All posts filed under “Weird Stuff

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Wherein the Grey Lady removes her trousers in public

I’ve read the New York Times since I got a great deal as a freshman at the University of Michigan for daily delivery to my dorm room. It’s a great newspaper in my view, with some really solid reporting both in the US and internationally.

But today I read an article that made me think the Times (aka Grey Lady) had gone absolutely cuckoo.

Read this passage from Neil A. Lewis in an article regarding former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens:

For example, a witness for both the government and defense, Rocky Williams, was sent home to Alaska by prosecutors who did not tell defense lawyers, an act that angered Judge Sullivan. Ms. Morris said the decision was made because Mr. Williams was gravely ill, not because prosecutors, after interviewing him, had decided he might help the defense case.

But Mr. Joy said a prosecutor, Nicholas Marsh, concocted the scheme to send Mr. Williams away after prosecutors held a mock cross-examination in which he did not perform well.

Still, there is considerable evidence that Mr. Williams was truly sick, including the fact that he has since died.

I hope for his sake that these paragraphs were written either a) up against a big deadline or b) because he really needed to up his word count. Even a high school English student could find a more elegant way to phrase this and still include the relevant details!

Perhaps it’s something for next weeks’ “After Deadline“…

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A fascinating blog

I have a slight confession to make. While I got my undergrad degree in engineering, I’ve always enjoyed reading and try to read quite a bit. By all rights, I should detest grammar, and in many ways I do. (Probably because I never really learned it properly.) But that said, I’m fascinated by the ins and outs and twists of good and proper English grammar.

If this sounds like you at all, this is a webpage you must bookmark:

Each week, the New York Times goes through grammar mistakes it’s made in the last week and explains what was wrong and how the stories could have been better written. I mean… wow! It’s great to see self-reflection but also what a teaching tool for up-and-coming journalists and interested writers like me!

I hope this particular blog lasts for a long, long, time.

The law of unintended consequences

So a little over a year ago or so I was thinking about Twitter. Twitter is a tool that is both a type of social network (like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) but is also a type of communications tool. I noticed that certain people posted on Twitter constantly, and used the communications tool functionality constantly.

Trying to be a bit cheeky, I put up a post titled “Voyeur vs. Exhibitionist (on Twitter)“. Virtually no one read it, and I was a bit too simplistic in my categorisation anyway; I was trying to say that users either broadcast everything they do or just listen in on everyone else.

But through the Law of Unintended Consequences I am now on the first page of Google results when someone searches for “exhibitionists blog”!

I’m guessing that anyone that actually clicks through to this site is sorely disappointed. But if anyone has started a blog, it shows that you’ll need to be careful what you post about… you never know how Google will look at it.

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Running (rowing?) & reading

I found this via Brad Feld, and saw that Furqan blogged about it, too.

It’s a short & simple video from Will Smith (the “Fresh Prince”) and his two keys to life: Running and Reading. Because if you want to succeed, you’ve got to be willing to work harder than anyone else.

Though I can’t help but be struck at how this reminds me of the balance I keep trying to strike between Creating and Consuming. Lately I’ve been focused on the mantra Create >> Consume because I need to remind myself that I have to make progress on my plans each day. But this reminds me that I have to consume in order for my creation to make sense in context.

Anyway, enough of my babbling. Here’s Will Smith: