March 04, 2005



The United Nations today filed suit against Harvard University for violation of The United Nations long-standing trademarks, including the United Nations name, image, and patented seating configuration. According to the office of the United Nations Secretary-General, the breach represents further encroachment upon, and potential dilution of, the United Nations as brand and global influencer, thereby reducing the organization’s effectiveness in working with sovereign nations around the world.

Named in the suit is The Media Center at The American Press Institute, Harvard University, and the President and Fellows of Harvard College. The alleged infringement took place in an online events forum for an upcoming conference: Whose News: Media, Technology and the Common Good. Organizers of the “invitation-only” event stated:

“The symposium is based on cross-sector discourse. It will be conducted U.N. style, with participants seated in a U-shaped arena for discussion. All participants will have equal standing; everyone will contribute as a witness.”

Commenting about the lawsuit, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was most concerned by the lack of inclusiveness of the closed event.

“It seems pretty lame to me that a bunch of privileged white men – okay there are some women – sitting around in a circle at Harvard would choose to use the image of the highly-inclusive United Nations to symbolize what they’re up to,” Annan said. “In fact, it’s downright fishy.”

Event organizers attempted to clarify the conference objectives:

“Will the traditions of professional journalism survive? Should they? What are the implications for society? Technology, humanity and the global datastream: What’s going on? How will it benefit society? We Media, the culture, and the common good: How we know, how we learn, how we trust in the emerging ecosystem of participatory, always-on media.”

“WTF?” Annan asked. “The global datastream?”

Many Internet pioneers who were excluded from the event also criticized its intentions.

“The thing I find most offensive is that I wasn’t invited,” said Dave Winer, who writes the well-known weblog and invented blogging in 1954. “As far as I’m concerned it’s bogus.”

Well-known and well-liked blogger David Weinberger, who is invited to everything, said it’s all about the story.

“We’ll create a story about the dialogs,” said Weinberger, Cluetrain author and long-time fan of the human conversation. “Story makers have been assigned to each of three discussions. They’ll capture the proceedings with video and still cameras, recordings and notes. Key ideas will be projected on a screen as they occur. The story makers will share their findings, follow up with participants and decide how to present the story.”

Jarvis-Rosen-Rubin-MacKinnon-Stone agreed. Annan remained skeptical.

“Look, I don’t care what they say they’re up to, but the bottom line is this: You can set your room up in a circle; you can set your room in ten circles; but if you’re exclusive of who fills them, you’re limiting what you can accomplish," Annan said. "This sure as hell ain’t the UN. Now put that in your story and blog it.”

March 02, 2005

If you're there, you better be THERE

SXSW is the only conference I would pay to attend within the world of conferences I know about, if in fact I had the money, which I don't, and yet, oddly, I still have a point.

If you've broken open your piggy bank, or if you're speaking, or if you find yourself there by some lucky corpo-sponsored chance, I'd advise you to check out the Blogging While Black discussion, with smart panelists who might enlighten, brighten, ire, and inspire--regardless of the particular fraction of melanin you possess.

Panelists include:

Monique Judge
George Kelly -
Jason Toney - Dir of Web Dev Bunim/Murray Productions
Tony Pierce -
Lynne Johnson -

Mr. Kelly, pls supply my missing links above.

Their job will be to expound and expand on the following:
Although there are literally hundreds of black blogs today that were once bound together by color and attitude, their communities have diversified to encompass other social networks within the larger weblog world. Panelists will address blogging while black and discuss why the active community of black bloggers get very little recognition outside of their own social network.

March 14th. Room 16A. 11:30 a.m. No excuses.

Don't Quote Me on This.

I was just trying to find interesting rhymes from The Rhymer for Rageboy and Rage.

Okay, I don't know what I did to get this list of quotes/phrases, but whatever mistake I made, it's a good one. And how about Wiki Quote--of which these quotes are courtesy? (huh?)

How much older can you be at your age?
-Catch 22

Thanks to Brad (no you don't) Sucks for the cool tool links.

Junie B. Jones I Love To Read

I've been sitting here looking through three Junie B. Jones books, on a mission to share a particularly moving passage with you. For those of you not blessed with little rascals of your own, Junie B. Jones is the funny, precocious, quirky character of chapter books for elementary school children. They're written by Barbara Parks, whom Jenna tells me, somewhat amazed, "has written other stuff too!"

The thing about these Junie B. Jones books that surprised me: They are hilarious. I didn't realize it. I hate to admit this, but since Jenna reads on her own now, I haven't read a Junie B. book to her. Truth is, I didn't know until last night they were so funny.

Last night I hear Jenna just doubled-over on her bed, laughing herself into a wheeze. I knew she was reading, and I smiled. I don't think any of Jenna's accomplishments have brought actual tears down my cheeks the way hearing her read has--hearing my child enjoy reading, get it, love it, explain it, want more of it. Man, that is one of parenting's best moments.

Anyway, she's laughing herself silly, and she comes running into my room with one of her Junie B. Jones books in hand. She says:

"Mom, you gotta hear this. You just have to--oh my gosh!"

"What is it; here crawl in bed and read it to me."

She sits up on the bed and proceeds to read:
I looked at Camille and Chenille.

And Guess what?

