The Miner and the Copper

by Harry on February 25, 2009


A few summers ago we were having our house appraised. I opened the door to the appraiser who took a step back, blinked, and then stared rudely at me for about 30 seconds. Then “Oh, you’re English”, he says. (The tip-off being the large picture on my T-Shirt of Zebedee saying “Time for Bed”). He was from a Yorkshire mining community; his father and brothers had both been miners but he was too young himself; his brother (somehow) came to the US to become a hairdresser, and my appraiser followed a few years later.

There’s probably a dissertation to be written about the migration of participants in the Miner’s Strike to the US. A BBC exec chased down the two protagonists in this wonderful Don McPhee photo, and although the miner in the picture (George Brealey) died in Edington some years ago, the copper who you can see trying unsuccessfully to suppress a smile now lives in Tennessee. Full story here. And, if it works, a gallery of McPhee’s pictures (they’re all great, but #4 of the kids being evacuated, and #6 of Wilson lighting his pipe, are fantastic). (Hat-tip, Chris, who thought this was more down my alley than his).

Am I blocked or not?

by Eszter Hargittai on February 25, 2009

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society just launched Herdict Web, “a tool that employs the distributed power of the Internet community to provide insight into what users around the world are experiencing in terms of web accessibility.”

Depending on where you access the Internet, the frequency with which you run into inaccessible Web sites varies. The OpenNet Initiative has been documenting cases of Internet filtering for years (see resulting Access Denied book). Herdict Web’s ultimate goal is similar, but the methodological approach is different: it relies on users’ reports from across the world to display a real-time picture of user experiences with Web site accessibility. Read more about it.

And be sure to join the herd! (Rest assured that everyone on the project realizes that a group of sheep tends to be referred to as a flock.) Congrats to Jonathan Zittrain and the entire Herdict Team on a great site and service!