Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Slice of Life for Writers

There is a new literary magazine called "Slice" out now which is the brainchild of two book editors, Maria Gagliano and Celia Johnson. They know how hard it is for new authors to break into the world of publishing so their mission is to "pave a space for these writers who may not have a platform but show the kind of talent that could be the substance of great works in the future. We are equally dedicated to celebrating established writers, whose work moves beyond the boundaries of writing to not only redefine literature, but to inspire new voices to grow." They came up with the idea for this magazine while they were both editors working together at Random House.

On their website, they proclaim that "Slice is a new literary magazine created to provide a forum for dynamic conversations between emerging and established authors." Their first issue was made available this past September. When putting together their first issue, they decided that established writers would help draw attention to the newer talents. So the inaugural issue spotlights Junot Díaz who's first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead Books), has been garnering praise from all of the major critics. Check out their very cool website.

The magazine is currently accepting material for their March, 2008 issue. The theme for article submissions is "Heroes." Slice magazine welcomes short fiction, nonfiction, and novellas for serialization. They are looking for anyone with a fresh voice and a compelling story to share but are not currently looking at experimental or "heavy-handed" genre fiction. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as they are notified immediately if the work is selected for publication elsewhere. All submissions should be previously unpublished. All submissions must be submitted electronically, in the body of an email. Be sure to include detailed contact information. Please allow two to three months for them to reply to your submission. They are currently unable to pay for published material, but hope to reward writers by creating a wide audience of readers. Please send submissions to

Because they are a brand new magazine, it looks like they are cautiously testing the waters. Their publishing schedule is only twice a year in March and September. So submissions will probably be very high. But to anyone out there with short stories, please check them out. As they grow, hopefully they can expand their publishing schedule and eventually pay their writers.

Friday, October 26, 2007

And now for somehing completely random...

FAT travelers:

A woman called a travel agent and asked, "Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know who's luggage belongs to who?"
The travel agent said "No, why do you ask?"
She replied, "Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said FAT, and I'm overweight, is there any connection?"
The travel agent put the woman on hold to laugh hysterically before coming back on line and explaining that the city code for Fresno is FAT, and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.

Bathroom etiquette:

A woman was sitting in her bathroom stall minding her own business when a voice emerged from the stall next to her.

“Hey, how you doing?” the voice said.

Surprised the woman asked if she was talking to her.

“Uh huh,” the voice replied.

“Um, fine thank you,” the woman replied, wondering if perhaps her neighbor needed toilet paper or something else.

“Is everything ok over there?” the voice persisted.

The woman was starting to get annoyed, “Um, yes, not that it’s any of your business.”

“Well, then can I come over there?” the voice asked.

“What is wrong with you?” the woman responded. “Can’t you respect my privacy?”

“Hold on,” the voice continued, “there’s some idiot in the next stall answering all my questions.”

Medical Hijinks!

A new, young MD doing his residency in OB was quite embarrassed performing female pelvic exams. To cover his embarrassment he had unconsciously formed a habit of whistling softly. The middle aged lady upon whom he was performing this exam suddenly burst out laughing and further embarrassed him. He looked up from his work and sheepishly said, "I'm sorry. Was I tickling you?" She replied, "No doctor, but the song you were whistling was "I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener."

And I will end with my favorite Deep Thoughts quote by Jack Handey

"One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. "Oh no," I said, "Disneyland burned down." He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday Introspective - Childhaters versus Bad Entitled Parents

All of us know some of one and some of the other. There are plenty of people out there that hate children. Really hate children. If a building was on fire and they had a choice between saving someone’s pet or someone’s child, they would choose to save the animal. I know people like this, I’ve worked with them. I’ve actually heard some of them say these exact words to me. They are the ones that glare at you and your kids at restaurants, movies, cafes and other public places. They panic when they see you on the airplane. They make snide remarks to their other childfree friends about why abortion should be legalized. They gripe about their taxes going to education or playgrounds or other child related public policies. But do I hate them? No. But they seem to hate me, my children and what we represent. An imposition in their child free lives.

