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May 30, 2009

This week

Links for the weekend - Things I've been thinking about while writing for work.

This week I recommend Think again: Child soldiers from Foreign Policy, a very thought-provoking article.

Also thought-provoking is The New Socialism from Wired, where Kevin Kelly writes that social media is the new socialism. I'm not entirely sure what to make of this. While both my inner politics geek and my inner web-media geek are very pleased, I'm not sure the arguments in this article are all that original or even true. At any rate, thoughts on the behavioral economics of blogging, twittering and youtubing are interesting. Specifically, it's hard to think that I'm blogging with a strictly rational-choice what's-in-it-for-me attitude. The idea of blogging to contribute to a community makes more sense. With me, I tend to blog what's in my head anyway; it's really not work that I selflessly do for your benefit. In Norway, there's a twist to this web socialism, as our Labor Party prime minister twitters. When he announced this on radio, he claimed he would follow everyone who followed him, because that's the Labor Party way ("Alle skal med!"). I don't know if he kept his promise though - is he following me?

Speaking of social media, AudioBoo is the new thing, according to various sources, but I'm linking to The Guardian.

Going back to paper media, Dan Sabbagh at Times Online explains why the very snobby Monocle magazine is making money.

So it's not all doom and gloom: Global newspaper sales went UP in 2008.

But I still think paper is for art, not news. Examples to the left and above.




For Norwegian-speakers: B-mennesker er de nye A-mennesker fordi vi holder ut lenger.

This week I looked forward to Stuart Murdoch from Belle & Sebastian starting a girl group, God Help the Girl:

Although the dark-haired singer is clearly wearing my coat in this picture, I'm optimistic about this. I didn't love the first single (video), but I might in the near future. Individual Belle & Sebastian songs usually start out feeling anonymous, but then they grow on me.

This week I read The Enchantment of Lily Dahl by Siri Hustvedt.

b1d5af9c-89b4-4e7e-aaea-687aeeb88d01-1I recently renewed my subscription to Morgenbladet, but they keep calling me and sending me multiple postcards urging me to renew my subscription. They need to get their act together. Despite subscribing, I can't link to them, which is beyond annoying.

I added a new personal blog to my Bloglines: Thoughts and All


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May 21, 2009

Wrap boots

These wrap boots just might be the weirdest footwear I've seen. Probably a tie between these boots (or should I say shoes with stockings?) and my parents' barefoot shoes.

I can't decide if I love them or just think they're weird. I need to try them on!

To add to their weirdness, these are vegan boots. What does that even mean? Vegetarian shoes would not be made from leather (same place meat comes from), so am I to assume that vegan shoes are not made of egg shells or fishskin? I thought we left fishskin shoes behind when WW2 ended, but maybe some disturbing retro trend has started and needs to be stopped by a counter-trend of vegetarian/vegan footwear. Whatever.

These boots are PC in a useful way, too. If I buy a pair, Tom's Shoes will give a pair of shoes (not necessarily vegan wrap* boots) to a child in need. I'm waiting for this kind of charity to show up on Stuff White People Like, but hey, there's nothing wrong with it.

If these shoes work the way I think they do, they could potentially be really comfortable, fit any width of leg and be a light-weight alternative allowing me to comfortably wear boots on sunny spring days. With my luck though, they'll probably fasten with some hideous, itchy contraption and have soles through which I can feel grains of sand.

I need to find out.

P.S. Apparently, we are now taking fashion advices from horses.

* Vegan wrap? Can I get burrito boots instead?

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Emergency Sex

That's a book title I felt a little bit weird reading on the subway.

Emergency Sex (and other desperate measures) is the autobiographical story of UN workers Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait and Andrew Thomson. The three friends, who take turns being narrator, met in Phnom Penh in 1990. They stayed in touch as they worked for the UN in Cambodia, Haiti, Rwanda, Liberia and Bosnia throughout the violent nineties.

"Andrew wanted to bind the wounds of innocent war victims, hoping to find grace. Heidi embraced the freedom-born-of-emergency determined to liberate herself and, in the process, as many women as she could touch. I planned to harness the power of an ascendant America to personally undo the Holocaust. Don't laugh. We were young." - Kenneth Cain, Brooklyn, New York, April 2003

I've always felt that since people have endured so much suffering, and others have had to witness peoples' suffering first-hand, the least I can do is read about it years later without giving up. But unfortunately - perhaps fortunately, as it's probably a sign of sanity - reading novel-length texts about torture, war, fear and despair is simply no fun.

With this book, however, I never considered giving up. It's fast-paced to the point of feeling like it's written for the screen, but more importantly, the characters are real people. It's a true story not just because it's non-fiction, but because it includes the narrators' mistakes, doubts, pre-peacekeeping past, parties - and yes, their hook-ups. They're journal-writers, not feature reporters. The lighthearted anecdotes are a necessary break from the sometimes disgusting descriptions of violence, but they also provide a backdrop that feels realistic to me: You clean up the mess after unspeakable terror by day, but when night falls, you still have crushes, friendships and a need to unwind and lead a kind of life.

