lukegilman.com : High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

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Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at www.lukegilman.com

KPRC News Documentary

County Seat Blog posted this 1960′s KPRC news documentary by the consummate Houston newsman, Ray Miller, from Mitt Dawson, himself a retired broadcaster. Embedded video following: Read the rest of this entry »

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Charlie Rose Interviews Malcolm Gladwell on Outliers

Video: Charlie Rose interviews Malcolm Gladwell, who recently published the book Outliers

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Everyone Will Be Lonely Eight Months From Now

Slate’s Everyone Will Be Lonely Eight Months From Now: The weird science of stock photography, notes the somewhat disturbing phenomenon of stock photography shops potentially trendsetting the nation’s mood.

A while back, a friend of mine—a guy who does a lot of directing work—was asked to shoot some rather odd film footage. It was all brief scenes of people ignoring each other. Families talking on cell phones, couples tapping at adjacent laptops, everyone looking in opposite directions.

These vignettes were commissioned by a company that sells stock photos and video to various clients—including, in large part, advertisers. The hope was that footage like this would appeal to customers who need to visually convey a mood of modern disconnectedness. Leaving aside the bleak and omnipresent nature of the subject matter—they could have just put a tripod on a random street corner—I was startled to realize that stock photo and video purveyors actually create material in anticipation of demand.

Consider the plight of the stock photo marketer at the mercy of the modern newscycle.

“We had a bad day when Dolly was cloned,” says Denise Waggoner, vice president of creative research at Getty. “We hadn’t been studying biotechnology, and suddenly everyone wanted a shot of 25 sheep on a seamless white background. So now we try to keep our toes dipped in the water in lots of different fields, so we can be ready.”

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Charlie Rose talks with Teach for America Founder Wendy Kopp

Charlie Rose featured an interview with Wendy Kopp, the Founder of Teach for America (official website) last week. For anyone interested in education the conversation is a fascinating one, following the recent publication of her book One Day, All Children…: The Unlikely Triumph Of Teach For America And What I Learned Along The Way.

I’m fascinated with Teach for America as a program. It’s most impressive accomplishment in my opinion, is not teacher recruitment or classroom performance, on which most commentators in educational circles understandably focus, but on Kopp’s more ambitious purpose in raising a generation of leaders who understand teaching from the inside. I’ve run into a number of Teach for America alums here in Houston, most of whom are no longer teaching but who remain deeply committed to the issues they were exposed to through the experience. Kopp’s original inspiration, to create an alternative to allow America’s top graduates to explore careers that offered a more meaningful impact on their society than the corporate jobs many were being recruited for, has been a wild success.

Those who have stayed in teaching are doing some remarkable things. KIPP Academy, a charter school founded by Teach for America alums Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg and Chris Barbic’s YES Prep have become widely recognized as exemplary schools. I’ve taught in KIPP’s saturday school as part of the Street Law program at the University of Houston Law Center and the mindset of the kids is remarkable.

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Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic trials

Ed Brayton via Tom Kirkendall notes that American Family Association has a policy at its new outlet, OneNewsNow, never to use the word “gay” but to replace it with “homosexual” – which is all well and good until someone named Tyson Gay turns in a record time in the US Olympic qualifying rounds. The result is an epic poem to double-entendre – “Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic trials”

Tyson Homosexual easily won his semifinal for the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials and seemed to save something for the final later Sunday.

His wind-aided 9.85 seconds was a fairly cut-and-dry performance compared to what happened a day earlier. On Saturday, Homosexual misjudged the finish in his opening heat and had to scramble to finish fourth, then in his quarterfinal a couple of hours later, ran 9.77 to break the American record that had stood since 1999.

One of the men who talked about challenging Homosexual in the 100, his former Arkansas teammate Wallace Spearmon, failed to make it to the final by the slimmest of margins. The top four runners advance from each semifinal, and Spearmon finished fifth in his-all of .001 behind Michael Rodgers.

Spearmon, twice a medalist at world championships in the 200, was last out of the blocks and managed to make up a lot of ground, but it wasn’t quite enough. “Aim to win. Got fifth. Feelings are hurt,” Spearmon said. “I’ll make the team in the 200. That’s about it.”

Homosexual didn’t get off to a particularly strong start in the first semifinal, but by the halfway mark he had established a comfortable lead. He slowed somewhat over the final 10 meters-nothing like the way-too-soon complete shutdown that almost cost him Saturday.

Asked how he felt, Homosexual said: “A little fatigued.”

Preserved in the internet amber of Google Cache.

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History is Written by the Wikipedia Defenders

According to Eve Fairbanks whose excellent article, Wiki Woman, appears in next weeks New Republic.

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Favorite Near-Word of the Day: Pajamahadeen

Yes, Pajamahadeen, which I learned about in Sarah Boxer’s excellent article, Blogs in the New York Review of Books. Do not dwell on why I did not know about this word before hand (I am ashamed) but be glad I am sharing it with you now. It is a frightfully interesting mental image.

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Charlie Rose Saves Laptop, not Face

charlie-rose-bruised.jpg

I noticed Charlie Rose looked a little worse for wear the other night. According to Michael Arrington at TechCrunch (who recently appeared on an excellent segment) Charlie’s sustained his injuries saving his new MacBook Air after tripping in a pothole. Now that’s dedication.

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Gladwell on FBI Profilers, new book on the workplace of the future

Malcolm Gladwell, the author of Blink and The Tipping Point takes on the subject of FBI profilers in typical fashion in Dangerous Minds: Criminal profiling made easy.. Noting the successes of well-known profilers throughout the FBI’s history – James Brussel, Howard Teten, John Douglas and Robert Ressler – Gladwell turns to recent empirical research to question whether there’s really any predictive power behind these profiles or whether their techniques are closer to the cold reading techniques of astrologers and psychics.

It should also be noted that Gladwell’s recent, notable absence from blogging and from the pages of the New Yorker was to spent holed up writing his third book, which Kottke reveals as “the future of the workplace with subtopics of education and genius.”

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Washington Post Series on Cheney – The Angler

The Washington Post has just concluded a four part series on Vice President Dick Cheney called ‘The Angler’, playing off the code name given the Vice President by his secret service detail. Cheney is in fact an avid angler – one of my roommates once had his afternoon of fishing in Montana interrupted by a small armada of secret servicemen escorting the VP along the river.

Staff writers Barton Gellman and Jo Becker engage in the kind of long-form journalism few publications seem to have the resources or the interest in pursuing these days. Here are the links to each of the parts in the series:

  1. ‘A Different Understanding With the President’
  2. Pushing the Envelope on Presidential Power
  3. A Strong Push From Backstage
  4. Leaving No Tracks

Gellman also appeared on Charlie Rose a few days ago to discuss the piece, a conversation worth watching in it’s entirety below.

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