You are currently browsing the Breaching The Web blog archives for April, 2003.

What do you value?

April 30th, 2003

I’ve seen several statements around the blog world lately to the effect of “any blog worth reading has linked to X article….” This has made me curious — when you read weblogs, do you tend toward those that contribute commentary to on-going conversations about a common topic? Or do you tend toward those that dig up unusual links or subjects? Or do you read both?

My answer is in the comments.

[Note: this isn't intended as a prescriptive debate. I don't think all weblogs have to be one way or another -- diversity is what makes life interesting. I'm just curious about individual preferences.]

This just in

April 30th, 2003

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop is my favorite poem.

More Portals

April 30th, 2003

The Internet Public Library was founded by students at the University of Michigan in 1995. The site is dedicated to supplementing traditional library services by making collections of information on the web easy to find. Resources include encylopedias, special web exhibits, statistical databases, and all manner of reference sites. It’s easy to get lost.


April 29th, 2003

As I asked a friend the other day, “what’s wrong with South Carolina?” (he never did get back to me about that, by the way).

South Carolina to collect information about women seeking abortions (link via the super-smart Pasta Whore). According to the article:

“South Carolina is the only state whose law allows regulators to see, copy and store abortion patients’ medical records without stiff requirements that the information be kept confidential, lawyers said….”

Note to self: never, ever, ever move to South Carolina.

Salad Days

April 29th, 2003

Yet another reason to buy sustainably grown local produce: perchlorate has been found on lettuce grown in California and Arizona [Arizona Republic]. Perchlorate is an ingredient in rocket fuel, and has been dumped in the Colorado River — which was then used to irrigate the lettuce. According to the article:

“Perchlorate can impair thyroid function, disrupting hormone formation and blocking the body’s ability to take up iodine, a key nutrient. In infants and small children, whose bodies are still developing, the health effects can range from lowered IQ to loss of hearing and speech and impaired motor skills.”

More Data

April 29th, 2003

Dr. Michael Dartnell, at the University of Windsor, has an amazing collection of political resources on his website. The Online Resource Guide to Political Inquiry is a broad guide to institutional political webpages around the world. Insurgency Online is a portal to various protest groups and movements. The research efforts toward which Dartnell’s online resources are driving make for interesting reading in and of themselves.


April 22nd, 2003

Nina Simone died yesterday. I can’t express what her music has meant to me — like the mother of Bridget Fonda’s character in Point of No Return, I’ve always listened to Simone during life’s rough spots (although even I found the Nina references in that movie irritating beyond belief). Her strength — personally, politically and musically — has always inspired me. Her best known work Mississippi Goddamn was a response to the murder of Medgar Evers. It’s powerful and sadly relevant still.

For more information about Nina Simone and her work:
Nina Simone’s Official Website
The Nina Simone Web
Nina Simone Biography

Another day in paradise

April 21st, 2003

A cool photo from the International Space Station: An air bubble captured inside a water droplet. It’s peaceful.

Marital Bliss

April 21st, 2003

A new study finds that happiness is independent of marital status. Respondents in the study did report higher levels of happiness just before and just after marrying. However, 2 years after marrying, they reported the same level of happiness they reported before becoming engaged.

The study suggests that individuals have a “happiness set point” to which they return after marriage, thus defying the conventional wisdom that marriage results in “happily ever after.”

While the study is the first to examine the relationship between happiness and marriage over time (by tracking the same people over many years), it was conducted in only one country — Germany. Given documented evidence that cultures have varying expectations and experiences of happiness, generalizing from this study is risky. At most, researchers can say that Germans are no happier after marriage than they were before — there’s no evidence (yet) that this applies to people from other countries (although I strongly suspect that it does).


April 21st, 2003

Odd Things in Pitt’s Libraries is exactly what it says it is — a diary of things one man has seen in Pitt’s libraries. It’s also totally fab.