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Monday, July 30, 2007

Vermont Blog Roundup

Beetle It's been a while since I've done one of these. This week, on Vermont blogs:

• Killing Japanese beetles with Norma the sadist.

• One way to keep your dogs and cats cool in the summer. From the Goma blog.

Deviant food behaviors, from Ann Zuccardy at the Vermont Shortbread Company. Ann confesses to mining the cookie dough chunks out of a pint of Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough ice cream. And eating a whole can of frosting with a spoon. "I would never put it on a cake, but it's okay on a spoon," she writes. "What's up with THAT?" You can leave your own deviant food behaviors in the comments.

• Tricia at Unringing the Bell writes about meeting other families whose kids have Down Syndrome. Her 7-month-old daughter has DS. If you want a window into life with a DS child, check out Tricia's blog.

• It's still summer, but apparently some birds are migrating South. No, it's not because of global warming. It's because summer is ending already. Sigh. That was fast.

• Vermont's own rarin' librarian Jessamyn West writes about technophobioa, technostress and why librarians should care about the digital divide.

• A brief history of Jamaican coffee, from Matt Sutte, owner of the Blue Star Cafe in Winooski. Matt's writing on Joe's blog, because Joe is on vacation in Alaska. Cool.

• Computer geek camps on the Long Trail. Wish I could take off and hike for a weekend! 

July 30, 2007 at 02:58 PM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Montpelier Pillow Fight

So what happened? Did anybody go? I checked the blog but didn't see anything. I would have been there, but I was at a wedding. Er, civil union. But everybody called it a wedding.

I wish they would have a gay marriage pillow fight on the statehouse lawn. That would be very cathartic, I think. Supporters on one side, opponents on the other. If everybody signed waivers ahead of time, it might work...

July 30, 2007 at 09:19 AM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (5)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Who turned you on to Nirvana?

I was just reading the Chicago Reader email newsletter, and I came across this story about Chicago photographer Jason Lazarus and his Nirvana Project. Lazarus is collecting found photos of the "cultural mavens" who first introduced a generation of kids to Nirvana. Here's an excerpt from the story (I think it's from the Reader's music column):

Lazarus is mostly dealing with people in a narrow age range, from their late 20s to early 30s — old enough to have cared about the alt-rock explosion, but young enough to have needed a gatekeeper to guide them through their first revelatory experiences of nonmainstream culture. His Nirvana Project focuses on that gatekeeper — the boyfriend, the friend of an older sibling, whoever — as a way of addressing the universal adolescent experience of developing an independent personal identity. Each piece is a blown-up print of the original photo of somebody's "culture maven," accompanied by Lazarus's handwritten version of the tale behind it.

Sounds very cool. There's an email address where you can contact him.

July 27, 2007 at 02:47 PM in House Rules | Permalink | Comments (3)

Vermont podcasts?

Does anyone out there know of any good ones? Or any at all, for that matter?

July 27, 2007 at 12:14 PM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (4)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Missing Links

If you're interested in contributing to a conversation about embedding external links in newspaper stories online, check out my latest post on the web.aan.org blog — it's a web best practices blog for alternative weeklies. I'm a guest blogger.

July 26, 2007 at 08:02 AM in Media/Keeping an eye on the competition | Permalink | Comments (0)

Front Porch Forum on PBS Blog

Last week I wrote about Front Porch Forum succeeeding where iBurlington has failed as a hyperlocal citizen journalism news source.

The other day, FPF founder Michael Wood-Lewis emailed to tell me that the PBS blog Media Shift put up a post asking people to describe their favorite hyperlocal news sources. The post has attracted 22 comments, nearly all of them from FPF members touting their neighborhood email newsletters.

The large number of FPF supporters obviously suggests that there was a coordinated campaign to encourage people to post their comments, but the fact that so many people responded is an indication that FPF has built a strong community of users who care about it — pretty impressive considering how difficult it's been to get other independent initiatives off the ground.

Some excerpts from a sample comment on the PBS blog:

[Re: FPF] We use it to share whatever is in our garage, learn who is sick in the neighborhood and find out what is happening in local politics...

We have collected 150 sets of silverware from garage sales and tag sales and let our neighbors know through Front Porch Forum that they can borrow our bucket of silver whenever they have a large gathering. So much better than using those petroleum based plastic forks and spoons.

We found out through Front Porch Forum when our neighbor's son was shipped out to Iraq and were able to contribute to weekly care packages sent by another neighbor.

We find out about everything from public hearings to lemonade stands through this service and as a school board trustee I get direct feedback from my constituents.

We love Front Porch Forum.

By Jeff Forward  6:28AM on 24 Jul 07

People often talk about hearing local news on the forum, and using it to exchange goods with neighbors. If you understand the importance of classified ad revenue, you can see why this might make a daily newspaper nervous.


July 26, 2007 at 07:58 AM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Repair of the Week

From Barkings! The Small Dog blog, a post in which guys play video games at work.

July 23, 2007 at 01:59 PM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Harry Potter Weekend

Willymckay Went to the Harry Potter Muggle Madness Party at the Flying Pig in Shelburne on Friday night. I would have blogged about it, but I was too busy reading the book (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, with an "a," which I misspelled last week in our calendar spotlight and on our newsletter. Duh.)

Finished it last night around 11 or so. Wow, what a whirlwind!

This is a picture of Willy McKay of North Ferrisburgh, who stood behind me in line. He's dressed as Harry Potter. Obviously.

July 23, 2007 at 09:15 AM in House Rules | Permalink | Comments (5)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tomato Season

Tomatoes Tomatoes! Fresh tomatoes!

From Old Shaw Farm in South Peacham. God bless 'em.

July 20, 2007 at 03:32 PM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vermont Blogger on NYT Book Blog

Well, ok, she's not just a Vermont blogger — she's also a famous author.

Thanks, Lisa, for the tip.

And another Vermont connection: Dwight Garner — New York Times book blog author and NYT Book Review senior editor — used to freelance at the Vermont Vanguard, and was once the arts editor at the weekly Vermont Times. "During its brief heydey," quips someone in my office.

July 20, 2007 at 11:58 AM in VT Blogs | Permalink | Comments (2)