Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Iraqi Dates coming to America

November 16, 2006

Michael Rakowitz is trying to bring Iraqi dates to Atlantic Avenue. The first shipment spoiled in transit, but a second order is apparently on the way.

Rakowitz’s project is much more art installation than import business – he’s blogging it and it looks like he has a timeline of Iraqi history snaking across the wall of his storefront. Judging from the anxiety those in the know express for the dates’ arrival, I think I’ll make my way down there sometime soon to see if I can place an order.

Monday 10/16/06– An Egyptian man hurriedly comes in and asks for the Iraqi dates. I explain we do not have them yet but we do have the Californian dates that are grown from Iraqi seeds. He refuses. “No dates are like Iraqi dates.” He signs up for one box of the Iraqi Khestawi dates.

Be sure to check out the video segment from BCAT.

(via Brooklyn Record)


That Rosen Post

November 8, 2006

NYU’s Jay Rosen came to pitch his new project to us two weeks ago. NewAssignment.Net, Rosen’s experiment in “networked journalism,” or whatever the title du jour is, just launched.

It is an exciting concept that some of my colleagues have done a good job of explaining. I will just say that it was encouraging to see Rosen so aware of the many opportunities and challenges that lay before him.

But rather than get into those issues in depth, this is an idea for one assignment idea that’s been kicking around in my head for a while.

Why not harness the power of the YouTube era to develop the story and understand the experience of Iraqi immigrants and exiles. The ultimate goal could be 5, 10, 20 video pieces from Iraqis of all stripes, telling their own story and their views on what’s happening and what should happen in their country.

That final piece could include the story of Iraqi Christians who left Iraq years ago and now mourn the plight of their fellow Christians in Mosul and Baghdad. It could include the story of one of the three Iraqi journalists now studying journalism in New York. It could also include the stories of the countless Iraqis who have fled the growing violence there for other Middle East countries. I could go on and on with examples.

How would this fit into NewAssignment.Net’s scheme? The early reporting, and even the eventual pieces, could come from so-called amateur reporters who know the Iraqi exiles and immigrants. Those am-reporters could submit 2-5 minute video segments to the NA editor who would then decide, with a certain amount of input from her readership, which stories could be fleshed out into full pieces.

I think that a networked approach is perfect for filling in this sort of wide-ranging story. It allows a reporter to focus on the best elements, the most compelling stories, but also, hopefully ensures that she doesn’t miss the most compelling stories. The am-reporter mediates what could be a very difficult, or non-existent, relationship between the editor.

Obviously, this idea would translate easily to any other immigrant group or to oral / video history projects.

Election Day is over…

November 8, 2006

To the broadcast kids, especially

Muslim American charity slackens?

October 30, 2006

The NYTimes reports today that donations to charities have dropped off this year due to fears that contributions may lead to investigations by US law enforcement.

“Fear has often trumped faith.”

What has changed since the last Ramadan? The NSA wiretapping story, the new military commissions law…to name a few.

Caffeine = Death

October 30, 2006

Well, not in j-school, maybe but this website is amusing, nonetheless. My favorite energy product based on a very brief glimpse at the front page?

NRage Energy Strips. Because, who has time to digest caffeine anymore? NRage pumps the stuff right into the bloodstream. No waiting around for the NoDoz to kick in. NRage would have made high school so much more interesting.

It’s also acquired a great nickname: “strip without the drip.”

Be sure to check out the “Death by Caffeine” calculator to find out how much espresso, or any other caffeinated beverage, would actually kill you. For me, 170 espressos would be one too many.


October 21, 2006

Everyone should go right now to read Zeyad’s blog post from 10/16. Then go listen to his appearance today on “On the Media.”


October 20, 2006

I’ve been poking around in the Rocketboom archives in the past few days since they appeared in our class. I really wish that I had been more familiar with their product beforehand. If so, I would have asked them how they decide on the stories they run each day.

This week they ran a feature story on Fragrance Week. Today’s story, “Mish Mash,” is really more of a performance piece.

Rocketboom balances these pieces with more “traditional” newscasts like this one that starts out on North Korea’s nuclear test and moves onto CBGBs closing down.

I would have liked to hear a bit more of the behind-the-scenes stuff from these guys. Guess that comes back to the “be prepared” mantra.

Muslims in the Military

October 10, 2006

On Saturday, the NYT published an excellent profile of Sgt. Cameron Murad, a native Iraqi who is now a recruiter for the US military.

The most salient point from the article for me comes here:

Of the thousands of interpreters working for the military in Iraq, most are civilians under contract, some of whom earn as much as $170,000 a year. But military commanders prefer uniformed linguists because they cannot refuse combat missions and are subjected to more thorough security checks.

They are offered a fraction of what many civilian linguists earn, with salaries starting at roughly $28,000, including allowances. The program’s perks, such as expedited citizenship, a starting bonus and medical coverage, are a major draw, military officials said.

$28,000 vs. $170,000. Anyone who makes the choice to leave that much money on the table to serve should never experience the abuse that Murad’s peers in the military heaped on him.

Those pesky images

October 5, 2006

In one post, I was able to look like a genius and a moron at the same time.  A genius for being the only one to figure out how to post a full sized image of bait fish cut up on the pier in Bay Ridge. And, an idiot for not recalling how to do it a few days later in class.

So, here are the brief instructions, for anyone that is interested (perhaps I’ll post this to the CUNY wiki, too).

Upload the image in the multimedia box, which is located immediately below the text box – called ‘The Editor’ – where you type the posts. Once the image has been uploaded and the thumbnail appears, click on the image once. A small pop-up menu will appear, by clicking the top line you toggle between “Using thumbnail” and “Using original.” Select “Using original,” then click on “Send to Editor.”

Voila, your full-sized image should appear in the Editor box and, once you’ve save, in the preview screen at the bottom of the page.

Any questions?


October 1, 2006

Photo of Bait Cut in Bay RidgeThis is a photo of bait cut on the pier in Bay Ridge.