But let’s look at the opposite end of the spectrum. The entitled, the spoiled, the obnoxious, the whiny, yelling, stubborn babies that believe the whole world revolves around them. And their children are just as bad. Let’s face it, there are a lot of parents out there that give the rest of parents a bad reputation. I’m sure we all can name one or two of our friends or acquaintances who are guilty of selfish parenting. They make going out in public difficult for everyone, not just the childfree.

I once had lunch at a restaurant and watched two moms chatting and eating while their two little ballerina darlings (probably 4 years old each) smeared ketchup and mustard on the mirrored walls behind them. The whole restaurant watched in fascination and yet the moms did nothing to stop the budding Picassos. When the manager came over and asked the moms to stop their little darlings, one mom rolled her eyes at him and said, “it’s just a mirror, its not like it won’t wipe off.” When she went to grab her daughter’s hands, the little dear flew into a raging tantrum that silenced everyone else in the restaurant. The mom then decided to let the little dear roll around on the floor screaming for several minutes as every single person in the restaurant stared at her. At this point, even her friend was looking at her funny. Finally, the mother got a clue, picked up her little angel and walked out. I kept staring after the woman mystified. Did she not believe that her daughter’s actions were inappropriate? Is this what she allowed her daughter to do in her own house? Paint the walls with condiments?

A friend of mine and her 2 year old daughter were playing at the park when a bigger child of 6 kept pushing her daughter off the play equipment. My friend tried to reason with the 6 year old not to push someone so much smaller, but to no avail. At one point, the 6 year old actually spit in the 2 year old’s face and shoved her down. My friend was naturally upset and yelled out for the 6 year old’s mother who had been chatting with friends and not paying any attention. When confronted with her son’s actions, the mother said (and this is a direct quote), “What’s the big deal, he’s only 6 years old. He doesn’t know any better, he was only playing.” No apology for her son’s actions, no explaining to her son that spitting in someone’s face is considered a socially inappropriate action. Nothing but indignation that my friend should be so upset at her son. She even said “Why can’t you be more understanding?” I don’t get this. If he was my kid, you can safely bet I would have chewed his ear off and although I don’t spank my kids, that boy might have been deserving of the golden rod. I take that back, that mom should have been the one beaten. A 6 year old should know better, or should know better with proper parenting.

In some ways, I am resigned to the hatred between the two groups. A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle about cafes that cater to families triggered vicious comments from both parents and childfree alike. One side claiming that the mommy brigade with their SUV like strollers were ruining the café and dining out experience for the rest of the world while the other side cried out for parents and children’s rights to go out in public.

A few years back, there was outcry over a sign placed in a café over in Chicago. A Taste of Heaven owner Dan McCauley posted a sign that read “Children of all ages have to behave and use their indoor voices when they come to A Taste of Heaven.” This triggered talks of boycotts by neighborhood mothers’ groups and overwhelming support for the owner from all corners of the globe. The brouhaha surprised me when it happened. Don’t we all teach our children to use indoor voices inside? Why is it wrong when an establishment’s owner requests the same thing? Well the mistake is in my question “Don’t we all…” for clearly not all parents do.

This also leads me to the interesting debate over breastfeeding in public and Bill Maher. Mother blogs across the country spouted “We hate Bill Maher” titles after his statements against the La Leche nurse-in stance taken when a breastfeeding mother was asked to cover-up, go to the bathroom or leave at an Appleby’s restaurant. The number of blogs commenting on this situation gives you an idea of the depth and touchiness of this issue. Mothers are up in arms. Again, I’m not sure why there is so much controversy. I applaud a woman’s right to breastfeed their baby, wherever they want. But is being discreet problematic? There are so many outfits geared for discreet breastfeeding, is there a need to whip out a large mammary gland as a spectator sport? Is it then ok for people to stare at your breast as you breastfeed? Nobody should take away a mother’s right to breastfeed their child, however, a little discretion is all we ask for.

