Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Scientifically Long Road Ahead of Us

I’m still digging into my pile of scraps of paper. From the Los Angeles Times section called The Homeroom the name of post is called Science: not a black or brown option. That got my attention.  The instructor was trying to get students to imagine a world without Anglo Americans. It is a short post, go read it and then come back.

If you read it you might have also read the comment below the post because that is what really I want to write about today. I wanted to address the commenter's lack of access to examples of people of color in science and, by extension, mathematics.

I don’t think this has changed much since I was a kid but when I was coming up you only heard of two people, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, George Washington Carver and maybe Astronaut/Dr. Mae Jamison but she generally gets counted as an Astronaut and not a scientist. There are a few others toss in here and there but if it wasn’t for Uhura in Star Trek I’d never believe that there would be anyone of color in the future.

So I can understand how a 21st century teenager could believe that invention and innovation would stop if there were no Anglo Americans to create new products. It also reminded me why Tricia strongly wanted to have a dedicated science category on BlogHer.  It is a matter of visibility. If you can be seen you cannot be ignored or discounted out of existence.

Now I can go on a hunt to find people of color scientists. I can find women of color mathematicians. I can find women mathematicians who also happen to be scientists.  I almost don’t want to do that. Because their work isn’t dependent on who they are as much as it is what they know and what they do with that knowledge.

Me? I’m a practical women. Bottom line for me is that I need a good bug spray so can someone invent one that doesn’t make me sick or hurt the bees? (Ok, bug spray, bad for the environment. I know.)  

What really ticks me off is the fact that there is some kid(s) sitting in a Los Angeles classroom believing that there is only one group of people creating inventions or working in science. And there are teachers who don’t know where to look for contemporary scientists to work to show as examples.

Now I have to fess up that some of these sources are not all bloggers because there is a high concentration of spammers who are using the usual search terms. There is another reason. If you are doing microanatomy work on the toe bone you might not need to announce that you are a women or a person of color. It also makes that person incredibly hard to find. But not impossible.

Number Crunched and Proud

From the Math department of the University of Buffalo – Mathematicians of the African Diaspora.  Old school and text heavy much goodness to be found including Dr. Trachette L. Jackson who is a double threat with mathematics and biology in her background of study. Dr. Jackson is currently working in Mathematical Biology:

My group is interested in combining continuous and discrete approaches to derive, analyze and validate novel mathematical models of tumorigenesis.

Concha Gomez, Ph.D is a mathematician who is the coordinator of the Wisconsin Emerging Scholars program. Because of her experiences of not receiving encouragement and support in the classroom she is able to assist the next generation of math students. This is an excerpt from Science Careers/Science Magazine:

Although she fell in love with the subject, she didn't feel like she was part of the math academic community. Despite getting top grades, professors didn't remember her. When she offered solutions to math problems in study groups, students didn't listen. Gómez believed she wasn't respected or even noticed because she was a Latina and a woman. Nevertheless, she stuck with it. Gómez completed her bachelor's degree in math mainly by working independently.

On the Latino/a tip there is a list at Arizona State University that lists past and current Ph.Ds in mathematics.

Science Women

Over at the Thinking Meat Project  Mary Hrovat blogs about the brain and those things that can affect its function. She has a BA in Astrophysics with a minor in Mathematics. Sometimes really good work happens outside of the hollow walls of academia. Mary is also an example of a woman not writing about a broken heart or pining away for her soul mate.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.

An unexpected place to find contemporary women science is at the L'Oreal Foundation. For the past 10 years working with UNESCO they have been spotlighting the best scientists from around the globe that happen to be women. You can view videos of the Laureates and learn more about the diversity of their work.

Ok, that is six but it is a start. Who would you show as an scientific example or science mentor?


This post originally appeared on BlogHer.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bobby Caldwell on the Finally Friday Freakout

Oh, my was it a long four day week for me. Three days of non-stop yammering, moving, thinking, listing and a cushy bed to plop in.  I loved the bed at the Westin St. Francis. If you are going to have a torrid heart breaking affair then a clean cushy bed is the place to start it up in style.

