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March 28, 2006

One of the Dumber Headlines I've Read!

I couldn't restrain myself!  I read this and ALL I could think of was DUH! And no it has nothing to do with politics (with, I suspect, one minor exception of a phrase that I really think is a requirement in all AP stories).

Here's the Headline!

"Eclipse Tomorrow Will Blot Out the Sun"

Eclipse_1Thank you soooo much!  I wasn't sure what this particular solar eclipse would do! 

The other component I was talking about that seems to be mandatory in all AP articles is a reference to the "...Poorest Lands" 

"Tourists and scientists were gathering at spots around the world for a solar show _ the first total eclipse in years, which will sweep northeast from Brazil to Mongolia, blotting out the sun across swathes of of the world's poorest lands."

As in "Damn this eclipse for picking on poor people!  It must be a Republican!"

Nuff Said...

Photo Courtesy - 2001 eclipse image © Wendy Carlos and Jay M. Pasachoff

March 28, 2006 in Idiots on Parade, Media, The Press | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack


March 27, 2006

Changed my Site Look {updated}

As you can obviously surmise, I've changed a bit of the look of Carmichael's Position.

[Revised:  Based on TW's comment, "Well John, since I use your company's fine RSS reader - NewsGator Online - I can't obviously surmise that your site changed. I almost never go there, except to post annoying comments." ]

I have provided a screen capture of the web interface (you'd think I'd think of that considering how much time I spend in NewsGator...).


[Revised... Revised:  I have been asked what the old banner looked like... so see below.]


I've made a number of changes to the site, some temporary, others probably permanent.  The other look had been in place for nearly 2 years and I needed some CSS practice, so here's the new look (for a little while at least).  I'm learning TopStyle, so I can better address CSS and HTML issues that arise in the course of my day job.

First off I know the look is pretty bold, I'm not sure I'm going to keep things this strong.

The Banner is of the USS Midway looking forward from "Elevator 3" into the sunset over Point Loma.  I had a few other Banners in mind like...

This one:


Which I think feels a little too 70's TV show... I can't remember exactly which one but damn this looks familiar!  The view, by the way, is directly out my office window of Downtown Denver (to the South-Southeast).

And this one:

Cp_banner_5 A little too 40's... And I'm not real sure it sums up my life, my position, or my perspective... well... maybe part of my perspective.  It was fun to create though!

And the other candidate was this one:


But I do not live on San Diego Bay overlooking the Coronado Bridge like I used to...

I am curious to know what you think of the new skin, so please feel free to comment on improvements.

Also, I have deleted the Headlines in the right column temporarily .  They were experiencing a bug, that will hopefully be fixed soon, at which time I'll have them back up. {Update: The Headlines are up and functioning again, under the heading "Interesting Articles and Blog Posts... If you would like to learn how to do this on your blog or website, let me know and I'll send instructions.}  And finally I've added a Technorati search capability to search past posts from my blog (in the left column).

I hope you enjoy the changes, and I am open to suggestions.


March 27, 2006 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


March 24, 2006

Apache Helicopter for Sale

Anybody want to buy an honest to god Apache Helicopter?

Or as the seller puts it:

"Pre-owned Mission Damaged AH64A/D Longbow Apache Helicopter"

8a_1_b E2_1_b

Amazing what one can find on e-bay!  Although, I think something happened because the sale ended on the 23rd, with a small easily missed note stating:

"The seller ended this listing early because the item is no longer available for sale."  Probably a few too many bids from an Iraqi bank account?

69kievminskclr_1 Of course this isn't the only piece of Military Hardware for sale...  Anyone want to buy an Aircraft Carrier?  No kidding, the former pride of the Soviet Union, Minsk is still available for purchase for about 16 million dollars.  Berthing, I'm sure is extra!

