Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Taking the day off; found these this morning:
November 20, 2004
The Great Vowel Shift:
    This dialogue does two things. First, it gives the listener four slices of time and shows how vowels would be pronounced in each of these periods. You can click on a time link and get text, sound, and phonetic transcription for the dialogue as it would have taken place in that time. You may also click on a word within the text and get pronunciations of that word (or a similar one) across time.

• NYTimes.com > Books
Holocaust Victim's Novel Finds a Readership at Last
By ALAN RIDING, Published: November 22, 2004
PARIS, Nov. 19 - At first glance, the novel might be considered just another in the spate of new World War II books recounting stories of love and heroism and offering lessons in brutality and cowardice.
    In reality, "Suite Française" by Irène Némirovsky is very different. Written in German-occupied France in 1942 shortly before its Ukrainian-born Jewish author was sent to her death in Auschwitz, it has taken 62 years to be published.
    Yet what most distinguishes this two-part novel is not its long journey from scribbled notebook to France's best-sellers' list. It has been acclaimed because it is a finely made work of fiction that portrays occupied France with both severity and sympathy. It is also written with extraordinary detachment by a woman who seemed to know that her own days were numbered. This month it won the Renaudot literary prize.

Dictionary of Received Ideas
The intent is for it be a central place to deposit links (blog posts, newspaper articles, etc) on history topics (not current politics...), hopefully to make a genuinely useful and interesting resource for historians. (Source: Cliopatria)

Shales on FCC's Michael Powell
For those who haven't seen it, one of the most passionate and effective shreddings of a public official I have ever witnessed comes from Tom Shales in today's Washington Post. (Source: Cliopatria)

Kevin Sites Blog (Source: Blogspot)

The Green Side (Source: Blogspot)

Hopkin Explained :: mike.whybark.com (Source: Blogspot)

Jesse James Garrett: jjg.net (Source: Blogspot)

• And from Garrett:
November 20, 2004, Economists are trying to figure out if online music trading cuts into CD sales as much as the record industry claims.

Found on Arts & Letters Daily:
Book Review
The Worst of Times
Seth Mnookin goes inside the paper of record’s 2003 meltdown—and uncovers much inadvertent mirth.
By William Powers


... But between these conventionally fretful parentheses, the book has another purpose entirely, one that, in the current atmosphere of mandatory gloom, feels downright subversive: to tell a richly dramatic, hugely entertaining story, replete with egos run amok, duplicity, hypocrisy, and all the other stigmata of massive institutional failure, in the media and beyond. The author’s deadpan delivery becomes a canny narrative trick. By playing the serious media-crit game on one level, the book gives us permission to laugh on another. If this were just a rollicking send-up of the Times at its modern nadir, it would seem small and mean.
    Instead, it’s large and mean—and this is meanness with a purpose. Comedy is the best way to speak serious truths, after all. Mnookin covered the fall of Raines for Newsweek, and he culled his notebooks with a wicked eye. In drafting this account, he was smart enough to zero in on an element of the story that few outside the Times knew much about: the team of five Times reporters and two editors who were charged with investigating Blair’s plagiarism and other offenses and composing the front-page account of his misdeeds.
    [F]or all its gory detail, Hard News doesn’t leave you feeling hopeless about Our Corrupt Media. It’s a glimpse of the Times not as the grand abstraction of legend, or the hood ornament of a whole trade, but as a collection of people—people who routinely do a lot of great work and occasionally screw up in the most mortifying ways, and then learn from their mistakes. Kvetching about the media is easy. When you know enough about one of these scandals that you can laugh, and laugh darkly, then you’re making progress.

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