<$BlogRSDUrl$>

Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Saturday January 31, 2004. Much warmer today, and I went outside briefly.

Writing: Got a bit farther on "Home is Where I live". Did a writing exercise, critiqued a couple of other people's writing exercises.

_____________
....At the heart of the program is a "clustering" algorithm that locates acoustic similarities between songs, like common bits of rhythm, harmonies or keys. The software takes a new tune and compares it with the mathematical signatures of the last 30 years of Top 40 hits. The closer the song is to "a hit cluster," the more likely -- in theory -- that the kids won't be able to resist it. Yet the weird thing is, songs that are mathematically similar don't necessarily sound the same. The scientists found that U2 is similar to Beethoven, and that Van Halen shares qualities with the piano rock of Vanessa Carlton. Even more bizarrely, 50 Cent's throbbing rap tune "If I Can't" correlates with "(There's) No Gettin' Over Me," a twangy country ditty by Ronnie Milsap.
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/14/magazine/14HIT.html?ex=1075698000&en=939bb21315267b24&ei=5070
_______________________
From alt.comp.freeware, an ambitious and interesting project:
http://www.seeingwithsound.com/winvoice.htm
_________________________
From the History News Network http://www.hnn.us/
Explicit pornographic films from the silent era are to be screened in British cinemas after the chance discovery of 300 reels in the attic of a "very respectable family" in France.
http://hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=29850#29850

Historian hopes to get support for local Sons of Union Veterans chapter
John Andrew Prime / Louisiana Gannett News
Posted on January 26, 2004

Cross-membership in the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, a group chartered by Congress, and the larger Sons of Confederate Veterans, is not unusual. Several years ago, past SUVCW commander Keith Harrison of Michigan helped descendants of Confederate veterans in that state form an SCV chapter, and the national head of the SUVCW was a guest of honor when the Sons of Confederate Veterans held a major convention in Lafayette.
http://www.shreveporttimes.com/html/FA95CFAD-27B5-46B4-87F2-41A2F3744CB1.shtml

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
Lord of the Rings wins Democratic nomination:
http://www.borowitzreport.com/archive_rpt.asp?rec=788
Pointer from Eugene Volokh on The Volokh Conspiracy http://volokh.com
_________________
From Google News
Wolfowitz Says War Decided on Best Available Intel
Wired News - 35 minutes ago
WUERZBURG, Germany (Reuters) - US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz on Saturday dismissed criticism of the US decision to wage war in Iraq on the basis of intelligence that has now become the focus of growing skepticism.
Wolfowitz Meets with Families of Deploying Soldiers Defenselink.mil
Wolfowitz says Iraq war justified because Saddam ignored UN demands San Francisco Chronicle
Miami Herald - Times Picayune - Hi Pakistan - Guardian - and 65 related

The Hatter was the first to break the silence, "What day of the month is it?" he said, turning to Alice: he had taken his watch out of his pocket, and was looking at it uneasily, shaking it every now and then, and holding it to his ear.

Alice considered a little, and then said, "The fourth."

"Two days wrong!" sighed the Hatter. "I told you butter wouldn't suit the works!" he added, looking angrily at the March Hare.

"It was the best butter," the March Hare meekly replied.

"Yes, but some crumbs must have got in as well," the Hatter grumbled: "you shouldn't have put it in with the bread-knife."

The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily: then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again: but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark, "It was the _best_ butter, you know."

Robert Ludlum, _The Tactful Saboteur_

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Friday January 30, 2004. Minus 15F at noon. Meanwhile, in India:

Chill hits season's lowest

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ TUESDAY, JANUARY 06, 2004 11:10:46 PM ]

NEW DELHI : The mercury plummeted to 3.7 degree Celsius[38.66F] on Tuesday, the lowest this season. The maximum temperature was 15.1 degree Celsius [59.18F](6 below normal; the minimum was 3 below normal).
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/408609.cms

________________________
California Measure Would Align Building Rules With Feng Shui
By PATRICIA LEIGH BROWN
http://nytimes.com/2004/01/30/national/30FENG.html
__________________________
From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 30-Jan-2004
Nature Biotechnology
Researchers discover that a virus can naturally target and kill tumors
Researchers at NYU School of Medicine found that one mosquito-borne virus automatically targets and kills tumor cells in mice. Most importantly, it does so while leaving healthy cells alone, a feature that may make it a promising treatment for some forms of cancer.
___________________________
White ink keeps these addicts on a high
SOURAV MUKHERJEE

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ FRIDAY, JANUARY 09, 2004 01:57:31 AM ]

AHMEDABAD: Mukesh Ravat, all of 15 years, a loiterer at the Kalupur railway station, is hooked to a substance that is yet to be branded as contraband — white ink or correction fluid used to erase typing mistakes.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/412930.cms
___________________________
Saffron tint for khaki force?

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SATURDAY, JANUARY 31, 2004 12:08:06 AM ]

AHMEDABAD: Despite stiff resistance from senior police officers and fears that the move would lead to a further saffronisation of the Gujarat Police, the state government has gone ahead and issued a Government Resolution (GR) to recruit 'lok rakshaks' to fill vacancies in the constabulary.

The GR has given officials reasons to believe that this was a move to give a youth with a particular ideological leaning a back-door entry into an already tainted police force which got a lot of flak for its handling of the 2002 riots. Even DGP K Chakravarthi, who retires on Saturday, had objected to the proposal.

This GR, issued on January 21, also states that the recruitment of 'lok rakshaks' would not be done by the police department, but by the Gujarat Gaun Seva Pasandagi Mandal, or Minor Services Selection Board, which is dominated by political appointees.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/455681.cms

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Thursday January 29, 2004. From the Weather Underground http://www.wunderground.com :
Updated: 11:53 AM CST on January 29, 2004
Observed at Minneapolis, Minnesota
Temperature -11 °F / -24 °C
Windchill -31 °F / -35 °C

However, it's supposed to get up to a toasty -5F in Hennepin County -- and in my area code, to -4F.

Later: It was -8F when I left home. First to HealthPartners Uptown Clinic in Calhoun Square, to pick up ointment. Then to Steeple People thrift store.

Back home, I critiqued a story on the Roving Crits board at Forward Motion (http://fmwriters.com).
___________
From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 29-Jan-2004
Integrated animal model answers questions about environment
UW-Madison is working to develop a computer model that could predict how animals, living on a real landscape anywhere on Earth, would respond to specific changes in the environment.

_______________________
Charlie Stross wrote this for the forthcoming Spring 2003 issue of Whole Earth Magazine, which didn't come forth:

The 18th century utopian philosopher Jeremy Bentham's panopticon was a prison; a circle of cells with windows facing inwards, towards a tower, wherein jailers could look out and inspect the prisoners at any time, unseen by their subjects.

Though originally proposed as a humane experiment in penal reform in 1785, Bentham's idea has eerie resonances today. One of the risks of the technologies that may give rise to a singularity is that they may also permit the construction of a Panopticon society -- a police state characterised by omniscient surveillance and mechanical law enforcement.

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/rant/panopticon-essay.html

And see this -- thanks to matriquola on LiveJournal:

Warspying San Francisco
By Kevin Poulsen, SecurityFocus
Posted: 29/01/2004 at 10:39 GMT

Striding through San Francisco's busy financial district after dusk, 20-year-old Jake Appelbaum is an odd sight. His left hand is clutching the handle of a two-foot-long fiberglass pole wrapped in a metal spiral, which he holds high like a lance. The device is a directional antenna: a thin cable hangs between it and what looks like a handheld TV in Appelbaum's other hand.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/55/35198.html

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Wednesday January 28, 2004. To Pillsbury House, where I did data entry for the Community Barter Network.

It's amazing how many ways there are to fill out a simple form incorrectly. Fortunately, I like solving the kinds of puzzle this creates.
__________________
Speaking of mistake-puzzles:
In Online Auctions, Misspelling in Ads Often Spells Cash
By DIANA JEAN SCHEMO http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/28/technology/28SPEL.html?ex=1075870800&en=7899dc4129b2d7cd&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE

Seems that on eBay, people who advertise labtops get fewer bidders than those who say they're selling laptops; gers get fewer bidders than gears; etc.
_________________
When I left the house, Weather Underground (http:/wunderground.com) said the latest temperature was -11F (about -24C).

A couple of weeks ago, there was a news story about a cold wave in northern India. In one major city, the high temperature was only 12C; in one place, it got as cold as 4C. That's
about 54F and 39F. Definitely not cold by Twin Cities standards; but people were dying.
_____________________
This does not sound like someone who's going to win the nomination:

"You're going to see a leaner, meaner organization," Dr. Dean, who has asked his 500 staff members to skip their paychecks for two weeks, told reporters on an 8 p.m. conference call. "We had really geared up for what we thought was going to be a front runner's campaign. It's not going to be a front-runner's campaign. It's going to be a long war of attrition. What we need is decision making that's centralized."
http://nytimes.com/2004/01/29/politics/campaign/29DEAN.html

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Tuesday January 27, 2004. Avoiding salt has meant avoiding everything in the Wedge's deli. Today, I talked on the phone with the Wedge's deli manager. Turns out that in other places he's worked, salt-free roast chicken has sold well. And he'd already been thinking about offering it. So it may be out there by the end of this week. (Not every day; they rotate deli foods.)