March 24, 2006 in Just Plain Cool | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack


March 16, 2006

Lego Aircraft Carrier

Kb0009 I grew up playing with Legos.   My Mom and Dad loved the fact that I could spend hours at a time completely out of their hair designing, building and playing with infinite creations.  I made everything from airplanes (of course), cars, trains, and buildings to Saturn 5 Rockets.  Mind you I did this with all with the "old fashion" square and rectangle blocks with a few specialty blocks (some angles, some clear and a few wheels) thrown in for good measure.

I have been impressed with some of the creations I have seen in various places and Legoland stores...  But I ran across this today.  A Lego Aircraft Carrier, the USS Harry S. Truman to be precise!  And Wow!

Lego_aircraft_carrier_1 111111aaafeb0675_1

Anyone notice the size!  That's a Legoman next to the ship at the waterline!

Visit the site, Brickshelf for many more pictures.

March 16, 2006 in Aviation, Just Plain Cool, Navy | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


March 15, 2006

Arianna Huffington's Blogging Ethics

Like shooting fish in a barrel!

This is too easy of an ethical study!  I will not go off on some categorical rant about how Liberals are so unethical they do not even follow the basics of publishing protocol!  Because I do not think that is necessarily true. 


Dsc00131 It appears to be true with Arianna Huffington!  Does she not realize that misrepresentation on a public forum destroys credibility for all other representations on her site?  Hell it's not like she has that much to lose!  Representing a blog post as being published by someone famous (or infamous) like George Clooney to gain publicity or notoriety is foolish, and an act of desperation. 

Here's what happened: (from Elizabeth Snead on her Styles and Scenes feed)

"...Arianna Huffington used some of his [George Clooney's] recent answers to political questions in a way that makes it look as if he wrote one for her Huffington Post blog site.

Brilliant!  What did she think?  That because he shares the same political views as she that she could easily represent his opinions in a way that is exceedingly deceptive, without accountability or recourse?  Apparently so...

But, Mr Clooney was none to happy about this.  And rightfully so.  To George Clooney, his greatest asset is his "Well Known Name!"  It brings gravity to a cause or statement, his name is valuable!  702_george_clooney Whatever side of the political spectrum you land, one has to recognize that George Clooney gets attention when he states his opinion, right, wrong or indifferent, he has the "Star Power" to draw attention.  George and other Stars in Hollywood may be Dumb as a post when relating to world affairs, politics, geopolitical philosophy and proper governance... or not!  Same with 10's of millions of other Americans, but why does what George says matter in the least?  Because he is a known name! 

Arianna recognizes his popularity (especially as it relates to leaning left causes and issues) and wanted to leverage that.  But rather than simply quoting George, like the rest of us mere bourgeoisie bloggers do... She chose to pretend that George and she are so "well connected" that he would do her the honor of posting on her "Oh so contemporary, and cutting edge Blog" and post an article in his name!

George responded in a public statement:

"Miss Huffington's blog is purposefully misleading and I have asked her to clarify the facts. I stand by my statements but I did not write this blog. With my permission Miss Huffington compiled it from interviews with Larry King and The Guardian. What she most certainly did not get my permission to do is to combine only my answers in a blog that misleads the reader into thinking that I wrote this piece. These are not my writings — they are answers to questions and there is a huge difference."

Arianna Responded to George here:

...So we put together a sample blog from answers he had given on Larry King Live and an interview with the Guardian in London, and sent it to him to rework in any way he wanted.

A publicist who was working on the promotion of Good Night, and Good Luck, emailed back saying, "I will get it to him and get back to you as soon as I hear anything." Three days later, she emailed again, approving, without any changes, what we had sent: "Of course this is fine, Arianna!"

And once we had the approval, that's what we ran: George Clooney's words put into blog form.

This was an honest misunderstanding. But any misunderstanding that occurred, occurred between Clooney and the publicist. We based our decision to post on the unambiguous approval we received in writing. There was no room for misunderstanding in that.

And the response to the response from the Clooney Camp (again, thanks to "The Envelope":

Clooney rep Stan Rosenfield: "I read (Arianna's) response. This wasn't a misunderstanding. It was misrepresentation."

