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Digest of Rules: Coin Toss

1. The toss of coin will take place within three minutes of kickoff in center of field. The toss will be called by the visiting captain before the coin is flipped. The winner may choose one of two privileges and the loser gets the other:

(a) Receive or kick

(b) Goal his team will defend

2. Immediately prior to the start of the second half, the captains of both teams must inform the officials of their respective choices. The loser of the original coin toss gets first choice.

--From NFL.com

Audio Truth & Fidelity


Thomas Stockham was crucial in determining two things: sound can be captured digitally, and Nixon lied. What a life.


Thomas G. Stockham Jr., 70, Digital Pioneer, Dies

Thomas G. Stockham Jr.
, a pioneer in digital electronics whose work helped to pave the way for the transition from long-playing records to compact discs, died on Jan. 6 in Salt Lake City. He was 70.

The cause was Alzheimer's disease, his wife, Martha, said.

An electrical engineer trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Stockham began working on projects involving the primitive digitization of sound almost immediately after he joined M.I.T. as an associate professor in 1957.

But his early work had little to do with music.

"We were more interested in digital sound for communications purposes," Dr. Stockham said in a 1980 interview in The New York Times. "It became immediately apparent, though, that if speech could be digitized, so could music."

Older recording and sound transmission systems used analogue technology, which involves changes in electrical voltage that mirror a continuous wave; digital recording takes samples of information along the wave and translates them into a series of 1's and 0's, or ons and offs. Digitized information is easy to process, compress, copy and edit, and extraneous sounds can be removed.

Dr. Stockham and his colleagues were not alone in their quest for digital audio. Major companies, particularly in the United States and Japan, were also experimenting and coming up with systems similar to the one he was working on.

In 1968, Dr. Stockham moved from M.I.T. to the University of Utah, where he was able to combine his personal and institutional research, laying the groundwork for Soundstream, the audio company he founded. He remained a member of the computer science faculty at Utah until 1994, when his Alzheimer's disease was diagnosed.

Soundstream and Dr. Stockham first captured the public's attention in 1976, with the release by RCA of "Caruso: A Legendary Performer." It was the first in a series of Caruso's early 20th century recordings to be digitally remastered by Soundstream.

Later that same year, Dr. Stockham made the first live digital recording of the Santa Fe Opera.

The company sold 16 of its professional digital editing systems for around $160,000 each before it merged in 1980 with the Digital Recording Corporation.

In the mid-1970's, Dr. Stockham's work involved him in the Watergate scandal. He was one of six technical experts appointed by Judge John J. Sirica of Federal District Court to determine what caused the famous 18 1/2-minute gap on a crucial Watergate tape made in President Richard M. Nixon's office.

Early in 1974, Dr. Stockham and other panel members reported that the gap was caused by at least five separate erasures and rerecordings, not by a single accidental pressing of the wrong button on a tape recorder, as the Nixon White House had suggested.

Thomas Greenway Stockham was born on Dec. 22, 1933, in Passaic, N.J. He earned his bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. degrees at M.I.T.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons, Thomas G. III and David W., both of Salt Lake City, and John M., of Thousand Oaks, Calif.; a daughter, Carol Stockham Forester of Idaho City, Idaho; and eight grandchildren.

Although he earned handsome consulting fees from his work, he never became wealthy.

"He didn't go through life bitter that he never got really rich," his son Tom said. "He didn't have a patent that he owned."

He won not only the respect of his peers but also major honors from the entertainment industry he helped to transform.

He won an Emmy award in 1988 for his work on tapeless audio and editing systems. In 1994 he won a Grammy award for his "visionary role in pioneering and advancing the era of digital recording," and in 1999 Dr. Stockham and Robert Ingebretsen received an Oscar, a Scientific and Engineering Award, from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for work in digital audio editing.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

The President's Remarks on the Chances of Finding WMD


Asked by reporters if he would repeat earlier expressions of confidence that the weapons would be found in light of recent statements by the former chief weapons inspector in Iraq, David A. Kay, that Mr. Hussein had gotten rid of them well before the war, Mr. Bush did not answer directly.

"I think it's very important for us to let the Iraq Survey Group do its work, so we can find out the facts and compare the facts to what was thought," he said at an appearance with the visiting president of Poland.

Mr. Bush praised Dr. Kay's work and came to the defense of the Central Intelligence Agency, whose reporting on Iraq's weapons programs Dr. Kay sharply criticized in interviews over the weekend. "These are unbelievably hard-working, dedicated people who are doing a great job for America," Mr. Bush said of the intelligence community.

