Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Today is Primary day in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. If you are a registered resident please take a moment out of your busy day and vote.
I’ve scanned the local channels this morning but I can’t seem to detect a story about the primary buried within the First Forecasts, Birthday wishes and recipes. Our local Clear Channel television station promotes a “news” segment called “Your story” wherein viewers gift-wrap feature story ideas for our tireless (wink, wink) local news team. Perhaps I should have phoned or emailed:
Hi Eyewitness News Team,
My kitty cat loves to drink out of the toilet and would like to watch political news coverage on local television. Could you make her kitty dreams come true by doing stories on toilets and by covering local political events like today’s Kentucky Primary?
As the American media continues its slow implosion, I’ve been watching for stories that have received zero to minimal American press attention.
On Sunday the London Guardian printed a story about the ancient Iraq city of Ur being vandalized by US troops. I’ve been unsuccessfully waiting for the story’s appearance in the American press. In brief, the Guardian says:
One of the greatest wonders of civilization, and probably the world's most ancient structure - the Sumerian city of Ur in southern Iraq - has been vandalized by American soldiers and airmen, according to aid workers in the area. They claim that US forces have spray-painted the remains with graffiti and stolen kiln-baked bricks made millennia ago. As a result, the US military has put the archaeological treasure, which dates back 6,000 years, off-limits to its own troops. Any violations will be punishable in military courts. Land immediately adjacent to Ur has been chosen by the Pentagon for a sprawling airfield and military base. Access is highly selective, screened and subject to military escorts, which - even if agreed - need to be arranged days or weeks in advance and carefully skirt the areas of reported damage. There has been no official response to the allegations of vandalism - reported to The Observer by aid workers and one concerned US officer.
While still on the not-in-US papers-beat, a fascinating report about an ongoing Pentagon project in this morning’s London Guardian contains a word that I’ve not read before, “petabyte”:
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency says in its documents that it is trying to design software that could access and analyze an unprecedented amount of data, ``measured in petabytes.'' In computer jargon, a byte is what it takes electronically to represent one letter of the alphabet. A petabyte is a quadrillion, or 1,000,000,000,000,000, bytes…such an accumulation of data would dwarf most existing databases. One of the largest databases on the Internet is 100 terabytes and contains an archive of five years' worth of Web pages. But that's just a tenth of one petabyte.
Logo Art: WKRC, US Government