Clooney's camp insists they did not ask HuffPo to take down the item or to release a statement about lying and misrepresentation. They say they only asked for a posted qualifier explaining that the item was not written by Clooney but was a compilation of quotes from past interviews with Larry King and The Guardian.

Is this Arianna's idea of Freedom of speech?

March 15, 2006 in Idiots on Parade, Law, Media, Politics, The Press, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


March 13, 2006

Rupert Murdoch Gets "IT"

Can't teach an old dog new tricks huh?  Well there's an "Old Dog" out there teaching an industry "New Tricks."

As is often the case, Rupert Murdoch gets it!  In a presentation he recently made to the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, he stated, "Adapt to new technology or die!"

This was not directed at individuals in the room other than a Warning of the impending relegation to the modern day "Buggy Whip Factory" for the 4th estate, their industry!  Specifically the printed daily news.  Come on kids... you remember a Newspaper! It even outlasted:

  • Vinyl Records
  • Ticker Tape
  • Reel to Reel
  • 8 Tracks
  • Don Johnson's Aftershave!
  • William Shatner's Musical Career!
  • Jessica and Nick!

Sorry, I digress!

What's important to realize now is that Rupert is on the right track once again.  In our instant gratification society we want our information YESTERDAY!  Not tomorrow morning.  It's not uncommon to hear conversations that start like:

"Hey did you catch this story in the paper this morning about.... something international"

"Yeah I caught it on CNN last night after my son heads up'd me about the story he read on a Blog on his cell phone! The Internet had a great story first hand from someone who was there and actually uploaded digital pictures of it."

The newspaper is outdated 6 hours after an event!  Editors will argue that a newspaper performs the service of researching and being more deliberate in ascertaining the facts of the story, thus delivering a higher quality product to the consumer!

BS!  It is not the Newspaper that does this.  It is the staff, the reporters, the photographers, the columnists!  The "Newspaper" is the wrapper!  These entities can still perform the same quality service of in-depth research and reporting, just get over the idea that the delivery has to be via ink and paper!  And the day is coming, if not upon us, where this delivery is certainly secondary to all other forms of media delivery.

Mr Murdoch goes on to state, "A new generation of media consumers has risen demanding content delivered when they want it, how they want it, and very much as they want it."

Hmm... Sounds like our old Tag Line... "Content, When you want it, where you want it, how you want it!

More from Rupert,

"There is only one way. That is by using our skills to create and distribute dynamic, exciting content," he said.

"But -- and this is a very big but -- newspapers will have to adapt as their readers demand news and sport on a variety of platforms: websites, iPods, mobile phones or laptops.

What is not expressed in this article is the known answer in certain circles.  The circles I travel in!

Rss_reflective News Organizations need to learn 3 letters!  RSS!  This is how content can be distributed to literally Billions of people in minutes on the device of their choosing!  Web, Desktop, Laptop, Mobile Device, Television, you name it!  News and other information can be delivered and custom selected by the consumer!

It is not just publishing!  Is is providing users and customers with the right tools to easily access this information.  Companies like Newsgator are leading the way allowing a very easy to deploy customizable RSS reader and aggregator for media companies to provide to their customers.

Some in the "Newspaper" world are already proceeding down this path!  SFGate is an excellent example!  As well as the Denver Post. And others are not far behind!  Well known names in this space, will "not go gentle into that good night!"

March 13, 2006 in Media, The Press, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


March 12, 2006

Go Aztecs!

Sdsu Congratulations to the San Diego State Aztecs!  My Alma Mater has once again made it to the show! Saturday, they clinched their spot by winning the Mountain West Conference, defeating Wyoming 69-64 in overtime.

I cannot say I'm much of a basketball fan, but having a horse in the race will definitely  make the NCAA Tournament a bit more interesting, hopefully for more than just the first round! One thing is for sure, they won't advance too far unless they can dramatically improve their shooting percentage!  28% is nothing to write home about!

Good Luck Aztecs!  Do us proud!

March 12, 2006 in Sports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


March 08, 2006

Added a Favicon to my Blog

I recently added a Favicon for my blog. 

