Tuesday May 13, 2008
Sassy photos from Miami (NSFW). Chinese food in the belly button: do not try this at home.
Tuesday August 23, 2005
Our pal Chad is in the process of archiving old photographs for the city of Coral Gables. Here’s a link to theproject’s web page. Nifty. Note the high-res scans of the backs of the cards: Nicholson Bakerism run amok at its finest (well, ok, there’s actually writing on the back of some of them).
Friday November 23, 2007
- White Dreams, White Gold, White Trash . . . Yes, it’s White Party week. This is all ongoing and through the weekend.
- If you haven’t been in a Target or similar store, where they began putting up Christmas decorations sharply after Halloween, then you don’t realize we’re upon the holiday season. Get yourself all festive tonight at the Bayfront Park Tree Lighting — live Christmas carols, fireworks, etc. Bring school supplies for a drive for needy children if so inclined.
- Deep in the heart of Ft. Lauderdale, Rat Bastard, Dan Hosker, Dino Felipe, et al. present Ongo, a three-hour structured improvised performance, featuring sort of a who’s who of local musicians.
- FWIW, something called, rather ominously, the Tim Charron South Beach Music Festival. Take with grains of salt.
- The wonderful folks at the Rhythm Foundation are bringing my man Caetano Veloso, performing at Carnival Center.
- The culmination of the White Party insanity, tonight at Vizcaya, a $150 HIV/AIDS fundraiser. Oh — with Cyndi Lauper.
- Black Kids drop in on Circa 28, free show as per always.
- The (actual) Misfits, at the Culture Room.
Wouldn’t this be kind of a big deal?catch
- Casa Lin opening, 11am – 1 pm. Featuring Daniel Arsham, Bhakti Baxter, Duane Brant, Pip Brant, Robert Chambers, Naomi Fisher, Adler Guerrier, Gean Moreno & Ernesto Oroza, Ralph Provisero, Samantha Salzinger, Diana Shpungin, Mette Tommerup, Frances Trombly, Michelle Weinberg, Wendy Wischer, this is one of Miami’s main faces to the art world for Art Basel.
- Monday it kicks off officially the Miami International Short Film Festival.
Friday December 15, 2006
An Art Basel flickr photoset, dominated by pictures of the Friends With You parade. Great!
Friday May 5, 2006
The South Beach Chamber Ensemble performs at MAC at 4 pm on Sunday. I caught them doing the same program a few weeks ago at the Miami Beach Community Church, and they are excellent. Drawn from the teaching staff at New World School for the Arts, SBCE is a surprisingly hip string quartet. This program, for instance, includes nothing older then 1957. Between pieces, they explain, give background, and tell stories, sometimes interrupting each other to jump in on a point.
They open with Shostakovich’s String Quartet #7, which is Russian modernism at it’s best – dissonant, dramatic, and in places just plain weird. It’s the sort of piece that demonstrates why the string quartet can be the most effective of classical music units – it is able to create rich layers of texture with unusual techniques on each instrument, while allowing each of the instruments to be heard as a distinct voice. The show continues with Osvaldo Golijov’s “Tenebrae” (composed in 2003) a shimmering, slowly developing tribute to a visit to a planetarium, and concludes, fittingly, with a string quartet by Villa-Lobos, the Brazilian master.
The show is part of the ensemble’s “Music in Beautiful Spaces,” a good execution of a good idea. ($5)
Monday March 12, 2007
Pictures from Saturday night, and yes — mixing images of art with unrelated photos of the evening. Here are Abner Nolan’s found negatives at Leonard Tachmes Gallery.
AA spot in the Design District I can never seem to catch the name of (Update:
it’s an annex of the Moore Space Update #2: madebythem says: “That space as well as the show was is in no way related to the Moore Space. My friend and I wrote a proposal to get the space and decided to have a show with no theme, flyers, invites or any sort of publicity.”), a big exhibition involving live dogs in uncomfortable-looking costumes, video, a lawn-sized patch of live sod, copious piles of broken furniture, an altar, and at least one boy in neon-orange briefs.
This is not art. Actually, I don’t think I was supposed to be upstairs, as the whole floor was linoleum-recently-removed sticky.
Tarot card altar by l’elk!
