Tar Heel Tavern – NC Primary Edition

Well, we kept the polls open as long as possible and some bloggers voted early and often while others waited ’til the last minute. We’ve had some locals and some out-of-staters with recollections of North Carolina. So, without further adieu, the NC primary edition of the Tar Heel Tavern:
NC Politics
Political bloggers in the state were not surprisingly among the first to submit entries. Perennial NC blogging fave, The Olive Ridley Crawl, gives us NC Primary – Vote for a Non Panderer.
Jim Buie submitted several of which I picked Obama, in Raleigh, Shows He’s No Elitist Egghead and In NC, Michelle Obama Draws Larger, More Intense Crowd Than Bill Clinton.
We don’t have many posts from the western part of the state but here is one on the Hillary Clinton Army arriving in the idyllic mountain town of Boone, home to Appalachian State University.
Quite troubling is a post from Vivian J. Page about an “official” ballot that appears to be circulating the state so authentic that some voters have tried to submit it at precincts offering early voting.
Nick D. at Buckeye State Blog posts on reports of attempts to squelch the African-American vote in NC.
A final post on NC politics comes from a Henderson Times-News review of Rob Christensen’s, The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics, which dissects the last 110 years of state history in an attempt to explain why Jesse Helms and Jim Hunt (or Elizabeth Dole and John Edwards) could be elected by the same voters. I just picked up this book the other day and am really excited to be digging into it.
Education in NC
Readers of ScienceBlogs would be most familiar with the fact that NC is home to some outstanding academic institutions, and not just the major research universities and three NCI comprehensive cancer centers. Less widely known is that NC is home to 11 historically-black colleges or universities (HBCUs). The Randolph Community College Library blog explains the Higher Education Act of 1965 that officially classified HBCUs, lists the NC HBCUs, and offers some inspiring facts about these unique institutions.
After this superb introduction, Baltimore blogger, Jonzee, at Keeping Up With Jonzee explains why HBCUs are still necessary, noting that “this comes from a woman who went to a majority, expensive-ass “elite” school.” Through her school’s HBCU exchange program, Jonzee speaks from her experience at Bennett College in Greensboro, NC.
We’ve even got science for the kids as detailed by Trperry42 (now at UVa) and their extensive post on the NC Museum of Life and Science.

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Last call for entries – NC Primary edition of Tar Heel Tavern

Offer extended through Friday! Friday! Friday! 2 May!!!!
Submit entries to tarheeltavern.abel at gmail.

goodnessNC%20250px.pngFor the first time since I’ve lived here, the NC primary will actually matter especially given that Clinton and Obama appear to now be running neck-and-neck in PA.
The Tar Heel Tavern was an early blog carnival, with contributions on numerous topics from the unusually dense NC blogging community. The first THT was hosted by Bora Zivkovic at his old blog, Science and Politics, back on 27 February 2005.
I’ve offered to resurrect the carnival in time for the NC primary with the topic, “What would you want the rest of the world to know about North Carolina?” I’ll be accepting entries at tarheeltavern.abel at gmail through Friday 2 May, with the goal of posting on Saturday 3 May. The carnival is open to anyone in NC or anyone who has ever trained in, lived in, or visited NC in order to be as inclusive as possible. In fact, the Tavern is now open to anyone who wishes to write a post on anything about North Carolina.

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Tar Heel Tavern #87: MSM Addendum

After putting together last evening’s carnival posts, I walked outside this morning to find the Q Opinion section of our local Sunday paper devoted to issues of blogging.
Specifically, writer Eric Ferreri poses the question of whether bloggers should have a code of ethics, just like journalists. Martin Kuhn, a former UNC doctoral fellow in media law, presented his own code of ethics here, with an eye toward concerns that libel suits are a real and growing possibility regarding comments made on blogs and message boards.

