Dual Loyalty

As writers and bloggers are so fond of saying; you couldn't make it up. You don't cross the Iron Curtain and come out without scars ...
· Jozef Imrich, Survivor of the Iron Curtain Crossing

Monday, May 31, 2004

On the face of it, Alain de Botton: the people's philosopher, has very little cause to be anxious. The 34-year-old writer was enthusiastically received at the recent Sydney Writers Festival. His popularity stems from his ability to make sometimes weighty subjects attractive to the general reader. In it, he managed to unlock some of the mysteries in the work of the great literary master, for people who might otherwise be plain scared of tackling it

Feeding the Soul: Stellar novelist takes peace prize
Arundhati Roy, the lyrical Indian novelist, political activist and human rights campaigner, is the winner of the 2004 Sydney Peace Prize.
Roy rose to prominence as the author of The God of Small Things, which won the 1997 Booker Prize, but is just as well known today for her clashes with authority. She described her relationship with authority as "genetically adversarial".
Roy said from New Delhi: "Today, in a world convulsed by violence and unbelievable brutality the lines between 'us' and 'the terrorists' have been completely blurred. We don't have to choose between imperialism and terrorism; we have to choose what form of resistance will rid us of both.
"What shall we choose? Violence or non-violence? We have to choose knowing that when we are violent to our enemies, we do violence to ourselves. When we brutalise others, we brutalise ourselves. And eventually we run the risk of becoming our oppressors."
My writing is not really about nations and histories, it's about power. About the paranoia and ruthlessness of power.
She predicts: "Soviet-style communism failed, not because it was intrinsically evil, but because it was flawed. It allowed too few people to usurp too much power. Twenty-first century market capitalism, American-style, will fail for the same reasons. Both are edifices constructed by human intelligence, undone by human nature."
She has argued that Osama bin Laden is "America's family secret", the monstrous offspring of its support for the mujahideen after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. "He has been sculpted from the spare rib of a world laid waste by America's foreign policy."
The bombs raining down, she says, are "blowing up whole warehouses of suppressed fury" and will inevitably spawn more terrorism.

· The Peace of Small Things [Link Poached from God, The Devil, and Darwin: There are no atheists in foxholes ]
· See Also The little films that could: small stories of Escape no longer lost to free market
· See Also Science & Escapes & Jazz: Creativity And The Working City
· See Also Why sex is better than the alternatives
· See Also Pope Worries About Soulless' U.S. Life

Sunday, May 30, 2004

I see a small stain on your shirt and I deduce from that there are all kinds of possible reasons for the stain, until I have a story...
Tolstoy tried to mix domesticity and family life, but he would come downstairs after writing and see his family playing and his eyes would well up. He would say, 'You are joking around down here and upstairs Prince Andrei is dying

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Solitude is bliss
Are we introverts saying that people who need people are not the luckiest people in the world? Are we suggesting that a desire for company denotes neediness and insecurity? Do we loners want to turn the world into a grim, mirthless place where neighbours never nod hello and travel agents specialise in holidays for one?
· Dancers should burn up the floor & social co-ordinators should continue to organise picnics and trivia nights [link first seen at ]
· See Also How to tell the story of your life? How to weave the details into a pattern that is coherent, truthful and entertaining?
· See Also Most beautiful book in the world, and the most unreadable
· See Also The last battleground of the Cold War is bizarre indeed
· See Also Messengers betrayed a secret but helped keep a promise
· See Also Ginny Good in Guardian
· See Also Robert Birnbaum has had the tables turned on him, as he is interviewed
· See Also Getting Inside Your Reading A new interactive reading device expands the experience of reading
· See Also Book Club Bests: Publishers gear up for sales bonanza

He is a nonideological figure in the most partisan place in the country, a guy who keeps his opinions to himself in a city that demands and rewards polarizing punditry
Mark Jurkowitz on Bob Woodward

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Journo: I'm astounded at how subjective editors can be
Vanessa Pierce says she felt obligated during her job search to tell editors that she's Republican. Why? Subconsciously, I think it was a test. My test would determine the media bias once and for all. It worked. ...My conclusion: The media are biased. WHAT SHE'S LEARNED IN THE NEWSROOM: I'm often astounded at how subjective newspaper editors can be in creating the daily paper. For example, bias in newspapers is represented by selection of editorial columns. Fourteen columnists next to two doesn't seem objective.
· See Also Conservatives need not apply: The search for un-biased media
· See Also I don't think "unbiased journalism" is a particularly noble or desirable thing. The Q and A explains why...
· See Also Non Stop Blogging
· See Also Disney’s In Indecency Mix
· See Also Padraic Pearse McGuinness, AO Editor, Quadrant [ courtesy of Quiggin: Rendering the contributions of people like Paddy largely obsolete]
· See Also From Sarin to the Berg beheading: why do the news media keep silent when rumors sweep the internet?
· See Also Despite his readers’ fears, a self-financed American blogger returns to Iraq
· See Also SF Chronicle war reporter lucky he got shot only in the butt: Anywhere else, and it could have been very serious

