OJ Simpson’s court sentencing was a top story in news outlets around the world. It also created a spate of commentaries on blogsites. WordPress, one of the major blog platforms, reported that on the day of the sentencing, Fox News legal analyst Robert Massi’s post “The O.J. Simpson Trials – A Look at the American Justice System” made the top 10 most popular WordPress.com posts of the day.
Speaking of WordPress, WordPress 2.7 is here with a number of changes, a good chunk of them making some older plugins redundant. This will be a huge upgrade for all blog owners.
Also, lawsuits challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility for the presidency are increasing in number, with five petitions presented to the Supreme Court, and another nine petitions filed with seven different states. Six other suits have been dismissed. The issue being brought forth is whether the Democrat is a natural born citizen of the United States and thus eligible to serve under the Article II of the Constitution. Much has been written about the issue that is gaining in controversy in the blogosphere, and to a lesser extent in them mainstream media. WorldNetDaily.com has been reporting on the challenges for several weeks. The Right Side of Life.com has posted a page that lists the status of the suits filed at the State and SCOTUS levels. The page is updated as the cases move through the courts.
Remembering the fallen at Christmas
This week, a convoy of trucks laden with balsam fir and cedar Christmas wreaths is heading from Maine to the nation’s capitol. The crimson-ribboned wreaths will be placed at the graves of thousands of our resting service members at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday. Wreath-laying ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. (EST), culminating with a nation-wide ceremony at 12:00 noon (EST).
Wreaths Across America began more than 16 years ago when Worcester Wreath Company began a tradition of placing wreaths during the holidays on the headstones of our nation’s fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery.
Since then, Worcester Wreath has donated 90,000 wreaths that are placed by volunteers in a wreath-laying ceremony each December. Last year, 286 participating locations also hosted Wreaths Across America ceremonies in their local cemeteries, placing 32,553 wreaths on the headstones of those who served and sacrificed for our freedoms. This year it’s anticipated that number will exceed 350 locations and 100,000 wreaths placed in honor, including Arlington National Cemetery. Visit this site to learn if your community will be participating in Wreaths Across America.
Listening for free
Looking for free, full-length audio books online for a long car trip? Check out Librivox, volunteer-recorded audio books. The current collection includes 1,896 completed works, all free, all public domain. Librivox produce anywhere from 60 to 115 works in a given month, placing it among the most prolific publishers of audio books in the world with books in 26 different languages. Books include classics from Twain, Austen, Nietzsche, Zola, Plato, Shakespeare, Sun Tzu, as well as many more obscure books.
The most popular are classics by Bronte, Twain, Austen, L.M. Montgomery, Thomas Hardy, Dickens, and Conan Doyle. Einstein’s “Relativity: The Special and General Theory” has been downloaded 38,000 times, indicating a broad range of interest displayed by listeners.
Download your free selection into your computer, I-pod or other device, relax, and enjoy. If you’d rather do the talking than listening, Librivox invites you to join other volunteers who record their favorite works for others to hear.
On the musical side
Sixty-four years ago this week American jazz musician, composer, and swing era bandleader Glenn Miller went missing when his plane disappeared. It was Dec. 15, 1944, when Miller’s single-engine UC-64 Norseman plane disappeared in bad weather as he was traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France.
Miller led one of the best-known “Big Bands,” and was among the best-selling recording artists from 1939 to 1942. His signature recordings include, “In the Mood”, “Tuxedo Junction”, “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, “Moonlight Serenade”, “Little Brown Jug”, and “Pennsylvania 6-5000.”
Miller’s body was never found, but his name is etched on a “Wall of the Missing” at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial in England, which lists another 5,127 of those who were lost in battle, among them, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Another 3,812 of our fallen heroes rest peacefully on the grounds.
Protecting your food
Some commodities and food experts are forecasting food shortages leading to food riots and tax rebellions all within the next couple of years. And they’re cautioning that putting food on the table will become a more pressing concern. At e-foods.com you can learn how you can protect yourself against a worldwide famine by buying bulk, low moisture food, and using real home cooking methods to save 75 percent of your grocery costs and ensure your family’s survival.
Curiosities and more
The most popular blog in the world as ranked by Technorati.com’s fans is Boing Boing, a compilation of cultural curiosities and interesting technologies. An example of Boing Boing’s recent posts include “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians Gets the Mystery Science 3000 Treatment from Cinematic Titanic,” “The Price of Oil in Perspective” and “The Gallery of Obsolete Computers.” It won the Lifetime Achievement and Best Group Blog awards at the 2006 Bloggies ceremony and is ranked 5th in Technorati’s top 100 blogsites.
Now it’s live!
Streaming web video just might be one of those services that will come into its own during this economic downturn. Only a week ago, Google’s YouTube launched YouTube Live, which streams video channels via the Internet. Today, social network MySpace Mobile has claimed the title of the first social portal to launch video streaming (albeit in beta) for mobile phones. MySpace’s cell-phone users will now be able to view videos they’ve uploaded or have marked as a favorite, as well as channels including TMZ, National Hockey League, National Geographic, The Onion and College Humor.
Blogs are pervasive and part of our daily lives, a global phenomenon that has hit the mainstream and studies show they’re here to stay. For example, comScore MediaMetrix reports that last August, blogs attracted 77.7 million unique visitors in the U.S.
Social networks Facebook had 41.0 million , while MySpace had 75.1 million. Total internet audience numbered 188.9 million.
Who are the bloggers, why and how do they do what they do, and what is the impact on their lives and work?
To find out, Technorati conducted a survey from a random sample from more than 1.2 million of its registered bloggers. Read the entire report, which shows that Bloggers have been at it an average of three years and are collectively creating close to one million posts every day.