“There will be a case where a blogger gets socked with a major judgment and loses his home, and it’s going to be a wakeup call for a lot of people out there,” said Robert Cox, founder of the Media Bloggers Association.
“Bloggers think of themselves as writers, not publishers. Very few bloggers have any concept of the legal risk they’re running with their blogs,” said Cox, who created his association in 2004 after The New York Times tried to shut down his blog because it included a satire of that newspaper’s corrections page.
In working toward his doctorate at UNC, Kuhn realized that, for the most part, ethics codes targeted primarily bloggers who acted journalistically, commenting on world affairs and current events and attempting — to varying degrees — to maintain certain ethical standards.
But Kuhn thinks the blogosphere is broader than that. So he devised an ethics code of his own, a set of general principles he thinks all bloggers should follow. They stress openness and personal responsibility, and Kuhn urges bloggers to be “as transparent as possible” by identifying themselves by name and with as much personal information as they’re comfortable with.

The section also cites heavily a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project aiming to determine why people blog (about 37% blog mainly about life and experiences, 34% consider themselves journalists, 55% blog with a pseudonym, etc.). The code of ethics issue seems to depend on whether a blogger is simply a public diarist or represents themselves as a journalist.
Props to our colleague, Anton Zuiker and his MisterSugar blog, for his article on the front of the Opinion section entitled, “For conversing by blog, follow the golden rule,” also mirrored here. Anton’s medical and personal blogging is always rich with storytelling and this piece does not disappoint, as he draws parallels between the typewritten letters of his grandfathers and his personal ethics and leadership of local blogging efforts like BlogTogether. Good on ya, Anton!
Zuiker provides the most lucid paragraph of the entire discussion on a blogger code of ethics:

But we haven’t agreed on a blogger code of ethics, and we never will. That’s because anyone can be a blogger, and a blogger can be anyone. In America, we don’t require artists or novelists or songwriters or talk show hosts or cell phone conversationalists to swear on a code of ethics for their chosen medium of expression. Don’t think that bloggers will be the first.

Ruby Sinreich, who founded, writes and edits the progressive blog, OrangePolitics.org, wrote, “Adding the personal to a public debate.”
Other local blogs mentioned are:
Tire Shop, by Nancy Baker, an attempt “to get to know other malcontents in my profession (art).”
Raleighing, by Chris Anderson, “a blog about events and changes in Raleigh.”
Raleigh Eco News, by Sue Sturgis, who writes about Raleigh environmental news. As a freelance writer and blogger who is a “real” journalist, Sue has had some excellent coverage of the Apex chemical fire on the blog and in local publications.
Endangered Durham, by Dr Gary Kueber, is a photography-dense public service on the city’s architectural history juxtaposed with current images and discussions of land use. This is a gem of a site I had not known previously, but will be sure to bookmark.
I’ll be sure to keep tabs throughout the week on the open forum discussion run by the News & Observer on whether bloggers should have unlimited free speech or should they abide by some rules.
Many thanks to the N&O for giving so much print to the blogosphere.