Thursday, May 27, 2004

What sparks our dreams, especially those crazy ones?
Ultra-Australian poet Les Murray, Dreams of Wearing Shorts and is among those featured in a new series of Brand Australia Ads, meant to entice visitors down under

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Relax Boy: Frustratingly Unattainable Benchmarks
There is also the matter of his genius. Goethe once said - modestly not including himself in the list - that certain individuals, like Shakespeare and Mozart, were put on earth solely in order to provide frustratingly unattainable benchmarks of human capacity and achievement
· Bearing this in mind [link first seen at I gather that I am not alone in sensing a certain disconnect between my cultural and political affinities ]
· See Also Czech poet Miroslav Holub powerfully influenced English writers including Ted Hughe
· See Also My First Literary perspective: Playboy's 50th anniversary
· See Also Buzzflash interviews Paul Rogat Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen
· See Also Young Readers prefer rough diamonds to pretty sentences: A Kids' Guide to America's Bill of Rights
· See Also I fear that book reviews are just an opportunity for a critic to strive for humor, and to appear funny and smart and a little bit bitchy, without attempting to espouse any higher ideals

Media Watch is being closely watched

The Blog, The Press, The Media: 'Scoops' and Truth at the Times
Who's the exact opposite of Jayson Blair, the New York Times reporter accused of inventing sources and quotes, plagiarizing and other sins? Well, how about Judith Miller? Where Blair is young and black and inexperienced, a rookie journalist whose job was largely to interview ordinary people, Miller is middle-aged and white and a veteranTimes star whose job it is to interact with the best and the brightest in science, academia and government.
· She is said to have lied to her editor about the sourcing of one of her biggest "scoops" it doesn't seem all that unlikely
· See Also Antony Loewenstein: The latest casualty: Webdiary's interview with Phillip Knightley
· See Also Michael Moore and Me:hunging me out to dry on my own words
· See Also Jeff Jarvis points to the Iraqi bloggers
· See Also Antipodean surfer offering a weekly blog-bile award
· See Also Fascination with the concept of memes

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

#10: Another fine mess you've got us into, Governor Getting us where no "Media Watch" dares to go, but Blogjam goes on!

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Bloggers and books: Today I went to the cleaners
Are bloggers a gold mine for literary agents or can few write more than a lengthy posting?
· There are more than a million blogs, and very few of them will ever get the attention of Kate Lee [ attention of #19,578: The thing about Amazon is, anyone with the ability to type can review your book. Some are quite thoughtful, others just like the sound of their anger ]
· See Also Grant Henninger: How strange it is that we feel close to those that we interact with on the Internet
· See Also Google: A proposal to help fight deceptive Internet software
· See Also Why you should never put your picture on the Internet
· See Also Andy Kaufman's National Starbucks and Wal-Mart Tour: Some will always have their doubts. I don't care about those people anymore[ courtesy of Snopes]
· See Also Comparison of various blog software packages

Monday, May 24, 2004

Carl Ender’s criterion for buying a picture was that it should repel his senses and his intelligence. Only then could he be sure of having bought a valuable modern work. Long years of practice had brought him to the stage that he would be automatically impressed by anything he disliked, and would react to anything he liked with indignant suspicion. It was by such a method that he had secured his reputation of having an ‘infallible eye’.
Joseph Roth, Right and Left (trans. Michael Hofmann)

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Underground heros: political lessons
Two of the brightest and most unlikely stars of underground media found they had much in common at a discussion on alternative media yesterday. Comic book anti-hero Harvey Pekar from grassroots Cleveland, US and weblogger Salam Pax from the heat of Baghdad, both write about their ordinary lives with extraordinary impact.
· Salam Pekar [link first seen at UTS ]
· See Also Google: Sydney Writer's Festival
· See Also The Other is an online space for my thoughts on depression and literature
· See Also Ancient idea of tyranny help us understand the bad guys of the 21st...

Sunday, May 23, 2004

She contrasts this situation with that of the torcedores, the cigar-rollers, in Cuba's tobacco factories, where they hire readers to read to the workers. The listeners in my Cuban fantasy are not passive ... Their literary taste is as sharp as a razor, they react to every badly used word, to every false note.
Where's the challenge?

