Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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MySpace to ‘block sex offenders’

MySpace to ‘block sex offenders’:
Social networking website MySpace says it will release tools to identify and block US sex offenders from its site.
Anyone else think it’s weird to specify “US” sex offenders? Like, what? Canadian child molesters are OK?

Oh, who am I kidding. There are no child molesters in Canada. As we all know, Canada is the beautiful land of happy people and lots of space to be free and have universal healthcare and lots of pot and gay sex.

Jailed media worldwide hits record: U.S. watchdog

Jailed media worldwide hits record: U.S. watchdog
Lucie Morillon (L) of Reporters Without Borders, businessman and author Ethan Gutmann (2nd L) and Abi Wright (3rd L) of the Committee to Protect Journalists watch a video showing jailed journalist Ching Cheong during a news conference in New York July 20, 2006, calling for his release from a Chinese jail. The number of journalists jailed worldwide for their work rose for the second year with Internet bloggers and online reporters now one third of those incarcerated, a U.S.-based media watchdog said on Thursday. (Chip East/Reuters)Reuters – The number of journalists jailed
worldwide for their work rose for the second year with Internet
bloggers and online reporters now one third of those
incarcerated, a U.S.-based media watchdog said on Thursday.

This article mentions Josh Wolf, a videoblogger and friend of mine who has been jailed longer than Judith Miller, for refusing to give the federal government yet another arsenal of tools in the war on free speech.

Josh Wolf’s Case

If you’ve been reading the book, or even just skimming it, you may have been intrigued by the mention of the legal entanglement that videoblogger Josh Wolf got into last summer. Well, believe it or not, his legal issues aren’t over: after having the case dropped, Josh now faces civil contempt charges, for refusing to hand over his entire tape of a protest march to the federal government. If you’re wondering why this matters, just consider for a moment how different the world would be if the big phone companies and ISPs had refused to hand over all our call records to the government. Someone has to take a stand, and Josh is a journalist with the right to say no.

If you’re interested in or intrigued by the case, you can follow it at his website.

Have Money Will Vlog

In June, the founders of Node101, a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading the word of videoblogging, created a new project called Have Money Will Vlog. The idea behind HMWV is to create a funding model not unlike an arts grant that would allow videobloggers to ask for funding from the vlogging community to help them with special vlogging projects or ideas.

This seems, to me, to be an excellent idea, particularly if you want to stay away from direct corporate sponsorship.

And now, the shameless promotion: The vlog pouringdown
is one of my favorite vlogs of all time.
I mentioned it several times in the book as being a high-value art vlog with great, insightful commentary in voiceover. Daniel Liss, the creator of pouringdown, has a HMWV proposal up right now, to take audience-suggested challenges and push his videoblogging limits. He has 14 days to reach full funding on it. If you’re interested and have a spare $10 in your wallet, check out his proposal on HMWV, and consider sponsoring him here.

You can read all about it at the HMWV website (even if you don’t want to donate), read his project wiki, or even subscribe to his project’s feed.

Nothing Happened in Davis

Click here for the movie! (MPEG-4 format)

Saturday, February 24, 2006, 1:15 PM. My friend Molly and I were walking down the street in Davis, California, heading for my car, which was parked in front of the Golden 1 Credit Union. As we approached, I noticed a cop car parked very haphazardly on the side street we were on. I looked ahead and saw a uniformed police officer behind a tree, holding what Molly identified as an M-16.

Now, this is not the first time I have encountered a gun. In my experience, guns are an unpredictable factor in life. If you are in a situation in which there is a gun, the chances are you are not in control of the situation. Especially if you’re in favor of gun control and don’t actually own or use guns.

The point is, when I see a situation in which guns are involved, I slow down and become a lot more cautious, a lot more careful to make sure I remain safe and out of the likely locations of gunplay. I am the kind of person who sees a cop with a gun out and stops before proceeding.

Molly sped up.

The previous weekend, my husband and I had witnesses a police raid in Tracy, California. I was so scared, expecting at any second for the situation to turn into a shoot-out, that I forgot to grab the videocamera. So, Molly and I reached a compromise about half a block away from the police officer, and I pulled out the video camera. The footage here is what happened (or didn’t happen) in downtown Davis on Saturday.

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