Category Archives: tidbits

academic death squad

Are you interested in joining a supportive academic community online? A place to share ideas, brainstorming, motivation and inspiration, and if you’re comfortable, your drafts and freewriting and blogging for critique? If so, Academic Death Squad may be for you.

This is a Google group that I believe can be accessed publicly (although I’ve had some issues with signing up with non-Gmail addresses) although you appear to have to be logged in to Google to view the group’s page. Just put in a request to join and I’ll approve you. Or, if that doesn’t work, email me at mdesjardin (at) gmail.com.

Link: [Academic Death Squad]

I’m trying to get as many disciplines and geographic/chronological areas involved as possible, so all are welcome. And I especially would love to have diversity in careers, mixing in tenure-track faculty, adjuncts, grad students, staff broadly interpreted, librarians, museum curators, and independent scholars – and any other career path you can think of. Many of us not in grad student or faculty land have very little institutional support for academic research, so let’s support each other virtually.

In fact, one member has already posted a publication-ready article draft for last-minute comments, so we even have a little activity already!

Best regards and best wishes for this group. Please email me or comment on this post if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions.

よろしくお願いいたします!

*footnote: The name came originally based on a group I ran called “Creative Death Squad” but the real origin is an amazing t-shirt I used to own in Pittsburgh that read “412 Vegan Death Squad” and had a picture of a skull with a carrot driven through it. I hope the name connotates badass-ness, serious commitment to our research, and some casual levity. Take it as you will.

how to confuse amazon

Search for The Culture of Collected Editions and, while the first result is the right book, check out the rest of your odd results! Here are a featured few. Click on the image for full effect.

Also, why is there no choice between 300px wide and 1024px wide for displaying this image with WordPress? All I want is 500px so you can read that “Command and Conquer” is on the list.

free software day in Cambridge 9/15

Hi everyone,

It’s Free Software Day in Cambridge, MA, this Saturday (9/15) and there is a day-long event happening in celebration, and to bring the community together. If you’re interested in attending, it’s located at Cambridge College (1000 Mass Ave) and starts at 10 AM.

http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/celebrate-software-freedom-day-2012-in-cambridge-massachusetts

I’m done!

As of today, I’m officially done with all requirements for my PhD. So I don’t have a conferred degree yet, but I think I can finally order people to call me “Doctor Molly” now.

Woohoo!

Keep an eye out for a PDF copy of my dissertation, which will be posted on this site relatively soon – sooner than the copy in U of M’s institutional repository, which won’t be released until December. So if you’ve got some time on your hands and would like to read 259 pages on the history of the book, please stay tuned.

moldy archives

Did I ever tell you about how I wore a mask when I was in the library basement in Japan, not because I was sick but because the moldy books/magazines I was reading smelled bad?

I’m being reminded of this sensory experience now because my father donated some vinyl to me that is, well, full of creatures. I’m going through it and enjoying it, but it’s not without a price, possibly including an asthma attack. But let me tell you, it’s worth it to listen to some Brian Eno from 1975 that is actually from 1975.

That is how it smells to persist through time!

copyright infringement: my guide to shime-machi

Update: They were totally reasonable and although it’s being taken down from the site because no JETs are currently living in the town, they’ve promised to add attribution when it gets put in the site archive. Phew.

I hate googling anything that I’ve done and having it come up on a site that isn’t mine. The worst is with no attribution at all, and no link back to the original. This is regarding my photos on Flickr 99% of the time, and although I want attribution in text (that’s my CC license, after all – these aren’t public domain), a link is still better than nothing.

Well, trying to find the kanji for the name of a burial mound I took a picture of in Shime, Fukuoka, a few years ago, I ran across a guide to the town that I wrote just after living there in 2003-2004. It’s on a Fukuoka JET web site, and guess what it says on it? Not my name, of course. It says “Copyright 2012 Fukuoka JET.”

Right!

Anyway, if you want to read a guide to my old town, you can see it here: http://www.fukuokajet.com/regions/fukuoka/shime-machi

I’ve sent an email to the administrator of the site, and have my fingers crossed that they are just reasonable people and will agree to my request for attribution. Sigh.

podcast: 学問のススメ

New podcast for me, and best podcast ever in my opinion. Especially for learning! And you have to love the title. It is…

学問のススメ – “Special Edition” (ラジオ版) (Gakumon no susume – radio)

(Why is the title great? Because Fukuzawa Yukichi, who was all about enlightenment, published a book in the 1870s called “Gakumon no susume.” In other words (and in my words), “The furthering of knowledge/study.” This podcast takes the same name, somewhat sincerely and somewhat tongue-in-cheek.)

The mission: Learn things that you either didn’t learn in school, or that you forgot. The format: Interviews with a variety of interesting people, from authors to reporters to photographers to athletes. Why? It’s interesting, you’re exposed to many different fields, and for Japanese learners, it’s fast-paced but obviously a great source of vocabulary on different topics and practice listening to “real Japanese” at native speed, intended for the average layperson. And best of all, it’s free!

You can download individual episodes, or subscribe via the Japanese iTunes store. (You don’t need an account or Japanese credit card to download episodes that are free – just change your location to “Japan” at the bottom of your iTunes Store home screen and search for the title. If you’d like to find more podcasts, just browse away by topic!)

Click here for 学問のススメ!

new phone destroys old phone

I’m jumping headfirst into the 21st century here for once, rather than being dragged kicking and screaming. Yes, I have replaced an old electronic device (to be fair, only 1.5 years old) with a fancy shiny new one.

Samsung Epic 4G

I posted once about my Blackberry destroying certain parts of my internet life by being a laptop replacement that nonetheless can do fewer things. Well, I now have a laptop replacement that can do quite a few more things, but with a harder to use keyboard, and which sucks its battery down like you wouldn’t believe. Goodbye, poor Blackberry. I who defended you so stubbornly am now transferring your pictures away and will soon recycle you, and remember you fondly in spirit.

Blackberry Curve Purple

 

RIP Blackberry Curve Purple!

P.S. The new phone is one that someone else gave up for an iPhone and donated to yours truly. So I’m still in character, fear not.

mishima__bot 三島由紀夫

The Internet never ceases to amaze me. Thing found on Twitter today:

@Mishima__bot 三島由紀夫

Here is its description:

1925年(大正14)1月14日に生まれ、1970年(昭和45)11月25日に自殺。代表作は小説に『仮面の告白』、『禁色』、『潮騒』、『金閣寺』、『鏡子の家』、『午後の曳航』等。当Botでは『金閣寺』を一とし彼の試論+対談+代表作よりあらゆる名文句を抜粋。参照作品合計50作の中から、セリフパターン3,000以上を呟く。

Yup. It’s a “bot” that posts famous quotes from his works. To Twitter. Mishima Yukio lives! I highly recommend following it if only for the uncanny tweets you will find in your フロー. I almost want to set this thing to send me texts when it tweets, but it posts too often.