Odds and Ends

How to get more bicyclists on the road: make them more friendly to female cyclists.

Ferdinand Bardamu on the provincialism of American literature:

The acquisition of publishing houses by larger media corporations has worked to kill innovation and make everything safe and marketable. Novelists themselves have to remain safe and marketable if they want to be published. There’s no room for the characters of yesteryear who made writing interesting. If the womanizing spendthrift Lord Byron was writing today, for instance, no editor would touch him. Truly talented writers who upset popular shibboleths such as Maddox and Tucker Max had to go the indie route in order to get their books published at all. The Nobel literature prize judge Horace Engdahl accurately described [in a London Telegraph article … link apparently lost] American writers as too "insular" and "isolated," and the controversy-free nature of modern publishing has done its best to ensure this.

How not to build a sidewalk.

Sam Greenspun on Strange romance genres: medical, Nascar, Viking, Mail Order Bride, time travel. Brendon Kelley talks about medical romance:

There was a marked preponderance of brilliant, tall, muscular, male doctors with chiselled features, working in emergency medicine; they were commonly of Mediterranean origin and had personal tragedies in their pasts. Female doctors and nurses tended to be skilled, beautiful, and determined, but still compassionate; many had overcome substantial personal and professional obstacles in their lives. Protagonists of both sexes had frequently neglected their personal lives to care better for their patients, many of whom had life-threatening illnesses from which they nonetheless managed to recover.

These novels draw attention to the romantic possibilities of primary care settings and the apparent inevitability of uncontrolled passions in the context of emergency medicine, especially as practiced on aeroplanes. These novels suggest that there is an urgent need to include instruction in the arts of romance in training programmes for doctors and nurses who intend working in these settings.

4 articles on whether the male seduction community is all it’s cracked up to be. Counterproductive attitudes. From the same site: Basic Things No One Told Me about Sex (worksafe, but very explicit).

An article I wrote about the horrors of graduate school still receives a steady stream of comments.

I read an article about the 20 minute video called story of stuff almost a year ago, but I finally got around to watching it. It’s great.

Cabel Sasser describes a funky Japanese restaurant where you never receive what you order.

Pat Garofolo on how David Koch and other billionaires enlist the support of right-wing activists to keep their taxes low.

Pew report on the inadequate way journalists cover the recession:

Three storylines have dominated: efforts to help revive the banking sector, the battle over the stimulus package and the struggles of the U.S. auto industry. Together they accounted for nearly 40% of the economic coverage from February 1 through August 31. Other topics related to the crisis have been covered much less. As an example, all the reporting of retail sales, food prices, the impact of the crisis on Social Security and Medicare, its effect on education and the implications for health care combined accounted for just over 2% of all the economic coverage.

Fully 76% of the datelines on all economic stories were either New York (44%) or metro Washington, D.C. (32%). Only about one-fifth, 21% of the stories, originated in any other city in the U.S. And just 3% were reported from overseas locations.

The New York-D.C. coverage axis was even more evident in the economic storylines that generated the most overall media attention. Fully 90% of stories about the No. 1 economic theme, the troubled financial sector, originated from either New York (50%) or Washington (41%). The numbers were similar when it came to the second-biggest theme, the $787-billion stimulus package, with 83% of the stories datelined New York or Washington

This chart says it all:


By the way, what ever happened to global warming? Permafrost in Greenland?

Other differences in media coverage:

  • Newspaper front pages stood out for devoting the most attention to the economy, offering more localized coverage, giving voice to a more diverse range of sources and producing a higher level of enterprise reporting than other media sectors.
  • The network evening newscasts distinguished themselves by focusing on the recession’s impact on the lives of average Americans, with all three major commercial networks airing regular features on the subject.
  • Cable television and talk radio, two platforms that rely more than others on ideologically driven debate, focused more on the Beltway-based political aspects of the economy, such as the stimulus package battle. And in both sectors, overall coverage of the economy plunged dramatically when the story became less Washington-centric.

By the way, Paul Solman’s Business Desk blog stands out as one of the better places for coverage about the recession.

Public Citizen sues Texas to enforce its Clean Air legislation.  Actually the comments from readers (rude and ill-informed as they are) speak a lot about the attitudes that Texans have about global warming.

John McFarlane reports that Texas just started a massive wind farm (reported the biggest in the world).  From the great Green Tech blog on cnet, I see this article by Candace Lombardi (with a little more informed comments).






One response to “Odds and Ends”

  1. Sid Burgess Avatar

    Hey thanks for that linkup. Glad you enjoyed that post.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.