Saturday, October 29, 2011
They have a better idea. I took the photo at the Zombie Walk Against Walker April 2, 2011. I'll post a photo from that memorable event each day of the long Halloween Weekend. Happy Freakfest!
Friday, October 28, 2011
Recall Walker Countdown: Sure, Walker was calculating, but he didn't count on how the new math handles percentages
The New Math: The 99% have been getting screwed, and we have been multiplying. It all starts to add up Nov. 15.
Photographed in the Capitol Feb. 18, 2011, in the first week of protests. The multiplication was just getting started back then.
And nothing is more fun than harassing a big, old (relatively) clumsy raptor, who by now just wants to get out of there. (No wonder the word for a flock is "a murder of crows").
I was walking through Wingra Park and heard a big, raucus commotion in the sky. A group of crows were driving a hawk crazy, taking turns doing aggressive fly-bys from weird angles. Most of the crows soon broke off, but kept chattering. One persistent crow, however, looked as if it was having so much fun it just couldn't get enough. This behavior is called mobbing. It seems to be protective territorial behavior, since hawks are not averse to swooping down on crow nests, especially when they have young in them. A hawk could tear a crow apart, but given the crows' agility, it's too much work when they're in the air -- especially when there is a group. So the hawks generally retreat. It's just not worth the energy to retaliate. It's always fun to watch the much smaller birds go after the big predator.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
On Day 21 of Occupy Madison, I stopped by their new location at Olin Terrace, in front of the Monona Terrace, but they had already moved on to their new home at the old Don Miller car lot at 800 E. Washington Ave -- but not without leaving a message.
Remember the Koch brothers and their foundation? I took this photo on March 6 of this year. Now they're baaack.
The Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity (whose prosperity? their own?) are well aware that there are only 19 days till the petitions to recall Scott Walker start circulating. They -- along with the McGiver Institute -- just announced they're launching a website and 60-second TV ad in support of Walker's budget. The website is called ItsWorkingWisconsin.com. The welcome on their blog starts out with the sort of truthiness we can expect from this highly suspect source
We heard the sky would fall and that there would be massive layoffs of state and local government workers and teachers. Some asserted that Wisconsin’s budget reform would mark the end of the state as we know it.Last I heard, the only people we heard talking about massive layoffs of government workers last spring were Walker and other members of the Walker administration and their supporters in the legislature, who threatened layoffs if Walker didn't get his way on the budget.
But the sky’s still there. And Wisconsin is stronger than ever.
And "Wisconsin is stronger than ever"? How many people is that going to persuade? More likely these Koch brothers-inspired ads should remind people of why they were so angry last spring -- and that nothing has really changed. With friends like that, Walker hardly needs enemies. Bring it on!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Recall Walker Countdown: The Fake David Koch Call to Scott Walker Simply Confirmed What People Already Knew
I took this photo in the Capitol on Feb 20, a couple of days before Fake David Koch placed his call to Governor Scott Walker. Protesters were already talking about the connection between the Koch brothers and their puppet governor, but mainstream media didn't pay much attention. After all, the Kochs were major donors to cultural institutions and the fight against cancer. After the Fake Koch calls, the media started paying a bit more attention to to the darker side of what the Koch brothers do with their money and the far-right political agenda they pursue.
Why don't companies ever realize that some of us just want their product to do one thing well and that we're not always looking for a new social networking Swiss Army knife?
Open Letter to the MapMyWalk Team
Believe it or not, a walk in the woods may actually be something more than a workout opportunity, a chance to better my time or compare my performance with my peers. I might just be enjoying a meditative stroll in the gorgeous autumn leaves. I might be taking photographs. I might be daydreaming. I might be looking looking for a eureka moment, hoping Mother Nature will tickle my unconscious into solving a difficult problem. Heck, I might just be slacking off.
I downloaded your handy little free app because it seemed a useful method of measuring the distance of some of my favorite walks. I could care less about the time. Once I map it, I've got it (this little ramble through the Edgewood College woods here in Madison is 1.15 miles roundtrip -- yes, very short, and about what I thought, but -- hey -- it's nice to know exactly.)
