Quote of the Day.
Just Because.

“Last night I had a very short time for dinner, and the nearest vending machine was all out of newspapers, even the hated Los Angeles Times. In desperation I picked up the LA Weekly off the floor to read over dinner. It was very thick — full of ads that were similar to the spam I get every day. ”
-Martin Devon, Patio Pundit

Jarvis: Home Sweet Blog

Jeff Jarvis ponders the world of online communications, assessing forums (“like Saturday night at the bar”), chat (“frat parties”) and of course, weblogs:
Weblogs are homes in nice neighborhoods. I put my name on my blog; I tend the lawn around it; I don’t want anyone littering my yard. My comments are my open house and I ask that you behave accordingly.
Yup, this is almost exactly right. The one correction I’d make: take out the “nice neighborhoods” part. Some weblogs are homey places in nice neighborhoods.
Others are clearly funky little lofts in some hyperactive urban cityscape somewhere. Quite a few are the kind of houses that are stuffed with books, art, and other academic brick-a-brack — while others are clearly dorm rooms. And of course, here and there you’ll stumble into a neighborhood that, if not exactly bad, certainly makes you wonder whether its really safe to be there at all.
To each, their own, of course. Every blogger builds their own house with language as our only bricks, and a little web design to serve as mortar to hold it all together. (And yes, tons of blog houses are pre-fab affairs of dubious aesthetic value).
PS – This metaphor also leads me to conclude that if bloggers build their virtual homes on the strength of their ideas, then there’s a few online houses I can think of that are likely to collapse any minute now due to shoddy workmanship…

What Might Have Been

OK folks. There have been a number of requests for exceptions to allow bloggers to enter the Showcase who otherwise are disqualified by the current rules. There have been some interesting suggestions (most notably one to allow blogs that received 0 votes to resubmit for another try).
I may run next week as a “catch-up” week of some kind, and open up entry back to the original start date for the first week in some way. But for this week, I’m keeping the contest rules the same, to give a fair shake to the genuinely new crop of blogs who have submitted their entries.
I will, however, offer up an alternative contest for this week for those disgruntled soles amoung you who feel you didn’t quite get a fair shake. I call it The Not-Quite New Weblog Showcase: I Coulda Been A Contender.
Rules are as follows:
1) Entry is open to anyone who got hosed by Blogger permalinks (or lack thereof); who missed the entry deadline due to overuse of controlled substances; whose dog ate their blog post (but it was a really good one), or who otherwise feels they have been cheated, gyped, duped, denied, rejected, scammed, swindled, or just plain ripped-off of the Showcase victory that they know in their heart is rightfully theirs.
2) To enter, simply create a post on your blog, link to this one, and describe, in your own words, why your blog just plain shoulda won, or, alternatively, just plain shoulda been allowed to enter the contest. Comparisons to great scandals in American history are suggested. Insults directed at myself are encouraged, and will be judged by creativity and degree of difficulty.
3) Seriousness is discouraged. Any blogger whose entry is deemed to be overly serious will be summarily disqualified, obliged to write “Blogging is for fun” on the chalkboard 100 times, and will be forced to wear a silly hat.
4) Judging will occur whenever I damned well feel like it, but probably sometime this weekend. Judging criteria will be based on whatever I’ve had for breakfast that morning, but may possibly include numerology, Tarot, and a divining rod to select the winner. Or I may just pick one that I like.
5) All submitted entries deemed to be not completely worthless will be exerpted in a roundup post on the main TTLB page here. The winning entry will (for real) be posted in a special box on the Ecosystem page — not quite where the true Showcase winner goes, but somewhere prominent.
Get crackin’, slackers! I look forward to some world-class whining and complaining!

This Week’s Showcase: New Competitors Only, Please

Folks –
We received about ten entries to this week’s Showcase yesterday, which I thought was great.
Unfortunately, I came to realize this morning that over half of them were duplicate entries from bloggers who had already entered in previous weeks.
Sorry folks, but if you have competed in a previous week’s showcase, you are not eligible for this week. Make room for other new bloggers to have a chance!
-NZB

It’s Blocking My View of Venus


This rocks:
In 1948, Marvin the Martian realized his first mission had failed when he did not hear “an Earth-shattering kaboom.”
But while the animated alien was always thwarted in his efforts to blow up Earth, he will finally witness a shattering kaboom next week, when the NASA Mars Exploration Rover Mission lifts off.
The Looney Tunes character will join Daffy Duck on the mission’s official logos, which will be worn by Team Delta crews, comprised of members from NASA, the United States Air Force and Boeing.

