December 15th, 2005


(no subject)

For those of you always looking for new music: Pandora.

Ever since we started the Music Genome Project, our friends would ask:

Can you help me discover more music that I'll like?

Those questions often evolved into great conversations. Each friend told us their favorite artists and songs, explored the music we suggested, gave us feedback, and we in turn made new suggestions. Everybody started joking that we were now their personal DJs.

We created Pandora so that we can have that same kind of conversation with you.

Go, try it. I actually studied the feasibility of stuff like this in about 2001. Of course, that was before iTunes really took off. We told them to partner with Amazon. Were we smart or what?

Also, especially for pygma_lion and her new iPod: Podsleevs.
  • Current Music
    Pot Kettle Black - Wilco
  • Tags

(no subject)

I've been quietly reveling in this response to Dowd's specious article on feminism since I found it late last week. It's much more eloquent than my rant on the subject. In fact, they use actual statistics and evidence to show she's full of it.

As a piece of institutionally self-serving evidence, for instance, [Dowd] refers to a recent front-page story in The New York Times about young women attending an Ivy League college who were planning to reject careers in favor of staying home and raising children. The article claimed that 60 percent of women in two Yale dorms wanted to jettison careers and be stay-at-home moms.

The story was not written by a Times reporter. It was written by a journalism student doing her graduate thesis who based her story on an e-mail survey. Slate media writer Jack Shafer found the "facts" in the story so flimsy that the reporter "deserves a week in the stockades. And her editor deserves a month." He pointed out that the writer used the word "many" 12 times in place of statistics.

Writing in The Nation, columnist Katha Pollitt said she had contacted a number of people at Yale, including professors and students who were interviewed. She said not one felt the story fairly represented women at Yale. Many students said they'd thrown away the reporter's questionnaire in disgust.

Physics professor Megan Urry polled the 45 female students in her class and only two said they planned to stay at home as the primary parent.


(no subject)

From one English teachers account of teaching in Japan:
There was one letter though that really threw everyone for a loop, including the teacher. The American student was talking about his favorite holidays, and he wrote something to the extent of "My favorite holidays are Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, which is the resurrection of Jesus."

I'm sure most if not all of you reading have had some experience studying at least a second language. Now, try to think about how to say "resurrection of Jesus" in your non-native language. ...Kinda hard, isn't it? Now imagine a Japanese schoolboy trying to make sense of this sentence, when just a few weeks ago he was working on "I have many comic books." And THEN factor in that Japan isn't really a Christian society*, and there's no reason why they'd even know who Jesus is.


*There is Christianity in Japan, but it's by no means the norm.

Even the teacher was baffled by this, so they called me over to help. "Well, resurrection means when someone who's died comes back to life." I explained to the student. He nods in understanding. "Okay," he says, "now, who's this Jesus character?" Again, Christmas in Japan is all about the man in the big red suit. "Well, Jesus was a man..." I start to say. Before I can even finish my sentence, the boy looks up and me and says "Oh! So, Jesus was a zombie then?"