My eyes popped right out of my head!

Because wowie wow wow!

Those girls were twins, that's why!

I sprang way high in the air.


I pulled on her again.

"Come on, Lucile! Let's go touch them. Hurry, before a line forms!"

At this point, Jenna is doubled over again: "Hurry before a line forms!" she's laughing and I'm actually belly laughing myself now, because I'm thinking of that line myself, "Let's go touch them." and "Hurry, before a line forms." And you have to admit, that's downright Saturday Night Live funny in kid terms. After all, you've got a set of twins and this little girl is so amazed by them she's wigged right out wanting to touch real, live, actual twins before the entire first grade lines up to do the same.

Well, we had fun the rest of the evening with our booklight and three other Junie B. Jones books, Jenna showing me her favorite illustrations and favorite parts--all of them just plain funny I might add.

And I drifted to sleep thinking about my Junie B. Jones, Pippi Longstocking. And I thought, I've got to get some old Pippi Longstocking books to show Jenna what mama used to read sort of like Junie B. Jones, Pippi with her mismatched clothes and long, wild pigtails and freckles, and how I used to laugh when she'd get in a bind, and how very very much I loved to read...

And how very very much I still do.

March 01, 2005


All the news that fit, I linked.

Gotcher Kottke?

I am a micropatron

I'm all for micro-underwriting. So I did. In the name of our new company. You do what you can too.

When the fanfare dies down, we're all we got.

February 28, 2005


Anemia is no fun. I have to tell you. The best part of having it is that it makes sleep so damned enjoyable. Sleep becomes about the best thing you've ever ever seen/heard/tasted/felt/smelled. Everything about sleep is cotton-filled wondrous. My hair follicles love sleep; my toe nails love sleep. I love sleep. I am sleep.

I have some advice, from personal experience, on how to leverage your anemia to achieve high-value sleep. Really--we're talking about Sleep ROI here. Even healthy people can benefit from these tried-and-true techniques.

Let's start with the pillow. You'll need a cool cotton pillow case, queen-size, ivory, and, okay I'll be honest here, the one I'm talking about here is one of the seven I took while living at the Residence Inn in Buckhead when I first came down to Atlanta to start my job. I lived there for three months, on the company's dime, one month by myself, one with two dogs, and one with two dogs a husband. This was before we found a place to rent, which wasn't easy considering we moved here in 1994 on the eve of the Olympics, kind of like everyone else.

Anyway, back to the pillow cases, I didn't mean so much to take them, it's just that living across two states 1000 miles apart with boxes and suitcases and laundry all askew, things find their way into your "keeper" pile. You know? Especially things you like.

So, there are those pillow cases. And of course, semi-firm pillows.

And you should know, I don't use one pillow. Or two. I have the annoying habit of sleeping on no less than five pillows. I'm like the Pillow version of the Princess and the Pea. One goes under my arm, one goes upright between the wall and the primary pile of pillows, and 2 to 3 pillows are stacked for an "elevated" effect. Then, of course, there's one on the side for balance. Most nights I get away with this, whether there are one, two, or three of us in the bed.

Pillow Hoarding Is My Birthright. Deal With It.

But back to me and anemia and how wonderful sleep feels...

You've got to have 100-percent cotton sheets too. In the winter, go for flannel. As for bed coverings, I'm a texture-sensitive anemic--I prefer corduroy or that new fool-me mock suede or some version of thick cotton weave. I am a comforter/duvet-cover freak. I buy them, I use them, I take them off, I send them downstairs to the wash, and I move on in my search for The Perfect Coverlet.

Let's also consider lighting. As an anemic, I sometimes enjoy an afternoon nap. There is an art to waking up without feeling suicidal--that is, to keep the blinds half open and to make sure you wake up before it gets dark. That's getting easier now that it's no longer getting dark at 2 in the afternoon. The continuity of light (or dark as the case may be) is essential to avoid that "OH NO--I've Wasted The Day!" feeling, even if, in fact, you have wasted the day.

Now, let's talk alarm clocks. The essential anemic alarm clock is one with a nap function built in. I can set my nap for 10 minutes or 2 hours without having to change my daily 6:00 a.m. alarm that I have to deal with in order to get Jenna to school. In addition to the nap button, I love my GE Alarm Clock's "GraduWake" (yes, that's for real) alarm feature--instead of jolting me out of bed, graduwake fools me awake, teases me with a soft beep beep that works its way into a full-scale wail if I let it. The best thing about GraduWake is that you can completely ignore it!

ONE WORD: Sleepwear. If you choose to wear any, silk or cotton works best. Silk feels the best against the cotton sheets, and allows you to roll about as you wish without crimping or sticking--but in the summer, grab the clothes-free option. The cool feel of the cotton against your skin makes you feel almost healthy. Note to women: Shave your legs for optimum enjoyment.

Dream Approach: Go no-stress. Rid your mind of anyone who is an ex anything. Rid your mind of work and studies. Think COTTON, COTTON, and nothing but COTTON.

Heat/Air Conditioning: 68-74. Period.

Humidifier: Yes in winter months.

Now, with all of this information, you can do one of two things: Go shopping for the right apparel and linens or GO TO SLEEP.

I vote for number 2.