Monthly Archives: February 2013

Knowledge Hoarding, or Academic Miserliness

This is something that has been on my mind a lot lately and probably deserves to be addressed in a proper essay rather than a quickly composed  blog post, but here goes.

Library front [2 dot bp dot blogspot dot com slash _EazJIBgp890 slash S_0qnaVlRsI slash AAAAAAAAA34 slash 6ap4_4emBJM slash s320 slash Library plus front dot jpg]

Online libraries restricted to public access

I am currently an adjunct teaching at a tiny, private school [read: part-time, underpaid & few resources]. This semester I am teaching an advanced undergraduate level course. They are awesome students and I am constantly amazed at their dedication. One of the things I am trying to emphasize is the importance of reliable, peer-reviewed sources. When I was still in grad school and had access to my huge university’s online databases I did not notice this problem so much, but this semester has been exceeding frustrating for both myself and my students. Trying to find relevant, reliable and peer-reviewed sources that are ACCESSIBLE feels nigh impossible most days. My school’s databases are limited and hard to navigate, therefore I often use Google Scholar to find citations. This week, it took me at least three times as long as it should have to find a couple of relevant articles for my class* because every time I came across a citation online that looked perfect, it was only available on Jstor, to which I do not have access. Well, to be fair, Jstor has made a limited number of their articles available, but when I just searched through this limited selection, I could find nothing relevant. Continue reading

Categories: Academia, Miscellaneous, Research | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why I still watch Castle, Part II

Castle Season 5 Episode 16 Hunt

Christopher Heyerdahl and Nathan Fillion

Last year I posted about a fun episode of Castle. Well, last night’s episode rivaled that one and by the end, had me in tears, sobbing about how awesome it was.

I’m going to talk about the episode a bit, but my real reason for this post is to mention Lee Lofland, who has a really interesting blog called The Graveyard Shift.  I stumbled across his blog, because I have recently decided upon a new story to write. This one is a mystery, so while I was doing some research, I came across his book, Police Procedure and Investigation. Continue reading

Categories: Miscellaneous, Television | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unfinished books

unfinished-books072012 from shelf-awareness dot comLast year when I was working on my dissertation, I only managed to read something like eleven “fun” books, and two of those were at the very end of the year after I had deposited. For myriad reasons I was incredibly excited when I finished my degree. One of those reasons was that I would be able to read “fun” books again. I had missed being able to cozy up in bed or on the couch and just read. Of the books I read last year, very few of them held me captive. I had missed staying up until the wee hours of the morning or standing up to find my legs cramping due to having been in the same position for hours, because I was so into a book that I forgot the rest of the world existed.  Mostly, I read a little before I turned the light out to fall asleep. It was more habit than insatiable thirst.

Well, it is almost March, so presumably I have consumed many books and have been able to scratch my reading itch, right? Well, let’s evaluate. Of the books I have finished, one of them was a non-fiction book (which. truthfully, was rather captivating) and the other was a graphic novel. Yes, that is correct: So far this year, I have only finished two books! Continue reading

Categories: Book Reviews, Random Ruminations, Reading | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Following: Episode 5, “The Siege”

The Following

Agent Ryan Hardy and Professor Joe Carroll

I have rather been enjoying The Following, that is, up until Episode 5: “The Siege.” To be fair, I did not not enjoy this episode, but instead of pure, unadulterated fun, I finished the episode feeling exceedingly annoyed with many things.

To start, do the writers understand the meaning of “siege” because the title misled me to expect an entirely different sequence of events? While I do not wish for my television to be predictable (a trait which Episode 5 claimed in nearly every other aspect), I do not think it is fair to deliberately mis-name an episode simply to mis-lead the audience. Again, to be fair, I really do not think this was intentional; I just think someone must be a poor namer.

Warning: THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD.

Ah, so many contrivances! A different reviewer has pointed out that “previously, all the thrills were from the violence,” and that this episode was one of the best so far, due to its suspense.  I can agree with this statement.  This episode was enjoyable largely due to the suspense.  That said, there were so many contrivances created to drive this suspense, along with the wholly gratuitous deaths, that despite the suspense, this show irked me for the first time.  I’d like to point out that this is a relatively rare experience for me.  Usually, if I am irked by a show it is because it starts off that way and I either end up no longer watching it (Revolution, Beauty and the Beast) or having it grow on me despite its irksome nature (Terra Nova).

It seems that I am not the only one who had problems with this episode. I particularly liked “Things Episode 5 of “The Following” Has Taught Me.”  Nevertheless, I would like to contribute my own thoughts to the blogosphere… Continue reading

Categories: Miscellaneous, Television | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Americans

The_Americans_2013_IntertitleSo, the novel is…well, I’m thinking about it. Why does life have to get in the way like it does?  So many other things to deal with throughout the day. And I’m a master procrastinator, and what does this procrastinator do to facilitate the procrastinating? She watches television!

I just finished watching the first episode of The Americans. When I first saw the trailer for this show, I was definitely intrigued, but I wasn’t totally sold. Well, throw it in the bag, because they’ve convinced me to buy!  Having grown up in the 1980’s I adore this show and can totally relate – the music, the cars, the outfits. I also think that having grown up in this time period, the show hits the nail on the head for me in terms of making me feel slightly uncomfortable rooting for the spies. As an adult, obviously, I have a different understanding of that time period and the players in the Cold War, but as a child, I just remember being scared that the Russians were going to drop a bomb on us. I wonder how others have reacted to it, particularly those under the age of 30.

The Americans

With this first episode the creators, writers and everyone else have done an excellent job balancing the human side of this couple with their reality and their conflicting loyalties. Add to that expertly executed suspense and I think this may be my favorite new show of the season. (I’m still a fan of 666 Park Ave., but since they’ve canceled that show and haven’t even aired the final episodes, my enthusiasm for it has most definitely waned.) I think I was expecting something drier and not quite as exciting.  Something more…historical? But, they seem to have the history in there, while making it exceedingly entertaining to watch. And that last scene!

The timing on this show also seems appropriate, as opposed to something like Zero Dark Thirty, which admittedly I don’t know much about, but seems to be in very poor taste, especially in light of that Esquire article. The creators of this show waited at least two epochs (the post-Cold War era and over a decade of our current era) before they created this show, which allowed them to create something that feels real instead of something that feels like propaganda. Well, as real as an undercover KGB spy thriller in which the FBI agent that is pursuing them lives next door can feel real. But, any which way you slice it, it is some damn fine television.

Edit:

After writing this post I had a quick look around at what some other bloggers are saying about this show.  My first impressions Continue reading

Categories: Miscellaneous, Television | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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