Michael Bérubé Joins Crooked Timber

by Scott McLemee on March 19, 2007

When a rumor began to circulate during the first week in January that Michael Bérubé would soon be shutting down his blog — confirmed in due course by an official statement/explanation — it was big news in this little world of “web” “logs.” Sure, there are plenty of places online where you can find discussions of Stuart Hall, economic populism, Ralph Nader, the NHL, and disability studies. Just not all in the same place at the same time. Bérubé had been at it for three years, during which he built up a large readership and even managed to include a number of blog entries in a collection of essays published by a university press.

So when the news got out, there was a general groan of dismay from many quarters of the academic and lefty/progressive commentariat in the United States. And in particular from that subset of each consisting of hockey fans. The shutting down of Bérubé’s blog also met, it must be said, with cheering from members of the Peoples’ Revolutionary Committee for a Committee of Revolutionary Peoples who were still upset that he had occasionally written disobliging things about Slobodan Milosevic.

No doubt there were also sighs of relief — gentle tears of gratitude, even — elsewhere.

It was in short an epochal event: the end of an institution, the twilight of an era, etc. Then came February and it all really was history.

Well, after some downtime–during which he’s probably written a couple of books–Michael Bérubé is now joining Crooked Timber. He is being taught the secret password (“Is there no help for the widow’s son?”) and handshake even now. In the meanwhile, please join me in welcoming Michael back into the fray.

Living with LAM

by Chris Bertram on March 19, 2007

Last June I wrote about my friend Havi Carel and her battle with the lung disease Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). Havi has an “article in today’s Independent about LAM”:http://news.independent.co.uk/people/profiles/article2369574.ece and about what it is like to live with a terminal illness and how that changes your relationship to others, indeed, to everything.

Last time I wrote I invited you to sponsor Havi on a bike-ride to raise money for LAM Action which supports patients and raises money for research. This time “Kate Gamez”:http://www.justgiving.com/kategamez and “Becky Tunstall”:http://www.justgiving.com/beckytunstall are running the London Marathon for LAM Action – so please click on one of their names if you want to sponsor them.

Fear of a Twittering Planet

by Kieran Healy on March 19, 2007

Following up on the “Twitter Curve”:https://crookedtimber.org/2007/03/13/twitter-curve/ from last week, here is Twittervision, a mashup of Twitter and Google Maps.

Rip van Winkle

by John Q on March 19, 2007

When Rip awoke from his 20-year sleep, he had a beard a foot long, and had missed out on some big political events. I’ve been paying attention to politics for the past 30 years or more, but events in the world of shaving have mostly passed me by. I was aware that it was no longer possible, as it once was, to get a shave and a haircut for two bits, but I was surprised to discover that you can no longer get a shave at all, at least, not at a barbershop – perhaps a long-delayed reaction to The Man from Ironbark.

Instead, having had my hair trimmed and my beard clipped down to Number 0 (as shown here), I was left to rely on my own devices to remove the stubble. Of course, I had no such devices, but I thought that the relevant technology would be fairly much as I remembered it. On the contrary, shaving now appears to require five blades and a power supply. Actually, I did read about this in one of Maria’s posts a while back, but of course skipped over it as being of no relevance to me.

I’m slightly bemused by it, but I’m the ideal target market for this kind of thing, since the only memories of shaving that have survived three decades are the painful ones. So, I’m now on the bleeding edge of technology, literally, but hopefully not bleeding as much as I would be if I stuck with the old gear.

On a more serious note, my appeal for the Leukemia Foundation raised over $A6000, more than any of the charitable appeals I’ve run in the past. Sincere thanks to CTers who contributed (I’ve tried to email people where I had an address, but inevitably missed some).