Interesting notes from recent news:

A Japanese newspaper is garnering praise for pushing on despite losing its computers and printing presses to the country’s recent earthquake and tsunami. In the city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture, editors at the Ishinomaki Hibi Shimbun determined to stay the course even though they were in the equivalent of a journalistic pre-industrial age.

Three reporters were sent to evacuation centers, another waded through chest-high water to collect their notes, holding them over his head to keep them dry. For six days, the 14,000 circulation paper produced just 6 copies a day — all hand-written on large posterboards, which were then posted at strategic spots where readers might gather. The news staff’s effort gave new meaning to the concept of “printing” a newspaper.

The feat was so impressive that Washington D.C.’s Newseum has acquired original copies of the hand-printed poster-papers for its permanent collection. City Editor Hiroyuki Takeuchi was surprised by the paper’s sudden celebrity, telling the Los Angeles Times “I thought this is what newspapers are supposed to do.”

Another celebrity note is less laudatory. According to Associated Press, actor Kevin Bacon once grew so tired of people gushing over him and seeking autographs that he purchased a $500 custom-made disguise. He soon gave it up though, because “I didn’t like it at all. People cut in front of you and when you’re at a check-out counter it’s just … different.”

“People weren’t all that nice to me. I’m just not used ot it,” he said.

Poor Kevin. Not recognizing him as a star, they treated him like all the other regular people in Los Angeles.

I have a solution for you, Kev. I’ve never seen an X-Man movie and I couldn’t pick you out of a lineup. Come hang with me in North Carolina, with or without the rubber face, and we’ll be nice to you either way because being polite is just the way most of us were raised. We understand that celebrity is an accident of occupation, and that human dignity belongs to all. 

To paraphrase the editor, “We think this is what people are supposed to do.”

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