Rough Justice/ Out of Order/ No Judicial Restraint/ Insert Other Legal Pun: Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Allegedly Grabs Fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley by the Neck

The above photo shows one of the judge’s hands used in the alleged choking.  The other hand was not available at the time of this photo.

"Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser allegedly grabbed fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley around the neck in an argument in her chambers last week…

Details of the incident… remain sketchy… They say an argument that occurred before the court’s release of a decision… Bradley purportedly asked Prosser to leave her office, whereupon Prosser grabbed Bradley by the neck with both hands.

Justice Prosser, contacted Friday afternoon by the Center, declined comment: ‘I have nothing to say about it.’ “

Read more

Woman Dies at Her Own Funeral

From The Daily Mail

"A woman died from a heart attack caused by shock after waking up to discover she had been declared dead - and was being prepared for burial.

As mourning relatives filed past her open coffin the supposedly dead woman suddenly woke up and started screaming as she realised where she was…”

  • Started screaming as mourners gathered around coffin saying prayers for her soul
  • Her eyes fluttered but she only lived for another 12 minutes before she died again, this time for good’

Read the rest…
The New York Times… June 25, 2011:
New York Allows Same-Sex Marriage, Becoming Largest State to Pass Law


NPR’s thinking of inventing apps specifically for Andy Carvin: The problem that the popular Twitter curator, who gets upwards of 2,000 @replies a day at times, needs to solve is one of signal-to-noise. NPR may give him a tool that would help him score sources (similar to Klout) based on their usefulness in a given news story, as well as something to trace memes from quickly developing stories to their original sources, as a way to separate truth from fiction. He discussed out these ideas in a MIT/Knight Civic Media Conference conference session. Pretty cool.

New York passes Same Sex Marriage bill : 33-29

"Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born."

Productivity and stylishness be damned!
In case you were paying attention to the debt ceiling debate or whether Republicans would try to halt the funding of military operations in Libya, then you may have missed that yesterday was “Seersucker Thursday,” the US Senate’s annual Costume Party tradition of… fashion?
Mint juleps and good times were had by all.

Productivity and stylishness be damned!

In case you were paying attention to the debt ceiling debate or whether Republicans would try to halt the funding of military operations in Libya, then you may have missed that yesterday was “Seersucker Thursday,” the US Senate’s annual Costume Party tradition of… fashion?

Mint juleps and good times were had by all.

Totally.  Unnecessary.  Remake.

From TheNextWeb: “Twitter, and social media in general, can make a surprisingly useful educational tool, giving students and teachers an easy way to communicate that goes beyond office hours and classrooms…”

Will Huntsman Become the Hunted?

This week, Jon Huntsman—former Utah governor and President Obama’s ambassador to China—kicked off his presidential campaign with a pledge to remain civil.  He didn’t attack President Obama and said that he respected him.  And Huntsman framed his candidacy around issues, not personalities. “The question each of us wants the voters to answer,” said Huntsman, “is who will be the better president, not who’s the better American.”

Huntsman’s approach is a refreshing change, and he ought to be praised for taking the high road. But will everyone else let him?

Huntsman can adhere to the Queensberry Rules, but it’s likely others won’t. Primaries can be tough bare-knuckle brawls. Before you know it, we’ll start hearing rumblings that it’s all too good to be true—that he’s nothing but a focus-grouped Frankenstein, or that he’s not “tough enough” to challenge Obama in the general election.  Ironically, it’s Huntsman’s moderate positions and attempts at civility that make him the biggest threat to Obama’s re-election.  As an editorial in The Salt Lake Tribune said, Huntsman is, “…the one who will be the most difficult [for Democrats] to paint as a far-right, isolationist, Medicare-killing radical with a fuzzy grasp of either economics or history.”

Let’s hope voters reject the political attacks that come Huntsman’s way and allow him to stay above the fray because if they don’t, and Huntsman gets dragged into the mud, he may have little choice other than to dive right in himself.

Move over Twitter… Make room for Tumblr

Social media has changed the way we receive news.  It’s also changed how it’s reported. 

When the “Arab Spring” hit Egypt, I began tweeting.  A lot.  We were witnessing history and I was riveted to my television and my computer.  I tweeted out information and updates for no other reason than because it was a hugely important story. I wanted to share the same fresh info I was reading myself.

There was great and exceptional coverage by several reporters on the scene, including CNN’s Ben Wedeman, Nick Kristof from The New York Times and NBC’s Richard Engel.  I got a lot of information from them, but not by reading a column or watching TV. I followed their twitter feeds. 

And if I wanted more than bite-size chunks of information, then there was network news and I don’t think anyone did it better than Al-Jazeera and of course, my former post CNN.  I can personally attest that no one deploys phenomenal reporters, producers, photographers and equipment faster than CNN.

But still, the inflow of news from social media told the story in ways that TV could not.  No TV network or newspaper can replace the adrenaline rush of reading or watching what’s going on at any given minute in any given place directly from the source.  TV can’t always convey the thoughts, sentiments and feelings of the people on the ground as well as their own words can. 

And TV can’t capture every shot or piece of amazing footage the way that millions of people can using nothing but what may be the best piece of news equipment ever invented: the smartphone. It’s a computer, word processor, still and video camera, recorder, editing system, phone and satellite uplink all in one. Best of all, it’s cheap and accessible for everyone from the suburbs of California to the streets of Cairo.

There are, of course, limitations to getting your news—and having news reported—in 140 characters or less.  A tweet is just too short to convey detail or context, and multiple tweets one after another become annoying. 

That’s where Tumblr comes in.

It’s what Goldilocks would call, “just right.”  It’s not a full-blown blog and it’s not a one-sentence message service. It is, as Steve Rubel noted last week, a “hybrid,” a platform that is “…a social network for both original and curated content… longer than a tweet and often more visual in nature.”

And that’s what makes it the newest and potentially one of the best tools that journalists now have. 

In a month where Facebook may have lost as many as 6 million users in the US, and Tumblr—with now over 20 million blogs—surpassed wordpress.com in size, Tumblr is about to hit the critical mass necessary to make it useful as a platform to broadcast and receive news.

So what makes Tumblr great?  It enables journalists to send news updates with the immediacy and ease of Twitter.  With no 140 character cap, spelling, punctuation and key words and sentences don’t have to be sacrificed. Posts can be short in length but long on substance.  And posts can include pictures and video, without having to click on a link or leave the site—information and images together.  Journalism is at its best when it provides detail and context.

If you follow someone on Tumblr, then you get his or her updates instantly, you can read them in your dashboard feed and “re-blog” the content you like, all of which makes Tumblr that hybrid blog and social network content stream. 

I found Tumblr the same way I’ve discovered other forms of social media—through my teenage sons and their friends who describe it as the new “it.”  Admittedly, I’m new to Tumblr (this is my very first post).  And while I’ll always love Twitter, I can see Tumblr becoming the next great tool for journalists, one that both reporters and news organizations would do well to fully embrace.