Photography, notes, commentary and much more from former Reporter Online Editor Chris Stanley.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Police want to remove child porn from cell phones
ALLENTOWN (AP) - Two high school girls used their cell phones to take pornographic video and photos of themselves, and the images were later sent to dozens of classmates, prosecutors said. District Attorney James B. Martin said he would not prosecute the approximately 40 Parkland High School students who got the images as long as they show their phones to police by Tuesday to ensure the images have been erased. A state trooper was sent to the school Thursday to ensure the cell phones were free of the images, and will be back for two more days, said Cpl. Dennis Long of the state police computer crimes unit.
Colorado State House censures lawmaker for kicking photographer
By STEPHEN K. PAULSON Associated Press Writer
DENVER - The state House voted Thursday to censure a lawmaker who kicked a newspaper photographer taking his picture - and refused to apologize. The resolution, passed 62-1, says Rep. Douglas Bruce "failed to uphold the honor and dignity of the House of Representatives and reflects poorly on the state." Bruce, a Colorado Springs Republican,kicked Rocky Mountain News photographer Javier Manzano for snapping his photo during the traditional session-opening prayer on Jan. 14. Bruce was sworn in as a midterm replacement hours later. Bruce has described his action as a "nudge" and not a kick. As the censure was read, Bruce stood in front of his colleagues toward the side of the chamber, his lips pursed and his arms folded.
He then delivered a speech, again blaming the photographer and comparing himself to Jimmy Stewart in the 1939 movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Stewart played a freshman congressman who punches out a photographer and becomes a hero after launching a filibuster and collapsing on the floor. Republican Rep. Al White responded: "Representative Bruce, you're not Jimmy Stewart, this is not a 1939 movie. This is today. Your actions were wrong." The lone vote against censure was by Rep. Kevin Lundberg, a Republican who said Bruce deserved to be punished but that censure was too strong. Bruce was not permitted to vote.
PROSPECT PARK, Pa. (AP) _ Instead of sleeping in on the Martin Luther King holiday, a Delaware County district is trying a different approach. Superintendent Lois Snyder says the Interboro School District's nearly 4,000 students were required to attend school Monday. The district holds a full day of classes analyzing King's "I Have a Dream" speech and focusing on other minority historic figures. Students also donate food, coats and books. In contrast, Snyder says when students are let out of school she doesn't think most of them spend a great deal of time on service projects. Snyder has received only a handful of complaints, but says she will size up further public reaction before making plans for next year. ________________________
I've never been sure what keeping kids home on this day accomplishes. Education, public service or just spending time with classmates and friends of all backgrounds and races would be a far better way to honor Martin Luther King.
A History Channel show Monday night ("Life After People," 9 pm ET) asks an interesting question: what would happen if all the people on earth suddenly vanished? Think about it. Everything you think of as 'permanent' really isn't; nature would swallow up mankind's creations much faster than we realize. Metal, brick, plastic, and even ceramic would fall to dust within a short period of time. There is a defunct garden center on Welsh Road down toward Willow Grove that I have been watching fall to pieces for the past couple of years. Every time I drive by, a little more of the structure has fallen to the ground. Cut-rate demolition, I guess. So what do you think would be the very last remnant of human civilization left standing if the premise of this show played out? I have a little bit of insider information on this one...but I won't ruin the surprise. I'll just say that when I found out, I had one of those "oh, yeah...of course!" moments.
If the current TV season is cancelled, as is likely, will anybody notice? As the writers strike and the networks wring their hands over ratings that were anemic even before the strike, I wonder if TV is relevant any more. Of course, we still watch plenty of TV, maybe while we're surfing the internet, downloading movies, or shooting something to bits on a Playstation. But how do you get your news? If you're reading this, chances are good that you don't get your daily dose of grim from the NBC Nightly News. How do you watch movies? Probably not the Million Dollar Movie. Do you watch music videos on MTV? Of course not, they don't even play them. You're not watching TV anymore. You're ingesting content. TV is watched, content is downloaded. TV is about prime-time and ratings, content is about portability and choice. If the writers strike, there are infinite alternatives to the TV season a few keystrokes away. Eventually the marriage between broadband and digital TV will be complete, and the TV season as we knew it will be gone forever.
Good things are about to happen to the Reporter's website. In the next few weeks, readers will start see many things they have asked for: much faster page loading, a search archive, new interactive features and more. We want TheReporterOnline.com to be the place you think of first when you want news and information from our area. Do you have any suggestions? Email me...we want your input!
I just posted a story on the Top 20 Concert Tours. Bruce Springsteen leads the pack, followed by Van Halen and Dane cook. Also in the top 10 are Neil Young, Stevie Wonder and Ozzy Osbourne. I'm not sure why the 20-plus-year-old acts still make so much money; I don't know where the older audience finds the time or money to attend. Price-wise, the bargain of the bunch (at least among those I have heard of) is Bob Dylan ($54.19 average per ticket). Van Halen tops the list at $112.37 per ticket, and Neil Young isn't far behind at $110.16. The coveted Hannah Montana tickets are only $54.16; unfortunately the parents have to pay as well. Any way you look at it, it's alot of money to sit on a hard seat in an acoustic cave to see a performer half a mile away while munching on overpriced stadium food. $112 buys alot of music on iTunes.
The annual CES show is underway in Las Vegas. This is one of the largest trade shows in the world - 1.7 million square feet, 2,700 exhibitors, 100,000 visitors a day. AP has dubbed this The Gadget Show, which I suppose is appropriate. It is fun to see the new "lifestyle" gadgets that we will not be able to live without in a year or two.
Here's a few things that caught my eye: first, a very cool video/still camera from Casio, that can capture 60 frames per second, and 300 fps for video:
Air Guitar Hero. I would have to fight off my 11-year-old son to play with this:
Samsung wireless internet viewer. I bet I could find a use for this:
A Microsoft-equipped car. Adds a whole new meaning to "computer crash":
3-D HDTV glasses from Samsung:
Can I live without this stuff? Of course. Do I want to? Not really.
This old factory on Maple Avenue in Sellersville has been slowly falling apart for many years. It's a great building, next to a park and walking distance to downtown. I hope somebody with vision can do something with it. Perhaps it will make a comeback when the passenger railroad returns, if ever.
I have always wanted to photograph this, but never quite found the time to stop. Yesterday I just happpened to drive by at the perfect time, about a half-hour before sunset. Fifteen minutes later, the sun disappeared behind some clouds and the moment passed.