I came home with the BlogHer virus aka a community shared summer cold. I recommend liquids, aspirin and before bedtime a slug of wine for the aches. Which is where I’m headed after the end of the week ramble.

Up until I search for a video I have never known what Bobby Caldwell looked like. I did not care.  No one who loves “What You Won’t Do” cares what the man looks like.  Twenty five years ago it was an issue. This looks like one of those promotional only (before MTV) videos but check it out.

Bobby Caldwell's What You Won't Do"

Black radio stations did play white performers on soul music stations. Some of the Righteous Brothers tunes slipped in, Van Morrison certainly was spun on turntables with Blue Money, Domino and that other little tune he sang from time to time. There were others. Most of the time the race of the performer was not mentioned. The assumption was that it was an African American performer.

What this meant for the early Blue-eyed soul performers was that their photos generally was not on the album cover and when folks went to the show is when an awakening happened. If the performer was solid and could perform in real-time there was no problem. They were musically adopted.

I knew that Bobby Caldwell was white. Most folks did after the record hit the charts. I don’t thinks black people had had a problem once they were hooked on the song. It was the promoters, the A/R people and those with money at stake that were racially twitchy.

I also want to point out that Bobby is not a one song wonder. There are 14 albums but how does he get played on contemporary radio stations? Hip Hop and Rap stations won’t play him. Oldies stations will only play that one song and so called Contemporary Adult formats will not innovate and allow new music for older audiences to be presented.

Yes, I’ve croaked about this before. But radio will not listen and newspapers are learning a little bit but not fast enough and forget about what we currently call television.

I’m going to hug my mp3 player and go nappy time. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Schmutzie - BlogHer 2008 Keynote Speakers

This is Schmutzie from Schmutzie's Milk Money or Not, Here I Come. She had a journey to get to the keynote stage in San Francisco.

You can read about it at her post on leaving a small town to come to to the convention.

She did a great job. There are all kinds of journeys. Some voluntary and sometimes you have to be dragged kicking and screaming to go down certain roads.
It really is how you handle the trip. Take a lesson from Schmutzie.

A Lesson From Olivia – Be Smart About Blogging For Profit

One of the amazing things that happened at BlogHer 2008 was the beginning of mainstream media outreach to certain bloggers to create content for their existing web sites or new blog portals.

This is not a bad thing. I repeat, it is extraordinary good thing that type of opportunity is taking place. However, there are parts of my mind that are howling like an old yappy dog. Something is amiss. I can’t see it as yet. I have the scent but I don’t have anything tangible. It nagged me on Day 2 and all the way home.

A song came to my rescue. Once upon a time there was a song called (Olivia) Lost and Turned Out. You might say it was an educational tale of guy observing a young girl sliding into prostitution. Basically it was a warning song to young women about that silk and wool dressed guy down the street. Here is the portion of the lyrics:

Olivia stop and think

(Lost and turned out)

He’s taking your cash to his bank

(Lost and turned out)

So what the heck has this got to do with academics, education or research?

Historically, when a formerly disenfranchised or disrespected group of people have something of value that cannot be dismissed, re-engineered or outright stolen from them the next level is the assimilation process.

Here is an example. Bessie Smith. She was a blues artist who was paid a flat fee of $200 per recording. Her first recording sold 800,000 records. Ultimately Bessie’s records made millions of dollars but not for her. Bessie had to go on the road performing constantly to recoup a fraction of her earnings.

Bloggers have been dismissed. Newspapers have stopped calling writers and journalists who produce columns and now call them bloggers with blogs. There are TV and newspapers that snag blog content without attribution or payment.

I do not want any BlogHer (or anyone else) who wants to write for money lost and turned out. Now there are a lot of shady silk and wool dressed folks who want to separate you from your money and/or content. Some are obvious scammers and some come in really pretty packages with credible business histories.

