The Further Adventures of Germ Girl
Ruth Franklin: An open letter to a few good magazine editors; or, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore"
Dear Jim, Scott, Graydon, Hugo, Josh, and Adam:
I hope you don’t mind that I’m calling you by your first names, even though I know only one of you. (Josh and I go way back.) I realize I could have just said, “Hey guys!” which, come to think of it, really makes my point for me. But I wanted this…
Chuck Wendig has a new book. People classify him as Read On Sight for a reason, you know.
The Blue Blazes is now available!
Let’s just dispense with your procurement options:
Mookie Pearl is a Blazehead — a user of the mystical drug known as Cerulean, a drug whose high tears away the veil of normalcy and reveals all the horrors and pleasures of the Underworld and its ilk. And Mookie knows a thing or two about the Underworld: he’s a knee-breaking thug who works for the Organization, a criminal coalition of gangs and crime families who control all of New York City’s illicit activities. Mookie protects the criminal underworld’s Cerulean trade from the threats of the mythic and monstrous Underworld beneath their feet — from gobbos, snakefaces, trogbodies, rogue molemen, and human cultists driven mad by the labyrinth.
Mookie’s already rough life gets a whole lot rougher when his own teenage daughter Nora (AKA “Persephone”) takes a run at him and his business, trying to peel away part of the Blue trade for herself — in the process, helping to reveal a far more sinister plot that pits the denizens of the Great Below against the citizens of New York City.
Featuring: Family drama, action, fantasy, profanity, tender emotion, burgeoning love, Sandhog monster-hunters (Local 147 represent!), roller derby girl gangs, the dead folk of the subterranean town of Daisypusher, ancient god-worms (or are they worm-gods?), charcuterie, demon families, gobbos, trogbodies, snakefaces, half-and-halfs, milk spiders, cankerpedes, roach-rats, gelled wastes, mystical pigment drugs (Cerulean! Viridian! Vermilion! Ochre! Caput Mortuum!), and a zombie stunt driver on a Hell-bound four-wheeler.
Some Strange Combination Of: Hellboy, Sin City, Goodfellas, Dante, Lovecraft, Neverwhere
Tom Standage of The Telegraph, on writing, in OverMatter
If somebody asked you for tips on becoming a better writer, what would you tell them?
“First, when you have a good structural idea, or a good turn of phrase comes to you, note it down immediately — even if you are falling asleep, or in the shower. You think you’ll remember it later, but you won’t, and when inspiration strikes you need to make the most of it, because it doesn’t happen often. Second, and I know this is a cliche, but writing really is rewriting. The aim is to make it look smooth and effortless, even though it usually isn’t. So get something down, and then go back over it, again and again.”
Rob Delaney: On Depression & Getting Help
This was originally posted February 26, 2010.
I deal with suicidal, unipolar depression and I take medication daily to treat it. Over the past seven years, I’ve had two episodes that were severe and during which I thought almost exclusively of suicide. I did not eat much and lost weight during…
Soup: Official Statement from the Family and Partner of Aaron Swartz: Our...
Official Statement from the Family and Partner of Aaron Swartz:
Our beloved brother, son, friend, and partner Aaron Swartz hanged himself on Friday in his Brooklyn apartment. We are in shock, and have not yet come to terms with his passing.
Aaron’s insatiable curiosity, creativity, and…
Chicken owning fad lauded by Jamie Oliver 'hurting birds' (Telegraph)
Raises some of the same issues raised by Atlantic essayist James McWilliams (with whom I often disagree, but I think his points about the animal-welfare issues especially in backyard slaughter are worth listening to).
A new study has found that backyard chicken-keepers have a lack of disease knowledge and insufficient awareness of laws needed to breed animals at home.
Researchers concluded that owners consequently rarely vaccinate their animals, which could have serious implications on disease control and animal welfare.
The Royal Veterinary College study found there was a low level of awareness in and around the Greater London area of diseases that could negatively affect birds’ welfare…
A must-read for any journo: "Quitting the Paper," by Paul Hemphill (on BronxBanterBlog.com)
Long before the Internet took the air out of newspapers, the late writer Paul Hemphill (a genius, my friend, and I miss him so) wrote this lovely essay about the point at which journalists realize they have to go out on their own.
He was writing about his decision to leave the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, once a great engine of the civil rights movement and a voice for liberal whites who believed the South had to change, but already diminished when Paul decided to go. It was my last newspaper as well, and Paul’s widow Susan Percy, editor of Georgia Trend magazine, gave me a Xeroxed copy when I faced the same decision.
