Bodies Missing

In a recent exploration of cartoon-bots, you know: websites that promise to cartoonify a simply jpeg of your head, I find missing bodies.


Michaele Sahali

The NYT has this article about how the Sahalis got into a dinner with Obama and other mega.pols.

Michaele Sahali promoting her sneakiness on Facebook:


Social Software for Academics

Ever felt funny posting about your research to Facebook? Well, now there are several social sites and apps just for academics. Mom and your buddies from the chess club in high school can see one thing; the people you work with can see something else. More importantly, academic social software affords new ways of doing and sharing research.

SciVee has been around for a while, and is still cool: it's the YouTube of academic research. How it works is simple: you upload your presentations and research videos to the site so others can see and comment on your work. This site is not only a great place to learn about research in a range of scientific disciplines, but amounts to a kind of 24/7 virtual conference.

academia.edu is a bit like FaceBook, allowing academics to create networks of like-minded (you guessed it) academics. But whereas FaceBook links people by keyword common interests, Academia.edu links you by fields of specialization—so everyone tagged as interested in "rhetoric" is virtually linked. Another feature of the site is that it creates visual hierarchies of departments, so images like this can be filled out by members online:

Mendeley is one I came across this week, and it's different from the others in that it involves a local application that you download to your desktop. The local app allows you to store, sort, annotate, and organize PDFs and other research files; the app also interfaces with the website (www.mendeley.com) to allow you to introduce your materials into the social network. Oh, and did I mention that it generates the things all academics love, bibliographies? A recent review of Mendeley can be found here.

A few others include:

citeulike.org: social bibliographic site
delicious.com: social bookmarking site
connotea: reference management app
bibsonomy: social bookmarking


Job Search Season

Tis the season for job searching in academia, and I see that traffic over at 9interviews.com has picked up a bit. I had to re-host the video files recently, and the site seems to be working a bit better.

In updating links and things, I also see that the academic job search wiki is alive and well. In fact, it looks more organized than ever. As we're hiring in Writing Studies this year at UIUC, I was glad to see that info is (if slowly) getting out about our search via the wiki.

I've heard mixed things from faculty about the wiki, as some of the info that gets posted can be misleading. But overall I dig the wiki, as it creates a version of transparency in a process where there can be none.


Leopard Seal Feeds Dude

One of the problems with this blog, I guess, is that I don't usually post any-old-thing to the blog. Instead, it's writing.related.stuff or art.related.stuff or new.media.stuff. Things like that.

Well, today it's a viral leopard seal video. And I have this to ask: can't we leave the other animals alone just a bit more?


Jessica Watson: Fave Blog

Have you seen it? Jessica Watson's blog is an account of her sailing voyage around the world. She's young. She's funny. She out in the freaking ocean all alone.

For me, it's a kind of sequel to Bird Year, an account of the Boothroyd family cycling for a year in search of birds.


Fly Pentop

This compu-pen from LeapFrog used to look a whole lot cheesier; now the company is hyping it as a much more serious learning tool. It's also gotten leashed to the PC, as you'll see in the second video. Haven't been able to find out much about the "Writing" software package; just this blurb (link):

Get over the stress and learn to succeed at writing with the FLYWARE Fly Through Writing cartridge. From brainstorming to making final edits, you'll be given step-by-step tools that will help you transform your ideas into killer essays, creative stories and fresh lyrics. This software works with the FLY Pentop Computer (sold separately). FLYWARE takes learning to a whole new level of fun! This software works only with the FLY 1.0 Pentop Computer, and is not compatible with the FLY Fusion Pentop Computer.