Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Mr. Cool J and Mr. D Tell Norm Coleman and Committee Views on P2P

LL Cool J sides with the RIAA in defending recent lawsuits against infringers, while Chuck D sides with swappers, noting that he trusts consumers more than recording industry execs. Chuck D also notes that there's a problem of viewpoint on this issue: Cool J [and the RIAA?] operates in an American frame, while P2P is international, and "when you solely have an American state of mind, you're increasingly becoming a smaller part of the world.''

The article has another interesting nugget:
Celebrity: "In a Gallup Poll released Tuesday, 83 percent of teenagers polled said it was morally acceptable to download music from the Internet for free."

When legislation doesn't match up with the moral/ethical beliefs of those to whom the legislation applies, we've got problems. This beast is not going away. The sooner the recording industry realizes that, the better off they will be. If they'd realized that sooner, we wouldn't be in this situation, to begin with.

- posted by laurie @ 9/30/2003 06:12:00 PM (0) comments


Here's an excerpt from a Blogsisters post by Jennifer Balderama:

"Have you heard? Thomas Nelson Bibles has unleashed upon teen girl culture a brand-(anti-)spanking-new glossy, part New Testament and part girly magazine, mixing God- and Jesus-inspired beauty, fashion and sex-is-bad tips with the usual homophobic, misogynistic tripe espoused by the bible."

Oh no. Just what womankind needs, a publication that makes adolescence even more confusing, contradictory, and impossible to navigate.

- posted by laurie @ 9/30/2003 03:01:00 PM (0) comments

Snacking on my posts

Blogger's now snacked on two good posts, though really I should be blaming IE, not Blogger.

Anyway, interesting Inquirer article:

RIAA could well be suing innocent victims.

Between flaws in the p2p applications and the "evidence" being used by the RIAA, this article slaims that some users could end up being subopenaed for doing absolutely nothing.

In other, very unrelated news, we just bought a couch. First major home furnishing purchase - and a bit nerve-wracking, at that. The nesting instinct has finally kicked in, I think, urged on by the impending arrival of my in-laws, who arrive in a week.

Anyone need a very beaten-up futon?

- posted by laurie @ 9/30/2003 08:12:00 AM (0) comments

Friday, September 26, 2003

Tweakin' the Template

The old template is taking a bit of a rest. It was taking too much time to load, and had too many bells and whistles on it: scripts, images hosted on other servers, and so on, causing a lot of load-lag. I'll try to get comments and links back up soon, but for now, we're going with the stripped-down version. If you reeeely miss the good ol' purple template,visit the archives - it's still the default template for archive files.

- posted by laurie @ 9/26/2003 12:29:00 PM (0) comments

Kazaa turns the tables on the RIAA

An interesting article from Yahoo! News - Makers of Kazaa Are Suing Record Labels.

Sharman Networks accuse labels of using unauthorized copies of their software in their attempts to nab supposed pirates. Sharman also claims violation of their terms of use, as well as violation of anti-trust laws. Considering the actions the RIAA has taken recently, it's about time someone gave them a taste of their own medicine. On the other hand, this is yet another instance of litigiusness spinning crazily out of control, especially on this issue.

On a related note: someone hit my site yesterday by searching Yahoo with the terms, "unionize fans against the riaa." I'm with you there, friend.

- posted by laurie @ 9/26/2003 12:21:00 PM (0) comments

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Pictures of the Challenge Walk

My Shutterfly album for the MS Challenge Walk is now up. The pictures are all from the last day of the event, and they're not great, but they're there, if you're interested. Oh, and the last two pictures, which I've posted here, as well, are of me and my big van. I'm holding a route marker sign and, though you can't see too well because of the glare, family pictures which I carried with me during the last 1.5 mile parade to Midway Stadium. I thought it would be appropriate to bring my mom across the finish line and to the closing ceremonies with me in some form.

