Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

Making trouble today for a better tomorrow…

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Entries from January 2006

Coders and cannibals: Can you tell them apart?

January 29th, 2006 · Comments Off on Coders and cannibals: Can you tell them apart?

Funny, quick Flash quiz–10 anonymous faces, 10 simple choices. Are you seeing a serial killer? Or somebody who invented a programming language.

I guessed right on Gerald Sussman, but wrong on Sam Berkowitz.

My score: 6 of 10.

Their assessment: I’m not cut out for police work or IT recruitment.

You think that’s funny? I’d like to see you do better!

Tags: Learn to write funny

Glamorous travel plans of the young mommyblogger

January 27th, 2006 · Comments Off on Glamorous travel plans of the young mommyblogger

What is Lisa Williams planning in her Left Coast hotel room on Saturday night? Some solo sleep:

I am going to hog all the pillows.
I’m gonna lie right in the middle of the bed.
For the whoooooole night…

All the way to Sunday morning, people! All! The! Way!
A revolutionary charge towards dawn! Completely asleep!

When I wake up on Sunday morning, it’s gonna be like Easter, man.
I’m gonna come back from the dead in a glowing Web 2.0 wifi enabled resurrection body.

Read the rest, it’s got cannoli in it–and join me in saying, go, Lisa!

Tags: Metablogging

Email to Dave Winer: CNN says RSS “smartest”

January 26th, 2006 · Comments Off on Email to Dave Winer: CNN says RSS “smartest”

Yes, I know the link says dumbest, the smartest is an untitled popup window. You’re second or third into the sequence. Go Dave!

[Quoting Business 2.0 blurb]

Smartest Technology: RSS
At long last, really simple syndication, or RSS, came into its own. Developed by Silicon Valley technologist Dave Winer, RSS makes it easy for popular sites such as CNN, Reuters, and Yahoo — and tens of thousands of bloggers — to distribute online text, audio, and video worldwide. RSS has been around since 1997, but it got a big boost in the past year as Microsoft announced plans to integrate it into Windows, letting RSS do for online media what the Web did for the Internet.

Tags: Metablogging

Aargh, dude! Pomos are indexing my Discourse!

January 25th, 2006 · Comments Off on Aargh, dude! Pomos are indexing my Discourse!

A scholarly pomo analysis of “dude”?

And it comes with a spreadsheet?

As Bill and Ted would say, “Heinous!”

The term is used mainly in situations in which a speaker takes a stance of solidarity or camaraderie, but crucially in a nonchalant, not-too-enthusiastic manner. . . The reason young men use this term is precisely that dude indexes this stance of cool solidarity. Such a stance is especially valuable for young men as they navigate cultural Discourses of young masculinity, which simultaneously demand masculine solidarity, strict heterosexuality, and non-conformity.

It’s enough to send you running to the “aargh” page*…

* Aargh page found via the
Slashdot story about
Google stats on a billion pages of HTML markup, which I won’t excerpt here, but which was pretty darn interesting.

Tags: Learn to write funny

M&M-colored sports cars and sugar almond toasters

January 23rd, 2006 · Comments Off on M&M-colored sports cars and sugar almond toasters

Dervala’s blogging again, after a long break, and Silicon Valley just got a sharp poke in the schnozz:

Los Gatos used to be a farm town, prosperous enough to raise fine 19th century brick buildings. Now it’s home to some of the most materially successful people on this planet. It’s northern California, not Manhattan, so you can’t tell who’s winning by Blahnik shoes and Chloe dresses, but those are probably Marc Jacobs bags that the yummy mummies swing from their Australian strollers.

I first blog-met Dervala when she was roaming the world, sliding on her butt down muddy mountains in Ecuador. Later (such is the blessing of blogging) Halley introduced the two of us in NYC, over bowls of Union Oyster House oyster chowder, or maybe over an ice-skating spill at Rockefeller Center.

Dervala’s real life gets so enormously active that sometimes she doesn’t blog for weeks and weeks. But now, it seems, she’s back, rolling out mini-yarns and occasional long tales.

Welcome back, Dervala, please stick around for a while!

