sign petition to save free Internet radio

Goal is collect 50,000 signatures by Monday

John Silver, exec. dir -- Online music is in danger. A recent ruling by an obscure regulatory board threatens to put independent and public radio on the Internet out of business.

The "Copyright Royalty Board" is dramatically increasing the royalties "webcasters" must pay every time they stream a song online. Public Internet radio like NPR is especially at risk.

The rules could shut down nonprofit and smaller commercial Internet radio outlets and force larger webcasters to play the same cookie-cutter music as Clear Channel. So much for new online alternatives.

Rescue Internet Radio: Sign the Petition

This is not just another petition. The Copyright Royalty Board isn't used to hearing from the public, so your action can really make a difference. And we need to stop them before the new charges go into effect.

Artists must be compensated for their work. But the new regulations don't even differentiate between public outlets, small upstarts, and the largest commercial companies. The proposed increase would silence many outlets that play independent artists and musical genres you can't find anymore on the radio dial.

As soon as smaller webcasters start to attract a sizable audience, the royalty costs would be astronomical -- and likely fatal. And nonprofit stations like NPR should not be forced to pay so much money that they actually fear an increase in their listeners.

Industry-wide consolidation has destroyed musical diversity and shut out independent and local artists on broadcast radio. We can't let the same thing happen on the Internet.

The Copyright Royalty Board -- or if necessary, Congress -- needs to fix the rules so that artist and musicians thrive alongside a new generation of Internet radio webcasters. Send them a message by adding your name to our petition.

female boxer sues for unequal treatment

When 31 year-old boxer Lisa Kuronya and her coach went to participate in the hard-earned honor of competing in a national amateur boxing championship last year, they were in for a shock. Remember the shame of Josephine Baker having to enter an American club through the kitchen? It was kind of like that. This lawsuit may become significant, depending on the outcome.

The following excerpts are recut from Gregory D. Kesich's finely done article Female boxer, coach sue over unequal treatment, for the Portland Press Herald and the Maine Sunday Telegram.

"While male boxers and their coaches received free airline tickets and were put up at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Kuronya and her coach, Bobby Russo, bought their own tickets and paid for their own rooms at a roadside motel.

And when the male boxers and their coaches ate for free at the center's cafeteria, Kuronya and Russo had to take a taxi into town and eat at an Applebee's.

Kuronya and Russo filed a civil rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Portland on Thursday against United States Amateur Boxing Inc., alleging their treatment was a violation of state and federal laws that prohibit sex-based discrimination. They hope to be compensated for their expenses and force the governing body of their sport to recognize the effort and commitment women boxers make to their sport.

The justification
Canino said that when she has complained about the treatment, she has been told women are treated differently because they are not yet eligible for the Olympic Games.
There will be no women's boxing at the 2008 games, but there could be women in exhibition bouts in 2012.

How the law works
USA Boxing receives funding from the U.S. Olympic Committee, which, according to Germani, was created by federal law and passes federal money to its member organizations.

Germani said both organizations have an educational mission, which makes them subject to Title IX, the federal law that requires equal treatment for men and women in school athletics.

In the course of the lawsuit, she said, the governing body will have to explain why they treat the women boxers so differently.

According to historians, women have been boxers since the 1700s, but the sport took off among women in 1993, when a lawsuit by 16-year-old female boxer Dallas Malloy of Bellingham, Wash., forced USA Boxing to lift its ban on bouts between women.

USA Boxing has sponsored a Women's National Championship since 1997, and the same year sponsored a World Boxing Championship. USA Boxing counts almost 2,000 women as dues-paying members.

Women's boxing is not an Olympic sport, but USA Boxing has sponsored a team of elite female boxers to fight in international competitions. Kuronya, who lives in Portland, is a member of the team. She traveled to India and Argentina last year at the association's expense.

A spokeswoman for USA Boxing Inc. confirmed that women boxers have been excluded from the dormitories and the cafeteria during previous national championships, which are supported by funds from the U.S Olympic Committee."

chocolate mini cheesecakes

For when you've been good. Or the world's been bad.

Place paper cupcake liners for mini cups into mini cupcake pan. Mix crust.

1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar, not packed
1/4 c. oil, butter, whatever
1/8 c. baking cocoa powder

Mix, press small amount into bottoms of paper cups. Bake for five minutes at 350.

Mix filling.

1 8-0z. pkg. cream cheese
1/4 c. sugar
1 TBS flour
1 large egg
1/4 c. baking cocoa powder

Spoon into cups. Bake 15 - 20 minutes.

Optional - One crust mix is pressed into cups, add three chocolate chips, then bake. When cakes are completely baked and you take them out of the oven, add a few more chips on top of the cakes.

window in March

my ever lovin' window...


Buffalo for the Broken Heart

Simply unforgettable. Moving to the core. If you're a thoughtful person who connects with the land, this is a book that will stay with you forever. Warning: it may put you off eating cows forever.