Thank you for your nice "Looking for Motivation?" email, but please don't send me any more. You note it's been nearly two weeks since I last logged a workout and urge me to not "lose miles, calories or reps."
"Do you find logging workouts hard?," you ask (no). "If you're like a lot of us, it can be really hard ... That's why we make it really easy!" Thanks, but no thanks.
I'm not competing with anyone. I let my reps take care of themselves. I try to control my calories by managing, more or less successfully, what I eat. I don't rely on a smartphone to do it for me. And I really, really have no interest in networking with MapMyWalk workout junkies in my area, which you seem to be trying to get me to do.
Love your app, but I think of it as a GPS pedometer, not a fitness coach.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
It's three weeks till the recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker starts Nov. 15 (two weeks and a day after Halloween). I'm starting a daily countdown with photos of some of the moments I observed in the Wisconsin protest that helped inspire Occupy Wall Street and led to this historic event.
Photo taken June 5, 2011 in Walkerville, the tent city that arose on the Capitol Square in Madison.
Monday, October 24, 2011
There are some who are in darkness
And the others are in light
And you see the ones in brightness
Those in darkness drop from sight
When the thunderstorm swept in and the power went out, our electronic devices wailed and beeped their various death throes, everything went dark and there was stunned silence. We groped for candles and suddenly were back in the 19th century. T and M seemed happy just to enjoy the warm glow and wait for the lights to come back on. I was more restless and wanted to drive out and survey the extent of the outage. It was so dark outside you couldn't see another person ten feet away. Driving was disorienting with no streetlights or traffic signals, and the inky black, wet streets sucking up the beams from the headlights. I soon established that we were an island of darkness, surrounded by the people of the city blithely and brightly going about their business. In fact, the power was just out of reach—lights shone brightly just a block away. On Monroe Street, shown here looking east, the dividing line was Woodrow Street, to the west of which darkness reigned. It was infuriating.
"It's like a metaphor for our society," said T. "The people living in the light have no idea how others are doing, how hard it is to get by in the dark." When T said that, I was reminded of the seldom-heard last lines of Brecht's "Ballad of Mack the Knife" ("Die Moritat von Mackie Messer"). They weren't in the original version of the ballad in his and Kurt Weill's The Threepenney Opera, but he inserted them into the G.W. Pabst film, which was much more savagely bleak than the stage version. I only saw the movie once, years ago, but have never forgotten the passage, which T reminds me is itself a dark echo of William Blake.
Here in Madison, our lights came back on after a couple hours. No big deal. As a society, however, we could do so much more to bring light to all those who live in darkness.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Once again Michigan State crushed Badger fans' high hopes for the season -- stealing away their long-shot dreams of a national championship and a possible Heisman Trophy for QB Russell Wilson. After a furious fourth quarter rally that tied the game with a minute and a half left on the clock, the previously unbeaten Badgers were defeated by a 44-yard, deflected Hail Mary pass. (And one that MSU might never have had time to throw, had Badgers coach Brent Bielema not called time out with MSU deep in their own territory, hoping to get the ball back, build on the team's momentum and win in regulation. A gamble, and one that didn't pay off.)
On Monroe Street near Edgewood, they were celebrating outdoors around a projected TV image of Russell Wilson's 22-yard TD scamper that cut the Badgers' deficit in half, midway through the 4th quarter, before the cheers turned to heartbreak.
Photo Note: The iPhone has a pretty good camera, but it can't handle extremes of light and dark like this. In fact, most digital cameras can't with a single shot -- expose for the TV and everything else goes black; expose for the shadows, and the TV screen blows out. The phone's built-in HDR can help with extreme lighting situations, but it's better at taming highlights than bringing up shadow detail. I shot this handheld with the iPhone and processed it in-camera (with just a bit of cropping and tweaking in PS) with Pro HDR, an nifty little app that takes two shots and combines the best of each. It's really useful if you want to shoot with the iPhone at night without flash.