What Made My Day

This is Another Story


I have been having a miserable time at my bookkeeping job lately. It’s so miserable that I no longer want to go to it unless it’s necessary.

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How to find your author voice – interview with Joanna Penn

Nail Your Novel

author voiceHello! I’m slightly late posting this week because I knew I had this waiting. Joanna Penn invited me back to her podcast to thrash out a thorny topic – how to find your author voice.

We discuss what voice is, how to develop it, how character dialogue differs from narrative voice, how authors might adapt their style for different kinds of book, voice considerations for non-fiction, the value of experimenting and – that perennial favourite – why literary fiction might take so darn long to write. Plus side helpings of Nigella Lawson and Nigel Slater, so bring a picnic.

You can get it on video, audio download or written transcript – it’s all here.

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Isaiah 3

Arlin Sorensen's Thoughts on Scripture

Isaiah 3 has the prophet painting a picture of what is to come for Judah.  “For behold, the Lord God of hosts is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah support and supply, all support of bread, and all support of water; the mighty man and the soldier, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor and the skillful magician and the expert in charms. And I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them”.  The prophecy begins with God saying He will take away their food and water.  They are heading into famine.

But it goes much further.  God is going to deal with their lack of godly leadership.  God is addressing the incompetent leaders on every level from top to bottom.  The prophecy says they will all be captured.  Isaiah’s prophecy…

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Horrifying New Credit Scoring in China


When it comes to alternative credit scoring systems, look for the phrase “we give consumers more access to credit!”

That’s code for a longer phrase: “we’re doing anything at all we want, with personal information, possibly discriminatory and destructive, but there are a few people who will benefit from this new system versus the old, so we’re ignoring costs and only counting the benefits for those people, in an attempt to distract any critics.”

Unfortunately, the propaganda works a lot of the time, especially because tech reporters aren’t sufficiently skeptical (and haven’t read my upcoming book).

The alt credit scoring field has recently been joined by another player, and it’s the stuff of my nightmares. Specifically, ZestFinance is joining forces with Baidu in China to assign credit scores to Chinese citizens based on the history of their browsing results, as reported in the LA Times.

The players:

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Peering into the post-Roger Ailes future of Fox News

Media Nation

Roger Ailes. Roger Ailes in 2013. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Roger Ailes is out at Fox News. The media tycoon resigned on Thursday, just two weeks after former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a law­suit alleging sexual harass­ment. Ailes, the founder and now former CEO of Fox News, had a long his­tory in Repub­lican pol­i­tics before building Fox News into a media pow­er­house. Here, Dan Kennedy, asso­ciate pro­fessor in the School of Jour­nalism and a nation­ally known media com­men­tator, talks about Ailes’ swift down­fall and what his depar­ture may mean for the future of journalism.

Mar­garet Sul­livan of The Wash­ington Post wrote, “Two weeks. That’s all it took from Gretchen Carlson’s filing a sexual harass­ment suit against Fox News chief Roger Ailes to the evi­dent demise of one of the most pow­erful fig­ures in Amer­ican media and pol­i­tics.” Are you sur­prised at the swift­ness of the inves­ti­ga­tion and Ailes’s ulti­mate…

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Globe to vacationing subscribers: Just keep paying

Media Nation

The person who sent me this included a one-word message: “Chutzpah.”

Dear Subscriber,

We wanted to let you know about a change to our home delivery vacation suspension policy.

Effective August 1, we will be offering credits only for vacation holds of 22 days or longer. Rest assured that this will not affect your ability to temporarily suspend your delivery while you are away. We will still accommodate those requests for any length of time you wish.

Remember, as a subscriber you still have access to the Globe’s award-winning coverage even while you’re away: Log in to BostonGlobe.com anytime from your phone, tablet or laptop, or download the ePaper, an exact digital replica of the Boston Globe in print.

My favorite part is the reassurance that, yes, you can still suspend home delivery. Just as long as you understand that you’ll keep paying if you’re away for three weeks…

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The Right Amount of Legislative Immunity

GAB | The Global Anticorruption Blog

It many ways, legislative or parliamentary immunity seems an anathema to the fight against public corruption. Legislative immunity shields legislators from prosecution for acts taken within their legislative ambit, sometimes even shielding them when those actions are corrupt. As my earlier post on Senator Menendez hints, even when it seems clear that legislators’ actions are not protected, the very existence of legislative immunity gives legislators room to argue and prolong their court cases – all the while continuing to serve in the legislature. Legislative immunity can undermine public confidence in lawmaking and perpetuate a sense of impunity in public officials.

That said, there is a reason most democracies have some form of legislative immunity: not because individual legislators should be shielded from prosecution, but because the legislature as an institution should be protected from intrusion and second-guessing by prosecutors and the judiciary. Of particular concern are politically-motivated prosecutions brought…

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Intro to Poetry: Day 5–Imperfect, Limerick

Write of Passage

Day 5 of Intro to Poetry has me writing a poem on the subject “imperfect.” It’s a topic about which I can generate tomes. The “try it” format is the limerick.

My decision is to write about the current foci of my blog space–writing and art–in my never-ending strife to improve.

Reflection on Perfection

My pen leads me to a reflection

Of my strife toward attaining perfection.

Still, errors abound

In my work all around,

As I’m thwarted by natural selection.


Trite blunders appear in my writing;

My artwork is far from exciting–

My words and tints crushed.

Ah! Perfection is just

An illusion of shadow and lighting.


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