Other foods may follow.

***My Internet provider treated customers to a free showing of 2001. My first reaction: everyone's clothing was solidly 1960s. My second: the computer displays were crude.

It was the first time I'd seen the movie properly. (First time, I was in the wrong state of consciousness. Second time, the print was very bad.) It felt good to get that done. And I did enjoy seeing it.

There was a drawing for two Sun Airlines tickets. I didn't win that, but I did win a Visi.com tshirt. And everyone got a baseball cap, with the Visi.com logo on the front and
"We suck less" on the back.
________________________________
From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 27-Jan-2004
Sandia, UNM researchers mimic photosynthetic proteins to manipulate platinum at the nanoscale
Researchers from the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico have developed a new way of mimicking photosynthetic proteins to manipulate platinum at the nanoscale.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Monday January 26, 2004. Culinary discovery: peanut butter with lime juice. A small amount of lime juice makes a reasonable substitute for marmalade (in my opinion).

The peanut butter I used was unsalted and composed entirely of peanuts. Instead of bread, I used corn tortillas.

***Mail: "ACT NOW! This offer expires: September 30, 2004". Asimov's Science Fiction subscription offer.

De Profundis: LASFS newsletter. LASFS = Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society.

__________________________________________
Web stuff:

Two good online surveys on values. They're intended to find out what kind of Canadian you are, fitting you into the author's categories.
http://erg.environics.net/

MarsClock is a clock for Mars. It is a port of Mars24, created using OnBoardC. It runs on the PalmOS operating system (v 3.0 through 5.2) and requires MathLib. The error between MarsClock and the JPL MER time sheets is less than one minute for the nominal mission duration. (VJ)



And the original is here: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/mars24/

From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 26-Jan-2004
Global warming may cause songbirds to avoid certain foods
In another example of the far-reaching impact of global warming, a URI student found evidence that suggests some songbirds may avoid eating insects that consume leaves exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Sunday January 25, 2004. Today, I didn't leave the house. I've been lethargic all day.

What went right: Culinary invention. It wasn't drastically innovative: ground turkey fried with carrot chips, apple slices, and onion.

Writing. The first two paragraphs of a story. Not "of the first draft, and may be deleted from a subsequent draft or end up in the middle, or...". For the first time I can remember, I'm certain this is the correct beginning. And I don't expect it to undergo more than minor rewording.
_____________
Someone I know through Usenet has an article in the Christian Science Monitor:

You've got mail. But don't know it.
A few important e-mails are lost when firms use software to eliminate
spam. By Sal Towse
http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0126/p16s02-wmgn.html

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

After much heated debate on the house floor, legislation was passed today to allow a growing number of families to cook meals for their families in their homes. The children must have annual physical examinations to assure proper growth and weight gain. Attempts to require weekly meal plans and monthly kitchen inspections were voted down.

A spokesperson from the National Association of Nutritionists (NANs) condemns this decision. “These children are being denied the rich socialization and diversity that is an essential part of the eating process. Without the proper nutritional background, it is impossible for the average person to feed their own children. We, as child advocates, see this as a step backwards and speak out for the sake of the children who cannot speak for themselves.”
http://community.nbtsc.org/wiki/HomeCooker

______________________________
When Brooklyn goes to college
The BBC's Mike Baker looks at how universities might be run in 2020.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/education/3423323.stm

"Brooklyn" is becoming a popular first name in England. This probably explains why:

Romeo, the name David and Victoria Beckham gave their second son, was less popular, with only 21 boys sharing his name. Their other son has had more of an influence, with 86 baby boys and 19 baby girls being named Brooklyn.
http://www.babycentre.co.uk/refcap/551550.html
_______________________
From http://www.write-hemisphere.com:
TEL : Stories is a new 'zine dedicated to the idea that there is no such thing as stylistic excess. I'm interested in fiction that is ornamented, baroque, rococo -- wherever your highest flights of fancy can take your pen, we'd like to follow.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
Saturday January 24, 2004. To the Southwest Senior Center, for Fare For All food. The food isn't quite what I would select myself; but for $15.50, it's a bargain.

Three pounds of Red Delicious apples. I've read that Delicious apples really were delicious -- before they were crossed with another variety to improve their looks.

I sliced up two of them, and fried them together with an egg. Apples and other pome fruits improve in flavor when fried. (So do bananas, but not citrus fruits.)

I'd bought a turkey wing at Lunds, which was selling them for 59 cents a pound. (This week; next week it might be twice as much, or might be the same price.) I souped it with carrots and cabbage. (Fare for All stuff included one pound of carrots; I used ones I already had. It also included a head of cabbage.) I decided to try using the outer cabbage leaves, rather than throwing them away.

The turkey wing came out well, as did the carrots. I used lime juice on both.

The cabbage leaves? Next time I'll throw away those outer leaves.

I also boiled some potatoes (5-pound bag from Fare for All), and ate them.

After which I learned, from an article in the February Discover, that I should probably be avoiding potatoes.

Snacks: corn tortillas.
______________________________________
"A shprakh iz a diyalekt mit an armey un a flot" ['A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.']

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Friday, January 23, 2004

From: Donna
Newsgroups: rec.arts.mystery
Subject: Re: Characters you would like to see meet.
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 23:28:01 +0000

Jeremy wrote:

> Who would you like to see meet in a story. I am not talking a one paragraph
> but an actual encounter.

I once did a dinner party scene with odd characters meeting. Here it is:

Miss Marple (settling down with a nice cup of tea): So dear boy, what do you do?

Leonard Pine (Joe Lansdale's Hap and Leonard series): Well ma'am, I've had a number of jobs - I've been a bouncer at a titty..... errrrr..... gentleman's club, a security guard in a chicken plant - all sorts.

Miss Marple: I see. Well, I'm not sure exactly what a bouncer is, but don't you think it's time you settled down and got a proper job – a policeman say, like my nephew, or a vicar. We don't have enough vicars - no wonder the country is going to the dogs. What does your wife say about all these dead end jobs of yours? Wouldn't she prefer you to be a policeman or a vicar?

Leonard: Actually ma'am, I'm gay.

Miss Marple: Well, that doesn't stop you being a vicar. I remember the Reverend Snograss at St Mary Mead, and he always had a happy smile on his face, and a gay greeting for everyone.

Leonard: No ma'am. I'm gay - as in homosexual.

Miss Marple: Oh dear, well, I understand that that sort of thing does go on amongst the lower classes. But NOT in St Mary Mead. Maybe you should give up your idea of being a vicar.

Meanwhile, across the room......

Spencer's girlfriend Susan signals the waiter

Susan: Just a small glass of water please. Still. Hold the lemon.

Nero Wolfe (through a mouthful of truffle): Have you tried the buffet Susan? They have the most wonderful duck a l'orange.

Susan: Buffet? Oh no. I have to sit up this end of the room away from it. All those calories wafting through the air.

Nero Wolfe: Here, taste this goose liver pate. It's quite superb.

Susan: Oh no thank you. I ate last Tuesday.

Nero Wolfe: Last Tuesday? What did you have?

Susan: A small stick of celery. I make it a point to have a stick of celery every other week. Of course, I don't swallow.

Nero clutches his chest in horror. Or it may be an attack brought on by too much cholesterol.

On a sofa in the corner:

Andy Dalziel (Reginald Hill) scratches his crotch.

Dalziel: So, lass, fancy a bit of fun?

Kate Fansler (Amanda Cross): When you say 'fun'. I hope you're not trying to denigrate the struggle of wimmin in crime fiction to be portrayed as people rather than as sex objects.

Dalziel: Bloody hell lass, I like a feisty bit of skirt. Give us a kiss.

Kate Fansler: You pig....you, male chauvinist pig. Wimmin in books should make a stand against disgusting dinosaurs such as you.

Dalziel: Alright hen, there's no need to get your knickers in a knot. I were just after a bit of a fumble that's all.


Donna
--
http://freespace.virgin.net/donna.moore

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
Internet Review of Science Fiction's http://www.irosf.com first monthly issue is out. If you're interested in intellectual discussion of sf, take a look at it. Subscriptions free through June 2004, $12/year after that.

I found the articles interesting, including one on a topic which doesn't usually interest me. This issue is thin, but future ones may be thicker.

The New York Review of Science Fiction costs $36 and up for a one-year subscription.

Payment: IROSF IROSF pays at minimum $70 per work. Once we start charging for subscriptions, there will also be a profit sharing. IROSF pays on acceptance

NYRSF: We pay $10.00 for reviews, $25.00 for features, and $5 for short ("boxed" or sidebar) features. We can also pay in subscription credit. We pay upon publication or later.

My guess at reasons for the discrepancies: the people running IROSF expect web publishing to be cheaper than print publishing. Enough cheaper that they can afford to charge a third as much for subscriptions, and pay writers a minimum which is almost times NYRSF's maximum.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
Thursday January 22, 2004. I put "The Caterpillar on the Leaf" up for critiques in a couple of electronic writing groups. It's not the story I thought I was writing.