Another article heralding the end of family pre-boarding courtesy on Southwest airline triggered over 300 comments. The antagonism towards parents was surprising. Even those comments disagreeing with the new policy change did so with considerable animosity towards families with children. Making remarks like “ending pre-boarding for families with children is plain stupid. I liked being able to sit as far away as I could from those snotty nosed kids and their entitled jerky parents.”

I’ve found a lot of interesting blogs and articles which expounds on the hatred of these two groups and I find it fascinating. Real live people who passionately hate children (and their bonehead parents) versus loudmouthed, self-righteous, self-absorbed parents who can’t seem to care enough to discipline their screaming angel who is now pouring syrup all over the café floor. Ooooh, who to root for? Whose side is right and whose is wrong? How about neither side? They both have good and bad points but the biggest problem is the sheer intolerance I see from both these groups. There are plenty of childfree sites out there that don’t hate children. All they want is for parents to start acting responsibly towards their own kids, like don’t let them run screaming up and down the restaurant aisles while you ignore their behavior. Don’t let them kick the airplane seat the whole time during a crowded five hour flight. I find this quite reasonable. I am a parent of three, and I agree wholeheartedly with teaching children the social niceties. And if they can’t behave, you need to discipline them appropriately. We have an obligation as parents to raise our children correctly and teach them what is proper behavior at all times.

Entitled parents are selfish parents, who don’t care that the actions of their children are imposing negatively to others. They make it harder for the rest of us who are trying to raise our children right and teach them proper behavior. No my children are not always properly behaved. But when they act inappropriately, I jump on them, I don’t let it slide. How parents discipline their children is vastly different and I will not criticize anyone’s style. However, I do have a problem with the no discipline approach I have seen in many parents. Children are not your friends and you should not treat them as such. They are children and need to be parented, that means disciplined, appropriately. Entitled parents believe that nothing their precious children do is wrong. I was once sitting in the café area of Barnes and Nobles and watched a 3 year old grab a mug and smash it into a thousand pieces on the floor. The mom did not tell her child the behavior was wrong, but this was not the worst offense. When a bookseller came over to clean up the mess, the woman chided the employee for having breakables in easy reach of small children. No offer to pay for the broken ware, no explaining to little Zoe that what she was doing was not a good idea. In fact, I don’t recall her saying the word “No” at all. Ah, but that is a rant for another day.

At the same time, there are plenty of childfree sites I have found that spout an ugliness towards parents in general that I find deeply distressing and disturbing. One site called parents “breeder trolls” and came up with a list of offensive terms to denigrate parents and their children. For instance, someone who desperately wants to get pregnant has “baby rabies” or someone with multiple pregnancies has a “freaklitter.” Female breeders who whine and moan are “mooing” and a “SHAM” is a stay at home moo (mommy). I won’t link to the sites (and there are many!) because I don’t want them to rabble rouse on my blog. And while most do try to make a distinction between a good parent and a “breeder,” the problem is that it becomes difficult to distinguish between the two amongst all the venom. Hatred in any form is ugly. What makes hate filled remarks against parents and children any different from the Klu Klux Klan and their hate filled positions against minorities? I would say any wholesale hatred against a group is discrimination and it is wrong.

I respect a person’s right to not have children. One of the smartest choices a person can make is one where they decide a life with children is not for them. Realizing that good parenting is about sacrifice, and that this sacrifice might not be what they want in their lives. Many of us have thought of somebody (Britney Spears) who clearly should have thought more about the sacrifices of having children before having them. I admire those who have made that choice. Just as I admire all those parents out there who work hard to provide a good home and safe nurturing environment for their children. The children of today are the future of us all. There is no denying it. Instead of spewing hatred and ranting and raving against one another, we must work to make sure that our future turns out the best possible way for all of us.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Rejecting the Rejection

October 19, 2007

Ms. Hotshot Agent
1357893 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY

Dear Ms. Agent:

Thank you for your letter of October 17, 2007. I'd like to apologize for the impersonal nature of my letter. Rest assured that I do read every rejection letter carefully and unfortunately this rejection letter is just not right for me. However, these decisions are highly subjective and another writer may have a completely different opinion from mine.

This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving a large number of rejection letters. With such a diverse and promising field of rejections, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.

