Tuesday Articles

Tuesday Article: The Injectable Vasectomy

Evidently Mr. CR is well-versed in my "why isn't there a male equivalent of the birth control pill" gripe, because over the weekend he said to me, "Hey, there's an article in Wired magazine about male birth control." And so there is:

The Injectable Vasectomy

Well, it's about time, I say. I've always wondered why feminists were so happy with birth control methods that so often carry serious side effects for women, rather than agitating for more methods for men to take care of that on (pun intended) their end.

Tuesday Article: Twitter making us twits.

Many thanks to the Lesbrarian for pointing me to this article in the New York Times:

The Twitter Trap

Now, keep in mind, I never use Twitter because I can't figure it out. AT ALL. How dumb does that make me?

I'll say this: ever since I deleted my Facebook account a few weeks back (I was primarily on it for work reasons, and due to some of my work changing, I no longer have to be), my life really has been better. Take that, Mark Zuckerberg.

Tuesday Article: What you get on the Internet.

Something to watch today, rather than something to read:


That link takes you to a really interesting talk by Eli Pariser at TED 2011 about what the Internet really shows us. It's about nine minutes long, and it's totally worth it. And it'll give you more food for thought about Mark Zuckerberg, who I personally believe is a ginormous tool. But I am not a fan of Facebook, so maybe that's just me.

Tuesday Article: David Foster Wallace

Not so much an article today as David Foster Wallace's 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College.

I read this in book form for the first time this past winter and now I think of it every time I go grocery shopping. I think of it when I see kids and college students and feel badly that they have a lot of adult experiences in front of them. I think of it when I'm annoyed in my day and I need to get a better attitude. In short, I think of it a lot. Seems like a good time to post it, as graduation time approaches.

Friday articles: Delicious, delicious.

Yes, yes, eventually I'll get back to reviewing actual nonfiction books. But these articles are too delicious NOT to post.

First, there's the one explaining yesterday's big server/cloud computing kerfuffle at Amazon. The library catalog at my local library is now using Amazon cloud computing, so they were down all day. Unfortunate timing, as they just put their new catalog up this past Monday. My sympathies to all library public service staff trying to explain that one. Even if you just skim the article, read the last line. It's my favorite. Priceless.

And then, at Bookslut, there's this:

"Laura Miller is arguing that Greg Mortenson's lies about the schools he's building, his casually racist claim that he was kidnapped by the Taliban, his swindling money from his own nonprofit, and grandiose claims of being the white knight of Afghanistan and Pakistan don't matter.

Oh, it's so wrong headed I can barely even think about it. Does it matter that he didn't stumble into the village weary from a failed mountain expedition? No. I mean, it's a stupid fairy tale, but not really. Does it matter that this guy has set himself up as the Great White Hope for these poor backwards mountain people, who are all five seconds away from becoming dangerous terrorists? Yes. Yes, absolutely."

Amen, sister. And a happy hoppy holiday weekend to you all.

Tuesday Articles: Vindicated!

If you'll remember, I hated Greg Mortenson's book Three Cups of Tea.

So this news was completely intoxicating.* It shouldn't make me chuckle when a noted philanthropist turns out to be a person who treats a charity like "his own personal ATM," but it does. I'm a bad person. What's really fascinating about the whole kerfuffle is how many angry, pro-Mortenson comments there are at the CBS 60 Minutes site. People really want to love this guy. Fascinating!

*Who knows, maybe this is a big kerfuffle and Mortenson really is a saint in a man's clothing. And maybe he just hates the media. But it never looks good when you run out the back door to get away from TV interviewers.

Tuesday Article: Rest in peace, Joe Bageant.

I'm heartsick. Joe Bageant, author of the superlative nonfiction title Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War,* has died.**

Give yourself a treat and read one of the essays from his web site, titled America: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUM?

It's long, so don't read it all in one go. And if you don't have time to read any of it, consider reading my favorite bit, quoted below:

"Cultural ignorance of one sort or another is sustained and nurtured in all societies to some degree, because the majority gains material benefit from maintaining it. Americans, for example, reap huge on-the-ground benefits from cultural ignorance -- especially the middle class Babbitry -- from cultural ignorance generated by American hyper-capitalism in the form of junk affluence. 

Purposeful ignorance allows us to enjoy cheaper commodities produced through slave labor, both foreign, and increasingly, domestic, and yet 'thank god for his bounty' in the nation's churches without a trace of guilt or irony. It allows strong arm theft of weaker nations' resources and goods, to say nothing of the destructiveness of late stage capitalism -- using up exhausting every planetary resource that sustains human life."

*Evidently he has a new memoir out, titled Rainbow Pie: a Memoir of Redneck America. I must have it.

**Thanks to editor Cindy Orr at the Reader's Advisor Online blog for posting this news.

Tuesday Article: Not one that's going to put anyone in a better mood.

Someone actually sent me* this article link last week, but I didn't think I could post it the week after we all read the article on porn. If you're already in a cranky mood (as I am) this article's not going to help much:

The Careless Language of Sexual Violence

Responding to a New York Times article about the gang rape of an eleven-year-old.**

*Many thanks--you know who you are.

**I thought I'd better tell you the subject and let you decide up front if you can handle it today or not. It's a powerful article on an ugly subject.

Tuesday articles: Librariana

If you're a librarian, or you want to be one, and you're not reading RickLibrarian, you should be.

I love Rick's site because he reviews primarily nonfiction, and also because he reviews a lot of historical and biographical titles (and natural science) I'm never going to read. It's almost like we have opposite tastes, but in the best possible way.

But what I've really been enjoying the past week are his articles on what he does as a reference librarian. Reading the varied task lists actually made me miss being an on-desk librarian*, but I found them interesting. Rick's a thoughtful guy, and I love reading any kind of blog posts and articles by thoughtful people. I hope you do too.

*For about three seconds. Then I remembered trying (and often failing) to answer people's medical questions, pulling the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue out of the men's bathroom, and being in charge of the paper tax forms, and thanked my lucky stars that I'm lucky enough to be on a little reference librarian hiatus right now.