“Where’s the ka-boom? There was supposed to be an EARTH-shattering KA-BOOM !”
Hat Tip: Jim Miller

Mac-a-ro-nies Wins Week Two

Congratulations to Mac-a-ro-nies for winning Week 2 of the New Weblog Showcase with the post Blogospherics: Anger in the blogosphere, which earned 29 votes from:
http://reachm.blog-city.com
http://tiglaw.com/blog/tiger-rant.html
http://www.truthlaidbear.com
http://www.xnerg.blogspot.com/
http://allaboutgeorge.com
http://bodyandsoul.blogspot.com
http://pedantry.blogspot.com
http://www.acrosstheatlantic.com
http://patriotboy.blogspot.com
http://sayuncle.blogspot.com
http://www.angrybear.blogspot.com/
http://www.blogstudio.com/dystopia/
http://patriotboy.blogspot.com/
http://bigairfred.blogspot.com
http://tedbarlow.blogspot.com
http://www.angrybear.blogspot.com
http://silflayhraka.blogspot.com/
http://www.pagethree.blogspot.com
http://rogerailes.blogspot.com
http://www.leanleft.com
http://home.earthlink.net/~prometheus_6/
http://users.adelphia.net/~enitria/trish_wilson/blog/
http://bigairfred.blogspot.com/
http://www.pandagon.net
http://www.myself808.blogspot.com
http://www.freewebs.com/grahamlester/index.htm
http://atriosjr.blogspot.com
http://www.texfriesland.de/Jenny/blog.html
http://balasubramania.blogspot.com
Complete results for Week 2 are as follows:
Mac-a-ro-nies.: Blogospherics: Anger in the blogosphere
( 29 links)
Whiskey Bar: What a Tangled Web We Weave . . .
( 21 links)
Tiger: Raggin’ & Rantin’: There is an easy answer to the future continuation of this problem
( 11 links)
The Mudville Gazette: Sacred Words
( 10 links)
FreeSpeech.com: Bob Herbert forges forward with his class warfare
( 7 links)
I Protest: Weapons of mass retraction.
( 7 links)
Silver Rights: Some logs and a bottle of wine
( 7 links)
BusinessPundit: Porn Goes Mainstream
( 7 links)
RandomActOfKindness: Drug Czar Gets Political
( 6 links)
Serenity’s Journal: 100 Proof
( 6 links)
Brainysmurf: Partying — east vs. west
( 6 links)
Sgt Hook: Duty, Honor, Country…
( 6 links)
Yet another weird SF fan: Libertarianism and SF Fandom
( 6 links)
The Talent Show: Why these tax cuts suck
( 6 links)
The Tough Democrat: How to be tough
( 5 links)
Wizbang: Smart Growth In Loudoun County, VA (Or How To Piss Off All Of The People All Of The Time) – Part II
( 5 links)
World War Bush: A Heightened State of Paranoia?
( 5 links)
Give It Back: Let It Rant
( 4 links)
Folkbum’s Rambles and Rants: The Democrats’ Summer Softball League
( 4 links)
Sanity’s Edge: Top Ten Reasons to Read My Blog
( 4 links)
Technically Speaking: Mosquito Extermination on a global scale…
( 4 links)
DANEgerus weblog: Gary Hart fisked
( 4 links)
David E\’s Fablog: Fait Divers: An Unmarried Pixie
( 4 links)
GrahamLester.com: A Nonbeliever’s Defense of Religion
( 4 links)
Me, Myself, and I: MP3’s and myself
( 4 links)
Page Three: Seat Belts
( 4 links)
Rkayn knowledge: Eleanor Clift is a big fat liar.
( 3 links)
giant city: pill peeves
( 3 links)
Signal+Noise: Finding a use for all that Evian
( 3 links)
AlphaPatriot: Mideast Peace
( 3 links)
Just an Ordinary Guy: College Adventures
( 2 links)
Collinization: Life tells me, \\\’Grab your ankles!\\\’
( 2 links)
Happy Furry Puppy Story Time: The Administration as Legion of Doom Characters
( 2 links)
RantDude’s Ravings: Zoom Zoom The Hell Out of Here
( 2 links)
Reason of Voice: The Clinton Wars
( 2 links)
The Blog Herald: Europe goes to the Blogs
( 2 links)
Cyber :: Ecology: Meat: If You Only Knew
( 2 links)
General Glut’s Globblog: The wheels of overproduction just keep on spinning
( 1 links)
Along the Way: Reloaded Thoughts
( 1 links)
Hi. I’m Black!: Shell Vacations Club & Their God Damn Salesmen!!!!!!!!
( 1 links)
Britblog: Wimbledon
( 1 links)
Dog of Flanders: Battle for the red planet
( 0 links)
Hawken Blog: Vote for me even if linking to my specific posts doesn’t work
( 0 links)
A Blog of His Own: Just knock it off!
( 0 links)
Across, Beyond, Through: May 26, 2003
( 0 links)