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film
The greatest shock for an east European writer who turned up in the western literary marketplace was the absence of aesthetic criteria. The easterner, brought up to believe in a distinction between "literature" and "trash", is introduced to a westerner and admits modestly that he is a writer. "What a coincidence!" the reply comes. "Our 10-year-old daughter is just finishing a novel. We even have a publisher!" This is the first insult in a series that makes him understand that the best way to be published is to make sure he has done something else to become famous for first: to be Joan Collins or Ivana Trump; a prostitute, murderer or model. An art-dealer friend reminds the author about Piero Manzoni's artwork, "Artist Shit", sold at the price of gold in 1961. While the price of gold has remained more or less stable in the past 40 years, he tells her, the price of shit has seen astronomical growth.
· No wonder there are walls in many parts of eastern Europe graffiti'd with the words "Come back, communists, all is forgiven!"
· See Also Baby Dragons: A digitized collection of the treasures of children's literature
· See Also Have you scheduled any leisure lately
· See Also Why the language of the marketplace shouldn't rule our moral and political thinking
· See Also I contemplated motherhood well aware that at many points the line between private matters and public affairs was faint and broken
· See Also Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Society
· See Also There have only been three good women: The first walked out of the world, the second drowned in the Rhine, the third they are still looking for

Overheard yesterday @ SWF:
Penis mighty...
People get into journalism to give themselves closer access to the lives they wish they had, but will never get...

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Gates backs blogs for businesses
In a speech to an audience of chief executives, Mr Gates said the regularly updated journals, or blogs, could be a good way for firms to tell customers, staff and partners what they are doing.
· Google-Atom vs. Microsoft-RSS war [ courtesy of Once over the hill, you pick up speed ]
· See Also We will see less and less truly independent weblogs
· See Also Letterman: His role is that of a luminous fixed star in political space, around whom other bodies must orient themselves
· See Also Sites to try when other engines fail you
· See Also eBookworms
· See Also New web sites that aim to narrow down the online dating minefield to people who share common political views

Friday, May 21, 2004

April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land; mixing memory and desire; stirring dull roots with spring rain
T.S. Eliot

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Everyone does it, so it must be OK, right?
Lawyers get paid considerable sums to do it. Journalists do it on a daily basis. According to their critics, President George Bush and his Administration do it routinely. I’m sure that I do it, and no doubt you do it as well. Everyone does it, so it must be OK, right?
“It” refers to the cherry pick -- the careful selection of information to buttress a particular predetermined perspective while ignoring other information that does not. In other words, take the best and leave the rest.

· Cherry Picking
· See Also Facts about Sarin, Binary Agents, and 155mm Shells
· See Also Abdelkader Mahmoud Es Sayed, a senior al-Qaeda leader in Italy who used coded porn to communicate with his superiors and apparently had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks [ courtesy of Windsofchange]
· See Also Say hello to Seruku.Seruku is toolbar-based application: Save and Search Web Pages Viewed in Your Browser
· See Also Just in case you haven't heard yet about Darwinian blogging
· See Also Tim Dunlop: Conspiracy theorist, Yobbo, has some really unnatural feelings towards Blair & S whose name must not be mentioned...

Think more money will yield greater happiness? Great minds of the past - and present-day psychological experts - proclaim otherwise Look up, laugh loud, talk big, keep the colour in your cheek and the fire in your eye, adorn your person, maintain your health, your beauty and your animal spirits...

Feeding the Soul: I'm here to light your fire... Commencement Address: The class of 2004 of Hobart
I've got good news for all of you this morning: I talk fast.
So as King Henry the VIII of England said to each of his seven wives: I won't keep you long.
I've come here today with five bits of advice on how to get where you want to get, follow your dreams, keep your values and make good on the best hunch you ever had about yourself. William Butler Yeats once said: Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.
I'm here to light your fire.
Rule One: Get yourself in the game.
Ever watch a little kid standing along courtside while the big kids play basketball? When a ball goes out of bounds, he or she runs for it and passes it back in. As time goes on, when an older kid has to get home for dinner, somebody yells: Hey! Wanna play?
That's it, the heart of it really: the first rule of building a life and a career. Whatever your ambitions, whatever the field you want to enter, if you want to play a game go to where it's played. If you want to be a lawyer, go to law school. If you can't get into the best law school, get into the best one you can. Name your dream; there's a place people are pursuing it.

· See Also Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire
· The widow of the American reporter beheaded in 2002 by Pakistani militants told graduating journalists to never forget their ideals: Danny Pearl never did...
· See Also Frustration of Exile
· See Also This site promotes the positive influence that fathers can have on their daughters' lives
· See Also Down-to-earth perspectives on YA [young adult]: This site is intended to be a comfortable place for teen readers
· A worthy aspiration for most humans: To be like your own dog

Thursday, May 20, 2004

The big news from Cannes is that Michael Moore's new anti-Bush flick received the longest standing ovation in the history of the festival.

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Dishy, half-naked Kerry's daughter & Moore lit a powder keg at the Cannes Film Festival while Castro undressed the publishing emperors Down Under
Two years ago Brian Castro's novel Shanghai Dancing could not find a publisher.
We hope all those publishers who turned the book down give themselves a pat on the back for yet another job well done. But we expect nothing less -- and certainly never anything more -- from them.

