Archive for January, 2008

Who Edits These Wikipedia Entries?

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Who’s Been Messin’ with My Wikipedia Entry?

When I started here at NPR several months ago, my orientation included a session with our incredibly knowledgeable librarian Kee Malesky. She gave me lots of great tips and only one real warning: Don’t trust what you read on Wikipedia because you just don’t know where that information came from.

I thought of Kee’s warning as I read this piece on Wired about a new data mining service, called WikiScanner (that you can see at http://wikiscanner.virgil.gr/), that lets you see who has gone into Wikipedia to make edits — including in entries about them. And some of the names might surprise you.

Fox News is there. So are The New York Times, Al Jazeera and WorldNetDaily. Corporations like Diebold, Raytheon, Pfizer, Exxon Mobil and Wal-Mart. Not to mention the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, members of Congress, the CIA, the Church of Scientology and the Catholic Church. They all made changes of some kind to entries that included references or information about them.

Cal Tech computation and neural-systems graduate student Virgil Griffith, who wrote the data mining program, used IP addresses from millions of Wikipedia entries to trace their sources. "Everything’s better if you do it on a huge scale, and automate it," Griffin told Wired.

Another reason why I love the Internet — it just gets harder and harder to hide the fingerprints on the virtual cookie jars.

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Posted: January 22nd, 2008
at 12:53pm by Black Ock


Categories: too good to be true,web,fo' real?

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My Ninja, Please! 1/22/08: Romney is a Hepcat

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Mr. Romney, the Republican candidate from Massachusetts by way of Michigan and Utah who enjoys a milkshake at the end of a long day, stopped by a staging area for a Martin Luther King Birthday parade here. In his dress shirt and tie, and with his unwavering smile, he walked over and posed for photographs with a group of black youngsters. Putting his arm around a teenage girl, he waved to the cameras and offered, a€oeWho let the dogs out?a€A He added a tepid a€oewoof woof.a€A

Somewhere, the Baha Men, the Bahamian group whose 2000 song the candidate was referencing, must have been shuddering.

Kevin Madden, one of Mr. Romneya€™s campaign boyz on the bus, said the candidate had been joking around and had responded to someone who asked, a€oeWho let you out?a€A

Later, Mr. Romney admired a childa€™s gold necklace and said, a€oeOh, youa€™ve got some bling-bling here.a€A

Read the Rest

Ohh Boy…AA sounds a bit racialist to me.

[Cartoon Via] Special thanks to Jen.

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Posted: January 22nd, 2008
at 10:42am by Black Ock


Categories: myninjaplease,bling,not ninja-worthy,politricks

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Pigeons on the Subway

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Mar. 9, 2002 — This week, The New York Times followed the flight of a pigeon — or at least its commute. Reporter Randy Kennedy delved into reports that pigeons routinely waddle onto waiting A trains on the outdoor platform at the Far Rockaway station and ride the line a single stop down to Beach 25th Street/Wavecrest where they toddle out, sniff the air, and flap on back to Far Rockaway-`as if they were heading south,’ wrote Mr. Kennedy, `but were too lazy or too fat to fly.’

I’ve ridden the A train from that stop a couple of times and recalled seeing pigeons. They struck me as fellow strap-hangers. The birds don’t pay their fares, and I don’t like it when you catch them leaning over your shoulder to read the gossip page of the New York Post — that would be, by the way, just about every page — then turn away when you look back with what I take to be a feathered shrug of aviary superiority, as if the pigeon was saying (in falsetto voice), `Oh, sorry. Didn’t realize you were reading such trash. I was just looking for Tom Friedman’s column.’ On the other hand, I’ve never heard a pigeon call out to the entire subway car, `Let me tell you all about the Church of Scientology.’

Read the rest @ NPR

That was a bit old, but ever so relevant. In case you were wondering, that picture is of a certain London mayor who in 2006 went on a campaign to rid the city of the dirty birds. Where did I find all this out, you ask? Why, from a somewhat dated post on www.killthepigeons.com, of course.

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Posted: January 22nd, 2008
at 9:33am by Black Ock


Categories: hood status,life,too good to be true

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Jesus Camp Follow-up

Here’s an interview with the directors of Jesus Camp, the documentary about evangelical Christian youth-camps that we posted yesterday.