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran writer, rancher and environmentalist O'Brien (The Rites of Autumn) deftly chronicles his decision to restore buffalo to his 1,000-plus-acre South Dakota ranch for the first time in more than a century. Some 20 years before this life-changing decision, O'Brien was drawn by visions of "grass swaying in the wind to infinity and a sky that takes up half the world" to purchase the Broken Heart ranch. Despite his passion for the Great Plains and "the wild things that share the place," most of the intervening years were devoted to making a going concern of his cattle operation. Then, in January 1998, a recently divorced O'Brien sold his cows and purchased 13 buffalo "runts" from a neighbor. From this initial "crew of ragamuffins" he eventually built a herd of 100, assuming considerable financial risk to acquire the animals and construct eight miles of five-foot-high, barbed wire buffalo fence around his property. O'Brien reflects on how the symbiotic relationship between the animals and the prairie helped return his land to health. In contrast, he documents the difficulties of raising cattle, "sort of ungulate tourist[s]" ill-suited to the harsh plains landscape. Relying on his natural storytelling ability and a gift for character development, O'Brien interweaves his own experiences with a history of the region and engaging portraits of his neighbors. The result is a moving story of one man's love for a place and his desire to "make the land whole again."

Wild bison battle reaches Congress

In the last century, mostly Western European men eradicated this country's dominant herbivore and replaced it with a nutritionally inferior African herbivore ill-suited to this land and climate - the cow. Its proliferation continues to degrade and destroy the fragile ecosystems that evolved with the bison for millions of years.

There is a movement to restore bison to the Great Plains and help it thrive around the country. It rolls like quiet thunder. This week, there was a clap on the Hill.

The hazing and slaughter of the country's meager, last surviving wild herd of buffalo were a hot topic in Washington, DC this week. On Tuesday, the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands held an oversight hearing on Yellowstone National Park Bison management plan.

From Environmental News Service, J.R. Pegg - The fate of the Yellowstone bison herd took center stage at a House committee hearing on Tuesday, with emotions running high over a controversial management plan that allows federal and state officials to kill bison in order to protect cattle from the disease brucellosis.

[my two cents -- That's the claim at the crux of the bison war, but it doesn't hold up. There has never been a recorded base of such infection in the wild. Brucellosis can only be transmitted by calving females; it happened just once, in captivity. The real issue is money and natural resources, of course: the cattle industry's manifest destiny over our country's grasslands.]

House Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall said the plan allows the needless slaugter of "an American icon."

"The slaughter of bison is not required in order to manage the threat of disease. Slaughter is not management," Rahall said. "It is an approach from a bygone era and has no place in a time of rapid scientific and economic progress."

From the Buffalo Field Campaign - (The room held an) all-star cast of the many players involved in the buffalo's current story, including villains, heroes and the ... fence-sitters. Sadly, the Native American voice was again left out. Congressional champions are calling much-needed attention to the mismanagement of Yellowstone bison, while the cattle interests keep showing their greed for grass and ignorance of the meaning and importance of wildness.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported on their undergoing investigation of the Interagency Bison Management Plan and the land deal with the Church Universal & Triumphant (CUT). CUT, cited on this cult investigation site, is the largest cattle producer in the bison's way, and it owns less than 300 cows! So long as cattle graze these lands, said GAO, no bison will be able to access even the wildlife conservation easement lands within their critical winter range.

The Humane Society of the U.S. testified that the United States hosts 100 million cattle. In their height of glory, wild bison numbered 30-40 million, most experts agree.

Photos from ENS

Florida "gold standard" for girls' weightlifting

Good vibrations buzz article from the NY Times (New Port Richey, FL) by Abby Goodnough

excerpt - Extracurricular club programs for girls have sprung up around the country since women’s weightlifting became an Olympic sport in 2000. But Florida, with 170 high school teams that have produced two Olympians and several dozen world team members, has “set the gold standard” for the sport.

Photo of Jessica Reynolds of Sarasota, by Chip Litherland for the NY Times

longer legs more efficient

She's got le-egs! (ZZ Top)

"All things being equal, leg length is one of the major determinants of cost. If two animals are identical except for leg length, the animal with longer legs is more efficient."

That's Herman Pontzer speaking, an assistant professor of physical anthropology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. Pontzer has developed a mathematical model for calculating energy costs for two and four-legged animals. His research was published in a recent issue of The Journal of Experimental Biology.

From Science Daily: The fossil record shows that two million years ago, there was a big increase in leg length in early humans. Pontzer suggests that one reason for this increase could have been the energy saved by having longer legs. "If you greatly increase the distance that you travel each day, then you'd expect evolution to act on walking efficiency," he says. "That way, the energy you save on travel can be spent instead on survival and reproduction."

New media comment: At the bottom of this story, this note appears: Note: This story has been adapted from a news release. Great to see this forthright solution to the release-posing-as-news issue. Here's the link for the release.

science vs. art

Thought for the day, via the astonishingly excellent radio program Radio Lab from WNYC:

The job of art is to show us how special we are.
The job of science is to show us how insignificant we are.

