Monday, December 13, 2010

'My Dog Ate My Blog?!'

Well, that's interesting:

My Dog Ate My Blog
"Almost Educational!"

Here's what their "About Us" page has to say:

"My Dog Ate My Blog is the creation of editors, writers, and marketers in the education industry looking for an outlet for their general creativity and immaturity.

"Our writers and contributors will be focusing on the categories of politics, technology, and pop culture, with an (almost) educational spin. If those topics don't sound appealing to you, well, we're at a loss. You are officially on the wrong blog...."

Okay: that's not all of what they say on that page: I'm trying to encourage you to go look for yourself.

One of their author's bios reads, "I'm red-green color blind and I abhor cheese. Jealous?"

This is not your stuffy, dry, prolixity-prone potpourri of pompous pedantry.

If you consider a day indubitably ill-spent if you don't read a sentence without words like 'ameliorate' or 'contradistinction:' Like they said, "You are officially on the wrong blog." Unequivocally.

The most recent post, when the Lemming checked, was:

"The Question of Frivolous Lawsuits"
sarah, My Dog Ate My Blog (December 1, 2010)

"Lawyers lurk everywhere. They are the authors of every phrase beginning with 'No purchase necessary,' and of every other long, inscrutable passage that you sign without reading. They are why you can't rent a car, skydive, check your coat, or be on reality television without making a promise not to sue. They are the reason that everything from gym equipment to beaches feature warnings that lifting weights or swimming can result in 'serious injury or death.' Philip K. Howard, the author of the best-selling Life Without Lawyers bemoans all the ways in which lawyers have ruined everything fun. In his view, lawyers have ripped the see-saws out of playgrounds (too dangerous), banned tag from recess, stopped tree-climbing–and soon, he implies, will bring an end to laughing, singing, dancing, and joy...."

Long paragraphs aside, it's a well-written piece. With the occasional factual error: like "...Each Halloween, parents across the country unwrap and inspect their children's candy out of a fear that some sick and sadistic neighbor has poisoned it. Many parents won't let their kids trick-or-treat alone for fear that someone will kidnap them right off the front stoop. These events would be horrifying international news stories if they ever actually happened–they never have...."
(emphasis mine)

That's technically accurate.

Joseph Wetterling, for example, wasn't on his front stoop: he was snatched from the driveway of his home in 1989. And it wasn't Halloween. (ABC News: more at Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, Jacob Wetterling Foundation)

I don't recall reading or hearing about poisoned Halloween candy. Not recently, anyway. Several decades back, though, the occasional pin or razor blade turned up in a treat. Sometimes that made the news - but like I said, it was several decades back, and some of them were hoaxes. recalls the 2000 case in Minneapolis, when someone with the unlikely name of James Joseph Smith put needles in Snickers Bars. The source Snopes cites is "Man Charged with Putting Needles in Halloween Candy," The Associated Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune (November 2, 2000).

Back when the Lemming was doing time in academia, I learned to research - carefully - before I used terms like "never" or "always." I haven't tracked the Smith case back through Minnesota's criminal records - but it does look like that 'never have' is a little optimistic.

Still - it's a pretty good read.

And the central point, that a calm approach to emotional cases is a good idea, is valid: in the Lemming's opinion. The supporting evidence? Well, can't have everything.

One more thing: My Dog Ate My Blog (love that name - it's memorable and funny) has a good, mnemonic / easy-to-remember URL: - that redirects you to The website, also has a memorable URL, since it's the - what else? Guide to Online Schools website.

The Lemming is running out of 'today,' when it comes to getting today's posts written, so - moving on.


Brigid said...

That comma seems a bit out of place: "day indubitably ill-spent, if you"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


I know why the comma is there: but removed it anyway. Making text 'transparent' to the reader is part of a writer's job.


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