lines like these being recited over a phat beat of knives clanging on a bottle of single malt whisky:

Into the Katryne thou maid a foule cahute, For thow bedrate hir doune fra starn to stere; Apon hir sydis was sene thou coud schute, Thy dirt clevis till hir towis this twenty yere: The firmament na firth was nevir cler, Quhill thou, Deulbere, devillis birth, was on the see, The saulis had sonkin throu the syn of the, War not the peple maid sa grete prayere.

Quhen that the schip was saynit, and undir saile,
Foul brow in holl thow preposit for to pas,
Thou schot, and was not sekir of thy tayle,
Beschate the stere, the compas, and the glas;
The skippar bad ger land the at the Bas:
Thow spewit, and kest out mony a lathly lomp,
Fastar than all the marynaris coud pomp;
And now thy wame is wers than evir it was.

Hmmm. Maybe not.


Bookmarks for December 28th

Some additional reading December 28th from 17:15 to 18:23:

  • Hullabaloo – Long Run Fantasy – Condi Rice and Laura Bush are insisting that the administration will be vindicated by history for all the wonderful work it has done around the world. Rice, especially, is intent upon making the case that if the world gets better some time in the future, Bush will be given the credit for it. (This isn’t the first time she and Bush have made this stupid comment.)This definition of success would mean that you have to reevaluate Tojo since Japan has since become a prosperous, first world country. After all, if it weren’t for him, the world wouldn’t be where it is today. Hell, where would Western Europe be if it weren’t for that bad man in the mustache — or Eastern Europe if it hadn’t been for Stalin? Hey, even Caligula can be seen to be a hero if you believe that the world is better off today than it was during Roman times.
  • U.S. Health Care Costs Part VI: At What Price Physician Autonomy? – Economix Blog – – “The wonder is that neither Congress, nor the medical profession, nor private health insurers has so far felt obligated to come to grips with these enormous variations in health spending nor even to evince any curiosity about them.According to the Dartmouth researchers, if physicians with relatively higher cost preferred practice styles could be induced to embrace the preferred practice styles of their equally effective but lower-cost colleagues, overall per-capita Medicare spending probably could be reduced by at least 30 percent without harming patients, and similarly for commercially insured younger Americans. How can a nation that routinely wails over its high cost of health care ignore such important research?”
  • Matthew Yglesias » Physician, Heal Thyself (or at least do it more cheaply) – “including the striking fact that “on average, American patients receive the recommended treatment for their condition only slightly more than 50 percent of the time.” Yikes.
  • Repower America – “By making buildings and homes more efficient, ramping up renewable energy generation, constructing a unified national smart grid, and transitioning to clean and affordable plug-in cars, we can address our country’s economic and national security challenges—all while making huge strides to solve the climate crisis.

    Please join with Al Gore and more than two million others calling on our leaders to Repower America with 100% clean electricity within 10 years.”

  • Three-dimensional chess – Watching our cats jockey for position. They’d probably excel at Tri-D Chess
    “The original Star Trek prop was assembled using boards from 3-D Checkers and 3-D Tic Tac Toe games available in stores at the time (also visible being played in the original series episodes) and adding futuristic chess pieces. Rules for the game were never invented within the series; in fact, the boards are sometimes not even aligned consistently from one shot to the next within a single episode. The Tri-D chessboard set was made popular by its inclusion in The Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual by Franz Joseph, who invented starting positions for the playing pieces and short additional rules. The complete Standard Rules of this game were originally developed in 1976 by Andrew Bartmess (with approval from Joseph), and he has subsequently expanded and fine-tuned them.”


Puzzle of Puzzles

Puzzle of Puzzles, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

yet another sunset photo


Bookmarks for December 26th through December 27th

A few interesting links for December 26th through December 27th:

  • Titanium Software – OnyX – "OnyX allows you to verify the Startup Disk and the structure of its System files, run miscellaneous tasks of system maintenance, configure some hidden parameters of the Finder, Dock, Dashboard, Exposé, Safari, Login window and some of Apple's own applications, it deletes caches, removes a certain number of files and folders that may become cumbersome and more.

    It automatically checks updates, verifies the status of the startup disk and the structure of system files at launch, defines with precision the actions, and modifies the appearance of OnyX, increases the window transparency, chooses its own icon and toolbar icons among those available in the Preferences…"

  • Thomas Hawk – “had a great time tonight shooting industrial stuff near Long Beach with David Sommars. Unfortunately we ended up being hassled while shooting three times. Including having the Long Beach Harbor police run background checks on us and telling us that we were not allowed to shoot from a perfectly…

Yard Art

Yard Art, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

gargoyles – taken from inside the Chicago Athletic Club


When Fats Waller Met Al Capone

“The Very Best of Fats Waller” (Fats Waller)

Kottke pointed out this great incident in Jazz history.

One evening Fats felt a revolver poked into his paunchy stomach. He found himself bullied into a black limousine, heard the driver ordered to East Cicero. Sweat pouring down his body, Fats foresaw a premature end to his career, but on arrival at a fancy saloon, he was merely pushed toward a piano and told to play. He played. Loudest in applause was a beefy man with an unmistakable scar: Al Capone was having a birthday, and he, Fats, was a present from “the boys”.

The party lasted three days. Fats exhausted himself and his repertoire, but with every request bills were stuffed into his pockets. He and Capone consumed vast quantities of food and drink. By the time the black limousine headed back to the Sherman, Fats had acquired severeal thousand dollars in cash and a decided taste for vintage champagne

[From First encounters: When Fats Waller met Al Capone | Independent, The (London) ]

I’ve always had an affection for Fats Waller (and in fact, we have a song of his that is ‘penciled in‘ to our screenplay), now I love him even more. What a cool cat.

By the way, you could purchase a home previously owned by Al Capone (seen here getting an autographed baseball at Comiskey Park1 ), if you were so inclined:

Want to own a notorious piece of Chicago history?

The modest, red-brick home once owned by Al Capone is expected to hit the market this spring for an estimated $450,000, marking a new chapter for the infamous South Side landmark that has had just two owners since the death of Capone’s mother in 1952.

“I think there’s some value in the home’s history,” said Barbara Hogsette, 71, who has lived in the house since 1963

For more than a century, the two-flat home with large bay windows has stood near the corner of 72nd Street and South Prairie Avenue in the working-class Park Manor neighborhood. Cook County records show the Capones bought the home for $5,500 in August 1923, part of a wave of first- and second-generation European immigrants who moved to that part of the city in the Prohibition era.

  1. Gangster Al Capone and his son having baseball autographed by player Gabby Hartnett aka Charles Leo Hartnett from Capone’s front row seat []