Wednesday, March 30, 2011

PSA on the NYT Paywall

I am somewhat embarrassed that it took me from Monday until this morning to slam into the New York Times paywall. This means that as a researcher who studies news, I obviously spend far too little time consuming news. But having exhausted my 20 free articles less than three days into the month, I was faced with three options: pay for the digital subscription, pay less money for a print subscription I am unlikely to read in print so that I can access the NYT online thus killing trees for no good reason, or I could use a workaround to get around the paywall.

I had prepared for this by adding NYT Clean to my bookmarks toolbar, curious if it would work. It essentially strips the Javascript that creates the text box over the article that says you have to pay. (Or something like that. I don't really understand the computer stuff.) It works fabulously and effortlessly. 

Now, the NYT has made it clear that they know these workarounds exist but they do not intend on shutting them down. The NYT, however, has also made it clear that using these workarounds is comparable to stealing a newspaper from a news stand. 

You can decide how you feel about all this, but I figured I would just let all you trusty blog readers know that NYT Clean is awesome. Now you can decide for yourself if you want to go steal newspapers.

And No, I Will Not Get High

I just got funding to go to Amsterdam for two weeks this summer to attend a program about digital methods. This makes me very excited. For all those who are about to ask whether I am going to get high while there (because everyone seems to think it's hilarious to ask that question to someone who so obviously will not), it is not on my to-do list. Though I was thinking that I really enjoyed Widow for One Year by John Irving, which takes place in Amsterdam. But being as it's about a woman who witnesses a prostitute get murdered in the Red Light District, I do not think I will be re-reading it in anticipation of my trip. Also because even though I shipped 250 pounds of books to L.A. when I moved here (including a lesser Irving title and another awesome Irving book), I apparently left that book in New York. 

But while I'm on the topic of Irving, I will link to one of his essays, which I really like: "Trying to Save Piggy Sneed." 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy First Day of the NYT Paywall

On this unhappy first day of the NYT paywall, I bring to you dorky links. 

  • On the un-hipness of the OED:"Listen, Oxford English Dictionary. You are the Oxford English Dictionary. Do you know what that means? That means that you are never, ever going to be invited to the hip afterparties, no matter what you do or how many asinine "initialisms" you say are words."
  • Poetry is coming back to the subways. Too bad I don't take the subway. Also, it's too bad that the headline of that article is a pun.
  • Also, now that the NYT costs money, I thought I'd start reading the Washington Post. Except that its new website is hideous.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sibling Name-Calling

A text message conversation with my brother on the occasion of his 14th birthday:

Me: Happy birthday, bro!
Brother: Thanks.
Me: Are you also getting an annoyingly loud musical instrument for your birthday? [Our sister got drums for her birthday three weeks ago.]
Brother: Nope.
Me: What presents are you getting for your birthday?
Brother: Idk. I'm not home yet.
Me: You didn't tell the parents what you want?
Brother: Nope I don't really care.
Me: Weirdo.
Brother: OK wtvr. At least I'm not the one that goes to school after you already graduated.
Me: I loooooove school.
Brother: Nerd.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

'Eruv, from the Hebrew for Loophole'

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Shushan Purim/ End of Spring Break

My hamentaschen—they looked a lot better than they tasted, though I'm not a huge hamentasch fan. And, yes, I am insane for taking the extra time to drizzle chocolate on cookies that would have been perfectly fine without the added chocolate.

My mishloach manot—Christmas themed in honor of ונהפוך הוא. 

I'd say Purim was a success (also that I keep cellophane makers in business). As was the spring break trip to Sequoia. Schoolwork? Not so much. But it's back to school tomorrow morning at the ungodly hour of 8 a.m. Seriously, I don't know how anyone gets anything done that early in the morning.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Advantages of a Cross-Country Move?

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I think moving to L.A. was ... difficult. But there are certain advantages to a cross-country move. One of them should be that when you're buying your coffee at the ungodly hour of 6:20 in the morning, you should not run into your elementary school principal, who is wearing sweats. It's just not fair to still have that as an even remote possibility, never mind a reality, after having moved 3,000 miles.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

'Really Special Shoes'

“It's really hard to walk in a single woman's shoes—that's why you sometimes need really special shoes.”

Lesson of the day: It's really difficult to take pictures of your own feet. Also, it's too bad I am venturing north into the snow tomorrow morning (it's a spring break for fun and schoolwork—we'll see which one suffers most) and will thus have to wait days before I can wear these awesome new shoes.

It's All Relative

Once, I went to a Shabbos meal that was also attended by a guy who I had dated for a long time (in shidduch terms) and his girlfriend and the ex-husband of a friend. It was very awkward. Essentially, I sat between two friends and didn't say anything to anyone else the entire meal.

The good thing about having said experience, though, is that pretty much any other awkward Shabbos meal pales in comparison.

Monday, March 07, 2011

משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה

My grandmother has this thing about hanging pictures of fish on the apartment door for the month of Adar. She thinks it's a segulah to get married. I think it's a bubbe meise (which is my general opinion toward segulahs, though I do have a drawer full of plate shards in my parents' house and am especially thankful for my good immune system after every sip of segulah wine). But, still, for the past three years, I have dutifully hung up the watercolor fish my grandmother has sent. In those three years, four out of six of my roommates have gotten married. Two got engaged while I lived with them. It seems that these fish are actually roommate segulahs, if anything, but that's good, too.

This year, my grandmother did not send me a fish. I'm not sure if that means she's given up on me (or my roommate) or she just forgot. In any case, I hung up last year's fish. It can't hurt.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

N.Y. Beats L.A. (Sorta)

In toxicity.

L.A., 1. N.Y., 100 million. But, hey, I'll take what I can get. Especially because it is way too cold here, and the whole point of living in L.A. is being able to gloat about wearing flip-flops when everyone else is bundled up in down coats and wool hats.