I am sometimes asked to explain the difference between the Design District and Wynwood. They are adjacent art districts, with roughly separated by I-195. The Design District has some notable architecture and history, and contains several non-profit art spaces, along with high-end furniture showrooms.
Wynwood is mostly old warehouses, many of which have been occupied by the hottest commercial galleries in town. (There are also a few private collections and the MoCA annex.) There used to be a rivalry of sorts, but I think the DD folks largely gave that up when they changed their gallery walk to second Saturdays to coincide with Wynwood’s.
Sara Stites at the Buena Vista Building.
A Jen Stark peephole piece at the Bas-Fisher Invitational.
Kerry Ware at Dorsch.
Friday June 15, 2007
Yay: The Google embargo has been lifted. Attention Google visitors: Critical Miami is safe.
Wednesday February 6, 2008
BarCamp Miami 2, February 28th.
Tuesday May 13, 2008
Monday August 6, 2012
I’ve been reacquainting myself with the Miami Internets a bit, and here is some stuff, a lot of which will be old to you. By the way, I have been using the snot out of the CM Twitter feed, so stuff like this will be retweeted there moreso than collected here going forward, I think.
- The casino at the Herald site. You know thats’ totally happening, right? Certainly Gentling’s not going to let Tallahassee stop them. So what’s the next step? Going for an amendment to the state constitution, apparently.
- Two cyclists killed in Cooper City Sunday morning. Apparently the driver was trying to get away after a botched burglary. Rick says this is exactly why he doesn’t bicycle anymore, an argument that deserves to be picked apart a bit: Cycling is less dangerous than driving. But cycling is an option. Well, driving is an option too, no? Isn’t the bus insanely safe compared to either cycling or driving? Or, try this: heart disease kills 6 times as many people as all accidents combined. Is Rick a vegetarian?
- Video: a 3-minute recap of Andrew Zimmern’s visit to Miami, including stone crab fishing and roasting a pig in a caja china. (More.)
- For the 80’s among you, Public Image Limited plays Grand Central in a couple of months and tickets r on sale.
- Wanna really do something about your electric bill? Perhaps you could go to FPL’s rate adjustment hearing and make a stink.
- Wha — Alex Broadwell’s photos of Holly Hunt and Jellyfish Brothers — but no DJ Fucked Up?!?
- The Five Worst Primary Candidates: Our Haters Guide To Next Tuesday’s Election from New Times. Trashy: do not read.
- This is probably one of those things that y’all have known about forever, but Miami Tech Events
- If you’ve got time, the Herald’s YouTube channel has interviews with the local candidates and other officials. And by the way, Absentee ballot fraud made easy in Miami-Dade.
- How would you like to finally be mentioned in the New Yorker, only to have your name mangled beyond googleability? That’s exactly what happened to Sinisa Kukec.
- Miami Restaurant’s August 2012 Power Rankings. Not sure exactly what this is, but a list of restaurants is always fun to look at I guess.
- In a Broward school system plagued by budget cutbacks, teacher layoffs and scandal, even $2 billion won’t fix everything. But it’s a start, said superintendent Robert Runcie.
- O Cinema will be screening the new Ai Wei Wei documentary (which has been getting universal acclaim even from non-art people) — Thursday with pizza, thereafter without.
- Video of the Sears Tower in its heyday, the Beatles arriving in Miami, 1960’s radio wars, aerial shots of Fisher Island from the 20’s, and more at The 305’s Old School Sundays.
- Speaking of old-school Miami, a photo by Mr. Entertainment of Harry Pussy performing at Churchill’s in 1997.
- Photos from that ID Festival thing.
- “After a disappointing start to their inaugural season in Marlins Park, Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria unveiled plans Friday to build a new waterfront stadium at Mid-Beach, tentatively called Marlins Field. ‘We made a lot of great memories at Marlins Park, but our fans need a modern facility capable of housing a winning team,’ said Loria, who expects funding for the project to be approved by the city and county governments.” Relax, it’s The Onion.