There will probably be at least one more draft. I've got the story down, but the way it's told still needs work.

The next one will probably be easier and go faster -- at least in some ways.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Thursday January 22, 2004.

CHILLING TALE
The longest-running murder mystery of them all - who, or what, killed the Neanderthals - has now got its most definitive answer yet. The Neanderthals, humankind's nearest relatives, once flourished across Europe. But about 30,000 years ago they disappeared completely, never to return. Now a team of 30 experts have compiled a wealth of environmental, biological and social data and concluded that the Neanderthals simply did not have the technological know-how to survive the increasingly harsh winters. What's more, the original human settlers of Europe very nearly suffered the same fate … MORE
http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994586

Online games to generate real - and academic - riches
Games such as The Sims Online are expected to earn $1.3 bn in 2004 -
but they could also provide researchers with a valuable new tool
http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994581

_____________________________________
From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 22-Jan-2004
Audiology and Neuro Otology
UF research adds to evidence that unborn children hear 'melody' of speech
In a series of unique experiments on a pregnant ewe designed to record exactly what sounds reach the fetal ear, UF research has bolstered previous findings suggesting that human fetuses likely hear mostly low-frequency rather than high-frequency sounds.
US Navy, National Institutes of Health, March of Dimes

Public Release: 22-Jan-2004
Bioinformatics
Researchers develop computer application to 'read' medical literature, find data relationships
Until recently, researchers and their assistants spent countless hours poring over seemingly endless volumes of journals and scientific literature for information pertinent to their studies in fields such as cancer, AIDS, pediatrics and cardiology. But thanks to new software developed by bioinformatics researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, scientists can now easily identify obscure commonalities in research data and directly relate them to their studies, saving money and speeding the process of discovery.
National Science Foundation, State of Texas, National Institutes of Health, Hudson Foundation, American Heart Association, Biological Chemical Countermeasures Program of The University of Texas

Public Release: 22-Jan-2004
Science
Scientists grow neurons using nanostructures
Scientists at Northwestern University have designed synthetic molecules that promote neuron growth and also discourage the formation of the scar that is often linked to paralysis after spinal cord injury. Similar to earlier experiments that promoted bone growth, the researchers now have successfully grown nerve cells using an artificial three-dimensional network of nanofibers, an important technique in regenerative medicine.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Energy

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Wednesday January 21, 2004. To Pillsbury House, where I did data entry for the Community Barter Network.

***"Where's my flying car?" has become a catchphrase. Flying cars used to be a standard part of the sf 21st century -- along with videophones. Here's the 21st century; where are all the flying cars?

The sf writers were being conservative. Nonfiction predictions that flying cars would replace automobiles in the near future have been around at least since the 1940s and probably longer. The same for videophones replacing voice-only telephones.

They've been available; they haven't been bought. Flying cars have been around for decades; they keep being reinvented. Videophones have been around since at least the late 1960s; see John Pierce's essay in _Toward the Year 2000_ (1967; edited by Daniel Bell).

The paperless office is more recent. Many organizations have the technology needed for paperless offices. They aren't using it that way.

A couple years ago, someone who's enthusiastic about nanotechnology told me that with nanotech, people wouldn't have to live in crowded places like Manhattan. I explained that very few people _have_ to live in Manhattan.

____________________________
From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 21-Jan-2004
How to second guess hack attacks
Mutating software could predict and defend attacks against computers before hackers have even developed them. American software engineers say their system predicts future hackers' strategies by taking known hacking software and systematically mutating it to find the most deadly recombinations.
________________________________
Wetlands get new spy cam
Massachusetts uses digitized arial photos to police wetlands
encroachment. By Mark Clayton
http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0122/p11s02-sten.html
________________________________
From the Australian edition of Google News:
Rings trilogy puts new face on cancer treatment
NEWS.com.au - 15 hours ago
THE last place technician Tom Deans expected to end up when he searched the internet for ways to improve cancer treatment was the Lord of the Rings website.
Movie magic makes for medical marvel The West Australian
Movie technology saving lives The Australian
Sunday Times - Daily Telegraph - and 14 related

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
To be sure, the sad-eyed, white-whiskered Lee abhorred slavery; Stonewall Jackson tutored black children; and Davis adopted a black son.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0122/p01s03-ussc.htm

The bit about Davis is something I hadn't run across before, and is a bit startling. Does anyone know how accurate it is?

Saying that Lee "abhorred slavery" seems to be a gross oversimplification:

Robert E. Lee's Opinion Regarding Slavery
This letter was written by Lee in response to a speech given by then President Pierce.

Robert E. Lee letter dated December 27, 1856:

I was much pleased the with President's message. His views of the systematic and progressive efforts of certain people at the North to interfere with and change the domestic institutions of the South are truthfully and faithfully expressed. The consequences of their plans and purposes are also clearly set forth. These people must be aware that their object is both unlawful and foreign to them and to their duty, and that this institution, for which they are irresponsible and non-accountable, can only be changed by them through the agency of a civil and servile war. There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. It is idle to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it is a greater evil to the white than to the colored race. While my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more deeply engaged for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, physically, and socially. The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their further instruction as a race, and will prepare them, I hope, for better things. How long their servitude may be necessary is known and ordered by a merciful Providence. Their emancipation will sooner result from the mild and melting influences of Christianity than from the storm and tempest of fiery controversy. This influence, though slow, is sure. The doctrines and miracles of our Saviour have required nearly two thousand years to convert but a small portion of the human race, and even among Christian nations what gross errors still exist! While we see the course of the final abolition of human slavery is still onward, and give it the aid of our prayers, let us leave the progress as well as the results in the hands of Him who, chooses to work by slow influences, and with whom a thousand years are but as a single day. Although the abolitionist must know this, must know that he has neither the right not the power of operating, except by moral means; that to benefit the slave he must not excite angry feelings in the master; that, although he may not approve the mode by which Providence accomplishes its purpose, the results will be the same; and that the reason he gives for interference in matters he has no concern with, holds good for every kind of interference with our neighbor, -still, I fear he will persevere in his evil course. . . . Is it not strange that the descendants of those Pilgrim Fathers who crossed the Atlantic to preserve their own freedom have always proved the most intolerant of the spiritual liberty of others?

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Tuesday January 20, 2004. Calendar Magic is a very good calendar program; but it only works up through 9999 AD. The Information Please Almanac on the web has a perpetual calendar which goes through 99999999 AD: http://www.infoplease.com/calendar.php

Of course, the Gregorian Calendar is unlikely to last for ninety-nine million, nine hundred ninety-seven, nine hundred ninety-five more years. And it will probably be revised long before then: "It has been suggested (by the astronomer John Herschel (1792-1871)
among others) that a better approximation to the length of the tropical year would be 365 969/4000 days = 365.24225 days. This would dictate 969 leap years every 4000 years, rather than the 970 leap years mandated by the Gregorian calendar. This could be achieved by dropping one leap year from the Gregorian calendar every 4000 years, which would make years divisible by 4000 non-leap years.

"This rule has, however, not been officially adopted."
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/calendars/faq/part1/

Calendar Magic does some nifty things for which it's worth keeping: 'Full year Gregorian, Afghan, Armenian, Baha'i, Chinese, Coptic, Egyptian, Ethiopic, Fasli, French Revolutionary, Hebrew, Hindu lunisolar, Hindu Solar, Indian National, Islamic civil, Julian, Parsi Shenshai, Persian, Persian Qadimi, Sikh Nanakshahi and Vietnamese calendars. Alternative Gregorian "planning calendars". A month-by-month, side-by-side comparison of calendar systems. Date conversions. Lists of Western Christian festivals, Eastern Orthodox festivals and Hebrew holy days for any (Gregorian) year. "Observed Days" for any year from 1990 for nearly 200 countries worldwide. Button to tabulate the weekday on which a specified Gregorian date d/m occurs....'

***I wrote the last scene (which takes place on December 24, 2240) of "The Caterpillar on the Leaf" -- which is quite different from how I originally thought the story would end.

***Bought fresh tortillas at Mercado Central. Noticed a Salvadorean eatery; menu only in Spanish.

***From the St. Paul Pioneer Press tv listings: "Crossing Over With John Edward A woman hangs her grandparents' dentures on the family Christmas tree every year...."

From USA Today: Todd Santos, the Todd in the title, will not be sequestered in a mansion with bachelorettes. He will not be sent to an exotic island to survive. Instead, starting Wednesday on FX (10 p.m. ET/PT), viewers will control the life of Todd Santos, in his own home.

.......

At the end of each show, two scenarios will be presented on the screen. For example: Should Todd quit his job? Should Todd find a new roommate? Viewers will vote via phone and the Web site, and Todd will comply.

......