If you do your homework you will be safe and profitable (however you define it). If you decide to commit to the business side of blogging, I beg of you, learn your craft. That craft includes research skills, writing, marketing, ethics, transparencies and disclosures to your audience and so much more.

I'd like to share with you a few bloggers that are safe harbors of information. This folks who will be honest and give you the reality check that you need.

Amy Gahran did a great job in her workshop and her site is packed with information on the intersections of journalism, new media and her connections to other people who have wisdom to share.

Sharon Hurley Hall at Get Paid To Write Online has a great post about not writing for ad revenue, in her opinion you should write for cash:

What they want me to do is to spend hours, days and weeks creating a good blog for someone else’s site on the off chance that their marketing methods will drive lots of traffic to the site.

You could spend a month reading Darren Rowse's If you don't have a month then at least check out his post on A Reality Check about Blogging for Money You can also get a sense of trends by viewing his video on the five emerging trends he sees for the coming year.

Rebecca at Writer's Round-About is also another source on the reality of the writing life.  Deb at Network Blogging Tips has a post on Knowing When to Say No(and when not to) on how to balance the work load.

Well, this will get you started. One thing as a community we can do is to share experiences with positive resources and those we need to stay away from. Let's learn from Olivia and Bessie and build a better path to prosperity. As always, I invite your comments.

This post also appears on BlogHer.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Doug French - BlogHer 2008 Community Keynote Speakers

Doug's blog is Laid Off Dad and this is a slice of his life trying to inspire his son. Inspiration is a tricky thing and it might take a bit of time for his son to really understand.

I sat in the audience with envy. I don't have that kind of "dad" parenting experience in my life.

I can sit back and wondered "Is that what a good father does each and every day?" The good and the bad and the ability to see the humor in it all.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Antonia - BlogHer08 Community Keynote Speaker

This is Antonia reading her winning selection presented at BlogHer 2008. Antonia is from London and has a twinkly sense of humor.

By this I mean she is the classiest dame I have witness delivering a fart poem. For more information on Antonia visit

So it begins again. This vlogging thing. I make no promises. Videos may or may not appear do to time constrains, brain chemistry or the winds of change.

Yes, It Was A Big Fat Deal and It Was Wonderful

I'm walking around the St. Francis Hotel. The sessions I wanted to sample were filled to capacity. People were sitting on the floor, along the walls and what-not. Seriously, there were a lot of people interested in content creation, moniteriziation, optimizations and issues of a capital producing nature.

Other sessions I will confess I did not attended because it had the prefix-Mommyblogger before it. I'm not a mom. I don't have kids. I am not hating on the Mommybloggers at all it was just that I fell isolated from a part of the blogging community. A rant for another time.

BlogHer08 Room of Her Own BFD

Anyway, I'm stumbling through the halls and I see the sign about BFD. I don't know what BFD stand for and I have a firm policy of checking out things I do not understand.

BlogHer08 Room of Her Own BFD

I turn the corner and there are a couple of big legged girls sitting around laughing. Always a good sign. There was some skinny folks too.

A Bit of The Bubbly - Mimosas

The talk ranged from acceptance, to sex positive erotic videos for women, to fashion to to art and sushi and that I when I lost track because after initially turning down a drink I said to myself "What the heck, I ain't driving" and slung a Mimosa down my throat.

It got fuzzy after that point. But in a good way. I was comfortable. I felt connected for a brief moment in time. So thanks ladies. For those of you who might be interested in fat/body acceptance issues groove on over to:


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

King Creole & The Coconuts on the Finally Friday Freakout

This early edition of the Finally Friday Freakout is devoted to the men folk left alone for two or three days because of BlogHer08.

This is especially the guy in the elevator at BlogHer07. He had the kids and was following after the mother unit. I heard him say it. "Next year she is coming alone. I'll stay home with the kids." That man was tired, tuckered and his birth Bam Bam and Pebbles wanted to go home.