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Posted: January 22nd, 2008
at 2:33am by Black Ock


Categories: 2 hours on the internet,documentary

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Reclaiming King

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The "I Have a Dream" speech has become a clichA©. It’s played every Martin Luther King Day and perhaps again during our so-called "Black History Month." With each passing year it feels more distant to me, more quaint. Its power has always been its simplicity and clarity, but its unassailable message has turned the man who delivered it into more of a myth than a human being made of flesh and blood.

I have vivid memories from my childhood of watching the famous speech in class and hearing an obnoxious white classmate of mine mock King’s dramatic tones and rhetoric while other white students chuckled uncomfortably. Aside from wanting to strangle this kid, in part because I was so fascinated with King, I also felt far removed from the black and white images on the screen and from the dire times during which he and his supporters lived. Even his name — the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., intimidated me. It felt more literary than literal. [read the rest]

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Posted: January 21st, 2008
at 6:21am by Black Ock


Categories: web,mnp is for the children

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Martin Luther King Day Theme Parties?

Just a little something inflammatory from Fox News.

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The reportage was borderline hilarious (read the captions) but the story was un-[expletive] believable. Does this really happen?

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Posted: January 21st, 2008
at 5:51am by Black Ock


Categories: not ninja-worthy,politricks,real life news

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Interesting Point By Highly Confused Ninja

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Posted: January 21st, 2008
at 5:34am by Black Ock


Categories: hood status,myninjaplease,youtube,life,crime,not ninja-worthy,politricks,fo' real?,real life news

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My Ninja, Please! 1/21/08: MLK Jr.

[warning: unrelated cartoon]

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ATLANTA (AP) a€" Martin Luther King Jr. is used to the puzzled looks he gets from people when they learn his name.

The white, long-haired graphics designer and children’s book author goes by "Marty" to maintain his anonymity in the suburbs of Atlanta, where the man who made the moniker famous once lived.

His name is just a coincidence, but it made Marty King pay attention to the civil rights movement while growing up in a small Tennessee town during the 1960s.

"In East Tennessee, he may not have had a lot of fans, but there were some people who agreed with him," he said. "I liked his speeches. … He was only asking for what he was due, but the way he did it commanded respect. He earned my parents’ respect."

Marty King, 53, was named for his father, who was named for the German monk and theologian Martin Luther, founder of the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s.

It’s not the only famous name in his family. Marty King’s grandfather was named Abraham Lincoln. [Read the Rest]

Wow.AA There’s not much else to say except My Ninja, Please!

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Posted: January 21st, 2008
at 5:28am by Black Ock


Categories: myninjaplease

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Jesus Camp - Weekly Doc

Hey kids, it’s Monday, and you know that’s when we usually bring the weekly documentary. We know ya’ll are at work (usually, albeit not today) and therefore possibly don’t watch these right away - but we like to put them up early in the week hoping that you think about them during the week and make a bit of time to be entertained and educated. Or something like it. This week’s documentary is Jesus Camp; the IMDB synopsis is down below. Just to let you know, you can obviously watch this video right here on myninjaplease, just to preview it, but you can also click the video frame and watch it on google, which will let you see it in a bigger window.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5249911130864255023

Jesus Camp follows several young children as they prepare to attend a summer camp where the kids will get their daily dose of evangelical Christianity. Becky Fischer works at the camp, which is named Kids on Fire. Through interviews with Fischer, the children, and others, Jesus Camp illustrates the unswerving belief of the faithful. A housewife and homeschooling mother tells her son that creationism has all the answers. Footage from inside the camp shows young children weeping and wailing as they promise to stop their sinning. Child after child is driven to tears. Juxtapose these scenes with clips from a more moderate Christian radio host (who is appalled by such tactics), and Jesus Camp seems to pose a clear question: are these children being brainwashed? Written by Ken Miller {wkmiller704@yahoo.com} from IMDB

In other news, it’s MLK Day so we’re gonna take it easy and just see what comes.

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Posted: January 21st, 2008
at 5:13am by Black Ock


Categories: robots,film,weaponry,boredom killer,documentary

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