Oh yeah, and I monkeyed with the design over the weekend. Wider. Coming soon: Twitter and FB share buttons for each articles. Eyesore I know, but we gotta get the word out…
Wednesday January 2, 2008
I’m always hot and sweaty, so on those few evenings every year when the temperature dips below 60°, my response is usually a bitter “too little too late,” and some attempt to enjoy the cold while it lasts. But when the outdoor feels-like temp starts to approach 30°, even I have to resort to some drastic measures, living as I do in an unheated and drafty apartment. My big discovery this year: ironing. Just so happens that I had a pile of recently-laundered but unironed shirts laying around, plus more stuff that stood to benefit from a freshen-up, and ironing is just the perfect get-warm and do-something-useful activity perfect for a freezing evening. Other tips for staying warm in a normally-temperate climate, in order of increasing effectiveness:
10. Hot baths The problem here is that you have to get out eventually.
9. Liquor No reason not to drink,
and it may well keep you from dying if you fall into icy water, but sorry: booze does not actually make you feel less cold.
8. Layered clothing A necessary, but not really sufficient solution. Right now I’m wearing four layers (three long-sleeved), and while it’s better then nothing, I’m very far from snug.
7. Slippers Growing up, my parents would never let me walk around barefoot when it was the slightest bit cold. They had sort of a point. Of course nobody here has slippers, but two pairs of socks, or even sneakers indoors, can help.
6. Cuddling No particular explanation required, except that unless you’re wearing your slippers to bed, your toes will still have issues.
5. The hat thing You know how on all those survival shows they tell you that you looks 40% of your body heat through your head? They’re exaggerating, but still.
4. John Coltrane, Ascension “You could use this record to heat up the apartment on those cold winter days,” goes the famous quote, and it’s true. The only problem is that this is effective in proportion to the volume it’s played at, so on those cold nights your neighbors might not be happy if this is your only recourse.
3. Ironing As previously explained.
2. Tea Or any hot liquid. Soup, coffee, even hot water. Yum.
1. Suffer, baby Geez, it’s for what, 24 hours? People go for months sleeping on the streets of New York in the winter, looking for crappy grates that spit a little steam every few hours(?), and you can’t take one evening of discomfort? How about going for a nice brisk 2-hour walk for some perspective on the situation.
Update: Oh, and don’t go messing around with space heaters — you will burn down your house and die (The last line made me chuckle, too: “protect exposed pipes. Freezing temperatures can cause pipes in burst, especially those in unprotected areas” … like, huh? What am I supposed to do, wrap my pipes in blankets?)
Wednesday March 29, 2006
Here’s a map of downtown; let’s orient ourselves (if you know downtown, skip down a paragraph or two). We have the bay on the right, I-95 on the left; the Miami River cuts through, emptying into the bay near Brickell Key (the triangle island) and the Port of Miami (just out of the frame to the northeast). On the north side of the river, Bayfront Park sits between US-1 and the water (the amphitheater at the north-most edge). The eastern end of Calle Ocho is south of the river, as is Tobacco Road (Miami liquor license #001).
OK; let’s talk about Brickell Ave. It’s home to some of the shiniest high-rises in Miami (Pan-American financial centers), and has an almost suburban feel, lined with trees and wide sidewalks. North of the river is noisy and loud — the read downtown; south of the river is quiet and serious. If you follow Brickell Avenue over the bridge going north, [correction] you can’t even keep going straight along 2nd Avenue: the street forces you to turn right and follow US-1, because 2nd Ave is one-way southbound. [/correction]
Anyway, a developer who’s building a high-rise on 2nd avenue a few blocks north of the river is lobbying the City Commission to allow him to call his address “Briclell Avenue.” This doesn’t fly because Brickell Avenue has always been south of the Miami River. It seems to be by definition, and so it is, in a way: in the early days of Miami, there was a feud between Flagler and Tuttle, who owned the land north of the river (and had most of the power), and Brickell, who owned the land south of the river (and couldn’t so much as get a bridge built). Renaming 2nd Ave north of the river “Brickell” is a slap in the face of history (you can get more of the historical background in the Herald article). Note, also, that the prestige that the Brickell name caries has to do with being the closest street to the water — i.e., odd-numbered Brickell properties are generally waterfront properties. Not only is this not the case with 2nd ave, but the land is now nowhere near the river, not on US-1, and not particularly prestigious location from a satellite-view perspective (of course a 2nd ave address has plenty of historical cachet, not to mention a prime-ass location).