Despite your outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting writers, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at this time. Therefore, I have decided to accept you as my agent and will forward you a copy of my completed manuscript for your immediate representation. I will arrive in New York on November 8th and look forward to meeting you at your offices at that time.

Best of luck in rejecting future clients.


Rejected NoMore

P.S. I would appreciate if you did not call security when I arrive.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Art of Editing

The Shining, Redux
I know this is 3 years old, but it is Brilliant and worth showing again.

Robert Ryang entered a contest run by a post-production house where assistant editors were to take any movie and cut a new trailer for it — but in an entirely different genre. Mr. Ryang chose the most famous horror movie of all time, “The Shining,” Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror film starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. Look what it became in his hands.

The reason I'm showing it here is because I think the editing process for writers can be so similar. You cut and rewrite and cut and rewrite, continually changing it until sometimes you have an entirely different novel or story from what you conceptually started with. Sometimes it's good and the changes are better, but other times you go too far and you need to go back to the original idea. I find my revising process can be a minefield if I'm not careful. I recently cut out 15,000 words from my WIP and now the tone is different, the pace is different. So far I think it's good, but when does it become too much? When do I need to be cautious of the delete key? Editing is an art. (See above trailer to confirm this.) But when is too much editing, well, too much? I don't know and hopefully I won't end up with a product so different from the concept of my original idea. It is a balancing act and I am trying to be careful of that line right now.

Writing thoughts

Copyright by aussiegal

When you write, do your words come soaring out as light as feathers or must you wrench them from inside word for word? I admit to being the latter. Words come out with too much thought and care to be as light as feathers. They weigh me down, heavy as bricks clunking on to my page with the thud of inevitable rewrites. I envy those who can write free flowing, stream of consciousness without worrying endlessly over each word they write. For me this picture represents a goal that I will set for myself. After my final revisions are finally over and done with, I plan on starting my second novel next month, the one I put down years ago and am ready to pick up again. This picture is my reminder to relax and let the words come naturally. Try not to second guess each word I write then and there. Enjoy more, worry less. Perhaps in this way I can finish my next book in less then 5 years this time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Weirdly Halloween!

Copyright by Daleberts

This is a good time to talk about Halloween, the night of dark deeds and things that go bump in the night. All Hallow’s Eve, Samhain or Pooky Night, as I like to call it, has been bastardized by the large retail conglomerates into a holiday of costumes and candy. Instead of lighting huge bonfires to ward off evil spirits, we dress up our children as princesses, pirates, ballerinas, Spiderman, fairies and other myriad cute and cuddlies. This is in complete violation of the spirit of Halloween! It is supposed to be the night where the living world and the world of the dead collide, allowing the dead to inhabit the earth again. People dressed as spirits or otherworldly creatures when going outside in order to blend in with the walking dead. I’m thinking cheerleaders and Spongebob Squarepants are not exactly blending in.

But one thing hasn’t changed – and that is the telling of the scary story. And so just in time for Halloween, I have my review of Weirdly: A Collection of Strange Stories published by Wild Child Publishing. This is my first time purchasing an e-book and I will admit to previously being pretty skeptical about an e-book. I mean, part of reading is the physical aspect of opening a book and turning the pages. And I love the smell of a new book. Pure ambrosia. But we all know how expensive buying new hard covers are these days. It’s hard to justify over $25.00 for a book sometimes, especially when you could be terribly disappointed. But here is the delight of my purchase, Weirdly is an awesome read. And at the current price of $5.95 with no going to a store and waiting in line, or waiting for a package to come in the mail, this is an incredible bargain. For a terribly indolent person like myself, instant gratification without ever leaving my house is so satisfying. Twenty-six strange and scary stories for $5.95? Seriously, I don’t think you can find a better bargain. Everyone will find at least several stories in this anthology that will make their heart pound a little faster and creep you out just a tad. Now, isn’t that the spirit of Halloween?