Yes my friend this year you get the house to yourself. You get to wake up, scratch yourself, eat want you want and go where you please without reporting back to home base if you should pick up something before coming home.

Unless of course you have kids but you get the gist of my thought. So, as you are having that third slice of heartburn inducing pizza (I'm thinking extra cheese and extra pepperoni) and the fourth beer with the fellas, my first selection is from King Creole and the Coconuts My Male Curiosity.

Any resemblance to Cab Calloway is well, between him and Cab's sprit.

Now some of you are saying that I'm not being fair. That you are happy to allow your good woman this mini vacation and the kids are not a problem. Nor the dog or the plumbing nor the work you brought home that you have to have finished before 9:00 a.m. Monday morning.

The fact that your mother and mother-in-law have told you point blank that you can't bring your children over this weekend is beside the point. You are taking care of business.

You sir are an Endicott. We like Endicott. We adore Endicott. But we know you think you are the other fella in the video. To each his own but your secret is safe with me.

When Cultures Collide - Reach That Peak

There is a common culture that all Americans share. Pop culture is one aspect of that experience. What happens when three or more collide?

Pop culture and entertainment fractures in many forms including hip hop, pop music, homogenized entertainment news, movies, advertising and other media used for creative endeavors. They borrow from each other. That's ok. That is necessary. You need that kind of exchange for a variety of reasons.

I watched this commercial and I am split in two; I am like Rayna Kapec in the Original Star Trek series episode "Requiem for Methuselah."

  • I like that it is an attempt to have humor with science information.
  • I don't like that it uses a pseudo hip-hop overlay to do so.
  • I like seeing men move, dance and have fun. Always have, always will.
  • I don't like hearing a seemingly black man's voice coming out of a white man's mouth, it is kinda creepy.
  • I like that was an attempt at fun as well as selling a product that is incredibly hard to define for non-science folks.
  • I don't like that it is ok to use elements of black culture to sell products but that the actual producers and consumers of that product are continually disrespected. (Not the commercial's fault, I'm not saying that is what they are doing.)
I repeat, I'm not hating on the commercial. Boing, boing, ping and round I go.

It just strikes me funny because most of the time the unspoken message is "Why can't you people of color just Anglo-Up." Why do you have to be so different? Assimilation is good."

For the record, white folks can use elements of black culture for parody and satire. For your consideration, Weird Al Yankovick's White and Nerdy.

Just be very, very careful. When in doubt leap over to "Should I Use Blackface in My Blog" and examine carefully the .jpg for your cues. I wish the New Yorker had done that but enough folks are commenting about that cover.

I should find an anthropologist to date or something. We could be in bed and as we snuggle he could explain the ways of human cross cultural pollination and how it affects societies as a whole. As usual, I have questions, many of which have no answers.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Punctuation, Linguistics and Brain Fuzz

It is hard to write today. My mind is everywhere but where I sit. So I am going to take a chance and make some loose connections with language, linguistics and emoticons.

I read a post today written by Chandra on Punctuation Promiscuity  Now I'm not too bad with the exclamation points but the comma thing? Yes, I confess. 

But in my defense I want to say English is a living language and languages need a bit of chaos to help the new words come into being. I should do better about excessive punctuation.  After all, I was educated by School House Rock!


So after singing a few choruses of Interjections and Conjunction Junction  I got to thinking about how something I learned umpteen years ago still can be recalled from memory via language. How does language and the brain interact?

Dr. Ginger Campbell is the host of Brain Science Podcast. Dr. Campbell has a post on evolutionary linguistics as well as recording an interview with Professor Alice Gaby. Professor Gaby is a linguist at the University of California at Berkeley. She is speaking what linguistics is and how it relates to cognition. You can listen to the podcast on the site or download the mp3 into your media player.

In Los Angeles you have to be linguistically flexible; or you should be anyway. I think it helped as a kid that I was into Science Fiction and had a thing for Dr. Who (I started with the classic Tom Baker episodes). 

