Friday, October 10, 2003


What the heck are online news outlets trying to do with blogs? Since we'll be talking with an editorial staffer at the Dallas Morning News soon in the class, be sure to check out this link, which offers perspectives on the blog phenomenon, at It even mentions the News' effort, with the main critique being that the effort is hard to define. In my own opinion, it's a bit of a scrolling mess and hard to follow. Big. Long. Ugly.

Here is the list of your blogs, in preparation for blog week. I look forward to seeing them.

OK, so if I've missed posting your URL, let me know. Enjoy perusing these spots.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003


I visited a small, private museum yesterday (run by some kitschy Christians) to see small pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls. These pieces looked like small burned leaves, and only if you looked very closely could you see writing on them. I think the exhibit rooms were properly labeled "antiquities," with the worst connotation of that word in mind. No information about the provenance of these artifacts was provided. It was like seeing the spoils of tomb raiding.

Other parts of the exhibit were illuminating, as well. Old biblical manuscripts were on display (a janitor walked around while people were looking, spraying Windex and wiping the Plexiglas cases--could this be good for such artifacts?). But these Bibles were often beautiful--some were pre-printing press and on animal skins, painstakingly handwritten, thousands of tiny lines of text.

And that made me think that monks assigned to the task of copying were probably not much different than contemporary computer coders, sitting before screens and typing in thousands of lines of code. Even after the printing press arrived on the technology scene, some poor schmuck had to line up the wooden or metal type of each letter. Only the surface of the finished text has changed, from animal skins, primitive paper, bark, bones, and rocks, to flat and more processed paper, to fat computer screens, to thin screens.