So, renaming those few blocks of 2nd avenue “Brickell” is a slap in the face of the prestige of the name, a slap in the face of history, a slap in the face of developers not needing any additional goddamned encouragement, and a slap in the face of us having a city commission to do some fucking serious work for our city, which has some real goddamned problems, and not dick around with this bullshit.
Thursday November 29, 2012
“If a woman has two children and one is a girl, the chance that the other child is a girl has to be 50-50, right? No.”
I figured this out. Go back to the coin example. I flip two coins into a box, such that I can see the results and you can’t. The probability of two heads is 1 in 4. The probability of two tails is 1 in 4. But since there are two ways to get one heads and one tails, the probability of one coin being heads and the other being tails is 1 in 2.
I look down, and I say, “one of the coins is heads.” At this point, the probability of the other coin being heads is 1 in 3, and the probability of the other coins being tails is 2 in 3.
Back to the example of the kids. If I said “the woman’s first child is a girl.” Then the probability of her second child being a boy would be 50-50.
I think what this highlights is the extent to which what our brains are good for is based on how we evolved. We’re wired to figure out certain real-world practical problems, and comparatively terrible at abstract thought. We have the illusion of being good at abstract thought. Simple puzzles like this poke holes in the illusion.
(Via Steve, who brought an old newspaper clipping with this.)
Wednesday September 5, 2007
This little guy, the Mexican bromeliad weevil, has been plowing through the air-plant population of the Everglades and residential neighborhoods. Well, now scientists have discovered species of fly in the Honduras that feeds on these particular weevils, and are releasing these flies here to kill off the population. Really interesting glimpses into the local habitat here.
Monday August 27, 2007
So, this was the scene on I-95 Northbound around 9 am Friday. Notice the Miami-Dade Police cruiser around the middle of the photo above, and the empty stretch of road in front of him? OK, so this guy’s going about 60 or 65 mph. For awhile I was behind him, as were a few other people, sort of contemplating passing him. Then he flashed his lights a couple of times. No idea what that was supposed to mean. I changed lanes, and very slowly crept past him on the right. When I was next to him, he turned on his siren for a couple of seconds.
I looked over, and dude is giving me a “slow down” hand guesture! It’s official: here’s a Miami-Dade cop who’s decided he’s going to single-handedly tame I-95! It’s not his jurisdiction, but of course he can pull anyone over. I backed off, and got back into the huddle. That’s when I took this picture. The scene continued to be pretty crazy. At one point a plumber’s van tried to pass on the cop’s left, and the guy turned on his lights again and actually swerved into the left lane to cut the van off! So there he is, like a herder leading a flock of sheep, which got thicker and longer as it went (maybe the Pied Piper is a better analogy). This went from around I-195 to the 135th street exit, when he got off and the clump dispersed.
I wonder if this is standard policing procedure. I’d think the FHP troopers who patrol here would have something to say about it — average speed on ’95 during this time is about 75, and it seems to work pretty well. The FHP seem happy with this, and they don’t seem to ticket anyone going under 80. Weird.
Wednesday December 27, 2006
Johnny Rockets pads the bill. Oh, and charging for a slice of lemon? That shit is wack, yo. And now it can be told: you never, ever tip on the tax. $28 for lunch for two at a burger joint . . . I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.
Thursday June 22, 2006
There is no shortage of Heat victory celebration posts and articles around. The only one remotely worth it is Christian’s post about the impromptu parade on Washington Avenue Tuesday night (ever the generous one, he also uploaded his full 457 picture roll). I’m sure the official parade will be great. But c’mon – a celebration three days after the victory? And only for people who can take a half-day off work?
Update: Oh, and read Christian’s hilarious reflections on posting the images, a comment that’s longer then any post he’s done on fanless in months.
Thursday September 7, 2006
Friday February 15, 2008
- Yeah yeah, the sodding boat show. It’s spilled out of the convention center and taken over the street and parking lot. Are you buying a boat? Do you dream of owning a boat and want to drool? Be my guest. $16.
- Alaska, dance theater by Diana Szeinblum Company, at the Byron Carlyle through Saturday.
- New World School of the Arts BFA Dance Concert.
- Romance in a Can, a festival of romantic movies — the only one in the country.
