9 January 2004: refund profologies
flipsockgrrl @ gmail .com
On this page:
The University of Melbourne is looking for a "Cuckoo/Branch Relief
Assistant". Details from their HR web site, under general staff vacancies.
I know we have possums, rosellas and assorted other wildlife on the campus,
but wasn't previously aware of any cuckoos. Some of the nearby elm trees
have, admittedly, been looking a bit stressed: perhaps they're the ones
needing branch relief.
In the hands of forensic
palynologists like Lynne Milne, pollen can help solve crimes: "Pollen
can help destroy or prove alibis, link a suspect to the scene of a crime,
or link something left at the crime scene to a suspect. It can also help
to determine what country or state drugs, food, merchandise, and antiques
among other things, have come from."
Provoked to laughter by Sneedle Flipsock's 'they shoulda
been words' page, m'colleague Eunice recommends Luciferous
Logolepsy, a collection of over 9000 obscure English words. I'm pretty
good with crosswords but, skirring
through the Luciferous
site, I now feel a bit of a sciolist.
Yippee! Lots of new words to play with! (Thanks, Eunice)
Sneedle Flipsock subscriber Jill points us to another excellent speech by a John Howard, this one delivered at the launch of "Australia Shamed: A List of Dissenters," a register of signatures of people opposed to the Federal Government's harsh policies towards people seeking asylum from persecution.
In three months during 2002 the list collected 4200 signatures from Tasmanians in coffee shops, civic centres, council chambers, charities and churches. A companion volume collected signatures from kids under 15 years old.
The books were lodged with the Tasmanian Archives and as an historical
record. The organisers stress that the list "is not a petition. It
is a message to posterity. Through The List our children and our children's
children will be able to see that we did not support the Australian Government's
harsh treatment of asylum seekers." (Thanks, Jill)
Reed S Gaither offers some predictions about the immediate future
of e-learning and multimedia in education, and the aforementioned
Henry Jenkins discusses what
kinds of media literacy education are needed by kids of all ages to
help them cope with this new technological future.
In the last year or so, the US record industry has introduced legal download
services and taken strong legal action against file-sharing. A Pew
Internet research report shows this strategy seems to be having a
short term effect on record industry revenue and consumer behavior. Says
mediawatcher Henry Jenkins: "What we need to be looking at, however,
is whether it may also be having a negative impact on consumer relations
which can come back and haunt the record industry down the line."
In other words, is the RIAA simply pissing people off?
7 January 2004 | top of page
The Online Journalism Review notes that some US news sites have tried to make their content more accessible to people with disabilities. "Editors and designers at the few news sites that have gone out of their way to accommodate the visually impaired report that the effort was neither difficult nor costly. "
Also in OJR recently, a rundown on how free
content is a thing of the past for British newspaper sites and a how-to
checklist for earning
revenue from news.
While their pals write egregious, mendacious fiction for kids, "some
other Creationists are still sticking to the old explanations about how
all these extinct and fossilised species were killed off during the Flood.
I still haven’t figured out how they reconcile this with God’s
commandment that Noah take all the animals with him on the Ark. Maybe
it on the ticket agent."
Lene Hau, Professor of Applied Physics and Professor of Physics at Harvard
University, takes 24
seconds to explain the newish concept of slow light, then summarises
the explanation in seven words.
Edward Tufte reckons a presenter's over-reliance
on Powerpoint can make you understand less information and feel socially
inferior. The software's design and function turns every meeting into
a sales pitch; it "routinely disrupts, dominates, and trivializes
content. Thus PowerPoint presentations too often resemble a school play--very
loud, very slow, and very simple." You can buy Tufte's
28 page essay on Powerpoint, which includes his analysis of an important
NASA presentation on why the space shuttle exploded. Meanwhile, David
Byrne has been making art with Powerpoint. (Thanks, Trevor)
The FBI has asked American police to keep tabs on people
who read almanacs. What worries Teresa Nielsen Hayden is that the
alert doesn't include "travel guidebooks, high-resolution terrain
maps, architectural guides, government directories, maps of underground
water, power, and transit systems, lists of major industrial sites, the
Yellow Pages for pete’s sake, or any of the other references that
might reasonably be used..." to plan terrorist attacks.
To be thorough, we really should impose a moratorium on two punctuation
marks as well. Jennifer Jacobson reckons "Some publishers and scholars
want to purge
the colon from book titles; the only thing that's worse: semicolons."
'The Rambler' asked Heather 'Angry Little Rabbit' Havrilesky how he could
a better writer. His letter is long and self-indulgent. Her answer
is long, amusing, direct, sincere and helpful. Good advice for bloggers,
diarists, wannabe columnists and op-ed authors, and anyone else with an
interest in writing. Just be careful that you don't succumb to the varieties
of insanity known to affect writers.
Any John Howards who would like to reiterate this
apology should apply for copyright permission, which will be granted
immediately. It's a beautiful piece of writing by a talented man, and
every word is both sincere and true. (joyfully rediscovered via Geoff
Oakley's home page, via Debbie)
Globes and circles seem ubiquitous in corporate logos and logotypes. Marketers love to do research projects that quantify their customers' recognition of logos, because it helps justify spending money on advertising and promotional activities.
A low-cost alternative to such market research is this nifty little exercise,
in which an Austrian design company asked a bunch of people to draw
12 well-known logos from memory. Most participants seemed to remember
that Apple's logo is an apple, perhaps because of the obvious connection
between the idea, the word and the company's name. The variety of attempts
at the more abstract Toyota
logo suggests that perhaps a logo isn't really all that important to your
organisation's public image... (via BoingBoing.net)
From Boingboing.net this week, how to transfer
music from vinyl to MP3 and a computer
game's disclaimer that indemnifies Hasbro in the event that a foreign
government disbands the Internet.
17 Dec: the
sock has flipped
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