Love that man's voice. I might be a closet Anglophile. Anyway, it took a while to understand what the heck they were talking about. After reading Separated by A Common Language I'm patting myself on the back on how many British English terms I do understand.

Take one American woman living in the UK who just happens to be a linguist and you have your own personal tour guide on American and British English.  It sure would have helped with Red Dwarf.

 A Way With Words is a NPR program on the English language. Which, by the looks of things, is expanding. Folks are now asking if you put an emoticon at the end of the sentence on paper how do you punctuate it?

There is an answer but I have to dig up my one volume encyclopedia to understand part of the rational. Psst, the secret word is Logotype. Well I'm taking a temporary vow of silence because I got a lot of yakking to do this weekend.

The article also appeared on where I am a Contributing Editor.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Carly Simon on the Finally Friday Freakout

Isty Bitsy Spider. Also know as Eensy Weensy Spider. We learn that song fairly early and most of us like it, except for those folks who are really afraid of spiders. It is a folk song of failure and success and failure and maybe it is a life lesson that few of us really get a good grip on.

Something so small and determined to make the journey. There is the road, the choice. Complications appear and the road is blocked. Have patience, find a new road and the journey begins again. Carly is singing about love but maybe it is not about the romantical stuff.

Maybe it is the love of life, of passions deferred by obligations. Maybe it is the dream that you have had on the back burner but there was always something. You don't need me to tell you this but time is ticking.

Get on with it. Or watch a couple of episodes of "Dead Like Me." That'll fix you up.

This is from 1987 a live performance from Martha's Vineyard.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Power of Serendipity - Learning About Nanotechnology

There is a three foot pile of papers, books, bookmarks and information goodness buried on my bed. (Hey, I found a wrapped cookie!) A clear sign it is time for a little serendipity. I plunge into the center and pull out...a Nanotechnology catalog.  Oh my.

At first glance yeah, it is a little intimidating. Handbook of Theoretical and Computational Nanotechnology. Bottom-up Nanofabrication and Doped Nanomaterials and Nanodevices. I'm reading the summaries and although the English language is being used I am having a hard time understanding any part of the text.  When in doubt, find a science or scientist blogger. 

We start our journey visiting Karen Venti, who is a science medical writer who gives an explanation about the term:

The basic definition of nanotechnology is anything related to the building of materials on a nanometer scale-a scale smaller than one millionth of a meter.

Nanotechnology is a highly interdisciplinary field encompassing elements of colloidal science, physics, chemistry and biology.

Tara C. Parket at Aetiology has a Nanotechnology Primer that will start the process of illumination.

Nanotechnology is a field defined solely by its size. By definition, it involves the manufacture and manipulation of materials at the atomic or molecular level--materials which are typically less than 100 nanometers in diameter. (For comparison, a human hair is roughly 50,000 nm thick, and a piece of paper 100,000 nm thick).

Ok, so I'm getting that a variety of science disciplines are working on materials and devices that can operate on a really small scale.  One of the places I checked out was Nano Werk. It goes into a more detail about what is the current state of the technology and practical applications.

But I'm a visual kinda of gal so it helps if I can see what folks are talking about.This is a video clip from First Science TV is about how NASA imagines a potential use of nanotechnology, with an explanation of the relationship between our natural cells as machines and how the nanodevices can help the body.

Ok, it is getting better. So know that I have an understanding of what nanotechnology. My next questions is "What In It For Me?" Because being a science fiction fan I know this could be a good thing or a very, very bad thing.

Now there are potentially wonderfully things that could be a benefit such as nano-surgical applications, pollution control, soil analysis or as Rhiannon Buck suggest "bones could be made stronger, muscles more powerful and hearing improved so that we could hear a vast range of frequencies."

Hmm. Jaime Sommers or the Borg?  Nope, I need more information. Over at the Women's Bioethics Blog there are a number of posts about the ethical concerns we need to be aware of if humans plan on making use of this technology. One of the concerns will be what will constitutes a human being?

