Friday, July 29, 2011

Quote of the Day

"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."

Posted by: abb3w | July 27, 2011 10:17 AM

 

Comment posted on this article.

 

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hangin’ Low - Daily Squee - Cute Baby Animals

SF Gateway

Gollancz is developing the SF Gateway:

Gollancz, the SF and Fantasy imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, announces the
launch of the world’s largest digital SFF library, the SF Gateway, which will make
thousands of out-of-print titles by classic genre authors available as eBooks.
Building on the remarkable success of Gollancz’s Masterworks series, the SF Gateway
will launch this Autumn with more than a thousand titles by close to a hundred authors.
It will build to 3,000 titles by the end of 2012, and 5,000 or more by 2014.

No clue as to pricing.  See the press release for more details and list of participating authors.

 

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Humor: 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Contest Winners

The Bulwer-Lytton contest asks for submissions for the first sentence of the worst novel never written.

 

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Damn You Autocorrect (NSFW)

I don't have an iPhone so have not experienced its - er, quirky - autocorrect feature.  Here is a collection of the top 15 funniest text conversations that have been totally given new meaning.  Warning - DEFINITELY includes language Not Safe for Work (NSFW).

 

 

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Doctor Who: Books are the Best Weapons

Quotation from Doctor Who:

Doctor_who_books
Ideas cause more change than most other weapons...

 

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Friday, July 22, 2011

James Lee Burke on Librarians

He's an author I keep meaning to get to, but haven't yet, though this quote makes me more inclined to read him:

"So where do you go to find a researcher who is intelligent, imaginative, skilled in the use of computers, devoted to discovering the truth, and knowledgeable about science, technology, history and literature, and who usually works for dirt and gets credit for nothing?

After lunch I drove down to the city library on Main and asked the reference librarian..."

 

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Dealing with Religions on Their Own Terms

Catherine Breyer here makes the excellent point that you can't meaningfully judge one religion using the beliefs of another.  I would add that not only do people think their beliefs are the right ones, but judge their own religion to be rational while others are irrational, and, in large part, that is because they have grown up with those beliefs and they are familiar.

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Record Number of Laws on Reproductive Rights This Year

The Guttmacher Institute is a think tank that works on reproductive rights issues.  Here's their article on the record number of laws, most restricting abortions one way or another, that have been passed by Republican-dominated state legislatures this year.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book Review: Frost Moon

Title Frost Moon (Skindancer, Book 1)
Author Anthony Francis
Tags series, paranormal, atlanta, dakota frost, tattoos, dark fantasy, vampires, shapeshifters 

Rating ****

I will be upfront and say that I read this book because my department is hosting a book talk/signing with the author at the Georgia Tech Library on Sept. 1st. So if I didn't like the book I was going to pretend I did until the program is over.

Happily, there is no need for pretense. Frost Moon is an excellent first novel centering on Dakota Frost, a tattoo artist who creates magical tattoos with herself as her best canvas. Her tattoos move, store and release magical energy, and can be transferred from herself to someone else. She works eith a graphomancer who can determine if a design for a magical tattoo is safe and effective.

Dakota gets called in to help the police and a federal agent. They show her a tattoo that has been cut from a living body that was then murdered, in hopes she could recognize the artist. So far the killer has killed 12 in different cities, and Dakota and her customers are possible targets for the killer. Dakota is also having her graphomancer evaluate a Nazi design that a werewolf wants in hopes it will better control his beast.

The plot is overall good though there were a few minor points that confused me. I've read a lot in the paranormal genre, enough to be oversaturated and pulling back from reading much more of it. There are only so many vampires and shspeshifters one can tolerate. Francis, however, has come up with a heroine whose unique talent drives the plot, rather like Sookie Stackhouse's telepathy in Charlaine Harris's series. Dakota is an excellent character, and since she is the narrator she is more fully realized than the other characters, of whom there are many, from the almost blind graphomancer Jinx to Dakota's ex-girlfriend Savannah, vampire queen, to federal agent Philip, and more. The author is particularly good at showing the vulnerabilities in even strong characters. Wulf the werewolf wants to be in better control so as to not hurt people or be so alone. Cinammon, the teenage weretiger, is all vulnerability and grows on both Dakota and the reader. Francis also uses the city of Atlanta very well, as events happen in lots of noted city landmarks. Buckhead is the ritzier part of town and becomes Lord Buckhead, a werestag who is the city's protector.

Altogether a recommended first novel and first in a series. The second book should be out by September 2011.

 

Publication date

 

2010
Publication Bell Bridge Books (2010), Paperback, 284 pages
ISBN 0984325689 / 9780984325689

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Monday, July 11, 2011

How Morals Change

Interesting post from Ed Brayton as to how a society's definitions of morality change over time.

 

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Mexican Immigration Way Down

For a variety of reasons, illegal immigration to the U.S. from Mexico is down now to very low numbers.

 

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Heart of American Ideals

A post like this is why I like Ed Brayton so much.  He talks about the Declaration of Independence and the ideals it espoused - liberty, equality, and justice, and how these are what he pledges allegiance to.  I agreee, and appreciate how much I have learned about all three from his blog.

 

 

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Humor: Onion: Kansas Outlaws Evolution

No more species adaptations for Kansas, you betcha!

 

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Ineffectiveness of Abstinence Only Sex Ed

According to this report, which analyzed numerous studies of abstinence only and abstinence only plus (programs which teach abstinence is the only sure prevention of pregnancy and STIs, but does teach about contraceptions as well), shows that abstinence only programs not only do not delay age of first sexual contact or number of sexual partners, but has a negative impact on the use of condoms for prevention.  Abstinence plus programs fared better.

 

 

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Analysis of Bigotry

Ed Brayton does a great job of showing the layers of bigotry - against any group, though here specifically talking about anti-gay bigotry - and by what process the culture changes to acceptance.

 

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