random quotes ... to amuse, inspire, enrage:
  We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.

tagged: militarism, religion, Christianity, colonialism
  —Ann Coulter

Archive for February, 2008

friday nights are so exciting!

Friday, February 29th, 2008

open source install fest at Bay Area schools, Sat March 1 (linked at badgerbag) Liz Henry, Annoyingly sexist framing of Google VP Marissa Mayer Heather Morrison, No to author’s rights? Let your librarian know!, Poetic Economics (link from open access news) Jonathan Eisen, Editorial: PLoS Biology 2.0, 6(2): e48 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060048 (2008) – a moving essay […]

specter undermining open access

Friday, February 29th, 2008

good lord, what is wrong with arlen specter?

seed vault now open

Friday, February 29th, 2008

The seed vault I wrote about last year has opened, ahead of schedule. (NYT 2/26) Bent Skovmand would be proud.

gender and politics

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

My partner and I agree on one thing about the Democratic race: That sexism has played a major role in the treatment of Hillary Clinton. A friend of ours recently pointed out that if the genders were reversed — if Barack Obama were a woman, with little experience but inspiring rhetoric — Obama-as-woman would never […]

free power in NYC

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Free Power, NYC, Feb. 3, 2008.Photo by L. Quilter. In NYC earlier this month, I saw someone sitting on a sidewalk with a laptop and other accoutrements. I assumed it was just a convenient (if cold) place to pick up a free wireless signal, but when I got closer I realized that the person was […]

podcasts and papers

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Pharyngula recently dropped an aside on one of my favorite topics, scientists communicating about science to the public: You can also hear the author discussing the methodology and results in a podcast, which I think is a wonderful idea. (Maybe every paper should be accompanied by a 15 minute podcast in which the author explains […]

birth of and intellectual property

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Intellectual property pops up in the strangest places. Browsing The Baby Name Wizard by Laura Wattenberg, for instance, I found this discourse on “stealing” baby names: Not long ago, I heard an expectant mother beside herself with outrage. She had just learned that another woman in her small town had “stolen” her baby name! No, […]

carl malamud, freeing the law

Monday, February 25th, 2008

Go Carl Malamud, freeing the law! The same Carl Malamud that pushed SEC’s EDGAR database to be open has now published 1.8 million United States court opinions. The project was announced in November, and just three months later, it’s online. The opinions are at Malamud’s main website, resource.org, and there is now a special website […]

death by religion, part # in-the-hundreds-of-millions

Monday, February 25th, 2008

I haven’t heard any recent updates about Fawza Falih Muhammad Ali, the woman sentenced to death for witchcraft. A Saudi Arabian court issued the death penalty in 2005 for a woman who allegedly made a man impotent, through witchcraft, among other sins. According to Human Rights Watch, she was beaten until she signed (by placing […]

ethical vs. legal

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Randy Cohen’s NYT “The Ethicist” column took on “ethics” versus “legality” and got it right. The Ethicist, Feb. 24, 2008.

on the sexiness of testosterone and unquestioned assumptions

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Last weekend I was listening to a program on “Testosterone” on “This American Life” (archive) and, predictably, my interest in the topic was equaled or surpassed by my exasperation and annoyance at its handling. “This American Life” is a one-hour show, that aims to do something rather cool: Shed some light on a topic by […]

Recording industry in England

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

John Naughton had a nice column last week in The Observer (at the guardian) trashing the British Phonographic Industry. Triggered by their spokesperson’s statement that “For years, ISPs have built a business on other people’s music,” Naughton awarded it “Fatuous Statement of the Month” and went on to excoriate their arrogance and the legislation they’re […]

craft and copyright

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Friend and colleague Wendy Seltzer has a new column in Craft Magazine about copyright. Copyright has been increasingly applied by crafters and craft-pattern companies to craft patterns, in “shrinkwrap” style licenses. I’m greatly pleased to see some attention to this issue! Thanks, Wendy! Related reading: * idahobeauty writing about the impact of copyright on quilting […]

of penumbral emanations and scholarly trends

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Speaking of penumbra yet again (1, 2) , I had previously blogged about a Circuit split on laws banning sex toys — it was Valentine’s Day, and I was feeling a bit whimsical, so I wished for a “penumbra” that would strike down stupid laws. LawPundit “ha[s] an opinion” on my wish for a penumbra […]

tonight only — utterly total eclipse of the absolutely full moon

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Well, not only tonight, but only tonight for the last several and next few years. An amazing lunar eclipse will be highly visible in North America tonight (Wed., Feb. 20) — 10-11pm Eastern time, a total eclipse of the full moon. Sky and Telescope describes it as “America’s best lunar eclipse in years”. In addition […]

solar systems in spaaaaace

Friday, February 15th, 2008

God I love it when people discover more solar systems and planets. A new technique that permits detection of solar systems that include large outer planets, as opposed to large planets close to their suns, is proving fruitful. The solar system that was discovered includes large outer planets and may have small rocky planets, akin […]

circuit split on sex toys

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Well, the 5th Circuit (Texas) has just said that Texas’s anti-sex-toy-law (memorably mocked by Molly Ivins in this video, available at youtube via pandagon) is unconstitutional, relying heavily on Lawrence (or so I hear, via pharyngula); I haven’t read the case yet). This looks like a pretty clear Circuit split with the 11th Circuit (Georgia, […]

tentative toe blogging: Harvard approves open access

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

I’ll be watching Harvard’s A&S faculty vote today to see if they approve setting up a library-run faculty publications open access repository. (A proposal, I noted to my partner, that I first saw some 15 years ago in the library community.) The NYT covered the proposal. For-profit scholarly publishers have of course been complaining vociferously […]


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