Now learning a new term does not automatically make you cool. So here are some places you can check out to start building an understanding of some of the concepts and implications of this new nano-frontier.

Marcy Darnovsky at the Center for Genetics and Society Biopolitical Times blog gives a brief review of the book Body Shopping and poses interesting questions about the intersections of business, science and medicine.

Gregor Wolbring has a lot of articles and links to information concerning this topic. He also has a blog on Nanotechnology, Biology, Information and Cognition and other stuff.  Cruise through his post, some are high tech but others are accessible.

Finally, you should visit the Nanotechnology Project - in addition to having a Nanotechnology 101 section it looks at the potential effect on food, safety and the environment. Anyplace that has an article called the Twinkie Guide to Nanotechnology that includes videos is alright by me.

Where did that cookie go?

This post also appeared on

Sunday, July 06, 2008

SPJ Citizen Journalism Academy - Publishing Truth

One of the SPJ-CJA sessions of the day concerned media law. I will be honest and say I am very interested in this topic; you got the Associated Press nonsense, you have Viacom lusting after user information and lord knows what will jump up next week.

What of the content creators? What rights do we have? This is a brief video clip of Professor Gary C. Williams talking about our rights to print/published factual information.

There is one exception. If the information involves matters of national security then no, that is not an automatic gimme.

I will add more reference links but for now if you need more information about the law, bloggers and the nature of your rights please visit the Electronic Freedom Foundation's page Legal Guide for Bloggers

Added July 6, 2008

The Knight Citizen News Network has a legal information module to help bloggers/vloggers understand legal risk.

It is heating up folks, protect yourself.

Reflections on Citizen Journalism Academy

I am a writer. I am a blogger. I take photos and videos when I can. If it should happen that one day I am the only person around with a camera and record a news event then yeah, technically, I would become a journalist.

For the record, I do not consider myself to be a journalist. I wanted to be one when I was a kid. I was discourage from pursuing that as a career path. Or maybe I was distracted by something else.

There are intersections that bloggers, journalists and writers share common ground. I know I made a bunch of journalists heaved up a bunch of vile but there you go. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

I could write full sentences about how some sections of the journalism industry abdicated their duties for years and that is why they are the in the fix they are in at the moment.

How some so-called journalists dive into blogs, YouTube and Flickr to harvest content and pretend they generated the stories without any sort of attribution or compensation.

Some journalists blame bloggers/vloggers for the decline in their industry. Some blame that pesky Internet. Others think that all bloggers are just sputtering our inner most thoughts or ripping off their content.

We have to find ways of communicating and getting along. So I took the opportunity to attend the Society of Professional Journalism's Citizen Journalism Academy. I wasn't sure it was going to just another hate-fest on bloggers.

It was an introduction to some of the concepts that folks ought to be aware of if they want to protect themselves and their writing. Minus the fact I got really lost in a part of Los Angeles where you do not want to get lost (I'm talking major skeezy neighborhood) it was a good day.

The topics included ethics, freedom of information, a media law primer, reporting and writing basics and sharing hardware and software tools to make it easier to do the job. Overall, they did a good job with the time constraints.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Bessie Smith On The Finally Friday Freakout

Over at BlogHer I read a piece by LaniaD about a Indian man who killed his daughter in-law because she was African American woman.

There are many layers to the story that are stunning. The man hired to do the actual killing said that he should have killed the baby in her arms as well. My personal kicker? The biological father turning the child over to the maternal grandparents and choosing to have no further contact with his daughter. He later married an Indian woman and (my feeling is that) the child would have never been accepted by the family.

I think I'll stay single for a little while longer.

Love, what is it good for? And do we really know what love is? In some cultures family honor and traditions trump any individual expressions of wants and needs. Would you kill for your faith? Your beliefs? Would you take from those that trust and depend on you for your own survival?

Don't be too quick to answer.

