Short Takes: News From All Over: March 25, 2004

John Kerry vs. George W. Bush in the Blog Wars
The Bush camp hypes tax refunds. The Kerry camp dangles free tickets to the Democratic National Convention in July. The Bush camp brags about its popularity in Maine. The Kerry camp reminds us that their candidate actually served in the Vietnam War. The web logs of both presidential candidates include biographies of their wives — Laura and Teresa — and are accessible en espa?ol too. — Jacob Wheeler

Move Over, Rush. It’s Al’s Turn
In a few short days, millions of Americans will finally have something we’ve long been waiting for, a liberal talk radio network. On Wednesday, March 31, the Air America network will debut its all-star lineup, including headliner Al Franken, whose show, ‘The O’Franken Factor’ will run head-to-head with Rush Limbaugh, and is being billed as ‘a drug-free alternative’ to the dean of conservative talk. Other shows will be hosted by Janeane Garofalo, rapper Chuck D, and ‘Daily Show’ creator Lizz Winstead. Air America will begin broadcasting in four cities — Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, L.A. — and online, too. — Leif Utne

Extreme City Makeovers
Is your city a real fixer-upper? Call The City Repair Project, an organization that helps communities transform their dull grids into neighborhoods rich with public gathering places and cultural spunk. Portland-based City Repair also offers several ‘prototype gathering spaces’ to inspire communities to invent their own creative piazzas and take decision-making into their own hands. — Andi McDaniel

Job of the week: Dept of Homeland Security Entertainment Liaison
Orange alert? Red alert? Apparently Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge is having trouble getting his point across. Washington is now placing ‘help wanted’ ads for an Entertainment Liaison who will ‘support the Office of Public Affairs by influencing how the Department of Homeland Security is portrayed in mass entertainment media’. Location: Hollywood. Possible salary: a not-too-shabby $136 grand. — JW

Send Them Back!
C’mon, now — Did you steal music from your favorite recording artists under the guise of sharing MP3s online? Did you hang your head in shame when the aforementioned beloved musicians publicly exposed your ‘sharing’ as piracy? If you are feeling like the low- down, dirty thief you are, this site is for you. It’s snappy, bright, and (maybe) sincere, put up by Parents and Their Kids Against Stealing. — Eliza Thomas

In the ‘cool toys for geeks’ department: it’s Delicious is a ‘social bookmarks manager,’ a handy tool for organizing links to all your favorite websites and categorizing them. But the social part is where it gets interesting. All the new links that users add to the system appear on the Delicious home page, like a group blog, and the more people on the system link to a site, the darker the background color for that link gets. — LU

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