Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dramas and Drama, and a bit of comedy...plus the MPS!

I can't believe I forgot the Monday Photo Shoot! Perhaps it's because I didn't get the alert until TUESDAY...not, wait, that's totally not true, I just completely failed to notice a whole block of email. Chalk it up to my level of distraction and sleep deprivation, then - but I still should have caught it. First time in two years, I think, that Scalzi assigned one and I didn't get it in that night. Well, I'm just gonna shoehorn it in here, and pretend I posted it last night with the rest of the entry. Everything in red is new. Everything in green was posted last night/this morning. The only photo actually taken over the weekend (except what's in previous entries) is the TARDIS towel. The rest are after-the-fact photos showing the results of my activities.

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Show what you did with your Memorial Day Weekend. I figure most of you got some pictures in over the last couple of days, yes?

The sad truth is, this wasn't a big picture taking weekend for me. I forgot to take my camera to church, and other than that I hardly left the house. "Fun in the sun" is probably a good description of many people's Memorial Day in cooler climates, but it's a lot less likely where the high is hovering around 100 degrees. My car registered 105 at lunch today (Tuesday).

This has been a wasted day, if you can call doing pretty much exactly what I wanted at the moment I wanted to do it "wasted." I slept in from my near all-nighter, and then ended up doing a lot of Wikipedia editing while following a few unfolding dramas, only one of them fictional. A Wikipedia admin had taken offense at some postings about him (not by me) on a site I frequent, and overreacted by removing "about two dozens links" to the site from a number of Wikipedia articles. Others put them pack in, he took them back out, and so on. Discussion ensued. At issue was the concept of a so-called "attack site", and what should be done if someone off-Wiki posts the real names of anonymous Wikipedia editors.

Now, I'm not going to tell you the name of the admin or the site that republished his name, which was already easily findable via Google on one of several sites that go out of their way to "out" Wikipedia editors. You can track down this little drama if you care, but for the moment I'm more interested in discussing the principles than the specifics. The admin was angry because a) he was called a troll, and b) his allegedly real name was posted. Therefore the offending blog was an "attack site", and no part of it should be linked to from Wikipedia for any reason. There are a few problems with that premise, however. As one essayist has already pointed out, Wikipedia includes links to sites that say far worse things, if such links are needed to establish claims made in articles about the sites' content. It seems foolish to link to Neo-Nazi sites and yet ban links to a site that on several occasions complained about a specific Wikipedian. This is especially true when the links doesn't go to the offending material.

The anonymity issue is more problematic. Many people use online identities to protect themselves from having their privacy invaded, to discourage stalking, and to spare their employers, family and friends from embarrassment. My life is an open blog, and today I added my real name to my Wikipedia user page, in case there's one person left on Earth who hasn't figured it out yet. But for a Wikipedia administrator who regularly deals with contentious articles and editors, this is not a trivial issue. I gather that off-Wiki stalking and harassment of such people does sometimes happen. But on the other hand, if the information was already readily available online, one more site mentioning the same issue hardly seems like a threat.

Which brings us back to Barbara Bauer. The infamous literary agent, known more for her sensitivity to online criticism than for her professional success in placing books for her clients, recently filed what appears to be a second lawsuit in Federal court, seeking damages for defamation and libel. This time, a jury trial is requested. The fun part was that the
site on which a friend discovered this was a bit on the Web 2.0-friendly side. It offered present search strings regarding the plaintiffs (Bauer and her agency) and each of the many defendants. One option was to search "blawgs", which I thought strangely silly until I realized it was a portmanteau of law+blogs. I don't have anything new to say on the merits of the case itself, but the page about it was kinda interesting.

Putting some clothes in a plastic tub helped
me to find other clothes I forgot I owned.

I sorted through my shoes and threw a bunch away.
This shot should remind you of someone who will be
mad at me if I call her "fictional" again.

The third real-life drama was that I found more of those darn cloth-eating bugs today, in new and unexpected places. The good news is that I got some clothes stored away in plastic tubs. We'll see if that helps. One of the towels I'm trying to save from the bugs is my 20-year-old TARDIS towel. I've hung it up in my office for now.

Linda tells me that is really isn't the way to handle the situation. Other people tell me to bring in an exterminator (no, not a Dalek), but there are reasons we wont be doing that. I'm sending Linda's suggestions on to John, and we'll probably follow them. One thing, though: all those irreplaceable old clothes that John found eaten to shreds a month ago were in a cedar chest to prevent this very problem.

On the novel-writing front, I've come to suspect that I already wrote the scene I'm trying to write, about four chapters deeper in the book. I need to decide now whether to cut the earlier scene, or do something else with the character there.

John Smith's A Journal of Impossible Things

And yes, I watched Doctor Who, albeit not as much as you may expect. One thing I especially enjoyed in Saturday's Doctor Who episode was John Smith's dream diary, A Journal of Impossible Things. People have done screen grabs of each page seen on screen, and done their best to transcribe the scribblings on it. A sample:

Page 14:
Drawing of Rose, titled "Girl"
To the right of the drawing, it says "in my dreams, she keeps walking away I see her in my dreams".
To the left: "She is my ... In my dreams I keep asking a girl where to find me(?) and she is dressed in a most unmodest way. She will not answer me and she keeps walking away"

Oh! And while researching Peggy Cass this afternoon, I found this gem:

The Time God Appeared on "To Tell The Truth"

Oh, I'm so gullible. But it's from a satirist who has written for Lily Tomlin and Saturday Night Live.


1 comment:

Wil said...

"One thing, though: all those irreplaceable old clothes that John found eaten to shreds a month ago were in a cedar chest to prevent this very problem."

Cedar closets, chests, etc are useless at repelling moths unless rubbed down at least annually with cedar oil. They are totally useless, except as a sealed container, against other insects.

Cedar oil is non-toxic, although it can be a skin irritant in highly refined concentrations, so apply with a disposable brush and gloves in a well-ventilated area.

Do contact local representatives of the large exterminating chains for advice on your particular problem. Entomologists at University of Arizona may be of some assistance, too.