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May 16, 2009

Men and mysteries

Yesterday I cut my hair short and wore a tie for the first time.

No, this has nothing to do with writing like a man. And I should point out that I also wore a pink dress and heels. The theme for the Argument release party was gin and ties*.

When I walked in the door, I was greeted by the hostess, also wearing a tie of course, who told me we should form a club for girls who tie their own ties.

And so, the mystery: Why do men act as if getting dressed is difficult for them? Tying a tie is roughly on the same level of difficulty as tying shoelaces. It's not intuitive for most. You have to learn the method. But once you know that, you're set. There's a built-in limit to how good you can be at tying things.

Yet people still wear ties without knowing how to tie them. And movies still have scenes where women help grown men get dressed (A YouTube search to find these scenes failed, but they are out there! Pretty Woman for one). 

Clearly, there are different ways of tying ties. In fact, there is a trend in British school uniforms for clip-ons because they stop kids from trying to tie their ties in a creative way. Yup, this is considered a problem at British schools: boys who tie their ties in a non-standard way in an effort to be individuals. And in the show Skins, boys wear ties as scarves, which I strangely love.

But if you're not trying to rebel against the dress code, simply putting on that one accessory is not all that complicated.

Watch and learn everybody:

Style For Men: How To Tie A Tie - The Full Windsor Knot

Photos: Michael Coté (who can't tie his own tie) and Wade M (Why do men wear ties? See the discussion after Wade M's photo)

* I know! Great party theme, right?!?!

Posted by Julie at 12:23 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 15, 2009


Happy Moose Cap Friday!

I natt skal jeg ikke bare feire elgen, men også slipp av nytt nummer av Argument.

Argument er et magasin/tidsskrift skrevet av studenter i Oslo. Argument befinner seg i grenseland mellom faglig tidsskrift og nyhetsrettet studentavis. Målet er å skrive om hva studenter studerer, slik at alle - uavhengig av fakultet - kan lese og ha glede av det.

Med andre ord: HF-erne kan også lese det BI-folk bryr seg om, og journaliststudenter som meg har godt av en biologiartikkel i blant.

Jeg er fast medlem av samfunnsredaksjonen i Argument. I tidligere utgaver av Argument har jeg blant annet skrevet om misjonærer i Kambodsja, valgforskning i USA og Jonas på Chateau Neuf. I det nyeste nummeret trykkes en litt forkortet og oppdatert versjon av denne artikkelen om medieøkonomi.

Argument kan leses i pdf-format på nettsiden. Tidsskriftet er tilgjengelig på Studentsamskipnadens studiesteder (dvs. blant annet Blindern), på Høyskolen i Oslo og på BI, - i tillegg til utvalgte Narvesen, Norli og Tronsmo.

Bilde: Elg i solnedgang t-skjorte

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May 4, 2009

Nemi synes ikke papirnyhetene er verdt å trykke

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Første dag i TU!

Og etter litt teknisk rot og mange nye fjes å huske på, fikk jeg til og med publisert noe. Nemlig en artikkel om mulighetene for avislesing med e-bokteknologi.

Jeg har etterhvert skrevet mye om e-bøker:

Posted by Julie at 10:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Today weblogs, tomorrow booklogs

"(...) readers will stumble across books through a particularly well-linked quote on page 157, instead of an interesting cover on display at the bookstore."

Author Steven Johnson predicts booklogs, blogs that link to books, in a future with e-books.

Posted by Julie at 8:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 3, 2009

Geek alert

I realize I'm in danger of becoming a journalism geek.

The past week was spent writing my take-home exam in journalism. Normally I spend exams wanting to blog about anything other than what I'm writing my exam about. After each political science exam, I avoided anything poli-sci-related for at least 48 hours.

And what do I do when my exam is over this semester? I discuss journalism with my classmates over beer in the park, order a newspaper subscription, catch up on my journalism geek blogs and twitter (tweet? twit?) a journalism-related link.

I blog so much more about journalism than I ever did about international relations. There are many possible reasons for this: Journalism school provides more opportunities for non-boring diary-like blogging. I mean "Today I interviewed the minister of foreign affairs" is so much more entertaining than "Today I sat in the library for nine hours reading about foreign affairs". And since I'm actually acting like a journalist, I feel that I'm qualified to have opinions about journalism. Last year, I was just acting like a college student with some political geekiness.

The most important explanation is that journalism feels so right for me.

Not that there is anything wrong with being a happy nerd. But maybe I should take some steps to make sure I'm not boring. I have friends and readers who aren't journalists after all. And I don't think I should be a journalist/blogger who only writes about journalism/blogging.

I don't want to cross the line separating charming geek from anti-social dork.

But that won't stop me from hitting you with a journalism post right after I publish this little apology for being a geek.

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