- Holy crap I just realized there’s a Renaissance Festival going on.
- Get your Puccini working: Tosca at Arsch Center, through next weekend.
- Yesterday tonight and Saturday, the International Noise Conference at Churchill’s. They should also play at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival.
- Tonight, Sam Friend plays a free show at Sweat Records. You should totally go to this, because you’re his snowflake and everything, plus one day soon he’s going to be famous and you can say you did.
- Saturday morning, tickets go on sale for the Radiohead show on May 5th. Isn’t Radiohead in 2008 kind of like U2 in 2000 — still kind of fun but no longer cool?
- MMA cage-fighting matchup: Kimbo Slice v. David “Tank” Abbott.
- Sunday, our pals at the South Florida Emerald Society present a reading of Spreading the News by Lady Gregory. At John Martin’s, where, need I remind you, his special wheat beer is $3 a pint on Sundays.
- Congo de Oro (loud Flash, I had to click away before I figured out wtf it was).
- Sweet Honey in the Rock perform in Hollywood, free.
Tuesday May 6, 2008
Alton Road bike lanes? Weather we like it or not, Alton Road is soon to be torn up. So, Miami Beach commissioners had a choice to make. Look at the two proposals below, and see if you can guess which they chose to recommend to FDoT.
Friday October 26, 2007
Halloween is next Wednesday, so I guess a certain amount of the related celebrationing is to fall on this weekend. Not any of the particularly emphatic celebrationing, I doubt, but there seems to be a lot of stuff for kids. I haven’t got the interest to try to distill it, so just check the top of SunPost’s Calendar.
- Opening Reception for Talking Heads at The Girls Club, Francie Bishop Good’s exhibition space in Ft. Lauderdale.
- David Unger and Alfredo Triff discuss Havana Deco at Books and Books.
- Please do not be getting your hopes up about the
Hunter’s Full Moon Star Party at Fruit and Spice Park, because it’s going to be a clear night exactly like I’m going to dress up as Superman for Halloween and suddenly find myself being able to fly.
- Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays, because while it certainly will not be clear, it may well have stopped pouring.
- Oktoberfest continues through the weekend.
- Also all weekend, The BugChasers, a “dance-theater meditation on sex, lies, and death-wish eroticism.”
- Ballet Gamonet’s season begins today, with the first of four performances of program 1.
- The Miami International Film Festival’s Anniversary Film Retrospective. See some great old movies in a theater, with some serious film buffs.
- The Miami Beach Antique Jewelry & Watch Show might sound like fun, but they’re only selling stupid 3-day passes, which run $15. Forget it.
- Like you need a stick in the eye: the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show. Ever helpful, I’ll save you wading through a sea of idiotic Flash and pointless clicking at the website, and direct you straight to the key information.
- Last day to see the Consortium show at MOCA’s Goldman Warehouse!
- Worst Political Nightmare, a satirical political performance, at Wallflower Gallery.
- Circa Saturdays, wish “tricks and treats for Halloween,” which sounds suitably low-key, and I’d be interested if there’s any attempt made to do any sort of costume-like dress-up.
- Similar idea with PS14: “Live performances by Otto, Nastie, Doormouse, Music Is A Weapon, and The Mutiny, plus 20 DJs!!”
- Sarah Silverman at The Fillmore
- Macaco at Studio A.
- Video Hippo canceled their show at Churchill’s — call them now if your band wants to play, or else just show up to see what this dredges up.
Tuesday July 25, 2006
All sorts of people will tell you that roller skating is more fun then ice skating, right? Of course it’s apples and oranges. But Roll Out Tuesdays in Ft. Lauderdale isn’t just an ordinary rollerskate night. Hosted by the inimitable DJ Hottpants and attended by the hippest of both counties, Roll Out is (well, not to be retarded about it, but) like a club on wheels. I realize it doesn’t look like much in my pictures (hey, it’s dark in there, and people are zipping around: you try photographing it with something that fits in your pocket), but plenty of busy people will tell you that it’s worth a trip up from as far as Coral Gables on a school night. And hey, nobody’s getting stabbed.