· Shanghai surprise
· See Also Much-rejected book takes top awards [link first seen at NSW Premier's Literary: Brian Castro won the fiction prize ]
· See Also The Children's Book Series by J. K. Rowlingova [link first seen at The bizarre world of bonkers book collecting ]
· See Also The literary life is swamped by its epiphenomena: books’ blurbs and author photos are more important than their content
· See Also Bush, the wastrel son who runs up gambling debts in the belief that his wealthy family, concerned for its prestige, will have no choice but to pay off his creditors
· See Also There is telling stories and telling stories: Ayatollah Khomeini lived his Paris exile, afraid the surrounding culture might prove corrupting
· See Also Tell them to stop lecturing and start telling stories instead
· See Also Conrad's Heart of Darkness is frighteningly relevant today
· See Also As Tocqueville remarked, the French look up in anxiety while the English look down in satisfaction. A hidden rule of Englishness

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Terry Sedgwick is standing in for David Tiley who stood in for Tim Dunlop who stood in for the man who danced with a man who danced with the Prince of Wales: Blogjam9 World appears to be swamped by a rolling tsumani of apologies. Bush, Blair, Rice, Powell, Rumsfeld, Kimmit ...

The Blog, The Press, The Media: We, the Media by Dan Gillmor
Just finished reading the Galley Proof of We, the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People by Dan Gillmor. O'Reilly is the publisher and it should be coming out mid-July. The book will be published under a Creative Commons license and you will be able to download it free for non-commercial use.
Dan is one of the few professional journalists that really understands the impact of blogs and other new technologies on journalism. It's amazing how many professional journalists I know pooh pooh blogs and keep on chugging like nothing is changing.

· Anyway, it's an amazingly important book for anyone interested in journalism and democracy. It goes well with Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture and Howard Rheingold's Smart Mobs [ courtesy of Joi Ito]
· See Also A French blogger arrested by the Police because of his blogging
· See Also Gossip Wants to Be Free, to Be Free: In defense of online scandal mongering
· See Also Eliminate the middleman: Information is both invaluable and impossible to value
Get Me Rewrite! Stories make the world go around. So how come liberals can’t tell one?
· See Also Howell Raines underestimated the intensity of staff unrest, the “guerrilla war” in his newsroom. Here is his own account of his downfall in the uncut version
· See Also Look ma, I'm blogging... Seth Finkelstein writes about whether the Internet can be shaped. It can, but it's hard
· Internet translates into success. The business of translation has taken off with the rise of the Internet, globalization and international conflicts

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Solzhenitsyn, author of The Gulag Archipelago, was once a revered symbol of moral resistance to the Soviet state. He probably deserves more credit than any other person for stripping away communism’s moral prestige among Western intellectuals.

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: "We're Just Friends": Myth Construction of Freedom
I can see freedom, the red of nature's sunset/ and God on a sharp razor ....
One upside of tyranny is the way it acts as a spur to creativity, Keneally says, only partly tongue-in-cheek. Reams of poetry and verse are being written in the country's detention centres, while outside them, a thriving "refugee art" genre has emerged on the country's stages, concert halls and theatres in the past few years.
He believes that after a slow start, people are being galvanised to take action through the sheer weight of private conscience, and developments in the political domain. It takes time for a head of opposition and dissent to grow. I've been in America recently, and the same thing is happening there

· A lot of Americans are starting to state their opposition to their Government's present policies, to things being done in their name
· See Also The Unbearable Lightness of Being, a novel firmly rooted in its time has, despite so much spilt politics, oddly not dated...
· See Also If France makes movies for the French, and Amerika makes movies for the world, who's left to make movies for Amerika?
· See Also Pravda: how war encourages sexual instincts in people
· See Also Jane Jacobs, the matchless analyst of all things urban, gives birth to a new book, Dark Age Ahead
· See Also Exiles in a small world: Pnin is Vladimir Nabokov as he might have turned out in U.S. exile: an odd, eccentric, sad figure, doomed never to grasp the society in which he finds himself...
· See Also Olympian War of Words: Sydney v Athens
· Writers take a note of the Light Age Ahead for (my) Dragon Tooth Submissions Department[ courtesy of When Dragon meets Descartes]
· See Also Brilliant review of Slavoj Zizek's The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity; sadly in pdf version

Monday, May 17, 2004

Assorted reflections on the nature of blogging: Blogging provides a kind of safety valve that bleeds off pressure in the day to day insanity of life. First danger is to make sure blogging doesn’t spoil your appetite for real life contact with real people... you have to avoid the rock on the one hand and the dragon monster on the other!!!

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Forget the Beast, Let’s Deal with those Ducks
Old San Francisco Examiner had a newsroom culture that was equal parts Sun Tzu, Homer Simpson and Hunter Thompson. When I became metro editor, my management training consisted of this advice from a predecessor: This job is like being nibbled to death by ducks. Don’t let them get to you.
That was many years ago, and the old Examiner is gone. But the ducks are thriving in newsrooms across the country, biting the ankles and nipping at the shins of front-line editors, quacking up a storm about budget lines, weekend shifts, seating arrangements, the company car and so much more, distracting those editors from what they were hired to do: Good journalism.
It’s not a fun place to be, in the middle. Bosses want long-term vision converted to daily reality. Reporters have needs and idiosyncrasies. The news beast is ravenous around the clock.

