Friday, May 27, 2011

Various & Sundry, May 27: Rhetoric, charity, social media, zombies

The week has flown by! I have been marking things of interest right and left, and I'll be curious to see if any themes emerge.

Let's see...Under the heading of rhetoric, two items:

Andrew Sullivan draws attention to this post explaining the erroneous use of the argument of "purpose" (e.g. "The purpose of marriage is..."). The author points out: "No thing has a purpose; people have a purpose for things. It’s an easy and honest trap door if you find yourself in a rhetorical corner." So the next time you hear "the purpose of" argument, you know there's an agenda.

The always awesome Ta-Nehisi Coates goes a little crazy in this post on the first paragraph of Moby Dick. "This is the greatest paragraph in any work of fiction, at any point, in all of history. And not just human history, but galactic and extra-terrestrial history too." He goes on to prove it.

Under the heading of charity and international aid, two items:

A rather painful read on why that fair trade coffee may not be so fair. Something at least to consider as we mark World Fair Trade Day tomorrow. (h/t The Lead)

Katherine Wertheim, guest blogging at Good Intentions are Not Enough, gives advice on how to research how charities spend their money and some warning signs that a charity is fishy.

Under the topic of Social Media, two things:

I loved this rant about "social media 'experts'". If you're thinking you need to hire someone to do your social media, read this first! Or if you want a summary, here it is:

Social media is just another facet of marketing and customer service. Say it with me. Repeat it until you know it by heart. Bind it as a sign upon your hands and upon thy gates. Social media, by itself, will not help you.

Amen, amen!

Although apparently, you can still use social media when you're dead. Obit Mag highlights a trend of adding a QR code to gravestones. Not as big as that, but you get the idea.

Also from Obit Mag, this Advance Obituary for the NY Mets 2011 season. "The cause of death was yet another botched save opportunity by its Scotch-tape-and-spit bullpen exacerbated by offensive anemia."

FINALLY (whew!) in the Garden and Zombie departments, Michelle Z. pointed me to the "highly addictive" game Plants vs. Zombies.

A mob of fun-loving zombies is about to invade your home. Use your arsenal of 49 zombie-zapping plants — peashooters, wall-nuts, cherry bombs and more — to mulchify 26 types of zombies before they break down your door.

Sounds like my kind of game!

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