April 25th, 2006

galadriel helpful

(no subject)

Ouchy tummy. I tried to work this afternoon but ended up sleeping off a large lunch we had at the Superior Grill (as if there is any other kind there). The Lunch Fajitas special, as you may know if you are or ever have been in Birmingham, is spicy rice, tortilla soup, and A SIZZLING PLATTER OF MEAT AS HOT AS THE SUN. (I got chicken.) Collapse )


After a curt denial, Harvard sophomore Kaavya Viswanathan admits that she "internalized" the books of Megan F. McCafferty and has forty striking parallels to McCafferty's work in her own, How Opal Mehta Came Up With What Is, Really, Way Too Long a Title. Yeeeeeeah. I'm not too sure I buy that, particularly having read a couple of comparisons side-by-side. The wording smacks to me, still a student myself, as the kind of thing we do when we're trying to not actually plagiarize a source in a paper. The "internalizing" isn't the oblique copying of style or incident you might expect; it's sentence-for-sentence with slightly rearranged phrasing. But it also turns out that a "book packager" was involved with the creation of Viswanathan's book, which muddies the waters a bit. Much like the James Frey/Nan Talese editorial pairing, you can't really tell who was responsible for letting this kind of thing escape into the published wild. But it's also interesting because, as jonquil asks, what did Viswanathan bring to the table? If she can't "conceptualize" the book and she has to resort to someone else's prose in the writing of it--how the hell did she ever land a $500,000 advance in the first place?

(Seriously, tell me, so I can go do it myself. Six figures would be frickin' sweet.)

elvensapphire: "You don't have to mention this if you don't want to, but this week is Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Remembrance, and today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. I think we're at a place in the world where, more than ever, we ought to pay attention to the eradication of needless prejudices and focus where we can on solidarity."

istoo: "Tuesday, April 25th is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's"--from noon to 8 pm, if I recall correctly, so it's not too late. We didn't get out there because we were rendered immobile by fajitas, so sadly I did not get to try their Chocolate Therapy ice cream that I have been pining for yea these many months.

finniscs: "I was wondering if you could pimp a fun little writing contest sponsored by my friends at warsheep productions? (They specialize in character portraits.) The contest is open to all ages, scifi/fantasy genre, 1500 words, with the theme 'First Adventure'. Deadline is June 1. Winner gets a free character portrait!

allthelivesofme: There's a writing contest called the First Adventure Writing Competition going on . . . first prize is a character portrait." Hey... is that a glitch in the Matrix there? "Not sure if it's something you specifically would be interested in, Cleo, since you're busy (I can't imagine why. Heh), but someone might be. Also, I just found out about this neat little charity called Donors Choose, which lets teachers explain what their classrooms need, and people can search through and donate to specific schools/causes. I'm sponsoring a Challenge there. No idea how it'll work out, but worth a try." Sars at Tomato Nation just had a very successful Donors Choose fundraiser a couple of weeks ago, as I recall. She said she'd shave her head if people raised $30,000 (I think it was?), and she'd barely hit POST before the money poured in. Then again, she is Sars. I'm just saying, Donors Choose seems to be good people.

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