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Blog Balm

I'll be the first to say, I think the whole "Chicken Soup for the _____'s Soul" gimmick got very tired, fast. The other day I was at the grocery store and saw that they have Chicken-Soup-for-the-Soul-inspired pet food. But today I was trying to describe Jo(e) to someone. I said, "She has four kids, she's an academic, and she's really compassionate. I get a soothing feeling reading her blog." Her blog is, I have to say, rather chicken soup-y (in a good way!). As are Dale's, Jodi's, Heather's, and Zoot's. What about you all? What blogs are chicken soup for you?


Has all the computer use finally caught up with me? All day yesterday, and off and on the day before that, I've had this pain in my right forearm. Could it be repetitive stress injury? I'm guessing not carpal tunnel because the pain is located mostly around my upper forearm, in the muscles closer to the elbow. Jonathan says I should take a break from the computer for a day or two and read some books instead. As I agree that it's a sensible precaution, I might not be blogging for the next couple of days.

MIT Weblog Survey

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

I recommend that you take the survey, if only to see how it's designed. They ask some good questions in pretty innovative ways. Here's more information on the study.

Congrats, Profgrrrrl!

Congratulations to Profgrrrrl for winning the Technorati competition for the trip to BlogHer. Profgrrrrl won for her entry on How Blogging Has Changed My Life. I know, I should have entered the contest too; I didn't find out about it until the day before the deadline, but still I should have given it a shot. Oh well, I'm glad Profgrrrrl is getting to go. She'll blog about all the sessions, that's for sure.

Another grab bag

Cool! Someone has put photos of my knitting on Wikimedia Commons. On another knitting note, I taught Tiana, daughter of Rachel, to knit last night! I hope I did an okay job.

In the latest issue of Genders, there's an analysis of "Extreme Makeover": Beauty, Desire, and Anxiety: The Economy of Sameness in ABC's Extreme Makeover. Interesting stuff, well worth the read.

There's a special aggregation of bloggers who are posting about iLaw 2005. Not all the posts are about iLaw, but at least it's an attempt to put all the weblogs that might have iLaw notes in one place. Of course, in a perfect world, they'd all use Drupal and create an iLaw 2005 category, and then we could have category-specific feeds. :-) Nevertheless, I'll be reading. I wish I could be there; it looks fascinating.

But if I were at iLaw, I wouldn't get to go to the memorial for Allison Crews this evening. By the way, it now appears as though the cause of death is uncertain, but who knows if "a friend" is a reliable source. I guess we'll know more later.

Around the Web

It's my own little Inside Higher Ed over here. First:

Ulysses is public domain in the U.S. now. Artists and writers can use passages of it freely, create derivative works, etc. Don't miss Logie's post on it.

Arnold Lee, creator of, emailed me to tell me about his short film, Social Security: The Real Connections. I watched it, and while overall, I think his use of shapes, arrows, and animation is a good way to make his argument about Social Security, I don't yet find it to be credible. The whole time I was watching it, I was thinking, where do these numbers come from? It's a problem I have with most new media compositions, to be honest -- and I know this won't be a popular opinion -- but I am still an old fart stickler for full bibliographical citations of all data, especially numbers and statistics. In the ones I've seen, and I'll admit I haven't seen hundreds of them or anything, the sources are not well-documented. I'm going to be very skeptical of any argument that doesn't cite the evidence it uses. I want to know who wrote the sources, what their political advocacy angle is, when the studies were done, and where the sources were published so that I can investigate the research design of the sources, and all that. If Lee puts a bibliography on the site, though, and I find the sources to be credible, I'll be sending the link to everyone I know with my highest recommendation. I know it's difficult to integrate source citations gracefully into multi or new media compositions.

Please go and read New Kid's systematic criticism of an article in the Chronicle on educational technology. My thanks to her for writing it.

Good thread over at Prof. B.'s about childrearing. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Computers and Writing 2005 Link Roundup

For my own and others' reference, links to posts about the 2005 on-site (as opposed to online) Computers and Writing conference.

  • Part 1 and Part 2 of Mike's plans for his presentation
  • Notes from Mike, Charlie, and pictures from Bradley on the Drupal workshop
  • Collin wins the 2005 Best Academic Weblog award and accepts humbly and gracefully
  • Notes from Bradley and Mike on "Politics of Digital Literacy: Cases for Institutional Critique"
  • Notes from Mike on "Copyright Anxiety"
  • Notes from Bradley on "Self Representation and Agency in a Web of Commercialization"
  • Notes from John on Todd Taylor's keynote multimedia presentation, "The End of Composition"
  • Notes from Bradley on "Community Building through Weblogs"
  • Notes from Bradley on "Assessing Students' New Media Projects"
  • Notes from Bradley on "Databases and Collaborative Spaces in First Year Composition
  • Notes from Bradley on "Rhetoric, Writing and Hypertext"
  • Notes from Bradley on "Teaching Visual Literacy"
  • Photos from the conference
  • Fashion commentary from Matt Barton
  • Kim White's notes on the conference

If you blogged the conference and aren't listed, do let me know!

What I've been reading

Prof. B. posted yesterday about the death of feminist activist Allison Crews, who was involved with Radical Cheerleaders, Strap-on, and especially Girl-Mom, a feminist online community for young mothers. I read Girl-Mom periodically about four or five years ago, when it was sometimes linked to from the Ms. boards, but I spent hours yesterday over there, reading the forums and the stories. Three you must read: Outside the Radar, A Mother's Fate, and of course Crews' germinal essay When I Was Garbage. In a feminist-themed composition course with a unit on teen pregnancy, all three of these would be required reading, and while it sounds inappropriate to talk shop in the face of this loss, I only do so because I want to acknowledge Crews' major contribution. To get an idea of how many people she affected, see the comments in the first two posts to her LiveJournal. There are memorials for her taking place in several cities, including Minneapolis. I didn't know her, but I think I might attend anyway.

Books: I finally finished The Picture of Dorian Gray last weekend. Took me a while to pick it up again, and when I did, I read it slowly. I have an intense appreciation for every sentence of Wilde. Although I'm tempted to read The Almond, the next novel on my list is Frances Burney's Evelina. When in my master's program, I took an eighteenth-century literature course, and during the time we were to be reading Evelina, I had a lot of other work to do, so I blew off reading the book and was quiet in class the days we (they) discussed it. For that, I've felt like an idiot loser ever since, so I want to read it now as atonement. Plus, it's an epistolary novel, and I haven't read one of those in a while.

Inside Higher Ed linked to Open Wounds, an essay by Chad of Physician, Heal Thyself. It's a must-read along with the Girl-Mom stories. I'm going to have to read his blog more often.

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