Because FX has a deal with T-Mobile, wireless subscribers will be offered special information about Todd, including Todd's picture mail diary, daily alerts about what's happening to Todd and instant polls that give T-Mobile subscribers the ability to vote on Todd's actions in real time, including what he might eat for lunch or what movie he sees on any given day.
http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2004-01-20-todd-tv_x.htm

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
Tuesday January 20, 2004. From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 20-Jan-2004
Public Library of Science Biology
Primates trade smell for sight
Yoav Gilad and his colleagues have found a correlation between the loss of olfactory receptor (OR) genes, which are the molecular basis for the sense of smell, and the acquisition of full trichromatic color vision in primates. The evolution of color vision, the authors propose, coincided with a growing complement of OR nonfunctional "pseudogenes" and a deterioration of the sense of smell.

Public Release: 20-Jan-2004
Journal of Comparative Neurology
Reward mechanism involved in addiction likely regulates pair bonds between monogamous animals
The reward mechanism involved in addiction appears to regulate lifelong social or pair bonds between monogamous mating animals, according to a Center for Behavioral Neuroscience (CBN) study of prairie voles. The finding could have implications for understanding the basis of romantic love and disorders of the ability to form social attachments, such as autism and schizophrenia.
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
Monday January 19, 2004. Martin Luther King Day.

"I once was lost but now am found;
Was blind but now do see."

I did some intensive rethinking which used up most of my energy. There are habits of mind and body which I'll be working on changing.

***Wrote some dialog -- with one character speaking very differently from the way he spoke
earlier to the same person -- for "The Caterpillar on the Leaf". There's a reason for this.

___________________________________
From the UK edition of Google News:
Scottish police told to watch their Ps and Qs
Reuters - 30 minutes ago
LONDON (Reuters) - Scottish police have been told not to ask people if they are married in case it causes offence to gays, and to refrain from calling elderly people "old." ...
Man, 28, lay dead for days in Edinburgh hotel The Scotsman
Police officers warned to mind their language Human Resources-Centre
and 8 related

Racing Circles Shocked by Piper's Secret Life
Scotland on Sunday - 20 minutes ago
The racing world was shocked today by the unmasking of former racehorse owner Graham Piper as a £30 million drug trafficker.
Racehorse owner jailed for drug smuggling Reuters
Jailed millionaire 'driven by greed' BBC News

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Monday, January 19, 2004

From the Legal Theory Blog http://lsolum.blogspot.com/
Regime Theory

Yet another important twist in originalist theory is emphasized by the work of Bruce Ackerman: a twist that I shall call "regime theory." The foundation for regime theory is the simple observation that the Constitution of the United States was adopted in several pieces--the Constitution of 1789 was supplemented by a variety of amendments. And of these amendments, the three reconstruction amendments (the 13th, 14th, and 15th) are of especial importance--because of the significant structural transformation they work in the relationship between the powers of the national government and the powers of the states. Interpreting the whole Constitution requires an understanding of the relationship between the provisions of 1789 and those adopted during Reconstruction. Some regime theorists argue that the interaction between these two constitutional regimes has the implication that provisions adopted in 1789 take on a new meaning and significance after the Reconstruction Amendments were adopted.

Ackerman's own version of regime theory includes a fascinating and important challenge for originalists of all stripes. Ackerman emphasized the fact that both the Constitution of 1789 and the Reconstruction Amendments were adopted through processes that were extralegal under the legal standards the prevailed at the time. The Articles of Confederation required unanimous consent of all the states for constitutional amendments and for complicated reasons, it seems likely that the Reconstruction Amendments were of dubious legality if strictly judged by the requirements set forth for amendments in Article V. Ackerman's conclusion was that the Constitution derives its legitimacy, not from the legal formalities, but from "We the People," when mobilized in extraordinary periods of constitutional politics. Perhaps the most controversial conclusion that Ackerman reaches is that the New Deal involved another such constitutional moment, in which "We the People" authorized President Roosevelt to act as an extraordinary Tribune, empowered to alter the constitutional framework through a series of transformative appointments. If one accepts this view, then one might begin to ask questions about the "original meaning" of the New Deal--a kind of originalism that would surely not be embraced by the conservative proponents of originalism in the 70s and early 80s.
http://lsolum.blogspot.com/2004_01_01_lsolum_archive.html#107446859485211931

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
Sunday January 18, 2004. The predicted high temperature was 7F (-14C). Nowhere near a record low, but I didn't go outside.

______________
Thoughts on writing:

It may not be the writer who tells a third-person story.

There are stories which begin with the introduction of an outside character who tells the story. If the narrator is also a character in the story proper, it might be told in third person for various reasons. (For example, so that finding out which character is later the narrator can be a surprise.)

In some frame stories, the narrator in the frame isn't connected to the story proper. In _The Bridges of Madison County_, the purpose is to make the story seem more realistic to readers -- who included a high percentage of people not used to reading fiction. (This used to be done a lot more often.) In science fiction, the narrator in the frame might be a historical romance novelist who sets her work in the quieter, simpler times of the 27th century for the enjoyment of her 28th century readers. Or it might be a nonhuman archeologist, working to understand why our species and Earth's next three intelligent species died out.

Sometimes the frame story is left out, but there's still a narrator other than the writer.
The writer may drop heavy clues on the reader, such as continually mentioning that the 23rd century was primitive in ways which the modern reader can't comprehend. Or the clues
might be subtle enough to go unnoticed by readers and editors.

In this kind of story, there's an implied narrator. (In literary theory, third person fiction always has an implied narrator separate from the writer -- whether or not the implied reader or the real reader is aware of this. I'll let my implied literaturologist
do the worrying about whether this is true.)

Here's where I think implied narrators can be useful to the writer: Some people can't write fiction well unless they work from a character's viewpoint. Without implied narrators, these people are limited to first-person and tight-third (looking through one character's eyes) viewpoints. (Second person always has an implied narrator, I would say.)

With an implied narrator, the writer has a character who can tell the story in loose and omniescent variants of third person. And the reader doesn't have to know that this narrator isn't the writer.


___________________________
As you know, Gil Elvgren is today considered primarily as a notable figure among American pin-up artists of the 1940s and 1950s. However, recent shocking developments suggest that his importance to 20th century art far transcends the narrow genre of the pin-up. The recent discovery of a number of his paintings from a brief early foray into fine art has deeply unsettled the theories of art historians who have been allowed to view his revolutionary work.

For example, Glenn D. Lowry, director of the New York Museum of Modern Art remarked after visiting the Elvgren paintings: “Holy s**t!” Jeremy Strick of Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art could only manage: “Heavy, dude.”
http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/001252.html#001252


email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Sunday January 18, 2004.

Athletes' use of performance-enhancing drugs will not be policed away. Genetic manipulation may be next.
http://nytimes.com/pages/magazine/index.html?8dpc

________________
POLITICAL POINTS
Investors Point to Iowa Winner
By JOHN TIERNEY
Published: January 18, 2004

Investors Point To Iowa Winner

Some tracking polls show the presidential contest in Iowa as too close to call, but the invisible hand of the market is pointing to the favorite.

Howard Dean is the choice of two political futures markets, where thousands of speculators, unlike journalists, put their money where their punditry is. They buy and sell contracts that pay off if a candidate wins.
http://nytimes.com/2004/01/18/politics/campaigns/18POIN.htm

_____________________
http://futurefile.com

Predict when your staff will quit
----------------------------------
The Canadian government is now using data-mining techniques to calculate the groups of employees most likely to leave an organization. It determines which organizational and employee characteristics, such as salary, level of education and training or length of service, contribute to turnover. Employees are ranked and assigned individual probabilities for voluntarily leaving within a specific time frame.
http://www.itbusiness.ca/index.asp?theaction=61&sid=54473

Dynamic pricing models to advance?
----------------------------------
Smart Auctions Tuomas Sandholm, a researcher and professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has developed techniques using artificial intelligence to help make business-to-business online auctions more fair, flexible and powerful. Perhaps it'll prove good enough to allow all businesses to run their own version of eBay to add an additional sales channel.
http://www.computerworld.com/managementtopics/ebusiness/story/0,10801,87391,00.html?f=x488


email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
Saturday January 17, 2004. "'Two days wrong!' sighed the hatter. 'I told you butter wouldn't suit the works!' he added angrily at the March Hare.

"'It was the best butter,' the March Hare meekly replied."

(Tom Clancy, _Voyage of the Dawn Treader_)

I woke up knowing I needed to chop something big out of "The Caterpillar on the Leaf." It was the wrong kind of political change: too complicated, too impersonal unless it was made the focus of the story.

***In an electronic forum, a regular contributor has now identified himself as a Communist. He expressed annoyance at various unflattering things said about "socialism".

I responded by pointing out that the term "socialism" is also used by other flavors of Marxism-Leninism, non-Leninist Marxism, and non-Marxist socialism. Out of politeness, I didn't mention my own feelings and opinions about Communism. They're less flattering than those held by many American conservatives.

Feelings: My maternal grandparents were Communists, and my mother was raised in that denomination. She was a teenager when the Hitler-Stalin Pact was announced, and she lost her faith.

Opinions: Because the US was more socially advanced than Europe, no Marxist party had a chance here. Workers' parties had come and gone before _Das Capital_ was published.

