An AP photo taken Tuesday at Sarasota-Bradenton Airport combines two of my favorite things -- Katherine Harris and sad clowns: One of the best things about Harris is that she keeps firing staffers, reducing the chances that someone will might tell her things like "don't do a photo op in front of a suicidal clown." But as much as I love this photo, I have to question the decision to place a giant mural of a sad clown at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. Is that really what you want to see when you're ... read more

Most of Florida is under hurricane watch for Ernesto, the hurricane that weakened to a tropical depression and will hit the Florida Keys later today. Jeff Masters' prediction: The latest forecast models are all in excellent agreement, calling for a landfall in the Everglades tonight, a long passage up the spine of Florida, followed by a re-emergence into the Atlantic and possible re-intensification to a Category 1 hurricane before a second landfall in the Carolinas. Riding out a tropical storm is better than ... read more

Northeast Florida is in the projected path of Hurricane Ernesto, a category 1 storm that Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters expects to strike Florida's west coast and move northeast across the state: I think it is unlikely Ernesto could affect the Keys as anything stronger than a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds. A hit as a tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane is more likely. If Ernesto spends another day or two traversing the warm waters along the west cost of Florida, then it could grow to a ... read more

In Florida, we're subdeveloping the rural parts of the state out of existence as fast as we can, but there's still a significant rural vote that requires pandering in the panhandle. Every election year, national and statewide candidates in Florida must prove they are good country folk by mistreating a possum at the Wausau Possum Festival. Candidates bid for a possum, taking it out of a holding area by its tail and giving it a shake to terrify the creature into going limp so it won't claw them. They're later fed ... read more

This picture was taken on Saturday in Titusville, Florida. If you look closely, you'll see the space shuttle not taking off in the background as thousands of people watch with excited anticipation along the banks of the Indian River, 19 miles across the water from the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center. I'm standing in a field on U.S. 1 just south of the Miracle City Mall, which the Unofficial Space Shuttle Launch Guide recommends as one of the best places to not see the shuttle take off: If you can't get ... read more

Today's Florida Times-Union has a front-page feature on the Jacksonville blogging community. I've been following local weblogs for seven years, so I was curious to see how many of our long-time bloggers were profiled. Answer: None. The story treats Joey Marchy's Urban Jacksonville as if it was the area's first blog: Approaching its first anniversary, this is possibly the oldest ongoing blog in Jacksonville. The piece missed all of the well-established Jacksonville bloggers who've been publishing for many years. ... read more

I'm not a journalist, but I play one on the Drudge Retort. Because I have the good fortune to live in an age where any idiot can break the news, I've been writing headlines and making story selections for the past couple years for an audience that's hitting 80,000 daily pageviews, helping me rationalize why I dumped my comp sci major in college, earned a bachelor of arts in journalism from the University of North Texas and then became a programmer and computer book author anyway. (Just when I thought that I was ... read more