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Showing posts from April, 2014

No, I Won't Shut Up About It...

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Yes, I'm writing about the end of net neutrality. Again.

I'm directing your attention today to a few different issues. One is the subject of a recent article from U.S. News: Killing Net Neutrality Kills the Dreams of Young Entrepreneurs. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: net neutrality is vital for people running their own small businesses. Big places - WalMart, Amazon, Apple, Hitachi - can afford to pay big money for special care. They'll pay the ISPs top dollar so that you'll find them - and only them. Small businesses - particularly startups and independent artists - can't afford to spend that kind of money, so their accessibility will be severely limited. They will not be able to compete, at all. And that means we, the consumers, lose out on some awesome opportunities.

I'll also mention again that the end of net neutrality means terrible things for gamingeducationartists, and the poor. As Cory Doctorow's article puts it, Gutting Ne…

Net Neutrality Scheduled for Execution

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That seems overly dramatic, doesn't it?

It isn't.

I have written on net neutrality before, and if you aren't sure what it is or why you should care, go read my post.

Got it? Great. In a nutshell, net neutrality protects our rights to intellectual freedom and information access; if the FCC ends net neutrality (as it currently intends to do), then these rights - your rights - become commodities, for Comcast, Cox, and other ISPs to buy, sell, and profit from.

If you do nothing else today, contact Chairman Tom Wheeler and the rest of the FCC and let them know how much those rights mean to you.



Links!
I posted a new book review. Go look.Visiting libraries makes us as happy as a £1,359 pay rise: (That's about $2,000.) Wow! I'd like to see a matching U.S. study.A friend turned me on to Neil and Heather Simone's artwork recently. I love it! Neil's work is quiet, gorgeous surrealism. Heather's work is bright, simple, and beautiful. Speaking of great art, Warhol w…

Happy 450th Birthday, Shakespeare!

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It's Shakespeare's 450th birthday! I don't know why there's no Google Doodle for this momentous occasion, but - there you have it. Or, rather, you don't. Because there's not one.

If you don't know who Shakespeare is, how exactly did you pull that one off? Anyway, you can check out his biography and/or his bibliography. You can also check out these 10 things you didn't know about Shakespeare and contemplate 13 everyday phrases that actually came from Shakespeare. In much more recent news, we may have discovered Shakespeare's personal dictionary - how cool is that? For a better look at it, check out Shakespeare's Beehive. Today is also, er, that anniversary of his death, at 52 years old.

You can also take a quiz to see which Shakespearean hero - or heroine - you are.  (I got Beatrice. I'm not surprised.)

In addition, tonight is World Book Night! If I could, I would give you all a book. I can't. Sorry. But I can link you to Shakespeare'…

Happy Earth Day!

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Today is Earth Day! If you don't do anything else today to celebrate, you should at least check out the history and see what's going on across the world. And don't forget to check out the Google Doodle - it's really cute. Also, check out some ways you can celebrate Earth Day everyday!

I completely forgot about Earth Day, of course. But I have been going flower-crazy the last few days. I've planted hydrangeas (and they've perked up just fine, thank you). I've also gotten a sprig of bay leaf and a rose cutting, and I'm trying to get them to root. I have high hopes for the bay, anyway.

I've been very concerned about bees for a long time, now, and I'm doing my part, if only accidentally. Turns out my candy corn vine is very attractive for bees! Hooray! If you're planing anything today, maybe plant some bee-friendly flowers, as well! Heck, if you can, go all out and make a bee-friendly garden!




Just Links!

Links!

A fascinating bit of book history: How Paperbacks Transformed the Way Americans ReadHappy birthday, Charlotte Bronte! If you haven't read Jane Eyre, go do that. The Google Doodle (available only through the U.K., I guess?) is really nice, too!Happy birthday, as well, to Queen Elizabeth II! I...I can't help it, I'm an Anglophile...Looking for something to read? Check out Calibre's latest open book releases!Historic American Newspapers Available via Library of Congress Website. Nice resource!Speaking of resources: Water From Fresh Air!Turns out, it's really, really hard to study cat intelligence: What Are Cats Thinking? A large part of it, seriously, is that dogs are tuned in to humans - they get us. Cats - well, no, cats have other (better?) things to think about. 

Happy Easter!

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First, Swicky and Coconut all dressed up!


Aren't they beautiful? The flowers were to flower the cross at church today.

Speaking of which, I've got lots of pretty flowers blooming right now:


 The nifty orange and yellow flower is from my candy corn vine, which I have the most hope of keeping alive - it's apparently a hardy plant. It would need to be - I do not have a green thumb. The pink and purple flowers were planted by my friend Jop when she lived here - they must also be pretty hardy, as they've survived just fine. Or, more likely, my ignoring them entirely has given them the chance they needed to survive. The blue hydrangea looks a bit sad, but that's probably because I just planted it today, and it's not used to being out of its pot yet. Right? That's...that's a thing? My grandmother had a hydrangea that I loved - hers was white, and we called it the snowball bush. Hydrangeas are supposed to be pretty hardy, too.

I have no links for you today, bu…

I'm Busy....

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The in-laws are in! Yay!

But I haven't forgotten you all -

Links!

On this day in 1824, Lord Byron dies, a hero, in Greece. I love his poetry; you should start with "She Walks in Beauty." EFF and Sunlight Foundation come together to build Contact-Congress. This will come in handy. Don't forget to tell your Congressmen how awesome libraries are. Kitestring: The App We’ve Seriously Always Needed. If you live in the city and walk alone at night, or if you go on blind dates, this is a must-have. Chili-salt, a fruit booster. I fell in love with this stuff in Thailand. It's especially good on pineapple, I think!

Stuff and Nonsense

I'm Back!

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What do you mean, you didn't notice I was gone? I've been gone for almost two weeks!

Well, anyway, I'm back. Sheesh.

I, DH, Swicky, and Coconut went to Mountain Country, and stayed with my parents, affectionately known as Grammy and Grampy - or, most often, "Those People with the Cat Named Max, You Know, Those Guys, That Cat is Cool, When Can We Get a Cat?"



I had several thoughts.
I miss my folks. I don't see them often enough.Fourteen hours of driving is not as much fun as you'd think.I miss the mountains. They're really pretty. And forests - not a lot of forests around here.I do not miss the cold. Where can I find mountains and forests and 90°F temperatures? I'm moving there. Wait, it must also have good Internet. When we got home, we dove into the real summer preparations - we put up the hammock and filled up the pool:


Oh, we also gave the kids their Easter present a bit early. They got a tent.


They love it. Last night, they camped out in the ba…

Exciting Links!

Unbelievably amazing things happening today, folks!

Links!
Lent Madness (and its parent organization Forward Movement) have made an awesome deal with McDonald's. I want to collect all the Happy Meal Saints! Samsung has found the perfect use for all the damn pigeons everywhere. NOLA needs to get on this, pronto.The GOP is changing their colors. Literally. LinkedIn has a new twist: Announcing LinkedIn Cats You May Know: Connecting Felines One Paw at a Time. This is going to work great with Free Library's new "Cat"alog!Patchy beard? NO beard? Here's a product you might be interested in...I'm going to need one for my dwarf cosplay.The spring time change has been done at Avebury Circle. On this date in 1996, Taco Bell bought the Liberty Bell