For some folks common sense has nothing to do with being connected to another human being. Let Bessie Smith school you on being struck by desperation which is not the same thing as love but you catch the drift soon enough.

This from the 1929 cinematic short St. Louis Blues. For more information about Bessie visit National Public Radio's profile on Bessie with commentary by writers and biographer who help to put a context to her music.

On the shunpike of the old Internet Joan Hemsworth wrote a report for her Women History class in 1998 and there is another good biography at the Xroads.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Declarations of Independence

I stopped at the table of the American Civil Liberties Union table at the American Library Association annual convention in Anaheim, CA. I was given a copy a small blue book of the Constitution of the United States of America.

I stop by the Cato Institute table where I am given a small red book on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. I didn’t get squat from the Hoover Institute because I got the impression I shouldn’t approach the table let alone be allowed see what freebies they wanted to pass on to library type folks.

I’m thinking the Universe is trying to tell me something. I was in the bookstore today buying my computer magazines when I see the Constitution of the United States selling for $2.95 plus tax. I can take a hint. There are days when I'm not so sure that the Constitution has anything to do with the country I live in but there are days when I do feel a connection with the more positive aspects of the document.

But I like the Amendments better ;-)

I know that the Iroquois Nations had their own constitution known as the Great Law of Peace. Some folks say there was a bit of “appropriation.” I’ll leave that for you to decide but items 5, 9, 10 and 11 do seem to have a familiar ring to them; even though they were composed around 1090AD.

In this video, Leondra King is explaining what the Constitution means to her:

So what if women did have a say in declaring independence? And is there more than one kind of declarations of independence? Historically there was a women centered Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions that was created in Seneca Falls New York in 1848. Here is an sample:

  • Resolved, That woman is man's equal—was intended to be so by the Creator, and the highest good of the race demands that she should be recognized as such.
  • Resolved, That the women of this country ought to be enlightened in regard to the laws under which they -live, that they may no longer publish their degradation, by declaring themselves satisfied with their present position, nor their ignorance, by asserting that they have all the rights they want.
  • Resolved, That inasmuch as man, while claiming for himself intellectual superiority, does accord to woman moral superiority, it is pre-eminently his duty to encourage her to speak, and teach, as she has an opportunity, in all religious assemblies.

Sound familiar? I can’t think of a day on BlogHer when someone at some time invokes a variation of these sentiments.

There are all sorts of declarations that are being defined and redefined. Patricia at Washington Ding wants to have her own independence from the United States Congress for failing to act on impeachment, failure to protection of citizens in harms way and not living up to the stated goals of the original document.

Over at Be the Muse there is the question of what do you gain and give up in pursuit of your art?  For Tiffany at At Home in the Asylum her declaration means dealing with emotions and stepping away from the cookies for her health and well being. New blogger Christina at Declaration of Inspiration wants to inspire you to go forward from a Christian spiritual perspective.

May you always honor your own personal whispers of declarations.

This post also appeared at

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Getting Permission - Reference Books by Nolo

Here is another example when citizen journalism, library issues and blogging collide. At the ALA conference Nolo Press had a table of books. It was love at first sight. I wanted to buy those books. I couldn't, they were just sample copies. Drat!

Copyrights Book by Nolo Press

One of books was Getting Permission by Attorney Richard Stim. On the Nolo web site it has a brief overview page of the concept of Fair Use . If you wanted more info about the book they just happen to have a link at the bottom of the page. The pulp version has a CD that contains copies of forms and permission sheets you can use to request permission from copyright holders.

If you don't need the forms you can save yourself some cash and buy the e-book version for $20.

Nolo Press also has a book on The Public Domain where you can get the straight scoop on what is and isn't in the Public Domain and how to find out if a work has slipped out of copyright status.

Public Domain Book by Nolo Press

If you want to hear attorney Stephen Fishman talk about the book and Public Domain issues you can stream or download the mp3 file. The e-book version of the books is $21.99

Ok, still unpacking both physically and mentally. More to come.