28 October 2005

Breaking new ground in the colossal stupidity department: A lucky woman in Oregon won $1 million in the state lottery. Only problem was, she bought the ticket with a stolen credit card. Oops.

Posted 10:45 AM

Making networks go zoom department: scientists at Stanford say they have demonstrated a solid state modulator for optical networks, based on silicon and germanium.

Posted 09:57 AM

26 October 2005

One of the most heavily used tools in the public relations tool box works like this: company sends out press release, calls key reporters to pitch an article, and makes senior executives available as sources. There's lot of space out there in media land, so at least one outlet is probably going to pick up the release. The company then points to this coverage as evidence of the importance of their latest announcement, explaining why other reporters should hop on board. Repeat.

When a company is doing the pitching, it's usually pretty easy to find other sources, piece together conflicting and corroborating information, and generally do what reporters are supposed to do.

When the sources are either US government officials or vetted by the US government, and the product being pitched is removal of an unfriendly head of state, things get quite a bit trickier.

Posted 11:33 PM

One of the things that non-writers will never understand is that fictional characters really do behave like real people. Authors sometimes have enormous difficulty getting their characters to do what the plot requires. Some have tried persuasion, with mixed success. Others have discovered that resorting to force really can work.

Posted 10:35 AM

25 October 2005

Though I haven't posted a total since April, I've still been keeping track of my word counts. I have 21,910 words since that last update, which gives me a grand total of 73,760 for the year so far.

I'm not likely to get to my original goal of 300,000, but I'm in deep trouble if I don't crack 125,000. I've got contracts in hand for at least that many words. Guess I better put it in high gear, huh?

Posted 04:54 PM

In December, 1955, Rosa Parks declared that she was "sick and tired of being sick and tired," and refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus.

Ms. Parks died yesterday in Detroit. She was 92.

Posted 02:48 PM


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