A personal opinion

I've noticed that both Ev and Jason Shellen, following Google's acquisition of Pyra, now have disclaimers on their websites stating that everything written there is their personal opinion and not the views of their employer. I wonder if you see them in person if they have a similar message tattooed on their foreheads?

Update: This post isn't about Ev and Jason, for those who seem to have misconstrued it. It's about the fact that neither of them had disclaimers on their sites before the Google acquisition, and now they do. That seems odd to me and I wonder whether Google asked/forced/encouraged them to do it.

Further update: Matt points out that Nelson doesn't have a disclaimer. So maybe Google didn't have anything to do with it. Maybe Ev and Jason did it because they thought it was a good idea, in which case I wouldn't have written the post, because my point really was that I don't like the idea of companies telling employees what to do on their personal sites, or during their personal time, etc. And I know that running Blogger at Google, and in general using the web at work, blurs that line and makes it fuzzy and we haven't figured out what the balance is yet. But corporate disclaimers, at least when corporations demand them, make me feel icky. And that was the thought behind this post.

Return of the classics

As an English major, this is a book club I can get behind! Oprah's bringing back her book club and Yahoo! reports she's, Sticking to Classics. She'll make three to five selections a year from authors like Shakespeare, Faulkner, Hemingway, and others. Hopefully she won't go dead-white-men overboard. You know what I hope she picks? The Awakening by Kate Chopin. It's so amazingly good and underrated.

Lessons from the shuttle

Maciej's got a great essay in response to a Washington Post article about the technology of the space shuttle. In it he touches on important guidelines for the development of any technological project or system: the more complicated the system, the harder it will be to maintain; newer is not necessarily better; and one should use technology appropriate for the job at hand. Good things to keep in mind when embarking on that next project, whether it's a Mars-bound space ship or a Web application.

Those tricky cell phone headsets

In San Francisco it's hard to tell, when you spot someone talking as they walk alone down the street, whether they're using a headset for their cell phone or they're an unstable homeless person talking to themselves. In New York the problem is whether they're on the phone, or simply talking to their dog. You be the judge, person-to-person or person-to-dog?

"You're a prince. Yes you are. You're my little prince. Yes, yes. You're my little prince."

"How many times have I told you? Do I have to tell you again? You never listen to me."

Godspeed little doodle

CNN reports that Pioneer 10, the first space craft to venture out of our solar system and the one that sent back all of the wonderful photos of Jupiter, has sent its last signal. It is more than 7.6 billion miles from Earth and its 21-month mission has continued for almost 31 years. Pioneer 10 has always held a special place in my heart because it was launched only a few months after my birth. [via Boing Boing]

The story of the Pill

I caught the second half of a great American Experience the other night on The Pill and it was fascinating. Being able to control my fertility is something I don't think I fully appreciated until now. The accompanying website is also really good, with a wonderful timeline of contraception and explanations of the female menstrual cycle both on the Pill and off. For those that have forgotten the lessons of 7th grade sex ed, or attended schools that didn't teach it, there's a lot to learn from the program and the site. Also worth revisiting, Malcolm Gladwell's March 10, 2000 New Yorker article, John Rock's Error: What the co-inventor of the Pill didn't know about menstruation can endanger women's health. There's a lot to be thankful for in life, but it's the work of the early feminists — the suffragists and birth control advocates — for which I am especially grateful.

A Hollywood movie blog

A Salon article examines the weblog from the set of the upcoming movie I Love Your Work. While I think it's a really neat idea, I've been thinking since I was interviewed a few weeks ago for this piece that it's not much of a weblog if it's not released in real-time, or nearly so. (Also, links? There are no links.) Something about holding up all the content for weeks for the director's and Christina Ricci's publicist's approval seems decidedly unbloglike. But then again, it's Hollywood — I supposed we have to start with babysteps. A movie web site with actual content is a good start.

And of course, by "first" I mean the first Hollywood-on-the-set blog, not the first movie blog, since Jason's Adaptation blog came before. Yeah, enough about that.

Croque Madame

Last November while we were in Paris, Jason came up with a little ditty for le croque monsieur. Tonight, inspired by an episode of French in Action and Jason's burst into song, I came up with my own version of the tune for the venerable croque madame.

Croque Madame, Croque Madame

Avec un œuf sur le pain


The croque madame is just like the croque monsieur with the addition of a fried egg on top. It kind of rhymes, if you speak French with as bad an accent as I do.

How clothes should be

I have found a new love and his name is Paul Smith. Shopping this weekend with Choire (at an undisclosed Manhattan location) we stumbled across of hoard of Paul Smith's women's clothing at deep discount. Feminine and lovely yet wearable, Smith's designs had all the little details that drive me crazy when it comes to clothing: beautiful satin polka-dot lining inside a plain black coat, red seams and satin floral lining inside a plaid suit coat, and little pink bows on skirts and dresses. Delightful stuff, if only his website weren't such a Flash monstrosity, I could see what he's been up to lately.