Tags: Metablogging

Naked launch event in Harvard Square

January 22nd, 2006 · Comments Off on Naked launch event in Harvard Square

Mary Hodder and I went looking for Robert Scoble’s and Shel Israel’s oh-so-buzzed-about new book.

But…how could the eminent Harvard Bookstore make such a mistake? They hid Naked Conversations in among all their business books?

Here, you can see, we corrected that mistake, showcasing it with other books that make similarly naked appeals to the passing booklover.

Party on, Scoble!

Tags: Metablogging

Can you find the smoking gun from 2004?

January 19th, 2006 · Comments Off on Can you find the smoking gun from 2004?

Why is the Republican National Committee still paying ninja DC lawyers to defend James Tobin, now that he’s been convicted for his role in the NH phone-jamming scandal? Is Tobin repaying them by keeping quiet? Was there some dark secret that needs to be kept quiet, something Tobin knew about when he headed the Bush Cheney 2004 campaign for all of New England?

Mark Karlin raised these question. It didn’t take much digging to find one obvious candidate for a smoking gun that Tobin might know about.

  • Item: The Nader campaign got illicit help in Oregon, both from Bush-Cheney 2004 and from “Citizens for a Sound Economy.” Were similar tricks played in New England?
  • Item: The NH Executive Director for Citizens for a Sound Economy was Chuck McGee — James Tobin’s co-conspirator in the phone-jamming.
  • Item: NH Republican bigshot Dave Carney gave illicit help to Nader’s campaign–and the FEC’s general counsel urged them to prosecute him. Instead, the FEC simply dropped all charges.
  • Item: Dave Carney and Grover Norquist were also closely involved with Sununu’s 2002 Senate campaign, the campaign where Tobin was helping promote the election phone-jamming.
  • Item: Carney and Norquist also worked together in the 2004 election.

Hello, real reporters, I know you’re out there somewhere!

* Interesting: This CSE phone script.

Tags: New Hampshire!

Not entirely unlike “that Shakespeare guy”

January 18th, 2006 · Comments Off on Not entirely unlike “that Shakespeare guy”

Rebecca Blood asks good questions and David Weinberger gives great answers:

Whose writing do you particularly admire?

Questions that ask me to name favorites put me into a neurotic tailspin because of what I’ll forget to mention. I will say that that Shakespeare guy has a way with a phrase.

What is your advice for a new blogger?

Links lots. Have fun. When in doubt, press the “publish” button.

Would you read your site?

That’s like asking me if I’d marry myself. I don’t know and I’m real glad I don’t have to find out.

Tags: Metablogging

Where is Bill Clinton’s notorious necktie now?

January 18th, 2006 · Comments Off on Where is Bill Clinton’s notorious necktie now?

If only Vince Foster, or Bill Clinton’s necktie, had been involved in the NH phone-jamming scandal! But they were not; Mark Karlin details the result:

I think it’s significant that James Tobin, who ran Bush/Cheney’s re-election campaign in New England, was indicted for wrongdoing not in that race but in the one two years before. It was the off-year election in 2002 – the Senate race in New Hampshire. So, after the 2004 election, the RNC spends big-time on the legal fees of an operative who stood indicted of malfeasance only in the previous election.

Why does this not a raise a certain question in the press? No inquiring journalist has asked why the Republicans spent so much on Tobin’s legal fees for a crime that he committed in 2002. Would it be improper to suggest that maybe Tobin also broke election laws in 2004, and that the party paid his tab because they wanted him to keep his mouth shut on the subject? Given all the loony speculations that the press was unafraid to air about Bill Clinton – the “murder” of Vince Foster, the secret signal Bill tried to send Monica through his necktie, etc. – why can such a question not be asked about the GOP?

Tags: New Hampshire!

“…teams that cannot be pulled apart”

January 17th, 2006 · Comments Off on “…teams that cannot be pulled apart”

David Weinberger says maybe CSI, West Wing, etc., are your soul’s remedy against uncertainty:

When we are facing an enemy with massive power, it’s good to believe that a single individual can make the difference, especially if he’s played by Sylvester Stallone. When the enemy is the pulling apart of everything we know, it’s good to believe that we can form teams that cannot be pulled apart.

Tags: Wide wonderful world