So let’s talk about the stories. Well, some of them are more vignettes, but just because they are short doesn’t mean that you are being shortchanged. Now, I can’t review all of them but I can tell you that the ones that hung with me after I finished the book did so with a vengeance. The book opens with vampires and ends with werewolves. Could you ask for more? The first story Those Who Won’t Be Missed by C.T. Adams & Cathy Clamp, is a well written vampire story with an interesting voice and an excellent ending. The bookend is aptly titled The Sickness by Amanda Tieman which features werewolves in love. And in between are stories of ghosts, beasts, murderers, demons, morticians, and soulless sorority girls. What is there not to love?

Two other stand-out stories are Anya by Stacia Helpman and The Beekeeper by James Cheetham. One tells the story of the rise and fall of an Avenging Angel while the other delves into the clouded mind of a dying man and his daughter who seeks for one last time her father’s missing affection. The other pieces were all strong and interesting in their various ways but hands down my favorite piece was Stone Child by Bernita Harris. Its central protagonist is Lillie St. Claire and she is a full spectrum mega-Talent and an exorcist. A Talent is a rare individual of unusual psychic sensibility. The mark of a Talent is shown in the silvering of their hair. In Stone Child, we enter a world with a proliferation of spectoral entities and ancient creatures from myths and legends. Talents are employed in criminal investigations to discover missing victim’s by their ghosts and help solve murder cases. The story opens with a missing child case, but the plot untwists itself to reveal no ordinary missing person’s case. I can’t reveal more for fear of giving away too much of this unique and fascinating story. You are just going to have to buy your own copy.

So impressed was I by the story that I immediately emailed Bernita and asked if I could ask her some questions about Stone Child. I had a terribly urgent question I had to ask her, pressing heavily on my mind. I needed to know when I would be able to read an entire novel about Lillie St. Claire. You see I became very attached to Lillie from this one story and was anxious to read more about her. I knew Bernita was working on the St. Claire Chronicles, but I wanted to know when she would be completed. Those who know me, know that patience is a virtue I am not familiar with. And I admit to being terribly disappointed to hear that A Malignity of Ghosts (how cool is that title?!) wouldn’t be finished until February 2008.

So what’s a person supposed to do? Well, what does any fan do when faced with waiting for their next favorite book from their favorite author? They start looking at the history of how it all came to be. So I decided to investigate further into the St. Clair Chronicles and learn more about the creation and evolution of Lillie St. Clair.

The lovely and immensely talented Bernita Harris is also well known for her popular writer’s blog An Innocent A-Blog. And if you are a writer, you need to add her to your blogroll as a place to frequent. It’s filled with great posts on the art of writing and every so often a post will trigger some heated discussion in the comment trails. A former forensic consultant from Ontario, Canada, Bernita has assisted the police in cases involving occult-related material, events, practises and beliefs. She has been a member of both the American Society of Criminology and the Canadian Identification Society and has what she calls a “mild familiarity” with police procedures and psychology, as well as a working knowledge of the belief systems of non-traditional religions. On top of all this, she has a Master’s Degree in English Lit. With all of this background, how could she not come up with a paranormal thriller starring a kick-ass female protagonist with special and unusual abilities. Here’s what she told me:

E: Hi Bernita, I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed Weirdly. It was a really good read. And I have to tell you quite honestly that Stone Child was my absolute favorite story.

B: Thank you for those generous words, and I'm delighted you thought Weirdly a good read.

E: How did you get Stone Child in this anthology?

B: I originally met a couple of Wild Child editors through my blog and liked their personalities, their attitude and their observations about writing. One of them requested I do a short-short story ("Ornamental") and a medieval poem for the Wild Child magazine (a monthly e-pub operating since circa '98, and recently closed so they can concentrate on books.). That same editor asked me to submit a story for this anthology. Since I was already deep in Lillie's POV for A Malignity of Ghosts, and found it difficult to extract myself from it, I thought to provide her with an extra "adventure," explore a different view of the paranatural creature, and take the opportunity to expand on Lillie's ethics regarding them and other paranormal entities.

E: How was it working with Wild Child Publishing?

B: They are a wonderful company and my editor was a honey to work with.

E: So how did you come up with Lillie’s story?

