succumbing to peer pressure

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Creative Loafing provides better journalism than local news station wsbtv or AJC (shocker). (warning - some photos at link are graphic)

Over 250 people rallied Monday evening, January 5, 2009 outside the Midtown building that houses the Israeli consulate to protest the hundreds of casualties in the Gaza Strip caused by Israel’s bombing and ground offensive. The attack came in response to rocket fire by Hamas into Israel.

Demonstrators lined both sides of Spring Street at 12th Avenue during rush hour with dozens of signs bearing messages such as “End the Occupation Now” and images of bloodied Palestinan children. The demonstrators were met by a small vocal contingent of pro-Israel supportors. According to organizers this was the fourth pro-Palestinian protest in Atlanta since Israel began its attack on Dec. 27.

Monday, January 05, 2009

More Books!

So I stayed up waaaay too late last night finishing Little Brother, and it is definitely among the best books I've read in the past year, perhaps years. And I definitely have an even bigger, dorkier, crush on Doctorow now. There are too many best bits to even try to mention, but the clincher for me were the last two sections, after the novel itself wraps up, featuring friends of Doctorow pitching real-world computer security-type jobs to kids (it is, after all, a young adult novel). I just love the idea of selling smart, slightly anti-authoritarian-type kids on the importance of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties, and how to grow up to be the kind of adult who values and protects those things. Huzzah!

You can download Little Brother for free here, and watch Cory talk about his book below (though he doesn't reveal any spoilers, I sort of liked going into the book knowing very little about the structure of the plot).

Despite being without a new book for 12 hours (oh noes!) I did manage to get my hands on a copy of Anathem at the library today, along with A Canticle for Liebowitz. The latter is such a nicely sized and shaped book, I imagine it will be a real pleasure after lugging around the Neal Stephenson behemoth. Good thing I already know I like the guy else I might consider the weight a bit too much of a commitment!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Skyping with the folks

I forget that when my Dad gets a new toy he's just like a little kid - plays with it until it breaks, or he finally burns himself out on it. While I was home over xmas I showed the folks how to download and install skype. I know, I know, I can hear most of you out there groaning. I've created monsters! But I really don't mind - as I've said before, I'm quite the over-share-er, even (especially) with the parents. And I sort of liked the idea of being able to show off my new apartment out in CA, via webcam (they remain perpetually skeptical about my ability to find and choose an apartment that isn't horrible, despite the fact that I have consistently managed to live in lovely abodes for the past 8 years). And I knew that traveling internationally they would like being able to actually lay eyes on me from time to time. It failed to occur to me that they would want to start skyping right now, for our weekly chats. I didn't have the heart to tell them that I'm frequently multi-tasking during our hour-long catch-up every Sunday afternoon.

Plus, it suddenly made me all self-conscious - yeah, it's nearing 5pm and I'm still in my pajamas, but it's Sunday and I've been editing my damn dissertation chapters all day and sitting in front of my computer with an endless supply of coffee and my coffee-stained gymnastics hoodie is my preferred work mode. Not that the parents care - I spent most of the holiday at home in the same stained hoodie. But they were also curious about all the stuff in the background (totally innocuous - a plant they had apparently failed to notice on every previous trip down here, since I've had it since I moved in four years ago, and a painting from a friend) but still made me rethink the whole webcam thing. Not to mention the fact that I chose that time to call them to take a break from staring at my computer screen (yet here I sit, staring and typing more).

Anyway. Yeah. Monsters. My fault. Someday I'll learn...