Archive for November 27th, 2007

Weekend posts and stunned blogosphere!

November 27, 2007

NEW YORK—In what is being called a seminal moment in Internet history, a rare weekend post by 25-year-old blogger Ben Tiedemann on his website rocked the 50 million-member blogosphere this Saturday.

The landmark post, which updated nearly every member of the global online community on the shelf Tiedemann was building, was linked to by several thousand sites, including Daily Kos, Digg, and The New York Times.

“Wow, what a special treat this was for all of us,” said Talking Points Memo head blogger Joshua Micah Marshal, who, along with all other bloggers, checks Tiedemann’s site every day just in case something monumental occurs. “I thought I was going to have to wait until Monday to find out if Ben decided to put [the shelf] in his bedroom or the living room. The pictures were great, too.”

Within two hours of going live, Tiedemann’s 15-word post received 34,634,897 comments.

No prizes for guessing the source of the news item 🙂

Reading and writing!

November 27, 2007

I do not know how I missed this interview with Junot Diaz at Boldtype. Of course, there are many interesting things that Diaz has to say about Oscar Wao, and the process of writing it. Here is his answer to the first question, namely, if he was a voracious reader when he was a kid, for example:

For me, writing is an outgrowth of reading. I’m a reader way before I’m a writer. It started when I was a kid because when I read I didn’t have an accent. No one could fucking fuck with me, you know? In your head, you sound great. I was convinced that if I read enough, I could erase all the awkwardness of being an immigrant. It took like ten years before I could realize what people were talking about. For the longest time I didn’t know what people meant when they were talking about the Who. For real, bro, it’s amazing. I used to think that if I read enough it would all become clear. But of course that wasn’t true.

Take a look!

Mystery woman (women)?

November 27, 2007

Eurocrime does a bit of blurb comparisons, finds close resemblance in the photos and hobbies of Caro Peacock and Gillian Linscott, and wonders if they are one and the same!

Repairing the clock at the center of the world

November 27, 2007

Here is an interesting story about Parisian undercover organisation, which restored, among other things, an antique clock at Pantheon:

Klausmann and his crew are connaisseurs of the Parisian underworld. Since the 1990s they have restored crypts, staged readings and plays in monuments at night, and organised rock concerts in quarries. The network was unknown to the authorities until 2004, when the police discovered an underground cinema, complete with bar and restaurant, under the Seine. They have tried to track them down ever since.

But the UX, the name of Untergunther’s parent organisation, is a finely tuned organisation. It has around 150 members and is divided into separate groups, which specialise in different activities ranging from getting into buildings after dark to setting up cultural events. Untergunther is the restoration cell of the network.

Members know Paris intimately. Many of them were students in the Latin Quarter in the 80s and 90s, when it was popular to have secret parties in Paris’s network of tunnels. They have now grown up and become nurses or lawyers, but still have a taste for the capital’s underworld, and they now have more than just partying on their mind.

“We would like to be able to replace the state in the areas it is incompetent,” said Klausmann. “But our means are limited and we can only do a fraction of what needs to be done. There’s so much to do in Paris that we won’t manage in our lifetime.”

The Untergunther are already busy working on another restoration mission Paris. The location is top secret, of course. But the Panthéon clock remains one of its proudest feats.

“The Latin Quarter is where the concept of human rights came from, it’s the centre of everything. The Panthéon clock is in the middle of it. So it’s a bit like the clock at the centre of the world.”

Hat tip: Kieran healy at Crooked Timber 

It is not about you!

November 27, 2007

John Hawks has some advice to those on job-hunting expeditions:

If you’re in the job-hunting boat, and starting to feel unappreciated — like, when are they going to call? Why not you? Is there something wrong with your work? Etc., then read this post from New Kid on the Hallway and remember it’s not about you.

New Kid’s a medieval historian, but the story is much the same: job ads are mostly written by lawyers, job searches rarely go in predictable directions, and search committees rarely know exactly what they are looking for. If you think the ad fits you exactly, that still doesn’t mean that they’ll see it the same way.

Coming to think of it, even if you get an offer from somewhere, it might be worthwhile to remember all these factors which determine who gets the jobs and who does not. But, it is more crucial for those who feel underappreciated than to those who are getting offers, I think.