Banned Books Week

In conjunction with Banned Books Week, the ALA lists the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000. It’s really sad to see some of the classics that are on this list, especially when most of the “challenges” are made on such spurious grounds. I think the quote by Judy Blume included on the site summarizes things very well:

It’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.

The Unsexy List presents its latest incarnation of The Unsexy List, “fifty genital-retracting people, places, and things.” It’s pretty funny and sounds racier than it is, but it’s still probably NSFW.


Hopefully most of the people affected by Isabel have gotten their power back on, although I heard on the news last night that there are still widespread outages. After talking to people at work and watching the news, it appears that we really were fortunate in the small amount of damage to our home; many others were not so lucky.

I’ll be back in the swing of things soon, but probably not until later in the week, as I’m flying out to California for a couple of days. It’s not the most picturesque of places, but at least I’m not flying out in the middle of a heat spell like I did in 1998

Hurricane Isabel

 Hurricane Isabel, 9-12-03NASA and have posted several pages of photos of Isabel from the International Space Station. Because she’s heading right for us, I’ve been closely monitoring things since last weekend, especially via the NOAA National Hurricane Center page. The current models predict that the center of the storm will track to the west of us, which is good on the one hand because it may mean weaker winds, but bad on the other, since the strongest winds in a hurricane are generally on her northeast corner. It looks as if tomorrow afternoon she’ll make landfall in the Carolinas, ensuring that Thursday night into Friday morning will be pretty nasty here in southern Maryland. For everyone that is in the path of Isabel, let’s stay safe and hope for the best.

Orson Scott Card, Recording Artists On File Sharing

Author Orson Scott Card weighs in with his refreshing view on copyrights, MP3s, and file sharing. Also, this Atlanta Journal-Constitution article quotes several prominent recording artists that question the RIAA’s motives and tactics. I’m glad to hear that some of them have refused to stand by while the RIAA (further) ruins the music industry:

  • Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir: “They’re protecting an archaic industry…They should turn their attention to new models.”
  • David Draiman of Disturbed: “This is not rocket science…Instead of spending all this money litigating against kids who are the people they’re trying to sell things to in the first place, they have to learn how to effectively use the Internet.”
  • Chuck D of Public Enemy: “Lawsuits on 12-year-old kids for downloading music, duping a mother into paying a $2,000 settlement for her kid? Those scare tactics are pure Gestapo.”
  • Moby: “File sharing is a reality, and it would seem that the labels would do well to learn how to incorporate it into their business models somehow. Record companies suing 12-year-old girls for file sharing is kind of like horse-and-buggy operators suing Henry Ford.”

RIAA sucks. 😛

Update: Slate has five pages worth of political cartoons lampooning the recent RIAA law suits. Pretty damn funny…