My old bud Snuggle

Quit That (who in turn referenced Miss Smarty Pants) pointed me at this gem from the NY Times on an old pal of mine, Snuggle:
With a blissful demeanor, squeaky voice and high-pitch giggle, Snuggle, the longtime spokescreature for the Snuggle brand of fabric softener, used to behave like a Care Bear. Now cuddly Snuggle is getting an image update, becoming a devil-may-care bear, complete with sunglasses

Note on Showcase Voting

Week two is off to a good start over at the Showcase; thanks to all who are participating. The link-votes seem to be coming heavier this week as well, which is doubly great.
One important note that probably isn’t clear to those of you unfamiliar with the arcane details of how the Ecosystem gathers links (i.e., everyone but me). You can cast your votes by linking to contestant posts at any time during the week.
But: The only count that actually matters is the count Sunday night / Monday morning. If your votes have scrolled off your front page by then, they will not be counted!
I know this is a bit akward, but most folks keep at least a week on their front pages, so hopefully it’s not too big a deal. It’s pretty deep in the way the Ecosystem works, so there isn’t much chance of a change/fix on it anytime soon.
This concludes our morning public service announcement…

The Smallest Minority Wins Week One

Week One of the New Weblog Showcase is at an end, and we have our first winner.
Congratulations to Kevin of The Smallest Minority. His post, Is the Government Responsible for Your Protection, Part II pulled a come-from behind victory to end the contest with 9 links, making it the winner for the week.
I did not add it to my post on changed rules for the contest going forward, but I do have one more request for contest participants. Each Monday I will post a ‘results post’ like this one, and I would ask that anybody who participated in the week’s contest link to it on their weblog once it is up. This will give one last burst of visibility to the full list of participants, as well as keeping up the visibility of the contest itself. I won’t have any real way to enforce this provision, but consider it a polite request.
So, for posterity, here are the complete results of this first week’s Microbes On Parade. Thanks to everyone who participated, and especially those who linked to the new bloggers.
And if you want to sign up for this weeks’ contest — go to it!
The Smallest Minority: Is the Government Responsible for Your Protection, Part II
( 9 links)
The Mudville Gazette: SAVING HOLLYWOOD
( 8 links)
Electric Venom: 20 Warnings About My Blog a.k.a. A Blogger’s Manifesto
( 8 links)
The Advice Goddess: NY Times’ Jane Brody clings to the carbs like a shipwrecked rat
( 4 links)
Whiskey Bar: What a Tangled Web We Weave . . .
( 4 links)
A Reasonable Man: The Toilet Paper Question
( 3 links)
Practical Penumbra: Sunday May 18th
( 3 links)
Technically Speaking: Media PC Dream
( 3 links)
Reason of Voice: The morality of tax cuts
( 3 links)
Silver Rights: Some logs and a bottle of wine
( 3 links)
Happy Furry Puppy Story Time: RANDOM POINTS ON THE ART OF BLOGGING, part one
( 2 links)
The Dead Parrot Society: ‘Animatrix’ DVD goes beyond
( 2 links)
Rational Explications: Is Jayson Blair Working at The New Yorker?
( 2 links)
Trader Mike: Beware of the Head & Shoulders Top
( 2 links)
The Colorado Compound: Hearing to Open in Muslim ID Dispute ::
( 2 links)
g i a n t c i t y: second-guessing the second amendment
( 1 links)
goebbels the turkey: i found a new website
( 1 links)
Skeptical Notion: Latest News from Iraq
( 1 links)
Rantdude’s Ravings: Why Build Checkout Stands?
( 1 links)
Diplomatica: Reality Council: Behind Resolution 1483
( 1 links)
Magpie: Those trailers in Iraq.
( 1 links)
Nonliteral: Metaphoric Engineering: The high price of materialism
( 1 links)
Page Three: The Force of a First-Hand Witness
( 1 links)
Chasing Daisy: Quotes Quiz
( 1 links)
Dog of Flanders / Furandaasu no inu: The Twilight Zone
( 0 links)
Meritage: What is that smell?
( 0 links)
Nasty Riffraff: RNC attacks Dean as an “Ultra Liberal.” Just like the DLC did.
( 0 links)
eye contact: all beak and no feathers
( 0 links)
Repatriate: I’ve Renamed Our Baby…Again
( 0 links)
RandomActOfKindness: Illinois columnist Rich Miller told me to kiss his ass
( 0 links)
Kin’s Kouch: McDonald’s Terrorist Appeasers
( 0 links)
Shameless Self-Promotion: Splits on the right
( 0 links)
Online Recipes from The Radical Chef: Pig’s Brain and Eggplant Frittata
( 0 links)
The Communication Tube: The perception differential
( 0 links)
The Laughing Wolf: The Holy Media
( 0 links)
SageOne’s Matrix: My Matrix
( 0 links)
FreeSpeech.com: Racial diversity at the Democratic National Committee
( 0 links)
Serenity’s Journal: One Ignorant Fool!
( 0 links)
Prometheus 6: Promethean Position Paper III
( 0 links)
Tiger: Raggin’ & Rantin’: Left, Right, Middle – Who has the Ball?
( 0 links)
Brainysmurf: Countries and their crises
( 0 links)
Me Myself and I: Yo Ho, A Pirates Life for me
( 0 links)
I Protest.: Cultural differences and human similarities.
( 0 links)
Slings and Arrows: Why I Am A Republican
( 0 links)
The Rule of rason: CAC to FTC: Hands off New Mexico Doctors
( 0 links)
The Gunther Concept: My Mind Has Been Officially Blown
( 0 links)
Cosmic Iguana _voice of the Evil-doers: One Source of the Problem
( 0 links)
Otto Parts: Enough Already!
( 0 links)
Grammar Police: Grammar Police
( 0 links)
Envirocasts: The Collapse of the “Metanarrative”
( 0 links)
Mac-a-ro-nies: Anger in the blogosphere
( 0 links)
Master of None: GAME THEORY
( 0 links)
Cyber :: Ecology: HyperBlogging or How the Government Got My Life.
( 0 links)
BusinessPundit: Porn Goes Mainstream
( 0 links)
The Conservative Crust: Jayson Blair Exclusive Interview!
( 0 links)
Little Miss Attila: Keeping Your Spirits Up
( 0 links)
E Pluribus Unum: What are my core beliefs?
( 0 links)

