Stargate Monuments


Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus

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Stargate Monuments

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Some good news for Galveston and UTMB: UT Medical Branch rehiring after layoffs.


Unrelated, here's an interesting Clay Shirky link passed on by Rick Klaw: Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable:
Back in 1993, the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain began investigating piracy of Dave Barry’s popular column, which was published by the Miami Herald and syndicated widely. In the course of tracking down the sources of unlicensed distribution, they found many things, including the copying of his column to on usenet; a 2000-person strong mailing list also reading pirated versions; and a teenager in the Midwest who was doing some of the copying himself, because he loved Barry’s work so much he wanted everybody to be able to read it.

One of the people I was hanging around with online back then was Gordy Thompson, who managed internet services at the New York Times. I remember Thompson saying something to the effect of "When a 14 year old kid can blow up your business in his spare time, not because he hates you but because he loves you, then you got a problem."


We've had thick ground fog for the past two mornings now. Around 7:30 am today it was so thick I could barely see the neighbor's house. Troyce said he was going outside to search the driveway for the Newspaper of the Baskervilles.

I haven't been doing much except being sick. For most of last week I had exactly zero working nostrils. We did clean out two small corners of the garage, so I have more stuff to take to Good Will.

Also, when cleaning out the guest room closet, I finally went through the box of stuff my father gave me after my mother died a few years ago. A lot of it was things she had saved for me, like all the cards my relatives sent her when I was born, a letter she wrote to my sister when she was still in the hospital after having me, a picture of my cousin who was killed in an accident when he was 14. And a bottle with all my baby teeth. I have no idea what to do with that. I guess if I ever disappear and the cops need DNA, they'll come in handy? I have no idea.

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My best friend from high school is a newspaper reporter, for the city beat of a small local daily. Her paper is in a furious struggle with a local blogging site that, daily, copied and pasted every story about the city into its (ad-supported) forum; they could prove that this site was deflecting readers from the paper's (partly ad-supported) own site, and hurting its revenue. The site, oddly, argued that it had no need of the paper and the discussions about the news were pertinent on their own and had no need of the paper's input. Despite the fact that the beginning of every discussion was the published story from the paper.

My friend was injured and had to go out on disability to recover. She was gone four weeks. During that time, no one was able to cover her beat, since she's the one with the sources and the leads. Only a small handful of stories about the city proper were published.
The blogging site nearly shut down: they had nothing to discuss except for conspiracy theories about what had happened to the usual reporter. (Her voicemail message clearly stated her return date, but they are so thoroughly not journalists that not one person called her to find out; they merely bandied about increasingly weird theories.)
So now, at least, they provide a link back to the paper's website when they copy-paste the articles. Baby steps.

She's put her application in to grad school so she can become a teacher. She figures the Internet won't put teaching out of business, yet.

Yeah, I've seen that before, with websites that basically take their entire content from another website, including original articles, etc.

There's always a need for good teachers, too.

It's just... you can't have a business model based on a free ride, because eventually the free ride goes away. Someone has to actually research the dang stories, make the phone calls, write the things. Blogging can't replace journalism entirely; opinions need facts to germinate, or it all just gets silly.
Anyway-- just commenting on the Shirky article.

But yes-- teachers have at least nominal job security even in our changing times, as opposed to print journalists.

Yeah, I think that's absolutely right, especially as far as local city news goes. It's going to be interesting (in the scary sense) to see what happens.

And a bottle with all my baby teeth

Somehow that strikes me as....kinda creepy.

Of course, my mother kept her gallstones from a surgery about 20 years ago, so who am I to talk. I just hope I don't inherit them.

wrt baby-teeth... there's some really, um, interesting jewelry possibilities...

I really need to read more carefully -- I saw that as you cleaned out two small corners of your nose. :->

There were times last week when I dearly wanted to clear out two small corners of my nose. :)

I'm so sorry you've been sick. There's nasty stuff going around.

Random memorabilia is fun to go through, and sometimes sad. there has to be a story idea in the baby teeth. :)

Thanks, fortunately it went away pretty quick.

Saving the baby teeth feels like a very Victorian thing, somehow.

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