Flooding in Knoxville

Just seven days ago, Knoxville was flooded by historic rainfall, more than five inches on in a day on top of 10 days of continuous rainy days. Here is what it looked like just outside my subdivision.

This shows the entrance to our subdivision, Northshore Hills along Northshore Drive. (Shot with an Insta360 Nano S)

This is the view across the street. The office building was heavily flooded. The parking is about half flooded.

Flooding along Northshore Drive on Feb. 24, 2019. (Shot with an Insta360 Nano S.)

Reports from the front lines on the war journalists

I participated in a panel Tuesday called “I’m right, you’re wrong–you stupid jerk” or incivility towards j on social media. The panel was part of UT’s Social Media Week. Others on the panel discussion were Knoxville sports radio personality Heather Herrington, UT professor Dr. Mark D. Harmon and East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists President Annie Culver as moderator. Check out the Twitter coverage of #UTSMW19.

Here’s the video of the session.

In preparing for the session, I found a lot of research and tools just from the last year. Here are some of the best links I found.

It’s a Worldwide Issue

Women are particular targets and it’s personal.

Other targets: Jewish journalists, journalists of color, journalists.

It’s on the rise. Many believe President’s Trump anti-media rhetoric is creating a climate for more hate toward journalists. Anti-media conservatives and hate groups are taking cues.

It’s affecting mental well-being, causing stress and trauma.

It’s affecting career choices and has a good number of journalists, particularly ones in the early part of their career, reconsidering career options.

The foes of journalism and journalists are winning. Attacks against journalists are affecting coverage. Some journalists are avoiding covering stories they know will generate attacks.

There is a bit of a “code of silence” about attacks; some believe there is nothing that can be done.

News organizations need to do more to help their journalists.

There are some excellent guides on how to deal with online harassment and attacks, including covering online security. Committee to Protect Journalists Safety Tips and PEN’s Field Guide.


A flyover of Gay Street

I’m experimenting with Google Earth Studio, the new web-based animation tool for Google Earth. I suspect it replaces the aging Google Earth Pro desktop program. It certainly appears more powerful.

It”s awesome!

One issue I had was how to make the animation a video. Studio exports files as JPG frames and Google suggests using Adobe Media Encoder or Adobe After Effects to create a video. Both are a bit pricey for me.

My solution is to use FFmpeg, an open source old-school, command-line program.

I’m a FFmpeg command-line newbie so you may have a better command line than this, But after Googling, this is what I used:

ffmpeg -r 30 -start_number 000 -i “file-name_%03d.jpeg” -s 1920×1080 -vcodec libx264 output.mp4

That command line string translates to 30 frames to second, starting with the image number 000 and incrementing up to number 001, 002, etc (the %03d part), and creating a video at a resolution of 1920×1080 (the same resolution Google Earth Studio rendered the animation), and outputting it  as an mp4 file.

FFmpeg has a dizzying number of options so you may be able to improve upon the options used here. However, to my eye, the output matched what I got with the trial version of Adobe Media Encoder.