- posted by laurie @ 9/24/2003 09:44:00 PM (0) comments


Because people come here looking for information about Vannevar Bush and his memex

(and because I'm low on time and ideas tonight)

I offer the following:

Googlism for memex

memex is the key to joined
memex is the key
memex is "a device in which an individual stores all his books
memex is a rumination on the many fascinating tropes of extended self
memex is an episodic narrative in 13 narrative steps
memex is hopeful that
memex is finally ready to deliver on its promise
memex is about visualizing the relationships between information
memex is like hypertext in many ways
memex is undoubtedly a browsing assistant for individuals and groups with focused interests
memex is really an enlarged supplement to man's memory
memex is found in a text that is rather unusual for a serious
memex is a transparent plate
memex is not simply its structure but the fact that it allows users to extend their own hypertext trail by
memex is not
memex is a device in which an individual stores his books
memex is a large project involving hypertext data mining
memex is also attached to a local network and to the global network
memex is a determined player for the most critical aspect of the rewritable replication process
memex is anticipated to be the issuance of up to 13
memex is generally agreed to be the starting point for these non
memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books records
memex is a device
memex is a browser
memex is a device in which an individual stores all his
memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books
memex is a device in which anindividual stores all his books
memex is closely related to hypertext and hypermedia
memex is a tool that allows the user to build 'trails' through any context with which you can trace a train of thought or investigation
memex is that it does not do any data analysis or summarization
memex is here
memex is its ability to tie two items together and to build trails through
memex is not actually a product that we see today
memex is an underwood
memex is a system to store any kind of information
memex is pleased to offer you a cost
memex is a device in which an individual
memex is ?a device in which an individual stores all his books
memex is a solution to the problem of information management
memex is
memex is a major event in the middle
memex is specialized in the design
memex is a vancouver based software company specialized in the development of broadcast tv program management systems
memex is not the size of a desk
memex is een toestel om de mogelijkheden van het menselijke geheugen uit te breiden door informatie te ordenen via associaties
memex is een apparaat waar een individu al zijn boeken
memex is the process of tying two items of information together; the basic idea of hyperlinks
memex is hypothetical machine
memex is to allow user jump from one idea to another freely
memex is in essence a personal computer
memex is a device in which an individual stores
memex is actually an operating machine that incorporated hypertext ideas
memex is our computer
memex is just a placeholder; the "winter" story may have more of a future
memex is generally recognized as the ur
memex is the protoypical hypermedia machine
memex is a system which consists of archiving and retrieving
memex is a pulgin for the internet browsers
memex is a device that would allow an individual to "store his books
memex is the name of the company i work for
memex is a group of professionals offering know
memex is remarkably similar to
memex is largely misunderstood

Other interesting Googlisms to check out if you're so inclined:

Feminist Rhetoric (this one's a little disturbing at some points)
Kenneth Burke

Also amusing are the googlisms for blogger, blog, weblog, and related terms.

. . . and it took me a full two weeks to notice that blogger now has spellcheck for free accounts. boy am I happy about this! :)

- posted by laurie @ 9/24/2003 09:03:00 PM (0) comments

Tuesday, September 23, 2003


Sleepy bit o' Navel-Gazing

*yawn* I am still sleepy from the weekend! I should so be in bed right now, but "should" is a bad word, so I'll ignore that little nagging voice - for now.

I'm actually thinking about the past a bit tonight, mostly because of a conversation with Lindsay last night, as well as her description of it on her blog today. She describes me thus: "my best gal pal from back in the tenth grade, whose life has changed by leaps and bounds and zip codes numerous times since we first met."

Ok, yeah, so since 10th grade I have lived in (sequentially): Southern California, Maryland, New York, Southern California, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and now Minnesota. And my hair's shorter now, and I am a bit less socially awkward and a bit more of a geek (NOT a contradiction, just the truth!). But whenever someone points out how much my life has changed, I think, well, nah, nothing really has - and then I realize that my own personal view on my life is not always entirely correct.