B: Lillie evolved from the writer's classic “what if?” Part of the plot revolves around just who or what appears intent on killing Lillie off, her sympathy with the Godforsaken, her sense of isolation and acceptance at being termed a Freak, and the haunting effects on her self-image by her dead husband's treatment -- all of which complicates a budding and guilty attraction she has developing with a Psi-crime detective, John Thresher.

E: So what type of book is Malignity?

B: Malignity is a contemporary urban fantasy. Stone Child is a further adventure and occurs after the events in Malignity. I have always been intrigued with finding the mythic in the mundane and the auguries of ordinary things and I enjoy cross-genre stories which have that added resonance.

E: Did your background as a forensic consultant specializing in the occult lead you to creating Lillie?

B: Well, I suppose in a way Lillie is a kind of forensic occultologist herself, except that in her world, it's not a question of belief but of reality.

E: Can you tell me about the world Lillie inhabits?

B: Lillie's story is set in a society which strives to accommodate itself in a practical manner to the unexpected and inconvenient emergence of ghosts and other paranatural entities by hiring rare Talents - like Lillie - to take out the trash, so to speak. Talents are used to remove unwanted apparitions who disturb the public peace. Society, as usual, divides over legalities, rights, ethics, and exploitation. Talents are also employed in a forensic capacity - to discover victim's bodies by their ghosts and to supplement CSI indentification in cases of murder. It's an evolving situation, as the society attempts to adjust to this new paradigm. Even Talents are playing at catch-up. The increase in paranatural apparatitions and paranormal creatures, including zombies raised by the unscrupulous or the unwary, has also led naturally to incidents of psi-crime, abuse of apparitions, and other illicit activities. (Want to buy a property cheap? Have a half-assed psychic introduce a ghost to haunt the place.)

E: That is so fascinating. What kind of issues will Lillie face?

B: While Lillie would like to find out who or what is behind several attacks on her life, why a bean sidhe keeps showing up to chat, and just what does the big, ugly psi-crime detective really thinks of her, the question most readers might like answered though, is did Lillie truly kill her husband?

E: And of course we have to wait for your book to find out, right?

B: Right.

E: No hints for special bloggers?

B: Patience…

E: Oh, alright, will you at least tell me what a bean sidhe is?

B: A bean sidhe is a banshee (banshee is the phonetic rendering). Other entities besides garden-variety ghosts, from Celtic and Northern European myth make appearances in Malignity like the dullahan (the Crom Dubh - a death messenger). The appearance of paranatural entities seems largely related to the basic ethnicity of the original immigrants of the area. Lillie also has as a kind of protective companion, a Black Dog of legend, Dumbarton (Dummie, for short.)

E: Oh, I can’t wait to read it! Thanks so much for answering some questions for me and wetting my appetite even more for Malignity.

B: I’m still in a state of astonished delight over your reception of Lillie and Stone Child. Thank you, E, very much!

So there you have it, an inside view into the upcoming novel Malignity by the author of Stone Child, Bernita Harris. I hope more people will purchase Weirdly and read these excellent stories. And after you read Stone Child, I hope you will pop by Bernita’s blog to tell her what you thought.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday Introspective - Our Environment

I had planned on doing a Tuesday post on global warming and climate change for the past few Tuesdays but something always came up. But it was meant to be that I would post today as I was able to utilize all the environmentally conscious blogs that posted for Blog Action Day. And given Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize for his role as an Ambassador for our Environment, timing couldn't have been better. Who would have thought the former Vice President, who technically should habe been the 43rd President of the USA, who went away to quietly lick his wounds and came back as a major spokesman for global warming, would win a Nobel Peace Prize?

Yesterday, the NYT Op-Ed Columnist Paul Krugman asks "What is it about Al Gore that drives right-wingers insane?" And he answers that it's because Mr. Gore keeps being proven right. "Today, being a good Republican means believing that taxes should always be cut, never raised. It also means believing that we should bomb and bully foreigners, not negotiate with them. So if science says that we have a big problem that can’t be solved with tax cuts or bombs — well, the science must be rejected, and the scientists must be slimed." And in an age where smear tactics are the proven choice for conservatives fighting for their guns and their large SUVs and their big tax breaks to keep their large McMansion estates - it drives them wild that none of their tactics have worked on Mr. Gore. Instead "he's taken everything they could throw at him, and emerged more respected, and more credible, than ever. And it drives them crazy."