Tar Heel Tavern #87

THT.jpgWelcome to this week’s edition of Tar Heel Tavern, a roundup of all that is good about blogging from the state of North Carolina. If I missed your submission or if it’s Sunday morning and you think, “Dang, I forget to submit anything,” just fire me an e-mail and I’ll quickly add your work. So, let’s cut to the chase:
Of all the posts, nothing captured Fall in North Carolina like the beautiful pictures Laura sent in from Moomin Light from her annual two-week trip to the mountains.
Down in the state capital, there’s one more day left: Mr. R reflects at evolving education on this year’s visit to the North Carolina State Fair. I hadn’t known that Mr. R and I shared a Colorado heritage.
Even since before moving to the state, I have always been impressed with the level of literary intellect indigenous to North Carolina. Ogre reminds us at Ogre’s Politics and Views that anyone can be a novelist and encourages us to take part in the National Novel Writing Month. “If you can write blog entries, you can write a novel.”
Of course, our past experiences dramatically affect our enthusiasm for writing. etbnc discusses at Another blue puzzle piece how he has been overcoming his fourth-grade aversion to and civil disobedience against book reports by writing book reviews to round out his frequent book recommendations. Yes, etbnc, we all carry scars from elementary school.
Speaking of writing, Billy the Blogging Poet reminds us that once you have that finished work, there is that small issue of self-promotion. But like Billy, I think that we all gain greater satisfaction from promoting others who we admire: “Promoting other poets is probably the most important thing I’ve ever done.”
One poet always worth promoting is Ron Hudson. Ron posts at 2sides2ron on the double-wide Southern adaptation of the haiku. Maine humor, Southern style.
Bora Zivkovic, the great Coturnix, holds forth at A Blog Around the Clock on his experiences at ConvergeSouth in Greensboro. Now I’m beginning to understand why my Seed ScienceBlogs friend seems to know everyone in the blogosphere.
Speaking of Elizabeth (and John) Edwards, Coturnix also ran into Jude at ConvergeSouth. Jude Nagurney Camwell’s Iddybud Journal is filled with pictures from her recent visit to Charlotte and Concord.
I had a great little hike tonight with PharmPreK’er in a little oasis in the middle of our fair city. I was reminded by the SustainabilitySoutheast post submitted by etbnc that as we have reached a national population of 300 million, we must continue to pay attention to the choices we make today, not just for our own quality of life, but that of our children, grandchildren, and so on.
THT ringleader, Erin Monahan, continues to amaze with the strength and sense of purpose I think few of us would ever be able to pull together after losing children to congenital heart defects. Just as her Alexis and Nova fuel her life, so does their memory continue to touch the lives of others. A lovely surprise at Our Childrens’ Memorial Walkway in Charlotte’s Frazier Park is Erin’s submission from Poetic Acceptance.
Parks and the people who design them and their features have a special place in the lifeblood of our towns and cities. Photographer and videographer, Kenneth Corn, paints us a nice picture with his words at Colonel Corn’s Camera about Tom Risser and the new skatepark in Waxhaw. I agree with the commenters, Colonel: get yourself a skateboard…and a big bottle of Aleve.
Finally, I’ll add my own post from my Friday fun feature, The Friday Fermentable, singing the praises of North Carolina’s craft beer-brewing industry and their unprecedented showing at the nation’s foremost beer competition.
While we have the attention of NC bloggers, I just had two final announcements about events of interest for the upcoming week.
First, Chapel Hill’s independent, non-profit, Cornucopia House Cancer Patient Support Center, will be attempting to break the Guinness record for the World’s Largest Yoga Class next Sunday, October 29, at the RTP Sheraton. This fundraising event will be the kick-off for a year-long celebration of the 10th anniversary of this great, free public resource for cancer patients and their families.
Second, NC bloggers will be hosting Chris Mooney, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Republican War on Science, as he talks and signs copies of the book at Quail Ridge Bookstore in Raleigh on Saturday, 28 Oct, and The Regulator in Durham on Sunday, 29 Oct. Chris will also be giving a lecture in the Medical Ethics and Humanities program at Duke University Medical Center on Monday, 30 Oct. We’re all pretty stoked to show our version of Southern hospitality to one of the nation’s premier science writers. So, drop me a note if you are interested in meeting Chris at any of the impromptu gatherings that might emerge around these events.
One final reminder: next week’s THT will be hosted by Mr. R at evolving education; e-mail your submissions to him by midnight next Saturday. Hosting THT is always a great deal of fun and gets you in touch with your neighbors with whom you might not otherwise cross paths, say, while being a science blogger. So, I encourage anyone to drop a line to Erin and volunteer to host a time or two.

Hosting Tar Heel Tavern

Are you a North Carolina blogger of any sort? Have you ever lived in North Carolina? C’mon, I know many, many science folks who at one time did their training in the Old North State.
Well, after hosting Tar Heel Tavern at my old blog in the Spring, I thought it would be a good idea to help out Erin and Bora and host THT #87 right here in my relatively new digs.
I have no theme – the only requirement is that you write from or about North Carolina. As I said above, expats are welcome (Derek Lowe, I’m talking to you!)
THT is a loosely launched weekend thing, so it would help me if you would get entries in to me by midday Saturday and I’ll do my best to have it up on Sunday morning. Simply e-mail me with “Tar Heel Tavern” in the subject line and all the usual info.