~ Archive for poetic justice ~

On abstinence

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The purpose of Wikipedia is to make as many edits as possible.
Therefore, experienced Wikipedians abstain from adding whole articles,
coherent sentences, or even intelligible strings of characters, as this
wastes a great deal of time. Common techniques of successful editors:
…  (read more)  — From the Uncyclopedia essay on Wikipedia

the bounty of summer

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News from the wiki: a lovely idea for Wikipedians to offer and send gifts to one another in exchange for serious research is taking on steam.

In other news, Wikipedia and Google are showing up together in newsfeeds again. 

LA Times Learns about Wiki Vandalism

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Weekend America interviews Jimmy Wales about the Los Angeles
Times’  wiki
, which they had to remove, on the Iraq war and the problems they had with
vandalism.  Jimmy points out that without a giant community of
guardians, policing wiki vandalism is very difficult.  He thinks
some vandals can be deterred by posting community rules.

Just to make things more fun,  Weekend America misidentified Jimbo
on their Web site as Jim Dale and provided a .com URL for  Wikipedia.  
I
wrote to them, saying “Were your site a wiki, I could correct the
problems myself and not bother you with this bit of correspondence.”
Within minutes, I received a response from their Web staff indicating
the errors had been corrected.

Bite-sized knowledge

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Answers.com is sexy, corporate chic. But Factbites is extraordinary. I think I’m in love.

Julie Klein, unbearably hot soprano

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Sorry, that would be Julieanne Klein, singer and now apparently a budding musicologist. Don’t get that wrong, or you’ll have a heck of a time tracking her down. I did, at least. Turns out she has been stowed away in Montreal, finishing research into the development of Modern . That’s not really my bag, but I figure any diva worth her vibrato can do as she pleases. Don’t take my word on the perfection of her voice; thanks to the miracles of modern technology, you can hear for yourself.

Through her site, I also discovered
the Alignment project, which introduces musical notation PDQ Bach would be proud of. Fleur’s fave Project for New Music around here is doubtless green with envy.

Just can’t stop!

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I love this instantaneous upload business so much, I just can’t help myself! Here’s a better view from the patio, now that the sun is coming up:

Another lovely view from the F.C. Folk patio.

And this one’s for Mikey, a find from yesterday afternoon. Sometimes a long chute and a long fence just aren’t enough.

Maybe this should become SJ's long fence, or SJ's longest chute... Satan's Finest Laundry Service should like this picture.

laugh riots

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The sex appeal of smoking

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I’ve long maintained that a group of non-smokers should start up a non-profit advocacy group promoting the sexiness of smoking, before even the idea of it has been censured from polite company. Friends have chalked it up to recurring insanity, but I maintain that this is the only sensible point of view.

Happily, I am not alone:

I discovered that I like smoking.

Not personally. I don’t smoke.
I don’t particularly like when others do, but am loath to complain
about it. I’ve dated smokers, some of my best friends are, and I think
smoking restrictions are bordering on insane lately. But I have always
found the habit slightly distasteful.

And now I know why. They were smoking all wrong.

This man – forties or fifties, Chinese – smoked like a character in a film noir. Elegantly. Beautifully. His hands held the cigarette just so. It was delicate yet masculine. Instead of blowing out a guilty jet of smoke to the side, he exhaled a beautiful silver plume around him. He was confident in his smoking, he liked his smoking, and he was
unapologetic. He did not finish with the nervous tap-tap-squish of the
teenage closet puffer who continued the habit into adulthood or the
pitch-and-ignore of the furtive doorway smoker. He did it with a final
and decisive chess move of extinguishment. It even bordered on sexy.


–via belle de jour

Wayne State scorns Wikipepedia, spelling

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At least they didn’t use an article on it.  Not much juice in this article beyond the cute title.  A prof says accepting WP citations from undergrads is ok, but not from grads.  The author intones,

Without formal peer review, there exists the possibility of Wikipedia articles being slanted to particular points of view.

I’m still waiting for someone other than a brilliant librarian to address the inverse of that statement.

INTERLUDE : By the curliecues : reaping the sown

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When exposed to goodness, feeling good about themselves, or thinking about the world at large, people are fundamentally good. This can change, when surrounded by others who are passionately struggling for personal and local success; who view getting a leg up at the expense of others as a minor victory. But most people remember what it is like to feel, to be fundamentally good, what it feels like to do well by others. Even the joyfully cruel may notice with a tiny corner of themselves, in the middle of relishing someone else’s suffering or downfall, each time they avoid doing something to help another person in need; and acknowledge with that remote corner that whatever their conscious moral beliefs, they are being unjust. (I am reminded, somehow, of JACK, the Pumpkin King.)

And there is a thrill in the air, a sense of inevitability, an unmistakable look on someone’s face, when he has been hoping for and secretly betting on, even assisting, the failure of another, and profiting thereby (if only through ego and amusement)… and then that weakness disappears, success is relentlessly extracted from failure, judgements and justice prepare to be served. In the throes of this vulnerable mood, stubborn criminals will meekly accept prison and even confessions, bullies quail and retreat, the most deeply hidden truths give themselves up. (I am thinking now of the German widow scolding the muddy, belligerent Nazis who came to take her property, demanding that they remove their boots and recall their manners, and never being bothered again.)

I saw that look on his face today, felt the air of fear and certainty and guilt; though I could not be sure of the victim or the secret hope and profit. The vulnerability was more palpable than its source; I could have pushed him gently and he would have fallen down, confessed — heaven only knows what. It seemed that by steadily going about my business I was somehow realizing his fears; he tried, quietly, without enthusiasm, to divert my attention; then left. Though we have long been friends, I could no more bring myself to ask him what was going on than he could manage to ask me to stop.

My logical self, superimposed on my intuition by decades of training and pilpul, notes that I may be wrong about all of this. You will be the first to know if I am; I will write you straightaway. But the rest of me wonders what repercussions of my work he has foreseen and how they will affect him; and I marvel at the strength of that unspoken mood, the universality of that fleeting look, the immediacy and insistence of its impression on me; the smile that touched my lips as half-hearted diversions convinced me that I was somehow unwittingly righting distant wrongs. It occurs to me that he may one day overcome his guilt, discover my awareness of it, and berate me for not reaching out to him (however much he may expect or deserve the result). On that day, there might be a thrill of tension in the air, a sense of inevitability, the briefest flicker of an unmistakable expression on my face…

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