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Odds and Ends, part 2

Survey of ebook devices and software.

Openberg is an open ebook reader. Jon Noring says that this doesn’t overlap with the openreader project they’re working on. The more, the merrier.

Awful college courses:

# English 202: A Painstaking Review of Every Mediocre Essay Published by The Bitter, Self-Obsessed Professor
# English 291b: Language Disorders and the Litertitary Tradision: Gardate Sernimar
# Philosophy 117: Pretending to Care About Kant
# Human Sexuality 303: Oedipus or Lolita: Men Can’t Win

(there are more lists from the dropdown list on the top right).

Scott Esposito, in celebration of Love-slave day (I.e., Valentine’s Day), reprints several notable love/hate poems, including the remarkable ” Ballad of the Lonely Masturbator by Anne Sexton”. (As an aside, let me point out that Scott has been blogging away at a furious pace for the last 3 weeks–thanks, Scott!)

American Buddha has reproduced a photography book of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photos. It’s not work-safe, though I can’t recall there being any hardcore stuff in the photographs. These photographs are just gorgeous.

David Pogue, technology columnist for the New York Times has been maintaining a weblog. That’s good, because I’m sick of his posts getting locked in the newspaper archives.

Tony Judt on Europe v. America.

The US contains just 5 percent of the world’s population (and falling), but it is responsible for 25 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas output per annum. Each year our atmosphere has to absorb twenty metric tons of carbon dioxide for every American man, woman, and child; but just nine tons for every European. And the American share continues to grow, even as the Bush administra-tion blocks any international action on pollution or global warming. The real weapons of mass destruction, in Garton Ash’s view, are global poverty and incipient environmental catastrophe. On these genuine threats to our common civilization, the European Union has a strikingly superior record. Contemporary American pundits, the “terribles simplificateurs” who babble glibly of Mars and Venus or Clashing Civilizations, attract Garton Ash’s amused disdain. But on the insouciant indifference of the present incumbent of the White House he is utterly unforgiving: “It was said of ancient Rome that the emperor Nero fiddled while the city burned. In the new Rome, the president fiddled while the Earth burned.”

Also a nice footnote in the same article:

The US television network that recently broadcast a passing glimpse at Janet Jackson’s anatomy was excoriated for its wanton lapse of taste; but the avalanche of accompanying commercials for products designed to enhance male potency passed quite without comment. The female breast, it seems, can rot a nation’s moral core; but malfunctioning penises are wholesome family fare.

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