Monday, February 21, 2005

Poll: "A statewide telephone survey of 544 adults, conducted Feb. 14-17, found concern about the future of Social Security, as well as varying degrees of pessimism about the prospects for collecting full Social Security benefits in the future."

12:01:09 PM    comment []

Public editor Ted Vaden of the News & Observer: "Finally, note to self: Start an N&O blog."

11:51:50 AM    comment []

Chewie wants more civil discourse in the N&R's public square. Yeah, well, good luck with that. The best you can hope for is that people learn not to feed the trolls, and that rude or extreme positions are met with firm but polite disagreement, or just ignored.

9:29:29 AM    comment []

Peter L'Official in Salon attempts to defend The Silmarillion from its many critics: "The extravagantly stylized language, a seeming overabundance of genealogical history, and a lack of deeply crafted characterization were cited as its major faults."

The critics were right, especially on that third point, which is the The Silmarillion's greatest shortcoming. LOTR overcomes varying dosages of the other two problems by making us care about the characters, but in the pseudo-biblical prequel, all we get is names and events. L'Official points to some redeeming elements for the hard-core Tolkien fan -- hey, I'm in there with him -- but this book has too many flaws to be considered an overlooked gem for anyone but the most devoted reader.

UPDATE: Backwards City sez: "I tried, okay? But it's unreadable."

9:25:17 AM    comment []

Dave Winer has tea-ordering tips for visitors to the South. My nomination for sweetest tea in GSO: the restaurant at United House of Prayer for All People on Dudley St., which has so much sugar it makes your teeth hurt.

9:15:31 AM    comment []

Triangle blog aggregator.

9:08:29 AM    comment []

Doug Clark enjoyed the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit in High Point, but he managed to decode its politics a bit more carefully than did Charles Davenport Jr.: "As for the exhibit's point of view: It's fundamentalist (the earth was created 6,000 years ago, Moses himself wrote the first five books of the Bible - both refutable contentions); strongly pro-Reformation and therefore anti-Catholic (at least in regard to the Catholic church's actions in opposing the Reformation and reformers' efforts to make the Bible more accessible to common people); and insistent that the United States was founded on Christian principles."

9:07:35 AM    comment []


Thanks, HST. For Hell's Angels, snippets of which still bubble into my consciousness with some regularity 21 years after I read it on an overnight train to Rome.

For this: "We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold..." And everything that followed on that alarming trip.

For the scatalogical note you scrawled to me in 2000 in response to a query for an article I was reporting on Garry Trudeau.

Lenslinger: "That a journalist could interject himself into the action in such an incredibly entertaining way was nothing less than a revelation to me. It made me want to WRITE more than ever."

8:54:57 AM    comment []