Friday, April 14, 2006

Tornadoes in Iowa City

As I sit in my basement office this morning I can hear the helicopters overhead, news reporters overlooking the damage to my beloved home city of Iowa City. My husband and I suffered neither loss of roof nor electricity, but about 8:30 last night we heard the freight train pass by about a mile away from us as it tore the roof off the local Menard's. My husband is crushed at the news of damage to his home-away-from-home. Some amount of hail fell in the region; we got about 3/4 inch-sized (safely stowed in the freezer for future generations of... well, what are we supposed to do with it?), although the local news included images of pale hands half-hidden by round white icy soft balls.

Also lost in the storm was old St. Pat's church; I was there last for Grady's funeral (a personal loss of years gone by that I feel compelled to mention, a gentle man and barkeep). And the Alpha Chi Omega sorority house, once an annual source of rush week entertainment when I lived across the street some thirty years ago; and the Dairy Queen on Riverside where we often developed brain freeze.

The valiant local Public Access TV ditched all of their programming to bring phoned-in status reports and video coverage of the damage, despite the fact that announcer Brad Laborman knew his apartment had been damaged. The video coverage was truly amazing, both of the storm itself and the aftermath, when thousands of students wandered downtown gawping at the wreckage.

The town is battered, a little, but we're going to be alright. About twenty people ended up (at least temporarily) in the hospital, a state of emergency has been declared in the city, and some of our landmarks have been damaged or destroyed, but by and large, we are okay.

The Press-Citizen has some photos, and PATV has some of their remarkable video uploaded.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Athlete in the Family

This is a photograph of my marathon-runner sister, the very first member of our family who can honestly claim to be an athlete. The rest of us are poky fat old bookworms and computer nerds that have to push the cobwebs away from our doors if we want to go outside. Way to go, sis!

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Readings: Archaeology at Strangways Springs Sheep Station

Readings: Archaeology at Strangways Springs Sheep Station

This article is on archaeological investigations at a sheep station (basically a ranch) in the central Australian outback. The original article was written by Alistair Paterson and published in Historical Archaeology, and he was kind enough to let me use the photographs from his excavations. I've never been to the outback, but his report brought the life of sheep herders (black and white) in the late 19th century to life.

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Newswise | It's An Exciting Time to be a Journalist - Even With the Challenges

Newswise | It's An Exciting Time to be a Journalist - Even With the Challenges

Or so says the Dean of Journalism at the University of Maryland in this interview. Journalists must be 'willing to embrace new technology'. For me, it is an exciting time to morph from an archaeologist into a journalist; terrifying even if I'm not in a war or poking into some congressional or presidential wrongdoing. Which stories do you follow? How do you keep your objectivity? And, that perennial favorite--what was wrong with having a full time job?


Saturday, April 01, 2006

ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive Project Blog: Media: Ralph Bakshi's Phone Doodles

ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive Project Blog: Media: Ralph Bakshi's Phone Doodles

Ralph Backshi is one of my heroes; when I was in college his 'Lord of the Rings' was flat-out amazing animation. Blogger A-Haa has a stash of Ralph Bakshi phone doodles. What a hoot!

Oops - forgot to say this is via Boing Boing, fast becoming my favorite blog site.