And any organization run from abroad, in the interests of executives in another country, taking orders from leaders who don't know the territory, is likely to have crippling problems.


***Mnstf meeting at Laura Jean Fish's and David Schroth's. I enjoyed it.

Nitpick: the meeting notice said "One small cat." The cat didn't look all that small to me.
_____________________________________
http://www.livejournal.com/users/katallen/33689.html
Towards a Unified Field Theory of Writing

The story idea lives in my head in a very different form to what I'll eventually write. It's far more nebulous, and personal, and probably more akin to a dream/nightmare than something objectively coherent. It also doesn't tend to have a straight-line narrative structure, more like a tangle of thread, where I can see parts of the line and know they're all connected as one without needing to see that they are. Writing is not simply an act of copying what's in my head. Those stories are full of subtext, with subtext to the subtext -- which is fine when it's being expressed as thoughts but doesn't work as words

I have to translate it from thoughts to words.

Adapt the story from the medium which is thought, to that of written words.

And, like making a film from a book, it can't ever be exactly the same. A second act of creation is required, and a whole lot of writing skills, to make the thoughts a book.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
Saturday January 17, 2004. From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 16-Jan-2004
Getting closer to the Lord of the Rings
This time next year, ESA's Huygens spaceprobe will be descending through the atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, becoming the first spacecraft to land on a body in the outer Solar System.

Contact: Franco Bonacina
franco.bonacina@esa.int
33-153-697-155
European Space Agency
http://www.esa.int/export/esaCP/SEMOGY374OD_index_0.html

__________________________________
From the UK edition of Google News:
Lakshmi Mittal all set to be world's top steel maker
Hindustan Times - 1 hour ago
The LNM Group, owned by India-born steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, is poised to become the world's largest steel producer after investing millions of dollars in a new plant in China and Poland.
Mittal to be first in steel Guardian
LNM to invest $100m in new China plant Financial Times
Indian Express - Times of India - and 6 related

From the India edition of Google News:
CCS clears Admiral Gorshkov deal
Sify - 1 hour ago
New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Saturday cleared in principle the estimated 1.6 billion dollar deal to purchase aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, which is likely to be signed during the visit of Russian Defence Minister Sergei ...
Gorshkov deal to be inked during Ivanov's visit to India Hindustan Times
Getting best deal in efforts to acquire Gorshkov: Naval chief Times of India
Calcutta Telegraph - Deepika - Daily Times - New Kerala - and 16 related
______________________
http://www.money.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2004/01/17/cncall17.xml&menuId=242&sSheet=/money/2004/01/17/ixfrontcity.html
Call centre operator opts for Scotland over India
By Christopher Hope, Business Correspondent (Filed: 17/01/2004)

Scottish entrepreneur David Murray is investing £8m in his call centres after finding that the case for moving an operation to India did not stack up.

However, the announcement was criticised by Opposition parties because a quarter of the cash is being provided by the taxpayer

[And this lovely quote] Mr McClelland said: "The grant clearly helps but we have to be competitive to compete with India.".

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Saturday January 17, 2004. From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 16-Jan-2004
Getting closer to the Lord of the Rings
This time next year, ESA's Huygens spaceprobe will be descending through the atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, becoming the first spacecraft to land on a body in the outer Solar System.

Contact: Franco Bonacina
franco.bonacina@esa.int
33-153-697-155
European Space Agency
http://www.esa.int/export/esaCP/SEMOGY374OD_index_0.html

__________________________________
From the UK edition of Google News:
Lakshmi Mittal all set to be world's top steel maker
Hindustan Times - 1 hour ago
The LNM Group, owned by India-born steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, is poised to become the world's largest steel producer after investing millions of dollars in a new plant in China and Poland.
Mittal to be first in steel Guardian
LNM to invest $100m in new China plant Financial Times
Indian Express - Times of India - and 6 related

From the India edition of Google News:
CCS clears Admiral Gorshkov deal
Sify - 1 hour ago
New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Saturday cleared in principle the estimated 1.6 billion dollar deal to purchase aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, which is likely to be signed during the visit of Russian Defence Minister Sergei ...
Gorshkov deal to be inked during Ivanov's visit to India Hindustan Times
Getting best deal in efforts to acquire Gorshkov: Naval chief Times of India
Calcutta Telegraph - Deepika - Daily Times - New Kerala - and 16 related
______________________
http://www.money.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2004/01/17/cncall17.xml&menuId=242&sSheet=/money/2004/01/17/ixfrontcity.html
Call centre operator opts for Scotland over India
By Christopher Hope, Business Correspondent (Filed: 17/01/2004)

Scottish entrepreneur David Murray is investing £8m in his call centres after finding that the case for moving an operation to India did not stack up.

However, the announcement was criticised by Opposition parties because a quarter of the cash is being provided by the taxpayer

[And this lovely quote] Mr McClelland said: "The grant clearly helps but we have to be competitive to compete with India.".

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Friday January 16, 2004. There are four Thomas Rhymers in US phone listings. They live in Sioux City, Iowa; Pottstown, Pennsylvania; El Cajon, California; and Shelton, Connecticut. (There may be more with unlisted numbers or with cell phone numbers.)

A German translation of Thomas the Rhymer (alongside an English version) is here: http://ingeb.org/songs/truethom.html I found this while looking for genealogical information; I didn't find anyone claiming descent from Thomas the Rhymer.

There are no Tam Lins in US phone listings. A Google search on "genealogy" and "Tam Lin"
turns up many references to Pamela Dean (author of _Tam Lin_, not to be confused with various other books of that title). To the best of my knowledge, she does not claim descent from Tam Lin.

__________________________________________
Crooked Timber http:/www.crookedtimber.org
January 17, 2004
Morgenbesser anecdotes
Posted by Chris

Norman Geras tells a couple of Sidney Morgenbesser anecdotes, but (at least IMHO) omits the best one, where Morgenbesser was asked his opinion of pragmatism:

“It’s all very well in theory but it doesn’t work in practice.”
___________________________
http://www.haggishunt.com/
It's time to hunt the haggis

At haggishunt.com we are reviving a fine old Scottish tradition: the hunting of the haggis. To encourage the resurgence of this great pastime, we are offering some great prizes.

But fear not, to win you do not need to go out onto the hills, nor will you have to harm one of these rare creatures (haggishunt.com is totally environmentally friendly). You can hunt the haggis from the comfort of your computer.

Simply browse through our ten haggis-cams, which are located in various parts of our beautiful country (and in London and New York, for the benefit of the haggis diaspora). If you see a haggis click on the "I saw a haggis" link displayed under the cam. You will then be entered into a draw for one of our great prizes. If you see a Golden haggis you'll have a chance to win our grand prize - a stay at a luxury Scottish hotel.0
_____________________________________________
http://library.thinkquest.org/10274/index.htm
High school class project about living on Mars, semi-fictional. So far as I can tell, they've done their homework. Plotless; but much shorter than Kim Robinson's Mars trilogy.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
http://slate.msn.com/id/2093998/
The WP [Washington Post] fronts a piece detailing how U.S. aerospace and energy industries, which have long lobbied NASA to embark on more interplanetary voyages, stand to make billions of dollars as a result of president Bush's space initiative. In 2000, a veteran Halliburton scientific adviser helped write an article discussing the usefulness of Mars research for the oil and gas industries.

[Washington Post wants your gender, birth year, country, and zip code if you're American before they let you read the article.]
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21186-2004Jan15.htm
As an example of private industry's hunger for a Mars mission, Steve Streich, a veteran Halliburton scientific adviser, was among the authors of an article in Oil & Gas Journal in 2000 titled "Drilling Technology for Mars Research Useful for Oil, Gas Industries." The article called a Mars exploration program "an unprecedented opportunity for both investigating the possibility of life on Mars and for improving our abilities to support oil and gas demands on Earth," because technology developed for the mission could be used on this planet.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Thursday January 15, 2004. In the mail was an offer to become a charter subscriber to Realms of Fantasy -- whose first issue was dated October 1994. Something is odd here.

Penzeys Spices catalog. They're having a contest to determine where their next store should go. Send a handwritten postcard (one per household); the place of more than 300,000 residents which sends the most postcards will be chosen.

***To HealthPartners Uptown, to pick up allergy meds. Then to Steeple People thrift shop.

Across the street to the Wedge co-op. While I was there, I complained that my recent customer comment hadn't gotten an answer. A new one was made out.

My last comment had also not been answered within a reasonable time, and got answered only after I complained. I wrote out a separate comment on my last two comments not having been answered within a reasonable period.

It's supposed to take two weeks for a comment to be answered. Proper procedure is to wait till three weeks have gone by, and then call. If either of the comments from today hasn't been answered by February 5, I will be making a slightly snippy phone call. If neither has been answered, I'll be making a very snippy phone call.