· Training for managers: Tomorrow’s Workforce [ courtesy of Tim Porter]
· See Also The CEO-to-reporter pay ratio in this case is 36 to 1: CEOs are too busy slopping at the salary-and-bonus trough to look up long enough, wipe off their chins and read this
· See Also Blogrolling Security
· See Also In light of recent reporting fabrication scandals, some Pulitzer Prize judges were suspicious of unattributed, imprecise or anonymous sourcing
· See Also Google: On your marks, get set, search

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Soulful extract digged up by Barista: Lest we feel too grim, the Anglo-American-Australian group blog Crooked Timber resurrects a statement from English television writer in an interview three weeks before his death from cancer:
I can celebrate life. Below my window there?s an apple tree in blossom. It's white. And looking at it, instead of saying, "Oh, that's a nice blossom', now, looking at it through the window, I see the whitest, frothiest, blossomest blossom that there ever could be. The nowness of everything is absolutely wondrous. If you see the present tense, boy, do you see it. And boy, do you celebrate it.

Feeding the Soul: Polar Labrador Bookends
I like this time of the year
and then having to settle on crisp as a tag for autumn
when spring reigns in the blogosphere
I like our stamp- the seasons as a last stand of regionalism
I like the smell of lemon scented gums
and finding a random gumtree in the googlepile
and seeking the place from where the link was stripped...
I like the way spam can go glam with a bit of imagination
I like thrift shop voices and the possible metaphor of web as thrift store

· What can we do today to provoke a smile, a wink, a hug, a kiss, some sort of heartfelt exchange? [link first seen at Scorecards ]
· See Also More Than Words Can Say: It's not enough for authors to just get up and read; readings have migrated to bars

Saturday, May 15, 2004

The risk of disliking a speaker is one many will take. Writers are popular speakers. Some challenge. Some reinforce. Some inspire. Some deflate. Some tap into dreams. Some sketch nightmares. Some illuminate paths, or warn of ways best not taken. Some explain feelings held, but not yet examined. Some examine feelings not widely held. All have something to say to someone, somewhere. This coming week is a chance for Sydney to hear them say it aloud.
William Faulkner nailed the self-absorption often shown by writers when he wrote: If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the Ode on a Grecian Urn is worth any number of old ladies.

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: I'm Not Making this Up
David Sedaris writes stories of personal disclosure as funny as they are strange. Competitive storytelling was a skill David Sedaris learned in a household of six children. Just as in the Imrich Familia, everyone wanted mother's attention...
When you write at home it doesn't really qualify as work. It doesn't engage you with the world. The days are much better if you do something you don't want to do.

· Sedaris will read from his work at the Sydney Writers' Festival, at 8.30pm on May 21 [link digged up after reading Editorial II Sydney Writers' Festival: A Week of Words]
· See Also Tough world, tiny market for NZ books
· See Also Are Big Publishers Bribing Bookstores For Better Shelf Placement? Sweetener trips for the retail chains
· See Also How to write your doctoral thesis: Loved ones will forgive you, since they will be deluded into believing that after the process is complete, you will have a sense of achievement, and more earning potential. They are wrong...
· See Also Getting behind my flesh and blood meme: I have a coat that has six arms. I Inherited this coat from Gregor Samsa

This site is certified 77% GOOD by the Gematriculator

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Whaddya mean, "we"?
So yes, we do get that blogs are all about communication with readers, not processed info dump-and-run. And we get that people want to know who's giving them that information. We also get that this is a new medium and that despite the conventions of the blogosphere, not everything is set in stone when it comes to blog style and tone.
· Googleblog: Not everything is set in stone when it comes to blog style and tone [ courtesy of Google has some fun features that may be unfamiliar to many ]
· See Also One of the things that I like most about iLaw is the retelling of the stories, and explanation of the theories, that are at the core of the field of internet law [ courtesy of Is Your Website Good or Evil?]
· See Also Searching Idol: The top five reasons why search is still way too hard

Friday, May 14, 2004

If it weren't for that pesky Blogjam8 compiled by the multitalented filmmaking guru, David Tiley... David observes that the war in Iraq is leaking like the proverbial sieve, and digital communications has created a whole new nightmare for the spindoctors...the US Department of Defence has ordered private supplier Kellogg, Brown, & Root to cut the email service to ordinary soldiers...

Feeding the Soul: Film deal for 'Baghdad blogger'
The Baghdad Blog, a book based on an online diary written by an Iraqi man about life during the conflict there, is to be made into a film.
Media group Intermedia is searching for a scriptwriter to adapt the book by the man, who calls himself Salam Pax.
He's like a Nick Hornby in the middle of a war.