Showcase: Wrapping Week One, Readying Week Two

OK folks, today is the last day to vote for this first week of the New Weblog Showcase.
A bit before midnight PDT, the final links will be gathered and counted, and first thing tomorrow morning (probably around 6am PDT) our first winner will be announced.
And then, next week’s contest will begin. I’ve received quite a bit of feedback this week, and so will be slightly changing the approach for next week. Here’s the deal:
– Because folks were still figuring things out this week, I’ve decided to waive the prohibition on blogs entering the Showcase twice for next week only. If you meet the ‘newness’ criteria (which for next week is having started blogging after March 11th), you can submit your blog to the contest even if you entered this week. (Except if you win this week. Don’t be greedy). But you will have to resubmit; I’ll be clearing out this week’s entries tomorrow morning to start with a blank slate. And I’d suggest using a new post for next week, just to keep things fresh, although that’s up to you.
By popular demand, the list of entries will be presented in random order next week, shuffled each time the page is loaded. I will continue to display the number of links and current rank of each entry, however; I think this is a reasonable compromise.
– There will be a new requirement for anyone who wants to submit their weblog to the Showcase. To be eligible to win the week, you must link on your own weblog to at least three other contestants. (And by the way: like any weblog, you need to make sure you’re registered in the Ecosystem for your votes to count. I haven’t fully integrated the two yet…) I don’t have the validation code in place to enforce this yet, but by next weekend, I will (and I’ll check the leaders manually if I have to). It occurs to me that without making this an across-the-board requirement, some contestants might actually have not linked to others because they knew it would put them at a disadvantage. I think asking the contestants to give a little link-love themselves to help their fellows out is reasonable, and many participants followed this approach anyway, so let’s try it next week and see how it works.

1-900-CALL-GOD

I haven’t seen Bruce Almighty yet, but boy, this sounds pretty dumb:
A lot of mortals who happen to share God’s telephone number – or at least the one He uses in the new movie “Bruce Almighty” – have spent days now taking calls from curious dialers, snickering cranks and desperate souls…
Usually, movies and TV shows use the telephone exchange 555, which is not used for homes and businesses. But “Bruce Almighty” used a seven-digit number valid in many parts of the country.

Ok kids. Any marketing whiz worth their expense account could have figured out what the right way to do this was. You set up a full, real telephone number to be used in the movie, then use the “calls to God” as part of the marketing campaign. Heck, make it a 900 number!
Do I have to think of everything around here?

FCC Media Regs: Time is Running Out

I haven’t devoted much time / coverage to the current discussions of FCC media ownership rules.
But as the deadline of June 2 is fast approaching, I’ll at least point out that a few other bloggers haven’t been as remiss as I: Jimm at Project For A New Century Of Freedom and Lisa English over at Ruminate This are flooding the zone.
I’ll be honest and admit that I haven’t reviewed the proposed changes enough to have formed an opinion. But I can certainly support Jimm and Lisa’s contention that whatever the decision is, it should be done with the informed consent of us lowly citizens. So go inform yourself, and decide if you want to consent…