Thursday, October 30, 2014

Three Interesting Things:

1. One couple had an interesting if unusual idea for a pizza place.
2. A former NFL linebacker is now a yoga teacher with some interesting thoughts on the current state of the NFL and the mind body connection.
3. This is from April, but recently came to my attention.  I do adore a good lip sync battle and Jimmy Fallon and Emma Stone do not disappoint. (Links to a video, FYI.)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Books Subscription: Scribd

I've had a Scribd trial subscription for about a month now and I love it.  Given I saw some folks who seemed a little confused about it on the NINC hashtag.  Here are some thoughts.  I'm not sure I'll keep it forever, but right now I'm finding a lot of value.  Also Dear Author had a link for a free trial and some discussion of the services. 
1. Scribd currently has a ginormous Harlequin backlist, which paired with the free trial offer made it a no-brainer for me.  I also found a range of self published titles, craft books, and other fun fiction. 
2. Once the free trial is up, it's currently 8.99 a month (with apparently some discounts if you commit to a year up front).  That's about the cost of a paperback, less than a hardback.  So, if you tend to read about one purchased book a month or more, and Scribd has books you want to read, there is some value.  If you read less than that, then it probably isn't a great deal, unless some of the other perks would make reading more accessible to you. 
3.  All the books are being read on or at Scribd, so phone, tablet, laptop, etc.  You can download books to be read offline, but that will be in the Scribd app.  (None of this was hard to do, but if you've been sticking to eink or paper due to glare or other concerns, this won't help much. 
4. I am still buying books and getting books out of the library.  Scribd however provides access to books - some that are harder to find, or that I just am not sure are my thing, and so on.  If a few chapters in I know I've made a horrible mistake, I feel better about bailing.  (Weird but true.)  I've also read things that I knew were totally my cup of tea, but not things I was going to want to read over and over again. 
5. So far, I've finished three books, started quite a few more (most of which I plan to finish). 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Three Interesting Things

1. It is queer romance month, and Piper Vaugn has an excellent post about how diversity matters in all flavors of romance.
2. Lindy West had a post about how women are constantly encouraged to be friendly to strangers who infringe on their space.
3. Caroline Tung West, who happens to be local and whose lovely debut I read not too long ago, has a Dear Teen Me post that is adorable.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Open Letter to the Guardian

Dear Guardian,
I am a long time reader of your online content.  I generally appreciate your approach to global news and to sports and book news. I understand that sometimes a news outlet will make the choice to run or post something that is a little controversial in order to spark additional clicks and lots of online conversation.  So, I can only hope that's the root of your decision to post Kathleen Hale's documentation of the steps she took in order to stalk an online blogger who had written a negative review.  The idea that some people on the internet are not quite what they say is certainly an issue today.  But there is a huge difference between me engaging in a direct relationship with a person that we are perhaps both under the impression will move offline one day and a the relationship between an author and a blogger/reviewer. 
Authors and bloggers both often use different names online, whether to create separation from their day jobs, to enhance privacy for themselves and their family members, and in some cases to prevent stalking or to protect themselves from stalkers that have already targeted them.  An author who misused personal information provided to her, in order to better "unmask" and arrive on the doorstep of a reviewer is not creating a teachable moment, unless that moment is you never know what author will take things too far, that somehow by reviewing books on the internet you open up your life for anyone.  In a day and age when doxxing, harassing behavior is becoming common for some women who use the internet, condoning stalking because the stalker in question just wanted to talk seems naive at best. I certainly have seen a lot of reviewers grow much more concerned that by giving mailing information to publishers and authors in order to get review copies of books, they are now putting themselves potentially in harm's way. 
So, I hope that's the discussion you hoped to spark running this post.  Because the idea that the Guardian condones such behavior, from authors or most others really, that the Guardian thought it was fair because the reviewer started it and therefore deserved for someone to use her address, stalk her online presence, contact her friends, and again, her co-workers, and again, show up on her doorstep in order to - what - to prove that no one is safe, I guess, is quite horrifying. 

-to Smart Bitches wonderful post about authors and reviews.
-to Dear Author's post about psuedonyms which also includes links to a Storify of some of the Twitter reactions.
-to Glenda Larke's excellent suggestions for why an author should let reviews alone.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Three Interesting Things

1. Roxane Gay had a response to the idea that feminism needs better accessibility
2. Apparently not only is there a placebo effect, there is a so-called nocebo effect, where the patient is told the medication has stopped and reports differences even when it really hasn't stopped.
3. And teen researchers seem to have evidence that teens, possibly due to growing up with a more multi-device multi-tasking world, do perform better while multi-tasking.  So, there you go.