In tenth grade I was told I couldn't be in Advanced Placement English the following year because my English teacher at the time didn't think I had what it took. I flunked math my junior year, and wasn't allowed to take Spanish for two years because I had to complete state requirements (moving to a new state between ninth and tenth grades can really screw you!). My senior year of high school, I'd transferred schools and moved across the country again: I shared a room with my mother and wanted to be a physical therapist, mostly because of Mom having MS. After high school graduation I decided to defer college (reasons for which are long, involved, and generally unpleasant), and ended up working for Greenpeace on two different coasts for almost a year. I got some tattoos and tried to be a rebel-badass. Then I moved back in with my mother (and had my own room this time) and began college - at the local community college campus.

I [was] graduated from University of Maryland Cum Laude with Departmental Honors in English and a double major in Spanish and English Lanugage and Literature. I was offered a fellowship to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which I declined in order to go to Penn State, where I was admitted as a Graduate Scholar (which basically means my TA stipend was supplemented with a bit of extra money). After two years at Penn State, I received my M.A. in English, and moved on to the University of Minnesota, where I was offered (and accepted) a competitive first-year Graduate School Fellowship. I'm now less than a full year away from being done with coursework for my PhD in Rhetoric with a minor in Cognitive Science.

How did I get here? The progression was slow, gradual, but in retrospect, Lindsay was right, and the changes have been pretty significant. And, despite the pretty picture the narrative above paints, my life has not been a bed of roses by any stretch of the imagination. Ask anyone who knows me well: do NOT get me started talking about my family, or you might nor ever get me to shut up. But overall, life's treated me pretty well. I have a loving husband, some very good friends in various geographic locations, and memories good, bad, and ugly. And the majority of the time, I am happy with the choices I have made, because they have led me here, and I generally like the person that I am.

Lindsay was the first person to tell me that she didn't regret anything in her life. It's a good attitude.

- posted by laurie @ 9/23/2003 10:52:00 PM (0) comments


Challenge Completed

. . . that's what the long-sleeved shirts we were given yesterday have printed on them. When you register to walk or work crew, you receive a t-shirt that has the challenge walk logo and motto on the front and "Challenge accepted" on the back. Walkers and crew alike received the long-sleeved "Challenge completed" shirt as we entered the pre-finish area, about 1.5 miles away from the end of the route. Those with MS received red shirts, and other participants received blue. Everyone waited together at the prefinish area and welcomed the arriving walkers with cheers and lots of noise - there were a lot of cowbell-ringers out yesterday. After everyone arrived at the prefinish, we all lined uop and walked, together, to Midway Stadium, where there was a final ceremony, and where all participants were recognized by name and given a medal. The ceremony itself was very moving, and because it represented the end of this three-day-long, emotionally intense event, it was even more touching.

Days 2 and 3 were surprisingly smooth, from my vantage point inside Chariot (supprt vehicle) #3. A few scooters needed to be picked up and taken to a rest stop where they could be recharged, and on Day 2 I had a few people with blistered/bruised feet requesting rides, but fewer on Day 2 than Day 1, and on Day 3 I only picked up one woman on a scooter who was worried that her batteries woudln't make it from the final rest-stop to the pre-finish and from pre-finish to the end. Overall, though, I drove around waving, honking, and trying to encourage people. The last day was only 10 miles (plus the walk to the finish), which was nothing in comparison to the 38 the walkers had already completed, and everyone was determined to make it to the pre-finish and finish areas under their own power.

I spent Sunday night on a racquetball court. I did so for a few reasons, number one being that I stayed at home Saturday night and I completely overslept Sunday morning. So I ended up setting up my air mattress in the racquetball court, along with four other people also working crew. If you are ever faced with the possibility of sleeping on a racquetball court, my advice would be: DON'T!!!! Every little sound, from both inside and outside of the court, echoed crazily off the walls all night long. Conversations outside of the court doors were amplified and bounced all over the room. Every toss, turn, snore, sigh, or nose-whistle from other folks sleeping on the court echoed as well. I slept with my pillow over my head. Top that all off with the slow deflation of my mattress throughout the night, and you get a picture of he sleepless state in which I passed the majority of the wee hours of Monday. I finally gave up around 4:15 and just got up.