· The blog gave an insight into Iraqi life [ via Salam Pax comes to Sydney] [ Note: Blogologists love Salam]
· See Also a chain of exclusively fair-trade coffee shops
· See Also The Virtual Vicar, The Latest Tool in Internet Conversion Techniques
· See Also Losing streak: carving a career out of playing the loser...one more throw of the dice
· See Also We must believe in luck: The secret of a long and happy marriage appears to be not to expect too much from it

It really gets me when the critics say I haven't done enough for the economy. Look what I've done for the book publishing industry.
-President George Bush at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner (courtesy of Mrs Barbara Bush )

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: 'Best Book' TV Quest Boosts Library Lending Figures
The Scotsman Reports A TV search to find Britain’s best book was today credited with sparking an upsurge in library lending. New figures for The Big Read show that library lending of the top 21 titles increased by 123%.
While BBC News Says the nation's favourite book has been credited with bringing about a five-fold increase in sales of its top 21 books.

· Sparking an upsurge in library lending. [link first seen at BBC News]
· See Also The Golden Page Awards for Excellence in Publishing now in their seventh year
· See Also An urgent truth in Goya gone digital: There are number of reasons why the evil in those images from Iraq is touching nerves

Thursday, May 13, 2004

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Student recalls her ethics lesson from ex-USATer Kelley
Ironically, the man who fabricated quotes, made up stories and paid people to lie for him warned me to never trust anyone I interview. And, after being just one of thousands of people duped by Kelley, his warning was the only thing he told me that later proved to be true
· A Lesson from Jack
· See Also Name-calling knows no bounds in the vendetta between two former friends, Laws and Jones: time to rattle all those powerful teacups
· See Also Rudi Bakhtiar: The funny thing is that every time you do something bad you get more famous
· See Also Search-Engine Writing: written for Google [ courtesy of Google ]
· See Also So many people spend so much time trying to boost their PageRank with all sorts of goofy and annoying tactics.... [ via "Bloglines Toolkit for Mozilla" ]
· See Also Just Trust Us: Listen to the language. It is always a leading indicator of moral confusion
· See Also MEdia Dragons: "Songs about weblogs"

Six pares of New Zealand rabbits in Amerika

Tracking Trends Great & Small: What's Next: Such short attention spans
Tri trendy create a new order in content management. Will the changing landscape alter your technology plans and way of doing business?
· Brave New World: Three Trends: "Partial sun" and "Partial shade" "Partial pregnancy"
· See Also WHAT'S NEXT, is a look at emerging trends and innovations that could change site visitors' lives
· See Also Child prodigy bloggers: Bloggers want direction but they don't want to ask for it
· See Also Top Trends: Hottest Designs and Coolest Technology
· See Also One study finds that should current population trends continue and immigration cease, today's population of 375 million could decline to 275 million by 2075

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Blogger Don Emilio Fulci described by an FBI tipster as a reclusive but evil millionaire, had formed a terrorist group that was planning chemical attacks against London and Washington, D.C...

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Exclusive: The New Blogger
For those of us involved in the project, we’ve been waiting months for this day to come. At long last, I’m proud to announce the launch of a project representing the latest collaboration between Stopdesign and Adaptive Path: the redesign of Blogger.com. Congratulations to the entire Blogger team on completing hundreds of hours, and expending tremendous effort to fit so much into this launch. This is Blogger’s first major overhaul since getting acquired by Google in February 2003, and it’s a biggie.
· All for free [ courtesy of The Great Blogger Relaunch ]
· See Also Blogs colliding with traditional media
· See Also Wired News: Sick of Spam? Prepare for Adware
· See Also Honey, They Shrunk the Newspaper: Electronic newspapers need design overhaul

Trends Great & Small: Is Non-Fiction Getting Sexy?
Non-fiction is finally triumphing over its traditionally sexier cousin, fiction, evident yesterday when non-fiction books swept the Trillium Book Awards, Ontario's pre-eminent literary honours. In the English-language category, Thomas King's series of Massey Lectures, The Truth About Stories, beat fiction favourites such as M. G. Vassanji's Giller Prize-winner The In-Between World of Vikram Lall and Barbara Gowdy's The Romantic, which made the long-list for last year's Man Booker Prize.
· The Truth About Stories [link first seen at The Globe & Mail (Canada)]
· See Also Intelliseek Launches BlogPulse.com to Track Trends, Issues, ... [link first seen at Blogpulse.com ]
· See Also Cautionary tale for writers: 'literary agent from hell' Ten Percent of Nothing
· See Also Mega-bucks mean mega-misery to many workers trapped in jobs they hate
· Cold War emergency bunker to house original music and films will be stored in the vault
· See Also Perfect for the nuclear family: Lucas Heights may be next tourist hotspot
· See Also Ukranian uranium: two containers seized of cesium-137, radioactive material, seen as a likely ingredient for a "dirty bomb" [Link Poached from Tim Dunlop]

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Switching back to Blogger from Movable Type

The Blog, The Press, The Media:
Blogger, which is owned by Google, has redesigned its site to make it easier to use and added new features, including posting by e-mail.
· Face-lift intended to make Blogger more friendly to novices [ courtesy of Blogger ]
· See Also John Laws
· See Also Seth Finkelstein interview: "Blogging of a Thesis About Blogging"
· See Also Subject Index to Literature on Electronic Sources of Information
· See Also KnowItAll SearchAnswer Engines
· See Also Mapping the Risks: Assessing the Homeland Security Implications of Publicly Available Geospatial Information

Monday, May 10, 2004

We've now reached the point where nothing happened unless it is linked by digital images on the web...