***Writing: Set down the beginning of a story which involves swindlers from Elfland.
__________________________
The Volokh Conspiracy (http://www.volokh.com) has a discussion of immortals and the law which has segued into proper risk choices, with references to Anne Rice's vampires, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lazarus Long, Poul Anderson's _Boat of a Million Years_, and Highlander.
_______________________________
Newsgroups: soc.history.what-if
Subject: [Resource] National Portrait Gallery website
From: sir_francis_burdett@yahoo.com (Sir Francis Burdett)
Date: 14 Jan 2004 13:04:25 -0800

http://www.npg.org.uk/live/index.asp

The entire collection is not online but from my searches it would seem
that much of its 10,000 piece collection is.

The search function also seems useful. Say for instance you were wondering what such a thing as a Bishop of Bath & Wells actually looked like. Bang-o by looking up "Bishop" under the profession query in the advanced search function you get five pages of Bishops.
___________________________
Baby-boomers head for India
RASHMEE Z AHMED

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ THURSDAY, JANUARY 15, 2004 10:50:28 PM ]

LONDON: Yesterday's hippies, hashish-addicts, backpackers, baby-boomers and lotus-eaters extraordinaire are returning to the India of their youth in droves, albeit this time minus the pony tail and burdened with a wife, a credit card, a proper job and a mobile phone.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/425282.cms


email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
http://www.livejournal.com/users/supergee/235325.htm
supergee Jan. 15th, 2004 09:54 am

"Here [http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2004/0401.florida.html] are some interesting thoughts on what happens when the party in power sneers at eggheads (pointy-headed, as Gov. Wallace used to say), liberals, suburbanites, and others smart enough to see through them.

"Thanx again to jmhm."

"Creative Class War
How the GOP's anti-elitism could ruin America's economy.
By Richard Florida"

Rough summary: US economic growth depends on creative people innovating businesses. Other countries are eroding our lead; fewer creative immigrants come to the US, and US creatives move to other countries. The Bush administration, whose support comes mostly from non-creatives, is helping this process along by favoring old industries and disfavoring creative immigrants.

Problems I have with the article include:

By Florida's standards, very few of the Eastern European Jews who came to the US around the beginning of the 20th century would qualify as creatives. The ones who, for example, built the Hollywood movie industry almost certainly wouldn't have qualified. Nor would such Western European immigrants as Andrew Carnegie.

I think the lesser-educated immigrants and their children are more valuable than the ones with degrees.

The US is still much better at accepting immigrants than most (possibly all) European and Asian countries. For example, we don't have crap like the French legislation against head scarves in schools. (We used to, mostly directed against Catholicism; but not in some time.)

Government aid can result in bad investment and planning. Note the behavior of computer-related firms during the Clinton years.

Help intended for creative business fields could easily go instead to ones which used to be creative but have recently stopped being so.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
Wednesday January 14, 2004. Sick; sore throat, lethargic.

______
On a Forward Motion (http://fmwriters.com) forum, one person said that it's people reacting to circumstances which draws her to a story.

My reply: For me, that's part of it. But another part is circumstances reacting to the people.


_______________________________________
India SF webzine, almost certainly nonpaying:
http://www.indianscifi.com/

Of the first few (most recent) stories, more are set in the US, a future society based on US culture, or a generic background which sounds more US than anything else. For Indian readers, this may be a good idea; the US is an exotic place. But if an Indian who's never lived in the US wants to submit to US magazines, it's a bad idea. The US is not exotic to Americans; and the Indian is competing against writers with much more knowledge of the background.

________________________
Finding One's Connections
Many new types of grass-roots associations are called America's "social capital."
http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0115/p08s02-comv.html

Sidebar: Weigh in on issues of the day in our forums.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/15/technology/15SIMS.html?hp
A Real-Life Debate on Free Expression in a Cyberspace City
By AMY HARMON

Peter Ludlow said he was only trying to expose the truth that Alphaville's authorities were all too happy to ignore. In his online newspaper, The Alphaville Herald, he reported on thieves and their scams. He documented what he said was a teenage prostitution ring. He criticized the city's leaders for not intervening to make it a better place.

In response to his investigative reporting, Mr. Ludlow says, he was banished from Alphaville. He was kicked out of his home; his other property was confiscated. Even his two cats were taken away.

Alphaville is not a real town but a virtual city in an Internet game called The Sims Online, where thousands of paying subscribers log on each day to assume fictional identities and mingle in cyberspace. Indeed, none of Mr. Ludlow's possessions existed outside the game. But the recent decision by the game's owner, Electronic Arts, to terminate Mr. Ludlow's account — forever erasing his simulated Sims persona — has set off a debate over free expression and ethical behavior in online worlds that is reverberating in the real one.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Wednesday January 14, 2004.

From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 13-Jan-2004
84th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting
From neighborhoods to globe, NASA looks at land
Satellites and computers are getting so good, that now they can help study human activity on scales as local as ones own neighborhood, and may answer questions concerning how local conditions affect global processes, like water and energy cycles.
NASA

Public Release: 14-Jan-2004
Nicotine & Tobacco Research
Heavy smokers see cigarettes as 'friends'
Heavy smokers -- those who light up 25 times or more a day -- look to their cigarettes for comfort and companionship, according to a new study.
NIH/National Cancer Institute

Public Release: 14-Jan-2004
Nature
World's first 'robot scientist' proves a major success in the lab
A "robot scientist" that generates hypotheses about the function of particular genes in baker's yeast - and then designs and carries out experiments to test them - has been developed by a team of British scientists, according to new research published in the journal Nature today [14 January 2004].
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, The Wellcome Trust, PharmDM

Contact: Mitch Waldrop
mwaldrop@nsf.gov
703-292-7752
National Science Foundation
A possible new form of 'supersolid' matter
Frozen helium-4 behaves like a combination of solid and superfluid
Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University are announcing the possible discovery of an entirely new phase of matter: an ultra-cold, "supersolid" form of helium-4.

Writing in the 15 January 2004 issue of the journal Nature, Penn State physicist Moses H. W. Chan and his graduate student, Eun-Seong Kim, explain that their material is a solid in the sense that all its helium-4 atoms are frozen into a rigid crystal lattice, much like the atoms and molecules in a normal solid such as ice. The difference is that "frozen," in this case, doesn't mean "stationary." Because helium-4 lattice is so very cold, less than one tenth of a degree above absolute zero, the laws of quantum uncertainty take over. In effect, the helium atoms start to behave as if they were both solid and fluid--at the same time. Under the right circumstances, in fact, some fraction of the helium atoms can begin to move through the lattice like a substance known as a "superfluid": a liquid that moves with no friction whatsoever. Thus the name "supersolid."

Chan and Kim's work, which was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is described in a Penn State press release posted on the EurekAlert site. That site has an embargo of 1 pm Eastern time, 14 January 2004. After that time, the release will also be available at http://www.science.psu.edu/alert/Chan1-2004.htm.

In addition, NSF has prepared an animation that illustrates the basics of Chan and Kim's experimental setup, and the supersolid behavior they believe they have detected.

###

NSF PR 04-05

Program contact: Hollis Wickman, 703-292-4929, hwickman@nsf.gov.
Principal Investigator: Moses H.W. Chan, 814-863-2622, Mhc2@psu.edu.

Public Release: 14-Jan-2004
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research
Rodents bred for alcohol preference live longer than rats bred for alcohol avoidance
Researchers and clinicians know that drinking alcohol can have both beneficial and harmful effects. Yet little is known about the effects of long-term, chronic alcohol consumption on survival. A new study has found that rats bred to prefer alcohol are healthier and live longer than rats bred to avoid alcohol, whether they drink alcohol or not. Study authors ponder the implications of this unexpected yet significant finding.
Medical Research Fund of Tampere University Hospital, Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Tuesday January 13, 2004. How is the way you see the world different from the way others see it?

__________
Asking advice on synesthetic writing has brought answers. Some are definitely useful; some I'll have to think about. Various URLs given -- including some I hadn't known of.

And I'll have to reread C.S. Lewis's _Voyage of the Dawn Treader_.

I got some writing done.

And I did a lot of thinking about writing.

More on all this later.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
Monday January 12, 2004. Goal: Learn to write synesthetic description in fiction. Specifically, in science fiction -- where there are no good models to follow.

The synesthesia I've seen in sf suffers from the "Arctic winter scene by someone who's never seen snow" problem. It reads as if the writer has no direct experience. (Of course, some writers can't write convincingly about things they've experienced; and others can write convincingly about things they've only read up on.)

And it's presented as a Big Deal. But for most synesthetes, it's not.

I asked for advice on several writing forums.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Monday, January 12, 2004

From the Synesthesia list
[From: Laurie Buenafe] 12.Jan.2004

I'm looking for synaesthetes in the San Francisco Bay area who would be interested participating in a synaesthesia-inspired architectural project by artists Marcos Lutyens and Oliver Hess. The syn workshop is held this Saturday, January 17th from noon till 3PM. All synaesthetes are welcome to participate.

Marcos Lutyens is the guest editor for the next issue of New Architecture magazine (UK), which will explore the architecture of sense and emotion. He is also creating a "Syn Lounge", an interactive, synaesthetic environment, in Marina Del Rey, CA. You can find out more about his work at

www.lutyens.net

If you are interested in adding your syn into the mix, please email me directly. Hope you can join us!

