....LMB: "New Math"....

June 11, 2003

Tom Tomorrow is all over this story.

Basically, a new "fact" is floating around the internet that despite all the tragic original reports of mass looting of Baghdad's museums, that "only 33" pieces were taken.

Unfortunately, that "fact" seems to be a misreading from a Washington Post article on the subject. The WP piece says that 33 pieces were missing from the main collection.

Another 3000 are missing from the rest of the collection. Which means that "only 3033 pieces" were stolen, not 33.

And that was just from the National Museum. Tomorrow also cites a quote from an International Herald Tribune article in which a UN official says, "nobody has talked about the losses at the Museum of Fine Art, which is a very important one. The National Library is a real disaster. It's gone." Again, this would inflate the numbers far above 33.

As expected, conservatives and other pro-war types are using their 33 misreading to attack the credibility of the "liberal media" (although the WP article implies that the media did get the story way wrong on the first try) and us alarmist anti-war types. "Yuk yuk, those crazy smelly hippies got it wrong again! Only 33 pieces were stolen from the museums, not thousands!! Guess we can't trust anything they say and the war was completely justified!!"

As a truth-enthusiast and a manipulation-hatah, this sort of thing really pisses me off.

Posted by Jake at 10:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

someone ought to please foward that article to sully; he's calling for mass apologies from the elitist "alarmist" art world and praising mr machiavalian rummy to yet unheard of proportions. war good, no matter who or what gets destroyed in the process.

what really gives me the shits (as an art history major) is the fact that none of these ignorant wank barbarians realize just how important/valuable/tragic/et al these missing pieces are. it's not as if they can be replaced by picking up a pier 1 knicknack.

Posted by: a at June 12, 2003 09:09 AM

Also worth mentioning, from the numbers viewpoint, are the items recovered after the looting. In this story alone there were 1136 items plus 339 trunks full of items that were recovered after being looted, and the story is two months old. If only 33 items were looted, where'd they find all this stuff?


Posted by: wintermute at June 12, 2003 06:33 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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