Friday, April 18, 2008

delightful things happen

I just (last night) finished reading Kelly Link's Stranger Things Happen, and, having fallen quite a bit in love with it, was thinking about ordering another of her books today, and investigating Small Beer Press a little further.

I hadn't gotten around to it yet when I found this link (on bookslut) to a free download of a whole book from Small Beer Press. Nicely timed, magic internets.

Also, it turns out you can download the Kelly Link book, too. And you should. Because it's excellent.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Yet another reason to love xkcd.

Found this on Feministe this morning, which is a lovely example of the way that all my favorite corners of the internet connect.

While reading through the post, I kept trying to think of major moneymaking films coming out in the next year that might reinforce or undermine the statistics. The only one I could think of off the top of my head (and I admit, I don't really follow mainstream movies) is the Sex and the City movie. And while I'm not really a fan of the show, it did make me pause and consider the fact that (despite its many, many flaws), it is pretty damn cool that a show primarily about the friendship between women was so successful and has spawned one of the year's most anticipated movies.

I'd like to think it's progress, but I'll wait to pass judgment until the thing is out. After all, there's probably still time for Hollywood to find a male lead to shoehorn into top billing.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

stop word

Governmental use of misleading language to obfuscate the available information isn't really news any more, I suppose. Still, this breaks my heart. When a search for "abortion" in a government-funded database devoted to information about reproductive health returns no results, something is wrong. And my problem here is not just the moral one, though that's, needless to say, large. It's also a problem of efficiency and design. They haven't removed the information, presumably in order to avoid being accused of censorship. But they have made it much, much harder to find.

Sure, you can search for "unwanted pregnancy" or, (as the representative from the database suggests) "Fertility Control, Postconception," but these are not the terms people use. A good search engine is responsive to both vernacular and specialized terms, providing results that allow the user to learn the more specialized terms as their research progresses. Now, to use POPLINE, you have to know in advance.

Turning to their handy "Keyword Guide" won't help you either, because Abortion, Abortion Law, and Abortion Rate are all still misleadingly listed as keywords.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

his name is my name, too.

The other day, one of my co-workers asked me to forge her husband's signature on a banking document. After all, he's all the way across town, and she'd do it, but my writing is slantier.

This is better.