The Blog, The Press, The Media: How the Media Dragon Word Gets Around
The blogosphere has a strange ability to push a seemingly obscure idea into the forefront of people's minds in a heartbeat. How this happens is a bit of a mystery. Sam Arbesman wanted to know how it works, so he created a meme and set it loose.
· MeFi readers were more likely to infect others with the meme than were those of kottke.org
· See Also Editors should praise — not punish — dissenters: As I've always said, when you're too busy to write, use someone else's words

To be able to send out a book to a future publisher is so much more impressive than a web link, but to be able to send a book and an online audience of thousands to a publisher is even better...
· See Also Ben Hammersley reports on the writers and artists who are earning money through the internet with micropayments [ courtesy of Ben Hammersley]
· See Also The Blog of Things To Come: Joi Ito is using his Weblog to put his virtual organization into action [Link Poached from Lucid article about Joi Ito]

Librarianship, like other disciplines, has its seasons and its personalities. Warren Horton will take his place as one of the great figures in the history of the profession in Australia

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Bridging cultures with books
Whether their parents read them fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, or even encouraged them to explore Lewis Carroll's Wonderland, most Japanese have been exposed to overseas literature from an early age, and many go on to discover the likes of Tolkien, L.M. Montgomery, Michael Ende and J.K. Rowling for themselves -- mostly in Japanese.
· If there is a search in 'Out,' [like the usual mystery formula], it's a search for an exit, a way out, for women living desperate lives. That is what 'Out' is about. All that makes it highly original [link first seen at Szirine: NYC, Berlin, Amsterdam]
· See Also Blowing Off Steam of inhumanity...
· See Also Andrew Wylie: An international agent argues for a global approach to selling serious literature
· See Also Jeanette Winterson: Of love and other demons
· See Also In July 1980 it was time to hit the Escape key; Pandora: Creation of National Library of Australia
Loch Imrich Imrigh \Im"righ\, n. [Scot.; Gael. un-bhrigh chicken soup.] A peculiar strong soup or broth, made in Scotland [link first seen at Shameless Plugging]

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Reason: Fools for Communism: Still apologists after all these years
In 1983, or more likely in 1984, the Indiana University historian Robert F. Byrnes collected essays from 35 experts on the Soviet Union -- the cream of American academia -- in a book titled After Brezhnev. Their conclusion: Any U.S. thought of winning the Cold War was a pipe dream. "The Soviet Union is going to remain a stable state, with a very stable, conservative, immobile government," Byrnes said in an interview, summing up the book. "We don’t see any collapse or weakening of the Soviet system."
Barely six years later, the Soviet empire began falling apart. By 1991 it had vanished from the face of the earth. Did Professor Byrnes call a press conference to offer an apology for the collective stupidity of his colleagues, or for his part in recording it? Did he edit a new work titled Gosh, We Didn’t Know Our Ass From Our Elbow? Hardly. Being part of the American chattering class means never having to say you’re sorry.

· In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage, by John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr [ courtesy of REASON ]
· See Also Prague's Liberation: Only years later would I learn that the western part of Czechoslovakia had been liberated by troops of the U.S. Third Army under the command of Gen. George S. Patton
· See Also European Union: Giving Good Soldier Svejk a needed break
· See Also BookWorldPrague is back, with an impressive literary flourish

Joe is Hollywoodly challenged. Sex, drugs, scandal - reveals how his pursuit of the American dream took him from child refugee to Hollywood star

All the President's flaws
He helped bring down one American president - Richard Nixon. Now he believes the Bush presidency is even more corrupt. John Dean spoke to Paul Sheehan on the eve of his first visit to Australia
· Something to Sequel About
· See Also Antony Loewenstein: It was typical Times, not wanting the public to realise that their reporters were not gods, that it took so many people to do solid reporting. It was essentially a policy of lying for marketing
· See Also Even if Lance Collins was right about the doctoring of intelligence on East Timor, he may be wrong about who did the doctoring

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Celebrate.... well, celebrate celebrating
If in Prague remember to invade Tulip Cafe (Opatovicka 3, P1) this Sunday afternoon and celebrate.... well, celebrate celebrating.
· Shrimp on the BBQ Party!!! [ courtesy of ScottyMac ]

Literary parodies
Jasper Rees writes at considerable length on "the literary send-up" in the Sunday Telegraph, in The Czeech of it. Later this year comes The Sellamillion, which will bravely parody The Silmarillion,
· the one book by Tolkien no one has actually read. [link first seen at Good Booking website: We will make reading sexy for the first time, we'll turn books into fashion accessories ]
· See Also Samuel Johnson Prize
· See Also Toussaint's Making Love
· See Also Spying on Search Strategies
· See Also The Anarchist in the Library

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Latest Blogjam7 is in the air and dominated by soulful observations...

