I’m really surprised that Jakob

I'm really surprised that Jakob Nielsen, in his newest Alertbox, Content Creation for Average People, doesn't mention Blogger or even weblogs, in his discussion of Average People getting content online. He makes many excellent points:

"Even when people don't have material that the world might find of interest, they often have content to share that is very important to a few people, such as their family and friends."

"Letting users create small bits and pieces of content makes the job less intimidating than having to create a whole site all at once."

"Although most may never be great, many will be able to produce good content that will appeal to small audiences."

And I like his solutions, especially to teach content creation, but his recommended approach is crazy. He hopes, "schools will soon begin teaching kids how to author hypertext ." Whoa, hold on Jakob, why? The problem, which he even admits, is that the content that's being created isn't very good ("The vast wasteland of Geocities confirms this"), so wouldn't it make more sense to spend time teaching writing skills? Why bog kids down with HTML? Does knowing HTML make one a better writer? I don't think so.

That's why tools like Blogger are so valuable. You can get your content online (and more of it, more often, easier, so you're writing more and improving every day) without needing to know HTML, without worrying about creating a whole page, a design, or a site. You just write, click a button, and your voice is online. It's as simple as that.

Ok, the blue was fine,

Ok, the blue was fine, I got used to it. The reddish-orange was actually quite nice, much like a shirt I admire, but this color? This horid, burning-my-eyes-out-it's-so-damn-bright-yellowey-green? No. At this color I must draw the line and say, Please, for the love of God, bring back the Yellow!

One should never look a

One should never look a gift horse in the mouth.

Speaking of, what is the history of that strange phrase? I'm sure it pre-dates the Monkees. Are its origins based in the wild west, when people would give one another horses as gifts? Was it considered impolite to look in their mouths? And if you got a gift horse, why would you look in its mouth? To see if it had teeth? Gingivitis? Braces? Fillings? Or maybe something in a horse's mouth indicates its overall health, so you look to make sure it's healthy? Because you sure as hell wouldn't want to accept a gift horse that's going to die on you. Then you'd have to bury it, and bury a gift horse is a pain in the ass. When my speculation ceases to amuse you, look here for the real answer.

Food and Drug Administration approves

Food and Drug Administration approves abortion pill Wow, after all this time, I never thought the FDA would approve RU-486, especially with the increasing fervor of the anti-choice contingent these days. A less-invasive, non-surgical abortion is an important option that should be available to all women, not just Europeans. Though I fear its cost of approximately $300 puts it out of reach of far too many.

And because I’m thinking of

And because I'm thinking of poems, and poetry, and because it's autumn, and because I like to share the things I like with you, I offer this link: Keats' To Autumn. Enjoy this "[s]eason of mists and mellow fruitfulness" for we've only one month or so left, before the rains and snow drown us with winter, and all grows cold and dormant.