As much as I respect Al Gore, we must remember despite the media hype, he was not the only winner. He split the Nobel Peace Prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a respected organization known for its measured approach to the problem, focusing on the more noncontroversial findings. Their approach is very different from the doom and gloom approach Mr. Gore has taken. There has been concerns that Mr. Gore's emphasis on the more sensationalistic aspects of global warming is misrepresenting the science. For example, the NYT article titled
"2 Winners, and 2 Approaches to Spreading the Word on Climate" stated that in Mr. Gore's documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” "a fast-motion flood spills into ground zero, implying seas could rise many feet in the near term from melting Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. In the [IPCC] panel’s latest study, losing the Greenland sheet was projected to take 1,000 years or more." One IPCC member, Gary Yohe stated “If the spectacular nature of his presentations and the personalities involved become the story instead of the science, then it becomes counterproductive.” Some are concerned that Mr Gore is an alarmist in his approach, especially when the science is still uncertain. Those authorities who tend to marginalize the issue of climate change look at Mr. Gore's tactics as trying to frighten the public with dire climate scenarios like more intense hurricanes. And given that the science is uncertain, it allows Mr. Gore's detractors to counterargue his position as simple alarmism and reassure the scared public that there is no solid proof of this phenomenon.

I believe both approaches are important to bringing world attention to the concerns of our environment. What other way is there to attract the attention of the masses? For the science itself is too complex for average citizens and elected officials (even our President!) to comprehend. And even the experts agree that if the profile of the issue had not been raised with “An Inconvenient Truth,” the ICPP's reports this year would not have had nearly as much impact.

Since Mr. Gore plans to donate a portion of the $1.5 million prize money to the nonprofit organization he founded last year, the Alliance for Climate Protection, I hope he will also take a more conservative approach in the dissemination of the message to the public now that he has catpured everyone's attention. In no way do I think he should change his approach too drastically, as I do believe we must keep the pressure up, but I would want him to stay as close to the proven science as possible, if only to counter the inevitable backlash from the right wing conservatives.

Mr. Gore's approach has helped raise the issues of climate change to the public and now that public attention has been captured, it is now up to the world's governments and the scientific community to come up with answers and solutions to save our world. And it is up to us, the citizen's of the world, to hold our government's accountable to find these solutions.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday Morning Ha Ha!

How would you like to be serenaded by these two?

If they were on American Idol, I would sooooo vote for them!

Friday, October 12, 2007

I left the copier jammed...

So, last night I was at the faculty office and needed to make a bunch of copies for class. The office has these new copiers that are, how do you say, um, ABSOLUTE CRAP! Every time I tried to make a copy, it would jam somewhere in some impenetrable nether region of copier hell and I would spend 10 minutes opening and shutting various different compartments over and over again before getting it to work only to find it jams 2 copies later! F**k me! Frustrated, I gave up and informed my work colleagues that I had jammed the copier. When I went back to my desk, this wonderful and memorable video was in my email, courtesy of my colleague. Thanks Jason!

Man, oh man, I loved these commercials when they first aired! I am so glad we can see them whenever we want on YouTube. I have to say my all time favorite Terry Tate quotes that I used to go around saying all the time:

1. Break was over 15 minutes ago, Bitch!

2. You can't cut the cheese whereever you please! That's just nasty!

3. You can't make a pass and pinch Pablo's ass!

Ah, the good old days! Well, although I did jam the copier, at least I told everyone I did it. But we all know those office slackers that drive you crazy. Like the faculty member who left a dirty cup of rancid nastiness on the faculty desk for me to find. Errrrr. Or the person who farted in the stairwell above me even though they could hear me coming up so that I walked into the evil stank of his ass. Where's Terry when you need him.