Thank you,

Laurie Buenafe
unthink@hotmail.com

__________________________________
http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2004/01/have_your_durin.htm
Should you have your kids during an economic boom?

Children who are born during economic booms live longer than their counterparts born during leaner times. The result holds for a Dutch data set of 3000 individuals born between 1812 to 1912. Here is a summary of the research. Here is the paper itself. A ten percent improvement in economic product added three years to the average life in the data set. OK, that is not so shocking on its own terms. The surprise is that the beneficial effects of wealth are most determined by the level of national wealth in the first seven years of life. In other words, good child care pays off for a very long time. And bad macroeconomic conditions take their biggest toll on the young and the elderly. If you are born in poor times, your chance of dying early has its greatest spikes during your childhood or after the age of fifty. It remains to be seen whether these results generalize to current levels of wealth in the United States. To be sure, a bad macroeconomy raises stress and damages health, but I know of no modern data on whether the effects on children persist through time.

Addendum: Ken Hirsch suggests that: "It appears that in wealthy countries, within the last forty years, recessions actually reduce mortality. See the work of Chris Ruhm and those he references:

"Good Times Make You Sick", Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 24, No. 4, July 2003, pp. 637-658.

"Does Drinking Really Decrease in Bad Times?" (with William E. Black), Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 659-678.

"Are Recessions Good For Your Health?", Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 115, No. 2, May 2000, pp. 617-650.

"Healthy Living In Hard Times", July 2003, submitted to the Journal of the European Economic Association, click here.

See also "Deaths Rise in Good Economic Times: Evidence From the OECD", (with Ulf-G. Gerdtham), November 2002, submitted to the European Economic Review, click here."

The references are from Hirsch, I have edited his remarks slightly so that the links flow with the text.

Posted by Tyler Cowen on January 11, 2004 at 05:36 AM

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Sunday January 11, 2004. "...There's something about your narrator that makes him and the other characters sound as if they think life is one big Jeopardy contest where the object is to one-up everybody else...." Jim Downard, First Draft #67, critiquing "The Caterpillar on the Leaf".

Short answer: There was a lot of that in my family, and I guess I do tend to think in those terms. It's something I work at changing; but as of now it does influence my writing assumptions about believable human interaction.

For this story, most of the major characters are like that; but some of them perhaps aren't, and I'll be looking at those to see if I need to remove or dilute this.

And for future stories, I'll be keeping this in mind as something to be looked for, and looked at carefully to be sure I want to leave it in.

______
I went with Pat Craft to the Hennepin County History Museum. It's a small museum, and we were the only visitors.

On a lobby wall: Exercises in designing housing for the cultural needs of Somali immigrants. Some of it was done by University of Minnesota students under the direction of someone whose name looks Somali -- which ups the chances that their design actually is what Somalis want.

Exhibit on entertainment during the Depression -- newspaper pages reproduced on material sturdier than newsprint, photographs, explanatory signs on such things as the differences between 1920s and 1930s dance marathons. The newspaper pages also had unrelated items: an account of an attempted coup in Mexico; unfair competition in the coal business (the dastards were undercutting legitimate coal dealers on price, and also giving short weight).

Star Wars toys; if those were part of your childhood, it's probably disconcerting to see them in a museum.

And various other stuff I found interesting.

We got done in time to hit the Minnesota Institute of Arts before it closed. I keep wondering when MIA is going to relabel rooms which are now said to contain 20th century art.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
Sunday January 11, 2004. From Slate http://slate.msn.com/id/2093752/
The LAT[Los Angeles Times] reports that the ex-wife of Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez, D-Texas, plans to run against him this year. Becky Whetstone, who divorced Gonzalez in October, has written a book about her marriage and created a Web site, congressmanswife.com, where "you can read about my own situation of being squashed like a bug by a United States Congressman who happened to be my husband at the time." But this doctoral candidate in marriage counseling swears that she isn't acting out. "This is not about revenge. I'm not doing this just because I got a bad deal. Instead of sitting around and saying, 'Look what happened to me,' I'm taking action. I really do believe I'd make a much better congressperson than Charlie Gonzalez."

___________________
http://www.crescatsententia.org/
numbers games
Will Baude at 10:30 AM [1/11/04]

I've just spent the morning finishing a fascinating book by Michael Lewis called Moneyball. It's about how the Oakland A's managed to do so much with so little money, the relevance of math and analysis to baseball, and so on.

If (like me) you have no particular interest in baseball, also see this article by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler about the wider morals of the book. [http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030901&s=thalersunstein090103&c=1&pt=thDD1NXrEQToJIbS0gKhSh%3D%3D]

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Saturday January 10, 2004. Nonhuman warrior in a happy face teeshirt -- in the Science Fiction Book Club's Amazing Offer to me. He's wearing a good deal more, actually; which makes sense, considering that this is a battle scene.

Not much else about the scene makes sense. There's plenty of other humor in it, but it's unintentional. One side has only hand weapons. The other side has a ray-cannon, which is being fired into the space between two groups of the first side's fighters. This makes sense only if they're being careful not to hurt anyone.

____________
The new Clutterers Anonymous group met for the second time. We agreed that the Anodyne Cafe isn't a good location; too crowded, too noisy, not private enough. The search for another meeting place is on.

A while after I got home, I added some new interests to my LiveJournal interests list which I thought might bring up community pages for clutterers/messies/hoarders. "Decluttering" brought up four, all relevant.

_______
Mail: First Draft #67 (postal writing workshop in apa form). Three of the six contributors this time are flaming whackos. (The other three are smoldering whackos.)

I got useful comments on my last submission, and there's some interesting stuff to critique for next mailing (end of February).

Humor piece, not as restrained as Hunter Thompson's writing. Chapter of a fantasy. Chapter of a space opera. Section of one chapter of a mystery novel. One "mainstream" story.

Information: Michael Wolff, PO Box 62351, North Charleston, SC 29419. curlew@charleston.quik.com.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
Saturday January 10, 2004. From the UK edition of Google News:

Rare spaghetti tin fetches £710
BBC News - 2 hours ago
A Wiltshire man is believed to have paid £710 for a limited edition tin of Heinz spaghetti. Keith Black, 29, of Swindon, bought the tin on internet auction site eBay.
Tin of spaghetti worth £710 Ananova
£710 for tin of spaghetti The Sun

__________________
From Write Hemisphere http://www.write-hemisphere.com
Bibliography to F&SF
Gordon Van Gelder, editor/publisher of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, announced the availability of its newest internet resource, a complete bibliography for F&SF for 1949-1999. Compiled by Ray Lovell, the bibliography is quite thorough in that it lists (sorted by author/artist and also date) stories, cover art, interior art, first publications, pseudonyms, translated works, series and sequels, letters, special issues, Hugo Awards, Nebula Awards, other awards, and anthologies. It also does likewise for the twice short-lived sister publication, Venture Science Fiction.
(Via F&SF's Night Shade Forum)
Posted by Scott Reilly @ 09:10 AM
http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/bibliography/bibliography.htm

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Friday January 9, 2004. I sent Analog a letter of comment, pointing out an inaccuracy in the January-February issue. "Private Eyes" by Grey Rollins has a character who's been rewired so that pain impulses go to the pleasure center of her brain and aren't felt as pain.

Synesthesia adds rather than replacing. A synesthete who sees music as colors still hears the music, for example. See http://home.comcast.net/~sean.day/Synesthesia.htm.

Note: I began by seeing music (but not other sounds) as colors. (Or only being aware of seeing music, perhaps.) Moved on to seeing other sounds. At some point, I started seeing sounds more as texture and two-dimensional shapes.

I've just realized that I now see sounds as three-dimensional shapes. I don't know when this started.

Digression: In sf, synesthesia is used as an exotic flourish. But I think sf readers would find it interesting that many synesthetes take it for granted that everyone is a synesthete. (Until they find out otherwise, which may happen in kindergarten or not till 60.) Just as most people take it for granted that their brains and minds are normal.

_______________________________________
From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 9-Jan-2004
Nation's immigrants account for bulk of labor force growth since 2000
Continuing a trend that took place during the 1990s, new foreign immigrants made up between 50 and 58 percent of labor force growth between 2000 and 2003, a new report from Northeastern University economists asserts.

Public Release: 8-Jan-2004
Physical Review Letters
Mystery particle may hold clues to universe
University of Melbourne physicists have helped discover a new state of matter that may shed light on the fabric of the universe.
University of Melbourne, Belle Collaboration

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Thursday January 8, 2003. I'm finding it easier to move; the exercises I've been doing are working.

_______
What keeps a sequel from being good? At Steeple People thrift store, I looked through _The Gripping Hand_ by Niven and Pournelle. _The Moat in God's Eye_ was very good; the sequel isn't. And I'm not sure why.

Part, I think, is that the insoluble problem the Moties had in the first book gets solved. Also, I suspect the writers did less to clue readers in on the background, expecting most readers to have read the first book.

With some sequels, the answers are obvious. Lawrence Watt-Evans's "Why I Left Harry's All Night Hamburgers" won the short story Hugo; "A Flying Saucer With Minnesota License Plates" got no notice. The first story was largely about something fairly important, and had an appealing first-person protagonist. The sequel was a minor joke.

