Archive | October 2005

Elements of Style – the opera

Now I have to admit to not being a big fan of opera. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it and would have no trouble sitting through one but it’s just not something that features on my radar at the moment. But then I heard about Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, an operatic song cycle which had its premiere on October 19 in the main reading room of the New York Public Library.

Via Boing Boing.

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Shout out

Just a shout out for one of my comrades from the Psephite days: comicstriphero has FINALLY got her own blog. And she rocks. Whoops, I just exposed her gender.

Killing wonder

This wonderful post sums up exactly why I quit my honours year (well, that’s what I tell everyone anyway).

I was schooled in wonder when I began reading as a little boy. The first book I ever read on my own was the second half of Charlotte’s Web, because my father wanted to take a break from reading it to me and I could not wait to finish it. The tears I cried upon closing that book represent my first dialogue with mortality and grief. The wonderment of feeling literature stayed with me throughout my childhood and adolescence, and stayed true during my undergraduate years. But a funny thing happened in my Cultural Studies Ph.D. program: wonder was killed.

I took the dagger of theory and plunged it into wonder.

Of COURSE I’ve read it

Via Bookslut, apparently in the UK they’re buying books according to what will make them look smart. (A quick glance at the SMH top 10 as listed in last Saturday’s paper reveals that this doesn’t seem to be the case in Australia – Guiness Book of Records 2006 anyone?)

Of course, I would NEVER do anything like this…(meanwhile that copy of The Corrections sits on my shelf with a spotless spine). But if you ARE like this then you may want to take a peek at John Sutherland’s guide to what the smart set will be reading this northern Autumn.

Unintelligent design

I don’t know where to start with this one:

In the battles over evolution, it’s usually the critics of evolution who are accused of crossing church/state lines.

But last week, some of those critics filed suit in federal court against the University of California at Berkeley, charging that its views on evolution are leading it to violate the separation of church and state. Berkeley was sued for maintaining a Web site, Understanding Evolution, to help schoolteachers.

Look out also for Catalyst this week – it features a story on Intelligent Design, taking as a launching point Brendan Nelson’s comments at the launch of Science Week:

As far as I’m concerned students can be taught and should be taught the basic science in terms of the evolution of man, but if schools also want to present students with Intelligent Design, I don’t have any difficulty with that.

Stanhope scoop

So this is not a book post but let’s face it, I’m a frustrated politico blogger: Little Johnny is absolutely furious that the ACT Chief Minister has seen fit to publish the draft anti-terrorism laws on his website.

There are a number of things that excite me about this:

  • For once an Australian politician has taken the web by the scruff of its neck and made it useful
  • Whoever posted the link has at least a passing idea about web usability because they had the foresight to warn viewers that it was a PDF and of a certain size (I hate it when I click on a link and it unexpectedly opens a PDF)
  • This may be a significant first step in terms of how we use the internet in Australia in regard to politics and contentious issues. It was the top headline on the ABC new headlines run after The Bill. It is a serious story. The internet has become an important tool in Australian politics. Thank f**k.

Banville wins Booker

I’m at work so I have to make this short, John Banville has won the Booker for The Sea. And this time he wasn’t drunk.