Top Reads of the Week
Published on August 10, 2012 by Sara Foss

Gun Ownership: Keith Ross on getting his first gun, and quitting the NRA

Society: Adam Rust on learning what it means to be like the rest of America

Sports: Sara Foss on the Olympics, and why you shouldn't smoke pot at the Olympics

Books: Sara Foss on "The Hunger Games"


Top Reads of the Week
Published on August 3, 2012 by Sara Foss

Movies: Sara Foss on "The Dark Knight Rises," and how the Aurora shootings will not scare her away from movie theaters

Journalism: Sara Foss on the Jonah Lehrer quote fabrication scandal

Parenting: J LeBlanc on how she wishes she spent her first trimester

Language: Sara Foss on the misuse of the phrase "perfect storm"

A Perfect Storm of Good Things
Published on August 2, 2012 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about the misuse of a common expresson: perfect storm.

Here's an excerpt:

;Lately I’ve noticed that a growing number of people do not understand the meaning of the expression 'perfect storm.'

Traditionally, the expression has been used to describe an unusual series of events that combine to create a really bad situation. There’s a reason the book and film 'The Perfect Storm' tells the story of what happens to a fishing boat caught in the Halloween Nor’easter of 1991 — a rare 'monster storm' that occurred when “a high pressure system, a low pressure system, and the remnants from Hurricane Grace collided in a trilogy of terror,” according to Wikipedia explains that perfect storm is 'nearly synonymous' with worst-case scenario, 'although the latter carries more of a hypothetical connotation.'

But more and more people seem to be using the expression to describe positive situations. For instance, the Gazette recently quoted someone describing the great weather at the Saratoga County Fair as 'just a perfect storm of perfect weather.'"

Click here to read more.

The Jonah Lehrer Story is Not Sad
Published on July 31, 2012 by Sara Foss

After the Jonah Lehrer quote fabricating scandal came to light, my friend Hanna emailed me. "Question, journalist-to-journalist: Why is everyone on my Twitter feed calling the Jonah Lehrer story 'sad'?" she asked. "Sad for Bob Dylan? Is it sad when a reporter makes up quotes, or just embarrassing?"

I speculated that people were sad about the incredible waste of talent, the shocking downfall of a gifted young writer. But I agree with Hanna's overall point. When I think of Jonah Lehrer's quote fabrication (and his self-plagiarism), the word sad isn't what comes to mind. The word pathetic is. Honestly, what other word is there for someone who makes up Bob Dylan quotes? The guy is still alive! With a legion of obsessive fans!

I've been suspicious of Lehrer since his self-plagiarism scandal, in which he was found to be re-posting essays and blog posts that he'd written elsewhere, and passing them off as new work in his blog at The New Yorker. This isn't as terrible a journalistic sin as plain old plagiarism, but come on! A blog is a place where you comment on what's going on, flesh out new ideas, engage with readers, voice the occasional opinion and tell interesting stories. For whatever reason, Lehrer didn't feel like doing that.


Top Reads of the Week
Published on July 27, 2012 by Sara Foss

Parenting: R.B. Austen on the things she has learned since becoming a parent, and Sara Foss on gardening and babies

Sports: Steven Reeves on Lance Armstrong

Movies: Sara Foss on "Magic Mike"

Top Reads of the Week
Published on July 20, 2012 by Sara Foss

Pet Peeves: Dan Schneider on drive-throughs

Parenting: Cindy F. Crawford on her potty training success

Movies: Sara Foss on "Moonrise Kingdom," and "Shut Up and Play the Hits"

Society: Sara Foss on whether a vacation can be too busy

Top Reads of the Week
Published on July 13, 2012 by Sara Foss

Parenting: J LeBlanc on making a friend

Movies: J.K. Eisen on "Ted," and Sara Foss on "Brave"

Sports: Sara Foss on Ray Allen

Society: Sara Foss on whether Americans are too busy

Message From the Publisher
Published on July 2, 2012 by Sara Foss

We are off until July 9.

Top Reads of the Week
Published on June 30, 2012 by Sara Foss

Music: Brian McElhiney on Roger Waters' performance of "The Wall," Sara Foss on The Beach Boys and J.K. Eisen on KISS and "The Family Guy"

Parenting: J LeBlanc on raising a bilingual child

School: Sara Foss on the horrors of riding the bus

Phobias: Sara Foss on her fear of getting busted

Top Reads of the Week
Published on June 22, 2012 by Sara Foss

Hassles: Tatiana Zarnowski on finding a tenant for her apartment, and Sara Foss on the worst time of day - idiot hour

Work: Anonymous on drinking and working with kids

Parenting: J LeBlanc on babywearing

Animals: Sara Foss lists her favorites

Movies: Sara Foss on "Monsieur Lazhar"

Tops Reads of the Week
Published on June 15, 2012 by Sara Foss

Journalism: Sara Foss on a newspaper massacre in the Deep South 

Movies: Eric J. Perkins on "Moonrise Kingdom," and Sara Foss on "Prometheus"

Life: Sara Foss on wearing different hats

A Newspaper Massacre
Published on June 12, 2012 by Sara Foss

A massacre took place Tuesday, as Advance Publications cut 400 employees at three Alabama newspapers: the Birmingham News, the Mobile Press-Register and the Huntsville Times, and 201 people at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans. The Times-Picayune managed to survive Hurricane Katrina (and win a Pulitzer in the process), only to be undone by their evil and myopic owners.

Advance Publications is making drastic changes to these publications. Each paper will put out a print edition just three times a week, and operate as a digital-only publication 24-7. Obviously, the company sees no future in newspapers, despite the fact that they're still profitable, and despite the fact that other publications have successfully enacted paywalls. For whatever reason, Advance decided that readers are eager to embrace the company's crappy websites, which are poorly organized and usually make me feel like banging my head against the wall whenever I look at them. 

Some people seem to think that Advance is simply going to move its newspapers online. But this is not the case. When a company cuts up to 60 percent of its newsroom staff, it has no interest in providing the same level of news coverage, or even being the same type of publication. As Weld for Birmingham reports, "many of the reporters who have held key beats with high byline counts have been offered jobs at the new company, although the jobs come with obscure titles, such as 'buzz reporter' and are all but void of job descriptions. Reporters from the News’ zoned editions and outlying community reporters have been heaviest hit, along with desk editors and copy editors, sources said."


Top Reads of the Week
Published on June 8, 2012 by Sara Foss

Odd Encounters: Tatiana Zarnowski on meeting a traveling meat salesman

Parenting: J LeBlanc on breastfeeding, and why people should get over it

Music: Eric J. Perkins on memory and Television's "Marquee Moon"

Movies: J.K. Eisen on "God Bless America," and Sara Foss on "Snow White and the Huntsman"

Books: Sara Foss on Ray Bradbury

Old Friends and Old Haunts: Sara Foss on her college reunion

Top Reads of the Week
Published on June 1, 2012 by Sara Foss

Babies: Sara Foss on her new niece

Politics: A Espeseth on the recall election in Wisconsin

Sports: Sara Foss on the NBA conference finals

Message From the Publisher
Published on May 24, 2012 by Sara Foss

We are on vacation until sometime next week.


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