Time Machine

by John Holbo on August 14, 2004

It seems to be funny facts day here at CT (except it’s sad that Julia Child died, although 92 is not so sudden for someone so stuffed with butter and cream.) Anyway, via Colby Cosh, I found my way to this NY Times election 2000 Florida recount-o-matic web tool, allowing you to set different rules for ballot acceptability to see how it might have all gone differently.

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Julia Child dies

by Eszter Hargittai on August 14, 2004

Just a few days short of her 92nd birthday, Julia Child died this week. You did not need to be a cooking fanatic to have watched her shows although you may have ended up as one after doing so. And a kitchen is hardly complete without one of her books. I also got quite a bit of exposure to her name while studying at Smith College as she was one of those alums such a school could be very excited about. Hat tip to ms.musings who links to all sorts of interesting sites for more background info. Here’s one nice little interview with Child last year in Ms. Magazine where Child is quoted as saying: “I was a Republican until I got to New York and had to live on $18 a week. It was then that I became a Democrat.”

Language in the Blogosphere

by Henry Farrell on August 14, 2004

Wandering around the blogosphere, I came across this “rather interesting page”:http://www.blogcensus.net/?page=lang. It seems to be a little outdated, but it provides an approximate count of the relative importance of different languages in the blogosphere. English comes first, unsurprisingly, then French. Portuguese is third, and Farsi fourth. This may seem a little surprising to those who aren’t familiar with the proliferation of Portuguese and Farsi blogs – both linguistic communities have also made substantial inroads into social network services like “Orkut.com”:http://www.Orkut.com too. This leads to an interesting sociological question – why these communities and not other linguistic communities of similar size – have reached takeoff in the blogosphere. Equally interesting is the lack of any Arab language blogs on the list. This may be a result of how the authors have seeded their survey or parsed their results – but it may also quite possibly reflect reality. As far as I know, there are less than 70 Iraqi blogs (many of which are in English). I’m not aware of any substantial blogging communities in other Arabic-speaking countries – but I’m happy to be enlightened if I’m wrong. The root causes may perhaps include cultural factors – but I would bet that restrictions on Internet access and poor technological infrastructures also play a very important role.