Posts from December 2004

Stingy this!

Stingy this!

: Sitting in the MSNBC newsroom, I saw a bulletin come across saying that the U.S. government had just pledged $350 million. This is turning into a worldwide Israel Bonds dinner: a competition to top this! And that is a wonderful thing.

MSNBC links

MSNBC links

: Here are links I plan to use on MSNBC on Friday:


: Evelyn Rodriguez posted very personal and heartfelt moments from Phuket at Crossroads Dispatches. A commenter now tells me she just arrived back home. She tells of sitting next to people whose lives are thrown apart: a boy who has lost his family, a man who lost his wife, another man who found his wife after their children back home told the father he’d just seen the mother on TV looking for him.

: Mark is another blogger who just arrived home. He found that he and his girlfriend made news as her father told the Scotsman he was praying for her safety. They are safe.

: Rick Von Feldt writes an amazing blog about everything he saw in Phuket.

: Fred blogs from Sri Lanka at Extra, Extra.

: From ChiensSansFrontiers, one of the more remarkable blogs:

The first thing I saw in Mullaitive town was a board hanging outside a battered building. I aksed our guide what the board said. He said says Senthalil Children’s Home.

The Home was home to 150 war orphans. They had lost both their parents to the war or had been abandoned or separated from their parents during the fighting. When the Government and the LTTE signed the ceasefire agreement 3 years ago it looked like at least some of these children were going to get a good deal in terms of their future.

Now only 5 of them are alive.

A wroung iron bed that was wrapped around a mango tree was for me the most telling thing about the force of the wave. I can’t even imagine the force required to bend something like that. It looked like a straw wrapped around a bottle of coke. I tried to bend it back. I couldn’t even move it.

: Stuart Lock writes about his honeymoon at the disaster.

: Scott Raderstof gives us an incredible moment-by-moment recollection of how he and his family survived the wave.

: Good roundup of eyewitness blogger quotes in the Guardian (some reduntant).


: Blogger and journalist Kevin Sites has left Iraq to cover the tragedy in Thailand; he is blogging it here.

: Many good articles on the impact of this — on, say, fishing — at

: JavaJive writes about media coverage, local and international, and wonders why Thailand is getting more attention (so far) than Sri Lanka.

: Insignificant Views says the Sri Lankan prime minister and delegation met with protests while the PM’s office made no mention of it:

Sri Lanka

That’s Wikipedia, not Ickypedia

That’s Wikipedia, not Ickypedia

: I’ve gotten lots of email from folks trying to figure out the address of Wikipedia after I plugged it on MSNBC and clearly said a confusing word unclearly. These poor folks are all looking for an Ickypedia. Sorry, folks. That’s

Up and down

Up and down

: If you’ve had trouble getting to the site tonight, it’s good news (insert punchline here). Hosting Matters is switching me to a new server and I’m glad for it.

Tsunami links

Tsunami links

: I’m going to be on MSNBC at regular intervals throughout the day tomorrow giving continuing reports on weblogs’ and the web’s response to the tsunami tragedy. Will Femia was doing that today.

Please leave new links in the comments below — any new stories of survivors, new resources for help, new and compelling responses to the tragedy, new photos and videos….

Tsunami: the political angle

Tsunami: the political angle

: Of course, it took no time at all for media to find the celebrity angle to the tsunami tragedy (see the pathetic NY Daily News cover on how the tsunami affected a model).

But it took three days for the pundits to find the political angle of the story, criticizing Bush for taking three days to speak out on the tragedy from his vacation. The NY Times argues today that the reason for Bush to take action is to make friends with Sri Lankan Muslims. Matt Lauer parrotted that on Today this morning.

Isn’t helping people the reason to take action?



: The Pacific News Services proposes an American tsunami surtax.

: Speaking of dumb ideas, Sen. Patrick Leahy proposes redirecting money earmarked for Iraqi rebuilding to South Asian rebuilding. It’s as if he is admitting that he does not care about the Iraqi people.

Connected charity

Connected charity

: Witness the phenomenal response to Amazon’s call for tsunami charity — $3.5 million at midnight — the Washington Post notes a fundamental shift in how charity works, thanks to online.

Like never before, people are turning to the Internet to donate money, the latest step in a revolution that has altered everything from shopping to presidential campaigns.

“This is like 1951, when television really took off,” Paul Saffo, director of the Silicon Valley-based Institute for the Future, said yesterday. “We are in the middle of a fundamental shift from mass media to the personal media of computers and the Internet, and charitable giving is a logical progression.”

At alone, more than 53,000 people had donated more than $3 million by yesterday evening after the company made an urgent appeal on its home page. Catholic Relief Services was so overwhelmed with Web traffic that its site crashed. Online donations to the Red Cross outstripped traditional phone banks by more than 2 to 1….

Much of that giving came from people sitting at their computers. That has happened before, primarily after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But relief officials said the scale of online giving has grown dramatically since then….

“It definitely came as a groundswell from our employees,” said spokesman Craig Berman. “As soon as it went up, we started seeing donations kick in. It was virtually instantaneous.”

The only other time made a similar posting was after Sept. 11, when it raised more than $6.8 million.