What's a favicon?  You may ask...  It's the little identifying logo of sorts that appears next to your site's URL in the address bar of many browsers, and next to the link in My Favorites.  They are small... Really small 16 pixels by 16 pixels to be precise.

Anyway, thanks to a tip from a Typepad Tips and Tricks RSS feed I was able to learn how to create a specific favicon for this blog.  I played around with a few ideas, but it is really important to remember that your favicon is REALLY REALLY SMALL! 

Using a site that helps you create a favicon called FavIcons from Pics I generated a number of options.

Here are a couple of my ideas:

Cp_logo_3  and Cp_logo_4

The idea was to represent the overall purpose of this blog and well... the first one sort of sums it up.  Carmichael's Position is basically my Soap Box and the wing represents a couple of things, first my love of flight, and second it is a "Right Wing" to signify... ah hell... you know!

But when I uploaded the icon and it rendered in 16X16 pixels it sort of lost its significance. 

Cp_logo_3_1 See what I mean?

So back to the drawing board.  And thus the second one, with the Wing remaining and the "CP" logo.

Cp_logo_4_1 A little better.  I may still alter it a bit.  So keep an eye in your browser.


March 8, 2006 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


March 06, 2006

Heritage Flight

I've seen my share of what are referred to as "Heritage Flights."  I think they are a great opportunity for attendees of airshows across the land to see the old and the new side by side.

The last Heritage Flight I saw first hand was at the Grand Junction Airshow in 2005 with an F-16C from Shaw Air Force Base and a P-51D.

Img_0491_2 Img_0500

Today, I ran across a series of photos of a Heritage Flight with the Air Force's latest fighter the F-22 Raptor (no I do not acknowledge the F/A-22 designator... that's a stretch!) Better Stuff!  Go here and click the photos!  Wow!  For all my fellow aviation aficionados... you will enjoy the quality of these.   They are found, complete with description of who's who on "The Officer's Club."


March 6, 2006 in Aviation | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack


March 02, 2006

Denver High School Teacher on a Rant

I could go on for hours as to what I find not just politically dishonest, but intellectually, philosophically, and ethically dishonest and dangerous about the pontifications of Jay Bennish, a Overland High School, 10th Grade World Geography Teacher, but it is going to take me some time to formulate a proper analysis of, not just the words, but the method of delivery.

Allow me the opportunity to present you with the raw data so you, noble reader, can formulate your own opinion of the "lecture" presented to a (arguably) captive audience of 15 year olds.

From 9 News Denver "Actual taped lecture of Jay Bennish"

My disdain is not a result of my politics in this case! I would have the same opinion of any teacher in a classroom presenting as one-sided a lecture on topics that are as subjective as philosophy, diplomacy, politics and economic theory as this one from any perspective.  It is the role of the teacher to illustrate that opinions vary in this world and it is a never ending challenge to ascertain the facts of an argument and to formulate a valid opinion, belief, or value from the smorgasbord of information we are pummeled with daily in this world.

As one who has been formally trained in argumentation, persuasion, classical rhetorical theory, and debate, I find the teacher's lecture categorically reprehensible.  The tone of the delivery is manipulative and coercive, utilizing a forceful authoritative delivery method, replete with loaded language, rhetorical questions, non-contextual quotes and outright non-factual statements from a perceived authority figure; whereas to challenge such ideas presented could be viewed as detrimental by the student in the form of peer humiliation and/or grades.

I would welcome the opportunity to argue either for or against this teacher's perspective in a college level political science course, philosophy course, a communication in politics course, or better yet an ethics course where an open structured debate is facilitated and governed by logical premise and supportive evidence.  But to subject untrained high school sophomores to this type of diatribe represents a moral bankruptcy in today's academic training that needs to be addressed.

What concerns me is that a number of people see no wrong in this teacher's message, delivery or perspective simply because it is the point of view of the "Tolerant Left" against the "Narrow Minded" right.  That is intellectually dishonest!

March 2, 2006 in Politics | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack