Science Addiction

A dormant blog by Devanshu Mehta

Tag: Blogs

Administrative Note

For all the people who follow this blog, here’s some additional information:

<li>I have recently started blogging at <a href=””>Things of Which I May Not Speak</a> about film, music, things I read and write.</li>

<li>You can <a href=””>add this blog to your RSS feed reader</a> like Google Reader, My Yahoo, Bloglines or others. If you don’t use RSS readers, you should– it brings updates from all the sites you like to you, instead of having to go out and see if they’ve updated. I recommend <a href=””>Google Reader</a>.</li>
<li>I’m fairly <a href=””>active on Twitter</a>, so you can <a href=””>follow</a&gt; my more live, off-the-cuff and short updates there.</li>
<li>I write about <a href=””>Star Wars stuff on my Star Wars site</a>. </li>
Enjoy and thanks for reading! Leave a comment once in a while, so I know who is reading.

Google Juice

I’ve run a Star Wars web site called for 11 years now. For the first year of its existence, the web site was hosted on It was is on the Google front page of results for many Star Wars related searches, but I just realized that so are some pages of my old tripod site (that I was updating for only about 8 months).

I guess it has seniority in Google’s mind– it is about as old as Google, after all. So last week, I put a notice on the Google-popular page that the site had moved. Something I should have done 10 years ago.

Our Senate can Tweet

Y2K testedEarlier this summer, I participated in the Sunlight Foundation ran the “Let our Congress Tweet” campaign (here is my possibly meaningless contribution). Members of congress were prohibited from embedding a YouTube video or Flickr album (or Tweet). Well, that has partly changed. As of last week, Senators have the discretion to use whatever third-party Web site they want, as long as it follows the Senate’s Internet Services Usage Rules and Policies.

I, for one, would like to welcome the U.S. Senate in to the 21st century. The House, on the other hand, is partying like it’s 1999.

Ten Years of Sequels, Prequels and “Based-on”s


As The Dark Knight is poised to become the highest grossing movie of the year, it is interesting to note that 1998 was the last year that the highest grossing movie in the U.S. was an original script.

Not a sequel, prequel, based on a comic, based on a book or anything else. An original screenplay. Since then, we’ve had two Star Wars, a Grinch, a Potter, two Spider-Men, a returning King, a green ogre, the chest of a dead pirate, and now a dark knight.

Of note, also, is that prior to Star Wars in ’99 we had four straight years of original screenplays- Toy Story, Independence Day, Titanic and Saving Private Ryan.

I’m not saying I don’t like the movies we’ve gotten in the last ten years- I can’t, I am a confessed Star Wars addict and have shed tears for a few fallen wizards- but this does tell you why big studios pump millions in to a steady diet of sequels, super heroes and wizards. We’ve voted with our dollars.

Campaigning to Lose Votes

A few months ago, I was at a popular local ice cream place, digging in to a much-too-large-to-be-kiddie-sized cup of ice cream when I noticed a prominent local politician approach other ice cream eaters around me.

“Ooh, cool,” this political junkie thought to himself. “One day when this person is nationally important, I’ll be able to say to blog that I shook them by the hand.”

Except, I didn’t.

This local politician of some renown walked up to the people on the bench in front of me and talked with them for a while. Then to the bench next to me. Then behind me. And then to every other bench in the area except mine. And then they- politician+entourage- left.

I may not fit any ‘demographic’ that the campaign was trying to target. And I may not even look like a citizen to the narrow-minded suburban. But even if the potential upside of shaking my hand was negligible, the potential downside is significant. I was turned from a voter indifferent to a voter scorned. More importantly, a blogger scorned.

And dictatorships hath no fury like a blogger scorned.

Why This Blog is CC Licensed


You may not have noticed it (how dare you!), but this blog is licensed CC-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. This means:

You are free to:

  • Share– copy, distribute, transmit (send it to your enemies!)
  • Remix– adapt the articles (I’m waiting for the musical)

Under the following conditions:

  • Attribution– You must attribute it to me.
  • Noncommercial– You may not use it for commercial purposes.
  • ShareAlike– If you alter, transform or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same license.

So why did I choose this license?

  • To paraphrase Cory Doctorow, the only thing worse than an author who’s work is pirated is an author who’s work is not read. So share!
  • The Internet isn’t one-way. It is interactive. There is an archaic notion that my job is to write this blog and your job is to read. You and me are standing on the shoulders of giants. On the Internet, you stand on my shoulders, I’ll stand on yours and we’ll make one weird circus freak. So adapt and remix!
  • I have an ego, and I don’t like people taking credit for my work. So attribute (to me)!
  • Stand on my shoulders if you want, but don’t sell tickets to it (without my permission). So non-commercial! This is basically so that no one is making money off me without my knowledge. When asked, I’ve been known to give permission.
  • And clearly, I can’t let you share and remix my work, but then allow you to prevent further sharing and remixing. So share alike!

You’re free to use this license (or one of the many others Creative Commons has written) for any of your creative works. There’s even a comic (CC-licensed of course) to explain all the licenses.

Science Addiction Referenced in a Law Paper

No kidding. The paper (by Gary Pulsinelli) is about the ownership rights of artistic works among goblins in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Last year, I had noted that they sounded a lot like the RIAA/MPAA/ MAFIAA. This paper has a different take, but tips its hat to this blog post and the reader comments. If you read the paper, it is in footnote #29 on page 5.

John Edwards on Green Living

“No Impact Man”: has put together a questionnaire for U.S. presidential hopefuls and John Edwards is the first to have answered. It’s a pretty straight and informed dialogue- I hope other candidates respond.

If you’re not familiar with <em>No Impact Man</em>, then his is a blog worth keeping track of. In his words:<blockquote>No Impact Man is my experiment with researching, developing and adopting a way of life for me and my little family—one wife, one toddler, one dog—to live in the heart of New York City while causing no net environmental impact. To do this, we will decrease the things we do that hurt the earth—make trash, cause carbon dioxide emissions, for example—and increase the things we do that help the earth—clean up the banks of the Hudson River, give money to charity, rescue sea birds, say.</blockquote>

This guy isn’t a nut- he’s doing this for the right reasons. To demonstrate that it can be done. To remove the cynicism and the inertia from the process of reducing our impact on the planet. This guy is the real deal and is an inspiration.

O’Reilly, CMP and the Web 2.0 Service Mark

The controversy started- for those not paying attention- when CMP served a cease-and-desist letter to an Irish non-profit for using the term “Web 2.0” in the name of their conference. Bad move- the blogosphere went in to attack mode and O’Reilly (who runs the conference and is associated with CMP) will never have quite the same reputation again. Before the blogosphere outrage over “CMP’s claim of Web 2.0 as a service mark for conferences”: dies down, I have a few things to say. Read the rest of this entry »

8 Essential WordPress Plugins

While this is in no way a complete list, these are some of my favorite plugins for WordPress- the software that I use to build my blogs. All of these make the job of maintaining and posting to a blog a lot easier. Read the rest of this entry »