--From the NYT

Fred Haas, man who ended Nelson's streak, dies

I always wonder about people like Fred Haas.

His titular accomplishment-- the headline of his obituary-- was achieved 58 years ago. He lived 58 years after the apogee of his career. I wonder what he thought about that. Moreover, his accomplishment was less about his excellence-- though it was a PGA Tour victory, nothing to sneeze at-- than it was about stopping someone else's transcendent excellence.

One thing I know: there are many more Fred Hass's out there than there are Byron Nelsons.



Fred Haas, man who ended Nelson's streak, dies

(01-27) 17:39 PST PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) --

Fred Haas, whose five PGA Tour victories included one that stopped Byron Nelson's record winning streak, died Monday in Louisiana. He was 88.

Haas didn't join the tour until 1946, but he had already become a footnote in history. As an amateur, he won the 1945 Memphis Open to end Nelson's winning streak at 11 tournaments.

Haas won as a professional for the first time in the 1948 Portland Open, and added the 1949 Miami Open and the 1950 Long Beach Open. His last victory was the 1954 Thunderbird Invitational.

Haas never won on the Champions Tour, and last played at the 1999 PGA Seniors Championship, where he missed the cut.

The tour said his funeral would be in Metairie, La.

31st anniversary of Roe vs. Wade

There are very few Supreme Court decisions that people commonly know by its name.

Roe vs. Wade is one of them.

Jan. 22 was the 31st anniversary of the date the decision was handed down. Here's a look at key passages in the decision.

3. State criminal abortion laws, like those involved here, that except from criminality only a life-saving procedure on the mother's behalf without regard to the stage of her pregnancy and other interests involved violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which protects against state action the right to privacy, including a woman's qualified right to terminate her pregnancy. Though the State cannot override that right, it has legitimate interests in protecting both the pregnant woman's health and the potentiality of human life, each of which interests grows and reaches a "compelling" point at various stages of the woman's approach to term. Pp. 147-164.

(a) For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman's attending physician. Pp. 163, 164.

(b) For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health. Pp. 163, 164.

(c) For the stage subsequent to viability the State, in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life, may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother. Pp. 163-164; 164-165.

Note: Cross-posted at kjo's catch-alls.

Text of NBC's Inducements to Jackson Camp


Term Sheet

Feb. 11, 2003

1. Purchase Price: $5 million.

2. Personal Interview: Exclusive right to conduct the next Michael Jackson interview to be published in any medium (to be conducted by Pat O'Brien or T.B.D.). General areas of interview questions to be provided in advance.

3. Footage rights: Exclusive rights to the existing footage in Jackson's possession or control, including without limitation:

a. Two (plus) hours Martin Bashir footage

b. Three (plus) hours Debbie Rowe footage (other than three minutes previously sold to ET) [Entertainment Tonight]

c. Footage [of the boy, whose name is being omitted by The Times]

(collectively, the "Footage"), consisting of, without limitation, the exclusive right to edit the Footage for use in a one- to three-hour (as determined by NBC) prime time television special to be broadcast on NBC (the "Special"), the exclusive right to broadcast any part of the Footage, whether as part of the Special or in advertising, publicizing and promoting the Special, and the exclusive right to use excerpts in other NBC programs such as "Access Hollywood," "Dateline" and the "Today" show

4. Limitations on exclusivity: Special and the Footage are exclusive in all media throughout the world in perpetuity, to NBC and its related cable systems and affiliated broadcast platforms (e.g., Bravo, Telemundo, MSNBC, CNBC). Embargo on sale or use of any unused portion of the Footage.

5. Representation and warranty that Jackson owns all rights to the Footage and that NBC's use of the Footage as described above will not infringe on any third party rights (including, without limitation, Martin Bashir and/or the BBC).

6. Indemnification with respect to any claims related to NBC's use of the Footage

7. Copyright to the Special to be owned by NBC.

8. Consultation/approval rights on editing the Footage. Jackson may predesignate certain Footage segments to be incorporated into Special, provided appropriate disclosure made pursuant to NBC broadcast standards and integrity guidelines.

9. Jackson assistance in obtaining music clearances/licenses or other music rights for network/cable broadcast and home video.