One could belabor the points and semantics phrasing this idea (the job? why, the job is something else, and even their relation to these points are not necessarily fulfillment of their jobs, etc.), but the idea itself is one neat axis to adjust perspective around. What rushes to mind are examples of art celebrating a specific element - a photo of a daffodil, when there are countless such photos of countless daffodils possible; a song of a lover's yearning, when there are countless such songs of this common experience; etc., as well as examples of science illustrating the commonalities of individual elements - the laws of physics, organizing the dynamics of every movement on earth; molecular modeling, placing all matter and energy into the same building structure; etc. Now, I am sure that with even a little bit of thought, one could conjure examples of art illustrating insignificance (divisionism, perhaps; and the study of mutation, and there are surely arguments to be had within various theories behind both art and science applications) and science illustrating singularity So while it is possible to think away from the idea, it is certainly easy to think within it and entertain it, and in doing so, obtain value from it.

So: Is this what drives some personalities toward either art or science, and others away? Is one's perspective on the issue of one's own specialness vs. insignificance one of the basic keys to one's paradigm for world view, for life, for all things great and small, from which one's character and personality spring? If so, does this address the issue of a person changing, whether a person does actually change in character through his lifetime; in other words, if one's perspective on his significance changes, does this set off a fundamental change of himself? Perhaps psychology considers this issue in theories of development through the ego and id. If so, this would lend credence to the basic idea.

It is an interesting exercise to examine the history of one's personal development through the art vs. science filter...

today's kids getting overtraining damage

They're not all McDuds. Being a kid today often means extra-curriculars ad nauseum, lest a kid have a chance to come up with something to keep himself busy. And most kids will work their butts off until they have a reason not to. For the athletic bunch, whaddya know? There's a price. Good information, Reuters.

By Megan Rauscher - Today's overachieving kids are starting sports earlier and training longer and harder, often before they enter Kindergarten, and many of them are suffering overuse injuries as a result, according to Dr. Lyle Micheli. Micheli is director and co-founder of the world's first sports medicine clinic for children located at Children's Hospital Boston.

"Overuse injuries result from overtraining," Micheli said. "Certainly, as the volume of training increases, the risk of injury increases." Twenty years ago, he noted in an interview with Reuters Health, "we didn't see overuse injuries in kids, but today we do. ... Twenty-years ago, it was quite the opposite. It was mostly acute injuries, not overuse injuries." ...

Children who participate in individual sports like gymnastics, tennis, and swimming, where they typically put in more hours of training, are particularly at risk, Micheli said. For children in these sports, "we see stress fractures and even tendonitis, which is unusual in children. Young baseball pitchers with injuries to their pitching arm are also seen.

TV Batmobile sells for $233,000

I'm sorry to say the Batmobile has sold to a private buyer. This means that those of us who hadn't yet come across this iconic four-wheeler at a car show or convention probably won't get the chance.

After a Bidding War, Batmobile Sells for $200K at Auction
by Alex Morales, Bloomberg News. From the NY Sun

A shopper with $233,000 to spare went away with a vehicle fit for a superhero when a Batmobile from the 1960s television series "Batman" was sold at auction Tuesday.

The car was the sixth of an unspecified number built for the 120-episode ABC series based on the DC Comics hero, according to Coys auctioneers in London. Four or five bidders helped drive its price more than 50% above the upper estimate, said Chris Routledge, an auctioneer at Coys.

The car, which is almost 20 feet long, is black with scarlet lines to highlight its contours and winged chassis.

"It's a fantastically iconic piece of machinery — the Batman appeal spans more than 30 years," Anthony Godin, auction manager at Coys, said Tuesday in a telephone interview prior to the sale. "It's the Batmobile! Who wouldn't want to own it?"

Coys declined to identify the seller, a private collector. The winning bid came from a private museum based in the Cayman Islands, Mr. Routledge said late Tuesday in a telephone interview.

The Batmobile was the 144th of 163 lots and had a lot number of 241. The sale included vintage cars and automobile memorabilia such as posters and branded souvenirs, and ran until past 9 p.m. London time yesterday.

Photo Silver Screen Collection / Hulton Archive / Getty

great fitness site: straight to the bar

This site is vast, fresh, and loaded with stuff for anyone into anything strength. Sections on bodybuilding, powerlifting, strongman and media. Use it like a magazine to skim, or dig in for deeper info. The publisher is also into Podcasting in a big way, and runs a site about that (can't find the link at the moment).

from the site
"Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird (Australia). The name of the site comes from a love of weight training (leaning more toward Powerlifting than either Olympic Weightlifting or Bodybuilding) as well as a short-lived - though certainly passionate - obsession with alcohol. The two don't necessarily go together, and fortunately the weight training won out.

In addition to the site containing a regular training diary (just to help monitor improvements), it contains a great deal of information on the physical accomplishments of others. It also contains reviews of hundreds of articles, books, podcasts and videos - in fact anything which might just help you in your own fitness quest."