Speeding ticket campaign is hoax

A Michigan “speeding ticket campaign” is a hoax, maybe even an urban legend. Check your e-mail for this: "Beware all you lead foots!!! Spring is Coming! . . . and so is Operation Yellow Jacket. Look out for MI-DOT trucks parked along the road or suddenly appearing behind you pacing you - it could be a Trooper driving the truck. Called 'Operation Yellow Jacket', each Michigan State Police District has a truck cleaned up and ready to go! These trucks have specially modified engines that can virtually catapult the truck from snow-plow speed to intercept speed in seconds. And when the engine boost kicks in, the warning lights automatically change from flashing yellow to the dreaded red and blue! . . . “

"Hope" in Dispute - Copyright vs. Fair Use

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Street artist Shepard Fairey who created the famous Hope image of Barack Obama sued The Associated Press, claiming his use of an AP photo in creating the poster did not violate copyright law, because he has dramatically changed the nature of the image and therefore, is protected under the so-called "Fair Use" provisions.

The AP said it is owed credit and compensation for the artist's rendition of the original photo taken by Mannie Garcia who was on assignment for the AP at the National Press Club. (Read the whole story).

Just today, Mannie Garcia discussed on NPR his own legal battle with the AP, claiming the photo was taken while he was working as a freelance photojournalist.

Maybe reading Elizabeth T. Russell’s Art Law Conversations : a surprisingly readable guide for visual artists (2005) might help clear up the muddle? But I doubt it.

BTW...signed originals of both the Hope poster and the Garcia photo have been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

Unpredictably Animal

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Last night, I spent entirely too long catching up on all the news that I'd missed this week. The story that grabbed my attention--and it did get to the point where I obsessively searched for articles long after I should have been asleep--was the chimp attack in Connecticut.

Death of a musical legend Miriam Makeba

World lost one of Africa's greatest singer and true fighter against human rights. Haven gained another messenger of peace and an ambassadress of jazz music.
The legendary South African singer Miriam Makeba died early Monday 11/09/08 of a heart attack, after collapsing on stage Sunday night in Italy. She was 76 years old and well known as “mama Africa”. Her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all South Africans during the time of apartheid. In her amazingly impressive career and glorious achievement, "Makeba performed with musical legends from around the world — jazz maestros Nina Simone and Dizzy Gillespie, Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon — and sang for world leaders such as John F. Kennedy and Nelson Mandela". Her sudden death “plunged South Africa into shock and mourning”. Here is Makeba's Biography, Discography and additional References God bless her soul, rest in peace!

Plants In The News

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So when you bring the green indoors this winter the plants may say "thank you".

Maybe you heard about Midori the blogging houseplant. Midori lives in Donburi Cafe in Kamakura Japan.

Just as plants are finding a voice in Japan the government of Switzerland has placed a ban on the humiliation of plants.

Read about the botanical interface that makes plant blogging possible and check out a product that will help you listen to your own plant.

Interested in this topic, check out these books: Plantwatching: how plants remember, tell time, form partnerships, and more / Malcolm Wilkins and Natural affairs: a botanist looks at the attachments between plants and people / Peter Bernhardt

Walking over the long bridge

I think the book I spotted being sold as we finished the Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk was Mighty Mac: The Official Picture History of the Mackinac Bridge. But I’m not sure. We were tired, and thousands of people were streaming over the bridge behind us from St. Ignace to Mackinac City. Earlier the governor had jogged over across the five-mile-long span, the Detroit Free Press reported. Very impressive. The walk left me wanting to read the children‘s book Mackinac Bridge: the story of the five-mile poem by Gloria Whelan illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen.

Great Route Changes Starting August 24th for AATA Riders!

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Routes Affected: 1U Pontiac-University, 4 Washtenaw, 7 South Main-East, 8 Pauline, 9U Jackson-University, 12UL Liberty-University, 12UM Miller-University, 14Geddes-East Stadium and 16 Ann Arbor-Saline Road.

Go to AATA Changes Starting 8/24/08

On this date in history - Empire State Building Withstands Airplane Impact

The World Trade Center towers were not the first of New York’s skyscrapers to be hit by an airplane. On July 28, 1945, the Empire State Building withstood the impact of a U.S. Army Air Corps B-25 bomber. Fourteen lives were lost, but the steel structure remained standing after the unarmed trainer plane slammed into the building’s 79th floor. The accident was ruled by authorities to be caused by pilot error, after Lieutenant Colonel William F. Smith Jr., a decorated veteran of World War II and experienced pilot, apparently lost his way in the dense fog that had enveloped Manhattan that Saturday morning in July. Read all about this, and other interesting Empire State Building history, in John Tauranac's The Empire State Building : the making of a landmark. For you artsy readers, check out American photojournalist Lewis Hine's Lewis W. Hine : the Empire State Building.

Beijing Olympics

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If you are heading to Beijing to support our atheletes, you might want to check out this blog site before packing your bags. Globespotters offers urban advice from reporters who live there.

Beijing Basics are for smart travelers who plan ahead - with information from airports, getting into town, using the subways, to finding an English-speaking doctor.

If your travel plans include other equally exotic locales such as Mumbai, Bangkok, Moscow or Istanbul, you will be glad you did you homework. Travel safe.

My (new ) New York Times

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The New York Times is offering a new service called "My Times" (http://my.nytimes.com) (currently still in beta phase). It's basically a customizable news page composed of various widgets that draw news from the New York Times or various RSS feed sources. If you're into this sort of thing, you should probably check it out.

Of special interest is the "Journalists' Pics" section. Here you'll find a variety of New York Times writers (neatly categorized by their areas of expertise) who will share with you their suggested sources. Blogging and the like is influencing traditional journalism more and more, so it's pretty interesting to see what sort of blogs traditional journalists read.

If you're not into this sort of thing (or don't even know what I'm talking about) but would like to learn more, then the library can help. We offer a variety of computer classes. In particular, there's a class on blogging on Feb 4th and RSS on Feb 20th.

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