I’d like my blue skies back, please

Cold. Rainy. Miserable outdoor experience. The high was 46. The low was only 41, but even thermometers can be fooled. Just gray and yucky all day. Yucky is the preferred meteorological term.

I went out for a run, but it was drizzling and I realized I didn’t need to run that bad.

So I didn’t run, except back inside to put on warmer clothes.

More phone calls and other assorted things, all of which make for riveting site reads, I’m sure. Instead, we’ll move on.

Things to readThe Guardian’s Gabriel Dance on new tools for story and cultivating interactive journalism:

I can go to someone on my team, give them a topic, and ask them to report on that topic and the process is very similar to how that might work with a more traditional print reporter. They go out, they explore it, they see what information is available. They schedule some interviews, they gather data, and they come back and we work on what form it might take.

Are we producing articles with strictly text? No. But I think what we are producing is much closer to what you saw in Decoded, which is what I guess I’d call web-first journalism.

When people talk about this as new and different, it only really is if you’re looking at the old things as the status quo.

This would work for branded journalism, too. That’s a great Q&A, worth your time if you’re interested in the topic. Also, I have other topics.

Gene Policinski, whom I’ve had the good fortune to meet and spend a day with, writes: Inside the First Amendment | Privacy the impetus for conflict

(I)n our lifetimes — and more since just last June — privacy and its implications for First Amendment areas ranging from free speech to the freedom to assemble have taken on a new urgency prompted by government surveillance of the World Wide Web, phone calls and high-tech gadgetry.

Beyond questions of how much does the government know about our individual lives through captured emails, online search logs and records of whom we telephoned, where and for how long, there’s the looming impact on whether we will feel free to speak our minds even in “private” moments, and whom will we be willing to be seen with?

US B-52 bombers challenge disputed China air zone:

The US has flown two B-52 bombers over disputed islands in the East China Sea in defiance of new Chinese air defence rules, officials say.

China set up its “air defence identification zone” on Saturday insisting that aircraft obey its rules or face “emergency defensive measures”.

A Pentagon spokesman said the planes had followed “normal procedures”.

The islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, are a source of rising tension between the two nations.

Turn an eye to the east. That is getting interesting in a hurry.

Sports fan? TV buff? This is a great read. Inside the chaos and spectacle of the NFL on Fox:

To watch a football broadcast is to see much more than a football game. There are only about 11 minutes of actual action during a three-hour game, which means 95 percent of the time there’s something else going on. The graphics, replays, highlights, and analysis that make a football game into the at-home experience millions of people know and love — it’s all from Fox, and it’s all done on the fly. Nearly everyone on the crew says that while they broadcast the game, what they really do is make television.

It starts at 6AM on Saturday, in the cold, dark Foxboro morning, as the Fox team shows up to unload three 53-foot trucks. Stadiums don’t have much in the way of built-in A / V equipment, so Fox (and every other network) carries everything the crew will need for the weekend inside those trucks — the show has to be built and broken down every weekend. This Saturday, it has to be even faster: there’s a college football game at 4PM.

That those things never occur to you is a testament to the quality of their work, really.

We’d like you to meet a paralympic sprinter Blake Leeper. He was a guest on Arsenio Hall’s show. Hall brought on a surprise special guest. Leeper’s reaction is priceless.

This is a candid and refreshing read. If you followed Auburn last season, it is a nice way to, maybe, finally, close the door on all that. The former head coach, forever gracious, gave a wide-ranging interview to USA Today. Coach Gene Chizik on Auburn ouster, team’s current success:

I think you’d have to start with the players. What people don’t understand is from a coaching perspective when you struggle like we struggled last year, you hurt so much for the players. The players, you brought them there and told them that this is the way it’s going to be and give them this vision of championships and things of that nature. And when it doesn’t unfold exactly like that and go through the struggle we went through last year you hurt for the players. So I’m ecstatic for the players.

I couldn’t be happier to sit there and watch them win these games, particularly these close ones, however they pull it out and we all know how that’s gone this year. It’s an absolute joy for me to watch them celebrate and be happy and win. I think without question, that’s what I get the biggest joy out of.

Gus has done a fantastic job, and he and I worked together for three years and he’s done a fantastic job of regrouping the troops and them buying into him and the staff he brought in and it’s really nice to see those guys rebound and do what we recruited them to do and that’s win. They’re definitely a talented group of young men, and they’re great kids and they deserve this.

A nice Samford sports story, too: Summerlin And Shade Named Players Of The Year:

Samford senior quarterback Andy Summerlin and senior linebacker Justin Shade were named Southern Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively, by the SoCon Sports Media Association, when the league released its postseason awards Tuesday morning.

They’ll start a playoff run this weekend.

Leaf update:


It is gone. Fell this morning or overnight. A new picture would just be of branches and twigs. I wouldn’t want to embarrass the tree that way.

Tomorrow it will be sunny again. And warmer. Has to be, right?

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