10 June 2009

Kangaroo Sausages

...because they're just hoppin' off the grill, and they're not made from the usual mix of ingredients.
  • Here's an interesting piece in the NYT on bullying and how it (might) be prevented. The real problem with the article is that it doesn't go nearly far enough, as it's limited to children. How about including wingnut talk radio and Fox News in there? (And yes, Mr. Ailes, I do mean you; you're the gangleader and facilitator, not to mention having hired those nutjobs. But that shouldn't surprise anyone who observed you very closely a couple of decades ago when you made bullying the order of the day in the White House Communications Office.)
  • An interview with the "Jamie Oliver of kidlit" that doesn't quite get to the heart of the matter. It's not the issues per se that make the difference: It's embracing ambiguity.
  • Once again, an unnamed blogger at The Grauniad has discovered that 1984 was heavily influenced — structurally, at least — by We. Late-breaking news bulletin, guys: It's the perspective that matters in this context... or, for that matter, the entire context. The comments following the unattributed entry are hilarious in their collective ignorance.
  • The Internet: Twice the piracy and none of the scurvy (the irony that that link is from the UK shall be left only implied).
  • Here's an interesting idea: single-blind testing of search engines. There are some interesting results... such as the revelation that Yahoo! actually listened to customer complaints — and Google didn't — about removing purposeful punctuation (like the periods after initials) from search terms, resulting in gibberish.
  • If true, this lawsuit in which a media group (allegedly) retaliates against an artist wanting to get paid bears a truly disturbing resemblance to business-as-usual in the publishing industry. I am personally aware of four writers who are blacklisted at the Big Five conglomerates — despite being consistent bestsellers — because they filed complaints regarding publishers' accounting. (OK, one of them is a complete ass, too, but it was the complaint that instigated the blacklisting.) Any publisher that claims not to have a blacklist is lying about it; perhaps not every employee knows about it, or who is on it, but the lists exist... and get enforced.
  • Professor Leiter discusses the ethics of outing anonymous/pseudonymous writers on the 'net with some aplomb... even if I don't ultimately agree with exactly where he would draw the (squiggly) line in the sand, he cogently describes how to make that decision, and problems with the decisionmaking process.