Fort Lauderdale, September 2006
Part II

After Part I

September 9-17, 2006

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Can you (*) identify this?


(*) Don Bull is not eligible.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

The only person who took a stab at yesterday's puzzle was the only person who was ineligible to vote ... Don Bull:

"A chastity lock for sex offenders?"

He was close. It is a bottle lock.


For the past month I have been selling most of my corkscrew collection on e-Bay. Today will probably be the last day that they will be on E-bay.


PS: Alf Erickson Collection - Ebay auction number four ended September 10 results:

153 out of 167 lots were sold. One lot had no bids. 13 lots did not meet reserve.

There were 71 successful bidders. The corkscrews from this auction will be sent to Latvia, Australia, France, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada and from coast to coast in the United States.


Monday, September 11, 2006

All day, starting at 8:30 AM, CNN.com on its Pipeline 4 has been broadcasting in real time the events of 9/11 as it was seen by its viewers five years ago. I watched the first three hours non-stop...as I did in Bangkok five years ago. It was amazing.


Last night Watcharee and I had dinner at Seasons 52. She likes this restaurant because of its desserts.


Today Don went to the post office:

"News...........

Boxes full of boxes full of corkscrews ready to be mailed to ten different countries."


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Watcharee visits Namfon's video shop to stock up on Thai soap operas. Though Namfon is there in image only her nephew is there in the flesh.


PS: After collecting her videos Watcharee accelerates her SL to over 200 kph (@125 mph).


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Reader Andy Page from England reminds us of how far the machine has come. My i-Pod has 8,000 times as much capacity as the IBM of half a century ago.


In September 1956 IBM shipped the 305 RAMAC, the first computer with a hard disk drive (HDD). The HDD weighed over a ton and stored 5MB of data.

PS: Heroin chic look:

Organizers say they want to project an image of beauty and health.


NB: As of September 10th:

Sep 10, 2006:

Construction has reached up to Level 35 so there are 5 more floors to go.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

INTERMISSION


PS: Does America ever embarrass you with its silliness? I guess the blame should be laid at the doorstep of the White House ... the home of the dumb W.

Ever since the infamous "nipplegate" incident involving Janet Jackson's costume malfunction, television channels in America have been especially sensitive to any bare flesh.

So Allan Little's piece from Swaziland on Friday saw a group of BBC World producers studying the US rule book very carefully ... since we broadcast on American cable networks, and have to respect "local" laws.

Allan reported on the "Ceremony of the Reed" - where the King of Swaziland chooses a wife from a parade of women dressed in traditional costume.

That is, they weren't wearing anything on top. There wasn't really any way of avoiding the issue - that's how they were dressed, and to have edited out any toplessness would have been bizarre.

But talking to colleagues in the US, it's pretty clear that American TV channels have become cautious to the extreme on any issues involving either nudity or swearing. One channel reportedly re-edited a cartoon because it showed a bare bottom.

So we referred to the Federal Communications Commission guidelines which govern broadcasts in the US. The relevant section - on "indecency" - says the following:

Material is indecent if, in context, it depicts or describes sexual or excretory organs or activities in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium. In each case, the FCC must determine whether the material describes or depicts sexual or excretory organs or activities and, if so, whether the material is "patently offensive."

In our assessment of whether material is "patently offensive," context is critical. The FCC looks at three primary factors when analysing broadcast material: (1) whether the description or depiction is explicit or graphic; (2) whether the material dwells on or repeats at length descriptions or depictions of sexual or excretory organs; and (3) whether the material appears to pander or is used to titillate or shock. No single factor is determinative. The FCC weighs and balances these factors because each case presents its own mix of these, and possibly other, factors.

Now quite clearly (to me at least), our piece from Swaziland could not possibly have breached the guidelines. Context is critical, the guidelines say, and our context was clear.

But not everyone in the newsroom agreed, and nor did some of partner channels in the US, who we work with very closely. So we had another think - and decided to broadcast anyway. Not to have done so would have made a nonsense of Allan's story ... which raised important issues about a country trying to modernise and hang on to its traditions at the same time.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Last night Watcharee and I again went to our favorite Thai restaurant: Coco. Three appetizers and two main courses:

  1. Snow Crab and Avocado Tartar.
  2. Coco Shrimp Spring Roll.
  3. Shrimp Dumplings.
  4. Duck with Noodles.
  5. Soft Shell Crab.

Coco is now our favorite Thai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. Dish and ambience wise it is so far ahead of anyplace else that it is hard to imagine any other place capable of catching up.


PS: Andy Page sends this great news from England. This is really wonderful news for me because long before I went digital I was a Leica fan. Up to now I thought all those Leica lenses that I had would go to waste. Sure, they are all fixed focal length lenses but, still, this new M8 sucks new light into them. Hmmm ... I wonder if the MB has a built in flash?

Leica M8: The Digital M

A real M. With no ifs and buts.

The dream of many Leica photographers has come true: the Leica M system is now open for professional digital photography.

Breaking completely new ground, the LEICA M8 doesn't only look like an M - it utilizes all the benefits of the analog Leica M system for sophisticated and creative digital photography.

It is the only digital camera for professionals to incorporate the rangefinder system with its advantages of discreet and quiet operation, speed and precision.

And the no-compromise quality criteria of the M system continue to apply to the M8.

Full compatibility with nearly all M lenses means that their unique imaging performance is now available for digital photography, too.

The low-noise CCD image sensor with a resolution of 10.3 megapixels has been specifically matched to the compact lens design to guarantee superlative photographic quality.

The controls and functions of the digital M still concentrate on the essentials. The proven M concept is complemented by the intelligent extra functions that digital technology has to offer.

The LEICA M8 is the first timeless digital camera "Made in Germany". Fascinatingly new and yet still a real Leica M. (The LEICA M8 will be available from the end of November 2006 on.)


Saturday, September 16, 2006

We miss Bangkok's food.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

INTERMISSION

Next: Part III

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