10. Jackson cooperation in prebroadcast publicity/promotion of the Special.

Claudia Eaton talking point: not for inclusion in formal deal memo:

Pre-emption of scheduled Feb. 17, 2003, "Dateline" special on Michael Jackson to be discussed

Copyright 2004 New York Times

On the Proposed Marriage of Shithead Yigal Amir


It seems she and her former husband were immediately struck by Amir as soon as she heard the news that he had shot Rabin. "What particularly affected us was the atmosphere after the murder," she said. "All these images of Yigal Amir with the caption 'monster'... this whole demonisation campaign got out of proportion."

Ms Trimbobler began writing to Amir. She and her husband applied for permission to visit Amir in prison. Mr Vinicov's application was rejected, and Ms Trimbobler began to visit Amir alone, bringing him philosophy books.

She said that Amir did not accept that his killing of Rabin was murder, but considered it a "targeted killing" - the phrase the Israeli military prefers for its own assassinations of Palestinian militants, and one calculated to enrage Israeli public opinion when used about Rabin's death.

Ms Trimbobler divorced her former husband six months ago. Her lawyer said that the divorce had nothing to do with Amir.

From The Independent Copyright 2004 The Independent.

Kenneth Poch, Not Forgotten


Kenneth Poch discovered something entirely knowable but completely hidden. The number of Jewish veterans buried in Arlington Cemetery was a discreet, real number. The number existed. It was a whole number. But it was not a known number. Kenneth Poch changed that.

These types of things blow me away. Take for instance, the number of people having sexual intercourse within one square mile of you during the time that you are reading this sentence. A real number. But unknowable.

Remember today what Kenneth Poch would say: "You're dead only if you're forgotten." Don't forget Kenneth Poch. And don't forget the Jewish veterans buried at Arlington Cemetery.


Kenneth Poch, 62; Catalogued Arlington's Jewish Grave Sites
Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Kenneth Poch, 62, a retired audio-visual technician who spent the past 15 years voluntarily documenting Jewish grave sites at Arlington National Cemetery, died Dec. 27 at Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg. He had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Mr. Poch had made his living working for the Newspaper Association of America, first in New York and then in Reston, since the mid-1980s. About that time, on a Saturday afternoon, he took a tour of Arlington National Cemetery.

After he noticed that few graves were marked with the Star of David, he went to the administrative building to ask how many Jewish veterans were buried at Arlington. He was told that there were no computerized records to provide an answer to his question, his brother-in-law, Bob Targan said.

Mr. Poch then decided to personally undertake a project to catalogue all Jewish graves at Arlington. He spent hundreds of hours crisscrossing the cemetery, snapping pictures of grave sites and collecting information for his project.

He began by researching the personal histories of individuals with Jewish-sounding names. If a soldier received a military decoration for valor, the Office of the Army Historian usually had a file on the individual containing biographical information. Sometimes he wrote to surviving family members inquiring about Jewish ancestry.

In the end, he collected the names of about 2,700 Jewish military service members interred at Arlington, in addition to several hundred spouses and other family members buried there.

His files filled 31 boxes, which he had hoped to publish someday, his sister, Sheila Targan, said.

"His mission was to tell the stories of those buried in Arlington," Targan said. "Each person had a story of how they lived and died. He always said, 'You're dead only if you're forgotten.' "

Until his health began to fail in 2003, Mr. Poch, who retired on disability a year earlier, was a fixture at Arlington. He rarely traveled without his camera, photographing visitors to the grounds, ceremonial services and popular tourist stops, including the Memorial Amphitheater.

One of his better-known photos, which has been featured on patriotic Web sites, shows three children carrying roses through the headstones at Arlington.

Among his favorite subjects to document was the 3rd Infantry "Old Guard" Regiment at Fort Myer, whose members participate in burial services at Arlington.

Mr. Poch, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Army veteran, was made an honorary member of the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknowns, and an honorary sergeant in the Old Guard.

His marriage to Alice Poch ended in divorce.

Survivors include two sons, Adam and Seth Poch, both of New Jersey; and a sister, Sheila Targan of Montgomery Village.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

From Britney Spears' Complaint for Annulment

Additionally pursuant to NRS 125.350 there was no meeting of the minds in entering into this marriage contract and in a court of equity there is cause for declaring the contract void.

Originally found here.


Daniel X. O'Neil: Chicago-based writer and internet developer. I am a co-founder of and the People Person for EveryBlock, a site that pulls together local news and public information. I run dozens of personal projects and websites for clients, and also own half of a poetry book company.


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Wesley Willis Art: Site dedicated to the fact that Wesley Willis was an artist.
Wide Right Turn: An incomplete look at the role of variation in a capitalist society.


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