Monday, August 18, 2008

How civically hep are we?

Survey Report Excerpts from The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press

A sizable minority of Americans find themselves at the intersection of these two long-standing trends in news consumption. Integrators, who get the news from both traditional sources and the internet, are a more engaged, sophisticated and demographically sought-after audience segment than those who mostly rely on traditional news sources. Integrators share some characteristics with a smaller, younger, more internet savvy audience segment - Net-Newsers - who principally turn to the web for news, and largely eschew traditional sources.

Like web-oriented news consumers, Integrators are affluent and highly educated. However, they are older, on averagIntegrators also are heavier consumers of national news - especially news about politics and Washington - and are avid sports news consumers. Television is their main news source, but more than a third cite the internet as their primary source of news during the day. This reflects the fact that a relatively large proportion of Integrators log on to the internet from work (45%).e, than those who Net-Newsers are the youngest of the news user segments (median age: 35). They are affluent and even better educated than the News Integrators: More than eight-in-ten have at least attended college. Net-Newsers not only rely primarily on the internet for news, they are leading the way in using new web features and other technologies. Nearly twice as many regularly watch news clips on the internet as regularly watch nightly network news broadcasts (30% vs. 18%).

This web-oriented news segment, perhaps more than the others, underscores the challenges facing traditional news outlets. Fewer than half (47%) watch television news on a typical day. Twice as many read an online newspaper than a printed newspaper on a typical day (17% vs. 8%), while 10% read both.

Television dominates as the favored news source among Traditionalists. And at each time of the day - whether morning, daytime, dinner hour, or late at night - overwhelming majorities who get news at these times cite television as their main source. Unlike the news Integrators, or those who mostly get news from the web, most Traditionalists say that seeing pictures and video, rather than reading or hearing the facts, gives them the best understanding of events.

Most Americans fall into the three core news audiences - Integrators, Traditionalists, or Net-Newsers. The fourth group - the Disengaged - are very much bystanders when it comes to news consumption. They are less educated on average than even the Traditionalists and exhibit extremely low interest in - and knowledge of - current events. Just 55% of the Disengaged get any news on a typical day, and just 20% know that the Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives.consider the internet their main source of news. Overall, Integrators spend more time with the news on a typical day than do those who rely more on either traditional or internet sources; far more enjoy keeping up with the news a lot than in any other news segment.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

How about using more trains to save fuel?

I hear occasionally that we are going to see more usage of trains, particularly for freight hauling. Read the excerpt below and check out that map.

On Willapa Bay the trains are gone and the remaining tracks are rusted. Nearest active rail lines are 30 miles north, 50 miles east and south across the Columbia in Oregon.


BruceMcF at Docudharma.comMidnight Thought on Living Energy Independence (Asleep on a Train)

Over the past two years, I've looked at several levels of rail in the nation's transportation system

  • "True" or "Very" High Speed Rail (HSR)

  • "Express" HSR

  • Rail/Air integration

  • Rail/Bus Integration

  • Rail/Bike Integration

  • Long Distance / Local Rail Integration ...

... but not as much on the coast to coast rail network. However,
when on occasion one of my diaries struck a chord, the coast to coast
rail network always came up. So with a Friday off, I'll take a crack at
it today.

For reference, this is the network proposed by the National Association of Railroad Passengers

Me and the Little Woman blogging together on Saturday morning

No employment duties today, just gardening, house cleaning, no rush no hassle, just me and the little woman.

Quiet and side by side reading and writing Internet stuff.

"hey, look what I found!"

"Look Honey, what you can get on Firefox."

"Does it upload pictures?"

" I have too many blogs."

"Now this one is a catchall for whining, it's titled THE WAILING.

"If that cat tries to sharpen its claws on the carpet one more time ....."

"Look, you washed all the windows two weeks ago and there's that white bird poop smear already. They must dive bomb a clean window by instinct."

"Did my grandson download that thing to my computer?"

"It's going to get hot and humid today. Glad I'm not working."

"We/ll keep the miniblinds partially closed and aim the fan our way and stay calm and quiet all day."

"That means it's too hot to mow the lawn."

It doesn't get any better than this.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fighting slugs in our container veggie gardens

Last year I had no produce from my gardening efforts. Why? Because mostly the slugs, native to our Pacific Northwest, ate, usually in one overnight, anything tender that tried to grow. This year I was determined not to grow my vegetable garden for the slugs to eat.

This year, though, the weather decided to not to be spring when it was spring, to be only sort of summer with a periodic warm day, and here it is August and I can pretty much say there wasn't much of a spring and summer this year where I live. So growing the vegetables was not going to be easy with neither the weather cooperating nor the voracious eaters - those slugs!

Determined to persevere against the odds, I so thoroughly reasearched slugs, that I felt ready to take aim and do serious battle with the critters. And even with the delayed to non-existent spring weather, I was equally determined to grow a veggie garden this year.

For the slugs; used several methods - bait traps, beer traps, copper pennies laid out along the top edge of the container boards, going out at dusk and spearing them. My knight contemplated the problem and came up with a unique solution. He built the container beds and then he nailed the 'slug gutters' to the outside of the container boards. I could fill the slug gutters with salt and any slugs daring to cross would not make it to the vegetables. That seemed to work quite well. I still set the beer traps - just in case. Result - we have growing vegetables which haven't been eaten by the slugs. I think my knight has been very knightly about saving me and my vegetables from the slug eaters!

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