I move my head imperceptibly, because of his moustache which brushes against my nostrils with a scent of vanilla and honeyed tobacco. Oh!...suddenly my mouth, in spite of itself, lets itself be opened, opens of itself as irresistibly as a ripe plum splits in the sun. And once again there is born that exacting pain that spreads from my lips, all down my flanks as far as my knees, that swelling as of a wound that wants to open once more and overflow—the voluptuous pleasure that I had forgotten.
Colette, La Vagabonde

Enjoying the rest of my 15 minutes of the unexpected state of affairs
As Edmund Gosse told a fellow writer whom Max had just caricatured: "I feel it my duty to tell you that something has happened to you that sooner or later happens to us almost all. Max has got you. We don't like it and you won't like it, but you must pretend you do. You can console yourself at any rate with the thought that it will give uncommon pleasure to your friends."
· Retrieving the shape of man [ courtesy of Amazing Catroon Zone]
· See Also How_many_Google_machines
· See Also Self Publishing Hits The Big Time
· See Also OK, you wrote a book, but how many times can you stand to write your name? The Evolution Of Silly Book Marketing Techniques

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

A fast spreading nightmare called Sasser hit thousands of PCs within the last few days...
To see beyond their own little world and get a sense of what's really going on, journalists and readers need to get out of their pajamas!

Battlefield of Dreams
Few Americans would want to trade places with the people of Iraq," wrote the economist, Daniel Mitchell. "But come tax time next April, they may begin to wonder who's better off." Even when he wrote that, the insurgency in Iraq was visibly boiling over; by "tax time" last month, the situation was truly desperate.
· T Time [ via NYTimes.com ]
· See Also Instinct for bureaucratic self-protection: Cat's got his tongue about Abu Ghraib? [ via JohnQuiggin.com ]
· See Also Say hello to Media Matters, the new website headed up by former conservative journalist David Brock
· See Also The Next Velvet Revolution Will Not Be Blogged

Monday, May 03, 2004

Brits vs. Yanks: Who does journalism right?
I think a sense of passion and immediacy is missing from some of [investigative] reporting these days; the kind of maverick, skeptical intensity brought to journalism by reporters such as The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh, for example. I also sense that there are not enough people like that in daily journalism today: reporters who dig, and dig fast, and whom authorities know, for sure, will challenge them or their accounts.
Americans are from Mars, Europeans are from Venus

· There aren't enough people like Hersh in journalism today
[ via Columbia Journalism Review ]
· Writing your own obit can be therapeutic, inspiring
· See Also "Attack" review: "This is a book by, about and for insiders" (Newsday)

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Web sites shine a light on some of the biggest secrets in the publishing industry, allowing ordinary authors to penetrate the mysteries of book marketing...

Small booksellers get big picture
New technology to help small booksellers compete with the "big guys." One of the firm's first and most satisfied customers is Karl Pohrt, owner of the Shaman Drum bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor, who calls the technology nothing short of revolutionary.
· Retailing [link first seen at Boom time for Dragon books ]
· See Also Is not Google Linking Dangerously: Blogjamming & Sex

Saturday, May 01, 2004

The past decade has been one of the most eventful in American political history, from the Republican takeover of Congress to the presidential impeachment, the resignation of two speakers of the House, the deadlocked presidential election, the 2001 terrorist attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more... (Insert another shameless plug for Technorati here!)

Why Books Are the Hot Medium
Former government officials have committed their recollections to books at least since 1934, when a former White House usher, Irwin Hood Hoover, published the memoir "Forty-Two Years in the White House"... But seldom, if ever, have as many volumes thick with inside details of an administration appeared as fast as they have during the presidency of George W. Bush.
· Memoirs [link first seen at NYTimes.com]
· See Also Insert another shameless plug for Cold Medium: I may not know what writting is but I know what I survived...
· See Also A man, a man's man, a manly man
· See Also The Jesus Factor in Amerikan Politics
· See Also Pledge to give power to the people takes centre stage
· See Also Machiavelli's philosophy: It is notoriously vile and his name has become an adjective for evil and two-faced-ness.

The worst kept secret in the dot com business is finally in the open. Search engine Google has filed papers with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering of shares. The company says it hopes to raise $2.7 billion... Defying Wall St. Tradition

Google offering: Feeling lucky?
Free Monitor for Google
http://www.cleverstat.com/google-monitor-query.htm is a way for you to track the ranking of a certain site (or even a page) on the Google index.

· http://www.cleverstat.com/google-monitor-query.htm
· See Also Google stands out: Quirky IPO has dual-class shares, lofty ideals
· See Also John Battelle's great analysis of the Google SEC filing
· See Also Creating and publishing weblogs (Wikipedia)
· See Also Information Literacy Weblog