"Quitting the Paper" has never been digitized til now; Susan kindly gave the blog BronxBanter permission to reproduce it. For anyone who commits journalism in any format, it is worth your time to read.
Slow-motion ecological disaster in UK: 80 million trees threatened by imported fungus (Telegraph)
Chalara fraxinea is now the greatest threat facing trees in the UK since Dutch elm disease devastated the countryside during the 1970s.
The microscopic fungus, which infects the leaves, bark and wood of ash trees, causing them to wither and eventually die, has destroyed huge swathes of forest elsewhere in Europe.
Now a major effort to find infected woodland in Britain has been started because of fears the fungus will gain a foothold and spread among the country’s 80 million ash trees. Already it has been found in nurseries and at several plantations around the country, resulting in tens of thousands of trees being destroyed…
The politics of global food security (Al Jazeera)
Researchers are warning that rising global temperatures could see a shift in the world’s traditional staples and who grows them.
They predict that maize, wheat and rice production will decrease in many developing countries - forcing farmers to replace them with crops more resistant to heat, drought and flooding.
The prediction, if true, would put more pressure on a world already facing a potential crisis over global food security.
The UN commissioned report says yields of the world’s three main sources of calories will decrease by 2050, as temperatures rise. Wheat is forecast to drop by 13 per cent in developing countries, while rice could see yields fall by 15 per cent. And maize farmers in Africa could lose up to 20 per cent of their crops…
Announcing: my “Women Worth RT-ing” list
I follow a lot of people, and lately I have been concerned that excellent female bloggers, journos and researchers whose work I want to see are getting lost in the noise.
To make sure I see them — and also make sure others do too — I’ve created a “Women Worth RT-ing” list.
I usually keep my Twitter lists private, but I have made this one public, so others can copy/follow too. Find it at:
My rough rules:
- No marketers, even if I love you. You have your own channels.
- If you work for a very big media outlet, you probably don’t need this list either — but if you want to argue with me about that, email me.
- If we’re friends/followers and I somehow missed you, DM or email me.
- If you’d like to be on it, follow me so I can be aware of your work.
BuzzFeed FWD: Shashank Tripathi, Last Night's Twitter Villain @ComfortablySmug
Frightening scared people for the fun of it: A hedge-fund guy, and campaign manager for Christopher Wright (R), competing for for 12th Cong. district seat in NY, apparently has been exposed as the author of a Twitter account that sent out false information as Sandy was dumping on NY. How disgusting. Wright should disavow him.
By Jack Stuef
This post is now available on BuzzFeed FWD, which was down for a time due to Sandy.
During the storm last night, user @comfortablysmug was the source of a load of frightening but false information about conditions in New York City that spread wildly on Twitter and…
in Nepal… the Central Food Laboratory recently found alarming levels of antibiotics such as penicillin and amoxicillin in milk and chicken samples. Ten percent of chicken sold in Kathmandu and Tarai were found having ‘extreme’ levels of drugs including tetracycline, sulfonamide, penicillin, aminoglycoside and micro lead.
— MYREPUBLICA.com - News in Nepal: Fast, Full & Factual
Ever wanted to dig deep into how health care works/doesn't? Apply for this fellowship.
It’s application season for the Health Care Performance Fellowships offered by the Association of Health Care Journalists, where I am a board member. If you’re at all interested in any aspect of health care delivery — costs, access, patient harm, inequity, technology — this program will give you a $2500 stipend plus lots of interim goodies such as data-analysis help and conference and seminar attendance.
More details here (and follow the link for projects that were funded in past years).
Excerpted from our website:
The AHCJ Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance is a yearlong program allowing mid-career journalists to pursue a significant reporting project examining health care systems in the United States. The reporters continue working their regular jobs and pursue the projects with the support of their newsrooms, which will publish or air the work. Freelancers are also welcome to apply. Guidance is provided through customized seminars on health care systems, conference calls and email consultations with AHCJ fellowship leaders. Financial support is provided to attend the seminars, the annual AHCJ conference and a regional workshop, as well as membership in AHCJ. Fellows may tap financial support for field reporting site visits, health data or other research needs related to the project. Fellows also earn a $2,500 fellowship award for the successful completion of their projects. The fellowship program is supported by The Commonwealth Fund. Application deadline: Nov. 9, 2012…
Show some compassion: Take a photo
In the Tamms supermax prison in Illinois, prisoners are held in permanent solitary confinement, 24/7. The “Photo Requests from Solitary” project seeks to alleviate their mentally crippling isolation by recruiting photographers and everyday people to take photos that these men (they are almost all men) can hang on their walls. If you are disposed to help, the photo requests are posted on this page.