Come on, Journalists

I heard on the news last night that another prisoner in the van with Freddie Gray said that Freddie Gray was crashing around inside the van, intentionally trying to hurt himself. Very weird, but okay, maybe he was out of his mind due to mental health issues or drugs. We need the truth, whatever it turns out to be. But then I read this morning that the other prisoner didn’t actually see this happen, he was in another part of the van that was blocked by some sort of divider and he only heard the crashing. He had no way of knowing what was really happening.

Why then are journalists giving this any credence at all? Why are they treating this like breaking news? I should say tv journalists, I don’t yet know how the print journalists are treating this information. Also, a Baltimore Police captain announced that no report would be given tomorrow. Why is this piece of information suddenly available and no other? You often hear journalists bemoan the fact that people reporting via tweets and other sources are slowly replacing professional news sources. This is a serious problem, they say, because these people don’t have their professional standards when imparting information. Perhaps in an effort to compete they are relaxing their standards as well. Again, at this point I am only talking about some tv journalists, and sadly, CNN is among them. (I say sadly because years ago CNN was a serious news organization.)

I followed the Millions March last night for a little while. Apparently it got quite violent, with police throwing people to the ground, including a journalist from Gothamist, and so marchers split off into different groups. I followed the one that ended up in Times Square, except I left before they got there. This was the scene at Union Square where the protest began.

Millions March New York City

Read When Wanderers Cease to Roam. I really must insist.

When Wanderers Cease to Roam by Vivian Swift
I’ve started re-reading When Wanderers Cease to Roam, by Vivian Swift and I’m even more blown away than I was the first time. I know Vivian personally, we’re represented by the same literary agency, but I’m not saying this because I know her!

This book is so charming, so moving, and so interesting it should be a best seller, and it does sell very well, thank you very much, but it should be on everyone’s bookshelf. It’s like wandering into an enchanting and secret garden (and she talks about secret gardens!) of heart and facts—of all the information there is in the world, she sprinkles the most perfect pieces of it throughout the book.

I was going to quote one of them, but you have to see it in context so I will only post a snippet:

“July is a lightning brew. Hot air currents, low pressures rising and falling, all those 100,000,000,000 electrons rubbing up against each other, the agitated particles striking the earth in bolts that kindle the molecules that lie on the surface of this planet. Everywhere you go you get the feeling that the ground you walk on is not at rest, and the sky above is not at ease …”

This is surrounded by stunning and always endearing water colors, thoughts about the month, and pieces of her life that anyone can identify with regardless of how different your life might be. It puts you in a dream-like state while at the same time making you feel so alive.

Read this book. You must. I really do very seriously insist. I swear to God you will thank me. You will give this book to all your friends as a gift. I was re-reading it because I needed to get to just the place where I knew it would take me, which reminds me, because of Vivian I want to explore tea. I want to sit in one of my favorite spots in the city with a cup of tea with drops of vanilla extract in it, just as she does in her village.

As far as which water color of hers to use for this post, I didn’t know where to begin so I chose this one. It’s touching. Who doesn’t understand the loss of a pet. Except, when you read the book you’ll learning that the little grave represents something even sweeter and more touching than that.

A Must Read Article about Suicide

“There are no valid arguments against physician-assisted suicide when a patient is terminal and suffering. There are people who think killing yourself is simply wrong, but that’s not an argument, it’s a feeling, a stance …”

My friend Howard Mittelmark has written an essay about suicide titled The Right to Kill Yourself. He addresses every possible problem/objection and proposes a solution. Someone who read it made what I thought was a very important point about changing our attitude towards suicide: “the survivors would not be left as victims and possibly blamed for the persons death.”

It’s sad and it’s terrible when life comes to this decision, I have nothing to say to that, I wish life didn’t come to this for some people. And pardon me while I say a prayer to the universe for a long healthy and reasonably happy life. Which I’ve been so lucky to have so far.

I passed by two movie shoots yesterday on the way to the Municipal Archives. Not only do I get to do this amazingly fun thing for a living, but I have a good time on my way to doing it! I don’t know what this shoot was for, but the second one was for Law and Order, which is pretty much always shooting around the archives (all the courts are in that area, and the headquarters for the NYPD).

Movie Shoot, New York City

The Glory of 11th Street

Another shot of the amazing greenery on 11th Street. I should be out there but instead I’m researching “crimes against nature” in the 19th century.


My Blogs are Now Mobile Friendly

Yesterday a friend told me that Google was now going to favor mobile friendly sites in their search results. If you go here you can see if your site is mobile friendly.

None of mine were, of course. They give you some of the reasons for that like “Mobile viewport not set,” whatever the hell that means. I spent an afternoon finding out what that and other things mean, and leaving questions all over the place for the things I couldn’t figure out when I found Google’s page about what to do if you use WordPress (which I do). I learned that Jetpack has an option to add a “mobile theme.” I’d been meaning to get around to downloading Jetpack (it replaced my existing stats program) so I got around to it, activated the mobile theme option for all my blogs and TA-DAH. They are now all mobile friendly.

It was a rare moment in my life when something was actually easy. Or, I should say, the rare moment when I noticed something in my life was easy. So yay!! Cake for everyone.

Another thing I’m pretty sure I do every spring—take a picture of the Grace Church magnolia tree. It’s the most magnificent magnolia tree in the city. That’s a member of my choir in the lower left, also taking a picture of the tree.

Magnolia Tree, Grace Church, New York City