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Friday, December 31, 2004

Earth needs editors

Think I might throwup

YMCA flyer

Oh, look. You can workout at the YMCA. After you dropoff the dry cleaning and before you pickup the kids, you can stopby the Y, puton your sweats and setup your yoga mat.

Before you printup an advertisement and mailout a few thousand copies, thinkabout whether you should lookover the copy for errors, lookup any words you’re unsure of and cleanup any mistakes.


Sightings

I’d rather buy from … A.J. ?

A.J. Richard of P.C. Richard Fame Dead at 95

Obviously, “A.J. Richard” was no kind of name for an appliance store. But P.C. Richard … now, that’s a name.


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Photos

Twisted metal

One from the archives:

twisted metal

This was on the beach in Capitola. I think it’s what was left of someone’s fence after it fell down the cliff and got battered by the ocean for a while.


Friday, December 24, 2004

Site news

Geegaws galore

There are a number of things I’ve wanted to add to the site for some time now, but I’ve lacked the free time to put them all together. With a hellish semester behind me, I now have the leisure to geek out on code for a while. So here’s the fruit of my labor:

New, improved comments

The quality of the comments is really up to you, but the forum is improved a little. There are timestamps on the entries now, just like in the big city. And threaded comments are allowed, so you’re free to get all up in the grills of the people before you.

Categories

Again, just like a regular blog, this one is now tagged with categories, allowing you to look at just the posts with links, for instance, or with photos. You can also see the entries with recent comments. There’s a list of categories down there on the left.

Now playing

Further down that column, if I’m listening to music on the ’puter, you’ll see the song that’s playing, along with the artist and album. (If nothing’s playing, the area will be blank, and that link won’t work.)

Why? Because I can. And because I love the abuse of technology involved in getting my musical choices posted to the web every two minutes. It feels like the internet equivalent of using cell phones to locate friends in a crowded bar. All this technology, and what do we do with it? Make up problems to solve! Hooray!


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Links

Macintosh: The Campagnolo of computers

There’s a blog I enjoy called The Cult of Mac, and the title pretty much says it all. A great post there the other day discussed a Bicycling magazine article on the legions of people loyal to Campagnolo components.

The parallels between Mac addicts and Campy cultists are striking. Both pay a premium for well-designed, visually appealing products, often featuring unfamiliar technology that later becomes standard. Both are proud minorities, giving the collective finger to companies with a virtual monopoly in the field (Shimano, in case you haven’t heard, is the Microsoft of bicycle components). And both groups include extremists that take things a little too far. But I’ve said enough; read the story.


Monday, December 13, 2004

Site news

Speak to me

As much as I enjoy working on this site, it’s a pretty thankless job most of the time, owing to the fact that it’s a pretty one-sided conversation I have with my visitors. There used to be a lot more e-mail links all over the site, but nobody ever used them. Until recently, in fact, I had never heard from anyone that I didn’t already know.

Lately, I’ve definitely heard from more folks out there, as the president would say — the Danesch family of Hungary, for instance, and a Frank Allison fan somewhere. So I’m all the more inspired to open up a new channel of communication, and make this blog a two-way street. Henceforth and retroactively, all the posts will end with a link to see comments and a link to make them, which is pretty much the same place. What I’m saying is, talk back. Give me some input. I’m eager to hear from you.

There aren’t a lot of controls imposed on the posting, because I’m trusting my fellow man not to be a jackass. There’s no doubt in my mind that the comments will soon be overrun with ads for discount drugs, but until then, have fun.


Friday, December 10, 2004

Earth needs editors

Crappy college textbooks: Just one more today

Another winner from Dye’s Politics in America.

In order to appreciate this one, you have to know that Congress meets in the Capitol building, and what the Capitol looks like. It would also be helpful if you could recognize the White House. Apparently those things are not common knowledge among the people cranking out political science texts at Prentice-Hall’s Pearson Education division.

mislabeled White House

Duh!


Earth needs editors

Crappy college textbooks: Not an isolated incident

Here’s another gem from Politics in America, Fifth Edition, basic version, by Thomas R. Dye. In addition to some truly horrible writing, this book has the kind of mistakes that make you wonder where the editors have been living for the last 20 years.

Al Gore, Republican

(In case you’ve been hiding out with the editors, Al Gore is not a Republican. He is a Martian.)

They get extra points for leaving out a needed comma, making it sound as if New Hampshire had never hosted a Republican primary before.

Duh.


Earth needs editors

College textbooks: As crappy as they are expensive

If you haven’t been to college in a while, you might be surprised to learn that the average new textbook costs more than $100, meaning the average student spends almost $900 a year on books.

What do you get for your money? Inevitably, you get a CD-ROM and access to some online repository of worthless video clips. You’re also likely to get a new annual revision, hastily cobbled together from last year’s book, full of sloppy errors and disagreements between the text and the index.

Sadly, I’ve come to expect shoddy editing in my slick $110 textbooks, but every now and then, I see the kind of error that every single person involved in the book’s production should have noticed. Today’s example comes from Shirley Biagi’s Media/Impact: An Introduction to Mass Media, Seventh Edition. It’s published by Thomson/Wadsworth, a leader in the field of costly, crappy textbooks.

9-11-03 attacks?

Duh.