I drove over 500 miles between 5:15 Friday and 5:15 yesterday. I never left the Twin Cities metro area.

I had such an awesome time this weekend. I met a lot of friendly, warm, and in many cases, inspiring people. I am definitely walking next year! I said so in my last post, as well, but I'm saying it again today, even more emphatically than I did Saturday: I will walk next year! I might even have a team already!

I've got to go get ready for teaching and for class: it's back to reality now. No more sleeping on health club floors and eating catered meals at long tables set up on indoor tennis and basketball courts. No more driving around in a conversion van. No more jokes over the walkie-talkies. Nope, gotta get ready to teach tech. comm. and to talk about Plato.

- posted by laurie @ 9/23/2003 08:18:00 AM (0) comments

Saturday, September 20, 2003


Back to Blogging, and Day 1 of the MS Challenge Walk

Trying to keep up with the promise to blog more frequently. The past week was jam-packed with busyness, though, and frankly, I've gotten out of the habit of blogging daily - takes effort now to remember to blog, whereas before it was almost automatic!

Right now I am recovering from Day 1 of the MS Challenge Walk. I'm not actually walking this year - I plan to next year, though. This year I didn't do so hot with the training program (and it's not a good idea to try and walk 50 miles in 3 days without some preparation), nor did I work the fundraising angle enough, and there's a substantial minimum fundraising goal. Instead, I am volunteering as a Chariot driver: I drive the route, looking for walkers in need of a ride. I also try and cheer people on. Today's walk was through Maple Grive and Fridley. The route was beautiful, and only a few people needed to be picked up and transported to a further point along the route.

Even though I didn't walk today, I am certainly recovering (nothing comparable to the walkers, though, who completed 21 miles today). I got up slightly after 4 AM and was on the go until about 6:30 or so this evening, when I finally sat down to an excellent dinner at the overnight spot. This evening's overnight is pretty close to my apartment, so I'm back here for the night, even though camping with everyone would have been fun. I have another 6 AM call tomorrow, and by returning home I get to shower in my own bathroom and sleep in my own bed, instead of using the locker room facilities at the health club serving as the overnight spot and sleeping on an air mattress on the floor of an indoor tennis court.

The Challenge Walk has, so far, been a wonderful experience. There are about 200 walkers on the route, plus volunteers, crew (where I fit into this whole thing), and MS Society staff. Everyone is there for compelling reasons - a family member or friend has MS, or they themselves do - and everyone is committed to having a good time while raising money to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. There was a great pep rally ths evening after dinner, complete with the cheer team from a local high school. The whole atmosphere is exhilerating and moving. AND a lot of money is being raised. One team raised $60,000.00, and a few individuals have raised over $10,000.00. How awesome is that?

Tomorrow morning looms frighteningly near, and I am in need of a nice, soothing hot shower before I hit the sack (and I, idealistically, perhaps, have convinced myself I'll do some reading for next week's classes before actually turning off the bedside lamp). Tomorrow night I'm definitely staying overnight with the rest of the participants, but at the moment, my own towels and pillows seem like the best things in the entire world.

OH - p.s. - one more cool thing about this all: I'm driving a brand-new full-size (read: conversion) van, complete with wheelchair lift. The vehicle kicks much butt, and after fourteen hours of driving it around windy residential streets and busy four-lane highways, I've pretty much adjusted to both its automatic transmission and its large size. Nevertheless, getting back behind the wheel of my clown-car stick-shift Hyundai Accent on Monday will be nice.

More Monday. Need sleep.

'night, everyone!

- posted by laurie @ 9/20/2003 07:29:00 PM (0) comments

Monday, September 15, 2003


I promised a dear friend I would start blogging again. While this is not much of a return post, it's at least a step in the right direction! I'm off to go run a few errands before all the stores close up for the evening. One of the things I will inevitably go look at? THIS. Anyone want to give me oh, say, two grand? Hmmm . . . I didn't think so.

- posted by laurie @ 9/15/2003 05:17:00 PM (0) comments