Monthly Archives: July 2013

Layoffs at the Advance owned Cleveland Plain Dealer coming July 31, 2013

News coverage: Romanesko, CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER LAYOFFS COMING TOMORROW. Affected employees will be notified by telephone.

From approximately 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, July 31st, employees in the Editorial Department will receive a phone call notifying them that they are either being separated from employment on that date, or that they are not being separated from employment. Employees who are notified that they are not being separated should report for work at their next regularly scheduled time.

News coverage: Poynter, Plain Dealer Layoffs Coming Today. The story includes a timeline of other layoffs at the Plain Dealer and efforts by staff to resist downsizing.

A weblog covering changes in Cleveland: PD Now What?


Facebook: Save the Plain Dealer. A quote from it:

The "strategy" that Advance Publications is forcing on The Plain Dealer and its other newspapers is poorly conceived, disastrously executed, and is focused solely on profits, not responsible journalism and sound business practice. History will judge it harshly.

The Facebook page says about 50 reporters were let go, or about a third of the news room.

Remember, the Advance team also owns the New Orleans Times-Picayune and, so this kind of newsroom downsizing is part and parcel of standard practice there.


Tilt-a-whirl at the Barnstable County Fair

From Killing Neptune's Daughter from Randall Peffer, courtesy Google Books:

And what about the times I took her along with me to the Barnstable County Fair – when I could have gone with the boys? We rode the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Octopus, and she squeezed my arm so hard you could see the fingerprints for a week.

2013-07-27 12.13.09

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The mobile-only internet

Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 10.42.40 PMI was away from my laptop for a few days, but still had use of a mobile phone to view the internet through. (I also had a beach nearby and a room full of relatives). Here's some observations from the mobile-only internet.

First and foremost, it's a lot harder to type on a tiny screen with one finger poking at the glass. My online composition is sufficiently slow that I can't come anywhere near close to keeping up with my thoughts. So long writing is right out.

I didn't blog during the trip, and I'm not so sure that's a bad thing. There were a handful of occasions where I used Twitter, and I took a few photos that are sharable. Again, because it's so hard to type, it was easy to let the moment go past.

Twitter was too addictive, as a kind of intermittent reinforcement made it possible to repeatedly swipe down the screen, hear a little click, and then hope that the new tweets were interesting enough to make it worthwhile. I followed a few new busy accounts and was treated to inning by inning baseball scores and some random bits of new weather. I'll have to unfollow most of them now – that is one nice thing about Twitter compared to Facebook in that you can get a temporary enthusiasm and then shed it quickly.

Email was hard – I could keep up with a little bit of it, but it was daunting to try to answer messages that were long. I knew I was going to be back soon so I let it pile up. I'll have to try a longer experiment with email to see if I could either shift the context of the emails off to voice or direct message or text message so that there wasn't such a need to follow throug with endless paragraphs.

I could get used to the mobile-only Internet. It was possible to ignore a lot of what landed in my inbox over the span of a vacation, and the few longer or more important messages will be easy enough to answer.

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FOIA Machine kickstarter is rolling right along

With 25 days to go, the FOIA Machine kickstarter is almost 2x overfunded. They are looking to build a system for automatically tracking and managing FOIA requests.

I am not clear how this effort differs from the already existing MuckRock News system, but there's room for innovation in the space because FOIA can be the world's worst search engine and any help is welcomed.


Recipe: Cole slaw

This recipe is easy and feeds a lot of people. I don't tend to measure, so you'll want to use proportions to your taste.

  • One half head of green cabbage
  • Four carrots
  • Cider vinegar
  • Mayo
  • Salt

Shred the cabbage using the slicing blade of your food processor. Put the cabbage in a large bowl. Shake some salt on top of the cabbage and mix it in.

Trim the carrots and grate them using the grating blade of your food processor. Add to the cabbage.

The dressing is a mixture of cider vinegar and mayo. Rather than mix them together first and then getting a dish dirty, I simply pour some cider vinegar over the top of the cabbage-carrot mixture, then add some mayo. Mix thoroughly until the cole slaw is lightly coated with the dressing.

Let sit at least an hour before serving. The cabbage and carrots will both lose a little moisture, so you'll end up with more dressing than you started with.

Paired with pizza and two-buck chuck wine, this recipe will serve twelve.

Semi overturns on Mackinac Bridge in storms of July 18, 2013

The photo below of an overturned semi-tractor trailer on the Mackinac Bridge is from Lora Brown, as posted to Facebook, and as reposted to Twitter by Kristi Steffen (@Upsilky66). The driver was not hurt, and the bridge has reopened.

The bridge is currently closed, with winds of over 65 mph as of 10:07 p.m. July 18, 2013.

The semi appears to be from Kuperus Trucking of Jenison, MI.

In the news: Up North Live, Mackinac Bridge shut down after semi tips over.

Lansing State Journal,