Take 95 north to 595, head East, get off at US-1, and go North. Gold Coast Roller Rink will be on your right almost right away (2604 S. Federal Highway). 8 pm to Midnight: hell yes. $3 door, $2 skate rentals. And the snack bar serves beer.
Wednesday June 27, 2012
Wednesday May 30, 2007
Wednesday October 4, 2006
Thursday March 23, 2006
Infomaniac reported on two new Miami blogs back on March 9th; I just got around to linking to them yesterday, and wondered why one was on the herald’s url, the other not. James Burnett, author of Burnett’s Urban Etiquette one of the blogs in question, replied in the comments:
[my blog] is hosted on blogger (along with a half dozen other new Herald blogs), because the paper is in transition between it’s old software platform for blogs and a new system being set up.
This is interesting for a number of reasons (some of which are technical, and those I’ll leave alone). One is that the recent change of ownership of the Herald makes the newspaper much more of a wild card in the online news-delivery game  , and what the Herald does with its web site over the next couple of years could be the most historically important action the Herald will ever do. The other is that it turns out that the Herald has a bunch of new blogs(!) we get to look at (scrutinize?). Fun! Let’s look at each individually; but first, let’s make some comments about them as a lot.
Even though these must, to be effective, be driven by what blog-interested staff are interested in blogging about, the overall mix is a look at what the Herald considers important. During hurricane season, there was a hurricane blog. There’s a celebrity blog. Etc. Also, annoyingly, blogs.herald.com points to Dave Barry’s blog, not to a Herald blog directory. For that, you have to go here. Let’s run them down:
- Dave Barry’s Blog: I’m not particularly a fan of Barry’s humor, but blogging is perfect vehicle for it (as evidenced). I also like the fact that his assistant shares the blog with him.
- Greg Cote’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog: a sports blog. Yawn.
- On the Beat: Miami Heat: a blog about the Miami Heat. Make my yawn a double (or maybe this one’s more interesting because it’s more specific, and gets to delve into grittier issues; let a regular reader decide).
- Miami’s Cuban Connection: pity the poor sucker who has to walk this tightrope. But note the treatment of this situation, and wonder whether MCC presents any challenge (or even any reasonable alternative) to babalú, 26th Parallel, or Cuban-American Pundits. Fat chance.
- Infomaniac: You’ve gotta hand it to the Infomaniac – as the Herald’s original blog, she gets to write about whatever she wants to – the paper itself, the newspaper industry, blogs, local issues, internet issues, whatever. Now that there are more fish in the sea, she may have to specialize a little more. Or not. In any case, worth reading.
- Burnett’s Urban Etiquette: A newbie writing on a very narrow topic, but one that could develop in interesting ways. Or could run out of things to talk about and get boring before it ever becomes interesting. We’ll have to wait and see. (I wonder how being on a .herald domain influences one in writing a blog of this sort; probably less of a factor then with the Cuban blog, but still a factor?)
- Gay South Florida: Similar to the Cuban Connection in that there’s a built-in audience. The difference is that (to my knowledge) there are not any Gay-in-Miami blogs around now, so just rounding up the news relevant to this group and presenting it may be good enough. (The trick will be to keep it local, since there are plenty of national Gay blogs, and Steve seems intent to do just that.
- The Work/Life Balancing Act: Short, smart posts (even on a topic that may seem dry at first blush) are blog gold. If Cindy can keep this up, she may have a winner on her hands. (Then again, if her audience is time-strapped women, she may have a winner without an audience, blogs being a time-sink and all.)
- Crazy for Critters: You’ve got to be shitting me (as my cat recently did, btw). I’m not going to bother with this except to say that, however ad-hoc, the Herald should have tried to find another way to get up a half-dozen blogs then Blogger. These generic blogger templates look really really unprofessional.
- Scene in the Tropics: One of the original ones (and punily named). Not bad from what I hear, although not really my area of interest.
- What a Life!: Another blog from a features columnist, with little local content. Again, I’m not sure that the potential readership of this blog are likely to be surfing the Herald’s site looking for more stuff to read online.
I wonder, finally, what the Herald is thinking of with these offerings. (Of course “The Herald” is an amorphous concept in this context; we’re really talking about the Herald’s editors along with (I suppose) their new owners.) To some extent, of course, they’re throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. And no doubt they’re trying (and considering trying) all sorts of things, many of them non-blog (Why not let us post comments to all Herald articles?), and many of them so new and daring that they’ll require some time to implement. Let’s hope there’s a lot of interesting stuff to look forward to.