Ira Levin's _Rosemary's Baby_ was well-written; Levin is (or perhaps was, before the brain eater got him) a good writer. (Not one whose work appeals to me, but that's another matter.) _Son of Rosemary_ -- when I saw it in a bookstore, I wondered why I hadn't heard of it or seen any reviews. I looked through it, and saw nothing interesting till I happened on the scene in which Rosemary wakes up and realizes it's all been a dream. (No, that's not the end. The end is where it turns out to have been a prophetic dream.)

______________________________
Writing: I excised a subplot from "The Caterpillar on the Leaf". Added one character, probably minor.

________________________________
Casino chips to carry RFID tags
If the gambling industry reaps the benefits of electronically tagging its chips, the world's central banks could follow with their banknotes
http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994542

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
Historian Reveals Spiralling Debt has Shaped Consumer Culture for Centuries Date: 08/01/2004 [US system: 01/08/2004] Press Release

New Year sales and Christmas shopping sprees have a sting in the tail when credit card bills hit doormats in January, but new research from the University of Warwick shows that rather than being a modern phenomenon, debt and consumer credit dependency were rife in the 1800-1900s, and that formal and informal money-lending was integral to goods exchange.

In the 21st century a high number of financially overstretched individuals are at risk of plunging further into the spiral of debt, but Dr Margot Finn’s book The Character of Credit reveals this is nothing new. An investigation of eighteenth century English and Welsh gaols, found that debtors constituted half - and convicted felons only a quarter - of all prisoners. At least 5,333 debtors suffered imprisonment in 1769 and 8, 238 in 1778.

Credit relations were widespread in consumer markets, entangling family members, friends, neighbours and tradesmen in mutual obligation. Just as today’s store loyalty cards help secure customers, credit and connection secured customer loyalty in the 1800s, but often at the price of unpaid debts and deferred payments.

The diaries of painter Benjamin Robert Haydon (1786-1846) reveal debt as both a dangerous degrading source of obligation, and as an unavoidable part of economic exchange. Plagued by debts of several thousand pounds by the early 1820s, seven times arrested and four times imprisoned for his unpaid debts, Haydon was eventually driven to suicide in 1846 by financial ruin and manic depression.

Solvent and insolvent consumers enjoyed extended billing cycles and generous, flexible credit terms. Connection, the retail convention by which tradesmen extended long credit to middle and upper class consumers in return for loyalty, allowed Haydon to extract goods and loans from creditors he was already substantially in debt to.

Haydon’s landlord, Newton, was one such creditor, and repeatedly deferred rent collection. Gift exchange worked together with loans and cash payments to enmesh them in mutual obligations. As a token of these ties when Haydon’s son was born in 1835, he named the child Newton after his most sympathetic creditor.

Today, consumers often reach for the plastic when paying for Christmas presents, and many people feel under intense pressure to buy over the festive period. However, in Victorian times the festive period was typically the time for settling accrued bills. ‘The practice of annual billing at Christmas encapsulates many of the characteristics of consumer credit in [the Victorian period]. For personas of any standing in the local community, annual payment for items purchased at intervals on account was a standard practice.’

Dr Margot Finn, from the University of Warwick, said, “It is a myth that the British are traditionally a nation of stable savers. Despite the impending shake up of consumer credit laws the current credit landscape bears some resemblance to the past. Long before credit cards became commonplace, under the ‘law of necessaries’ eighteenth century women could pledge their husband’s credit and run up debts in their husband’s name. Also, diaries make reference to debt collecting ‘money hunting’ expeditions by Victorian tradesmen on foot, horseback and by train to extract overdue payments, just as today’s ‘loan sharks’ make home visits.”

Contacts: Dr Margot Finn, University of Warwick, Tel: 02476 522948/ 01865 553254 or Jenny Murray, Communications Office, University of Warwick, Email: jennifer.murray@warwick.ac.uk Tel: 02476 574255/ 07876 217740 The Character of Credit: Personal Debt in English Culture, 1740-1914, is published by Cambridge University Press, 2003.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.
Wednesday January 7, 2004 There's a lively discussion about writing description here:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/matociquala/226124.html. And it's gotten me to thinking about my difficulties in describing the world as I "see" it.

My main sensory mode is haptic (kinesthesia/touch). There isn't nearly as good a standard vocabulary for this as there is for sight or sound.

My synesthesia adds another set of complications. One is that to me, my particular forms of synesthesia are ordinary. This makes it harder for me to examine them closely enough so that I can describe them. And for fiction, there's the problem of conveying to readers that something which is outside their experience is ordinary for the viewpoint character. I've just begun to tentatively use synesthesia.

Crystallization: My main problem here is a failure of nerve. And the best way to get past that is to work at writing down what I see/hear/feel.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Wednesday January 7, 2004. I woke up feeling good (not just better than I had been). And that lasted all through the day.

The relatively warm weather (the predicted high was 10F) helped.

Hey, there's colder weather in Hawaii: Latest Forecast for Mauna Kea Observatories
5 PM HST Wednesday 07 January (0300 UTC Thursday 8 January) 2004
Summary of Key Meteorological Variables
Summit temperatures will be near -0.5 C tonight and -1.5 C tomorrow morning. Precipitable water is expected to drop to 0.75 mm for the night. Winds will be from the WNW at 35 to 50 mph. http://kiloaoloa.soest.hawaii.edu/forecast/mko/index.cgi

To Pillsbury House, where I did data entry for the Community Barter Network.

____________________________________
C18th child-rearing theories http://www.livejournal.com/users/dsgood/45102.html
oursin
2004-01-07
There was a man called Thomas Day (about whom I thought there had been a fairly recent biography, but can't find anything on Amazon) who was a disciple of Rousseau and adopted an orphan girl (actually I think there may have been two) to bring up to become in due course the perfect rational wife, along the lines advocated by Rousseau. Disastrous failure. I think he may have been on the peripheries of the Godwin circle.
Godwin is possibly best known (apart from fathering Frankenstein's creator) for marrying the pioneer feminist Mary Wollstoncraft.

dsgood
2004-01-07
From http://www.brycchancarey.com/abolition/day.htm

For most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Thomas Day was remembered only as the author of Sandford and Merton, one of the earliest novels intentionally written for children, but during his lifetime he was equally known as a philanthropist, poet, and political essayist. Although he died early on in the abolition campaign, he nonetheless contributed to it three important texts, including the first poem to directly attack slavery.

Day was born in London and as a child was said to have been exceptionally kind to animals, and generous to the poor. As a student at Oxford University, he came under the influence of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He became close friends with Richard Lovell Edgeworth (the father of Maria Edgeworth) who shared his enthusiasm for Rousseau's educational theories, and in a famous and eccentric experiment, Day decided to educate two orphan girls on Rousseau's principles in the hope that one of them would make him a suitable wife. Predictably, the experiment failed. The girls, by now young women, were given allowances to enable them to live a comfortable existance [sic]. One of the two later married Day's friend John Bicknell.

http://womenshistory.about.com/blrous1.htm
Rousseau
On the Education and Duties of Women:

"The education of women should always be relative to that of men. To please, to be useful to us, to make us love and esteem them, to educate us when young, to take care of us when grown up, to advise, to console us, to render our lives easy and agreeable; these are the duties of women at all times, and what they should be taught in their infancy."

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Tuesday January 6, 2004. Two characters who were placeholders in "The Caterpillar on the Leaf" now have personalities. One is over the top ('"Die, bitch," Guernsey said in a friendly tone'), and I'll have to figure out how much of that is an act.

Meanwhile, I'm starting something else with "setting as a character". Tentatively titled "Dreams Do Kill Themselves".

_______________________________________________
http://www.shortnews.com
'Shortnews is a news platform and community. Its philosophy is to allow a large amount of news to be absorbed in a short time. We limit ourselves to just the core facts in our news. So you don’t have to fight through pages of text to find what you want.

'......

'At Shortnews we believe anyone with internet access can be a reporter irrespective of origin, race or religion. At the moment this is 150 million people worldwide.' [I'm skeptical about them having that many subscribers; I'd have expected to hear sooner about an online community that large. But it's possible.]

'Shortnews has no editors who tell you what to write, or who decide what is important or "in" or "out". At Shortnews you get the information you want – without compromise. What topics are popular are not decided by one empowered individual, but by an entire community using that most powerful and terrible directional weapon – the mouse button.

'At ShortNews it is not up to the mercy of one editor whether you can say your opinion. You also don't have to wait weeks on end to have your reader's letter published. At ShortNews, every opinion is welcome and is immediately published without censorship. Every message can immediately be marked with a comment by you, which is directly visible to everyone else.'

They're not quite as open as they make it sound here. The FAQ explains such things as the difference between research and plagiarism, and the difference between news and advertising.

It's an interesting experiment. And it's something I wouldn't have thought of. I wonder what else is out there on the Web which nobody has predicted?

I also wonder why a German web-hosting company is running a site entirely in English.

email Dan Goodman
All comments assumed to be for publication, unless I'm told otherwise.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?