NYC Shuts Down Public Photography

Some tourists, amateur photographers, even would-be filmmakers hoping to make it big on YouTube could soon be forced to obtain a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance before taking pictures or filming on city property, including sidewalks.

New rules being considered by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting would require any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in a single public location for more than a half hour to get a city permit and insurance. The same requirements would apply to any group of five or more people who plan to use a tripod in a public location for more than 10 minutes, including the time it takes to set up the equipment.

Julianne Cho, assistant commissioner of the film office, said the rules were not intended to apply to families on vacation or amateur filmmakers or photographers.

Nevertheless, the New York Civil Liberties Union says the proposed rules, as strictly interpreted, could have that effect. The group also warns that the rules set the stage for selective and perhaps discriminatory enforcement by police.

City May Seek Permit and Insurance for Many Kinds of Public Photography – New York Times

Sounds like a great way to push video production out of New York City. I’m sure lots of other places would like that business instead.

Field Recording

H4 Handy Recorder

I picked up a Zoom H4 Handy Recorder a few months ago, but I haven’t used it as much as I would have liked so far. It’s pretty awesome, though – small enough to fit in a coat pocket, it’s a digital recorder and interface with built in stereo microphones. It accepts balanced or unbalanced inputs from an external mike, guitar or bass. It records right to SD card in MP3 or WAV format and runs on 2 AA batteries. It also is a USB audio interface, does guitar amp simulation, acts as a 4 track multitrack recorder and a bunch of other stuff – all for under $300. Really awesome bit of kit.

Here’s a short clip from the park of traffic, my kids and a fire truck going by in the background – you do get some sense of the stereo imaging on the built in mikes.
[audio:fire-park.mp3]

Crazy Coulter Country

Ann Coulter’s losing her shit. There are so many YouTube clips of her mental breakdown but here’s her on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning…

At the end of the clip, she refers to one of her columns as ‘one of the greatest columns ever written. Here’s an unedited chunk of the column – you decide.

In the current campaign, Gephardt has taken to spinning out a long, pitiful tale of his son’s near-death three decades ago. If a lingering family medical tragedy is the main qualification for becoming a Democratic presidential candidate, what’s Michael Schiavo waiting for?

At dozens of campaign stops, Mrs. Gephardt weeps anew as her husband tells the same gut-wrenching story over and over again. The relevance of his son’s illness to Gephardt’s run for the presidency is this: It inspired Gephardt’s call for national health insurance. With his wife softly weeping in the background, he intones, “I get it.”

At least when Gephardt exploits a family tragedy, he doesn’t expect praise for not exploiting a family tragedy. John Edwards injects his son’s fatal car accident into his campaign by demanding that everyone notice how he refuses to inject his son’s fatal car accident into his campaign.

Edwards has talked about his son’s death in a 1996 car accident on “Good Morning America,” in dozens of profiles and in his new book. (“It was and is the most important fact of my life.”) His 1998 Senate campaign ads featured film footage of Edwards at a learning lab he founded in honor of his son, titled “The Wade Edwards Learning Lab.” He wears his son’s Outward Bound pin on his suit lapel. He was going to wear it on his sleeve, until someone suggested that might be a little too “on the nose.”

If you want points for not using your son’s death politically, don’t you have to take down all those “Ask me about my son’s death in a horrific car accident” bumper stickers? Edwards is like a politician who keeps announcing that he will not use his opponent’s criminal record for partisan political advantage. I absolutely refuse to mention the name of my dearly beloved and recently departed son killed horribly in a car accident, which affected me deeply, to score cheap political points.

I wouldn’t want John Edwards to be president, but I think even Karl Rove would be willing to stipulate that the death of a son is a terrible thing.

Howard Dean talks about his brother Charlie’s murder at the hands of North Vietnamese communists. Bizarrely, after working on the failed George McGovern campaign, Charlie Dean went to Indochina in 1974 to witness the ravages of the war he had opposed. Not long after he arrived, the apparently ungrateful communists captured and killed him. Hey fellas! I’m on your s– CLUNK!

Howard Dean wears his brother’s battered 1960s belt every day. (By contrast, Ted Kennedy honors the memory of his deceased family members with several belts every day.) Dean told Dan Rather about his brother’s death at some length on CBS News: “It gave me a sense that you ought to live for the moment with people; that you really – you really need to tell people you love them if you love them. It was certainly the most awful thing that ever happened to our family. It was terrible for my parents; it was even worse for them than it was for us.”

WorldNetDaily: The party of ideas

Paris Lie?!? Paris?!? Paris Hilton?!??!

We hate to call ex-con Paris Hilton a liar, but when she told Larry King last night that she had never taken drugs, it seems that the heiress somehow forgot about the marijuana, hashish, mushrooms, and Quaaludes. Hilton’s, um, familiarity with illegal substances was memorialized on home videos she shot over the past several years in various cities.

What Was Paris Smoking? – June 28, 2007

Click the link and watch all the videos. I don’t care if Paris Hilton smokes weed. Her old AOL name was Paris420, after all. But when she was in jail, didn’t God tell her not to lie when it’s so easy to catch her having lied?

After hearing this, God reportedly commented, “Oy.”

No Justice For Genarlow

Horrible.

Genarlow Wilson, whose 10-year prison sentence for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old when he was 17 was voided by a judge earlier this month, is not eligible to be released on bail while the state appeals his sentence, a judge ruled today.

The ruling, which came just days after investors announced they’d post a $1 million bond for Wilson, likely means Wilson will remain in jail for several more months. The Georgia Supreme Court is scheduled to hear his case in October.

ABC News: No Bail in Teen Oral Sex Case