Dan Goodman's journal - March 25th, 2006

March 25th, 2006

March 25th, 2006
11:11 am


From the Drudge Report
Sat Mar 25 2006 10:09:51 ET

A Republican challenger to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is bizarrely claiming that the former first lady has been spying in her bedroom window and flying helicopters over her house in the Hamptons, the NEW YORK POST reported in a frontpage splash on Saturday.

Former Reagan-era Pentagon official Kathleen "KT" McFarland stunned a crowd of Suffolk County Republicans on Thursday by saying:

"Hillary Clinton is really worried about me, and is so worried, in fact, that she had helicopters flying over my house in Southampton today taking pictures," according to a prominent GOP activist who was at the event.

"She wasn't joking, she was very, very serious, and she also claimed that Clinton's people were taking pictures across the street from her house in Manhattan, taking pictures from an apartment across the street from her bedroom," added the eyewitness, who is not involved in the Senate race.

Suffolk County Republican Chairman Harry Withers, who hosted the reception in East Islip, confirmed McFarland's paranoid statements.

"Yes, she said that," Withers told the POST.

McFarland spokesman William O'Reilly responded that the GOP hopeful was just kidding around with her far-fetched claims.

"It was a joke, and people laughed," O'Reilly insisted.

But three witnesses who were present said nobody in the audience cracked a smile.

"The whole room sort of went silent when she said it," one person said.

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04:46 pm


[From: David Eagleman] 25.March.2006

After many months of programming, we are pleased to announce that we have just launched Synesthete.org, a free website of online questionnaires and software tests for synesthesia. This website is designed to be used by individual synesthetes and the whole community of synesthesia researchers.

While many research groups currently study synesthesia, there has been no single protocol for comparing, contrasting and pooling synesthetic subjects. There has been no standard battery of tests, no quantifiable scoring system, and no standard phrasing of questions. Additionally, the tests that exist have offered no means for data comparison.

To this end, we have designed The Synesthesia Battery. This unified collection of tests is freely accessible online (www.synesthete.org <http://www.synesthete.org/> ), and consists of an extensive questionnaire and several online software programs. The battery has been designed to be user friendly and intuitive. The tests taken by a subject depend on his/her answers to a series of initial questions. The completion of each test automatically leads the subject to the next applicable test or questionnaire.

Upon logging in, synesthetes can choose to share their data with a researcher; if they do, the researcher is automatically emailed and can log on to examine the results. Using this method, researchers can send unlimited subjects to the site and log in to collect the complete results. Performance on the tests is quantified with a standard scoring system. The data is not shared with anyone except for the synesthete and the (optionally invited) researcher.

By presenting standardized procedures for testing and comparing subjects, this endeavor hopes to speed scientific progress in synesthesia research. The continued improvement of synesthete.org anticipates the input of the wider synesthesia community, so please let us know your feedback.

All the best,


p.s. see a demo of the battery by clicking Preview the Battery on the main page

David M. Eagleman, PhD
Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy, University of Texas, Houston
Institute for Neuroscience and Psychology Dept, University of Texas, Austin
Department of Psychology, Rice University

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05:12 pm


Recap: Ben Dominech was hired by the Washington Post to write a conservative blog. Liberal bloggers publicized evidence of plagiarism. A lot of plagiarism.

'The biggest bulk of work in question comes from Domenech’s college years at William & Mary. While working at the student newspaper his freshman year, Domenech said, he discovered his editor had been inserting the work of other publications into his movie reviews. He left the job after one semester and went to work for another publication when the editor received a promotion, he said.

'"The idea that the attack machine has gotten to the level where they dig back to your freshman year of college, when you’re 17, and say, ‘Hey, this guy should have been thinking about the authority of what he was writing the same way that people do at the New York Times,’ then, I mean, it’s idiotic," he said. "I certainly was sloppier than I should have been, but the sense that I ever felt this was significant or this was dangerous or that there was ever anything to come out of it is just ridiculous."'

[That last sentence suggests confusion between the world in his head and objective reality.]

In 2004, conservative bloggers found and publicized evidence that CBS had fallen for forged documents. Before the Net, this would not have come to light anywhere near as soon. Domenech's plagiarisms would have been uncovered without the Net, but it would have taken longer.

Earlier, a non-blog website became famous for reporting news which traditional news media knew about but had decided not to report yet:

'[Matt] Drudge's website [http://drudgereport.com] gained in popularity in the late 1990s after a series of reports in which he beat the mainstream media by reporting first. Drudge first received national attention in 1996 when he broke the news that Jack Kemp would be Republican Bob Dole's running mate in the 1996 presidential election. In 1998, Drudge gained notoriety when he was the first outlet to break the news which later became the Monica Lewinsky scandal....

'....Drudge's most famous achievement, the breaking of the Monica Lewinsky story, offended editors because by publishing details of the story, Drudge essentially made an editorial decision that overrode Newsweek's (which was sitting on the story).'

If you're a journalist or a politician, your secrets aren't nearly as safe as they used to be. If you're a blogger, your secrets aren't secure either.

What I think comes next: Podcasts of speeches and conversations which were supposed to be off the record. And a bit after that, videocasts.

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06:14 pm


A couple more songs
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09:43 pm


Happy Birthday, kate_schaefer!!

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09:55 pm


Saturday March 25, 2006. Picked up Fare For All food, and signed up for next month. How Fare For All works: you get food for a low price, plus a couple of hours of volunteer work -- which can be formal, or helping a neighbor. (They haven't been stringent about the volunteer work.)

***To Pillsbury House. Bought a few things at the Time Dollar Store.

Then the Clutterers Anonymous meeting. There was one other person.
The May Analog includes one story I'm glad I read. Jerry Oltion's "Slide Show" is a political story which depends on technology, and one of the better political sf stories I've seen.//Harry Turtledove's "The Scarlet Band" is very different in one way from anything I've seen from him lately -- it's a story, rather than storyless fiction. Readable Sherlock Holmes pastiche. An alternate Earth with such large geographical differences from ours wouldn't have European societies so similar to those of our history, but complaining about that is like complaining that Ray Bradbury's Mars isn't scientifically accurate. Note: If I'd been the editor, I would have bobbited off the inexplicit sex at the end.//The first installment of Edward L. Lerner's A New Order of Things looks interesting, but it will take me a while to get into it. The prose is as clunky as that of much 1940s sf.
Information needed: a beginner's guide to vids and vidding. I'm trying to figure out how vidding might be used for political purposes, and I don't know enough about vidding.
Writing: "The Far Cousins" -- I've got the ending noted down. And I figured out who/what the far cousins are.

Self-help information: Answered CLA newcomer's questions, gave out some pamphlets.

Decluttering: Trash out. Trash picked up.


Finance: Used the Time Dollar Store.

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