 An e-mail I received from a spouse of a Herald employee after my harsh words re the Herald’s online operation indicated that a lot of the crappiness came from Knight-Ridder higher-ups, and that the local staff was doing the best they could under the circumstances. I agreed that this seemed quite plausible.
Tuesday May 22, 2007
Yesterday, Florida moved its primary to January 29th, which means it’s preceded only the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. It puts us ahead of Super Tuesday, when most of the states hold their primaries.
This sort of leapfrogging is bad for the system (humor me a second), because there’s no logical place for it to end — nobody wants to be at the irrelevant end of the process, and the greater the time between the primaries and the general elections, the more wasteful and boring the whole process gets. And sure enough, the national Democrat and Republican parties wagged a finger at Florida about doing this, and both have threatened to take away 50% of our delegates. We’ll see if they follow through.
The standard arguments for the move is that Florida is one of the most important swing states in the country, and there’s no reason for us to have near-irrelevant primaries at the end of the process. So why not just move our date to Super Tuesday with the parties’ blessing? Well for one thing, South Carolina is on January 29th. Why should they get a first say about the candidates?
But for that matter, why should Iowa and New Hampshire? This is the problem with United States presidential primaries — the whole system stinks. I’m sure folks are real nice in Iowa and New Hampshire. But let’s face it — they’re hicks! Nothing wrong with that, but why in God’s name should this ultra-homogeneous (~97% white, overwhelmingly farmers, mostly Christian) group of people play the crucial role in our election process year after year after year? The only possible defense is a feeble appeal to tradition. Please. This is no way to run a country.
So Florida’s move is selfish, unreasonable, and destabilizing. But it’s destabilizing in a good way. We’re risking our delegates to bring down this idiotic system. When Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina move their primaries to February 5th, we’ll do the same. That’ll never happen, you say? Well, they won’t do it voluntarily, sure. But If this keeps up the national parties will make them move. Having all the primaries on one day is far from a perfect system (if you want to get wild and crazy with it maybe consider the random primary proposal), but at least it makes sense.
Oh by the way, the bill that brings this change also mandates new paper-trailed voting machines. No time to think this through, though, we’re going to find some “good enough” machines that print a little receipt and it’s going to be disaster city all over again. I predict that whatever new machines they get will have immediately-obvious flaws, we’ll be replacing them again in a year or two, and I’ll be looking for someone else to sock.
Monday December 17, 2007
Can’t say I’ve ever given a thought to the plastic-wrapped plates of food that most restaurants on Lincoln Road display for would-be diners. Looks like the Miami Beach Commission has noticed, though, and decided to outlaw the practice on the grounds that it’s déclassé.
Tuesday June 5, 2007
hay-zoos: Free Jams goofs around in the sand.
Wednesday August 8, 2007
Location: 900 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139
On Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 6:00PM, historic preservationists and residents of Miami Beach will demonstrate and picket to urge the City of Miami Beach to save the historic Coral Rock House and Mediterranean Revival Apartment Building in the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District from demolition.
This was the same 1916 historic coral rock house that was partially demolished last month in spite of the June 15, 2007 Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board order to make a good faith effort to restore the historic building.
Next week, on Tuesday, August 14, the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board will consider a petition for rehearing concerning the demolition and the request of a neighboring preservationist to penalize the property owner for acting in bad faith and causing the demolition to occur because of the owner’s own neglect of the historic coral rock structure. The petition is additionally seeking the reversal of the order allowing the demolition of a historic Mediterranean Revival Apartment Building also on the site.
An April 6, 2006, a letter from the City Manager documented the refusal of the coral rock house owner to allow city inspections that would have unearthed the cause of the sudden deterioration of the structure which had led to a court order allowing the demolition. With the demolition, possible evidence of “demolition by neglect” was destroyed which could lead to an inference that the premature demolition covered up the owner’s contributory negligence leading to the demolition of the coral rock house.
Update: Coverage in the Herald, along with some of the politics behind the house. The historic preservation board will vote next Tuesday on an appeal to the demolition order.